Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Say What?

A Mars/Venus Marital Moment:

Setting: Early morning, telephone conversation

HIM: You seem stressed, anything bothering you?

Crabby PMS-ing HER: Yes. I need begin our school day, but there are so many things that are not picked up I can't even find a peaceful space to do it.

HIM: Oh.

HER: I really need people to start stepping up around here on a regular basis.

HIM: I'm trying. Did you see that I took the garbage and recycling out last night without being reminded?

HER: (Trying valiently to bite that smartass reply between her teeth) Yes. MMMMMM....grrrrr....thank you.

HIM: If you just let me know what to do, I will do it.

HER: I just want things put back where they belong. If you find yourself stepping over a tie on the kitchen floor that fell off the counter because it never made it upstairs to the closet, pick it up and put it in the closet! If you find yourself stepping over Hot Wheels, call Atticus in to pick them up.

HIM: Yes dear.

HER: (Terribly annoyed that her husband is being so darn appeasing. Why does she always have to be the cranky one?) Thanks.

End Conversation

Setting: Later that evening, after the children are in bed and HER has spent 25 minutes picking up toys, ice cream dishes and books in the family room, while HIM sits on the couch scratching HIMself ala Ed Bundy.


HIM: (Smiling) Our little Mars/Venus moment this morning was funny. Boy were we having a hard time communicating. When I asked you what to do, and you told me to pick up and put away things, all I could think was, How do you know that I'm not doing it? If it's put away, you can't see it out to know that I put it away.

HER: You could write down a list. Honestly, do you really need verbal credit for things you put away?

HIM: No, but I was just frustrated that you wouldn't realize if we picked up anyway.

HER: So you pick things up? Really.

HIM: Why yes. While you were at Church, the kids and I picked up the family room.

HER: Really. Did you not just watch me pick up in there for 25 minutes? The room was a mess.

HIM: Yes, but we did pick up.

HER: What did you pick up?

HIM: We put some toys back where they belong. Atticus picked up the snowflake clings that fell off the window and put them back on.

HIM & HER look at the snowflake clings scattered on the floor.

HIM: Well, he did put them back on. They just don't stick. But you see, we picked up, and here you think that we didn't.

HER: Well, it's kind of hard to think that it was picked up when I spent 25 minutes doing so.

HIM: See? You just need to ask specifics. It doesn't do us any good to pick up because you won't know.

HER: Well, no. You all just need to pick up things to the point where it'd be impossible for me not to notice.

HIM: Unable to speak, for he's banging his head against the wall.

Video From Haiti

Hot off the presses (or whatever lingo videographers use; I have a writing degree, so it's all I know)! Sara, still in Haiti, sent us two quick little videos of our boys. I am so amazed by this, because I couldn't even figure out a way to call home from Haiti, let alone upload video and send it over email. Thank you, Sara!

So, without further adieu: Our Phillipe Merisier (He's called Philippe at the O, so that's why you hear a woman repeatedly singing out "Philippe," to him).



And Joel, sitting on Sara's lap and sharing the treats we gave him with all of his friends:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Happy Dance!!!

This news has been so long coming, and I have daydreamed many a day about writing this, and I honestly feel a bit shaky as I type it:

We are OUT of IBESR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our dearest Sara, the Haitian program manager for our agency CCI, emailed me this glorious news while in Haiti this afternoon. Marie, PAC's director, picked up our file earlier in the afternoon. Coming directly from Sara, we know the news could not be any more verified. Signed, sealed, delivered, OUT.

We had the great honor and joy of meeting Sara while driving through St. Petersburg. We met up at a Cracker Barrel, where I had the delight of adoption chatting with Sara, and Cliff had the delight of chasing Paloma, who had no intention of sitting at a table, through the Cracker Barrel gift shop. Sara is an amazing Christian woman with a true heart for helping children and Haiti.



Next, our files move onto Parquet/Courts. Upon exit, we will be issued the boys' adoption decrees. They will legally be ours. But in reality, not even close.

After Parquet/Courts, MOI. From there, passports and visas. Then HOME.

Parquet is a scary place to be right now. It seems to be the black hole of Haitian adoptions. Please, we beg for any prayers and good thoughts to get us through this stage quickly.

MOI is still slow, running about 4 months, but the files do get signed out. The kids do come home.

And we are ready. Ready for them to come home.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Grief

Grief.

