Thursday, July 30, 2009

Taking Some Time Off

It's that time of year again.
The Gang is heading to picturesque Keuka Lake
for a time of refreshment, peace, and family bonding.
I'll see ya on the flip side, y'all!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Read This

The adoption journey is a long one. As I've mentioned in previous weeks, it's often full of twists and turns that cannot be anticipated. Living through it requires a steadfast focus on the end goal. And lots and lots of support. Many of you who are adoptive parents will appreciate this post that I found the other day. It's written by a mom from our adoption agency.

She's still waiting, but I found so much of what she had to say to be very encouraging and inspiring. The lessons she's learning are important ones. Ones that I'm pretty sure we experienced in our own way along the adventure to Li'l Empress, at least to some degree. But this post summarizes it in a way I'd not thought of before.

If you are waiting for your precious one,
let this fill you with hope and strength.

If you are friends with someone who is still waiting,
let this give you discernment on how to pray and support her.

If you have made it through to the other side,
let the message filter through your experience
and prompt you to think about what you learned.

It's not a journey everyone is blessed enough to take. But I can guarantee, if you hop on the ride, you'll never be the same.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Great Summer Dinner

The other night, I made a yummy summer dish. There's a bit of a story to it. (I know, you're thinking that there always is with me. I know. But it's my blog, my recipe. You love me anyway!)

For years, I'd heard about "fish tacos" on the boardwalk. The way my friends described them, they sounded like a big, greasy, salty, yummy mess. But I never got to try one. I'm not really much of a beach girl. And I really do my best to generally avoid fried foods. Well, I try anyway. That's a whole 'nuther post for a 'nuther day . . .

So anyway, about a year and a half ago, The Boss and I were dining out with friends. I saw "Fish Tacos" on the menu and was intrigued. These were decidedly Asian in their twist and not a fryer in sight. I decided I must try them.

Oh. My. Yummy. Goodness.

There were two on my plate, so after I devoured the first one (in the most ladylike fashion possible, because, I was after all on a date in public with my hubby and friends) I dis-assembled the second one and committed the main ingredients and their flavors to memory. (I think my dining companions lost me for a few minutes there!) Shortly after that meal, I caught a re-run of this episode of my favorite television chef grillin' away (mmmm, another celebrity crush to rave about?!) but the ingredients are not ones that I regularly purchase. His version wouldn't be terribly cost-effective for our family's eating habits, I'm afraid.

Tuesday night, I finally got around to the first draft of my version of Asian Fish Tacos. Here is a rough cut of my new recipe. When I'm making something new and getting creative in the kitchen, I usually go through about 3 versions till I get it just right. It's part of my creative process and so far, no one in The Gang has complained. Or died of food poisoning either!

