Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"And Wuv, Tru Wuv, Will Fowow You Foweva"

Our 8th anniversary was yesterday. We didn't really go all out this year...which seems to be our pattern lately. There is such joy everyday in our lives with Aurora that we have felt like just quietly celebrating birthdays, our anniversary and other special occasions. But we were still true to our family tradition of stretching the celebration out as many days as possible. One night we went to Red Lobster for dinner and then we went and saw New Moon the next night. We exchanged anniversary cards, wishes and thoughts yesterday (we had decided against presents this year).
And this anniversary probably fits right in with a description a friend had told me recently about Jared and I's relationship: a little "blah." She did go on to explain that "blah" was a good thing compared to her turbulent unstable relationship. Even if she had meant it negatively I would have still smiled and considered it a compliment. To me, I can't think of anything better than to have a relationship where all the normal, everyday things you have to do such as grocery shopping, cleaning the house, getting H1N1 shots, and cooking (things we did this past weekend) are made special & fun and bring feelings of joy, love and peace all because of the person who is by your side. I knew that by the world's standards we would be considered boring and in recognition of that it's why I gave this title to our blog.
I have been teased about my love of the Twilight series and other romances, but to clarify and to slightly defend :) I don't read them because I wish to have that life or relationship. I enjoy them purely for their entertainment value. I'm not even unsatisfied with my relationship and life after reading them either. In fact, I usually look around afterwards and give thanks for my relationship with Jared and my life. They and others can keep their star-crossed and drama-filled loves. I will quietly sit at home with my best friend, my eternal companion, my true love.
P.S. The title of this post comes from the Princess Bride which, as many of you know, has special meaning to Jared and I. If you don't know the story, ask me about it sometime.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Aurora's Sealing Dress

Awhile ago, I said I would give more details about Aurora's sealing dress...here it is.
It was made from my wedding dress with the help of my Aunt Jan and her fabulous embroidery machine.
Here is a picture of my dress before...
(This is the only wedding pic I have scanned in at the moment)

Here is the bodice of Aurora's dress complete with pin tucks, embroidered flowers and puffed sleeves (Anne Shirley would just love those sleeves). I did most of the bodice with help.

Aunt Jan did most of the skirt.

Here is the finished product. I was soooo very pleased with it. I had been a little concern (okay quite concerned!) about cutting up my wedding dress.

I also made the bonnet.

You can see fabulous pictures of Aurora in her dress here. We are so blessed to have many talented friends who are photographers (Thanks Sheila, Mallory & Marissa!). If you didn't see Aurora's newborn pictures, then go here and here.
There is enough material to make a vest, pants and a bow tie for a little boy later. :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Happy Adoption Awareness Month!

November is National Adoption Awareness Month. So to do my part I am blogging about my favorite children's books about adoption. I encourage you to check these titles out from your local library and celebrate families of all kinds and types this month. Isn't that really what this time of the year is all about...families and love!?!

Each title has a link to Lexington's public library so if you live in Lex, you can reserve it. The link for the author's name will take you to the book's Amazon page, so you can read a review of the book.

I'm a little leery of books written by celebrities, especially children's books but this is one of my favorites! Curtis who is an adoptive parent, writes with wit & fun and cozy warmth & love (the illustrations are also fantastic!). Many of us take our "birth stories" for granted but all children love to hear how they were born especially children who have been adopted. This story fills that need and encourages all of us to tell our children their birth stories of how they came to be in our family.

Many of you may already enjoy Todd Parr's bright and fun illustrations and stories. The Family Book is about the many different types of families and one page highlights adoptive families. I liked this book better than his book that was specifically about adoptive families, although I still recommend it too.

"There is an ancient Chinese belief that an invisible, unbreakable red thread connects all those who are destined to be together."

That is how this fairy tale begins. I love fairy tales, children's books and I'm passionate about adoption...this book really couldn't go wrong for me. This book is more fairy tale than accurately portraying or giving info about adoption but it is still a good book to use to discuss adoption.

Probably my favorite adoption picture book because of the sweet illustrations and story. Anita Jeram is the illustrator for the well-known children's book "Guess How Much I Love You." This is about a mother rabbit, her biological child and two adopted children and what makes them all different and similar and most important... family.

Another rather well-known children's author (one of my other favorites by Kasza is "My Lucky Day"). A little bird discovers what it really means and takes to be family.

This was Karen Katz's first book before she became well-known for her baby lift-the-flap board books. (Aurora smiles really big when we read Katz's "Where is Baby's Belly Button?" to her). Just like her baby board books, she uses a lot of bright colors and these paticular illustrations have a lot more texture. This story is based on Katz's personal experience in adopting a child from Central America.

This book is told from the perspective of a little girl who has been adopted. The book highlights many concerns adoptive children often have such as were they "born" like other children? A happy sweet story of the day in the life of Samantha and her adoption story.

A little more educational and less story-like than the other titles I have mentioned but still engaging. This book, unlike most of the others, covers the different forms that adoption can take such as adoptions of older children through foster care.

This is probably already more titles than you will ever need or want but this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are other titles I can recommend, just ask if you want more. :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Happy Half Birthday!

"Yes, they named her after the dawn, for she filled their lives with sunshine."

Aurora is our sunshine. She is a very happy baby and still easy-going.

Look how big she is getting...

I've been waiting for 6 months for this dress to fit and I think she is going to outgrow it in a week!

We go to the doctor next week...any guess how much she weighs and how tall she is?

A lady at the library said "Look at those thighs" when she first saw Aurora (Thank goodness it wasn't when she first saw me!). She then preceded to point them out to everyone in the line. I have seen more rolls in a bakery than her thighs but there is something about them that are just so cute and you have to pinch them.

A picture of the famous thighs.

She is hitting all the milestones...
Sitting up:
She sits up well just not for very long, but it gets longer each day...

and she rolls over onto her stomach like a pro...now if she could just roll back.

She is big enough to bounce in her Johnny Jumper, too.

First Haircut


Daddy was so sad when I gave her a haircut.
I think he was envious of her rat tail, apparently he never had one in the 80's.

Happy Half Birthday, our little sunshine!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Documentation of the indoctrination of the American girl

Being a people watcher by nature and a therapist by education, I sometimes act as a pseudo-sociologist. Here is my own documentation of the indoctrination of the American girl. My subjects are the two daughters of my dear friend Alyssa who has been trying her best to indoctrinate her children with some success...they have painted McDonald's pictures and own many Polly Pocket Disney Princess Dolls (yes, I did just provide a link to where you can buy your own indoctrination kit of princess dolls) but nothing is quite so quintessential as Barbie.

I haven't seen the girls play with any Barbies yet so I busted them out (no pun intended) one early fall morning while I was babysitting. It was a pretty sight with the sun streaming in through the windows highlighting the many colors of Barbie's wardrobe strewn about the living room and the unsuspecting girls happily playing.

In this pic, Kate is playing with my very first Barbie. (Indoctrination has a long and prestigious history.) Obviously, being 50 yrs old doesn't stop Barbie from doing moves like this.

But there was rebellion and independence brewing in our midst...

Marin put down her Barbie and began gathering all of the clothes and stuffing them into one of the doll's nightgowns. Apparently, she had enough of the unrealistic role model and created her own doll that she played with quite contently and had a hard time putting away when it was time for clean up.

Actually, I think it is a little more realistic to the average American woman, at least from all that I hear about obesity.

Then Kate kept trying to fix Barbie's wardrobe. It seems that everything was just a little too revealing even though previously I had already taken out the worst outfits.

It appears these girls might be a tougher case than I thought. Moral: I learned that I should not judge Alyssa so rashly in what I thought was neglect in her daughters' indoctrination.