Sunday, August 31, 2008

Jellyfish Fields
There are several things that can spoil fun in the surf when you're at the beach.
  1. Seaweed- gross... who wants to swim in slick, slimy goo???

  2. Rough surf- the threat of rip currents & undertoe make moms a nervous wreck and scare small children. Only My Firstborn gets pumped up about a "red" flag day.

  3. Red tide- this toxic algae can cause burning eyes, throat as well as breathing difficulties. Not good for a mom with a Pretty Kitty with asthma.

  4. Jellyfish- these gelatinous pests can come in groves to ruin a perfectly good swimming day.

This trip to the Florida Panhandle has landed us right in the middle of #4. But we had someone looking out for us... ready to keep us safe from harm as we enjoyed the later summer afternoon with our toes in the sand & surf.

Even playing nicely in the sand was risky as the jellyfish would wash ashore in the light surf. My Baby Boy would not allow an harmful tenticals to reach his sisters!

Armed with only a net, The Jellyfish Hunter patrols the shoreline that surrounds his womenfolk.

He spots something large floating earby.

Bravely, into the water he goes!


Say hello to your little friends you villian of the sea! You won't hurt my sisters today!

Our friendly patrolman has been busy... that's quite a collection!

And if you look down the beach, you can see the setting sun reflecting off the dozens of jellyfish other Jellyfish Hunters caught thoughout the day.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

First Time in the Sand

Yesterday was the first time Little Miss Dreamgirl ever put her cute little toes in the sugary sand of a Florida beach... well ANY beach for that matter. She had a great time... despite ingesting some of the grainy stuff... which seemed to bother me much more than it did her. After sitting under the sun shade for a while we headed down to the shoreline to introduce her to the waves.

She was all smiles!

She kept wanting to crawl INTO the ocean... we just kept pulling her back. This lack of fear could be dangerous later on. My Firstborn has little fear & has done more in her 10 years than I've dared to do in 35.

Then something caught her attention & distracted her from crawling face first into the surf.

She looks cute when she's victorious.

It's Pretty Kitty looking cute too!

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Wish You Were Here!

Here's what I'm looking at this morning. Yep, we snuck away to the beach for a long weekend. We're in the Florida panhandle and there are no signs of Gustav. The next couple of days will provide lots of blogging material I'm sure... so check back. Until then, anybody seen the suncreen?

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

An Unusual "Pet"
This may be one of the most random posts I've ever made but what the hey... here goes.

I have spent the summer allowing a new "animal" to take up residence here at my residence. We have 4 cats & an annoying, doll-chewing, squirrel-chasing dog and one of our most favorite things to do is look for turtles to bring home after a heavy rain... which we humanely release after allowing a six-year boy jostle and carry and poke for several hellacious hours. Well, this past summer I noticed a new "animal" right living outside. And since he seemed content to live outside... I allowed him to stay. If he had try to come inside... he would've been smashed flatter than a fritter! Let me introduce you.

Can you see him? Know what it is?

Yep... it's a great big black & yellow spider. Let me put the emphasis on BIG.

Here's another view. And each time I walk out my front door he's there. He never moves. He's always in the center of his gigantic web... patiently waiting to catch flying insects that would bravely come to annoy me in my house. He's like a watchdog... a watchspider... catching flying intruders before they invade my home. At least I hope he is.

And then... about 6 weeks ago I noticed he had a little Ladyfriend. She's smaller... like her web... but equally docile and content to catch insects in my front yard bushes. I was happy My Spiderfriend had a "friend."

Here they are side by side... soaking up the sun and simultaneously covering their ears so the eardrum shattering screams of my 4 wild yungins don't make 'em deaf. Wait... do spiders even have ears? They make a nice couple don't they?

But then last week I was appalled to see a NEW Ladyfriend on the other side of my Spiderfriend. And I thought... "that little, no-good, lying, cheating, player of a Spider. One woman wasn't good enough for him so he went out and got him a younger, prettier model! So typical." And she is a pretty little thing too and what is with that zig zag pattern in the middle of her web? I gotta do some spider research. But, I've grown used to my two-timing Spiderfriend and have allowed him to continue his adulterous ways right off my front steps. He just better not try to bring his funny business inside!

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

China Trip Tuesdays:A Little Anniversary

Sorry 'bout missing last week. Big Daddy T is to blame... big shocker there. He's been working on Mondays which means he's gone... which means his laptop is gone... which means my China Trip pictures are gone... so I'm having to make do with what few photos I have here at home on my sorry, good-for-not-much dinosaur... I mean computer. Wow... do I have a bad attitude or what? Pause while I try to adjust it a bit....

O.K... I'm back. Today is August 26th and the 3 MONTH ANNIVERSARY since Little Miss Dreamgirl became ours. It seems like it's been a lot longer than that, but alas it has not. 3 little months... that's all. 3 little months since that Monday May morning when she was brought through the door, carried by an orphanage nanny into our lives. She was happy... she didn't freak out... and I remember as I held her for the first time how tiny she felt in my arms. She also kinda stunk. Not like poo poo or anything like that... kinda like old musty house or stale vinegar... this is what she smells like today.

Mmmm... mmmm.... yummy!

Anyhoo... we'll talk a little bit today about that day... 3 months ago today... when she made my dream of adopting a Chinese baby girl, a reality.

Here we are together on May 26, 2008 just a few moments after she was handed to me for the first time. I recognized her from her pictures... her big brown eyes & her head full of dark brown hair. It's not black like I assumed Asian people had... but instead it's a very dark brown. And this is what she was wearing.

