slide show

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Photo Gallery--Buddha Baby

Oh my!  A quick sneak peek of PC.  I'll be posting more when I finish editing.
I think one of my babes, who both were climbing my back most of the shoot, slathered their fingerprints on my lens.  Thus the "soft focus."  Lucky I don't charge anything, or I'd feel guilty.  PC was just so happy the whole shoot!
But oh my!  How precious and happy this sweetie is!  Makes me want another.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Watching the Wall

Did I mention Sunny's driving skills are improving?
Her confidence level is high!  God love her, she's always been a confident gal!
But her skill to confidence ratio is WAY off!  That never works out well.

It went down like this.

My rule of thumb is that if we're driving somewhere, she drives.  Hours behind the wheel is good, and that's good, right?  We made it to the parking garage.  I breathed a sigh of relief.  I was starting to feel some relief from the anxiety of her driving on the freeway.  Our trip was almost over.  We were almost there and still in one piece!  And she did so well!  She didn't cut anyone off or run over anyone.  And for the most part, all 4 wheels stayed on the ground.  That's good, right?

But parking an SUV isn't for beginners!  One last thing to accomplish... parking.  My heart rate was steadily increasing.  My blood pressure on the rise.  My palms were getting sweaty.

So she finds an empty parking spot on the end, thus eliminating the possibility of damaging 2 other cars.  That's good, right?

She starts the turn.
She's going all of 2 M.P.H.  That's good, right?

As she's approaching, the wall on our right looks a little close to me.  The concrete wall.  The immovable, very solid, wall.  But the car on our left is at a safe distance.  That's good, right?

That wall seems to be getting closer.  Too close as a matter of fact.  I need to jump in at this point.  And I'm not flexible or young enough anymore to jump across the center console, land in her lap, and take over parking for myself, but it does briefly cross my mind.  So I say, calmly at first...
Sunny, watch the wall... watch it...  watch it... it's close... Watch it!  Watch out for it!  WATCH OUT FOR THE WALL!!!

Her 2 M.P.H. speed and her turning radius never changed.  And I can't really describe it as a crash.  Cause when you're only going 2 M.P.H. it was more like a slow drawn out crumple when your bumper eases from its impact against aforementioned concrete wall rather than a crash.

And honestly, my first thought when she hit it was, Oh thank you sweet Lord that it wasn't another car that she hit!  No police or insurance company involvement necessary.  I don't need to ask you... that's good.

We were fine.  It won't be a big deal in hind sight.  An SUV with a dented bumper, can get to the grocery and pediatrician just a well as a SUV with a straight bumper.  That's good too.

But here's the kicker.

So eventually, after a couple decaf venti mocha fapachinos to calm our nerves, I ask the obvious.
Sunny, when I said to watch the wall, why didn't you?

Matter of factly she replies.
Oh, I did mom.  I watched the wall the entire time!

Well, we'll just keep practicing and giving her more hours behind the wheel with us teaching her from the passenger seat.  That's good, right?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Lesson in Goose Feeding

So let me teach you how to feed the geese, baby brother.

First you have to be very quiet and still.  I know that's very hard when you're 2.
And look them dead in the eye so they'll be hypnotized by your cuteness.

Hold the popcorn in your hand, out flat like this.

You're doing great!  Now be very still and wait...  wait... wait...
Or you can just eat the popcorn.  It's all good.

PS-The climate of the Arizona desert in the winter... gotta love it!  This was a particularly chilly day!  You can tell by the sweater.

Monday, January 25, 2010

It came! So we went to the zoo...

So it FINALLY came!  You know I don't use those all caps with ease!  But this instant deserves it!  It FINALLY came!  Or rather, I finally drove down to the FedEx office and picked it up.

So we went to the zoo and broke it in.

See how close I can get?

And see how far I can get?  Livy shows Jujube the sting rays.

Ooooooooo... nice depth of field!

See how funny Papa is?  I wasn't the only one that took a picture of his t-shirt while we were there.

See how naturally maternal my sweet girl is?  Sometimes I have to remind her just who the mama is around here!

