Welcome 2nd Grade!!

No more sleeping late for us! It's back to school time!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'M DONE!!!!!

Today, we went to Toys R Us, for T to sit on various bikes to determine which was the correct size. As I suspected, the 14 inch Fairies bike was perfect, with room to grow. Bonus is that it was on sale. I purchased it using the little product card, so T is none the wiser. I'll return tomorrow and pick it up already assembled, and store it in the shed until xmas.

With this purchase, my xmas shopping...at least for T...is complete. Wooo Hooo!

Meanwhile, I can't stress how important the buyer reviews are, especially on toys. You can find them at all the websites like toysrus, target, and amazon. T was playing with this mickey mouse car racetrack thing that I thought I'd pick up when I returned for the bike...at the exhorbitant price of 44.99. I went online, and learned that it only received 1 star from most parents. The consensus was that its a piece of crap and the thing falls apart after each use.

Happy shopping everybody!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Day After...

...our day or two after has been just as hectic as the holiday itself and this picture has absolutely nothing to do with today's post. I wish this was the picture from today!

My sister, Aunt Dot, went home yesterday afternoon to organize and pack for her upcoming trip. I aggravated my back again picking T up after she left, but not enough to slow us down much. T and I went out to Nordstroms b/c really, how could I possibly let Black Friday pass without entering a store?? (online purchases just aren't as satisfying)

I allowed T to bring her little dolly stroller with us. That was a stroke of genious. She was thrilled to be pushing her Princess Fiona doll all around the store as I hobbled along at a snails pace due to my stupid back. She'd smile and wave to every adult she passed, as if she was riding on a float in the Macy's TGDay Parade. We had dinner at the store, then discovered a secret 50% off clearance sale going on. I scored 3 Tahari suits for work. Each was well under $100.00. One is actually a little too dressy for work. A cool Beige and gold number. Fabulous!

Today, we were off bright and early to gynastics class, only to discover that class was cancelled this weekend due to the holiday. Crap. Instead, we played in the tot lot for an hour, then went off to lunch at McDonalds. We came home and changed for Nickolas's 3rd Birthday party. It was a pizza party that T had no interest in having already eaten lunch. Then we were off to Boomers.

Boomers is an amusement park with kiddie rides, gooney golf, go-carts, and a huge video arcade complete with rock climbing wall. T didn't partake of much until we discovered the bowling. There are gutter guards so that the ball actually has a chance of hitting the pins. Its also done with a much smaller ball with no holes. The kids basicly hurl the small hard ball, which is about 6 inches in diameter down the lane. Sometimes 2 or 3 at a time. There really all no rules, and they each hurl the ball one after the other until the sets are over. They were thrilled.

If you haven't notice yet, I have yet to mention a nap. there wasn't one. Instead, as we left boomers at 5:00 p.m., there was an all-out temper tantrum in the carseat. This tantrum included her wiggleing out of her carseat, and me having to pull over on I-95 to strap her back in and tighten the straps so hard I almost threw my back out again in the process. The kid screamed a good 15 - 20 minutes straight. Had T been mobile, I'm sure that this tantrum would have rivaled her performance last year in Disney and that stupid Honey I shrunk the Kids playground. Then, like flipping a switch, she was sleeping.

So ends our day. God knows what tomorrow will bring.

Friday, November 28, 2008

More Thanksgiving Fun...At the ER

Well now, what fun would thanksgiving day be without a trip to the ER? Because we eat our thanksgiving dinner at 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon due to our guests all being in their 80's, we were the first "thanksgiving day related incident" at the hospital.

As Dot was cleaning up the kitchen, she was in a needless hurry. She went to pull the electric cord of the electric knife out of the socket...by about 12 inches up the cord I might add, violating all rules of electrical socket safety. Since the cord was apparently greasy, her hand slipped, and came flying back hitting the bottom of the upper cabinets.

Well, she hit the top of her thumb, right above the knuckle at just the right angle that she sliced it open. Remember the Saturday Night Live skit about Julia Child with the blood spraying out everywhere? That was Dot in the kitchen. It wouldn't stop bleeding. Four stitches later and this idiotic cast you see depicted in the picture, and she's MAJORLY bummed. Her Manila trip has been postponed a day later. She must see a hand specialist, as they fear she may have severed or partially severed the tendon in her thumb. Ergo the cast. It must be immobilized until they figure that out. Apparently if the tendon is severed, moving her thumb around would make it worse.

We tried like mad to find a hand speciallist today, Black Friday, but they're all apparently out at the stores trying to get a deal on a large screen Tv. NOBODY was open today. She has an appt for Monday morning. Barring any complications, she'll board her flight for Manilla on Tuesday.

