Tuesday, December 2, 2008

So, moving on...

Well, I've given up on the memory card for now. I've looked in every humanly imaginable spot in my house. I know it never left the house. I, therefore, conclude that there is a divine purpose in its state of unkown. Simply put, I give. So I lost THE most important pictures of marching band season. I can get copies from friends, right? So I'll be re-staging Halloween pictures in front of the Christmas tree. There are worse things in life, eh?

Sunday was referral day...two years ago we got THE CALL. I am ever so amazed at how the previous 15 months slogged painstakingly by, while the past two years have evaporated at an almost alarming rate. I can't remember life without Caroline...can't IMAGINE what life would be without her. We are all so in love with this kid. She is so different and yet so much the same as the day we met her. She is fiesty and charming, sweet and sassy, precocious and captivating. I studied her face the other in church as she worked her way down the row...first Daddy, then Abby, then Mindy, then me...a tight hug, head on the shoulder...a kiss on the cheek, face framed by her tiny hands...followed by a flash of her sweet, impish smile...she has it down to a science, I'm telling you.

The first time ever we saw her face...such a sweet little face...and the look in her eye, the determined set of her jaw and the bump on her little head told an infinitely more interesting story...WHAT SEVEN-MONTH-OLD IN AN ORPHANAGE CAN PULL UP ALREADY???

We couldn't have asked for a sweeter two-year-old. And the only bad thing about that is that two has to come to an end. Eventually, they all turn three. Insert shiver down my spine. Three is NOT my favorite age. It's not all bad, of course. They're still innocent. They say the funniest things. They're completely darling...when they WANT to be. And there it is. Free will rearing its ugly head for all to see. Now I'm sure you all can't IMAGINE Caroline sharing her opinions freely and exercising her right to free speech, and yet...she does. LOUDLY. And now it's in English. We have to laugh...or we'll cry. Don't get me wrong...she's still captivatingly charming and about as cute as she can be. But if she doesn't get her way, odds are she's gonna make you pay. And, technically, she's not three yet! Apparently, she's in training.

I fell in love with this photo. It's so amazing, the poignant memories of those first few days. I remember puttering around in her room all day, watching the rain pour down outside, while waiting for the call. The next day we let the kids stay home from school to wait for the package from FedEx while a wind storm raged outside. And then there was the great joy of sharing her pictures with everyone...so many people were anxiously waiting!

Sometimes, though, she really does give me a good chuckle. Yesterday, she was disgruntled about something I told her she couldn't do, and she hopped off the sofa, turned around and held up her hand, and retorted, "I'm DONE with this!" WHAT???? See, that's where she gets me. Although she was being sassy, she was genuinely irritated with me and let me know it. It was hilarious in that way that you know it won't be nearly as funny the tenth time she smarts off with it.

So today she's honked off because we're leaving school, and she knows that's followed by an N-A-P. And she fusses at me as I strap her into her carseat with a "you makin' my (me) cwazy!" Yeah, back at ya' sister! Because then, when she's in her bed and her fate is sealed, she starts in with the "I want to wear my jammies". Now, if we're home all day and she wants to wear her jammies, I'm all for it. In fact, some days I might just do the same. But, seriously, I am not having her change clothes three times a day if I can help it. And heaven forbid if you tell her she can't go to "Magga's house" when she wants to. Serious meltdown. Her, not me. At least for the first twenty minutes. Add in the antics of a ten-year-old boy (reminder...Y chromosome at play here) and two teenage girls, and you might have some level of comprehension why, although some days they make MY crazy, my house is never boring. Ever.

So November felt like it was about four days long. Marching band season officially ended (don't worry, you won't hear much about it again until our trip to Phoenix at New Year's), Thanksgiving blew by and now it's Christmas season. We had a really nice Thanksgiving weekend. We stayed home, cooked ourselves crazy, ate until we couldn't breathe, played games and passed out over Black Friday ads. Jon and I insanely got up at the ungodly (and that is NO exaggeration for this NON-morning person) hour of 3 am, and we had already made our strategic purchases and checked out of Kohl's by 4:35 am. We hit a few more hot spots, knocked out quite a bit of our Christmas shopping and were home by 10:30. We really had a smooth day of it, except for the line at Circuit City. An hour. We waited in line for an HOUR. Now, I can be a tough shopper, but it would have been much more tolerable if I'd had, say, a pillow and a lawn chair to get me through. I thought I was going to pass out in the floor, I was so sleepy! Apparently, I got a second wind and decided to take the girls back out shopping for a couple of hours. It was right about the time we were standing in the customer service line to get price adjustments on some early bird specials that I nearly slipped into a shopping coma. We dropped Mindy off at the movies with her boyfriend and headed home after that. I barely made it to the sofa.

Our Black Friday shopping yielded a pair of new bar stools for the kitchen (hopefully a little more indestructible than the last pair)...and the boxes yielded more than an hour of entertainment for Mickey and Caroline. Mickey became a robot, and, not to be outdone, Caroline became an apparent robot hunter. Add shrill screams while running through the house. Oh, yeah. I have no idea why Caroline had the cardboard over her face, but it was funny! And then I had to try NOT to laugh when Mickey couldn't get the box off his head!

Mickey and Abby put the Christmas tree up while we were gone, so by the end of the night, I had the tree "fluffed" and the chaser lights on...with only 900 or so lights to go. It's a labor of love. About halfway through the light process, I wonder why we even have a tree, but when it's done, it's a sight to behold. I'll write more on the rest of our holiday weekend in a day or so...yes, I really mean it. I'm determined to do a little better job of keeping up. Stop laughing. Okay, laugh...I can't blame you. Tonight, though, we're headed to Abby's Christmas concert band performance. Tis the season!


Kristi said...

So glad to see you back in blogland my friend! I was afraid that you were hibernating with the bears...
Love the picture of Caroline in robot hunter mode creaming her brother! When I find my battery charger for my camera I'll have to take some shots of my kids doing similar things!
Wish you were just down the road...
Miss you tons!
ps ~ tell Jon that today as I caught myself saying to Caleb, "Son!" that I heard his voice ringing in my ears and now understand why sometimes he calls Mickey that instead of using his name!

Cronk Family said...

I have tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat from reading your thoughts and memories of the referral day and Fed Ex day. I really can't believe it's been 2 years--where has the time gone?!!? And, I laughed as I read about your dread of the inevitable 3 years of age... Since I'm in the throes of it (Sarah turned 3 on 11/17), I can totally identify! She is so in charge of herself and everyone around her... Right now, she loves to say "good you!"--that means "good for you"--and I'm sure she doesn't mean it in the nicest way...it's kind of like she's telling us off! I miss you, and wish we lived closer... Love, Rebecca

Allison said...

Maggie and Caroline MUST meet. That's all there is to it.

Ally said...

Hey There!! It's looking like Christmas! Oh I tagged you!!!

Mom of Triple As said...

You don't know me, but I'm Kristi's cousin, mom of THE Triple As. I followed your blog when you and Kristi were in China at the same time so I feel as though I know a small part of you. The pictures of Mickey are HYSTERICAL!! Probably makes you wonder why you got up so darn early when you could just hit the dumpsters anytime for empty boxes. :)

Our Journey said...

The boxes are always more fun than anything in them!! That's the way it works around this house anyway! We have a very similar picture w/ boxes on Anne Marie's hands.. and love that your son plays along too!!

p.s. Happy Referral day!!