Sunday, May 31, 2009

My Dad was out of town last week. When I got back from the beach I went to his house to get his mail. After emptying the mailbox, I let myself in the house. As soon as I go in, I breathe in the smell. It still smells like my Mother. I guess it smells like my Daddy too, but when I go there, the smell reminds me of my Mother. When I'm alone in the house I always go into my parents' room. I stand in the middle where my Mother's hospital bed was and I look up... as if to somehow get a glimpse of the path she took to heaven. Did she see herself laying there as she left this world? Then I sit on the bed. I sit in the same spot I did for that week we watched her slip away. I remember looking at her. I remember listening to the sound of the morphine pump. I remember laughing with my sisters. I remember my brother coming in and saying every time... "hey sweet Mama." I remember my Daddy saying "do you want me to lay down with you?" and her nodding yes. Then I go in the bathroom. I look in her drawers... even though nothing is there... I cleaned them out. I remember her perfume bottles on the counter. I saw my Daddy's wedding ring there. Knife to the heart. He is not married anymore... death has parted. On my way out I look at her pictures. I remember her teeth and the way she did her make-up. I can't believe she's gone. I want her to come back. I want to see her again. I know she is in a better place. I am happy she is free from pain & medicines & worry & doctors. The Bible tells us that heaven is "better by far." I will have to wait to be there myself to talk with her again. My life continues without her. I am a daughter without a mother.

Somewhere across the ocean there is mother without a daughter. It's been a year now since we went to China to bring our baby home. It's been almost two years since My Dreamgirl was left at a gate... only hours old. Does her Mother walk past that gate like I walk through my Mother's room? Perhaps she stops and sits in the spot remembering what her baby looked like... new and sleeping soundly. Do the sounds of horns & passing cars remind her of that day? Does the sun remind her of the discomfort of being pregnant in the summertime? She probably hoped for a boy as much as I hoped for a miracle for my Mother. But her reality meant letting her baby go. Go to a better place... never to see her again. I couldn't empathize with her grief last June as I walked the streets of Jiangxi Province. I couldn't fathom her relief... that her baby would have life greater than she could provide even though it meant saying good-bye. Now, as I sit on the other side of my Mother's death I can imagine how her heart feels. Waiting for time to mend that broken heart but thankful that the one she loved is in a better place... safe & sound.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Almost June in Georgia???
I took this photo on the way to school this morning... not believing my eyes! Tell Al Gore I'm totally on board with his "global warming" theories... N*O*T!

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

This & That

I am pretty much convinced that I am the Mother of the cutest kid on the planet. Many may equal, but none exceeds! But... I am perplexed as to why My Dreamgirl squats every time I take her picture... hmmmmmmmmm?

This picture has not been staged or modified in any way. And this was not the first time I found Pretty Kitty sleeping in this position. Can it really be comfortable?

Notice that as our resident "Scaredy Cat," Pretty Kitty is sleeping in my bed... with her guardian stuffed animal "Bluesie" keeping watch on her shoulder. Ain't nothing get past him! Again... this photo has not been staged or modified in any way. Lawsie!

I do NOT like putting the silverware away... AT ALL! I am looking forward to summertime when my kiddos will be home during the day to put it away for me for a couple months.

I had to say goodbye to an old and devoted friend this week. She was loyal even though I didn't give her the greatest locks to work with... and even after I burned her with the flat iron on numerous occasions... oops. Goodbye, ole girl... R.I.P in the beauty shop in the sky!

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Temporary Insanity



I do?

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Field Day Fun
Ah, Field Day. Is there a greater day in the life of an elementary school student? Oh no, no, no! Not even the approaching last day of school compares in excitement to Field Day. My Baby Boy came home from school sick last Wednesday and "refused" to go to the doctor Thursday morning for a strep test. He "refused" until I told him he needed to make sure he was good to go for Field Day and then... wa-lah! at the mere thought of missing out on the B*E*S*T day of the year, he willingly got in the car, pranced in the office, opened his mouth wide and endured the tickle/gag of the strep test. (All's well that end's well... he was strep-free!) Anyhoo... everyone bounded out of bed without cohersion last Friday morning... donned their grade level color coordinated Field Day t-shirt... and hit the school yard running.