Posted by Picasa

Thanksgiving Day Morning

We woke up bright and early, and headed out to the City of North Miami...where I grew up and my parents still live, for the annual Winternational Parade. When I was in jr high and high school, I used to march in this same parade. I was in the drumline and played the bells. My freind Tina, pictured below, played the piccolo and was also in the color guard. She could spin a rifle like nobody's business! After parking, I loaded up the folding camp chairs, which I always carry in the schoolbus, onto the stollers and T and I managed to make it to the curb without throwing my back out. Success!!

I met my old friend Tina and her family at the parade. Tina is the woman with the dark curly hair. She came with her sis-n-law and her hubby in the blue tshirt in the back. Her 2 cute kids are sitting next to T. I also ran into some other old friends as well. We all had quite a good time. Plus, it got T out of the house so that Dot could whip up her gourmet meal.

Here's my old high school's marching band. Boy, what a change. While I admit that I know we were band geeks back in the day, at least there were over 100 of us. Now, apparently, its even more geeky and taboo to join the band, b/c this was one of the dinky'est bands I'd ever seen. They were all playing their hearts out, though, and got lots of cheers from the crowd.

Meanwhile, is it a sign of my age that I was somewhat shocked by the skimpy outfits the baton and flag girls were wearing?? I won't even mention the "dance" they did. Lets just say, all that was missing was a pole.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I'm happy to report that my crazy work schedule is at an end. The jury came back this afternoon with a verdict of guilty as charged....All 13 Counts. I'm exhausted and happy its over.

Dot is busy cooking, and T's princess dresses remain suspended on high. We'll see how good she is tonight.

My back is slowly getting better, but is no where near 100%. I'm nervous b/c Aunt Dot leaves for Manila on Monday. Meanwhile, the last thing I need to see on TV is a terrorist attack in India.

Tomorrow, T and I are going to attempt to go to a Thanksgiving Day Parade. One in North Miami that I used to march in when in Jr. and Sr High Marching Band. I'll be meeting up with some friends from highschool, that I am still in touch with.

Lastly, Dot reports that we're having 4 pies for 4 adults. Not sure what that's all about, but she's been scouring recipes for weeks now, and is intent upon whipping up a gastronomic creation of mamouth proportions. Gee, is it any wonder that T is the only skinny member of this family?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Busy Busy

...we're still embroiled in "the trial that would not end". Hopefully, all will be over tomorrow, but it could possibly last longer. Who knows. I'm busy logging 12 - 15 hour work days, and could not do it at all without the help of my wonderful sister, Aunt Dot. My back has been holding up, but is nowhere near 100%.

I came home tonight to find Dot sick...fever and headache. Of course, we lay all blame at T's feet. We're certain that she carries all kinds of bugs from daycare. T's nicely built up a resistence, while me and Dot quickly succumb to all ailments. She's off sleeping, now, while T and I are watching KungFu Panda and practicing writing our letters.

Poor T's princess dresses are still out of reach for the moment. She as to prove that she's a good girl. "Sorry" just doesn't cut it anymore. T now has to prove she's sorry with actions....good girl actions. If T takes one more bath without incident and is otherwise a good girl, she'll earn her precious dresses back tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Dot has a big ol'turkey in the fridge and will be cooking up a storm on Thursday. My parents will be coming over and we're hoping to lure Great Aunt Connie down from Ft. Lauderdale. Our plan is for me and T to go to a parade in North Miami in the a.m., then drive up to pick up great aunt connie and drive back. That will conveniently get T out of the house and out of Dot's hair while she slaves away in the kitchen. Aunt Connie... its up to you...we can drive you back home after lunch/dinner (again conveniently getting T out of the house) or you can spend the night with us for a little change of scene. That's totally up to you. We'll be in touch.

What will be interesting, will be to see how I fare when dot jets off to Manila again next week. I'll be on my own for 3 weeks or so, and am praying T doesn't incapacitate me in the meantime. Let the wagering begin!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


....Poor T, is learning the hard lesson that there are consequences in life. Hmmm, why is my daughters's basket of princess dresses, the 2 DVD movie holders, and the TV remote from her bedroom up on top of the livingroom wall unit you ask?

That would be b/c while taking a bath this evening, T filled up her cup and started throwing water out of the tub, across the bathroom and out into the hall. She is in such trouble I can't even tell you. These past few weeks, she's been cranky and fussy and bad. Not her usual mischeivious "bad" that I don't really think is so bad vs. high-spirited and curious. Nope. This is just B.A.D.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008



Too busy to blog at the moment, embroiled in attempting to survive the current trial without my back going out again. Trial will probably go into next week.