And see what happens when her turn is over on the carousel, and she has to get off?  Sad Tess.  There's no negotiating with an upset 2-year-old!

See my boy?

I swear, I didn't teach him this!  But this is what happens when you point a camera at an 11-year-old boy!

And the colors are pretty wonderful too!

A wonderful piece of glass!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Still naked...

My husband wrote this on Facebook yesterday-

I have been entertained all day watching my wife pace back and forth waiting for the FedEx truck. I have seen expectant parents with less nervous energy. Hopefully the FedEx man shows up soon. To our friends in Scottsdale, if you seen a lunatic running around this weekend with a camera, it is only my wife. She is harmless...

FedEx 2nd day air and my camera was suppose to be here yesterday.  Nothing.  Stupid rain.  I now have a shiney new wonderful lens waiting for an MIA camera.  I didn't even know FedEx could be late.  

I missed shots of Tess after she ate a blue highlighter.

I missed shots of Jude who thought playing with a carton of eggs would be a good idea.

I missed all the shots of fall, which at my house lasts 6.8 days in mid-Janurary.

I missed shots of the most wonderful new Vietnamese recipe I have ever eaten and wanted to share it with you!  Not really, but I could've if I wanted too!

Another post without pictures.  It's wrong.  You're so good to still be here my sweet bloggie friends.  It means a lot to me that you've stuck by for me during these difficult times.  

Still naked.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Adoption Video of our Son & Daughter

I'll let you in on a secret.  It's kinda embarrassing.  

For all you adoption mamas out there, this might make sense.  For the rest of you, this will only confirm that I've completely lost my marbles.

Adoption is not easy.  It's the antithesis of easy.  It's heart wrenching at times.  Biding the days, weeks, months, and possibly even years, while you wait for a child can make you crazy.  And then to know that this child, your child, is growing up not only without you, but under adverse conditions, is just more than a mama can take some days.

So one of the ways I helped pass the agonizing months while we were waiting to travel to VietNam to scoop up Tess and Jujube was to work on the following video.  I put hours upon hours in on the first 2 minutes of this video while waiting.  I changed the music no less than 1,473 times.  The amount of time I wasted on this project was just silly.  I could have built a condominium complex in less time.  It was probably more like an excuse to repeatedly look at the photos and video clips on my children half way across the world.  But because we didn't have Tess and Jujube yet, I could never finish the video no matter how much I worked on it.  

Then the babes finally came home, and this adoption video sat undone for a long while.  There was laundry to do and dishes to wash and condominium complexes to build.  

18 months later, and desperately needing a creative outlet since my camera is still in the shop, I finally got around to finishing it, in about 2 days.

I'm a little nervous to show it to y'all.  But here it goes...  

The Making of the Crazy 8s.
Our adoption journey of how we traveled half way across the world and back to meet our Tess and Jujube and complete our family.

PS- I only had to put the babes back in bed 5 times last night!  Progress!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

End of my rope

I've put the babies back in thier bed 21 times thus far tonight.  I'm sitting in a chair outside their door waiting for them to open their door and giggle... again...  It will happen.

They get the toys out and play in complete darkness.

They giggle when I open the door.  They screach at the delight of it all when I come in to lay them back down.

If I had my camera, I would take a photo of myself pulling my hair out and at my witts end.  I would love to go postal all over this house.  I will not.

Suggestions for keeping toddlers in bed????  Anything is appreciated!

There, it happened again.  22 times.  Now I'm waiting for 23 times.

Friday, January 15, 2010

WARNING- Incredibly cute baby bum approaching!

These are a few lost pictures of Tess from a picnic last summer in the AZ mountains.   It's called Paradise Creek, and is on the Apache Indian reservation.

And even though she's in need of a few more pounds, these are still some of my very favorite pics of her.  She's just has such a serious look about her, and those eyes of hers just seem to look through to your soul.  I just never got around to posting them.  And since I'm STILL without my camera and still feeling naked, so...

