Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

My Fridge...

I think you can learn a lot about a person based on their fridge. Some people have fancy stainless side by side refrigerators.(Over achievers) Some have ice makers on the door. (People who have over scheduled themselves to the point where they can't take the time to crack the ice cubes out of a tray) Some even have fridges with drawers. (People who have lived overseas at some point in their lives)
Most people put their leftovers in Tupperware before they put items in. (Martha Stewart wannabees) Some people throw some tinfoil over leftovers.(Rednecks) Some people still use metal ice trays.(People over 60) Some people put batteries in the freezer to keep them fresh.(Cheapskates) Some people have computer chips in their fridges to ensure the freshness of their veggies. (Over achievers with extra money)

I have an old school, one handle (that wiggles when you open it), freezer on top, no ice maker fridge. Nothing new or fancy about it. I make ice with little blue trays. I don't keep many leftovers so no tinfoil or Tupperware for me. I am a pretty simple girl. The beauty of my fridge is not the brand, the style, or whats inside. My whole world is stuck on the outside of my fridge. Sort of like me, I keep it all sort of "out there."
Mainly I put photos. Every time I walk into my kitchen, I look at those photos and remember what is so good about my life. I have a magnet that my sister gave me a few months after my divorce was finalized. I was about to sign a contract with an adoption agency. It says,
"Then, when it seems we will never smile again, life comes back."
I cried when she gave it to me. At the time, I was so angry at life, but just on the edge of finding some happiness. And the silly magnet was right. Life did come back.
When I go for my ten thousandth diet coke, my eyes scan and see my Anna sitting on my great grandmother's lap. I remember back to that day when all of my father's family met Anna.
I look at the Hoozez family picture and marvel at the wonder that is 5 children! I see my dad holding my gals last Christmas, and my mom sitting with Anna before her ballet recital.
Maybe they are just pictures, maybe its just a jiggly handled old school, no ice making, fridge.
But I don't think so....

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

End of the Year Wrap Up....

Watching this year come to a close is bittersweet. As a family, the girls and I struggled so hard to get it together. We did a whole lot of crying, fussing, and separating. I spent a lot of nights praying that this whole parenting thing would get easier. Praying that somehow the feeling of slight regret would fade, and that the same effortless love I felt for Anna would wash over me for AugustRose.
What's actually happened is we have become slower in our bonding, and I have stopped trying to force AugustRose to be her sister. I have fallen in love with AugustRose differently. She is such a spitfire, and doesn't need me as much as Anna. I have stopped taking that as a slight against me, and accepted the she will need me differently.
It's also a bittersweet time, since I am finished adopting children. That door is closed by choice. I am not in the contemplating stage, not in the dossier prepping stage, not in the waiting stage, not in the between trips stage, nor the waiting for court stage. I have been in that process for several years straight and although I loathed most of that, I was thoroughly filled by all of those stages.
Now that I am in the living stage, I have to remember what it is like to not be waiting for someone. That has been easier lately, but letting it all go is taking much longer than I expected. I share that same feeling with Missi so we get to talk about it a lot.
Anna has really become her old self in kindergarten. She won outstanding kindergarten student for the first quarter, done beautifully on all of her tests, and is reading. Every day she picks up more and more. Anna has so many gifts. She has become a wonderful big sister, full of patience and love for her little.
As I posted earlier, my job is giving me the worst of it. I won't bore anyone with this...Let's just say I need to find another teaching position. I would love to teach in Moscow or St. Petersburg, but I think that with the current US/Russian climate, I am not sure it's the best idea.

More realistically, I wish like crazy I could move down to Stafford to be closer to my GodChildren and Missi and Dave. They are like family to my girls.(Me too!) Since we don't have cousins, I tell Anna they are like adopted cousins. She gets it!
The main thing that has happened is I am finally getting a hold of my house. After a little over a year of AugustRose being home, I FINALLY GOT THEIR ROOM CLEAN!
Here is the newest set up without AugustRose's crib. She has been in a big girl bed for quite a while now!














