Last Day of 2006

December 31, 2006

After two days of stormy weather which flooded all of the roads and fields surrounding my parents' house, we finally had a beautiful day of sun and balmy weather. We all enjoyed a day of napping, working in the yard, eating Aunt Claire's Christmas cookies, and taking a nice long walk....a very good way to spend the last day of 2006.

Bathing Beauties

Bathtime for Noah,Camille, and Clementine

Merry Messy Christmas!

December 24, 2006

This is a photo of the holiday treats Noah and I made to give our neighbors. It started out as a fun morning project. Noah loves to work in the kitchen and it has become something we enjoy doing together (never thought I would enjoy being in the kitchen but doing simple baking projects with Noah is fun... messy, but fun!). All was going well. We were listening to the Muppets Christmas favorite holiday music as a kid and dancing around between decorating the candies. After I took them out of the oven I put them on top of the refrigerator to cool. I did this to keep Noah, aka Chocoholic Monkey Boy from getting them. The trouble started a few minutes later when I opened the refrigerator and the chocolates came pouring down on top of me. Within seconds Noah and Camille were frantically gobbling up candy we had made. So we had to start all over again. I reached in the cupboard for the family sized bag of M and Ms and they came spilling down on me (we were all so covered in chocolate by the end of the day we could have been extras in the Willie Wonka Movie!). Once again Noah and Camille hit the floor to ingest more sugar. At this point I didn't know whether to laugh or cry...was this some sort of message from the Gods saying the sweets were doomed or merely another example of how "un-domestic" and clumsy I am? Our morning of holiday cheer and mommy/son bonding time had now turned into a very messy and out of control situation...believe me you do not want to experience two young children on extreme loads of sugar. I am proud to say we persevered (thanks for talking me through it, Jessica!) and we were able to produce some yummy treats. And in keeping with the sweet theme, today I discovered a little stash of chocolate in Camille's room. Noah confessed to hiding in her room to get his "fix" with some of the brownies our neighbor gave us as a holiday gift.

Hope you all have a sweet and yummy Christmas!

Past and Present

December 23, 2006

March 2006

December 2006

Christmas Miracles

This year we are especially aware of miracles as we have several close friends and family members who are preparing to welcome babies into their families (through pregnancy and adoption). Some are getting close to their due dates and we wish them luck...easy labors and or easy travel, easy nights, and lots of sweet baby kisses to you! Some are in the midst of pregnancies or adoptions...waiting to get that referral or travel phone call, waiting to get to the final trimester, wondering and dreaming about their little ones near or far. We wish you comfort, patience, and happy anticipation! And others have just recently found out they are expecting and/or just starting the adoption process...we are celebrating with you and wish you an smooth pregnancy or paper pregnancy!

I always think about the miracle of life during this time of year because of our own miracle with Noah. While pregnant with Noah, there were some truly scary moments. I remember that Christmas with such gratitude. I had recently been discharged from the hospital after having some life threatening complications and was so happy to be back home. My sister and brother-in-law were with me because Adam had to work at the hospital. We hadn't gone to the store so our Christmas meal was an odd and meager assortment of things, but it was one of the most meaningful Christmas celebrations to me because I felt so lucky to be alive and to still be pregnant. The miracle of life is truly awe inspiring.

Happy Chanukah!

December 20, 2006

We are having fun celebrating the Festival of Lights! We hope that you and your families have a wonderful holiday season filled with love, joy, and miracles!
Noah is the master matzo ball maker. On the fourth night of Chanukah we enjoyed a fusion dinner of matzo ball soup and potstickers....if there had been a Cajun dish then our dinner would have been a more complete representation of our little family.

Camille reveling in the unwrapping of gifts!


December 18, 2006

Stay-at-home mom desperatedly seeking cool friends. I am at the point of seriously considering taking out a personal ad to find some local friends. Moving is always hard and one of the worst parts about it is starting all over again in the friend department. It doesn't get any easier as one grows older. In fact it gets more complicated. After getting married, we were struck by the challenge of finding "couple" friends who we both got along with and now that we have added kids to the equation it gets even more the kids get along, do our parenting approaches mesh, kids schedules, etc.

While our kitchen was being the renovated I at least had that to focus on and I had somewhat daily adult conversation (although discussing paint samples isn't too exciting at least it is something!), now that the kitchen is done I realize I need to get serious about the friend search. Part of the difficulty in this is that I have been lucky to build some amazing friendships in each places I have lived and I always find myself yearning to build similar relationships...but I have to remind myself it takes time to do that.