Unfortunately, none of us are strangers to this, myself included. No matter the shiny, happy faces we as prideful people put on. The past few months have been very difficult for me on a personal level, for reasons I haven’t disclosed. Solo grief brings a dreadful weary.

Today, after my baby-is-down-for-a-nap-so-I'm-going-to-do-a-quick-blog-check, grief found me again. But, today, for this particular situation, I am grieving publicly.

I have an emotional vulnerability of sorts, Pain, suffering of any kind, by people I do not even know, I tend to carry with me. I shy away from watching the news and reading the paper because of it.

So to jump into a country like Haiti is especially tough for me. The pain, the suffering, seem insurmountable. Jumping into Haiti is sending Grief an engraved invitation to reside on the doorstep of your soul.

Grief unearths beauty. Beauty like the incredible American family who open their home and hearts to little children from Haiti with debilitating medical conditions—the most fragile of the fragile. Beauty like the family that took in two unrelated baby girls, each with their own major medical concerns.

This family advocated for these girls. They took them to countless doctors, appointments. They waited with that sick anxious feeling while the girls were in surgeries. They endured sleepless nights, weary heads, aching hearts. They smiled, snuggled, LOVED these girls.

The girls became healthy, whole. And in just a few months, they were returned to their parents in Haiti. Healthy, whole. Shining, these girls represented Hope and Opportunity in a country where so little of both exist

Tragically, yesterday, one of those little girls died. Suddenly. Unexpectedly. In a hospital without adequate supplies. Had she been here, had she been any one of our children, she would have likely lived.

Through this family’s blog, I spent the past months watching her development, saying little prayers as I read about her medical concerns. I cried at the beauty that there are people so kind, so good, that they would love a child, nurse a child to health, and selflessly return them to their parents. I cried because this baby’s parents loved her SO much that they put their faith and trust in complete strangers to take their baby far away to another country. And now this baby girl is gone. And I feel grief. Even though I am a Christian, and I know that this baby girl is in her eternal home with our King of Kings, there is undeniable grief.

With this grief, comes an awareness, a thankfulness, for what we have here. If my children fall and are injured, chances are they will go to a hospital and be cured. I trust that the hospital will have the supplies and staff to help. I realize that this, sadly, this is not always the case, but it certainly is the norm.

After my return from Haiti, I struggled with the amount of excess in this country. In my own home. For months, I carried an internal dialogue about why we have so MUCH, and others have so little. I have prayed on this. For myself, I feel that the answer is that we are not given so much so that we can live in the lap of obscene luxury (and while I’m not a Trump, compared to Haiti, obscene luxury is exactly what I live in), but that we are given so much so that we, in turn, can give so much, and do so much.

Our potential for the good we can do is incredible—just look at our resources alone! When, along this road, did it become okay for this excess? For us to turn our backs on those in need? For us to feel that every want is a need, and for us to feel terrible injustice if we are not able to have every material whim.

The injustice is that there are loving parents who, despite their best efforts, cannot get the most basic of care for their children. The injustice is that so very few care. The injustice is that so many more will care only when it happens to them in our own country.

With grief, comes blessing. The blessing of being thankful for what we have. The blessing of being thankful for what is to come. In my grief for this baby girl and the two families who loved her so very much, I am praying for the blessing of realizing the changes I need to make and the good that I can do with the enormity of what I have been given.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Why I Love Blogging

I Heart Blogging. Someone should make a bumper sticker.

I admit, I could easily spend an hour (or three) each evening, reviewing my blogging friend's blogs, clicking on their links, and the links of those links, and so on.

Through blogging, I have been exposed to new thoughts and ideas that would have *never* occurred to me. Strokes of both of the genius variety and the don't-try-this-at-home variety. I greatly admire the adopting parents who share their struggles and triumphs, and through them I am developing strength and wisdom while I navigate our own adoption rollercoaster. And I try to share mine, both as a chronicle for my own Haitian sons to read someday when they are older, and as a hope that perhaps our experience will inspire someday else to adopt themselves. I read about people who, although I have never met, I care about. Most in the adoption/homeschool/large family blog rings that I most often frequent are very caring people. Ask for suggestions, and they'll offer their ideas. Ask for prayers, and they'll pray for you. Hearts fill a bit deeper, eyes open a bit wider.

