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8 posts from August 2008

August 10, 2008

Plan B

Phone

Gwen and Maddy are learning their phone number.   We've turned it into a song that we chant like soldiers as we march from place to place:

Phone_number_chant

We picked daddy's cell phone number because it's the phone we're most likely to have with us when we're away from home.   Next, we devised a plan.  Actually two plans:

  • Plan A: Teach the girls to stay close to us and never get separated.
  • Plan B:  Have some way to find them when Plan A fails.

Evolution of Plan B: 

  • In the old days, we used various types of baby harnesses or "leashes" to tether our children to us.  We got plenty of nasty glances from people who witnessed this.  Especially when Gwen went through her phase of walking on all fours and barking.
  • We printed ID cards for each child and laminated them and put them in cute little ID card holders.  This was perfect until we discovered that we usually didn't remember to bring the tags with us when we left the house.  Even when we did remember, we usually couldn't find the darn things! 
  • Our next trick was to find a ballpoint pen and write our phone number on each child's arm.  This worked well right up until the moment they found water or mud to play in.  Since our kids are water/mud magnets, this plan usually failed.  Quickly. 
  • Teaching them to squawk 7600 would be pretty easy but we've not found a reasonable way to attach a transponder to a four year old.   I know there are  good, non-aviation, variations of this available and I'm seriously looking into it.  If you know of something, let me know!
  • Our most recent version of Plan B is simply (ha!) to teach them Daddy's phone number, advise them to stay put, and tell them to ask the very first lady they see to call us on her cell phone.  Why should they seek out a woman?  Easy:  Most registered sex offenders are not women and women almost always have a cell phone (physically with them, charged and usually decorated nicely).   The kids just turned four.  When they're older, we'll refine this final part a little bit more and tell them to seek out employees of the park/store, etc. 

We've been singing the phone numbers.
We've been writing the phone numbers.
We've finally started actually dialing them. 

It's been fun and -- so far, so good -- but both girls get so excited to finally get to push the previously forbidden telephphone buttons that they don't always get the numbers in the right sequence and end up calling someone else's daddy!  But we're making progress!

*The number I listed in our little song is a random number that rhymes with ours -- of course, it's not our actual number. :)

August 03, 2008

Weekend with Robin, Landon & Abby

Saturday - August 2, 2008

Robins_visit_day_oneRobin and I first met, on line, two years ago while we were waiting to adopt our 2nd daughters.  She is such a nice person and she's incredibly talented.  It was really exciting to finally coordinate our schedules so she could spend the whole weekend with us! (We hope the WHOLE family can come next time!)

Naturally, we had to go to Gilroy Gardens.  It's inexpensive and fun and it really is beautiful!  We never get tired to going there even though we seem to go every week during the Spring, Summer and early Fall.

We did the usual stuff:  The singing vegetable show, the goldfish, firetruck, race car and spinning drum rides.  The Balloon ride and Carousel.  As always, the kids loved it!  It's impossible to see everything in one day so we decided in advance to do it over two days.  Around 2:00 PM, we all headed back to our (matching) mini-vans, plugged my home address into our matching Garmin Navigation Systems, strapped our kids into our matching Britax Marathon car seats, and arrived back home just in time for nap.

While the kids slept, I showed Robin some FotoFusion and PaintShop Pro tips and tricks on the computer.  Then she pulled out her amazing collection of face paints and we woke up our kids and started painting!  (For the record, Robin did all the paining while I watched and tried to learn) 

Maddy wanted to be a tiger and was soooooo incredibly cute as she kept growling her precious "rooaaarrr" at us the whole time she was being painted.  She tried to look dangerous and worked really hard to stay in character and not crack a smile but it was so hard for her not to smile since she was absolutely THRILLED to be wearing this super fun face paint!  She couldn't help but grin just a little bit!  Here are our favorite pictures of our little Tigress:

Tiger_girl
Abby wanted her face painted too so her mommy painted the pretty butterfly over her eye.  Robin is so good at this and I watched in wide-eyed wonder as she transformed Maddy and Gwen.    I don't know if I'll ever be able to do this but I'm going to beef up my pitiful little paint supplies and give it a try one of these days.  Maybe even one day soon! 

Here are the kids playing in the backyard.  They started out a little bit shy but quickly came to be best friends.   
Robins_visit_day_one_page_two_2
When it was time for bed, Gwen and Abby wanted to sleep together so we tried that for an hour or two but all they did was talk and giggle and play and it wasn't looking like sleep was going to be on their agenda.  At about 10:00 PM, we split them up and they finally drifted off to sleep.

We have another busy day planned for tomorrow!

Sunday - August 3, 2008

Robins_visit_day_two

The first words out of Gwen's mouth this morning was "Where's my baby Abby?"  While Maddy got her face repainted (as a tiger again), Gwen sat with Abby patiently coloring.  This is very uncharacteristic of Gwen in so many ways!  First of all, she's not a "nurturer" and she's not really into pretending to be a mommy and she doesn't usually have the patience to sit and color.  But this morning, she was all of those things -- to Abby.

Robin painted each of the kids while I packed snacks and loaded the van for another day at Gilroy Gardens.  I think Madeline would be happy to have tiger stripes on her face every single day and Robin makes it look so easy!  She painted Maddy then Landon then Abby (see picture below).  Gwen was the only hold-out and she NEVER wants her face painted but today she made an exception and let me paint some swirlies on her cheek.  She was so pretty!

But just look at Abigail (below)!   This little sweetie is the most precious child I've ever met!  She's teeny tiny but incredibly independent.  I watched her do things I never thought a child her age could do and she was quick to flash me a smile that melted my heart.  After just two days with Abigail Grace, I have to confess that I'm in love with her and I'm not alone:  Gwen spent the whole day with Abby and never let her out of her sight.  She rode every ride with her and probably would have gone home with her if we'd let her!  Tonight, after everyone left, Gwen wanted me to write Abby's name on her Magna-Doodle (she sleeps with one).    I wrote "Abby" and Gwen touched the letters with her finger then looked up at me and said "I love Abby."    I believe her because that little sweet puppy-girl is incredibly easy to love! 

Here are some pics of the kids today:

Robins_visit_day_two_page_two

Robin, we're thrilled that you took time to hang out with us this weekend!  Thank you so much!  We're all looking forward to another visit real soon!

August 01, 2008

More Gilroy Gardens fun

Lisa_rose_and_marieEveryone who reads this blog even sporadically knows that Gilroy Gardens is one of our favorite places to go -- and we go there often.  This time, it was especially fun because we met up with a bunch of our China adoption friends:  Jamie & Casey, Jeanine and Brynn, Becky & Emma, Lisa & Cameron & Grace, Mary-Mia & Rose & Marie, and Friends In Waiting: Lisa and Kayce.

This was our first time meeting Lisa even though we've followed her Tate-R-Bug blog for a while.  One of the very best things about blogs is the ability to get to know some really wonderful people and actually meet some of them in real life!   I consider myself richly blessed to have friends such as these.   

More fun at (yep, you guessed it!) Gilroy Gardens again tomorrow when Robin comes to visit for the weekend!

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