Welcome 2nd Grade!!

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

Saturday, January 31, 2009

On the mend...in more ways than one

...the doc was not concerned on friday about T's fever. Today, T seems to be better. I'm spending the day with Leonor, cleaning out all my closets. Because I yoyo so much in weight throughout my life, I have wardrobes in all sizes...6 - 16. Unfortunately for me, I'm at the top end of the scale and starting to work my way into the "W" sizes. Anyway, since I'm always planning on losing weight I keep the smaller clothes around. Well, not any more. If I ever do lose weight again and get that small, I don't need to be wearing out of date clothes with hems that really are too short, now that I'm "a certain age"...fat or skinny. So, out the door they go.

In other news, I spent friday afternoon dealing with a fender bender my mother got into. My mom is fine, but she's 85 and having memory issues, and doesn't need to be driving. I think she had an episode of some sort, as she was very out of it at the scene and not herself. Fire Rescue wanted to transport her, but she refused. I'll be taking her to the doc for some tests very soon. On Friday, she hit an undercover policewoman...who was 6 month pregnant. When I was told that on the scene, I lost it.

I shudder to think what would have happened under slightly different circumstances...one of them going faster...one of them losing control and vering into oncoming traffic...you get the picture...one of them losing control and vering onto the sidewalk and pedestrians, etc. All the time in my mind as I was on the accident scene was the moving story of another blogger that I just read a week or so ago: a firsthand account of this blogger's accident wherein she was seriously injured and in recovery for more than 1 year, due to a car accident... I think with an elder driver. It hit home so much. Needless to say, my mom no longer has the keys to the car. The car will be given to my sister after its fixed. So, I'm now in search of services to drive my mom around. If anyone knows of any in the So Florida area, please drop me a line. Also, if you have any other suggestions, I'm all ears.

I can't tell you what a relief it is to my sister and I, to have this situation resolved. Whoever was upstairs looking out for my mother, was certainly doing their job and justified their place in heaven. I wonder who it was?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

It's Ba-ack...

...the fever, that is. Yep, I was just rocking T and thought that she felt warm. Temp is 101.5, both ears.

She has another appt with the doc on friday in the morning. She's now had a fever since Sunday.

I hate this.

Single-Working-Mom's Guide to Surviving Her Kid's Cold

Well, my dreams of putting in a full day at work today, with T in daycare, have been dashed. We woke up this morning, and T's cough seems to be worse. She had a fever of 99.8...that's boardering on 100. Crap. So, we both got dressed and I dragged her to work, so that I could do a few things and pick up some stuff. As we were there, I noticed that her nose is now starting to run. As soon as we got home, T turns to me and asks if she can go to bed. My kid NEVER voluntarily goes to bed. Looks like we'll be home again tomorrow.

I've spoken before about how staying home with a sick kid is a million times harder than going to work. I'd rather go to work, as even the most stressful day there, is easier than staying home with a sick kid. So, I thought it might be helpful to compose a list of tips that have made my life more bearable in the last few days. I call it the Single-Working-Mom's Guide to Surviving Her Kid's Cold:

1. Make sure you have a TV & DVD player in the child's room, so you're not stuck watching their assinine movies and TV shows all day long.

2. Put on a news channel, such as MSNBC, to give you the illusion that you're participating in adult conversation.

3. When she's feeling slightly better, go out to a restaurant for dinner. Order a glass of wine. A big one.

4. While out, buy her another assinine movie or some other game or craft. Distraction is the key!

5. Have cheesedoodles in the house. They clearly have excellent healing powers. (I really should call the CDC and let them in on this little tip)

6. Allow her to play on Noggin.com for idiotic amounts of time, so that you can get some things done...and drink a glass of wine...a big one!

That's it so far...perhaps I'll add to it as the days go by.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Future in Law Enforcement?


Officer Taylor!

(picture taken at the Miami children's museum)

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Ribbon Fun

T woke up today much better. She hasn't had meds since about 4:00 p.m. yesterday, and her temp today has been in the 99's at the highest. Yippee!!!!

Despite what you see in these pics, she still seems to tire a bit more easily and is napping now, as I type. We ventured out this morning, and went to the children's museum. I let her run around there for an hour or so, and she seemed to enjoy it. Especially since we encountered one of her school friends there. The two had lots of fun running around the place with each other.