(See how NOT patient I am!  Excuse me while I push the refresh button on my camera status!)

On a side note, Operation "Rid the house of useless crap to earn myself a new camera lens" is doing well!  (Stacey & Norah-It's a Canon 24-70 I'm currently drooling over followed by an 85 or 110 mm prime.)  Thanks to eBay and Craig's List, I'm getting very close, and if I can just sell the baby crib this weekend, I think we'll be there!  Anyone want a used crib?  I'll come to your house and take pics for free with my new lens!   I really hope whoever takes me up on this offer lives somewhere awesome, like SanFrancisco, or Bali, or SaiGon!

Tess loves hats and regularly steals Jujube's baseball hats. She has no shame and just pulls it off his head, which can and does quickly escalate to a hair pulling, biting, screaming, rolling around on the floor, wrestling match. Adult supervision highly recommended!  After soaking 2 sets of clothing, Papa ultimately made the decision to let her splash around in her nakedidity, except for the hat and the shoes, because after all, we DO have standards! Don't worry Grandmas, there was NObody around for miles and miles and miles.

refresh... refresh... still nothing!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Crazy 8 Highlights--Shades of Grey

  • There were times in my life when I have been fortunate enough that if I wanted something I could just go out and buy it.  They were good times indeed!   But I 'm not sure they taught me to appreciate an item's worth.  My camera has the same lens that I used over 20 years ago in college, a 50mm fixed lens that now has a small light leak.  After reseaching over 6 months, I finally figured out which lens I'd like to replace it with, but no funds to purchase it.  So I've been selling stuff, worthless to us stuff, just takes up space in the garage and closet stuff, on ebay and Craig's List.  It's been kinda fun and certianly is a challenge to my patience.  Wow... this is probalby so so boring.  But being a camera/photo buff, I'm just so excited at the prospect of getting this new lens!  Been walking through the house scruptuously looking at everything, asking, "Do we really need that golf bag, baby shoes, fishing pole, autographed hockey jersey...?"  So far the crappolla just laying around has earned a tidy little sum, and I'm a little over half way there to my new lens!
  • Let's just say Papa and I have been through the parental ringer lately.  When they were little I was all like, don't stick stuff in the electrical outlet and don't talk to strangers.  When they were little, the answers were easy and in black and white.  Chew with your mouth closed.  Yes, you have to wear underwear.  Don't throw sand.  Don't put Sharpies up your nose!  Then they start growing up, and the black and white blurred together to many shades of grey.  They think they are grown and suddenly the parental division of the Crazy 8's has little to no influence.  I'm not sure I know the answers anymore, much less how to implement them.  And even though my heart breaks as I watch them spread their wings and fall, I know it is these very challenges that make them strong and smart.  This is growing up after all.  It's not easy business.  I won't divulge my children's privacy.  But I will say to other parents... use your resources.  When it's time, ask for help.   Ask your mom and your in-laws and a counselor and your pastor for guidance.  As a parent, don't take it personally.  Pray and ask God to speak in your heart for guidance.  Keep a good girlfriend, one you can cry on and one that would never judge you or your children, close at hand.  Continue to wrap your growing children in your arms and tell them how very much you love them.  Then tell them again.  Then tell them again.  Then do it again.
  • Well now my camera is in the shop too!!!  I'm feeling naked without it!  Don't visualize that!   But I can't post without pictures.  So I'm leaving you with a favorite one of mine from the summer.  It's a little... um... how do I say this... insinuating of... umm... Oh never mind!  If you don't see it, I'm not telling you!  But I still think it's very pretty.  I snuck into a neighbor's garden to take it.  I wasn't naked though.

Monday, January 11, 2010


You ever have one of those days?
One of those baseball stadium sized laundry pile-days?
One of those his teacher called wondering if his over-due book report was at home.  And it's not-days?
One of those you were 20 minute late and still couldn't find your car keys-days?
One of those I traded my 2 college degrees for this-days?
One of those as I was cleaning up the spilled dishwasher detergent, I found a very old leak under the sink-days?
One of those the babies thought unloading all the icecubes on the floor was a good idea-days?
One of those you were pretty sure alternating Doritos with an stale bag of Halloween candy you found in the back of the cupboard could fix everything-days?

