Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Two Years of Rosie

May 7th marked two years since our spunky little Rosie came into our lives.  The perfect dimple under her eye when she smiles still melts my heart. She's a big sister and a little sister and proud of it. She's a tiny girl who loves very big.

Rosie was once a poster child for Love Without Boundaries.  Tiny, sad, and spending a lot of time in her crib in her orphanage.  We were told by the nannies that she became a favorite at Foshan Shunde CWI because, "she was the prettiest one."  



Pretty, she sure is.  But her fun and loving personality totally outshines her outer beauty.  She is extremely strong-willed, and tests every single rule put in front of her.  Let's be blunt...she gets the most "time outs" in our house.  But she also gives the biggest hugs, the most frequent kisses, and makes the loudest proclamations of her love for us.  She is smart, funny, and cuddly.  She is scrappy, sporty, and brave.  She'd climb up anything...she'd try to climb a wall like Spiderman if she could, but she wouldn't touch a ladybug if her life depended on it.  She coined the family phrase, "Let's do a no-peep" when it comes time to getting stuck with a needle for her transfusion.  At that moment, she sits still and holds out her arm and doesn't even flinch.  Yet at any other time, I've never seen her sit still for more than 10 seconds.  Even she says, "I think I have the ants in my pants."





Rosie wanted to celebrate her day by riding bikes in the driveway and eating the whipped cream off the top of a Frappuccino.  Happy that neither activity required wearing a dress.

When I look at those sad eyes in the pictures of her time before us my heart both breaks and jumps for joy.  Breaks because we couldn't love her sooner.  Jumps for joy because she's now ours.  And I wonder again and again what I ever did to be blessed with such love.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Memorial Day

In the spirit of catching up on some photos...Here are some we took of the girls on Memorial Day, honoring those who lost their lives fighting for our freedom.  We are all so lucky to live in "the land of the free and the home of the brave."


A breathtaking display on Boston Common.

Lots to think about here.





Our proud Americans.

Counting some of the 37,000 flags on display.


A perfect way to pay tribute.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Problem of Slightly Worn Clothes - An Update

What to do with slightly worn clothes?  It's an issue that everyone struggles with.  You know what I mean.  You put something on for like, 2 hours and all you do is watch Homeland in it.  Sure, it's worn. It's technically "dirty" but you know it really isn't.  You can google this issue and get ideas such as:

1.  "I put it back in the drawer."  Nah.
2.  "I turn it inside out and then hang it back up so I know that it is gently worn." Um, too much work.  You do not have 3 children under the age of 5.
3.  "I have this chair/bench/ottoman in my bedroom covered with slightly worn clothes."  Getting warmer.
4.  "I throw lightly worn clothes on the floor until the pile is so high my kids can climb it like Everest."  Oh, you are my husband.  Hi, Patrick!  I didn't know you followed this blog!

OK.  So this post is not about this universal problem, because I have no solution or even remotely good ideas about it.  I tricked you with a catchy title to suck you in.  It's been so long since I've posted I figured you forgot about us.  I am a bad mommy blogger.

So, we have been a bit busy over the past two months, just living in our usual crazy whirlwind.  Half of the time I feel like I am drowning in a never-ending sea of kiddie love. The other half I am just, you know, drowning.  You people who make it look so easy are liars fabulous.  I am just...regular.  We had some busy medical stuff and then all kinds of technical difficulties.  Our camera broke so I had nothing to take pictures with, and then once we replaced the camera, the computer broke so I had nowhere to upload the pictures I was taking with the new camera.  So I fell behind on everything.

April brought us a wonderful vacation in Aruba.  We worried that it might be too soon to take the whole circus on a big vacation, but Mama needed a Pina Colada in a warm climate and we all generally needed a "break." (Break defined as caring for the crazies in a tropical locale instead of right here where it seemed like the winter would never end.)  But, seriously, it was a perfect vacation of sun, sand, ocean, pool, great food, and non-stop family time.  Until the flights home where everyone sort of showed their ugly side.  Upon landing at Logan, Patrick said, "Not only are we never taking a vacation again...WE ARE NEVER LEAVING ARLINGTON AGAIN."  Yeah, the flights back were that bad.  But I've blocked all of that out now and just remember the amazing week we spent in paradise.

Hotel room matching PJ pic.