I took a few shots there with my telephone, so we'll see if they turn out.

What could possibly be more fun than playing with her ribbon stick?

Why, standing on that little table that you see, and then go flying off with a big jump, of course. Apparently you get much better ribbon action that way.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Healing Powers of Cheesedoodles

T woke up from her nap feeling really hot again. 102.7. She wandered out into the living room, all cranky and grumpy with red in her cheeks from the fever. I go running for the medicine, and she's crying and not wanting to cooperate. After much coaxing, I get the stuff in her and give her some water. I then ask if she wants anything else...
Me: You want something else, baby?

T: Yes, Mama (in a major whiney voice)

Me: OK, honey, what do you want, I'll get it for you

T: (again all whiney) I want something orange and curly. That would make me feel better.

Once again, a miracle took place. As soon as I said OK, but you can't eat them in bed, the kid pops up, grabs her blanket, and says,

"OK, Mama, let's go"

She then hops off the bed, takes my hand, and pulls me out into the living room, and informs me...

"They're in the kitchen, Mama. They're in the kitchen!"

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Still at Home

Yep, we're home again today. T woke me up at 1:00 a.m. this morning. She was burning up, poor kid. Over 103 fever. The heat woke me up, not her actions. I should have given her motrin before going to bed, but I kind of wanted to see it the fever would go back up as the meds wore off. I was hopeful that it wouldn't . Unfortunately, it did. After dosing her with the meds, the fever broke and T was raring to go. I turned on the TV, and let her watch it while I slept/dozed. It went back off at 3:00 a.m., and we both got a sound sleep. So far today, the fever hasn't risen over 101 with no more meds, and its now noon. We'll see what happens when she has her nap.

In other news, the results of the ultrasounds came back as perfectly normal. Yippee! I can cross another item of worry off my list.

T's throat is still hurting her. When she was eating her english muffin, she'd swallow and start complaining that that "the ants are biting me" while holding her throat. That's how T desribes pain...ants are biting her. Usually, though, she's just referring to when her foot, hand or some other part of her body falls alseep and starts tingling. Too cute!

Monday, January 26, 2009


Welcome the Year of the Ox!

Its officially the lunar year of 4707. The chinese keep their own calender and also don't subscribe to our zodiac signs. Instead, one is born during the year of a certain animal, that were involved in a race (the rat won).

Dot is an Ox, T is a Rooster, and I am a snake. We were thrilled to discover that the rooster gets along best with the snake and the ox. Gee, how many tantrums would T have thrown if we hadn't had compatible signs? I shudder to think!

Anyway, you can use the handy chart below to find out what animal you are. Depending on the animal you are, you supposedly have certain "traits", almost like the zodiac, but not.

Its a good thing that we took this picture last week, as T is sick as a dog...or should I say Ox?, and we're celebrating the day with shots of Motrin.

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Its a Miracle

Quick, call out the priest! Alert the Media! Its a miracle!!!

Poor T woke up this morning with a 104.3 fever. Off we went to the doc who pronounced that she believed it was a virus, and not an infection. A swab of T's throat, which she has been complaining hurts, confirmed that diagnosis. All the while in the office, T was listless and cranky.

Then we left to pay. Lo and behold a miracle took place. T looked out the window into the waiting room and spied her beloved Sophia and Nick, who were awaiting their wellness visit. She threw off her blanket, insisted on putting her shoes back on, and sprung out of the stroller proclaiming, "Mama, I feel much better. Look, there's Sophia and Nick!"

I couldn't believe my eyes. Of course, the poor thing still remains sick and her fever remains, but it was really amusing to witness this miracle.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

24-Hour Differences

Wow. What a difference a day makes! T woke up this Sunday morning with a 102.8 fever. After some medicine, it broke in the early afternoon, but its back again. After her nap at 4:00 p.m., its back up at 101.5.

We have an appt tomorrow morning with the doctor.

Our CNY dinner tomorrow is cancelled for us.

I'm just hoping, once again, that T gets better quickly and that I don't catch whatever she's got.

Given past experience, I suspect I'll be sick later in the week. :(

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Chinese New Year Presents

Since Dot will be away in Palatka, FL which is in North Central Florida on CNY, I decided to give T her CNY present early. I bought this Asian food set right after we got home from China, and have been waiting til T was old enough to really enjoy it. She and Dot sat down and had some tea, sushi an dim sum. T also scored a chinese ribbon stick. I think she likes the ribbon stick slightly more, as she can run around the house like a maniac waving it about.

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Fairchild Tropical Garden

We had fun running around the garden this morning. T insisted on calling it "the rainy forest" and pretending she was dora and diego on exploration. We we pulled out the map, she was in heaven.
Mom was in heaven sampling some of the chocolate wares that were for sale. I got some cute little dark chocolate buddhas, to give as gifts for chinese new year. We already gave our first one to Mrs. Goldenberg, Ruth's 99.5 year old mother, who is still going strong and has a particular liking for dark chocolate.
This is T's favorite car that she's ever seen, and she wants one badly. Its a taxi-cab yellow Mini Cooper. What you see pictured here is the roof of the car. Its got a collage of different colored Nemo fish on it. Its actually quite gorgeous. Poor T doesn't know it yet, but her mother is banning her from having one, as her mother might have a tad bit of a problem fitting into the tiny thing.

Anyway, we're home now and the girls are napping.

I'm happy to report that we were able to leave the chocolate festival without incident....either from mother or daughter!

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A Chocolate Festival

We're headed out today to Fairchild Tropical Garden for the Chocolate Festival. Sounds decadent, huh? You can read more about it here:


I've never been to a chocolate festival, but is sounds decadent and good. We'll report back later on how it was. I'm worried that when its time to leave this particular festival, it will be ME throwing the tantrum and pitching a general fit instead of T. ;)

Tomorrow, we'll me T's favorites: Nick and Sophia at the St. Rose Carnival.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Reality Check

Many faithful readers have laughed time and again on my descriptions of T's less-than-stellar behavior. I've gone on and on at times about how she did one thing or the other to get in trouble. I've realized that I don't post often enough about what a good girl she is. Tonight I realized that I've been selling her short. T is fabulously well behaved...Polite, caring, and generally very empathetic to others. Tonight was proof.

For the last few months T has been going to gymnastics on Saturdays. I've become increasingly unhappy with the class, given its size. There are about 12 kids in it with one teacher. At times, T only gets to do each of the three little routines twice. Then class is over. I figured that if I moved her to an evening class, it would be smaller and she would get more practice. Tonight was our first night.


Yes, the class was smaller, but IT WAS A ZOO!!!!!!

I've never seen such ill-behaved children in my life. I've also never seen such idiot parents who said and did nothing in response. One little girl had an all-pit tantrum b/c she couldn't go first. The grandmother just let her scream, yell and flail about totally disrupting everyone in the whole place...for like 30 minutes. She never took her out. I was in shock. A few times I saw T wagging her finger at some of the other girls and telling them to stop whatever they were doing.
The other girls were talking with each other, running around, going 1/2 way through a routine and stopping. Zoning out, and doing everything else you could think of. What a reality check!

Finally after watching this nonsense for about 40 minutes, I went to a staff member who was in the office area, and told her my concerns. She totally agreed that it was a particular zoo tonight, and suggested moving T to another night with less children. We're now slated to do gymnastics on Monday nights. T will be the 5th child in the class. Perfect.

Needless to say, T got to play in the tot lot after class for a really long time as a reward for being such a good girl.

I am so proud of my sweet child I can't stand it!

Non-sick Sick Day

We're home on a non-sick sick day. We had dr appointments today. We arrived at the hospital this morning at about 7:15. They lost the prescription/referral for the ultrasounds. It was particularly annoying b/c they refused to even give me an appointment, without the script. The doc faxed it directly to them, and they booked the appointment for today at 8:00 and 9:00. Well, because they couldn't find it in the file, we had to wait til 8:00 for the pediatrician office to open, to call them and have them fax it again.

So, everything ran late. We didn't get home til around noon, which is just too late to take T to school, since she hasn't eaten anything. The school is done with lunch and going down for a nap around noon. Therefore, we're home.

T behaved beautifully for the exam. They rubbed gel all over her tummy and back, and tickled her with the wand. T basically giggled throughout the whole thing. Results later today or tomorrow.

Meanwhile, we have gymnasitcs today and its FREEZING here in the old swamp. It didn't even get into the 70's yesterday and today, and was down in the 40's and 50's last night. I actually have my a/c running on the heat cycle. Brrrr.