One of these awesome adoption/blogging friends is Aves, of Call of the Phoebe blog. She has an incredible blog, and each day my blog receives numerous hits from her blog (I'm talking like 33% of my returning hits come from her blog!). As you may have guessed, or may know from being a reader of her blog, Aves is a true animal lover and took the time to write the most awesome response to my opossum-woes post:

"As you know I am an animal fanatic, of all kinds. Plus I have cared for opossums (many of them) when I was rehabbing wildlife. So I am hoping by sharing a little bit of facts about opossums with you, you may actually start liking them.

Ok, hear me out...Hehe

1. Opossums are not rodents therefore not related to rats.

2. Opossums are the only North American Marsupial, meaning the only mammal in North America that raises their young in a pouch.

3. Opossums are nomadic, meaning that this opossum is probably not the same one from this summer.

4. He is so big because a. he is probably a male, and 2. He needs to fatten up to survive the winter.

5. Opossums DO NOT carry or transmit rabies and really is of no threat to your children or your dog.

6. Winters are VERY hard on them because of their bare ears and tails. They experience alot of frostbite and then injuries from dog attacks.

7. Opossums may not be the prettiest, but then again neither am I, and I sure hope people don't want to hurt me just because I may not be pleasant to look at.

Anyway, if none of that did the trick, maybe you can turn him into a lesson about marsupials and you observwe one in its natural environemnt..your backyard, at least for a few days, and then he will move on.


Enjoy!!!

Aves

p.s. Getting a second dog is also a great idea. LOL"

How cool is that comment? Talk about eyes opening! I have to admit, despite my intense discomfort around opossums, this comment made my heart soften a bit towards these animals. The thought of any poor little creature suffering from the cold or frostbite makes me sad (yes, I'm very sensitive, probably overly so). And that they carry their own little babies around in a pouch. And the knowledge that they don't transmit rabies (I was very misinformed on that one), so the threat subsides there as well.

Call me crazy, but after reading this response, I think I may actually be feeling a sort of motherly kinship with this little (okay, huge) guy. Like out of all the backyards on our block, mine feels friendly and cozy enough for him to call it home for the time being (yes, I realize that I'm totally personifying an opossum here). And I like the idea of teaching my children more about these creatures, especially since we have one right here in the yard (no, we will not go looking for him, lol!).

So thank you, Aves, for taking the time to write such a great response. It definitely has made an impact for the better.

And as for your p.s., stay tuned! We may have some news to post in the days ahead. . .

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Are you kidding me?

Paloma has been awakening in the 1 am hour every night since we returned from vacation. I, being the tired mama, just haul her into bed with us. This one behavior is the last remaining trace of our family vacation, when this little one became used to sleeping curled next to a warm body in a big bed.

So as she does every morning, Paloma will holler out, "Daddy! (pause) Daddy! Juice!" Of course, Cliff will jump to that task in a heartbeat, hence my nickname for him, "Juiceboy." But alas, this is Man Day, Daddy isn't home, so Mommy takes the role by default.

As I stand up from bed, through my sheer bedroom drapes, I see something moving about the backyard.

Huh.

Cliff's been gone well over an hour by this point. Surely, if Ernie had been left outside all this time, in the cold, I would have heard his loud, continual barks of protest.

Putting on my glasses, I pull back the drapes for a better look.

Crap.

The opossum is back. A big, fat, roly poly opossum. So big I question whether it could possible be the same creature who gave me so much distress earlier in the year. This opossum is as big, if not bigger, than our quite overweight beagle. This isn't just a opossum.

This is a mutant opossum.

In horror, I watch the mutant waddle through my lawn, along the perimeter of my garden fence, back to our yard fence. He waddled along the fenceline towards the far southeast corner of our yard. Where we have the large plastic kid's toys stored. Where my bedroom window vantage point fails.

I race down the hallway, fly into Paloma's vacant room and throw open the roller shade. I anxiously scan that corner of the yard, but see nothing due to the large fir tree and huge obnoxious soccer nets blocking my view.

Trying to shake off my heebie jeebies, I take our staircase in a single bound (or ten, but in a time of crisis, who's counting?). I soar into the family room and find Ernie. Asleep on the couch.

"Opossum, Ernie! Opossum, boy!" I holler. "Go get it! Kill! Go get him, boy" I whoop.

After a moment, he opens his eyes to see what the commotion is about.

A slow three minutes later, I get my tired, achy 3-legged dog off the couch and onto the deck. He sniffs the air. Surely he'll pick up the scent and go crazy.

