Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mermaid Treasures

A lot of sleepy days and sick days over here. On the upswing now, but since I couldn't (or didn't feel like) doing much else, I crafted. Planning Ruby's birthday party each year is so much fun for me. This year's theme: Mermaids and/or Under The Sea. I am very early this year, but am so happy to have a lot of the details done already. And, hey, what is more uplifting in the winter than to day dream about seashells, birthdays, and Spring?
Lots of pretty pastel sea shells! I painted them with Martha Stewart's luscious new colors: Beach Glass, Antique Silk (pearl finish), and Wintermint (w/glitter added). I mixed and blended and then coated them all with a heavy helping of glitter glue for added shine and sparkle. So pleased with them! 
This will be the kids craft. They are wooden shells and starfish I found at Michael's. The top ones will hang on a net or string to show them examples and the rest will be painted a solid color. Will put out glitter glue and gems of all sorts to make their own. The wooden wands we did like this last year were a big hit. Still on the look out for some sharks and/or fish to make it more interesting for the boys. Yea, I know... I've got time!
Got myself a hot glue gun and reinvented Ruby's barely-worn Jasmine crown. I decided I was not going to buy another costume that will just sit in the closet and would instead buy her something in the same color palette. Something that can be worn again. But to jazz it up a bit I will layer over her aqua tutu, add this crown, and add this seashell pin...
Feel like this needs a little something yet. Maybe pearls???

Had a ball with this stuff, but now it's time to get busy around here and do all the things that have neglected since I have been down and out this week. Like laundry, taking more Christmas stuff to the basement, and rehearsing some new material for an upcoming gig (now that my voice is back again).

Happy hump day!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Lost Post...and Sleepless Nights

I started this post in early December. A catch up post that I never caught-up with! Here are some reflections from last month and some adoption related concerns. Would love to hear from you all out there on the latter.

She's growing so fast. What a strange feeling of pride and sentiment. So proud of what she is learning and doing and yet hate how fast it's going. Tonight I played my lullaby CD for her. It was the 1st time in a long while. But, hey, not THAT long ago, I thought. Wasn't it just yesterday when she asked me to sing Butterfly Moon (the song I wrote for her)? It was her favorite of all the songs I sang to her. "Bu-MOON" she'd say. Tonight she seems to have no recollection. A little pang of sadness for the short "baby" time we had together and forgotten memory. But oh, MAN, how I love this girl. We have so much fun. The honeymoon hasn't ended. She is still my sweetie pie and the best part of my day, the best part of our life.

So many things to catch up on and some cute things to share. Will just bullet point a few of the highlights and random happenings around here since it's been so long.

* Today I cleaned the playroom. I mean REALLY cleaned the playroom. Rearranged, got in the corners, wiped down all the toys and toy boxes. Still in the organizing phase. Hope to finish taking all the doll toys and accessories upstairs and leave art and music stuff downstairs. Moving her easel out of my kitchen gave me great joy. Now if only we had a new home for that rarely used play kitchen. But, one step at a time. The rearrange had me finding all sorts of fun crafts and art supplies I forgot I had. Ruby came home from school and instead of asking for the TV, she asked for the Moon Sand I had laying out. Played with it for 2 HOURS! Yea! Hopefully, now that I have her toys and art stuff out and easy to find, she will have renewed interest in them.

* Went to Disneyland. Had a blast! What a place. I feel so grateful Jeff & I could take her this year. So much magic for her. The castle, the princesses, the rides, the Bippity Boppity Boutique was precious. But there was something even more special that happened during our trip. We got to see Lily again. Ruby's 1st friend. The sweet girl that slept in the crib next to her in Nakhon Si Thammarat Home for Boys. It was so amazing to see the girls together, knowing where they came from and how long they had to wait for this joy. Especially Lily. So great to see how well she is doing and see her with such an amazing family. We just loved getting together with the Moeller's! Lily is doing so great and we are so so happy for them. The 2nd time we got together Ruby, Jeff, & I were in line for the Alladin Magic Carpet Ride. My friend Ellie handed Lily over to me so she could go on with Ruby. The two looked at each other, smiled, and held hands immediately. They stayed like that for the whole wait (maybe 20 mins or so). Hard to tell what they remember, but a bonding of sort was there.  Pretty magical moment.
* I am singing 2-3 times a month now. Feels natural again and fun and really, really great! Enough to have music in my life again, but not so much that I'm away from Ruby much. Really a great balance for me. Of course, Rubes still doesn't like it. She's been good for Jeff or whoever's watching her (my mom or my friend Dawn once). But then has nightmares or trouble sleeping. Of course, sometimes that is when I am working or she knows I am going somewhere and sometimes for seemingly no reason at all. Has a little trouble with change and any of us being away from home. Even at Disney, she asked to sleep at home in her pink room by day 5. She likes to be home and that security of knowing what's coming next.

Been a bit of an exhausting week here with her up 3-5 times a night crying for me, until she finally crawls in bed and crashes with her mamma, clinging to me like a vine and reaching for me in a panic, should I budge. Poor thing. I wish I could just heal her scared heart and make her realize I will always be here. So hard to see her worried like that and sometimes crying with big sobbing tears. She often has dreams that she's alone or that I am not there. Poor thing. It's always the same theme: being alone. I know this will pass and she will feel more secure in time. Right now she just needs to be home a few weeks I think and back into our routine. We went to see relatives the week b4 Disney and again for Thanksgiving (a few days after we got back). It was wonderful, but a lot of time away for her.

* Tried no TV tonight, nice warm bath, and read books upstairs a lot earlier. Also denied her request for a "snack". Wondering if this is triggering the dreams (and she JUST ate a half hour b4 we came up) so I skipped it. She was out at 8:00pm so hopefully she will get a good night's rest tonight. Last night I think we both got a collective 4 hours. Not sure how either of us got through the day!

* A few weeks ago I asked her what she would ask Santa for this Christmas. Her reply?
"A purple doll, a genie, a blue cup for Daddy, a map, and a rope" LOL! "A map? And a rope???" I replied, quizzically. With arms out to the side in a grand "what" gesture -as if I was really clueless- she explained: "a map to read and rope for LASSO!!!!!" Ahhhh! Like Jesse in Toy Story. But she still ain't getting a rope. Oh, the things they come up with!

* Fast forward 2 weeks later and she met Santa. Was so in awe with the man she just smiled and cooed. When he asked what she wanted, this was her reply "ummmmmm" along with a shy smile and more awe inspired staring. SO cute! Was all giddy (and angelic) the rest of the day. I do think I may love that dear mall Santa. :-)

*Having fun doing holiday stuff with the little miss. Crafts, wrapping presents, decorating the tree. She is so into decorating with me this year. Such a good lil helper. Did one small tree all byherself in the dining room and I sware it's never looked so nice! Was SO proud of her self. We had such a great few days making the house all sparkly.

* Not sure if it's Santa, the elf, or she's just happy to be home, or all the fun of the season, but the lil bug has been extra special good lately. Following me around saying, "Yes, Mamma! Thank you, Mamma! I love you, Mamma!" Ha, ha whatever it is, I am liking it!

Well, fast forward to today (Jan 11th). As we got closer to (and through Christmas) Ruby was less and less interested in presents and more interested in just being with everyone. She liked everything but all this sweet girl said she really wanted was her family. Hearing her say that makes my heart both break and swell at the same time. We are still having restless sleep, but the nightmares have stopped for now. It got much worse b4 it got better. She's asking all sorts of questions. Questions I was prepared to answer, but didn't think would come up at such an early age. Watching Tangled at school got her all confused and made matters worse. (I talked to the teacher who was very understanding & took it off the shelf). Didn't affect her to see it last year (just went over her head) but now she is remembering things from her past and it really made her think this time. She wanted to know where her "real" family is and had nightmares and night terrors. Heartbreaking. After weeks of reassuring, looking at old photos and talking about her "story" she is feeling better I think. We talked at great length about Rapunzel and the mean witch that kidnapped her. How she is NOT being adopted and how different that story is from her life. We read some sweet adoption books and I think it helped her understanding a bit. But the battle is surely not over. She is such a deep thinker. Last week she mentioned a nanny from the orphanage. Never seemed to have any recollection b4 when we looked at the pics. She remembers what I fed her on the day we met and how she felt and is filling in gaps of the story. In some ways I am glad she can talk about it and share with me. In other ways, it breaks my heart that she still worries about being alone or that she won't have a family. We give her all the love and reassurance we can, but it's gonna take time. How I wish I could take all her fears away. For now I can just give her love and comfort her as best as I can. She is sleeping with me again. I'm not worried about her sleeping in her own bed right now. If it helps her to feel secure than I am glad to be there with her. The last 2 nights were restless but in the morning she said she had good dreams. Always about her family. Good or bad she is dreaming about her family. Almost every night she calls out "Mamma" and reaches her hand out to make sure I am still there 2-5 times a night. God bless her. I lay awake trying to think of ways to help her. We talk about having "happy thoughts" b4 bedtime. We play relaxing music and read happy books. I think it helps a little. 

I am curious if anyone else had these questions at such an early age? Any tips or thoughts? Gonna go back and read the adoption books on the shelf and see if there is something I missed. It's definitely been better this week but I want to know all I can for the next time it comes up. Need to join the post-adoption group, too. I switched emails and have been off for awhile. Are any of you on it?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Our Disney Trip

Yes, it was in November. And I am posting about it in January. Started this post awhile ago and never finished! With the holidays, 2 blogs, 2 FB accounts, and lots of holiday guests, trips and activities, it was just too much to keep up with. Gonna try to be better about it this year.
The 3 of us at Animal Kingdom.
Writing "Minnie" in Thai at a great little Thai stall they had in the Asia section of Animal Kingdom. They wrote her name in Thai, too. Gonna frame this for her room!
Sweet Thai lady made Ruby a fish (pla) out of bamboo.
Ruby smiles with our new friend.
Lil bug having fun seeing the animals

Loving the tall bamboo
Loving the tigers
Me and my sweet pea!
This water fountain proved to be a HUGE source of amusement. She laughed and played her for a good while.
In awe watching the fireworks at Epcot on our 1st night. Pretty much her face the whole time.  Priceless!
Hard to get good pics at night on my camera, but this was the Cinderella carriage with 6 white horses. Stunning! Rubes was equally smitten. The whole "Mickey's Christmas Party" parade was amazing. Crowded. Insane. But amazing.
Waiting her turn at the Bippity Boppity Boutique. This place was just magic.
With her "fairy godmother"
Getting her make up done.
All done!
My lil princess. This was her favorite day of the trip by far. So magical. 
On the merry go round. So fun for her to feel like a princess for the day!
Gorgeous mosaic mural on the wall of the castle.
Love this picture. Rubes and another princess admiring the wall at the gift shop. The Aurora set came home with us and will under the tree from Santa this year. 
Meeting Cinderella
Little rhinestone Mickey bow they put in the back of her hair. Cute detail!
Meeting her fav - Aurora!
5 star kid meal at the castle
The Little Mermaid was gorgeous and oh so sweet.
Dessert came with a cup of marshmallows, a cup of choc chips, and a cup of sprinkles. 
She didn't waste one single crumb!
Her face in 'It's a Small World'. "Look at the dollies, Mommy!!!"
I believe this is Siam - as in Thailand
Princess Tiana and Prince Neeven. Some of the best characters in the park. Really great and so in character!
Ruby just loved them and they spent a lot of time with her. Really sweet!
Fort Wilderness Lodge. Quite a hike to get there but a fun dinner at Whispering Canyon and a beautiful resort!
Hollywood Studios. This wasn't actually just a prop shot. This was an actual crew shooting promo shots for the park that let us take one with them. In fact, they invited us to be in the promo piece on the main street where they'd be filming later, but we totally forgot! Were having too much fun, I guess. :-)
Character bfast at Hollywood and Vine was so worth it. She loved seeing Handy Manny, June (from Little Einsteins) and Jake from the Neverland Pirates.
Love this. Pure joy.
She's a BIG fan of Jake.
Toy Story army man.
Was beside herself about meeting Buzz. They were great. The 2 Buzz rides were her favorite in the park. Also Soaring. We all loved that one!
3D glasses 
Fun play area
Meeting Belle at Akershus dinner in Norway.
Aurora again
Rubes had a crush on our waiter. She flirted with him all through dinner. Too cute.
Another amazing dessert.
Holding hand with her 1st friend, Lily. We rode the Alladin Magic Carpet ride together. 
Two cuties met this week for the 1st time since they were babies in Thailand. It was so amazing to see them together! Not sure if they remembered...hard to say. But they sure did have fun together!
Fun day going on rides with the Moeller's. Such a great family!
Meeting Alladin & Jasmine
Dancing by the big tree at the Grand Floridian
Water slide at our pool
Daddy catching her on the slide. After a few times she did it herself!
Playing Bingo with Daddy poolside
Our little Rapunzel. I gave her a side braid with lots of clips and flowers and she was all giddy.
Meeting Mulan!
Love this shot. Says it all.
Got to see friends Ellie and Lily one last time b4 we all headed home.
A new friend Ruby met in line at the Soarin' ride. (Our fav ride in the park) So cute. The girls jumped and danced and played together for the whole hour long wait in line!
Sleepy lil traveler on the way home.
Such a trooper. Had a great, great time, but was happy to be going back to her home.

Working on the Disney photo album today. I put it off until after the holidays, but now it's got to be finished b4 the deadline tomorrow or my photos get dumped from the Disney site. Half way done and down to the wire. Glad I have some time to finish it today!