UPDATE: Coincidentally, this was reported today... one of the reasons for our dr appt today:

SHIJIAZHUANG, China — A Chinese court condemned two men to death on Thursday and
gave a dairy boss life in prison in the first sentences handed down in the
tainted milk scandal, which ignited public anger and accusations of cover-ups.

The sentences and a recent announcement of a compensation plan for the victims
appear to be part of a government bid to put an end to the crisis.

In a reflection of the trial's sensitivity, dozens of police guarded the
courthouse and cordoned off the surrounding area with plastic barriers. Officers
told the victims' families to keep about 100 yards away.

Investigations showed that middlemen who sold milk to dairy companies were
watering down raw milk, then mixing in the banned industrial chemical melamine
in dairy products to make them appear to have higher protein content.

Infant formula tainted with melamine was blamed in the deaths of at least six
babies and the illnesses of nearly 300,000.

A court in the northern city of Shijiazhuang gave a life sentence to Tian
Wenhua, 66, the former general manager and chairwoman of Sanlu Group Co., the
dairy at the center of the crisis. She was the highest-ranking official charged
in the food safety scandal, which was exposed in September.

During her Dec. 31 trial, Tian admitted she had known of problems with her
company's products for months before informing authorities. Tian pleaded guilty
to charges of producing and selling fake or substandard dairy products.

Some of the relatives of the victims, who gathered outside the court in cold
weather in northern China, said Tian got off lightly.

"My granddaughter died. She (Tian) should die too, she should be shot," said
Zheng Shuzhen, of Henan province, who said her 1-year-old granddaughter died in
June after drinking Sanlu milk. "She has brought such harm to the public, to

The court sentenced Zhang Yujun, 40, to death for running a workshop that
produced a melamine-tainted powder branded as protein enriching — which was
added to milk apparently to fool quality tests, said spokesman Wang Wei.
Melamine is rich in nitrogen and the protein content is measured by nitrogen.

Geng Jinping was also given the death penalty for producing and selling toxic
food. A third man, Gao Junjie, was given a suspended death sentence, which is
usually commuted to a life sentence.

Among the 21 sentences announced, two other life terms were handed down, while
the remaining were given jail terms of two to 15 years, the official Xinhua News
Agency said.

A lawyer advising victims' families said the death sentences and life terms were
"cruel and heavy."

"It was a problem of the system, but they were brought to court as scapegoats,"
said Li Fangping. "No government officials were charged for failing to fulfill
their inspection responsibility."

Tian was also fined $2.92 million while Sanlu, which has been declared bankrupt,
was fined $7.3 million.

Zhao Lianhai, who has set up a Web site to help organize parents whose children
were sickened, said he and other parents plan to travel to Beijing on Friday to
petition the Ministry of Health. Zhao and the others say an official
compensation plan was put together without their input and does not offer enough
long-term help.

Sanlu, along with the other 21 dairy companies involved in the scandal, have
proposed a $160 million compensation plan. More than 200 families have filed
suit demanding higher compensation and long-term treatment for their babies.

Normally used to make plastics and fertilizer, melamine can cause kidney stones
and kidney failure when ingested in large amounts. The discovery of melamine in
dairy exports such as chocolate and yogurt triggered a slew of product recalls

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not
be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What a Day

Wow. What a day Tuesday has been. Frankly, I really don't have the words to express what I've been feeling.

It was just that big.

Clearly, T has picked up some cues from the crowds yesterday, and now enjoys waving her flag whenever she sees Obama on TV. In fact, she's waved it so much that its now broken.

In addition to the excitement, what a relief today has been. I've posted in the past about my opinion on how the previous administration has bastardized and belittled the sacred oath that all public servants take...to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

For 20 years, myself and my coworkers have lived our lives by that oath. Despite the fact that we are only local or state government, the oath is the same. It's important. It means something. As part of the Executive branch of government, its our job to enforce the laws and apply the concepts of both the Federal and State Constitutions, thereby protecting and defending those documents...no matter the results. We've all let go some very dangerous people, because the Constitution so required. We've all had to make sometimes very difficult decisions and explain ourselves to victims who are understandably heartbroken by our decisions. But we do it. We swore to. Its our honor and duty. We have no choice.

Therefore, the words that resonated with me most from President Obama's Inaugural address, were the following:

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake.