I got these two paintings on the street in Moscow. I had them framed for the girls. They love them. They are both such happy winter scenes.

But the best part of the end of the year clean up is not something I cleaned and put away, it is something we added! A stage.

Dadushka built it for his girls and this should have been the only thing they got for Christmas. I can hear them dancing and singing all of the time. Lately Anna, Kit, Dora, and her magical Pegasus have been presenting a small revue for AugustRose!

You can't tell but the lights look very Old School Vegas. It is very fun. We are in the process of putting a different mirror on the wall. I got a set from Ikea, but for now, the old dresser mirror works!



I usually only half heartedly make New Year's Resolutions. Normally I swear I will diet, stop smoking, drink less diet coke, and within an hour of waking up on January 1st, I have done all of the above. But this year feels different. I am going to do some things.

Resolutions for 2009

  1. Recycle cans of diet coke.
  2. Lose some weight.
  3. Wake up at least 3 days a week with the Word.
  4. Read the Bible at least 3 nights per week.
  5. Get myself back on track financially
  6. Tell my parents "I love you", at the end of every single phone call.
  7. Let: Lee, Missi, Lauralee, Constance, Jenny, and Bernadette know how much I love them all! Sort of like a secret pal kind of thing.
  8. Take my children somewhere new and fun once a month. January will be to a swim meet with Missi!
  9. Clean my car.
  10. Keep praying for a direction to go...employment wise.

Happy New Year everyone. I wish you all tons of kisses from your babies, hugs from your honeys, and peace in your heart!

Monday, December 29, 2008


Yesterday I did a bit of researching. I was looking at the Novosibirsk Regional Databank site. It is run by a nonprofit but houses vast amounts of information about adoption and foster care in the Novosibirsk region. I decided to look through the forum section. I pulled up my trusty Google Translation tool and began to read. I came across a name I very easily recognized. Someone posted that they were looking for a child that was on the regional databank. They couldn't seem to get any info about the child. The moderator led the poster to some information about how this little gal born in May, just like my gal, had been taken in by a family. But what I know now, she was being adopted by my friend. (J if you read this I will walk you through it)
Anyway, I became curious, and sure enough, there was a post asking about my AugustRose. Obviously they used her given name. (Anastasia) That poster was directed to the magazine where my gal was featured.
Clearly that family was not paper ready. Thank goodness.

http://www.aistday.ru/assets/files/vse_nashi_deti_2007.02.pdf

This is the page from the magazine. Oops, you will have to go to page 12.
She is on the 2nd row. Third gal. My gal looks so sweet and innocent in her little strawberry dress!
I don't know what happened to the family that was asking about her. I would love to email that person and see if they ever adopted a child or if they became foster parents to a child. I would need more than my trusty Google translator for that!

She BATHED!!!!

So with all of the Christmas Treats that our dear friends gave to us, I was able to get AugustRose into the tub, and she sat down and let me help her wash up.
The back story is that out of the blue, AugustRose decided she hates the tub and won't go near it. I have to stand her up in the tub and wash her really quickly and get her out in a flash. It has been awful, since "tub-time" has always been a good twenty minutes that I can make lunches and get the next days clothes ready for all of us.
So anyway, we have made huge progress with paint, crayons, and foam soap. She is still acting very odd about the tubby, but at least she will sit for a while.
The bathtub looks pretty scary, but hey, I can take it better then a rusty smelling baby!!










Thank you to the Hoozez! My darling AugustRose got in the tub and sat down...




Whining....

I asked God to guide me, and he does. I asked God to forgive me and he does, almost daily. I ask God for wisdom, and I am sure He is sending it, I just don't seem to be connecting with it. I have so many bits and peices of life that I struggle with, and I wish He would just write it out and not make it so hard on me.

