Monthly Archives: January 2011

we did it!

Today was the day that Samantha and I got to really get out in the garden. I think it was a combination of our “mini greenhouse” set up and the warmer temps.
It felt so good to dig into the dirt with the trowel!
First on the agenda – add compost to our dirt mix. Next, plant some sugar snap peas and snow peas. Finally, water (with some lukewarm water from the kitchen sink…no cold spigot water on my new seeds πŸ™‚

We will cover with plastic on nights the temps drop below 32 degrees, which means only covering once this week.

Hoping for some sprouts in 10-14 days!

Kristan



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Saturdays with Samantha

Samantha and I are Saturday partners. We do the weekly shopping together before her dance class. She is so helpful with the shopping! Her favorite part of shopping is picking out the coffee at Trader Joe’s. She picks out the Guatemala coffee with the Guatemalan state bird (the quetzal) on it. She asks every morning if we are drinking her Guatemala coffee.

Dance class is different this year (new teacher), but she is learning actual routines. It is super cute to watch.

Here is Samantha outside of her dance studio and getting us our weekly can of Guatemala coffee. Could she be any cuter?

Kristan


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the power of the point charts

Aidan’s teacher started a point system after the holiday break, so we decided to incorporate school points into our home reward system. We established a monthly goal/reward since Aidan would not give up on his obsession with the Big Boy train.
Some background: Santa looked and looked for a Big Boy train and could not find one except for the ones on E Bay that were real replicas for $5000. I was randomly on Craigslist after the holidays and found an HO scale Big Boy in Raleigh for very cheap. So, the point tallying began!

Samantha wanted in on the action as well, and since she is *still* waking up in the middle of the night, her goals were around bedtime. Her points were for a hand beaded frog made in Guatemala.

Today was the day the kids could earn their rewards. Here are some pics of our point charts and rewards. Aidan was literally speechless when he saw his train.





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do not smile!

Aidan and Samantha had friends over after school today. It was cold and rainy outside, so there were a lot of Stars Wars reenactments, most including light sabers.

I wanted to get a good pic of all of the friends together, so I played my favorite camera game….Whatever you do, DO NOT SMILE!

Jack held out the longest, and Jane smiled (but covered it, nice strategy πŸ™‚


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what a fun day

Samantha and I had grand plans this afternoon. We achieved 2/3 of our goals:
1) repair the deer fencing (the snow and ice pushed some of the poles down)
2) clean out the leaves from the fenced in area and off the raised vegetable beds
3) plant some winter crop (sugar snap peas and snow peas)

She laughed when I tried to till up the soil, and I would have laughed at me too. The soil was frozen solid, literally.

Our Plan B involved covering the raised beds with plastic in order to create our own sort of greenhouse to warm the soil. Here is a picture of my best garden helper, super proud of our handiwork πŸ™‚

For dinner, Rahul grilled some steaks, roasted some red potatoes, and threw together a salad full of veggies and a nice vinaigrette. Am I the luckiest gal in the world or what?

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swim team prep


For those that follow the blog, Aidan became a lover of all things swimming related this summer. I showed him a video of Michael Phelps, and that was all it took in terms of teaching him how to swim. I did remind him that Michael Phelps did not use a snorkle while swimming, which led to swim school at Triangle Swim School this fall. Before Christmas his coach decided he was ready for swim team prep. Aidan was super excited. The first five minutes of swim team prep were a little hard to watch. Aidan was still figuring it all out, etc. But after 20 minutes, he was loving it! (We had been warned that kids typically fell into one of two categories – loved swimming laps back and forth for an hour, or absolutely hated it).

After his first practice, he said he needed new swim trunks b/c his were “too loose.” I quickly figured out he wanted some tight ones like the swim team guys wear.

So, for the second session of swim team prep, this was Aidan’s attire. Watch out Michael Phelps, you might have some competition.

PS – for skinny little kids like him, you can use the drawstring in the waist band πŸ™‚

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Mamalita: An Adoption Memoir


A friend asked me to go to a book reading by the author of Mamalita: An Adoption Memoir. I agreed to go thinking it would be a fun outing, something different, etc. I picked up a copy of the book to take on our Disney travels and was a little surprised at how I felt about it. Don’t get me wrong, it was a moving story of a parent adopting a girl from Guatemala. The parts that were difficult were around the corruption, bribery, and overall perception of Americans. I have 2 children that have been adopted internationally, so I am in no way naΓ―ve enough to think everything always happens in the most honest way, but reading it bothered me more than I thought it would.

The possible “what ifs” bothered me so much after we completed our adoptions that I unsubscribed from some of my adoption email groups so that it was not always on my mind. And we subscribed to this philosophy as a family: to the best of our knowledge we followed all the rules and guidelines for both of our adoptions. That is the best that we could do.

I am not judging the writer of the book, or the other mothers depicted in the book, either. I cannot say what I would have done if similar circumstances would have happened to our family. All I can say is that it was just hard to think about.

We are very open in our house about adoption. Both of my children know they were in their birth mother’s tummy and that I came to India and Guatemala to take them home to their forever families. Right now, the questions are not hard ones. I know that later on there will be harder questions. For Samantha, we have a lot of information to share. For Aidan, we have almost none.

I will also admit that I do not often think of their birth parents. Not because I do not respect them or value them. Without them our family would not be complete. I think the reason I do not think of them as often as I maybe should is instead because I never think of my children as anyone else’s but mine.

I loved this quote from the book… “while I sometimes described myself as an ‘adoptive mother,’ I never called them my ‘adopted’ children. They were my children. End of sentence. Adoption was the way we became a family.”

I am still on the fence about going to the book reading. Just trying to figure out if it is for me.

Kristan

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