Friday, December 23, 2011

Headed North??

Conventional New England wisdom says that this is the time of year to be headed south. Well, so much for that wisdom. Today we will be headed north from Cape Cod to Maine. We get to visit with our family up there over the next week or so and enjoy time with them

It is raining/snowing this morning, so hopefully it will all be clear by the time we leave this afternoon. At least that is what I am hoping for. I would like to leave early so that I can make the entire trip in daylight, but on the other hand, I would rather not be driving in rain and/or snow.

I know DW and Shy are excited about the trip. Right now they are probably home packing and just sitting around waiting for me to come home and get the trip started, but right now is not a good time to leave. too much rain and it is snowing up north.

Normally the number of school cancellations would be a good indicator of how much snow they are getting up that way, but today, very few schools are in session anyway as they have all started their Christmas break. So I guess we will just wait until hopefully it has passed and then be on our way.

As far as the conventional wisdom goes? We will have to wait until February when we head to Florida for 4 days and then into the Caribbean for an 8 day cruise.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Should I or Shouldn't I? If so, when?

Like that title? Anyway, before I go there......

Tomorrow we will head up to Maine to spend time with Amy and Kari and their families. I know DW is really looking forward to it. She does really miss both of them, but mostly she misses our grandson. I do too, so it will be nice to get up there and spend a few days.

Shy is also looking forward to it. She really loves her sisters. They are so nice to her and they spend time doing things that she likes to do. Shy loves getting up with Amy in the morning and baking muffins or anything else Amy wants to bake. I am told that Amy may have bought her an Easy Bake Oven. I can say that here, as Shy doesn't read this blog. She actually doesn't even know it exists.

Hmmmmmm. I wonder if it would be something that will be good for her to read when she gets older. I bet it would be. I'll have to go back and check it out, but I don't think I ever wrote anything in here that would bother or upset her.

I think she would definitely want to read it when she got older. I wonder what age would be the right age? I guess I'll just play it by ear and see. Maybe 18, or maybe 21. I don't know. What do you think?

Shy, if you are reading this, did I wait too long to tell you about the blog, or did I let you read it too early? Or did your sisters tell you about it before I did? Maybe your mom told you. Anyway.....

I am looking forward to the trip tomorrow afternoon and I know DW and Shy are as well. I don't know if I will have much opportunity to blog while I am there, but if I do, I will fill you in on everything.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011


This time of year it is common to look back over the last year and take stock. This year it is taking on a different look for me. Today would have been my father's 87th birthday, but unfortunately, he passed away in February.

So the different look is that I am looking at things that my father missed out on. Things that I know he would be really proud of. Things that I wish he was here to see. Things that I really hope he can see from wherever in the cosmos he is.

There is my new job. I think he would have been proud of that. I think he would have been happy that I came back to Massachusetts. Even though he spent 20 years retired in Florida, he always considered Massachusetts his home.

I know for sure he would have been proud of his only grandson making the move from Birmingham, AL to Portland, OR. He really did love my son, and he was always happy when Barry called him to talk about the Red Sox and other sports related issues. He works behind the scenes in television and making the move into a top 25 market in Portland would have certainly impressed his Papa and made him very proud.

I know he would have been so thrilled to hear how well Shy is doing in school, and how she has adjusted to her new school and friends and house so well. He would have been happy to hear how she was reading and writing, and I know he would be looking forward to seeing her in February when we go to Florida.

I can guarantee he would have loved to have been there for his great grandson's 1st birthday. That would have been a thrill for him. I know my mom enjoyed it, and I am sure he would have enjoyed it too. He wanted a great grandchild for many years, and he was so happy when he finally got one. I was so happy he actually got to see Logan and hold him when he came up for Amy's wedding.

He would have been thrilled to hear about Amy's new home that they bought. He always wanted his children and grandchildren to be happy and that home has certainly made Amy very happy. That would have made him happy and proud as well.

Most of all though, I think he would be proud of the fact that we are all doing well and are happy and healthy and enjoying ourselves.....even if we do miss him...... a lot!

