Wednesday, July 31, 2013

212. "I dream my painting and I paint my dream." ~ Vincent van Gogh

Purple pajamas and pink sheets.  She sleeps like a windmill.  "A princess windmill," says she.

When I look at her sleeping, I am overwhelmed with emotion.  Always.

Sometimes she has nightmares.  Life has been a nightmare for her.

May she have sweet dreams forevermore.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

211. Her intentions

Her intentions were to paint her toenails -- and not her toes and her fingers.  After playing all day long at a day camp, we went to dinner with friends where she played some more.  She was so happy to get some girly play time.

Monday, July 29, 2013

210. As good as abandoned

Now that Drew has moved to Brooklyn, his bikes just sit in the locked up in the side yard.  The weeds have moved from threatening to promising to take over the two wheeled form.

I do miss that boy.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

209. A boy in the lobby

As we were checking out of the hotel, we noticed this little boy with his cape.  I want a cape, too!

From there we took stuff to the Salvation Army, loaded the truck, worked on Mallory's car (the crazy power steering was having issues), scrubbed the house and drove five hours to get back home.

Tired doesn't seem strong enough a word to describe what I am feeling right now.

208. One last time

My husband and I went to Athens one last time to pack up and move Mallory back home.  We have loved having such a cool place to be the backdrop of so many visits with our girls.

Friday, July 26, 2013

207. Happy

We took Julia to synagogue for the first time and she said she had fun.  Her minion singing skills served her well as she tried to sing along to the songs in Hebrew.

She was well behaved and perfect.  When we got home, she put on some comfortable clothes, grabbed her "cell phone" (an old and dead iPod from one of the boys) and watched a little Disney TV.

We were all happy.

206. Back to work

While I would have like more summer, it was nice to get back to a routine.  My floors are shiny and clean and my boxes are unpacked again.

Only a few more days before the teachers come back, too.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

205. At the park

I'm having a little summer depression right now.  Tomorrow, I go back to work.  Summer was short but I did appreciate the break.

Today, Julia and I went on a tour of parks near our house.  Her favorite part was pretending to be a model (hence the serious look).  It was hot but it was nice to be outside for a few hours without it raining.

I love how she has gotten freckles this summer.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

204. Time to read

I can always find time to read.  It is the one hobby that I've had the longest -- but it seems weird to call it a hobby.  In fact, calling reading a hobby feels akin to calling breathing an interest.  I truly can't imagine a single day without reading.

Now You
52 of You - Hobby

Monday, July 22, 2013

203. Using some imagination

At first the K'nex creation was a cake and then it became a castle with a moat.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

202. American Girl

She has recently discovered American Girl books.  Now to get her to sit long enough to read more than a couple of pages.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

201. Mr. Peabody doing his thing

Destuffing a toy is serious business to Mr. Peabody.  The best part is how he smiles as he works.

Mili has learned to destuff, too, but she can't hold a candle to the master.

We do love being the official dogsitters of Mr. Peabody.  That boy is such a happy pup!

200. Beach day

A whole bunch of firsts for Friday: being in St. Augustine; swimming in the ocean; building a sand castle; boogie boarding; seeing a horse up close; and eating on a balcony.

199. The little things

Thursday.  Worked in the yard a bit.  Texted the boys.  My weather in the deep south has been kinder than their weather in Brooklyn and New Haven.  I wish I could send some AC coolness to them. Suggested ice cream for dinner for them.

In the yard, the border grass is blooming.  Little purple strands of flowers.  A parade of triumph along the edges of the garden.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

198. The fence

Early this morning, I drove to the coast to attend a workshop for work.  It was a great training and well worth my time.  Before we left to head back home, I looked longingly at the gorgeous view from the parking lot.  

It almost seems cruel to have workshops in such beautiful places. 

The fence and a bit of bramble was all that stood between me and that fabulous sand.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

197. Go figure

We are in fierce competition with the birds for the figs on the tree.  They are delicious so I can't blame the birds.

Monday, July 15, 2013

196. "There will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right." Albus Dumbledore

My time.  Oh, how my time has totally escaped me.  The little one who has plopped into our lives is wonderful but she does require a lot of one on one.  There are so many things that she just hasn't been taught yet (not her fault) and we are working fervently to catch her up to her peers.  And we are learning from her, too.  

Sometimes, it is a bit wearing but we are all adapting -- and adapting well.  We can already see a difference in her understanding of our expectations and just how to be a part of the family.

I'm not going to lie.  I miss my alone time.  One day, I know she will not be so needy.  Until then, I will keep plodding on -- and reminiscing about my lost time to piddle.

195. At the park

Spent some time at the park with Julia.  The sun was out and it was a beautiful day.

This is the same park I used to play in when I was a kid -- and I used to take my boys when they were little.

For a while, we had to park all the ourselves.  I was playing with Julia and sitting in her "magic seat" while she played a pretend game.  When a van pulled up with other kids, she said, "Hurry!  Get out of the magic seat!  There are some kids for me to play with now."

She is funny!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

194. Relaxed - for just a moment

A birthday party for her friend today.  She swam in the lake (a first) in the rain.  She got to fish and even caught a little fish (another first -- and we threw the fish back).

As we got in the car, she said, "Birthdays are for sugar!"

She may have been on a bit of a sugar high.  ;)

Friday, July 12, 2013

193. Stacked

Dessert is always the most discussed topic when food choices come up now that we have our girl.  She does love some sugar!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

192. Team Walkie Talkie

Our girl has a nickname -- Walkie Talkie -- and it fits her like a charm.  Her social worker came by this afternoon to check on her and to be sure she was happy.  She has been looking out for our girl since she was first taken into custody early in April.

I truly appreciate this lady and all the people who work in social services.  What gut wrenching work!

Notice the girl's high heels.  She was super excited to get high heel shoes to wear to the play last night.  :)  She picked an outfit for today so she could wear them again.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

191. Our new normal

The girl has finally been moved to our house.  Finally.

The call came this afternoon while we already had her for visitation.  We were excited.  She was excited.

To celebrate, we took her to a fancy restaurant (another first) and then to a wonderful play (yet another first).

Her look of confusion as she peruses the menu makes me laugh.  She wasn't sure about the food but she will learn.  The play was The Marvelous Wonderettes and she loved it.  She sat between us and smiled and laughed and just seemed happy.

And we are happy, too.  It feels good to finally have her settled into that room down the hall.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

190. Fun guys

We've had so much rain this summer. It gives us a bit of a reprieve from the heat AND it gives up mushrooms!

This crop of fungi is growing in a stump in the backyard.  I got slimy in the moss trying to get this picture.

Monday, July 8, 2013

189. That daisy

I like how one daisy can stand out in the crowd.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

188. Seven Tomatoes

The tomatoes have been struggling a bit with all the rain that we've been getting.  Despite the soggy conditions, the tomatoes are still kicking -- and they are delicious!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

187. A farmy day

This morning, we went to the farmer's market for some fresh produce.  Then after lunch, we went to visit a friend who lives on a farm.

She said, "It is a farmy kind of day."

And it was.

It was also a day of firsts.  First time to a farmer's market.  First time going to a farm.  First time petting a chicken.  First time gathering eggs.  First time helping to make homemade pizza.

She is just a lot fun!

Friday, July 5, 2013

186. Little moments

After a funeral this morning and helping with the food for the family, I got to pick up the girl to spend the weekend with us.  This evening, we had a birthday dinner planned for my mother.  As soon as we got home, our girl made a card and a "book" for her new Grammy.

The things I want to remember: the way she half sits and half stands; the way she holds her fingers out in her girly way; how excited she was to pick out stickers to go in the book she was making.

We are still waiting on paperwork approval so that she can move in.  In fact, we had to sign and fax one more form today.  She is ready to move in and we are ready for her to do so.  Maybe it'll be next week.  So much of her summer has been in limbo.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

185. Independence Day

We spent the afternoon and evening with some friends who have a little house in the woods by a little lake.  It rained and rained so we sat on the porch enjoying the cool breeze and the company.  Just before dark, it stopped raining.

Since the walkway and part of the dock are under water (it has rained a lot over the past couple of weeks, we decided to light the fireworks in the clearing in the yard.  I didn't bring my tripod but I did rig up a stable surface out of a discarded firework box.  It took a few tries but I finally got the knack for getting cool light trails.

Happy Independence Day!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

184. Chuck Taylors and Tangerines

These colors remind me of the reason I love the Miami Dolphins -- I love these colors together!

While in NYC, we found a Converse store and I splurged on a pair.  Besides, I was sort of over the sandals I had been wearing that day.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

183. Kindness

After being out of town for several days, I had a stack of mail to contend with.  Right on top was a lovely photograph with the sweetest letter on the back from a friend from Germany.  There really is something special about getting a snail mail letter -- especially when the message is so touching.

182. Home

Monday.  Looking out the airport shuttle train.

After one more breakfast of bagels (yes, we ate them every single day -- we don't get good bagels in south Georgia), my sister and I packed up and lugged our luggage to the subway to begin our way to the airport.  It was pouring and the umbrella just didn't help with the sideways rain.  The rain did help hide my tears as I said goodbye to my boy.

Our luggage was heavy and awkward which made me cringe when we realized that we needed to be on the other side of the track.  We had brought our biggest suitcases so that we could bring all of Drew's clothes and stuff to NYC.  When we headed back, I actually had a suitcase inside a suitcase so that I could bring it back to Georgia.

So, we lugged the suitcases back up the stairs and crossed the street.  Thanks to the kindness of strangers, I was assisted with my luggage at every set of stairs.  It became hilarious because obviously I was struggling with my monster suitcase.  Who says New Yorkers aren't kind?

Right after we got through security at the airport, I received a text message that our flight was delayed.  And then another message came with another delay.  And another.

We finally boarded the plane hours later -- but thankful that it wasn't one of the canceled flights.  The weather really was bad all along the East coast.

We landed in Jacksonville in the midst of a nice downpour.  After driving in the rain for two hours, I finally made it home at 1:30 something a.m., where my sweet husband had waited up and was there to help me with my monster suitcase.

Plus, he was happy that I had brought home some bagels for him.

Monday, July 1, 2013

181. And the grass grows in Brooklyn


We took Taco to Prospect Park and let him bound and run.  When he got tired, we found some shade and let him rest while we sat around talking and watching all the people playing in the rolling grass.

The weather was perfect with a coolness in the breeze.

Later that afternoon, we rode the train to another part of Brooklyn to meet a friend for dinner.

It was a calm and fabulous way to spend our last day in Brooklyn.