Asian Fish Tacos
4-6 boneless skinless tilapia fillets
1 recipe of Asian Broccoli Slaw (this one is very close to the recipe I used)
1 package of flour tortillas (We prefer the whole wheat ones)
Chinese 5-spice powder (I used this one)
  • Lightly spray a grill-able fish tray with non-stick spray. Layer the fish fillets across the tray.
  • Gently sprinkle the Chinese 5 Spice over the fish to your desired flavor preference. (Mine were quite generously sprinkled, but if this spice is new to you, go easy. Or just do one side of the filet to try it out first.)
  • Allow fillets to cook without flipping for about 6-8 minutes. Gently flip the fillets over and sprinkle that side with the 5 spice if desired.
  • Allow to cook another 6 minutes or so. Fish is done when it flakes easily when touched with a fork. Tilapia in particular will be white through and through.
  • Avoid repeated flipping - it makes the fish fall apart and it gets tough or dry.
  • To serve, cut fillets length-wise and layer them in the middle of the taco.
  • Top with Asian Broccoli Slaw.
  • Fold up bottom of tortilla first then fold up sides to overlapping in the middle.
What I'd do differently the next time:
  • First, I'd marinate the fish in a stronger (more flavorful, not spicy-hot) dressing and then repeat that dressing (or something really close to it) for the slaw. I'm thinking of my soy sauce-based dressing that I use for my Chinese Chicken Cabbage Salad (it's another of The Gang's summer favorites). The Boss mentioned that Ken's Lite Asian Sesame would be a good one to try.
  • Second, I'd eliminate the ramen noodles in the slaw. Instead, I'd add more sunflower seeds and maybe throw in some sesame seeds, too.
  • Third, I will definitely lightly toast the almonds and sunflower seeds (and sesame seeds). I do that for my Chinese Chicken Cabbage Salad and the results are well worth the extra step or two that it takes. Toasting just brings out a richness and depth of flavor that you can't get with "raw" seeds.
  • Finally, I think I will make a double recipe of the slaw so we have some to serve on the side. Maybe then I'd toast up some of the ramen noodles and let the kids use them as a topper to the side salad. There just never seems to be enough broccoli slaw at our table when I make it!
There you have it. The Gang's version of Fish Tacos. Not completely unlike ones you can order in a restaurant like this, but far more cost-effective and more easily adapted to your own family's tastes and preferences. You can thank me later.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Waiting Child Program

Many folks ask us about our special needs adoption experience. Recently, I found this video that says it all, much better than I can possibly say.

The only thing I would add is that many, many countries also have special needs adoptions available. My experience was with China. But if God is tugging your heart for adoption from a different country, I urge you to consider that nation's "waiting children."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Hard Side of International Adoption

I'm addicted to adoption blogs. I think most of you already know that, but in case you wondered, there it is. I am particularly fond of international adoption blogs. The community of adoptive mommy bloggers is an incredibly supportive one. I've mentioned before that in our own journey to our Li'l Empress, these fellow IA mommy bloggers prayed for me during some of the hardest parts of the long and winding road to our girl.

Today, one of my favorite IA bloggers really needs our prayers. They've been in queue for quite a long time for a referral and then for a court date to adopt a sibling group from Ethiopia. This week, they were given devastating news.

Please, pray for them during this horrible moment . Pray for their children. Pray for the hearts of men to be changed. Please, pray.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Introducing my beautiful sister and
The Gang's newest nephew and cousin.

For more Wordless Wednesday fun,
head over to 5 Minutes for Mom.

Though you must be warned,
NONE of the pictures from
today's WW will be as sweet as this one.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Big Happy Day!

Today, my sister is giving birth to her fifth child. We are all on high alert, waiting for that phone call to announce all the happy news. This, to me, is one of the greatest days a family can share. And thanks to all the wonderful technology available to us now, we can keep up with the happenings almost as quickly as they happen. I remember when Shaggy was born, no cell phones were allowed in the maternity ward. Now, we're anxiously awaiting not just "the call" but the transmission of digital pictures quickly to follow!

Another think I'm especially thankful for on a day like today is the blessings of being in a big-ish family (I am the oldest of four sibs) that celebrates and rejoices over each and every child God sends our way. My parents did a great job instilling in all of us the incredible value and precious-ness of all children and I love being part of that. I am proud to say that today my parents will welcome their 14th grandchild. And at the end of the summer, we are all looking forward to #15 joining our family.

In my mind, there is no greater legacy that my folks could leave behind than another generation of little ones growing to serve the Lord and share His love with the world around them.

It is a GOOD, GOOD day to be part of The Gang!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hear The World

After I wrote yesterday's post, I was surfing around some of my favorite sites and came across this post over at 5 Minutes for Giveaways. There's a great give-away going on right now, highlighting an initiative called Hear the World. It's all about hearing loss, hearing loss prevention, and some of the exciting new treatments available for those with hearing loss. As you can imagine, this particular initiative is near and dear to our hearts. Please, head over to this post and check out the giveaway. But more importantly, head over to Hear the World and educate yourself a little bit more about hearing loss. After all, you all know at least one precious little one affected by hearing loss, now don't you?!

