Sunday, February 28, 2010

Feast Day

So today was the Feast day for St.Katherine Drexel, the patron saint of our local church. They really did it up for the event. The Archbishop was there and he gave most of the service. The whole thing was outside in a local park and the entire church showed up.

Then we had free hot dogs, hamburgers and cake! Well sort of free. They asked for donations and you sort of felt like you had to contribute something.

Afterwards there was a big fair that everyone hung out at until 4 PM. Lots of people brought chairs and blankets and there was a DJ. For the kids we had bounce houses, a rock climbing wall and a bunch of games (sack cloth races, soccer shootouts, etc). The kids had a blast. Except A got sunburned so now I feel like a bad parent for not putting sun block on him.The sun kind of snuck up on us. In the morning we were all in coats but by 1 it was sunny and warmer. So I ended up carrying around a whole bag of coats by the afternoon. Some people left and came back in shorts!

Ana had her first cotton candy also! She voted a big yes on the American treat!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

One long random ramble of thoughts :-)

So it has been crazy time in our house lately. Seems like every child in A's school is having a birthday within the same 4 weeks. It must have been a busy month 9 months ago!

I was sitting at a birthday party for A and I realized that I have been going to these birthday parties for the last 10 years. And they are still the same! I am at least starting to get to know the parents that show up there. Mostly moms though. I keep hinting that maybe the Wife should go but so far it has been a no go. So I go and chat with them. You always end up talking to the same couple of people though since you spend most of your time chasing your kids and whoever those kids hang out with decides which parent you hang out with.

In our house we also had the great bed move. 10 years ago I purchase a set of Cargo bunkbeds that has probably been the best investment I have made. They are built like rocks and even three children have been unable to make a dent in them. This weekend was the great passing down of the bunk beds. The beds have gone from C1 to C2 and now to A.

To accomplish the great bed move was a closely orchestrated ordeal. First we had to disassemble RP's toddler day bed. Then the queen in A's room went to her room. Then the bunks went to A's room and finally C2 gets a new bed! All accomplished by your's truly with much groaning.

To celebrate we bought a bed tent for A. Sort of fun. It is basically a tent that sits on tops of the bed and lets the kid sleep inside. I found one with good reviews on Amazon for $70 and away we went!

I also included a couple of fun pictures above. Notice my little Catholic girl with her Aquinas shirt! Apple of her daddy's eye of course.

I have decided to buy a new camera. This whole year I used my camera phone. It is super convenient since I can snap pictures whenever I want. However, the quality is not so good. I bought a picture frame (15" from TigerDirect for only $99!) and it really shows the quality difference between my old 5MP camera and my wimpy 2MP camera phone. So this Saturday during the great Walmart run I will pick something up.

I did warn everyone in the title that this was just one long rambling post. I have been reading a lot lately and she really shows me what a real blogger is like. Not sure my scribbles count as blogging but at least if people want an RP update you get one!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Really funny

I read last night for the first time (thanks Expatress) and I think I spent about 2 hours reading all the historical posts I could take. I literally stopped because it hurt to laugh so much. She has exactly the same sense of humor I do (only she is way funnier). What is really funny though is that I think I could read the entire thing to either The Wife or C1 and they would both look at me like I was crazy and NOT laugh once. Then C2 and I could read it all over again and be rolling in the floor.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

And here comes Lent

So I have a bit of a confession to make. I like Lent (gasp) and Easter (gasp again!) and not because of the bunny. I never really spent much time thinking about the season as I was growing up but now as I get older it has become one of my favorite times of year. Done right Lent and Easter are really great times to think about your relationship with God.

It all kicks off with Ash Wednesday and the external debate of too wipe off the ashes or not. I always feel this internal struggle between the desire to wipe them off and not stick out in this increasingly secular world and to wear them all day (not proudly since there is nothing proud about the rite) with courage. I think somehow this is easier for a woman than a man. People seem to expect a woman to be religious but when a man is they seem to look at you suspiciously. Like you are going to drag them to the nearest fountain and try to baptize them or something.

Anyway, you spend 40 days with this low level awareness that you are participating in a really ancient rite surrounding Christ and the Church. Fish on Friday gets a little old but at least you feel like you are participating in your faith outside of the Sunday Mass.

I love the Easter vigil. It is probably my favorite services all year. I am really worried though that it will not be as great down here in South Florida as it was up in Tampa. In Tampa my church did it right. We had this huge bonfire (lit by Boy Scouts of course). We would all gather around the bonfire as it was lit and then process into the church. Then the whole vigil (not for the light hearted, it lasted 3 hours in my old church) would go on with the First Communion (all the little girls in their wedding dresses and the boys in their suits) and the first baptisms of new adult members. Then we would feast outside the church.

