Sunday, March 29, 2009

What we have been up to

The last few weeks have been a crazy haze of closing the business and all that such a task entails...not too pretty. Thankfully, the last few days brought us a gift of great proportions. A gift that has breathed great happiness into our lives and one that all of friends in the adoption blogisphere can truly understand and appreciate.

One of our adoption guides from China paid us a visit. This guide was asked by the agency that employs her to choose a family that she has worked with in the past 13 years to visit and she honored our family by choosing us!! I received an e-mail from her about a month ago asking if it would be OK to come for a visit. OK?!?!? Are you kidding me??...we were over the moon with happiness at the prospect at being reunited with this special person in our lives and somebody which we never really felt that we would have the opportunity to connect with again. When we parted in China and tearfully hugged goodbye, we told each other that we would meet again...that it was not really goodbye.... but neither she nor Marc and I ever really believed in our hearts that we really would ever be able to have that happen.

She has asked me not to disclose her identity on my blog as she would never want to offend another family by not choosing them and of course we would not want to do that either, so we are honoring her request. Therefore the oodles of pics that we took will have to stay off the blog. Suffice it to say that the visit lived up to and exceeded every expectation we had for it. We connected on a level that we had not had the opportunity to in China as this time there was no adoption stress involved ;-) We took fun day trips, ate, met family and friends, ate, held a party in her honor, ate, shopped, ate, had wonderful and revealing conversations and of course ate! The children had an amazing and special time with her.

Tonight we parted and as we tearfully hugged, we once again said that we would see each other again....and this time....

We KNOW deep in our hearts that we will.......

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Reading with Katie Starr

I had to come back from my self imposed blogging exile to post a little Katie sweetness.

I ordered a series of books for Katie called "Bob Books" They are a beginning reading series that my bloggy friend Stacey from Crazy Life blogged about a bit back. Since Katie LOVES to be read to and that is LOVES with a capitol Love, I thought the time may be right to introduce her to reading to herself. She is 3 years 11 months and here she is home sick today reading her first two books. This is only the second time that she has seen the first book and she has never seen the second one before....Yaaaay Katie Starr!!

PS: You can order the books through Amazon and they are discounted.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Taking a break

I have not fallen off the face of the earth...just off the face of the blogisphere. Things are just waaaay to busy and to be honest too difficult to blog right now.

Last week we (my dad and I) closed our family business, a once thriving real estate business on the beach here in South Florida that has drawn it's last breath. We are now in the throes of finalizing things, packing it all up and moving out. This is truly heartbreaking for our family but as many of you know I am all about looking forward and so that is what I will do once again.

My father in law is back in the hospital again. Hopefully, he will be back home again tomorrow.

On a funny note, Ethan's refrain lately has been that we are "boring!" He may be right. I do not feel like very much fun right now. I promise to be back when I can feel the joy in blogging again and definitely when I am not as "boring". I hope that will be very soon.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Who needs toys?

Isn't it always the buy a gift and your children end up playing with the box or the wrapping paper.

Of course, even more fun than boxes or paper is bubble wrap.

It costs next to nothing but the end result is priceless, as you can see for yourself in this video of the DD and their BFF's Ryan and Mia P!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Blogger Bash in Disney was a Success!

My friend Carol from Mischief and Mermaids told me that she has been stalking my blog looking for updates so even though I had started this blog post last night, I knew that I needed to finalize it and post it today before I had a full fledged revolt on my hands.

A couple of posts ago I mentioned that Tamara and her mom, Penny from "Notes from the Zookeeper" and Donna of "Double Happiness" fame invited me up to Disney World for a Blogger Bash of sorts. Marc and I initially hemmed and hawed when we were first invited as we were just up that way not too long ago and with finances the way that they are we did not think it too sensible. Well, common sense was thrown to the wind once again (smirk) and we were off to the town that Walt built. When given the opportunity to meet with these wonderful women in addition to others that i have spoken to for years either through our blogs or Yahoo adoption support groups there is no room for anything but spontaneity.