Being a mama can be tough.  There are days I don't want to drag my bum out of bed, and when I do, the 5 therapy sessions a week (very very soon to go up back up to 7) are the last thing I want to do.  On days like these I'm still repeating my my mama mantra.  I first talked about it here, and I guess I was unknowingly predicting my future.  I had no idea just how frequently I would be using it.  In short, my mantra reminds me that God chooses just the perfect mama for each of His children.  And with all my imperfections, (and wowza are the a LOT of opportunities to practice parenting lately!) at least I know that I was perfectly chosen by Him for each sweet wonderful child I have been blessed with.  "Not perfect, but perfectly chosen," again and again I repeat when needed, sometimes through gritted teeth.  Sometimes out loud and sometimes in silent prayer when those are the only thoughts I can muster in chaos.  Sometimes through tears. And sometimes with a huge beaming smile, cause I am also a firm believer in "fakin' it till you make it," if need be.

Wow this is heavy stuff.  It's not always like this.  Just sometimes!

Enter, stage left... Laura.
My proof in the puddin' that the Lord knows just what He's doing!  Another perfectly chosen mama.
Laura has 3 incredibly beautiful children that she and her sweet husband, Bill, didn't come by easily.  They had to fight real hard for this family  And without revealing her private story, I think she's be ok with me saying that there are some special needs in this family that pale ours.  Very very few women have what it takes to be a mama to these wonderful children.  But Laura was born with what my grandmother would have called chutzpa, the nerve to get 'er done, and say it like it is, and take the grunt of the work all for them.   And seemingly she does it all with grace and ease.  And thank God that she does, 'cause it needed to be done or their family would look very different indeed.  Laura is a nurse practioner by trade and uses these skills in her family every day.  And Laura isn't perfect either, but she is perfectly chosen.

I've watched Laura for several years now and watched her parent her children through multiple surgeries and the unknown future.  She's flown from west coast to east and back to meet with docs and surgeries.  She has more diagnosises than I can wrap my head around.  Many many many schools and IEPs and successes and revisions.  And as the children grow, it's still in wonderful transition every single day.  She's just one of those mamas that you watch and learn and grow from.

And look at them!

Isn't she just the yummiest!

How appropriately boy!

My heart swoons!

Oh yea!  Laura embraces all the critters that come with kiddos too!

The freckles.  The kiss!  The red hair!  I think I'm gonna go into a diabetic coma!

Thank you, Laura, for letting me be there to practice my pics and capture some of these wonderful moments.  My heart runeth over.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Soft and Fluffy Snow?

My sweet boy.
My getting-all-out-of-life-it-has-to-offer boy. 

My boy.

I mean it's just snow!  

It's just a snowball fight!  I mean that's a right of passage for young boys, right?  
I simply can't deny my boy his testosertone-based fun. 
I mean it's just snow... right?  

Soft and fluffy snow?

All you mamas out there know how this is going to end.  Mamas just have a 6th sense like that.  But it's like a car crash on the side of the road.  You just can't avoid slowing down to look.

But in my denial, I'm all like that's my boy!  In the soft and fluffy snow!

My boy making the perfect snowball.

My boy using the trees for cover!

My boy daring to dash from tree to tree advancing on his opponant!

My boy collaberating with his "team."

My boy shamelessly taunting his adversary.  
That's not good when your adversary outweighs you by over 100lbs.  
It's just not gonna end well.  

Then it happens.  I see my boy in the distance.  It's gone all wrong.

My sweet getting-all-out-of-life-it-has-to-offer, but learning-there're-consequenses-to-everything boy.

My boy, who really is only 11, with tears in his eyes from from being repetitively pelted by all that not so soft and fluffy snow.  Snow that is now down his jacket and pants and has scraped across his cheeks.

My boy who needs a little mama lovin'.  I'll oblige, my sweet boy.
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