So, Dad, if you are able to read this blog, I just want to wish you a Happy Birthday and let you know we are all doing well. Love you and Miss you


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Girl Scout Cookies

About, oh, I don't know, maybe 20 years ago DW and I said something along the lines of "Thank goodness that is over. We will never have to deal with Girl Scout Cookie selling again!!"

We were wrong. That's right. Shy has come home from her Daisy troop meeting yesterday with her girl scout cookie selling sheet and instructions. She is certainly looking forward to selling them, but I am not sure she has the whole idea down.

She said to me one box is $4.00, and 2 boxes is $8.00.

So I naturally asked, how much is 3 or 4 boxes. She said she didn't know. So when I asked what she was going to say to someone who wanted to buy 3 or 4 boxes, or maybe even more, she though a while and finally came up with the following answer:

"No, you can only buy 2 boxes"

So, I guess we have to work on her selling technique. We certainly don't want her limiting any prospective clients in their willingness to buy cookies from her, Of course I already put in my order for 10 boxes. So she will sell at least that many. After that, I guess it is a crap shoot. I did bring the requisite "short" form to work to see if anyone here is interested, so as far as I am concerned that lets me off the hook for dealing with people in the neighborhood. I will leave that to DW.

I don't know that she reads this blog any more so I guess I will have to bring that up carefully at home.

Anyway, if you have the opportunity to buy Girl Scout Cookies from one of your local scouts, be sure to support them. They are a real good organization and the cookies are delicious. (I love the Peanut Butter patties and the Caramel Delights myself!!)


Monday, December 19, 2011

Good Ideas

The Lego Menorah we made won a prize at Sunday School this week!! (OK so everyone won a prize, but still, Shyanne was excited). We won the prize for the best "Israeli Flag Design" We made it totally out of blue and white legos, hence the category.

Shy also had a visit with her play therapist on Saturday. She is doing quite well, and really seems to like this woman. I htink that things are going to go well. She enjoys playing with her, and this woman has a lot of great ideas for her.

Knowing that Shy takes dance lessons she gave her a dance solution to when she gets angry and frustrated. She just jumps between 5th position and 2nd position (ballet moves I am not toally familiar with). This allows her to burn off that energy she has and to calm herself in a much more appropriate manner then she has been.

There was even a time this weekend when she did it on her own. I am not sure what she was upset about at the time, but all of a sudden there she was jumping and she then told us why and more importantly, she said it worked. That is great news. Now, if we can just get her to use it all the time, and have it work all the time that will be wonderful.

The other idea we are putting to use is placing check marks in DWs calendar book when we catch her being good. She likes that, and she also likes counting the check marks. She is even counting the checkmarks by 5s and 10s. I guess it is a great math lesson as well as a behavior lesson. I love things that multi-task like that!!

So things are going well here. We will be going up to Maine on Friday to visit with Amy and Kari and their famies, so that will be fun. We are really looking forward to it.


Friday, December 16, 2011

December 11th Came and Went

I thought December 11th was going to be a memorable day in my life and an anniversary that would always be important to us. Apparently I was wrong, as it came and went without any fanfare. It was just another Sunday.

Even my blog on Monday morning couldn't come up with a title as I didn't know for sure what I was going to write about. So how does a day that seems so important at one point in our life, become so meaningless that we totally forget about its existence on the actual day.

I suppose I should tell you what December 11th is and why I thought it would be important. That is the day in 2007 when Shyanne first came into our life. It is the day we thought she was going to come and stay with us for a couple of months. It is the day we went to the DHHS building in Bagor, Maine and picked up this adorable little red headed girl who would change our life forever. It is also the day that prompted me to start writing this blog a year later.

It was a year later that her family was close to reunification and I thought we were about to have Shyanne leave our life. That is what started this blog. Dealing with her departure and then to talk about other children as they came into our life. Now, 4 years later, the day has become just another day. I guess her birthday is more important now as we don't even have to think about when it is. We know it like we know all of our children's birthdays. Of course Adoption Day is November 15th and we started an Adoption Day tradition this year that we hope will carry on for many many years to come. So that is certainly an important day.

