Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving and an Early Parade

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving & spent it with my sister & her husband & her husband's extended family. Lots of yummy food. Lots of yummy desserts too.
On Friday, my sister, her mother in law, & I got up early to hit the BLACK FRIDAY sales. It was the first time I had ever wandered out for big early morning shopping.

Fortunately, while I had seen some items I would like to get, only Pam had one item on her might be hard to find, get in line early list. We started at Best B*y, but soon found out from the sales clerk that the one item we were hoping to get there, was already out of tickets (we later went back to the same store & found a display case with 100s of them). So we headed next door to join the TRU line. That was probably the most chaotic store we visited all day. And, even at that we were in & out within an hour (I accidentally stumbled onto a hidden checkout counter, so instead of standing in the line that snaked around the store, we only had to wait 2-3 people to check out..SCORE!) & by that time a friend of Pam's had joined us.

We then went over to the store with Pam's big ticket item. We got there an hr before the store opened & were a comfortable #8 in line.

From there we walked over to Chick-***-A, which was giving away free chicken biscuits. Apparently not too many people were aware of this, as we basically had the place to ourselves...but that was a very YUMMY & FREE stop, thanks to Pam who had scoped that out earlier in the week.

We then hit half a dozen more stores & were home about 12:30. My brother in law watched all 5 kids for us. What a guy!! I am really counting my pennies these days, so it was nice to get a deal on some items. Most of all, it was nice to just get out sans kids & get it done. I'm nearly finished now.

Last weekend Lindsi marched in a parade with her dance studio. She has a big parade next weekend. Emma was staying part of the weekend with us. When the boys came on Sun, we took all the kids to the here are some photos from that....

Emma & Jami, bundled up & waiting for the little parade. The big parade is next weekend. This one is comprised of just walkers...mostly scout troops, baton twirlers, & dancers.

Lindsi's dance studio marched / danced to FROSTY THE SNOWMAN & ended up winning first place. They were cute!

Jami at the park.......

Lindsi & cousin Gavin...our two 6 yr olds....=)

Monday, November 24, 2008

November Happenings

Last weekend our church hosted their annual Block Party. Lots of fun for the kids...

Lindsi getting her arm painting & Tattoos......

The girls with PATCH. We see this clown group at just about any outdoor event we go to in our area. They are BUSY. Patch always does the balloons. He is losing his hearing & uses some sign language. He & Lindsi have a special bond & enjoy seeing each other throughout the year. He used to be a NY firefighter.

Jami LOVED the bike obstacle course. I think she rode the bike 6 different times. Shocked me, because she barely rides her trike. I think she will just by pass the trike now, for a BIG bike. After her second time around, she was doing amazingly well.

Friday, November 14, 2008

In The Blink of an Eye

Both of my girls take dance class & we end up over at the studio 3 evenings a week right now. The studio we use has 2 store fronts on the side of a strip mall. They are sandwiched between a tanning salon & a hair salon. On the corner is a pizza place, & on the other side is a real estate office & a vacant store front. There is one row of parking on that side of the strip mall. It's where we usually park, but admittedly, that particular part of the lot is not very busy & has very little traffic.

Last night we were leaving dance at about it was already dark. I pointed out the full moon to the girls. Lindsi was excitedly talking about the parade she will be dancing in coming up in 2 weeks. We had stayed a little past dance class so she could have an outfit fitting.

In usual mom fashion, I had one arm full of stuff, I was holding Jami by the hand & Lindsi was walking on the other side of her as we headed over to our car. It's about 50 ft from the curb to our car.

We were about 15 ft off the curb when a young guy, in his jacked up pick up trk turned into that part of the lot & decided to use it as his very own drag strip. In one motion, he turned the corner & gunned his trk with no regard for anything, but for how quickly he could make his trk get to the other end of the strip.

I stopped & had to let go of Jami in order to grab Lindsi & pull her back. He never saw us until he was nearly on top of us. At that point, I was just thinking "What an idiot"......& I gave him a little lecture about slowing down in parking lots.

That would have probably been the end of it all, except this kid was visibly shaken. He was very upset. I thought, Good! You need to be upset. Wake Up call, no harm done...this time. Make it the last time. He sat there while I put my kids in the car & then apologized again & again.

I was fine (well, a bit annoyed with the kid) until I started driving home. Then I started to think about all of the what ifs....what if I hadn't been able to reach Lindsi. It wasn't even a deaf thing, it was an animated 6 yr old talking excitedly about a parade. She wasn't paying attention. That could happen to anyone. We had stopped & looked both ways before we stepped off the curb. It's that assumption of safety, you do what you've been taught & it should be OK from there.

It was a close call. It was dark. Lindsi was in dark clothes. I know the kid did not see us until it would have beeen too late. I can make myself crazy struggling with the What Ifs.......

I guess the lessons learned is even when it looks safe, there could be trouble right around the corner...and I'm pretty certain there is one less teenage boy speeding through parking lots in his jacked up trk today.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Money Flying Out Of The Wallet......

Gas is cheaper here, $1.99/gal vs $4.00/gal just a few short months ago AND I still can't keep any money in my wallet.

Of course, now that I can afford gas, it's the other things taking my cash.