Amen, my friend. Amen.

Once more it seems that the brilliance of that important document has triumphed and I'm proud to say that it appears that our Commander in Chief, a constitutional lawyer and professor by trade, understands the importance of that simple oath that he took, despite its being botched by the chief judge of the Supreme Court.

Our Constitution has prevailed and is reigning supreme once again...proving that the concepts upon which our country rests, are bigger than man, even if the men in question are the Prez and Veep. It was a close call, though.

I busy breathing a very welcome sign of relief.

Monday, January 19, 2009

We Are One

My friend Laura M just let me in on the fact that you can go to http://www.hbo.com/ and watch the We Are One concert that took place in Washington DC yesterday on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. If anybody has a spare 2 hours on their hands, you really should watch this fabulous concert. Its a non-partisan celebration of American history and celebration of art in the form of song. Fabulous. Unfortunately for me, the streaming on the computer was very slow, so it was more like listening to the concert on the radio, while watching photographs on the computer. That's OK, though.

I woke up this morning to discover that the daycare was closed today. So, T and I hung out together all day. No mommy play day for me. We went to a few stores and then to my doctor's appointment. I'm happy to report that I'm healthy as a horse...an overweight and somewhat decrepit horse, but a horse none the less.

We also walked up and down our street looking for refuse to pick up on this National Day of Service. Our new President has requested that we treat this day as such, so I felt it was important to answer his call and do as he requested. God knows we're asking him to help solve all of this country's problems, the least T and I could do was contribute a bit to what he has asked of us in an attempt to achieve that more perfect Union.

Needless to say, we'll both be festooned tomorrow in red, white and blue.

Hope everybody has a really great day!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Chinese New Year Dress

Oh yeah, we also pulled out our chinese silks, to see if T had anything that would fit for our chinese new year dinner. Much to my surprise, the size 8 dress fit. When I purchased this in china 3 years ago, I was thinking that she wouldn't wear this until she was around 8 yrs old. Um, wrong! The chinese sizes are screwy and tiny, barely any rhyme or reason to them. Luckily, we still have a few left in even bigger sizes, and I've found a big chinese store in north miami beach that I believe sells this stuff, albeit not as dirt cheap as in China.

Whatever the size, T loves the dress and had lots of fun hamming it up for the camera.

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A Boring Sunday

Today we went off to a park that Ruth has been recommending in Coconut Grove...the vita course. What a great park! In addition to the vita course and bike riding paths, the park has a great tot lot that T had a blast running around in. Though it doesn't appear so from the pictures, this park is much more crowded than some of the others we've been to recently. Everytime we passed someone, T would wave to them and yell hello. She's so damn cute on that outrageous bicycle, that she brought a smile to everyone we passed. She also made fast friends with some little kids at the tot lot, and had a blast running around like a maniac.

I took these first pictures with my new phone, and am very pleased with the outcome. Quite handy to have a phone that takes great pics.

We came home hoping to catch the concert in DC, but soon discovered that HBO had exclusive rights to cover the thing. We don't have HBO. Shoot. I had to make do with MSNBC coverage and was quite bummed. So, I busied myself with purging some of T's stuff that she's starting to outgrow. Socks, bathing suits, winter gear, and I'm about to start on her shirts. Too bad I didnt' do this last month, so I could take the deduction in '08.

Tomorrow, I believe the daycare is open, so its a mommy playday, since I'm off work.

Meanwhile, T is getting very excited with her "pirate party", as she calls it. The big news is that she's now saying that she wants to be a pirate, vs a princess. Now this is truly big news as all who read this know of her adoration for all things princess. Luckily, I've found some cute pirate dresses online, that are on sale now that halloween is over. Can't wait to see her in these cute costumes. Frankly, I think she more suited to being a pirate than a princess, given her personality, but that's just my opinion.

The only other thing to report is that we got our hair cut this weekend. We both went a little shorter this time. I like it. Of course, you could shave my daughter's head and I would still think she looks fab, but that's just me.

Anyway, that's it for now. Hope you all had a great weekend, and a great holiday tomorrow.

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A Mother's Nightmare

...literally. Has anybody else had these nightmares?

I dreamt last night that we were in Disney. I was paying the cashier with T at my side, when suddenly I turn around and she's gone. The rest of the dream/nightmare consisted of me running around the park searching for her...with various miscellaneous friends popping in and out of the dream.