Friday, July 17, 2009

I Have A Special Needs Child

The other day, I took the kids to our local library. It's a wonderful place, full of Christian books and media and we all enjoy incorporating it into our summer routine. It's housed in a large, regionally-minded church. The bonus for me is that there is a lovely little cafe and an indoor play land on site also. We usually make a whole morning of it.

This week, our visit was different. This week, I was reminded of something that I don't have to think about every day. This week, the Lord used the events of the morning to show me something that I hope The Gang can all learn from and use to honor and equip our Li'l Empress for her future as a child with unilateral hearing loss.

Hang in there with me, this won't be the shortest post I've ever written. But I've been praying through the events of the day and processing it since Wednesday. I'm hoping that The Gang will learn from it; but also that you might learn something that you can someday, somehow use to bless another in your life. Not necessarily an adopted someone, or even a someone with hearing loss. I am hoping that the lesson we're working through will be able to translate to a variety of circumstances. When something big happens to me like this, I want to be able to process it and re-interpret it for a variety of similar circumstances in life as I experience it. Cuz' that's how I think. It's that big-picture thing I got goin' on, you know.

So anyway, this cafe and play land is a huge cavernous space, with tall ceilings, glass windows surrounding, and tiled floors. There are no softscapes to soften noise, save a couple small couches and area rugs around the perimeter of the space. The echoes themselves are startling. Add to that the regular noises of a busy cafe (grinders, steamers, cash registers, whirring fridges, running water, etc.). Add to THAT the normal exuberance of children running all over the space, laughing, yelling, crying, and sometimes screaming. Further, throw in a dash of mommies talking, often in loud voices over the hustle and bustle of the environment. What do you get when you throw all that together and give it a good stir?

Well, you get a really poor listening environment.

I never heard the term before we began working with our local Early Intervention team. But it is just what it sounds like. A really difficult environment to be able to hear individual noises. A place where the constant echo and the dull roar of what amounts to "white noise" is literally bouncing all around the room. A space where identification of sound and its source is nearly impossible for someone with unilateral hearing loss. You see, when we listen with both ears functioning normally, our brain can filter out the unimportant background noises and help us identify what noises we need to pay attention to. Voices of our children. The cashier telling us that our warm scone is ready. Children in distress. Cars speeding toward us. Fire alarms. You get the picture.

What I observed in our short time on our outing on Wednesday is that Li'l Empress was working really hard to keep up with all her little brain was taking in. She was having a hard time isolating the voices of those who make her feel safe. What the Lord graciously pointed out to me is that on days like this, I must remember that I do, in fact, have a special needs child.

Now, as her mommy, I am keenly aware that she is special. Not in the "all my children are special" way, although there is a huge dose of that in there. Rather, I am training myself to be aware as often as I can that she does not hear like the rest of the world. But quite frankly, in our daily home environment, that doesn't come into play in any sort of an emergent or crisis mode. It's more in observing that she's been playing alone for longer than normal. Or in noticing that she's sitting in her high chair with her head on a swivel while we're all chatting around her. Not the most polite or respectful way to treat her but certainly not unsafe. At those times, I stop the conversational free-for-all and remind us all to take turns and try to include Li'l Empress as much as possible.

It struck me while working quickly to wrap up our outing that these poor listening environments are physically exhausting for my girl. It was all too evident in her very short fuse and her emotional melt-down that was looming (why I was working so quickly to get us out of there!). The difficult thing is that I was also managing 4 other children who were blissfully unaware of the stress that their little sister was experiencing. And that I was trying to manage.