Is it just with the Holidays and all, and now with Adoption Day, that December 11th is so unimportant that it comes and goes almost totally unnoticed by us? Or is it a day that we really don't want to remember because, in a way, it symbolizes what could be considered a sad day in the life of Shyanne's birth family?

I am not sure, but I just find it curious that the day comes and goes without any fanfare now and while it is certainly an important day in our life, I guess it isn't so important that it requires any fanfare. Just another opportunity for a hug and a kiss from the most beautiful girl in the world.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Lego Hanukiah

This Sunday at Sunday School there is a contest for the most original menorah. Shy has decided she wants to make one out of Legos. Now she has not played with Legos a lot, but we have an abundance of them that were both handed down through the family and also bought when our son Barry was a young boy.

Last night we picked out all of the blue and white legos. I thought there would be a lot, but it turns out that Red is the most common lego color. (at least in our collection)

Unfortunately, all the white ones have a bit of gray associated with them and the blue ones are also a bit old and dusty. So, step one after sorting out all the blue and white was to place them all into a couple of serving bowls with hot water and Dawn. Hopefully, this will give us clean legos on which to place out candles. After all, the last thing we need is to start a fire from any dust and lint hanging around our Lego menorah.

In any event, tonight we will start planning the Menorah. We will have to decide how it will look ,and how big it will be. How to arrange the candles and how to make it useable. After all, a Menorah is no good if it isn't useable.

Now, to move on to this whole Menorah thing. Most people thnink that you use a Menorah for Hannukah. Technically, a Menorah is a seven branched candle holder and has been a symbol of the Jewish religion for centuries. The Hannukah "Menorah" actually has 9 branches for lights. As a result, it is actually called a Hanukiah. There is one candle branch for each of the 8 nights of Hannukah, and then a ninth branch which typically stands a little higher then the other eight. That is for the "Shamash". This is the candle that is used to light all the other candles.

I don't know why I mention all of that here, except that it is helpful to know exactly what you are making before you actually make it. So if anyone has any Lego Hanukiah ideas for us, we will start building tonight and hopefully finish it either tomorrow or Saturday so that it is ready to go Sunday.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

First Play Date

Shy had her first play date at a friends house here on the Cape yesterday. It was really great and when I went to pick her up, she didn't want to come home as she was having a lot of fun.

Normally a play date would not be all that special, but in this case it was.

Shy does not like animals all that much. She has always been afraid of dogs and cats and bigger uncontrolled animals have always frightened her to the point of screeching and cowering in fright holding on to either DW or I until the threat of the animal is removed.

This little girl's family, who lives right around the corner, has quite the menagerie. There are 2 dogs. BIG DOGS!!, two cats, two horses, and a three year old brother.

The little girl had been telling Shy that she wanted her to come to her house, but Shy was never real interested because of the dogs. She always saw them at the bus stop and quite frankly they scared her to death. For some reason though the other little girl told Shy that if she just petted the dog she would see that it was fine and wouldn't bother her. I guess she must have made a good case and I would love to know what it was. Anyway, Monday when they got off the bus, Shy went right over to the dog, all by herself, and petted it.

Everyone made a big deal of it and decided that at some point, maybe a play date would be in order. Well, when they got off the bus yesterday, they wanted to have that play date. I suggested the other little girl come to our house, but she is a little younger then Shy and really didn't want to go alone. I double checked with Shy to make sure she was ok with it and she assured me she was fine with it, and wanted to go over to this little girl's house.

I had two concerns. One, the dogs, cats, horses and little borther. Two, the fact that Shy had very little to no experience at a friends house without Linda or I being there. I knew it was time to let this happen, so I told her to "be a good girl" and off they went.

I was half waiting for the phone to ring to tell me to come get her but it never rang. When I went to pick her up at the appointed time, she just didn't want to leave. She and her friend were having a great time! Apparently the smallest cat bothered her a bit, but no other part of the menagerie seemed to have much of an impact on her, and I am told she behaved wonderfully.

This is just another example of how fast Shy is growing up. She has made so much progress since coming here to the Cape. It seems as though every day, she says or does something that makes us proud. We are so lucky!!


Monday, December 12, 2011

No Title

Most of the time I make a blog entry, I have an idea of a topic and I come up with the title and then make my blog entry. Today, however is one of those days that I can't yet come up with a title and am going to have to write the blog and see what the title should be at the end.

Yesterday we picked up Shy at Sunday School and her teacher cam over to tell us how wonderful Shy had been doing. She said that Shy has really come out of her shell and is doing wonderfully. When we got home, she showed us what she had done, and both DW and I were very impressed with her work.

This pretty much mirrors what has been happening in school. She seems to have taken off. While she still likes us to read to her, she is often asking if she can read to us. She gets better and better every day. Her writing is also progressing wonderfully. Her and I are writing a book together. We take turns writing pages. It is about a day her and I are spending together. I don't expect it to make the best seller list, but we are having fun with it. I am thinking that it won't be long before she has her own blog.

She has already been told she will have to keep a journal when we go on our trip in February as she will be missing 4 days of school. Who knows, maybe it won't be long before she has a blog of her own. I think it would be great for her, but she has to learn to spell a little better first. Her spelling would baffle even the most advanced spellchecker at this point.

Anyway, the bottom line is that something has happened that has just caused her to seem so much more confident in herself. She is almost like a different little girl, but in a good way. I don't know if moving up her reading group in school had anything to do with it, or what, but we are so happy and so proud of what she is accomplishing, that I just had to mention it here.

So, I still don't have a title. It seems I use the "proud" in titles way too often, although I can't say enough how proud we are of her. Maybe just "Progress" should be the title? No, that doesn't seem to tell the story. I wish I could remember what I learned in school about coming up with titles, but I can't.

Well, you all already know what the title is by the time you get to this point in the entry, so I guess you will have to tell me what I came up with. In the meantime, tonight is the Holiday Concert at school and we are looking forward to Shy singing with her class.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Shy Has Talent

Now everyone thinks that their child is talented, and we are no different. What is a little different is in the area that shy's talent lies.

Now you all know that she takes dance classes and this is her third year in dance. So it would stand to reason that she can dance well. She does, and while she may develop a talent in this area, I would not go out of my way to she she is definitely talented in this area.

She also loves to sing, and while the jury is still out on how well she can sing, we always clap when she sings us a song. I do have to tell you though that we did litterally almost roll on the floor laughing when she used words that were different from the original while singing a certain Christmas Carol she had learned in school. (The words she used were "tell the ancients you're a fairy, fa la la la la - la la la la")

So listening and hearing may not be a talent, but you have to admit its funny. Anyway, I move on as those are not the areas of talent I want to tell you about today.

How many of you hula hoop? probably quite a few. Ok, how many of you hula hoop well? Not quite as many, but still a lot. Now, how many of you can hula hoop with the hoop twirling around your neck? Oh, I see we are getting fewer people. Next question. How many of you can hula hoop while walking? Even fewer! How about while twirling around? That's right you can twirl yourself while the hula hoop stays spinning around you? Oh, only a very few.

Well, Shy can do all that. Not only that....She can actually walk to the school bus, while twirling herself, while the hula hoop is spinning around her.

NOW I THINK THAT IS TALENT!! ( just not sure of what use it is)


Thursday, December 8, 2011


Last night was Shy's last swim lesson for this session. She really enjoys going and hsa done well. Now that we live so close to the water, it is more important that she become a good, strong swimmer. The strength is the main thing that she has to develop.

So, now that is done for the next month, as there is nothing going on through the holidays. We also want her to develop as much as a swimmer before we go on vacation in February, so there will be more swim classes starting January 4th.

She had her visit with the therapist yesterday. DW was able to attend with her and she is very impressed with the new therapist. Shy seems to like her too. She gave DW some good advice and some good ways to respond to Shy when she has a melt down about doing or not doing school work.