I had hoped to get a chance to interview with AAS in Moscow. It is the very best international school in both St. Petersburg and Moscow. It seems now, that my resume was recieved, but that is as far as it will go...I knew that leaving my family, would be difficult, but I thought that it would be a wonderful fantastic adventure to take my girls back to their homeland. For about 6 months I have only thought of how to overcome the obstacles of getting a teaching assignment. But in the past two weeks, I have come to terms with the instability of life overseas as a single mom. I realize now that I could not leave my parents. Well, I could, but I couldn't take the girls. We are just not that kind of family. My dad would not tolerate it. My mom as always said that she would go overseas if I were to get a job. But they both firmly feel like they are the Villagers that are helping to raise my girls, and the village aint in Moscow. So for now, that dream will be on hold...

With the girls, I am finding a better rythm. We are still not completely there yet, but we are well on our way. I think if I felt physically better, I would be better. I have diagnosed myself with SAD, ADHD, and a slight case of anxiety. If I put everything together to figure out what is causing me to feel so off, I would have to say it is my job that is most troublesome. I love the people I work with, but the children are so ill-prepared and after almost 10 years at the same school, I see that it is only getting worse. The problem is that most of the children come to be with no preschool, no knowledge of the alphabet or numbers, and they don't speak english. So while other kindergarten teachers are teaching phonemes, I am still trying to show children how to button/zip their coats. While writing is happening in many other schools, we are still trying to show the children how to write their names.
I have parents who cannot communicate with me, since they don't know the language, and the ones that have some small grasp of it, don't feel compelled to assist their kids with homework, returning forms, or sending in lunch money. I cannot tell you how many times I have watched the cafeteria staff take a child's lunch away and give them a box of cereal since their is no money on the account. And I have heard it all. Families in poverty have different priorities. We have to understand the cultural norms of families from other countries...Actually, it might be time to leave that to a younger, less jaded teacher. I have always expected that children come to school REady To Learn, and whatever parents need to do to make that happen, they need to DO IT. So you don't know the language, find a neighbor who does. So you don't have money for your child's lunch, then don't buy them 60.oo shoes.
I may seem harsh. Maybe I even seem cold hearted, but there are ways to correct the problems. All of the fixes are with the parents. Not with the schools.
Parents need to take their roles seriously. Children are not pets to be primped and pampered. School is not a daycare where we babysit.
It is so bothersome, since I see my own daughter's kindergarten doing twice the work my students can do.
To top it off, I won't be getting a raise next year. Which means, I am struggling now financially and it will only get worse next year. My commute is getting worse and worse each year. On a good day I can get to work in 45 minutes, and get home in the same. On a bad day, it is well over an hour. So what's a girl to do.
I think I may consider transfair. At least to get something closer to home.

I shouldn't complain since there are many who don't have a job. Many who haven't somewhere to turn.
So I ramble and whine. But I will continue to pray for guidance...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hoozez

So here is Mishka, the Christmas puppy. Such a cutie. Sidney is such a good little mommie. She carries her everywhere!
Brooksie and Anna are taking a break from the fun!

This is pure heaven for a 5 year old!


The big boys are jammin!



Matt is really focusing!




Ed Hardy is in the Meat Packing District







I hope you are laughing at the layout Aunt Lee and Al...



I hope your jeans fit, and I hope no one ever finds out how much they cost!

Are you out there?

So I am back to blogging as much as I can. Sometimes for me, sometimes for a friend, sometimes just because.
I am looking for you adoptive families out there that wouldn't mind linking to my site, and allowing me to link up to you...I have read so many blogs that I love, but now I have none..I am terrible at trying to find blogs out there, so if you happen upon my little home, leave a comment with your blog name and I will add you to the list.
Thanks,
Sometimes I wonder if anyone is out there...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Cookies, Cameras, and Kit!



After Church the girls and tried for a 2nd time to make cookies. We had all of the stuff, even a rolling pin, and still couldn't make it happen. I swear right now, I will never try to bake from scratch again. The cookies ended up tasting like flat little scones. Hard, like hurt to bite hard, little scone nuggets...So anyway, we ain't bakin from NO MORE....




