Hot pink jelly shoes. The nannies were scrambling to get these shoes on her feet as they were walking her into the hotel conference room. I suppose they wanted her to look "just right." She likely had never worn shoes before and she never has since. We got barefoot here in the Southern Summertime! These shoes make me laugh. First, notice the bird perched on top like the hood ornament of a fancy car. You get a good profile shot of the back shoe. If you look close to the right of the bird/hood ornament you see tiny little crabs inlaid. Now if the bird were a sea gull or a pelican I could see the relevance of having a crab on these summertime sandals. But this bird is more a little robin or blue jay... one you'd find in your wooded back yard. Somewhere you wouldn't find crabs.

Do you know what these are? Look close.

My Dreamgirl was wearing split pants on the day we met. This shocked the heck out of my little sister when she saw them. I guess I've been in "Chinese Adoption Land" so long I'm used to them, but yes... many children in China DO NOT WEAR DIAPERS... they wear split pants... and you can see why they're called such. How in the world they train these children is beyond me... and the "training" is where I first heard stories of neglect/abuse in orphanages when babies were tied onto "potty chairs" and left for hours. We would see children walking around China with their little hinnies hanging out all over... you see children squatting to pee here or there... parents holding them up to trash cans to go and yes... even once we saw... brace yourselves... yes, a little boy go poo... yep, right there on a pedestrian sidewalk. I was too astounded to be mortified at the time. Poor Dreamgirl's split pants were homemade looking and you could tell she'd had an accident or two. I had a diaper on her in about 2 seconds after the Director Lu from the orphanage & her nannies left the hotel.

And finally her little shirt. Our agency told us not to bathe her on the first day. They reasoned that the change might be so traumatic that it would probably be best just to let the babies have 24 hours in the last thing that remained of their "old life"... their clothes. Made sense to me. And it was my plan... but by late afternoon I couldn't stand it... that smell... those dirty fingernails & toe nails and don't even get me started on her belly button. Plus our doctor suspected they may have scabies... so in the tub she went... and she FREAKED! Anyway, I did put the shirt in the crib with her for the first couple days... just so she smelled something familiar... she slept good... maybe it worked? I still haven't washed these clothes... and when I get them out of their little ziploc storage facility I smell them everytime and examine them again. I love these clothes because they're such tangible reminders of where she came from, the situation she was in and the children that remain.

And here she is today. Dreamy huh? At a year old, we've had her 1/4 of her life. Does she even remember anything different?



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Monday, August 25, 2008

If You Need Me Today...

First, I'll be dusting and loving it! Yes, that's right. O.K... "loving" might be a strong word to describe dusting, but I do "love" this new Dust & Shine cleaner from Swiffer, and the Lavender Vanilla scent is oh so yummy! Swiffer claims that because it's "wax free" Dust & Shine can be used on not only wood furniture, but leather and granite as well. It's multi-purpose... I like that. But, the best thing is the smell. I'm going to call it Swiffer "Dust & Shine & Smells Divine!" Whatcha think?

Then I'll be shampooing my color treated hair. "Shampooing"... that sounds like my Grandma... does your Grandma say that? I usually say "wash my hair." Like... "I have to get up early to wash my hair...." but my Grandmother would say "I'm going to shampoo my hair this afternoon." Anyhoo... whether you "wash" or "shampoo" your hair and it's color treated try the product line from Pureology. I have an on-going shampoo battle in my life: salon vs. regular. Sometimes I'm convinced Pantene or Suave really is as good as the expensive stuff and I'll buy that for 6 months. Other times my hairdresser, Darlene, will pursuade me that salon-sold products are the ONLY way to go, so I buy those for 6 months. Back-n-forth... back-n-forth... but these days I'm addicted to Pureology's Hydrate Shampoo (I only shampoo... I don't condition... which Darlene is also working on me to do) and I love it... I pay $25.00 a bottle and it lasts me cut to cut so that's $25.00 divided by (approximately) 42... we'll say 'bout .50 cents a day... not too bad... I guess for now... in 6 months I'll be back with Pantene I suppose.

Then I might mozie on across town and treat myself to a Starbuck's Green Shaken Iced Tea Lemonade. Oh lawsie they're good. A little minty and a little sweet... a perfect treat for me as summer stays hot here in Georgia. Plus, at 130 calories it's A LOT smarter choice than my 790 calorie Cookies-n-Cream milkshake treat from Chic-fil-a. Especially since driving across town is the highlight of my aerobic activity today. Sad... I know. I know.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Beautiful Day

The looming rain bans of Hurricane Fay can not dampen my day today. No... despite the clouds & wind & slick roads I am singing a happy song. Why? Well, you'll have to be a parent to understand. And a middle-class parent. If you have gobs & gobs of money... then nevermind. But for ordinary parents like me you will certainly understand my joy... for today, I am almost finished with THE LAST CAN OF FORMULA. With Dreamgirl now officially a year old, and the transfer to (organic) whole milk underway, next week I will be $24.99 richer with Similac off my grocery list. And that, my friends, is a beautiful thing. A beauty which is only equaled by the last pack of diapers.... but one step at a time.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

A Bit of Advice
Now, I'm not going to sit here and pretend to know everything. But I'm going to be so bold as to offer you ladies a small piece of advice this Friday afternoon... just in case your Baby Daddies are coming home with a new set of hair clippers like mine did last weekend. So... here goes:

Ladies... DO NOT allow a man who has a computer degree pretend to be a Barber on your son's hair the week of school pictures. It's risky behavior. The results can be irreversible... (at least for a couple weeks until the hair grows back.) Allow me to make my case:

Hope this helps...

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