Saturday, July 18, 2009


I am sitting here awaiting the arrival of our Japanese exchange student, Yoko, who will be spending the next three weeks with us.

Lana is at a birthday party. (She was so excited to be invited.) Gabe is watching television, and my husband is off fixing my uncle's mailbox, so I have a rare moment of just being able to do...nothing. It's kind of nice.

Husband and I had an actual date last night for the first time in several weeks. We went out to see the Harry Potter movie. I did not hate it...but it left so much out of the story. It was a bit disappointing and I think if I hadn't read the books I would have been confused. HOWEVER, it was nice to go the movies with my husband and to go out for drinks and dinner after.

Lana has been having some strange sleeping issues since the tooth fairy incident of a few weeks ago. I'm not sure what to make of it.

Normally, Lana is a good sleeper, but she has had her periods of sleep screaming, which, frankly, have really sucked. She also has sleep talking incidents (preferable to sleep screaming) and also teeth grinding. But this new sleep issue is that she claims she "can't" sleep. She seems to be having trouble falling asleep, which has not been a problem before, and then, if she wakes in the middle of the night, she wants to sleep with Husband and I. (This wouldn't be a problem if it happened once or twice a month - but, lately, it's been happening almost every night.)

I hate to complain about this, since, at this point, if we let her get in bed with us, she generally goes right back to sleep. The main problem is that she then wakes up when we wake up, and she misses out on the two more hours of sleep that she really needs. (And she is a bear to deal with if she doesn't get 10 hours of sleep at night. A BEAR.)

Not really sure what to do - just rambling.

Sorry this post is so random.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

It's a Nice Day for a White Wedding*

Please don't shoot me for my less than creative title. (It's no joke coming up with these appropriate song lyric titles!)

Anyway, I'm not dead.

I have been to North Carolina and back, and I'm crazy busy at work, and I have a Japanese exchange student arriving in two days, but I'm here.

We went to North Carolina for my cousin's wedding. We flew into Raleigh, where we had some very nice Vietnamese food and then proceeded to have a very disappointing experience with a tuxedo rental store which shall remain nameless.

Apparently, the employee of the tuxedo rental store that measured Gabriel six weeks ago had no clue how to measure a child, because there is no way my son grew three inches around his neck and four inches in his arms in six weeks. (The fact that the employee was hanging out of BOTH ENDS of her DRESS leads me to believe that she had no ability to put the appropriate size clothing on herself, so I don't know why I had any faith that she would get Gabe's measurements right.)

At any rate, the shirt that was shipped to the store in Raleigh was way too small and they didn't have another shirt in the right size at any of their four Raleigh locations. They had screwed up one of the groomsmen's measurements as well (this after my aunt spent four hours on the phone with them - FOUR HOURS - discussing measurements.) The long and the short of this (har-har, I slay myself) - was that someone was going to have to drive back to Raleigh from the site of the wedding, an hour south of Raleigh, on the morning of the wedding, in order to obtain the appropriate sized clothing.

Happily for the groom and the groom's father (to whom the task of retrieving the tuxedos fell), there is a sno-cone shop halfway between Raleigh and the wedding site that has 99 flavors of sno-cones.

The groom later informed everyone that the lemonade flavor was quite nice with Jack Daniels.

So, if you're ever in Smithfield, North Carolina, you might want to see what flavor of sno-cone you like with Jack Daniels...or without Jack Daniels. (Definitely without the whiskey if you happen to be driving, or underage, etc.)

Ultimately, the tux place did find a tuxedo shirt in the appropriate size for Gabriel, and he looked quite dapper as the ring bearer.

Lana was gorgeous as the flower girl in a tea length off-white dress. She was so excited about everything and both she and Gabe danced all night on the dance floor. It was crazy hysterical to me to watch my 9 year old and my 6 year old doing the Macarena.

I think the highlight of the wedding, though, as far as Gabe and Lana were concerned, was our ride in the limo. The limo driver had been hired to ferry people back and forth from the bed and breakfast where the wedding was being held, to a hotel a few miles away. BUT, we were actually STAYING at the bed and breakfast, so we didn't need to be driven anywhere, but the driver was smitten with the excitement of my children about a limo ride, he took us on a 10 minute drive around a really small North Carolina town, and that back to the bed and breakfast.

For the record, it is kind of exhausting to spend two nights at a historical bed and breakfast with a 9 year old and 6 year old. There was no place for them to run and there were a million things that they couldn't touch for fear of them smashing into pieces.

On our last day in North Carolina, we drove back to Raleigh and we were able to meet another Vietnam-Adoptive family, J&C and their beautiful girls Cams and Mia.

Unfortunately, my kids were so wound up that they went a bit nuts when they found themselves in a house with actual toys and other children. (I hope Gabe and Lana didn't traumatize your girls too much, J!)

I'll leave you with some photos of my munchkins in their wedding finery!

*Billy Idol, White Wedding

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Heart Like a Gabriel, Pure and White as Ivory*

My Gabriel is home from camp, tired, but happy. All week I expected the phone to ring, telling us that we needed to come and get him.

But he lasted all week, he had a good time, and he wants to go back next year.

He had a wonderful time with his cousins. He did archery and crafts and walked in the woods, and made a new friend named Michael who likes to read as much as he does, and he swam (briefly) in the lake (where the little stinker failed his swimming test on purpose, to avoid further murky lake swimming.) (Not sure how I feel about that. Gabriel is a strong swimmer, and I mean strong. (This makes sense considering the pool in our back yard.) He is a strong diver as well. So I was shocked, SHOCKED, to hear that he failed to tread water for 90 seconds. The child could tread water for an HOUR if he wanted. His failure of the swim test meant he could play on the sand bar and in the shallow water, and if that's what made him happy, I guess it's okay. I hate to see him hide the thing that he is best at, though.)

He was completely exhausted when we picked him up and he actually took a four hour nap, which is not something he has ever done, in his entire life, with the notable exception of New Year's Day, 2001, when he and I both slept for the WHOLE afternoon, and it was weird enough that I remember it now, eight YEARS later.

But, anyway, Gabriel was so tired after camp that he fell asleep on our living room in the middle of an Independence Day party, during which lots of people were in our house and in our pool, including other children he is really fond of and doesn't get to see very often. He was EXHAUSTED. People just stepped over him coming to and from the bathroom. (I didn't want to risk moving him, since it was so very odd for him to be asleep during daylight hours in the first place.) He did wake up in time to eat a barbecued hot dog and some watermelon, and to watch the fireworks from our front yard.

I am just glad that he made it through the week and didn't hate. And I am glad, really, to have him home. I missed my little guy.


*Cowboy Junkies, Misguided Angel

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