So, I decided to pull a picture out of the archives to entertain you in the interim. This picture was taken by our friend Laura, as we waited for our flight in China to come home...

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fort Taylor

Take one guess as to who is really into building forts and tents...anywhere she can figure out a place to do it...using almost every pillow in the house?

Meanwhile, we had lots of fun last night. My all-time favorite cartoon came on TBS...The original How the Grinch stole Christmas. T sat in my lap, and we watched it together. She loved it and was laughing her head off.

The only other thing going on here, is that we spend our time attempting to get T to take her antibiotics, which is MAJOR endeavor. The kid hates to take medicine. We've resorted to all kinds of bribes...M&Ms, bacon, bubbles, baking cookies, you name it...we've offered it. Just 3 more doses to go...

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Weekend Update

Don't have much time to blog lately, so I'll do this post in bullet style:

  • I drove on Friday for the first time. Went to put T on a waiting list at St. Peters and Paul Catholic School. She's going to go there for PreK-4, if I can get her into one of the 25 slots. Then the plan is to switch her a K-8 public school. ...if we don't fall in love with the first school. The public school is a special international magnet language school. Its also not a sure thing that she'll get in. I'm thrilled with it b/c it would take care of elementary and Jr. high and it's also an "A" rated school, a rarity for Dade County Public Schools. Unfortunately, the language is not chinese. She'll come out fluent in spanish. I live in hope, though, that they will add chinese as perhaps an elective. More on my obsessing about T's education later.

  • I also drove into work to pick up some more stuff to work on over the weekend. My back was a little dicier than I had hoped after all the movement, so instead of staying I came back home and rested it. Come hell or high water, I'm going in on Monday for our trial.

  • T has an ear ache. Dot took her to the doc yesterday and confirmed the infection. Luckily, there's been no fever with this one, so hopefully it was caught quickly and will clear up soon. Its not a constant battle to make T take her medicine every morning.

  • No gymnastics this weekend, what with me laid up, dot busy, and T with her infection.

  • Cold front supposedly coming through, we're hoping it gets down into the 70's. Brrrrr.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My newest Target score

...from the clearance rack, of course. If you can't tell, the camo shirt has in green glitter letters "I'm Hiding From You". She looks adorable in it, if I do say so myself.

On the rehab front...I have been home all week resting my back. I get better everyday, and can now stand up straight and walk, albeit very gingerly. It's still a dicey thing, and my back feels as if it will go out again if I'm not careful. I'm going to try and go into work for a short time on friday, and will be working from home for the remainder of the week and weekend.

So, things are looking up.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We Remember

For me, I will always remember this day for 2 reasons...

Exactly 90 years ago in 1918, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the sounds of war were silenced and guns were laid down. The war to end all wars was finally over, and peace was to reign forever more on earth. Um, it didn't quite work out that way, and our country has been called upon again to help protect the world a few more times since then. So on this day, at ll:00 a.m., we pause to thank all of our brave veterans for their sacrifice and service.

and then....

3 years ago today in 2005, a little before the 16th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, I saw my daughters face for the first time. The referral package had been delivered directly from the hands of Jesus. Um, that would be Jesus of Miami, the UPS driver, not Jesus of Nazareth! Although, I truly believe J of N, his mom and dad, his "father" and all the saints and angels had their hand in this miraculous event. So on this day, at a little before 4:00 p.m., I pause to thank God for my wonderful daugther.

Monday, November 10, 2008

3 Years Ago Today...

I was told that Nan Xian Yi was my daughter. Finally, over three long years after sending in my application and waiting for a referral (b/c I was single, married families got their referral in 9 months), I had finally been referred a beautiful baby girl. While intellectually I understood that life as I knew it was about to change, there is absolutely no way to guess just how much this one little life would change me, my life, and the lives of my family.

Words can't express how much i love this child. How much my family and friends love her. Like the new song from the movie Enchanted says that I've added to the playlist, T is definitely my "Happy Ever After".

Photo from China

Look at this gem I received via email from Sara's mom, Laura. This photo was taken in China, at a group dinner we had. Look how teeny tiny T was!

I so treasure this photo. There are so very few with us all in them together.

A big thank you to Laura, Steve, and Sara! You're the best!

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Gee, what could it be this time? Today at approx 1:30 p.m., I put T in bed, and she asked for a pillow. I picked it up, leaned over her to put it on the other side of her, AND THREW OUT MY BACK.

I'm so upset I can't tell you. I can't stand or walk very well. Luckily, I can sit in the glider and type on the computer. Dot was here, and she's spending the night, going to take T to school and pick her up tomorrow.

Please say a prayer that it eases up in the next day or so. However, I don't think that it will. Therefore, say a prayer that it eases up for my trial on 11/17. At least well enough so that I'm mobile and can sit at the table during trial to assist my partner.

This is a disaster.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Nertz's Bicycle?

All the time growing up, my mother and her sisters would come up with some odd expressions. One of the most memorable of the odd expressions was...."That's as bad as Nertz's Bicycle" or, "You know what that looks like? Nertz's Bicycle"

Apparently, a kid they grew up with, whom I assume bore the unfortunate name of "Nertz", had a bicycle that he had glammed up to the point that it looked crazy. All kinds of things attached to it. My Aunt Connie will have to explain in more detail in the comments.

Anyway, while trolling the web for T's new bicycle from "Santa" (aka as my parents or Aunt Dot), I came across this bicycle. My first thought...

Now there's a Nertz's bicycle!

Apparently, it even makes sounds when you ride it. Fabulous!

Posted by Picasa

T's Preferred Method of Watching TV

This picture pretty much sums up our daily life. T in a princess dress. T's toys dumped on the floor, her motorcycle re-purposed as a TV watching platform, and her literally glued to the TV. One would think with the advent of these new, super-sized TVs, that kids would stop pressing their noses to them to watch.

T then employs her patented dismount, when I catch her and scold her. She turns, balances with no hands while standing on the seat, jumps as high as she possibly can, and lands with a flair. Every once in a while she'll yell, To Infinity and Beyond!

Meanwhile, i thought she looked particularly tall last night, so we measured and weighed her. Here's the lasted 3 yr 8 mo stats: 37.5 inches tall, and 30 pounds.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Rub A Dub Dub

Guess who got ahold of the stupid soap bottle again, and had a ball sudsing up the bathtub?

I should have known when I heard the laughing...

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Big O

The country simultaneously as a group finally achieved the Big O last night...after 8 long years of unsatisfactory and unfulfilling governmental encounters.

Now, now, minds out of the gutter, girls, I'm talking about the Big Obama. Was it just me, or did everybody seem a little happier and upbeat today, looking fresh and dewey with an after-election glow?

What I wouldn't give for a ticket to any one of the inaugeral balls. What I know I wouldn't give is the $500 - 1800 current ticket price. That's a lot too steep for my pocket. However, wouldn't it be nice to spend January in DC? Alas, I fear that's just a pipe dream. Perhaps, though, we'll consider a trip up north this year to see family and friends, and stop off in DC along the way. DC has long been my 2nd favorite city after NYC. I can't imagine how exciting it will be once the hope and energy of the Big O hits town.

History Has Been Made

...well, it appears that history has truly been made. President Obama's speech tonight filled me with hope as I'v never experienced before for my government. Hope, integrity, civility, and change are coming to Washington and to the country. I hope we're all up to the task.

May God bless the Obama/Biden families, and may God bless the United States of America.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pins and Needles

...that's what I'm on at the moment. Yes, I know that its looking good for my candidate, and that I feel confident, however, I'm a florida resident. I lived through 2000. I just don't trust this "calling a state" based upon such a small percentage of the electorate in. I'll be up for several more hours tonight.

So, I'm starting to feel very excited. This is shaping up to be such a huge and historic night. Should Senator Obama win, I hope that all of the excitement generated from this election, can be channeled into something positive for all persons in this country, whether they voted for him or not.

Finally, its looking like we can start to put the bush years behind us.

"and the times, they are a-changin' "

Sunday, November 2, 2008

After Halloween Sales and Xmas Presents

We've hit the after-Halloween sales and scored. Target had 30 and 50% off. T got this renaissance princess dress and the cheetah dress you see in the xmas tree photos below. I think that technically, it's just a plain cheetah or cat costume, but i call it The Cheetah Girls dress and T loves it. Now, I have no idea where in the world T's been exposed to the cheetah girls, b/c we don't watch them at home, but she apparently knows all about them...whoever they are.

Anyway, I hadn't planned on buying T another stupid costume dress. God knows she's got more than enough of them. However, I found her big xmas present and bought it...with her with me! It's this huge, almost 3 ft tall, remote-controlled dinosaur named Spike. T spied it set up on display, and I couldn't drag her away from it. She was enthralled. Rarely does T become enthralled with toys in the toy department. We often walk through it and she hardly ever starts acting the brat saying she wants something or the other. I must admit she's really good that way.

To distract her from the huge box in our cart, I cleverly took her to the halloween sale aisle, and found this pictured dress. That was diversion enough...but clever mom went one step further ....I actually let her wear it over her clothes IN THE STORE as we finished our shopping!

That's it. Game over. T was in make-believe heaven. She even started singing a song from Enchanted as we made our way through the store. All thoughts of Spike in the cart were forgotten. I'm particularly proud of that expert piece of T-manipulation!

Spike is now happily hidden away in the closet. Unfortunately, T has a mind like a steel trap, and has been asking to play with the thing. I've responded that she has to wait until xmas, b/c santa said that she has to wait, and he's in charge of xmas. Mommy can't 2nd guess him. So far, this tact is having limited success. Lets just say that more distraction strategy is being employed left and right in this house. Never before has old mom suggested T watch so many movies as I have since Spike's purchase.

With the purchase of Spike the Dinosaur, I've now pretty much completed my xmas shopping...at least the hard presents, anyway. So, all you doubting Thomas's out there mocking my pre-xmas preparedness, I say just you wait. While you all are losing your minds, stressing out and trying to put up your tree, decorate for xmas, and shop for presents, you just think of old Carol. I'll be nice and relaxed enjoying the season and sipping on some spiked nog, basking in the glow of my xmas tree lights...for the next 8 weeks.

Now that's what I call Christmas cheer!

Tis the Season to be Jolly...

Guess what we did this weekend? yes, yes, besides trick or treating, campaigning and pixie watching...That's right, we put up the xmas trees! (recall I have two little four-foot numbers that look as fake as fake can be) I'm very excited. Xmas is in the stores, the malls are getting decorated, and I saw my first xmas-themed commercial on TV last night. I figure that 's a sign. Let the decorating begin! Plus, I hate pulling everything out, going to all the trouble of decorating, only to have to take all the crap down in less than a month.

Growing up, we always put our tree up after Thanksgiving. Again, it was a fake tree bought at the Golden Triangle (long since out of business). After about 15 yrs or so, it was looking like quite the pathetic charlie brown xmas tree, but we'd religiously decorate it every year. Anyway, I always thought that a post-thanksgiving tree erection was too long to wait as a child. What's worse, the people who lived behind us, put their tree up on xmas eve (they always had a real one). Now that sucks. Every year they kept to their tradition.

Who knows, they were transplants from up north. maybe that's what they do up there, since they have seasons and just the fact that there's cold and snow around makes it "feel like xmas" ...at least to us down here. The north doesn't have to go to the lengths we do, to achieve a little xmas spirit. Those towns up north look like Hallmark Xmas Cards without even trying. Us, not so much. Down here in this swamp of a state that we live in , we have to artificially create our winter wonderland. Even to the point of Cities hauling out fake snow machines for kids to play in ...for about 15 minutes as the "snow" melts into a big fat mud puddle in the close-to-90 degree heat. Bonus though, is that when you're xmas trees are fake, you don't have to worry about them drying out and burning the house down.

So, Ho,Ho,Ho everybody....Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Campaign Rallies and Pixie Dust

Anybody want to hazard a guess as to what we were doing this morning? I got an email last night that Hillary Clinton was going to be at the Dade County Auditorium for a Get the Vote Out campaign rally. This auditorium is literally blocks from my house. How could we no go??? So, bright and early we got up and were in line by 10:00 a.m. Unfortunately, her plane was late and she wasn't even landing until noon. I figured she wouldn't get there until around 1:00. Ain't no way in hell T was going to last that long. She was already getting grumpy around 11:00. So we had to leave.

What I loved seeing, was that this line consisted of a slice of america. Black, white, Asian, Hispanic, young, old, gay, straight, a few disabled and blind, and everything in between. Though it was hot and running late, no one was complaining. We were interviewed by a NY newspaper about our thoughts on Hillary vs. Obama. I told him the only way they could quote us, was to mention T in the piece as well. He diligently took her name and age, and I mentioned how she voted on Nick for Obama already. Guess we'll have to google her name in a few days to see if she made the piece.

Anyway, since T was such a good girl, we went to target and bought her the new tinkerbell movie. Guess the rest of our day will be filled with fairy sprites and pixie dust.

Hope your weekend is going as well.

UPDATE: Personally, I thought that the tinkerbell movie was a big fat bore. Didn't hold T's attention through it all, either. Bummer. I'd buy something else. Anybody have an opinion on Ice Age II? We almost boutht that instead, but T wanted the Tinkerbell movie.

Posted by Picasa

A marvelous plan was made in the stars,
to create a miracle across the ocean so far....
Then entwine and weave all the hopes and labor,
it would take to bring us this joy called "Taylor"....
Now three lives are blessed and somewhere in the stars,
the planners are smiling, as we all are.

Taylor's Gal Pals

How Long We've Been a Family: