Sunday, January 27, 2013

Princess Parties

Two Princess Parties in a row!  No complaints with my princess...that's for sure.

The first was a party at Club Tabby for sweet little Paige who turned two. She was also adopted and is the most exuberant little girl with a HUGE personality.

They had a "real" princess in attendance and when Gianna asked her name and she responded, "Cinderella."  I thought Gianna was going to come out of her skin. "MOMMY! Can you believe Cinderella is HERE?"

Immediately, Gianna asked to see her shoes. Poor Cinderella stammered some excuse and whispered to me that she wasn't even wearing shoes.  Poor Princess really started sweating when Gianna started asking questions... "What was your stepmother's name again?"  "Are your sisters mean or nice now?" "Do they live with you in your castle now?" Yada, yada, yada. I was having to secretly feed answers to her behind Gianna's back. 
Ooh girl! If you're going tell a bunch of toddlers/pre-schoolers you're Cinderella - you'd better come knowing your Cinderella trivia - or Cinderella facts - not so trivial to a four year old super-fan. Gianna knows her Cinderella facts (from all THREE movies - thank you very much.)

And Paige's new baby brother, Pierce, is the most precious little squish.

Our second party was Sophia's Royal Ball.  Sophia is one GIanna's best little girl friends. They were so precious.

 Gianna and another little friend named Sophia had a little concert.  They were hilarious...and precious.

 Check out the great cake that Sophia's DADDY made.  Kudos to Michael!

  And here are these two little best buds.

Friday, January 25, 2013

First Sick Day

On the night of my birthday at precisely midnight, my door swung open and Gianna announced that she had thrown up in her bed - and broke down in tears.  That nasty stomach flu is running rampant in this area, so I was concerned, but I think we may have skated by with a mild bug.

Gianna has only gotten sick to her stomach one other time while on vacation in Florida almost 2 years ago and has never forgotten it.  Thankfully, Iain was there to save the day, because I'm a horrible stomach-sick patient and a horrible stomach-sick momma. God knows this about me and has been very, very kind to me in this area.  Surprisingly, I dealt with it all fairly well.  Gianna, on the other hand, was quite traumatized and loathsome of the entire experience.  She didn't want to go back to sleep in fear of another "attack" so we watched a movie instead.

Now, as pitiful as she felt - and as unpleasant as the situation was, the drama that this little monkey produced in response to it all was nothing short of hilarious.

She was convinced she was going to die and asked a thousand questions of all the why's and wherefore's of vomit. At one point she declared, "I bet of have the stomach virus! This is just terrible."

She really milked the whole thing (which I didn't mind) and was convinced that there was no one sicker than her on the planet.  She moped around like Eeyore and warned anyone within 20 feet of her that they had better stay clear of her germs. She had a movie marathon and was pretty lethargic punctuated by bouts of energy and fantastical ideas of possible activities for us to do. Sickness didn't affect her her incredible planning skills, that's for sure.

I'm telling you, that sleeping, sick baby is just about the sweetest thing I've ever laid eyes on. Look at those perfect pink lips. 

She woke up back to her old chipper self this morning and returned to school - positive she was greatly missed. (Can you imagine how quiet her class must've been the day she missed?!)  She's happy to share her tales of sickness to anyone who will listen, so if you see her, you might think twice about broaching the subject. :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Many people view abortion as a political issue.
I suppose it is - but for me, it's more than that.

On Sunday, Gianna and I participated in a Pro-Life Prayer Rally.  After Mass we walked from the Cathedral to the steps of the Courthouse order to join our prayers with many others in hopes for a change - not only in legislature, but in mindset. 

Gianna's desire wasn't so much to pray as to play.n It was a beautiful day, lots of people, tons of kids.  I was fine with her running around enjoying herself until a more solemn part of the afternoon.  I asked her to join me in sitting during the praying of the rosary. (I was concerned she was being disruptive.)  She complied - with a little encouragement from Mommy suggesting that she make the sacrifice her prayer.  She watched the other children play in front of her and became increasingly fidgety and mildly frustrated.  Finally, she said to me with exasperation, "I am TIRED of sacrificing."

My first response was to laugh.  My second was response was to agree and say, "Tell me about it, sistah!" And after a little bit of contemplation, I realized that was the very crux of the controversy of the issue.  Women have to sacrifice their bodies, their time, their energy, their finances, their lives --- in order to say yes to life. Today, I do not feel called to make any political statement, nor do I have the desire or call to judge the choices of others.

Today, all I feel compelled to say is thank you.  Thank you to one woman - who said yes to life - when it wasn't easy.  I've not met this woman and know very little about her.  Her "yes" to life was my answer to prayer.  Her "yes" to life bore a child bound for great things and great love.  Her "yes" to life made me a mother and my husband a father.
Her "yes" to life is our daughter, our Gianna.

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Day with Jess

Our sweet, sweet Jessie.  One of our favorite beings on the planet. 

Today when I picked up Gianna from school, I had Jessie in tow as a surprise.  Gianna was beside herself and quickly suggested we celebrate with frozen yogurt. We did and Gianna was quite the little social butterfly as she greeted a few of her school friends and their families and offered to tell them all about all the different flavors of yogurt.

We then went to the Civic Center to feed the ducks, pigeons, geese and other strange little birds. I've said it before - it quickly turns into a scene out of a Hitchcock movie - but it's so fun.

Gianna made friends with some cute little girls.  
Their  momma said, "Ms. Maria? Is that you?"  
One of the kids I worked with in youth ministry when I did a lot of diocesan work.
Small little world.
She asked me: Is that your daughter?
Me:  Yep. She's mine.
Her:: And your granddaughter?
Me:  Umm no? Daughter.
(Then I realized she thought Jessie was my daughter and Gianna was my granddaughter.)
Me:  No, no, no.  The little one is my daughter.
I would love to have had a picture of her face while she was trying to process all this. This momma's mother is only a year older than me (they all started their families really young.)
And so begins the confused fun of the multitudes.  It doesn't bother me, and Gianna hasn't yet figured out that I'm a more 'seasoned' mother. Won't that be a hoot?

 We went to back to my parents and Gianna and Jessie played - and then Jessie pulled out the guitar.  Gianna was amazed and told Jessie she must be on the radio.  (She's THAT amazing of a musician and song-writer!) We are so blessed to have her in our lives.

I Like Being a Kid

Oh my! It's no secret that my munchkin is full-on groupie. Her earliest and probably strongest admiration is for the Kinder's, a.k.a. Mr. Brian and Ms. Terry who are an incredibly talented and incredibly personable couple who travels around performing their original music to children.  Gianna has been hooked since she turned two and we began going to Story Time at our favorite library in The Bluff. (They have the BEST story time in the area - bar none.)

When I tell you that Gianna is a fan of the Kinder's, I mean she talks about them daily.  She begs me to take her to Arkansas (Little Rock - to be exact) to bring her to see them.  When I explain that they usually come here twice a year - she assures me that is not nearly enough.  She knows what kind of vehicle they drive and constantly wonders what they might be doing right this very minute.  It really is quite precious.

This year we were thrilled to find out that they would be performing in MB in the evening instead of the regular Story Time in the morning. Gianna was beside herself with excitement.  Santa even made a visit...and Gianna totally got out of the long line she'd been waiting on for 10 minutes to see Santa in order to go visit with Ms. Terry and Mr. Brian.  I'm telling y'all, she's got it bad!

We have every CD that the Kinder's recorded and it NEVER gets old for Gianna. I think she needs to be their manager - or at the very least - president of their fan club.  Here's there website - they even have a few YouTube videos that are cute.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Santa 2012

We had a total of about five Santa visits this season...all of which were happenstance - except this one. This was a last minute drive-by after a birthday party. My friend told me a photographer friend of hers was going to be at a bakery in Sulphur taking Santa pics. Hmm. Sounded a little strange, but I am so very glad we went.