Once again this year I was the parent volunteer "large & in charge" of The Bubblegum Contest. This is the best venue to operate. Though perhaps not the most exciting game, The Bubblegum Contest is always located in the gazebo. Last year the gazebo kept me cool in the shade as the sun shone brightly heating up the school yard to about 110 degrees by 9:00 a.m.... this year, it kept me dry as a heavy low lying fog spit on us all morning until the clouds burned off after lunch.

Here's My Firstborn working on a big gumball. Contestants had about 2 mintues to chew it before the bubble blowing contest began.

Yeah!!! 3rd Place for My Firstborn. I swear I wasn't partial... honest to goodness. Here she is being awarded the Bronze Star!

Alright... let's get to where the real action was. And where's that??? Oh yeah... TUG-O-WAR baby! This is where champions are made. Here My Baby Boy & his posse of 1st Graders gets ready to do battle against other 1st graders.


Sweet V*I*C*T*O*R*Y!

His class went on to dominate the entire First Grade. Here the victors pose with their trophy!

This is my favorite picture of the day. Here Pretty Kitty & her class are competing in The Fireman's Relay. Though already wet from the aforementioned low-lying fog cloud spitting rain droplets all morning, the 4th graders squealed like little girls as they passed the bottle down the line!

Wanna know where Dreamgirl is??? Just look for where you may see students mobbed around a stroller. They all are so sweet to Dreamgirl. They think she's "soooooooo cute!" Me too kids... me too!

Or you could find her attached to my legs crying to be picked up. I don't know if it was the weather or not being able to have a gumball every time a new class entered the gazebo... but Dreamgirl was in a bad mood! She had to go home at lunch... and was NOT allowed to return to Field Day for the afternoon activities! A big, fat nap was calling her name.

But my other kiddos were having a much better day. Here's Pretty Kitty & her girls.

Things were good in 5th grade for My Firstborn & her friends.

And My Baby Boy with his buddy. You gotta love that toothless grin!

Speaking of 5th Grade...
after My Firstborn's class also dominated the Tug-O-War competition it was time for
the creme-de-la-creme event: THE GIRLS...

against THE BOYS!!!

Guess who won?

The GIRLS!!!

Maybe those boys just haven't blossomed yet???

So until next year... GIRLS RULE & BOYS DROOL... ('cept my sweet Baby Boy of course!)

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day 2009
I have been a Mother for 11 years today... ever since she came into my life:

Today was my first Mother's Day with her:

And my first Mother's Day without her:

I began the day with breakfast in bed with my Baby Daddy & our four babies... coffee & doughnuts... yum! And ended the day with dinner at my Dad's. He made the dinner extra special with this presentation at the dinner buffet... and hit another homerun on another holiday without her.

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Friday, May 8, 2009

iTunes Toddler
Either my Dreamgirl is very smart or she is the product of having 3 older sisters & brother. As soon as the big kids hop out of the car she takes control of the iPod and rock-n-rolls! She knows how to wear the ear buds, press play and stop. Wonder if she enjoys Miley Cyrus, Jason Mraz or The Fray best?

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Extreme Moisture
Do you think a girl can ever get too much lotion for her itchy, dry skin? I don't know the answer to that question... but I DO know it took two showers & a bubble bath to get all the lotion out of Dreamgirl's hair!

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Ten years ago today I gave birth to a beautiful baby kitten. I didn't know my heart had room enough to love two... but the instant she arrived my heart miraculously doubled in size as I fell in love with her, as much as I loved her sister. Happy Birthday Pretty Kitty!

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Saturday, May 2, 2009

The First Time... Ever I Saw [Her] Face

A year ago today... May 2, 2008... was the first time I ever laid eyes on my beautiful Dreamgirl. I had wondered for years what she would look like... and as I opened up the email containing the attached pictures of my newly referred baby girl I fell in love.

Those beautiful, big, brown eyes...

That perfect, porcelain skin...

Look at those pouty little lips...

And before the end of the day... her photograph look like this:

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