He doesn't. He hobbles over to the deck's side, hops off, does his business and is right back at the patio door. He stares at me, staring at him incredulously. Gives a little bark, letting me know to get it in gear, open the door and let him in.

My dog failed me. My faithful, opossum chasing beagle has lost his edge. I'm immediately reminded of Garfield, lying lazily in his bed while his little mouse friend walks by him, all right in front of Jon.

My dog made a deal with the devil, and that devil's name is Mutant Opossum. They're in cohorts together.

Sadly, I let in the traitorous beast, back to his warm, comfy spot on the couch. I kick myself for choosing to go to Y yesterday afternoon over the Humane Society. Just yesterday my friend had called to rave about her new dog, and urged me to go and see all the wonderful dogs there, fresh from an overfull Kentucky shelter.

No, no, I thought. I was feeling flabby and tired and couldn't handle the thought of picking up a second dog's doodoo. Ernie, for a beagle, doodoos enough for 2 dogs.

But today I'm going back. I'm gonna find me an opossum chasing dog. What's a little extra poop? Surely if they're from Kentucky, they must be experienced opossum chasers, right?

So I'm stuck in my family room, constantly looking into the backyard for a glimpse of the mutant opossum. So big that I cannot fathom how he can fit under our deck, because Ernie is certainly too big to squeeze under it.

I'm maturing in my opossum journey. No longer am I calling Cliff in hysterics. Oh no. No longer will my hysterical rants be fodder for whatever establishment he is in at the time. I shall conduct myself with graceful dignity, saving my hysterics for the privacy of our own four walls.

Our anniversary is next week, and this year Cliff just might get that one thing that he's always wanted but that I swore we would never need in our house. That's right. An extra, extra large live humane animal trap. (Shame on you if you thought I was going to say the g-word!).

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Adoption Prayer Request

Exciting news on the adoption front!


(Thanks to Amanda for these most recent photos!)

First and foremost, my friend and file-buddy, Laura B., is out of IBESR! Whoohooo! She is adopting a baby girl, and I am so thrilled for her! Our files went in on June 15th, and she is the first of our group of 4 families to be signed out.

We have received word that our IBESR files are in need of just one more signature, and that our orphanage director is planning for them to be signed out next week!!! Of course, Haiti is Haiti, and so often "next week" turns into "next month," but with Laura's file being signed out and Marie checking continually, we know that our release isn't far away.

We still have a loooong road ahead of us. From IBESR, our files go to Parquet/Courts, which unfortunately is not releasing files on a regular basis due to a tyrant-like director, so we have not idea how long we'll be in there. We know of files getting out in 6 weeks, and others from April which have not yet been signed out. After Parquet, we move onto MOI, which is taking roughly 4 months, although there is great hope that it will be a shorter wait by the time our file arrives. From there we go to passports and visas, and then we bring our boys HOME!

At this time, we are asking for anyone's prayers, good thoughts, best wishes that our files and those of the 2 other families receive their final signature and are released next week.

Naptime

I have officially overdone it.

And today, unapologetically, I am taking a nap.

The commotion since we have returned home has finally caught up with me. A wonderful party, hosting dinner for good friends, unpacking, laundry, homeschool, church, sleepovers. One would think that would be enough. But oh no, Superwoman here had to go and do three additional things, two of which were really stupid.

Stupid Thing #1: Attended a kickboxing class after weeks of not hitting the Y. With a hardnose teacher. Who walks around the class and watches what you're doing, so you're always doing everything (or at least I, the one with the fear of disappointing people, do). Note to self: best to return to working out with a slow jog around the track.

Stupid Thing #2: Moved furniture. The "rearrangement" bug bit on Monday night, and bit me hard. After the unpacking, my dining table and desk with piled to the limit with unopened mail, homeschool work, projects, books, etc. Ever since we have moved into our house, the dining room has been a (very unorganized) thorn in my side. I could no longer take it, and suddenly, inspiration struck me on how to rework my furniture without changing my living room furniture arrangement (which I love and works perfectly and will never change). Plus, Cliff was out of town for work. Generally, in our relationship, Cliff is always the optimist, I am the forever pessimist. Except when it comes to two things: one, packing a car for a trip, and two, rearranging furniture. In those situations, I believe all sorts of magic can be done, while Cliff fails to see potential in an open space (love you, honey!). So, with the mister gone, I had a license to rearrange at will.