Heading to the beach.  Look at this crew.


Late night gelato.





While P and I may be guilty of emptying this box of its contents over
the course of our vacation, we did NOT put Frannie in the box.
She came up with this photo op on her own.

Love me some little ruffly butts.




Paradise.





Shortly after our trip to Aruba, we were fortunate enough to have a little mini-break to Chatham.  Patrick had a trip for work and we promised that as long as we could keep a low profile, we could tag along.  In true New England spirit, the girls and I sat on the beach and built sandcastles in the chilly weather and strolled Chatham's quaint Main Street.





After our two trips we entered sort of the final stretch of the school year.  Emmie had several field trips, and Rosie even got to visit Sunshine Nursery School in preparation of being a pre-K student there next year!  My goodness, how can that be?

All ready for her pre-K visit day.
And, of course, the end of the school year also brings the end of dance class.  Emmie and Rosie were both in this years performance, making for twice the sequins, twice the lipstick, and twice the adorableness.  Emmie, being the seasoned performer she is loved every minute of it.  It being Rosie's first time on the big stage, she danced perfectly but spent a fair amount of time looking for me in the audience.  Even now when she talks about it she says, "Mama, I couldn't see you in the dark behind all of those heads!"  But everyone did a great job and had a good time.








And in between all of this fun going on, there's just regular daily life.  School, medical appointments, and of course the little issue of getting Frannie to become more and more attached to our family.  She is getting happier with each passing day, but she is definitely a tougher nut to crack than her sisters were.  At first Patrick boldly predicted that Frannie would really be loving us by the Fourth of July.  Now he's pushed that forward to Labor Day.  But she's comfortable in our home and overall quite happy, which is all we could ever ask for.



Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Luck of...Us

I was going to call this post "The Luck of the Irish," but the reality is that I am not the slightest bit Irish--even on St. Patrick's Day.  So, I guess that just makes me lucky.  One lucky Mama.  Married to one lucky Irishman.  With three Chinese kids.

Our lucky charms. They're magically delicious.  
So delicious that I want to bite their little faces.  And I do.

Today we had our annual St. Patrick's Day fun.  The fun includes making corned beef and cabbage, something that the one Irish-American person in our house does not prefer.  Still, I insist on honoring his heritage with a huge slab of beef, homemade soda bread, and a Guinness.  Everyone dresses up in green, except for me, as I do not think I own anything green except for a Celtics t-shirt buried somewhere with my summer clothes.  The girls and I bake green cupcakes and we do some holiday arts and crafts projects.  All of this Irish fun comes one day after the girls and I made homemade meatballs and gravy, and two days after I carefully folded some Chinese dumplings.  This is just another thing that I love about our multicultural family.  Had we all not collided like the five luckiest galaxies ever, I really doubt any of us would be having half the fun or varied experiences that we do now.




So much green.

Although we all love sharing food and stories and outfits celebrating each other's culture, I have to admit, I don't always get it right.  Yesterday at Market Basket, Emmie noticed some decorations depicting a rainbow and a pot of gold at the end.  Being the ever-curious brainiac she is, she asked me why there was a pot of gold there, and what it had to do with St. Patrick's day.  I sort of bluffed my way through some 1,000 ft overview of the rainbow and the pot of gold, which of course she did not accept and only resulted in more questions about Irish lore.  Finally, I said, "Emmie, I'm not sure of the exact origin of that story.  I'll have to find out.  You know, I'm not Irish."  To which she responded, "Well, I am!!"  Like a happy leprechaun, I grinned from ear to ear.

I know that this will likely change as the girls get older, but I love how right now they feel they are a little bit of everything we are.  They are so proud of being Chinese, but they are also patriotic little Americans with an Irish and Italian background.  Watching all that they have embraced makes me think a lot about the many ways in which grown-ups could learn a few lessons from little kids.

We attempted this selfie SANS kids about 6 times before we gave up.
Look at Emmie wrestling her way into the photo.  They can't stay away!!!

A perfect match.
(Notice the Shaoxing cooking wine in the background, too.)

So, "Top O' the Mornin' to ya!"  Or, "Ni Hao!"  Or, how about "Ciao!"  Maybe I should just stick with "Hello."  Either way, I hope you found whatever you were looking for at the end of the rainbow.  I sure did.