This Santa was fantastic and remembered the kids names and kept them engaged.  We stayed about 20 or 30 minutes and he kept calling her over and asking her questions in between appointments.  Precious.

She asked him what his favorite cookies were for Christmas Eve.  He said they were white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.  Mine too!  Loved this Santa.

Best of all - we avoided the mall and only paid $15 for our package.  Couldn't be more pleased.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

New Year Greetings...from the absentee blogger

I've had a million things to blog about this last month...but not an ounce of energy or want-to to make it happen. 

December kicked my pants (and that's putting it mildly). Survival was the order of the day.  My child morphed into an unrecognizable beast (sounds cruel - but I'm telling you --- it was horrid!) who challenged every bit of my being (and some of her teacher's as well). I don't know really what cause the downward spiral (usually I have an idea) - and I've discovered than I'll never be able to separate grief from typical challenging four year old behavior.  Forever it will be intertwined - for both of us I'm sure.  It was a horrible experience and it sent me into a terrible, dark place.  I think I went to bed every night crying - out of pure exhaustion and despair.  It was rotten and I felt like a complete failure -- and somehow I still had to make a happy Christmas happen for her.  I have no idea how I made it through. (Well, I do - but I'm still surprised I made it through.)

People assume grief is worse during the holidays.  For many I know it is -- more milestones with an obvious and painful absense.  For me, I suspect that will be more true in a few years.  Right now, it's all the same. The weight of Iain's absence and my grief it is continual and burdensome. I breathe more - that's different than a year ago. I'm grateful for that. But certainly, grief doesn't ever take a vacation, so that added on top of my daily parenting struggles made for quite an emotional hurricane - Category V.  And that whole Newtown, Connecticut tragedy nearly did me in.  I didn't watch much coverage - but really, you didn't have to in order to experience the gravity of the terror.

On another note, I ordered my Christmas  cards in November - a record for me.  They are still sitting in the box.  I couldn't do it. I never did find my address list.   I'll get to it eventually - hopefully this week.  I chose my child instead. I am glad for that. I held her a lot and played with her more than usual and figured folks would be glad to get cards any time.  Maybe now I can write a few thoughtful messages without being panicked I'll miss the postal deadline.

I am sitting here not sure what this New Year's means for me.  I want to be full of hope and goals and resolutions - but I'm not. Part of me is still in trauma-mode bracing myself for the next big kick in the pants.  I hate that and I feel guilty for it.  I'm typically a very optimistic person.  It's just where I am right now.  Maybe it's because I am a little paralysed in terms of looking far into my future.  Honestly, I can only look far enough to bedtime each day.  Living one day at a time has taking on a new meaning. My positive spin ~ maybe I'm living out the resolution that many people aspire to.  Who knows?

I'm grasping on to my mustard seed faith.  I know God is here amidst the mess. the muck, the sadness.  Oh, the sadness.  Honestly, I think it intensifies with the passing of time. I miss him - more and more.  It's seems like forever since he left. It's been sixteen months and in broad scheme of things - it's not all that long ago. I'm still experiencing the rawness and newness of it all daily.  And some of it, I get used to. And when I have moments of that awareness, I cry.  I'm not sure I want to be used to it.

So, I guess my new year is full of prayer. I cling to the little bit of hope and faith that I have.  That's is as good as it gets. And maybe it's all it needs to be right now. 

I plan on back-dating some posts for this December.  And now that I think of it - I didn't blog at all last Christmas either.  Maybe I'll back-date some of those posts too.  Maybe.

No promises for future blogging.  I'll do what I can do.

This new year has GOT to be better.  It just has to. Please, God.

I hope it's better for you, too.

And if you made it through this pathetically bleak update, here's your happy ending....and beginning.
Today Gianna turns 4 1/2.
As hard as it's been, she really is my my joy.
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