Camping - Mommy Style

3/26/2011 11:44:00 PM Edit This 4 Comments »
Lexie has been asking if we can go camping ever since her Big Cousin Cody talked about his many camping trips with the Boy Scouts. Now I have to admit camping, at least real camping, is not my thing. I did some while I was in Girl Scouts which was great fun but then when I was in 4th or 5th grade my folks bought a Winnebago. Now THAT is my kind of camping....flushing toilets, fridge for the food, beds to sleep in and four walls to keep you safe, you know campin'. So with Lexie having her 4th cold/cough nastiness in the last month we were both sick of not doing much over the weekends but I still didn't want to venture out to do much. So I decided we'd do a little Mommy style camping....
Nothing like pitchin' a tent in the great out, I mean, in doors! And what a tent it was (thanks Jon & Teri for the cute hand-me-down.) As you can see we "rode" our horses out to the campsite and Lexie was wearing her camping attire complete with boots and pigtails.
After all that hard work it was time for some grub....s'mores of course.
Did you know that marshmallows blow up if you heat them in the microwave for even 30 seconds? Clearly Mommy still has a few things to learn about "campfire" cooking.
 They were too hot to eat just like when you pull them off your stick. I swear I could almost smell the fire when we pulled them out of the microwave and waited for them to cool.
 And they are just as gooey. Lexie swears they taste like the real thing (not that she's ever had them but hey she was thrilled with the treat.)
When I'd cleaned up most of the chocolate, Lexie told me it was time for spooky stories around the campfire. Okay, one campfire coming up.
Luckily I am a very prepared Mommy (prepared for the many times the power goes out around here but still) and we had our "fire" going in no time. You can't tell it but it's pitch black (my flash is really bright) since she wouldn't let me have any lights on except the "fire."
Lexie wanted to tell the first story and I was actually impressed. You have to watch this video (she's a little hard to understand because of her cold but you'll get the gist.)
Pretty good hue?
Well I told her it was time to get into the tent for a couple of not so scary books (after all I wanted her to get some sleep tonight) and she was in so fast I had to remind her that she couldn't sleep in her clothes.
This is what she said was the prefect camping jammies. Oh she is so like her Mommy!
And she reminded me that is wasn't really camping if we didn't sing songs around the campfire. Since this was such a close replica of the real thing how could I say no. Of course the pink inflated electric guitar might be a little off but hey it went so well with her princess PJs and tutu.
After a couple verses of Old McDonald and a crocodile song she learned at school this week she gave up the guitar for her baby doll Sarah. I told her it was time to Hit the Hay (which I then had to explain) so she crawled into her princess sleeping bag with the biggest smile on her face.
Well, I think our first camping trip was a big success - even if we didn't even make it to the back yard. Maybe next time we'll venture out there.......naaaah.
Happy Trails!!

Watch Out Rachael Ray

3/19/2011 01:22:00 PM Edit This 3 Comments »
Saturday mornings I try to make something more creative than oatmeal and fruit which is our normal weekday breakfast. Well Lexie told me she wanted to "make" breakfast and here's what she came up with.
First you toast a waffle, put a drop of syrup in each square then add a "flower" of whipped cream.
 I told her she was not eating sugar on a sweet bread (basically what she had so far) so she added her favorite fruit of the week - red grapes. Make a mommy proud!
 Of course the most important part comes next.....the taste test!! Please note that it is important to put the whole square in your mouth at once. Taking a small bite will not give you the full flavor.
 Last and most important of all, give Mommy our favorite sign...the "Eye" Heart You sign. Love this girl.
So watch out Rachael Ray,
Chef Lexie Lou is ready to take over your kitchen - NOT!

Happy Swimmer!

3/15/2011 10:48:00 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Yup - we're back at it or should I say Lexie is. Last year I had her in a swimming class that required me to swim with her. It wasn't about learning to swim but to get them comfortable in the water. Lexie, the fish, has always been very happy in the water.
Can you tell that she still is....happy in the water?!!
She happily will put her face in the water...
or practice her strokes....
or proudly show me how she can now stand and bob in the water.
She's such a happy swimmer I'm afraid she'll drown not because she can't swim but because she can't take the smile off her face.
Oh my happy little swimmer.

Puzzle Time

3/14/2011 09:27:00 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Like most young kids Lexie likes to do puzzles. But what amazed me was that my still 4 & 3/4 year old baby girl could do a 100 piece puzzle almost by herself!!!!! I have no idea if this is a feat expected of kids this age or not but it seems pretty great to me.
I did help guide (like "why don't you turn that again?" or "I think that one might fit later") her through it but she really did put this together pretty much by herself. And they were little pieces too. 
What me.....a proud mama? Okay, I'll admit it....Mommy is wearing a happy face to sleep tonight!

Adoption Talk

3/04/2011 07:36:00 PM Edit This 6 Comments »
(Sorry - long rambling post ahead)
Since adopting Lexie I've always talked about where she was born and the fact that she was adopted. I've never preached about it or made it like she was different only that she's special - to me. We celebrate her official adoption day (aka Gottcha Day) which is July 4th so naturally she thinks all the fireworks and parties are for her! If you ask her were she was born she'll tell you "Aktau Kazakhstan" and just recently she's added "half way around the world." But she's never really asked a lot of questions about how she was adopted until we returned from Thanksgiving at my sisters house and she spent time with the twins (who were 3 months old.) Prior to their birth, I keep waiting for her to ask me about the babies in Boo-Boo's tummy (Boo-Boo is my sister Angie) and some how associate it with herself. At some point prior to the twins birth she was playing in the living room and called out to me "Mommy, I wasn't in your tummy was I?" I said "No Lexie you weren't" and I expected more questions and an in depth conversation. Nope, my little sweet pea said "okay" and went back to playing. I was more than surprised about this observation since I've never said to her that adoption meant she wasn't born of my body. I have a feeling someone at her school might have told her. Who knows? She is after all a very smart 4 3/4 year old (yes we have added her FULL age recently as well.) I've always believe that young kids will ask you what they needed to know or are ready to know so I've never felt like I should expand on a subject she's brought up unless she asks more questions (or has clearly gotten it wrong.)
A few days after our return from Thanksgiving Lexie said "Mommy, tell me the Mommy Lexie story."
"What do you mean?" I asked. "You know - like the flower story you tell me but without the flower."
That was an interesting surprise since prior to that I wasn't sure how much she was getting that this was our story. See Lexie was given a hooded bath towel from "Aunt" Amy, Angie's best friend, shortly after we came home and even today Lexie still insists that she must use this towel after every bath. Lexie has had skin issues since returning home with scabies (fun times) so I am religious about putting Aveeno lotion on her every time she takes a bath. It's actually a wonderful ritual where we talk about her day or when she was younger I would sing to her or tell her stories. It was one of those lovely times a year or so ago that I made up a story about a lady looking for the perfect flower for her garden. The lady looked at tulips in La Conner Washington. They were very nice but just not the right flower for her. Next she went down to Texas to look at the blue bonnets. Again, really pretty flowers but still they didn't seem to be the flower meant for the lady. Then she heard about the perfect little pink rose all the way in Kazakhstan and she just had to go see this rose. So the lady flew all the way to the other side of the world to Kazakhstan. When she finally saw the rose...the sweetest tiniest pink rose well she just knew her search was over. She'd found the perfect flower for her. So she gently removed the rose from the hot desert sand of Aktau Kazakhstan and flew all the way back home to carefully plant that dainty pink rose in her window sill. There the rose got lots of light and the lady gave her just the right amount of water and sprinkled a little plant food on her soil. And most important of all she loved that little rose more than anything. Sure enough, that baby rose grew and grew and her pedals slowly opened and it was hard to believe but she became even more beautiful with all the lady's love and attention. The lady also felt the love coming from the beautiful rose which made the lady so very glad she went in search of the perfect little flower for her. And they lived happily ever after.
Lexie would ask for the flower story a lot of times when she'd get out of the bath. She'd even pretend to be a seed by covering up with her blanket then slowly "blooming" as I would slather lotion on her legs and arms. Smart, funny little girl. So when she asked me for the Mommy Lexie story without the flower in November I knew she was asking to learn more about her adoption. So I changed the lady to mommy and the rose to Lexie and added some details that night. She listened very closely but didn't ask any questions and seemed happy to go to sleep. Then almost every night after that she'd ask for the Mommy Lexie story and with each telling she'd ask a few more questions or if I didn't tell a certain detail she'd make sure to throw it in there. Then she started saying things like "then I would pat your face and giggle" like she could some how remember it. If what she said she could remember was outrageous I would gently remind her that she was a baby so she can't really remember that time or she couldn't talk or walk - whatever she was trying to add to the story. Then I decided to use her "baby books" with the telling of our story. They are these two amazing homemade paper bag scrapbooks that came in a little decorated suitcase a friend of ours made for Lexie & I upon our return home. They are basically beautifully displayed pictures of our first days together so I can tell the story as she looks at the pictures and talks about them and the story.
All this has been very natural and she really seems to enjoy talking about how we became a family and how much we love each other. But in all the telling of the story and questions she's asked since November (or anytime in the last couple of years) she's never asked about her birth mother. Even knowing the babies came from BooBoo's tummy she's never said "well who's tummy did I come out of?" I guess she's simply not ready to hear the answer. I really don't think I should "force" her to hear the answer or talk about it by bringing it up myself but I don't want her be 10 and come home from school saying why didn't you tell me I have a birth mother either. Clearly it's not a real concern now but it does kind of play out my theory that kids ask what they are already to know. She is smart enough to make the leap of if babies come from a mommy's tummy like BooBoo but she didn't come from my tummy than she had to come from someone's tummy.
-One evening after my telling Lexie the Mommy Lexie Story she said "I want to tell you a story.... Once upon a time there was a baby girl born in New Mexico named Lou Ann. Here mommy and daddy came down to adopt her and" I stopped her to say "No Lexie, Mommy was born in New Mexico from GaGa's tummy and PaPa was there with her when I was born. I wasn't adopted." Lexie said "Okay, then the girl Lou Ann was born in New Mexico with GaGa & Papa. Then that baby Lou Ann grew up to be a lady that wanted a baby a whole lot. So she dreamed and prayed for a baby and she got me from Kazakhstan. And they lived happily ever after. The end!" Well that summed up my life in a nut shell!
- When we were putting out the Nativity Scene this year I told Lexie that Joseph is baby Jesus' adopted daddy. And of course she said "so Jesus was adopted like me?" You bet. After that, if she saw a statue of Joseph at church she'd say proudly that Joseph is baby Jesus' adopted daddy. Then out of the blue today after I picked her up from pre-school, she was talking about this and that when Lexie said "you remember Joseph - Jesus' adopted daddy?" (like I would forget him) "yes Lexie" And she said "so Jesus called Joseph Adopted Daddy because Jesus is adopted too." I said "Well, while here on earth I think Jesus called him Daddy just like you call me Mommy even though I'm your adopted mommy." I hear "okay" from the back of the car and she was off on another subject. I just wonder why these random thoughts keep popping in her head. Maybe someone in her class said I'm her adopted mommy not her real mommy? I didn't want to put ideas in her head but it does make me wonder.
-Today on a new TV show called Bubble Guppies (which I really like so far) the whole show was about adopting a pet. After about 5 minutes of  hearing adopt every other sentence in reference to animals I finally said "honey you do know that it is different to adopt an animal than it is a child?" I heard "yes Mommy"...without her taking her eyes off the TV. She seemed not to be concerned about it at all. I guess it was me. So later I said "if a person is adopting an animal or a child adoption is really about love and family and home." Which made me feel a little better but I don't know if she really cared. But when I asked her what books she wanted me to read tonight she said her "baby books" and the Mommy Lexie Story. So maybe she was making a connection with pet adoption and her adoption? I just can't decide if that's a good thing or bad thing.

Sorry for the rambling post but as you can see adoption talk is happening a lot around the house. It's all good. I'm just wondering when other adopted children really started talking about it and if there is anything else I can do or say to make her feel more comfortable with who we are as a family.