I woke up exhausted! Good lord.

I blame this dream, that I've had before, on the following: an adoptive family that we traveled with is currently in disney, right before going to sleep I read that Chopsticks and Tabouli is going, and I was watching all the crowds yesterday related to the inauguration coverage. Yikes!

Does anybody else have this dream/nightmare? I hate it!

I suspect I'll be exhausted all day.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Hope Train


People all over the world (everybody)
Join hands (join)
Start a love train, love train
People all over the world (all the world, now)
Join hands (love ride)
Start a love train (love ride), love train
The next stop that we make will be soon
Tell all the folks in Russia, and China, too
Don't you know that it's time to get on board
And let this train keep on riding, riding on through ....

We're having lots of fun here today watching the new President's train heading toward Washington...or as T says...to Obama's Castle. I'm not sure if she's referring to the White House or the Capitol Building, but she saw one or the other on TV, and has since been talking about Obama's Castle all day.

I told you she makes me laugh!

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Sigh of Relief

In a letter dated 1/16/2009 (a truly lucky day for us as it is the date of T's adoption in China and its also my father's birthday), Saints Peter and Paul catholic school has invited Taylor to be interviewed on 2/7/2009 at 9:30 a.m.. Its her entrance exam. It also means we're in if she passes. I'm very confident that she'll pass with flying colors.

I've spoken to others who have been through this, and they inform me that the school is just evaluating the child for 2 things: First, they're evaluating her gross and fine motor skills to ensure that she has no special need that they are not equipped to deal with. Second, they're evaluating her personality to determine which class they'll put her in. I figure they don't want all the trouble makers on one class and all the quiet-as church-mouse kids in the other.

Of course, that doesn't stop me from obsessing. So, its looking like I can breathe a sigh of relief. If it turns out that T never wins the lottery to get into the k-8 public school that I love, she'll be perfectly fine at this school.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


January 15, 2006.

The day that I held my daughter for the first time.

She was so sweet and calm, and ended up falling asleep on my shoulder in the room. She was so lethargic, though, that I was suspicious that the orphanage had drugged her for the 5 hour ride north to where we were waiting. She was wearing that crazy snowsuit that was 5 sizes too big, and had no shoes.

I thank God every day for giving me this wonderful gift of a child, and I thank God that I got her when I did, and not later. Luckily for the children left in her orphanage, a charitable organization has since gone into it, and improved the conditions greatly...at least it seems so given the state of the children more recently referred.

As much as we like to sugar coat things and try and understand that they were doing the best they could with the few resources they had, that orphanage was a hellhole. We're now suspicious and worry that there may have been melamine added to their food supply. So, while the caregivers had no idea, the dairy industry...and perhaps the fish industry...and perhaps other food industries were systematically poisoning the children of China, whether living in an orphanage or not. Nice.

Poor T had grunge caked on her wrists and ankles, she stunk so bad she made Dot and I smell, she didn't know how to eat solid foods b/c she had never been fed any, and was very, very skinny. Emaciated. I believe from mal-niutrician. She had a cold and probably an ear infection. She also practiced self-soothing acts common to institutionalized babies. In addition to sucking her thumb which she does to this day, she would use her hands as a mobile, waving her hands and fingers back and forth in front of her face while laying on her back.

When she'd drink a bottle of formula...(a piping hot bottle of formula) and when she'd sleep, she would do both so hard that she would break out in a sweat. When she fell asleep, she always wanted to rest her head on the skin of your chest, not on cloth. B/c she would usually be sweating, my sissy Dot and I would laugh and say she was "sliming" us.

Despite all that, I remember feeling very surprised and blessed that she could sit up by herself, crawl like a maniac, pull herself up and stand, surf furniture, and hold the bottle to feed herself...all at 10 months old and all despite her humble beginnings. I truly believe that someone in the orphanage showed her great care, perhaps even love, to enable her to be that far advanced phsyically. To this day T remains very physically coordinated and adept.

Three years later, its hard to remember the hellhole from which she came. If you've met her for more than 10 minutes or if you have read this blog for any length of time, you probably already realize that my T has a giant personality in a tiny body. She's a whirlwind of curiosity, mischief and spunk. Every once in a while though, especially when she's unsure or insecure, when she's acting out for attention or afraid to sleep by herself, I wonder how much of that is normal, and how much of that is a product of the environment from whence she came.