There is this great feeling of happiness at the end of the service that you just don't normally feel. It is truly a celebration that somehow even eclipses Christmas as the peak of the year. If you are not Catholic but you wanted to go to one really cool service that is the one I would recommend. Brace yourself though since it is a long one and tends to involve a lot of ups, downs and kneeling!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

If there were no women in the world

Today was my birthday. This year I am telling people I am 38 I think. I usually pick a somewhat random age to tell people I am each year. It has to be believable and of course not be my real age. I was once 41 for two years running!

I grew up in a household with a large number of children. So really birthdays were the one day you got 100% attention. It is funny because to me birthdays are hugely important. On the other hand, the Wife grew up with only one brother. She totally does not see why your birthday is so important. We had a huge argument early in our marriage because one year she tried to completely skip my birthday!

The pictures above were taken during the cake eating event that occurred in my house this evening. The Wife was upstairs at the time and would have been completely mortified to witness what was going on!

As we had fun eating cake I suddenly starting thinking about what the world would be like with only dads and no moms. I think that it would be a different place! There would:

1) Be no forks or spoons. Probably no plates either. Only bowls and a whole lot of slurping as we downed our food.

2) Be only 4 types of stores in the world. Hardware, Food, Clothes and everything else. And the stores would be called "The Hardware Store, The Food Store, The Clothes store and Walmart".

3) Inflatable furniture that you could clean with a hose

4) Be two types of shoes - white and black

5) Be no such things as clothes that matched. it would be perfectly acceptable to wear vibrant orange and red together.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A milestone in the family

With my sons I was used to them telling me that they loved me from a very young age. I am a pretty tactile person and there is a lot of hugging going on in the family too.

Last night my daughter gave me a huge hug and told me she loved me. As I sat there I realized that in the year and a half she has been with us that is the first time she has said that without any prompting. I think it is a huge milestone in the attachment process!

Winning over the RP was a slow process. She and I have always gotten along really well and I got a kiss from her early. I have always suspected that the ladies in the orphanage knew that the dad was the one they needed to win over. They really want the kids to be adopted and if you can hook the dad the wife is an easy follow. So when I was visiting the RP in the orphanage she suddenly called my Papa the second or third time we met. She also kissed me on the nose. I have always wondered if she was coached. Smart ladies if she was, I was hooked early!

But getting to a spontaneous hug and an "I love you"has taken a long time. When she first got home I got the sort of "stranger hug". After several months I started getting the deep hug and now finally we get "I love you".

So I guess we are making progress!

Friday, February 5, 2010

What a difference a family makes

When we met
her she was
quiet and scared.

She did not laugh much and she just sadly looked at us. This beautiful, abandoned child.

She had people to watch her but it
was just a job for them.

When we took her home she owned nothing. We
had to bring her clothes to come home in.

Now she laughs all the time.

She dances and hugs. Sings and runs.

When I pick her up
she tells everyone around us
"That's my daddy!"

I saw on the web someone who asked
"How can you love someone else's

I can't get the answer out of my head. "She is not someone else's
child. She is my child"

Everyone should have room to love just
one more child. A child who needs you.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Things no one told me about raising a daughter

So I thought I was a pro. Three sons under my belt, how different could a daughter be. Well, over a year into my adoption of a beautiful little girl and I have learned:

Shoes: I really thought the whole women and shoes thing was a learned trait. However, after watching my daughter I am convinced it is gender related. At 3 she not only loves shoes (she has like 8) but 98% of the time she can pick out shoes that match her success rate is more like 50%.

Potty: No matter how much a little girl wants to stand up and pee in the toilet like her brothers it is not going to work and it is quite messy.

Private Parts: It is one thing to have a boy proudly display his privates. However, when a little girl does it, daddy has to be peeled off the ceiling by a laughing mommy. If I could afford a therapist I would be there right now.

Fighting: Little girls don't get mad they get even. A was roughhousing with RP. She took it the whole time with a bit of whining. However, I will never forget the smile on her face when she slammed shut the door on A's hand five minutes later. I feel sorry for the man who gets on her bad side when she grows up!

Clothes: In the last 14 years none of my sons has danced around the house telling everyone "My clothes are pretty!". My daughter does it all the time.

Food: My sons eat the entire pizza and then start eying the box. My daughter eats a bit of 5 different foods, grows almost a foot but does not gain any weight.

Bedtime: With my sons, if they woke up they came straight out of their rooms. It never seemed to occur to them that they were going to get put back in there. My daughter will wake up and carefully sneak down to her big brother (C1). Sometimes it is hours before we realize she is in there watching him play Xbox.

Well that is about all I can think of right now. I am sure I will come up with 100 more as soon as I hit post!