Saturday morning Bright and early we met up with Donna, a wonderful friend from my Mei Dreams yahoo group and her adorable Catherine for breakfast... Here is Miss Catherine.

We were then off to meet the bulk of the bloggers in front of Cinderella's castle. We arrived to find Tamara and co. including her Moose, Goose and Ogre (blog pseudonyms for her three wonderful children) and before along Donna arrived with her brood. Then came a blur of names and faces that by the end of the day came clearly into focus. Tamara and I are old friends, actually more than old friends...more like extended family. We waited for our daughter's with each other along with many others in the May 2005 DTC group, but unlike many in that group we have built a wonderful friendship between ourselves and our families. We have seen each other on several occasions and we keep up with each other regularly though our blogs and e-mails. I even e-mail with her wonderful mom Penny. Another big draw for me coming was to meet Donna T. She and I have followed each others blogs for a very long time and we both have sets of virtual twins in addition to each of us having a grown adult son. Donna was more wonderful in person than I could have ever hoped for and her husband, Andrew and daughters, Gwen and Madeline were awesome as well. The girls were even cuter than their pictures show and believe me that says a great deal as their Shutterbug Mom takes amazing photos. We talked, the kiddos broke the ice and then we watched the show at the castle for a bit before we all set off to divide and conquer at the park.

Goose, Moose and the DD

Maddy, Gwen, Gabby, Moose, Goose and the DD

The highlight of the alone time with our own kiddos came during our foray into toon town. My friend Shannon told me to head there for a Princess meet and greet for Katie Starr. OMG, it was so totally worth the price of the admission (and that is one hefty price)!! The Princesses met with both kiddos and they gave them lots of one on one. I am not sure who was more enamored, the kiddos, the Princesses or us! Ethan was like a puppy dog (he loves beautiful women of any age) and Katie who is normally pretty shy was quite talkative. The princesses were in stitches from the two of them. We got a little video but there was so much more that was not on tape. Aurora even stayed to talk to them during a short break that she had because she could not seem to get enough of their cuteness....we were so happy about the whole experience. I have been in Disney more times than I can even remember over the past almost 35 + (OMG!!!) years and I have NEVER had as magical experience as that one. Check out this video...

We had an appointed meet up time later in the afternoon. Tamara and Penny had found a restaurant that was closed at that time and we were able to invade the space with our group. Another family joined us as well. Don, Be and Joanna Mei came to the meeting spot for this second round of fun. For the next three hours the adult gabbed it up while the kids had a blast running and playing from pillar to post.They even enlisted a slightly older Chinese child who was there with her Chinese family (she was dressed as a Princess) to play with sweet! Ethan was a bit out of sorts at this point as he had fallen asleep in the stroller and when he awoke to find a band of crazy little girls running around he seemed to fly the white flag and hung back to chill with the adults. He actually seems to be fighting off a cold so he honestly was not at his best. Here are a few pics of all the kids blowing off a little steam...

Mr E was not himself :(

This is a new ride at Disney World.....cost: priceless!

The plans were then cemented there for a third meet up later that evening at the Animal Kingdom lodge lounge sans hubbies and kiddos. I was not planning to attend that third soiree but with the hint at more face time with the girls I could not resist. Penny and Tamara were nice enough to pick me up as well as another wonderful woman from the group and bring us back Disney Property. We sat and gabbed for a few more hours and this time one additional blogging mama and her mama joined us as well. Beth of "ABCD Family Life," mama to the beautiful Daria and Carina was as warm and wonderful as she comes across in her e-mails and her blog. She is another friend that I made during our waiting days for my Katie Starr and Beth's Daria. it was such a nice evening and end to our to our Blogger least for this be continued sometime in the near future I hope :)

April Panda Mama's Beth and Lori

L-R Carol, Beth, Donna T, Lori, Tamara, Martha with sweet Hannah and Penny