I am now in a phase that reminds me of dating. I have had several playdates that were engineered by kind souls hoping to help me feel more connected. These playdates remind me of blind dates...hoping there will be some sort of connection, hoping the kids will get along, hoping we have something to talk about beyond baby schedules and husband's jobs. I even went to something recently that felt a little like "speed dating" at a local coffee shop. It was geared towards newcomers and we bounced around the room meeting and greeting. I met a few interesting "possiblities" but then we went out of town and just as with dating, immediate follow-up is important but I wasn't able to do that. And now we are going to be away for the holidays so I guess I will be back in search mode after the new year.

It sounds so weird and pathetic to be writing about this but it is my current state of reality, although not quite as dreary as I make it sound. I am starting to meet some friends through the local adoption group, Noah's school and our neighborhood but I haven't met that friend yet who I can call up for a spontaneous trip to the park with the kids or the friend who also listens to NPR and calls to discuss a recent episode of Fresh Air, or the friend who will meet me for a late night chocolate run. I know that someone like that is also hiding out here in the suburbs, right?


While in Myrtle Beach, our friends introduced us to the exciting world of letterboxing. We were successful in finding all three of the letterboxes we were searching for in a beautiful state park set between marsh and ocean. Letterboxing is basically like a treasure follow clues to boxes hidden by other letterboxers (not sure what the correct terms are!). The box contains a special handmade stamp and book. After stamping your own book and leaving a note in the letterbox book you carefully hide the box for future hunters to find. Click on this link to learn more We are looking forward to doing some more letterboxing soon.

Myrtle Beach

We had a wonderful beach escape last week with our good friends, the Solleys. My impression of Myrtle Beach is that it must be the capital of mini golf and pancake houses...most of which were closed for the season! But the beach was nice and the best part was just hanging out with friends. We took beach walks, chased sea gulls,celebrated Sloane's first birthday, and played lots of Go Fish.


December 16, 2006

It seems like most of my photos of Camille involve eating....but she loves it and she looks so darn cute!

Final shots of Japan

December 8, 2006

I have been missing Japan and recently looked at photos I took during our final weeks there. Most of these were taken at a local summer festival.


Horrible isn't it? I was sorting through our photos from this past summer and found this one taken at a Japanese festival. It was always amusing and at times shocking to see some of the interesting English phrases printed on Japanese t-shirts. This kind man seemed very puzzled about why I would want to take his photo. And here is one more interesting Japanese t-shirt

Leaf Pile

December 6, 2006

Alligator Pears and Pansies

December 4, 2006

Two of my favorite things which always remind me of my Ganny. Not sure if "alligator pear" is a Cajun, southern, or family word for avocado but it is pretty descriptive. And I love the delicate, but hardy nature of pansies...they always brighten up the grey days of winter. I just planted a bed of pansies by our front door and thought of times I helped my grandmother put pansies by her front of her door.The other thing which I always associate with my Ganny is the holidays. I hope that I can share the magic of the holidays with my kids the way my family did. We are working hard this year (especially now that we are back in the States) not to get caught up in the commercial/consumer aspects of the holidays. Noah has really been caught up in wanting to buy things every time we are in a store. He is an avid reader of catalogues and feels like he "needs" everything he sees. It is scary to see how early kids can get caught up in consumerism and I don't like it! We are trying to make most of our holiday gifts this year and keep Noah focused on the true meanings of the holidays...miracles, faith, goodwill, magic, family, and fun. I also find that I am having to reign myself in and focus on the alligator pears and pansies....the things that have stayed with me from my childhood are not the toys Santa brought, but instead the family traditions and the good memories of special people in my life.

Thanksgiving 2006

November 28, 2006

Our first Thanksgiving on American soil in three years! Our first Thanksgiving with family in three years! Our first big meal in our new kitchen! It was a good Thanksgiving with lots to be thankful for and lots of happy memories of past Thanksgivings... Turkey Day in Amagi Japan (1995) with Amy,Turkey Day while pregnant and on bedrest (2002), Turkey Day in Guam (2003) with the Alsinas, Turkey Day in Thailand (2004)with the Solleys, Turkey Day in Okinawa (2005) with the Farrows, Harpes, and Solleys. We had a great time with my parents and my sister including a trip to Disney World and Sea World. Here are a few photos. Hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving surrounded by loved ones, good food, and appreciation for all the joys in your life.

Our Kitchen

November 20, 2006



Caught with Fruity Booty

November 17, 2006

I found Camille this morning hiding under a table eating her new favorite snack, Fruity Booty (that is really the name and there's also Veggie Booty, Pirate Booty...all very tasty from the health food store). And here are couple of shots showing how close Camille is to walking. I have a hunch the first time she walks it will be for food...she loves to eat!

Our kitchen is almost done (I will post final photos soon) and just in time because tomorrow we have our post-placement visit for our adoption. Today and tomorrow we'll be busy trying to finish unpacking the kitchen and getting ready for the visit. And my sister and parents will be here next week for Thanksiving...hooray!

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