Having always been such a cluttered disaster, I have no before photos of the dining room, except this one. So, here is the dining room this past December before while we were taking down the chair rail. Gotta love that shade of seafoam!


Here it is now:


Nothing fancy, but for now it suits me well: clean, simple and uncluttered. However, given the way my shoulder and wrist now feel, I question the wisdom in my moving my quite heavy and bulky china cabinet and buffet from one wall to the other:


On the right wall is my mother's hope chest, adorned with family photos and one very special treasure, my grandfather's initialed briefcase:


Cliff and I love all things old, and so it is very important to us to have pieces of furniture in our rooms with a history. My desk is my most treasured possession. My father's law library desk that he purchased at auction (it was a library table) during his first year in law school. While I did not like housing it in my dining room (small room, big desk), I hated the thought of storing it in the basement, as we had done in our Milwaukee home. Suddenly, I realized that in my childhood home, my mother had her grandmother's wicker desk in the spot just to the left of the front door in the living room. Having the same setup and huge open space, I took the chance on lugging the heavy beast from the dining room to the living room. I am so pleased that I did!



The typewriter on the desk is an antique one that I purchased as a gift for Cliff at an estate sale in the Bayside neighborhood of Milwaukee. Cliff is a typewriter aficionado, and he was so excited to come home and see it in our living room. As an added bonus for me, its presence helps control the clutter factor, since there isn't much room for anything else.

Since my rearranging spree and kickboxing class, I have been quite stiff and sore. All by fault of my own stupidity, mind you. But this condition seemed to invite the situation I found myself in yesterday.

In the morning, we had a full face cord of wood delivered for our winter fires. The delivery was placed in the driveway, and I had planned on Cliff moving it into the garage that night. But wouldn't you know it, 4 pm comes, Cliff is 2 hours from home, and calls me panicked. The weather radio station he was listening to indicated heavy rain was due to arrive shortly in Green Bay. The wood needed to be moved into the garage before it was soaked.

So, Atticus and I went out and hauled this:


from the driveway into the garage.

And did it rain?
Nope.

So here I am, off to drag my achy, tired, overdone body to naptime. Thank goodness my two little ones will still nap, and my oldest is quite content to curl up in bed with a good book. Happy slumbers!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

BFF




Atticus' time left with his best buddy, Jack Swatter, is dwindling quickly before their move, so tonight they are having a sleepover party here at our house. The boys are such a riot together; at times behaving as rambunctious 5-year olds do, while at other times channeling 88-year old grannies (they are notoriously poky and discuss even the most minute of details).

Atticus spent much of our vacation lamenting that once Jackson moves to Canada, he will have NO friends. Of course, this isn't true, but he certainly will miss his first best buddy.

As I am typing this in our basement, I can hear the boys thudding about in Atticus' bedroom, 2 floors up. Donning pajamas and white Power Ranger Gloves, they are performing brain surgery on a stuffed shark. Atticus is obsessed with the brain, as evidenced by the "posters" he has chosen to decorate his door:



Some kids put up High School Musical and kitten posters (Hatfield), others settle for Spidey. My kid? Photocopies of the brain that he asked the pediatrician for during his 5-year checkup (he initially told her that he wanted to see a brain; while disappointed that she didn't whip a real one out right there and then, he settled for the pictures from her anatomy reference book).

Jack's comment upon seeing his door: "That's the coolest door ever!"

What a friend Atticus has in Jack. We'll miss you, buddy!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Saying Good-Bye to Dear Friends

Saturday was a bittersweet night for us, as we went to a going away party for our dear friends, Michelle and Shawn of the Swat Team. They are relocating to Canada so that Shawn can help take over the family business. We are going to miss our friends terribly; their son Jack and Atticus are best buddies, and we have betrothed our youngest duo, whom Mel so appropriately dubbed, "Wyloma."

Some tears were shed at the party, but as with our group of friends, it was mostly nonstop laughter. In a move unusual for me, I remembered both to bring my camera and have Cliff take photos! Shelly has been known to snatch away digital cameras to delete unflattering shots of herself (yes, she did this to mine one night at dinner, but as Michelle B. said, I wouldn't want to take her on, so I just let her delete away, lol!). So, I made certain that Cliff immediately hid our camera, and now I have ALL the photos from the evening, both the good and the bad (evil cackle!).

Inspired by Miss Shelly, I've created a photo slide show to honor my dear friend (and yes, my dear, I did keep the really bads one out):


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Wally World



Our trip included a two-day tour of Disney's Magic Kingdom. All in all, it was successful and we had a very good time (even my old cynical self did).

Here are my official Frozen Chamorro Disney Tips:

Arriving at Disney:

When you arrive at Disney, you get to pay $11.00 for parking. If you give the guy a $5.00 bill and six dollar bills, he will cheerfully say to you, "Let me just make sure you didn't give me too much money." This is Disney-speak for: "Let me make sure you're not trying to jack me." Disney has the art of BS down to a science.

Disney Do's:

1. Do go in November. 95% of the rides were walk-on ready. The longest wait we had was 14 minutes.

2. Do bring in juice boxes and water bottles. Skip the snacks; your water bottles will crush the crackers you brought, and truthfully, your kids will want Disney snacks anyways. But at least this way you won't pay $3.00 for a bottle of water.

3. Do some research. In fact, do a lot of research. The park is so big and it's nice to go with some sense of direction and some good advice.

4. Do pay $6.95 for a cute autograph book if you don't have the forsight to bring one (see #3). Actually getting autographs is about the only FREE thing you get in Disney. And it's really fun. I was shocked at how excited I got over finding another character to sign our book; so excited in fact that I'm right there between my kids in our character photos.

5. Before you go to Disney, go to one of the two Character Wareshouses at Orlando outlet malls. It's Disney's dumping ground for stuff that didn't sell fast enough; it's good stuff, they just keep pushing it out at such a rate that they need shelf space. It is so worth it. Those huge fancy (tacky) Disney snow globes (dust collectors) which sell for about $75 in park go for $24 in the outlet. People were buying up like 4 at a time. Mouseketeer ears were at least 50% off.

6. Do keep your eye out for the little things. Little things to make you smile are around every corner.


7. Do realize that it is entirely possibly to eat your way around Disney World and blow your budget in a jiffy, especially with $7.00 smoked turkey legs at every corner.

8. Do be prepared to see hundreds of small girls traipsing around in fancy princess dresses which cost more than your wedding dress, hair slicked up with gobs of glitter hairspray, wearing more makeup than Jon Benet. Why mothers think this is cute (or worth paying $$$$ for) is beyond me. It gave us the creeps.

Disney No-No's

1. Don't expect your group to want to follow any sort of touring plan. Even if you do copious research and pay money to a website which allows you to print out Brilliant touring plans for two-days in the Magic Kingdom. Even if you review the plans with your spouse and make a pact to work as a team and stick to the plan. Your group will arrive at Disney and your spouse is certain to say, "Hey, how about finding Pirates of the Caribbean first?" If your first thought is to stomp your feet and shout, "Are you stupid?!? Pirates is Stop #3 on Day #2! See the plan!" it is best to keep it a thought.

2. Disney doesn't serve alcohol, so don't bother wasting your time trying to find it. Especially if you ignore Don't #1 and need a drink to get over the letdown of your group chucking your Type A Dream Plan.

3. Don't expect all of your kids to like the same things (see Atticus' face). Take turns hitting attractions so that you only have to listen to one child complain at a time.


4. Don't expect all Disney staff to be nice. We were amazed by the number of grumpy castmates.

5. If you are the pack leader, don't lose the park map. Your group will lose all gratitude of the amount of work you have tirelessly done and will turn on you in an instant.

Disney Daze

18 hours of Disney touring, most of which is spent carrying a 2-year old who refuses the stroller, will induce a budget-oriented, somewhat fashion-conscious 32-year old woman into thinking that purchasing matching Goofy sweatshirts for the ENTIRE family is a fabulously adorable idea. (Fortunately, this scenario did not come to fruition due to el cheap-o skate-o husband for whom paramedics had to be summoned due to his price tag-induced faint).

The FINAL Advice:

Do let yourself have fun. Look at Disney through your kids' eyes. While some of it is just too over-the-top commercial, some things are breathtakingly wondrous.




Home Sweet Home

We survived.

Last night I was sooooooo blissed out at being back home. Then our alarm went off at 5:00 a.m., Cliff went off to a pharma convention where he will be treated to gourmet breakfast and lunch, and I was greeted by this site:




Funny how that feeling of bliss just up and disappeared like (*snap*) that!