In our family, the saying is that good or bad, things come in 3's....(I wonder though, if you get to 4, are you starting all over again?) So, Nov is not even half over & we've had some MAJOR money drains happening in our household.

Lindsi's CI insurance was due on Nov 1. That's an expected bill, but, it is still about $700...ouch....3 days later (not Even enough time for them to CASH the check), her angled battery pack cracked. This is the part that goes behind the ear. She uses this particular one all of the time because it works with her FM at school (which isn't currently working, but that is another story). So, after talking to the insurance company, which would cover it, but take away from our chance to use a future claim on the REALLY EXPENSIVE (processor) part of her CI, I decided to suck it up & buy a new angled battery pack. $265.......That would have been ok....BUT...

3 days later, my car wouldn't start. Looked like the starter was shot...OH No!! How much do they cost?? Ended up being a bad battery...Oh THANK YOU!!!!!

Then my computer was really not running well. I work from home, on my computer, so I absolutely NEED a working computer. Hard drive crash.......Sigh.....
So, now I have a newer refurb computer. After the holidays, I'll have the old one repaired & the girls can use it for their games.

However, while the money was flying out of my wallet, the Toothfairy made 2 visits to our house. Lindsi loses her teeth in pairs. In Feb she lost her 1st & 2nd tooth & last week she lost the next 2 bottom teeth within 24 hrs of each other. Her top 2 teeth are loose, so they'll be coming out together around Christmas maybe. I hope that means they'll come in straight. So far, so good with the teeth.

And just because I have to put a cute one of Jami in is Jami & one of her favorite ASL signs.....can you guess what it is


Monday, November 3, 2008

Treats, Pumpkins, & Costumes...Oh My!

Some favorite photos from the past week.

Both girls brought treats into their respective classes. Jami got to decorate tiny cupcakes & Lindsi got larger ones

Jami with her treats....

Lindsi with her treats......

Grandpa helped carve the pumpkins this year.....(the girls with Grandma & Grandpa)

A job well done!

Jami as Tinker Bell

Jami, Emma, & Lindsi waiting to go trick or treating (with either the Gavin or Ian Star Ways clone in the background...I'm not sure which). Don't Lindsi's legs look
L O N G in this picture??

Sunday, November 2, 2008

*UPDATED* Going Solo??

I am so silly.....

I RSVP'd for the birthday party & asked the mom to call me, so I'd have an idea what the birthday party would be like. She didn't. So, I pawned off Jami on my parents for the afternoon & Lindsi & I set out. I was of the mind that I was going to stay, since most everyone I talked to said, if it were me, I'd stay.

(Side note...growing up, I don't remember EVER going to a birthday party or BEING at a birthday party where parents stayed, starting around age 5. Really underscores the different world we live in today).

So, we get there & it is like Family Fest in the backyard. Birthday Invitees & siblings are running around the yard, jumping on the trampoline & bobbing for apples. The moms are all gathered together at a pool side table eating fresh shrimp & other yummy appetizers, drinking diet cokes.

I have to admit, I'm in Culture Shock this year with Lindsi's class. Last year, for kindergarten, we had a great experience. The teacher was kind, loving, & encouraging. But, the class was very easy academically. The teacher did not encourage volunteers, because most of the students had parents who could not or would not volunteer & she did not think it fair if the same two or three parents showed up for everything. Very low socio economic class & parental involvement.

This year, Lindsi vaulted to the top 1st grade class. Most of these kids moved as a unit from the top kindergarten class. I think only 2 of us have "the new" kids. These are the parents with SAHMs, the parents who are at the school 3, 4 even 5 days a week, helping in classrooms, library, reading labs. They know every child and all of the teachers by first name. I feel a little like a circle trying to fit into a square hole.

One of the moms befriended me early on, she already knew & liked Lindsi. She's bubbly & friendly & knows everybody. We arrived at the same time, so she took me over & introduced me to the other moms.....(2 others at the table happen to be Debbies)...

First it was the general concensus that it was so wonderful that their kids were being exposed to sign language (Lindsi has use of an interpreter)...ect...
Then one mom asked if Lindsi was born deaf & I told her I really wasn't sure. Someone else piped up about newborn hearing could I not know? Didn't she have one??

I told them, that Lindsi was mom on the edge of the conversation turned around...ADOPTED??? Which child in the class is ADOPTED??? Well, Lindsi is adopted, from China...OHH.........
Then, the mom I know the best, (I think to move the conversation along) said...and she has her sister!!!!! AMAZING!!! What are the chances that you could go back & get her sister??? I think it is so INCREDIBLE!!! To which I felt I had to say, well, they are sisters now, but they are not biologically related.....!
Another round of WHAT??!! But, they look so much alike!!
That was all in the first 5 minutes of sitting down.

I never offered up that I'm a single mom...=) I'm sure that hasn't occurred to anyone. I felt like we are already the talk of the class, without adding that little bonus tid bit. To be clear, everyone is nice, the kids all great, we just have so little in common with them. I have been around too many adoptive families as our social network & I guess I had not really been around people so out of touch about adoption before this.

They were all talking about what teacher the "class" will likely get next year. I'm not even certain we will be in "The Class" next year. I think we really belong somewhere between the two....for all kinds of reasons.......=)