After that nightmare, the girls opened their one gift. The telescope was big. The Leggos were pretty good too. Since my house is still such a trainwreck, I hid those for a few days. We'll bring them out once I can see the floor on the living room floor~

Lastly, both girls are now into photography and once again, AugustRose hid the camera and so we have about 6 Christmas pictures...Guess how I know she was the one who took it??? She took a picture of her toes but said, NONONO I didn't touch your
cam-ra!!!








And here is Kit Kitredge riding Dora's Flying Pegasus Poney. I can only imagine how ticked poor Dora is.... And now we sleep. Anna with her new doll, AugustRose with her new diet coke can that she has chosen to sleep with, and momma with a backache that just might turn into a real problem...But you know what? It wasn't all craziness and bad photos. There was lots of family, and lots of silliness, just what I like... Tomorrow we continue our Christmas festival with a visit to the GodFamilies house. HELLO hoozez, we're comin' and bringing more nicknacks!!!!

I Played My Drum for Him, Pah RumPaPumpum...

So here is my gal at New Hope Church. She is thrilled to be playing her drum on stage. She is happy as a clam, and just cannot understand what is happening to the little boy beside her! Cleary he wasn't ready to Lay it All Down! Anyway it was a great Christmas Eve service and Anni left feeling like a rockstar for Jesus!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

So this is Christmas.
I worked yesterday, so today was too busy. Had to run out to the store, and later the girls tried to rest, but only August did. She fell asleep just in time for me to get Anna ready for Church. Anna sang in a children's program tonight for the Children's Event at New Hope. It was the first time that New Hope did this type of program, and it was truly wonderful. Lot's of loud children in the audience, some criers, some screamers. It was awesome. Kids everywhere in their holiday finest. Reindeer ears, santa hats, and again, this is what it is all about.
My grandmother, mom and dad, sister and her friend Marielle, and the girls and I had dinner afterwords. And then came back to my house for one quick present opening. Anna had to open her gift from Auntie. It's a telescope. Not just a little one, this sucker is nice! Nice enough that we are going to leave it over at Auntie's house. I can just imagine AugustRose swinging that big tripod and knocking the windows out!

Santa's gifts are laid out. The girls got American girl dolls. AugustRose got a bitty baby, and Anna got Kit K. She wanted about 5 different dolls and dad decided on this, since it actually looks the most like her. They also got clothes for the dolls, and August got Licorice the cat! We did a few books, and new pjs, and slippers. I will post some photos later.

Right now, I am trying to wrap my head around a few things. First being, I can't beleive that my girls are now 5 1/2 and 2 1/2. Time really flies. It stood still with Anna for such a long time. I think God knew I needed all the joy to come and go slowly. I appreciate that. Now it seems that time has flown by and AugustRose is more than a toddler.

Secondly, I am sad that after all these years, Aunt Carolyn couldn't make it to be with us. I hope she is okay. She would have added some "funny" to tonight.

Lastly,
I am still having those "things" happening. It's not my brain, the MRI was clear. So as I enjoy my holiday I have to wonder what it is. It can't be panic attacks. Not after everything I have been through in my life. That would be too easy. It has to be something else. Maybe the blood work will show something. Anyway, it bothers me.

Have a great holiday.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

MERRY

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Two Lees!

AugustRose Lee and her namesake "Aunt Lee!!!"
We miss you terribly and can't wait for Vegas!

One Day....

So if I could change one thing in my life it would be to have these two girls together a whole lot more. This is Al. She is the light of our lives and my girls love her like a sister. She is the daughter of my dearest childhood friend Lee. The Lee that AugustRose is named after. The Lee that GOT ME IN SO MUCH TROUBLE as a kid. The Lee that is more like a sister to me then friend..

We had a blast being in New York City for Thanksgiving. I will never tell anyone about a trip to see Ed in the meat packing district. I love you girls!

From Anni's Point of View











We went to New York City for the Thanksgiving Holiday and Anna took her own digital camera. Here are some of her shots. I think she has an amazing eye for the details of her environment. I will go through the 5 or 6 hundred pictures and find a few more that are worth noting!