All I know is that she's changed my life forever, and has made me a much better person. She makes me laugh every single day and I love her more than anybody else on the face of this earth.

We're a family.

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Party Planning in Progress

T's birthday party continues to shape up. A big box of party decorations arrived today, and T has been trying to get into them ever since. I'm thrilled with how it will all look together. T has already gotten into one party favor behind my back, so I'm going to have to order up another one. Boy, is she sneaky!

Ruth called to announce that Miami Her@ld subscribers can get a special discount card that works at many area restaurants. One of the restaurants is Archies. I may be getting a 20% discount on the party. Yippee and thank you ruth!

I think I know what I'm getting T for her birthday. Bendaroos. Every single time the commercial comes on TV, T becomes entranced with it, and starts saying over and over again, "I want that. Mama, I want that". Apparently they are these sticks similar to pipe cleaners, but covered in wax of different colors. You can bend them this way and that to supposedly make museum quality works of art. If you go to:

https://www.bendaroos4kids.com/Default.aspx?mid=528816 ,

you can read all aobut it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

School Daze

As I've alluded to in the past, T's school is under renovation, and they've relocated the 3 and 4 year olds to a nearby facility. T started on Monday, and it has gone very well. I was wondering how she would handle the change, and so far so good. Soon, I believe that she will be moving up to the pre-k 4 classroom. Then in August will be the big changes.

Hopefully, T will be starting school at Saint Peter and Paul school. I'm on a waiting list as we speak and will find out sometime in either Feb or March whether she gets in or not. If she doesn't get in, I'll need to decide what to do next. She can always stay where she is, as the Carroll Center is a certified pre-k 4 school. The problem is what to do for kindergarten.

There is a K-8 center in Miami that I really want her to attend. Unfortunately, acceptance is based upon the lottery system, and its unclear whether or not she'd get in. If she doesn't get it, my plan was to keep her at Sts P&P. If she doesn't get into Sts. P&P, nor Ada Merritt, I've no idea what we'll do. Guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Problem is, I can't seem to stop obsessing about it!


In other news, I was able to catch parts of Mrs. Clinton's confirmation hearing. The woman is brilliant. Its a good thing, too, as the whole world seems to be going to hell in a handbasket, with the good ol' USA leading the way...thanks in a large part to our idiot current president. Thank god we only have to endure one more week of him. Unfortunately, the affects of his debacle of a presidency will be felt for years to come, with my poor T and everyone else's children having to pay the price.

Good Lord, Did everybody else see that sorry excuse for a press conference the Idiot in Chief gave yesterday? Is it just me, or did he just say a big F#$@ YOU to the whole country. I wish he'd just go away and shut up. Tick tock, 7 days and counting!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Last Bit of Christmas

Last night we spent at a friends house, exchanging gifts. We usually do it a few weeks before or after christmas, as we're all so busy during the actual holidays. T was thrilled. She scored a princess toy DVD player, that bag o' shoes you see pictured, and a remote controlled pluto dog. She's in heaven. Meanwhile, mom's in hell b/c the stupid shoes clap so loudly on my tile floors its driving me nuts!!!! Who got that for her?

She had a blast playing with all the kids, and making a mess of julie's house. Good food, good friends, fun time.

thanks, Aunt Ruth, for the picture!

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Memory Lane

January is very much a month of memories for our family. Now 3 years ago, Dot and I were touring around Beijing, not quite believing that we were actually there. Marveling at how similar the city was to other capital cities we visited. How much things were literally "the same", albeit in a different language with writing we had no chance of diciphering. Living in a surreal world where intellectually I knew I'd meet my daughter in a few days, but not quite believing it. The memories just keep coming.

This first picture, T presented me almost a year ago, announcing that it was a picture of me that she drew. Huh? Finally after turning it this way and that, upside down and right side up, my eye finally realized that there actually was a face in there...especially the long nose. Hehe!

This 2nd picture is the wall in front of my desk at work. It all started with the 8 x 10 blow up of T's referral photograph. I stared at that picture for 2 months straight, hardly getting any work done. The display has just grown over the years. I can't seem to stop myself from adding more.

Gorgeous, huh?

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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: