Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ooooohhhh

Am I weird? Or is it odd to professionally photograph a child in their bathing suit? I love "kids on the beach" photos, since they are real, they are actually at the beach, but I just ran across some photos of a child at a photo session and in their bathing suit..Weird to me.
I am shameless with the bath tub shots, but always telling the girls, "cover your boobies" since there are some serious perves out there..And those shots are naturally happening. What would be the reason to fake a summer day by the ocean or pool?

Another one I think is odd, is to put adult fashions on the bitsy witsy age children. Some of the chidlren in my class come in looking like mini versions of their older sisters. It's bizarre that parents think it is cute to sex a baby up...Ooooh.

I guess to each his own. And in the next few months you will see my babies in their swimming suits a whole bunch, but I promise we will be on the beach. No fake sunsets, no fake waterways, it's all realllll baby!!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday's List

First I want to say that I love Saturdays. The dyevochkas are always up bright and early, and there is that noise that silly girls make. Anna will sneak in and ask if she can make breakfast. I always roll over and watch her drag the step stool over to the freezer and get the waffles and put them in the microwave. She does this twice. Once for her, once for her sister. (My condo is small enough that my bedroom door looks right into the kitchen. So no fire hazards! She then dumps about a cup and a half of syrup on each set of waffles. Needless to say there is a lot left on the plate when they are finished. I should also add that somehow AugustRose ends up with a good deal of it in her hair..
Today the girls are going to Auntie's house for the day. They are doing their first double sleep over. Oddly, my sister is sort of afraid of AugustRose's behavior. She is a real spitfire, lots of questions, lots of running, lots of exploring. She is the polar opposite of her sister.
That's the beauty of two children. You really see the differences in personality. They may grow up in the same house, they may dress a like, but boy are they different. AugustRose is now potty training herself. She takes her little pink potty everywhere she goes in the house. She likes to wear panties, since they don't itch her or feel bulky. If she has an accident, she gets a fresh pair of panties BUT often puts her wettish ones in the trash! We have to watch that one.

I like this list from FaceBook
Top Ten Reasons To Be Happy Today
  1. The Dyevochkas will be with Auntie, freeing up and entire day for errands
  2. It is sunny, so the pools will be open for the dyevochkas
  3. I got paid yesterday
  4. I only have 12 1/2 days of school left
  5. www.supportingorphansacrossrussia.org
  6. I found out this week that my dear Anna will be doing the Welcome for her Kindergarten Graduation
  7. I will be in Naples soon
  8. I am loved in spite of myself
  9. KL is happy with her new baby inspite of herself
  10. Next weekend I will be in NYC with my favorite people in the world, the Hoozez and the Baker girlz

* I like this, I feel good about the day! I should do this more often.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kopy Kat

Stick Figure Family at FreeFlashToys.com

I want one of these for my car, so inspired by Kate, I made one too! Prayers are with you as you wait! I am a happy poster today, lots of fun things to do!



Nutty!

It is amazing when I think how quickly our adopted children pick up cues and language. I am forever looking at old clips and found this one. Anna is singing her "I'm A Nut" song and at one point you have to click your mouth and tap your head. Notice how AugustRose does it before Anna does...She had only been home less than a month!

videoShe even lays on the ground the way you do when you start the song.. Just nutty how fast they catch up! After seeing so much negativity about healthy referrals, I want to remind everyone what happens with some "good lovin" and better eats!! AugustRose was sort of a mess in the orphanage and had a speech delay. She was very distant and wouldn't make eye contact. I worried about she would react to the "newness of family" while still in Russia. Gladly those thoughts were fleeting. So those who worry about the health of the children, please do your homework, and don't look at them now, think about them as you would a "fixer upper" insert (car, home, antique) I kid of course!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Today is the start of a long weekend. The girls and I went out for "ice cream sundies" as we call it back home. Good times.
We are also packing up the house to try and sell it. Regardless of what I do next year, I am going to try and sell while we are in Florida. We will be there for two months and my house will stay clean if we are not here!
The condo fees are killing me. I wish I could get near Missi and my Godbabies, but the commute is just about 1 hour too long..Anyway, my thoughts are on tomorrow, and the IRS has rec'd our application. Just checked the website and they are working on cases from November. Ooops, this is longer than INS. But the beauty of this application is that it doesn't expire!

It's only 10:00 pm and both Russians are sleeping. Good times.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Left Out

How do I say everything I want to say without sounding like the slow kid who is always last to get picked for the team, or the one who doesn't get picked...Hmmm? Today I am that kid. Maybe I am just a bit too sensitive.
Those who have read this, and those who know me in my real life know that my job has SUCKED this year. In 18 years of teaching, this is the absolute worst. Parents, unresponsive. Students, ill prepared.
I have literally been told by one of my parents that he would NOT DO ANY homework, No Way!
Great, same guy has yelled at pretty much every staff member at my school, and told me I was too aggressive. Why? Because when his children were late for the 17th time in a grading period, I told him they had to work on getting the kids to school on time. How dare I?
Anyway, my school will be starting later next year, and I will be on the road at prime rush hour making my normal 30 minute commute, a 1 hour commute. This means all after school activities that my girls will do, will be dealt with by my mother, who does not really want to be on the roads after a long day...
So needless to say, I am hugely bummed. And I am also at the place I was ten years ago. Single and really burned out, I walked into my principals office and resigned for the next year. I had no job lined up for September. I knew that my mental health was more important than any job! I have two children now, I can't do that anymore...
Teaching is so different than other jobs. You can't call in, and let your work wait. You have to prepare a plan so another person can do your work. You can't be late for an important appointment, because it would be sacrilege to make a parent wait... We are always on. There is no sit at the Internet and let your mind wander. It is go, go, go. Sadly we are expected to do much more with WAY less. I honestly have children who cannot toilet on their own. I have children who have no idea how to recognize their own name when written down. But by June, those children should be able to read and write, add and subtract...So given all of that PLUS we are not getting any sort of raise, NOT ONE DOLLAR, I am very upset. My insurance is going up, my union dues are on the rise, so my salary should be less next year.
So I have been looking into the Russian private schools. I had a nice round of emails from the school in St. Petersburg, but they went with teachers with international experience...(Kind of joke considering the population I teach, I could not be more of an ESL teacher if I tried)
Then I saw that Moscow had current openings. I emailed the Elementary School Director who in several lines pretty much told me because I have 2 dependents he wouldn't even consider me..But "Thanks and Good Luck."
So I am guessing that every teacher there with a child is married to another teacher. But if they have a 2nd child do they get fired? Whatever. They really don't get it. I am not looking for a job at their school just to go, I am trying to bring my girls on an adventure. I am trying to give them a life that is somewhat different from the norm. I realize they think we are complex. But really, who ain't? I am trying to reinvigorate my career with a change in venue. I am on fire about the whole thing. I don't do well with rejection even when given a chance, but to be clipped at the knees without so much as an interview is painful. Oh, I should add that the interview team will be about 3 miles from my house in June, and I got a "thanks but no thanks."
Single no dependants = more qualified, better equipped, I think not.
I also had an expat approach me about a possible opening for an elementary English teacher in a Russian school. I sent my resume, and was told to look for an email from that director. Weeks go by, and nothing. Email the expat who feels terrible, and lets me know that should be emailing later on, and nothing...That was several months ago, something tells me I won't be hearing from that school at all...If I have learned anything in this life, it is to fight for what you believe in. Unfortunately, I am not sure what I believe in right now. I honestly thought I would be an asset to a Russian school. Maybe I over value my experience.
I try to stay connected to those who are traveling or in the adoption process, but don't seem to be truly connected and trusted through this vast blogger land and that saddens me deeply. I understand that it is scary to share...I guess that is why Missi and I are so close. We needed each other so much back then, now we just dig each other's lives and families...I wish it were that way with more.I think I may take a Russia break. I thought this was what we were destined to do, but maybe not. Maybe visiting through SOAR will fill that empty cup...

Lastly, I hope anyone who reads this blog understands this whole Russia thing isn't just a job or a location for me. It is so much more. My love for the place that my girls were born is deep and wide. I am lost for words to even explain how left out I feel by not getting a chance to explain that to people who do only think of it as the city where they work.

Monday, May 18, 2009

With Permission

How cool of Life Touch to give me permission to post this one photo of our family. They even sent a letter to keep so that if there is any doubt, I have the note! Thanks!!
So here we are, The Green Girlz, again in Pink.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

AugustRose's Birthday at Build a Bear!

Saturday was AugustRose's 3rd Birthday. We had a small party for her at Build a Bear. It was loads of fun. Well, the other girls had lots of fun. AugustRose still gets very nervous in situations like this. She was stuck to my dad the whole time. I initially thought I would pick out her bear and its clothes. But happily, when we were doing the party, she picked out the panda. I was pleased that she wasn't nervous about that part at least. She has come so far in her attatchment, and in new settings wants to be close to family. Lately she wants to be held...With my horrible back I can't do it. But my dad can hold her for days.
Here are the best group of little girls in the world. You can see our dear friend Hadley holding AugustRose. She is so good with my girl!



And here is AugustRose's final bear. She is wearing a cute little happy birthday shirt and my mom got her a little jean skirt and shoes! Can you beleive the things people will sell....Actually my mom said this whole thing was ridiculous then she spend half and hour finding shoes and this skirt! It was a fun day. We ended up at McDonalds for happy meals and cupcakes. (no, there are no photos of the cupcakes....)








Saturday, May 16, 2009

Dear God

I am writing to say that lately I haven't shared my joy enough. I have worried and complained. I should be happy in all things, and for a few months I have been very selfish, me, me, my children, me and more me...
I am waking up today, the day of my baby's birthday thinking of the amazing journey my family has been on for the past 5 years..
So before the festivities begin, I want to say,
"You have been the light in the dark for me, you have been the answer to curiously, sad, awful questions. You have blessed my heart, when it needed blessing, You have challenged my mind when it needed to be thinking, You have given me what I need and not always what I want...Today, I am remembering that my God, my Lord and Savior I am thankful for my life, and will do everything I can to make you proud of the life I have...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I follow several blogs, and it seems many of us are feeling about the same. Sort of overwhelmed with the business of life, and a whole lot "let down" by our employment.
I too am in that space.
Everyday I bust out of school as soon as my last student leaves, and get home to be with my girls by 4 pm. It is a fast drive if I leave right at 3:30 everyday. This allows me to take Anna to swimming twice a week, and ballet once a week. I have already gathered the schedules and next year, all of her classes will be a bit earlier and I will cut it pretty close to get there. AugustRose will begin preschool and take her special classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the day. Mom will take her to those classes.
As you know the school systems are allocated their money for the budget based on taxes. And folks, this area is really struggling. We were introduced to the idea that we would not be getting our COLA or step increases earlier in the year, but honestly I have been in denial about that. But very recently we learned that our bell schedule would change and we would be starting school 30 minutes later. WHAT?
This means I will be on the 3rd worst American commute right during rush hour. There won't be any chance to get Anna to any of her special classes. I don't want to be out of the house until 5:30...I am now more determined to make a change. This new information was given to us AFTER transfair, so those of us who may want to make a change are now left to scurry around and find teaching jobs without the assistance of our county. These kind of moves are somewhat frowned upon and looked at as "under the table."
I am terribly upset. I don't want to leave my school unless its to go to Russia. I am looking into many different avenues, but wanted to spend a week in Russia in late January begging for jobs. How can I do that at a brand new school? So I am praying that this bell schedule change will be voted down by the parents...
Pray for a wee bit of direction for this wayward soul. I am feeling like a lost little lamb.

Monday, May 11, 2009

So Much for Mother's Day!

Thank goodness I stayed home on Friday and went to Anna's school for some Mother's Day Lovin, because it went down hill from there. My mom was pretty sick and AugustRose must have caught it, and from Friday night to Sunday, she went down pretty quickly. She has the Kroop, but not the kind Anna had. She had trouble with each deep breath in and out.
She got so upset about not being able to cough really deeply, and her little mouth turned blue. I was terrified. I called my sick mother over and we hauled it over to the Emergency room. She kept saying she was all better, hoping there would be no shots and we could be on our way. The worst part was the temp taking in the bottom. It wasn't as bad as it could have been.
The doctor was not as concerned as I was. They gave her liquid steroids, (a one time dose) and a breathing treatment. She was very good with it since she has played around with my dad's night time breathing machine. We layed/laid on the bed in the children's unit for many, many hours during the treatment and she even managed to get her thumb under the mask. She was a real trooper. The only highlight of the whole event was that she kept saying, "Mommy I need you."
Today we are on the mend, but my mom needs another day. I am staying home with my gal tomorrow and giving Poppi another day to recover!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Potty Training the Sister and Sofa Method...


I was in the tub and came out to see this...My baby, who looks like a 4 year old, sitting in satin panties, with her potty on the sofa, and her sister coaching her on how to just "Go TEE TEE"
Big sister gave her a water color book, and kept her there until she went. YEP she will go if she sits on it...But doesn't have the urge to go yet...Okay wait, she has the urge to go, but its either on the floor or a pull up!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Some Times

I know that I spoil my girlz sometimes. I give them 2 things whenever they want them.
I give AugustRose balloons, and I give Anna cake. There is a reason for each.
I was hoping that I would be with Anna on her first birthday. I missed it by just weeks. We celebrated when we got home. But I will never forgive myself, or my agency, or Russia for taking that first big celebration away from our family, so to make up for it, I give my girl cake whenever we go to the grocery store. This week, we were leaving swimming and went to the Safeway (to get a cake and balloon)and found the coolest thing.
It is a car buggy with lights, horn and if you look just beside August's knees you will see that there is a tv. It was very fun for the girls, and we went down all of the aisles just to keep the fun going. We love to go out and about, and I always put the girls in a buggy or our double stroller. They get on and off, but I like having them close to me.
Sometimes we head to the historic little town of Occoquan for a visit. There was a festival last weekend and we walked down, and saw Anna's classmate S! They took some photos and we went on our way. Yep, we had to stop and the Vera Bradley Store. I got Anna a new lunch bag and a snack bag. She picked it out. Pink of course.
AugustRose got a balloon upon her arrival in the US. I think it was part of a bouquet, and she fell in love with it. She has loved them every since. It's the simple things. It's those little bits of joy I want to give my girlz to let them know that love comes from the easiest places. We don't need big fancy things to show each other how much we love each other, we just need to give. And about giving, my girls magically were able to give me a bouquet of roses for mothers day.(Thanks dad, I love them!) They are from my favorite flower company and come beautifully packages, and smell great! Today was the first time I took a day off from work to be with my big girl to celebrate Mother's Day. I wish so much that we were in the same school. It just seem logical that a teacher would be in school with her daughter, but because FCPS won't allow that I can't bring her. Anyway, today was simply precious. The children sang to us, they passed out bagels and fruit, and then gave us our gifts.









So that is our past couple of days. Bliss ain't chocolate, it's the life of a woman who loves being a mom. Sounds super corny, but it's true. I am blessed to be a mother. I am blessed to be a daughter. I am blessed to be a sister. I am blessed to be a friend. Jen, Missi, Laurie, Jenny, Bonnie, Jodi, Bernadette, Rene, Sandy, Annie, and Lee, my dear Lee, who aches this Mother's Day, You are all an inspiration to me, who are all the people who I admire and love. I wish you all the bestest Mother's Day ever!
and to my dear blogger friends who wait, Chrissy who is almost there, and Katie who is not quite but sort of there, I wish you a special special day!!








Sleeping Beauty


She may look like any average sleeping baby, but she actually looks like the letter C. It is so crazy that this is how she ends up no matter how many times I try to straighten her out.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

BLAH!


Just stopping in to say, I am tired. My kindergarten is going on a field trip on Thursday and on Friday, I am taking the day off to go to Anni's school for a mother's day event. Again I am so tired lately. Weirdly tired. I am having some bloodwork done since my back doctor is concerned that I have arthritis in both hip joints, and it is severe in equal values on both sides. Lupus? Probably not. But the bloodwork will rule out any auto immune disorder that acts on joints this way. I am in a good deal of pain at different points in the day, but I swear it is my back that hurts. And I have an MRI to prove my L4 and L5 are blown out. Old and out of shape? Certainly.

SOAR is on its way. We are trying to find ways to reach out and BEG for money. We want to keep this word of mouth, and from the heart...If you are reading this and want to donate to our mission, please email me or leave a comment and I will send the banking info.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

videoIn her sweet little voice, you can't faintly hear it. Our song, "You Are My Sunshine." Yes, there is a reason for solnichka!