I'm a tad embarrassed to admit that while I was corralling everyone out to the van, I started to make the high-stress situation about the older kids' behavior. I focused on their actions (which were annoying and difficult to contain, but certainly not the SOURCE of the stress) and started to "go to town" on them. I felt a physical check in my heart and stopped my rant. It surprised them all. But in that moment, I told them what was really going on. I just laid it out, all that I'd observed. My gratitude that the Lord showed it to me in a safe and non-crisis situation. I reminded them, and myself. Li'l Empress has a special need. That need is one that effects every environment which requires her to listen. And our family must work together to help her first to feel safe and protected. Then work with her to learn to cope with and identify those sounds which are most important to know. We all needed that reminder. We all needed to stop and think about how things feel and sound from her perspective.

It's going to be a great thing for Li'l Empress, to be surrounded by that kind of love and care. It's a great way to further build our sense of family and mission. It's going to make us all better people. More compassionate. More aware. More in tune with the sounds that really matter.

A bloggy friend (and fellow LH'er) once said something to this effect (about her own daughter):

"She has a special need. Her special need is us.
And our special need is her."

That sentiment has stayed with me for our whole adoption journey and pounded in my heart as we prayed and sought the Lord for wisdom on whether or not to pursue a special needs child. It came back to me again on Wednesday.

I am The Gang's Momma. I have a special needs child.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 4

"There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven: . . .

. . . a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance . . . "

Yesterday, we were enjoying a quiet afternoon of nothing-ness. You know what I mean. The kind of day that begs for literally nothing. No pool time. No games. No snacks. Just mindless staring off into space. Hours of laying across a bed reading a silly book. Or digging through a treasure box, fingering all your favorite special possessions.

In the middle of it all, I called the kids down to check in with them about something. LadyBug came scooting down the stairs, squinting at the sunlight streaming in the front door. Baby BlueEyes came down more slowly. Almost snail-like. With big tears in his pretty blue eyes. And tracks down either side of his nose.

I said to him, "BBE, what's wrong? Are you okay?"

He answered, "Nuthin. I'm okay."

Clearly, he was not.

I asked again, "What's wrong? Why are you crying?"

"I was lookin' through my treasure box and readin' the cards that you and Daddy and Miss K (his kids' church teacher) sent me while you wew in China. And it made me vewy saaaad!" And he promptly burst into more tears.

I am not kidding you. He was welling up and overcome by the cute little love notes that we left for him while we travelled to China in September to get Li'l Empress. IN SEPTEMBER, people! Oh my word. At this point, I have to confess that I was struggling to hold back the giggles. I mean, really. We've been to China and back. 10. Months. Ago.

But my little guy is a sensitive sort. And snorting my iced tea in his face would have left permanent scars. On his great big generous heart. So I withheld the laughs. The older brothers, sniggering in the kitchen behind the pantry, had no such crisis of conscience.

I took a deep breath and gave my little man a great big hug. I sympathized with him over the sadness of being apart for 16 (and a 1/2!) days. Last year. And I turned him to the concerned, curious face of his little sister.

"Remember, the sadness was only for a few short days. The joy and the love that came out of it is forever, buddy. Forever!"

Li'l Empress promptly laid hands on BBE, thinking he must have a very big boo-boo and prayed for him. At which point, I wanted to burst into tears.

Bowing her head and closing her eyes tightly, "Gobbedly, goboodle, etwa, Ahhhh-buh." Inner healing prayer ministry in the foyer.

Then Shaggy reminded Li'l Empress to pray for BBE to be happy.

Laying her chubby little hands on him again "Obwah, gobbbul, HAH-PPY, Ahhh-buh."

There. That should do it. She prayed for BBE to be happy. And now he is. And so am I.

I'm so glad this is our time to laugh and to dance.

Side note: She learned to say "happy" yesterday.
And we've been making her say it all day.
Cuz it makes us all, well, happy.
Happy is a sweet, sweet sound.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Li'l Empress's very first skinned knee

After the initial shock wore off,
she was quite stoic about the whole thing.
And very curious about the fuss we all made.

When Daddy got home, she was quite happy
to show him her big boo-boo and get all his hugs
and kisses and comfort all over again.

For more Wordless Wednesday fun,
head over to 5 Minutes for Mom.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hand Picked

Today is the One Year Anniversary of Li'l Empress's referral date. I've spent a lot of time in recent weeks re-reading archived posts related to our adoption journey around this time last year. Many of you may remember the tumultuous times we went through in June and early July of last year. The highs of thinking that we'd found our Li'l Empress (here) and the lows of the failed first referral (here). In between those extremes, we tried to live life as normally as possible. We tried to keep our hearts and minds stayed on HIM and HIS plan for our family. It was an excruciatingly painful journey, and often times felt like a miscarriage. (I say this because I had one many years ago, filled with similar extremes, questions and unknowns over the three weeks of waiting to know the final outcome.)

We had so many questions during that season. So many tears. We took strength from the prayers of our friends and family, including many of you. I spent many early morning hours sitting at the front window, Bible open on my lap, coffee cup at my side, seeking wisdom and peace. Through it all, we hung on to the promises of the Lord. We clung to the verses that you all sent us. And we clung to the words that our wonderful agency director shared with us, as he and his staff walked through this uncharted territory. (To our knowledge, there weren't very many other such referral failures happening with the then-new special needs program of "locking in" a child's file.) Here is a quote from a post on July 3rd, last year:
Here's where we are now: apparently, there was some mistake made in the SN offices at the CCAA that resulted in the failure of this referral being definitively matched to our family. When pressed by our beloved director at Living Hope to make things right (we thank God for him!), they (the CCAA) agreed to hand-pick a child for us based on our Special Needs application that Miss Ashley has on file.(bold and italics added today for this post)
As a family, we stood on those words, "hand-pick" and began that day interceding for THE LORD to be the one to hand-pick our daughter. That the plan of the LORD for our family, and for the little girl that HE had hand-picked from the beginning of time, would NOT be thwarted by the enemy. We filled the house with music that would keep our hearts and minds focused on our mission. (Thank you, Lord, for Steven Curtis Chapman's cd This Moment. It was an integral part of our healing process and our journey toward our Li'l Empress in that season.) We posted verses and quotes all over the windows, mirrors, and the fridge that would aim our prayers like arrows into the offices of the CCAA. We honed in on the concept of Li'l Empress being hand-picked by the Lord for our family. We went after it. Looking back on it now, it's amazing to me that all this happened over a four week time frame. It felt like MOOOOOONTHS while we were in it. But God was faithful. He met us in a powerful way. He taught us valuable things about Himself. And about our own hearts. He moved mountains with our prayers. He bonded hearts in unity over the hand-picking of our daughter. He used our story to move the hearts of many who read or heard about it.

On Monday, July 14th at 8:17 a.m. we got a phone call that changed our lives. It was the moment for which we had been praying. Our adoption agency called to say that a referral had been delivered for a little girl that they believed was our "hand-picked" daughter. (You can read about the phone call here.) It was the first day of a joyful, exuberant, exciting journey (most of which is chronicled in our archives if you are interested in reading more).

Now, one year later, how do I know how much God loves me? How much does my Father love to remind me of the beauty and joy that He has brought into my life? Well, on a recent trip to my local K@hl'$, look at what I found waiting for me on the racks.

No matter that this daughter of mine has plenty of jammies to get through the summer and fall season. Never mind that these particular jammies are just about the cutest ones I've ever seen. And please, who even cared that they were 40% off with a 15% coupon? This little kiss from My Abba Daddy was the perfect touch-stone by which to remember all that He has done for us. And all that He has in store for Li'l Empress.

I'm just so blessed that He has allowed me to join the fun!

These two pictures are of Li'l Empress at about 6 months old, when she was entered into the Waiting Child program of the Chinese International Adoption program. The same month that we filed the paperwork with our adoption agency to pursue a waiting child (special needs.) How cool is God?!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Oooooh, I'm All Goose Bumpy!

Okay, I've taken a lot of heat (well, not heat, mostly giggles and fond eye-rolling) over the last couple years for my um, fascination? obssession? with certain celebrities. I admit it. Some famed beings capture my interest. Some noted personas make my little heart go pitter-patter. Not like it never happens to you. I just happen to talk about it. A lot. I'm not the only one. Really. I mean, even my MOM has a few notable little crushes.

(I mean, the woman was practically in tears when she thought this character might actually be guilty of treason. It took all summer to convince her that he's just a character and not a real spy.)

So, can we please acknowledge that it happens to all of us? That we all have a couple famous folks that cause a little twitter (the old-fashioned kind, not that crazy one-liner status stuff). I just happen to be a blogger who gave those posts their own label. Go ahead, type "celebrity crushes" in the search function and treat yourself to a look inside my scary little world. Don't forget to come back here. And don't judge me. You know my insanity is what makes you come back again and again. It's part of my charm.

So, imagine my joy and excitement when I found out the other day that this celebrity is coming back to weekly television. Imagine my thrill when I found out these interesting facts about my childhood (and adulthood, yes, I can admit it!) crush! It seems that I'm not so silly after all. Thousands, nay millions, around the world agree with me. I'm not as crazy as you all thought.

Granted, he's coming back without the bell bottoms and nifty vests. And without the long flowing mane of gorgeous brunette softness. But he's coming back. And I can hardly wait.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Language Explosion!

Recently, I started a list tracking all the words that Li'l Empress uses regularly, that we recognize, or that are clear steps in the direction of the real word. It's become quite an impressive list. She's so verbal and just chatters away all day long. I'd post the list but seriously, every day she attempts at least one or two new words and tries them on for the rest of the day. I can't keep up with the explosion. Yesterday, she said "Nigh Nigh" for the first time. Today, she repeated "Meeee" when I asked her if the big kids were being mean to each other. Already, she's said it four or five times when they were misbehavin'. And that's another thing: she's figured out that nodding means "yes" and shaking her head means "no." She uses it so appropriately, after months of not even trying it at all!

Her baby babble is quite a treat for all of us. Especially fun is when we catch her "talking" on the phone. She's got inflection, expression, and attitude galore. She even throws her head back and laughs in the "conversation!" We've been trying to capture it on video but you all know how that goes. The minute the camera is on, she stops the stuff. It's driving us crazy, and our little digital camera has been getting quite the work-out with the "delete" function!

She's also taken to praying for anyone and anything around the house that strikes her as a need. Randomly throughout the day in this past week or two, we hear her yell, "Pay!" "Pay!" She lays her little hand on the need, bows her head and mumbles. Followed by "Ahhhhbuh." Yesterday, she prayed for my cousin's large and tender, ummm, uh, facial blemish. Yeah, we'll call it that.

But the cutest thing of all is that last night, while prepping her for bed, she was trying to sing along to "Jesus Loves Me." MELT. MY. HEART. I am not the world's best vocalist by ANY stretch of the imagination. But my already screechy voice got totally choked up at the sound of my sweet girl chiming in "I Luh Uh" (I love you) and "Gee Gah" (Jesus).

This coming week marks the one-year anniversary of the first day we saw her sweet little face and got the word that we got our girl. (Stay tuned, I have a cool post coming up on that very topic!). When I listen to her singing and babbling, I can't help but think of how different her life might have been had we not heeded the call of the Lord to pursue her.

Would her heart and mind and mouth be exploding daily with new words?
Would her little voice still be petitioning the throne on behalf of those she loves?
Would her little heart still be full of song to her Maker?
Would she be growing in the security and confidence of knowing that her Savior formed her, loves her and dances over her with His own singing?

I may never know the answers to these questions. But from where I'm sitting, I'm totally okay with that. After all, I have the joy of watching her personality and character explode alongside with her language right here in front of me. And I believe that's just how the Lord intended it for her all along.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

There were two of these strange
fungus-y looking things
growing in our garden this week.

Looks like there's a fungus amung us.

I couldn't resist the corny joke.
Thanks, Mom! I get that from you.

For more (really, truly)
Wordless Wednesday fun,
head over to 5 Minutes for Mom.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dodged a Bullet!

Wow. I have been such a bad W*!ght W@tch*r these last two weeks. I haven't journaled my foods. I haven't exercised. I missed last week's weigh-in while we were away. I've hardly had any water (I've been surviving on coffee and iced tea and diet Wild Ch*rry P*ps!). I even ate regular ice cream. Often. With real peanut butter and nuts in it. :)

I was soooooo dreading the return to regular meetings and weigh-ins. But I bit back my apprehension and went. I knew I had to muster the courage and abandon the pride to step on that scale. I was truly sweating it as I stood in line for my turn.

I only gained 1/2 a pound. Whew.

I think I dodged a major bullet. And I'm back to all my healthy W*!ght W@tch*rs' habits. Starting now.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Weekend By The Numbers

10 kids, ages 15 years thru 22 months
4 adults
2 pounds of pretzels
2 1/2 gallons of milk
2 dozen eggs
2 dozen donuts (thanks Mr. B - you rock!)
4 boxes of Suddenly Salad
24 ears of corn
2 sticks of butter
4 jumbo cans of baked beans
2 huge cantaloupe
1 ginormous watermelon
6+ hours of swimming
6 pots of coffee (it might have been more!)
14 beach towels
12 swimsuits
3 swimmie diapers
2 very sunburned daddies
0 pictures

Yes, you read right. All that fun. All that catching up. All that eating. And not one darned picture to show for it.

But a good time was had by all. And real life resumes today.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bracing for Re-Entry

Well, we made it home from our long weekend away. A good time was had by all. We got the extra treat of stopping at my BFF's house for lunch and a few hours of catching up. It's wonderful that they live at the half-way mark between Grandma and Grandpa's home on the mountain and The Gang's home. A wonderful get-away. The remainder of The Boss's vacation week is being spent in a "stay-cation" here at The Gang's place.

I find myself struggling today with the re-entry. Does anyone else experience this? Often, when we actually take the time off for a nice, long visit away from home, I return recharged and refreshed. Ready to jump in to our "regularly scheduled programming" with both feet. Rarin' to go. Like I can take on the world. You know, all those old cliches. (Boy, that was a lot of cliches, too!)

This time, I'm feeling prickly and frustrated. Overwhelmed by the laundry. The grocery list-making. The bulletin to be written. The kids squabbling (Comfy, is it contagious? Is it a virus going around the country?!) incessantly. That darned W*ight W#tchers program waiting to be resumed. The book I started and can't get back to yet. The grocery shopping that has to follow the list-making. Meal planning for 14 people for the holiday weekend. All thoughts of preparing dinner for my family tonight COMPLETELY slipped from my head. What kind of mother forgets that she has to feed her family?!

I'm overtired, for sure. One of the fun things about being at the mountain house is the absence of clock-watching. I stay up too late and get up too late. The days get skewed. I'll have to work on that after the weekend. Our awesome friends from VA Beach (who also have 5 kids!) are driving in tomorrow for a rather spontaneous weekend together. I canNOT wait to see them, to introduce Li'l Empress, and to talk long and late into the night with them. I can't WAIT!

So, tonite? The Boss is making breakfast for dinner. Homefries and eggs. The grocery list is started. The house is mostly clean, except for the floors that must be mopped. And the toilets that must be scrubbed. And I'm going to finish that list and curl up with that book and read till I drop over asleep. I have a raging head-ache and am still feeling prickly and frustrated.

Re-entry is a process and I musn't rush it. I'm pacing myself back into real life.

Which is perfectly okay, since The Boss is technically on vacation until Monday morning. Right?!