On Thursday we headed west to Gulf Shores to spend the day with Family Mendelson's dreamgirl, Miss Addie, and her beautiful big sister Eloise. We had a very fun day watching the little travelmates get to know each other once again. Dreamgirl has no biological family. No mother. No father. No sisters. No cousins or aunts or grandparents. But, she does have Addie... and the thousands of other girls who are Daughters of China living here among us. Keeping my Dreamgirl in contact with these girls is important to me. It is a small, yet monumental connection to her homeland. Roots. History. Addie joined her family the same day My Dreamgirl joined ours. She has and will experience the same things My Dreamgirl will... things other American children will not and cannot understand. When we left Addie's family in China I was so ready to come home I would've said good-bye to my right arm. But this time saying goodbye was harder. I didn't want to say "see you next year!"... I wanted to say "see you tomorrow at the pool" or "see you Sunday at church." Having this family as our friends is a gift and I hope to see them not only next year... but the one after that and that and that and.....
The day was HOT but the kids had a nice mini-ocean of their own.
When we found out friends from our China trip, Kelly & Brad and their daughters Eloise & Addie, were going to be at the beach... only 18 miles from my family's condo... we hopped in the car and came for the week for the chance to see them and catch up. These are some then & now shots... from our trip & then our first meeting on Tuesday. I took a gazillion pictures today when we spent the day on the beach. Will sort & post.
We don't have a swing set at our house so when Dreamgirl heads into the city to her cousins house she gets to do all sorts of fun stuff she doesn't get to do here out in the country. Her favorite thing to do is swing... while I'd rather sit on the patio with my sister... drink a cold one and talk about the day. But alas, because I'm such a great mom I hike out into the backyard and swing my girl... at least until her big sisters come around and I make them do it. Today I documented the experience of swinging through Dreamgirl's eyes.
And she's off...
Fun times = One Happy Dreamgirl!
Then because either: A.) It's so stinkin' hot in Georgia we need to let the kiddos cool off OR... B.) There's a good possibility we picked up poison ivy in the woods OR... C.) Water entertains the kids long enough for my sister & I to finish those (now luke warm) cold ones and an entire conversation ... we strip the kids and turn on the hose! Yee haw... nothing like some Georgia redneck babies running around the yard naked. Dreamgirl has this new game of NOT looking at me in the face when I have a camera in my hands. She can be laughing & playing & smiling and as soon as I try to capture it on film... SHAZAM!!!... Mama gets the cold shoulder. I think it's passive agressive toddler rebellion.
See what I mean... looking away at anybody but me!
And then she gives and decides to look... (probably to stop me from saying "Dreamgirl... look at Mommy!" 500 zillion, gagillion times)... but she will not crack a smile. No way Jose! I have to stalk her like paparazzi and get those shots while she's not looking. It's worth the effort!
I saw a link to the site KNEEBOUNCERS on my friend Carrie's blog. I have a teenie tiny Facebook addiction... plus checking out the daily news headlines, reading and sending emails and writing the occasional blog post... I spend a fair amount of time on the computer. My Dreamgirl has now decided she wants to also use the computer... and it's usually when I'm using the computer and this website is perfect! Check it out if you have little ones who aren't yet old enough to play computer games. We haven't discovered all it has to offer... I usually pull up the Music-Maker game and let her bang away on the keyboard. Hopefully this will give you fellow Mamas out there a little bitty break from your little bitty ones!
While I'm working on my Weekend Wedding post I thought I'd give a totally unsolicited shout out to my new photographer. I keep a tradition my Mother started when I was a kid... I get my babies pictures made each year on their birthday. When Babies #1 & #2 were little I was super strict... most of their photographs were made on their actual birthdate. I've grown a teenie, tiny bit lax in my old age and have the pictures made around their birthday. Since My Firstborn is a March baby and Pretty Kitty is a May baby I usually get their pictures made together in April. More convenient. New Mama Georgia Girl would've had a cow if she had missed the photographic documentation of the new year by more than a week or so... the horror! Anyhoo... back to the photographer. I have used many photographers over the years.... professionals, Olan Mills (ick!), the Sears in Naples did a great job... no really, they did. Since moving back to Georgia almost 4 years ago I've kinda been all over the place... not really settling on a particular person or place until I found my new gal, Melissa Cotton, right here in my small town. She is sweet, easy to work with, reasonably priced and, most importantly, a great photographer.
Here's her super cute logo... click on it to be redirected to her site & her blog.
My Firstborn. Now 11 years old.
Pretty Kitty... now a big kitten who's 10.
Last month she took My Dreamgirl's 18 month picture. When they're new I do the kiddos at 6 weeks, 6, 9, 12 and 18 months. After the 2 year-old picture it spreads out to once a year. Dreamgirl was really 18 months old in February... actually turning it on the day my Mother died, February 20th. I was a little busy that day and finally got it done in May... at 20 months. But we'll never tell... will we? Here are her beautiful photographs from Melissa.