She doesn't want us to get too invloved. Basically either Shy does the work or she doesn't. If she doesn't want to do it then we will just give her the choice to either do it now, or go into school without it and her teacher will probably make her stay in from recess to do it. Of course this will require some coordination with her teacher, but her teacher is a wonderful woman who we know will cooperate with us fully in matters like this. So, that problem would seem to be solved. We shall see how it works in real life. And I am sure, not in the too distant future.

This morning Shy had an eye doctor appointment. This has been another issue. She had to wear an eye patch after her last appointment and she didn't like that at all. It was a supreme struggle every time we went to put it on. Well, today the doctor told her No eye patch is needed. THAT IS GREAT NEWS FOR US AND SHYANNE!!!

So, all is going well. We are ready for the Holidays except that we haven't decided when or for how long we are going to Maine, but we will figure that out soon. Shy really misses her sisters and nephews, and DW and I miss our children and grandchildren, so we want to spend as long as we can, but I don't want to be home alone either, so we will have to figure that one out.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tuesday Meltdown

Well, yesterday was a day for a meltdown for Shy. She came home from school and she had to do her homework, and there was nothing that was going to get her to do her homework. She kept screaming that she couldn't do it.

We tried everything to get her to do it. The thing was, it was a simple letter to her sister that she had to write. She had written a couple of lines, but was not interested in writing any more. We kept telling her that she could do it, but she kept saying "No I can't!"

It was quite a battel, but in the end, we finally won out and the letter to her big sister was completed. It is certianly something to talk about with the therapist, which by luck happens to be today. DW till be taking her out of school to go, so hopefully there will be some discussion about this.

These meltdowns don't happen every day, but they are not uncommon either. I know that 6 year olds do this, and it is to be expected, but it seems to DW and I that they happen more often then they should. Then again, how often should they happen?

On the bright side, she did aske her sister to get her an Easy Bake Oven for Hannukah, and guess what? That wsa already what her sister had decided to get her. So everyone will win out in the end!

Let's hope there are no meltdowns today!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I Love Weekends

I hardly saw Shy at all yesterday. I was off to work before she got up. She had school, then Daisys, then Dance class. When DW brought her home from dance, I had dinner on the table. After dinner I did get Shy into the bathtub to wash up, but soon after her bath it was bedtime.

I really do enjoy our weekends. Can't wait for vacation either.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Pink Lemonade and The Weekend Report

So here is the report from the weekend. I will start with Friday afternoon at the office of the new therapist. DW and I are very impressed with her. and are very happy that she will be taking Shyanne's case. She seems like a wonderful person with a real sense of what it is we are looking for, as well as what Shy needs.

Shy will actually start appointments with her on Wednesday. We are hopeful that the new person will be able to get Shy to settle down and not be quite so frustrated like she often is.

Saturday Shy and I had about 5 hours to ourselves. DW was working a book fair at the school and we had the chance to do some things on our own. First we did a little raking in the yard. then we went to the "community playground" near her school. There were about 5 or 6 other kids playing thtere, and Shy had a great time for about 1/2 hour. Then she decided she wanted to go to the playground at her school, so we went ahead over there. There were a few older kids playing there, but that didn't stop Shy. She had a great time swinging and climbing and doing monkey bars and all those things that kids do on those playgrounds.

You know they didn't have playgrounds like that when I was a kid, but that sounds like a whole other blog post, and maybe for another blog....anyway, I digress....

So we played at that playground for a while and since we were at the school we figured we would go in and say hello to DW. We decided after that we would go to lunch. DW asked us to bring her back a sandwich and we decided to go to Subway. One problem. There is no Subway where we live on the Cape. We didn't know that then, but we know it now.

So we went to a different restaurant. I had a nice salad and got one for DW, and Shy had a hamburg. She also had Pink Lemonade. Then she asked the question no father wants to hear. (no not that one silly, the one that I don't have the answer to!!!)

Shy: "Dad, if there are no pink lemons, where does pink lemonade come from?"

Gee, I really didn't have an answer for that. I thought for a while, and finally said I didn't know. She said that she thought maybe it was just yellow lemonade and they added paint to it. I told her I thought that would taste pretty bad, and we moved on. Apprently she was satisfied with the fact that both of us didn't know where it came from but we both liked it.

Anyway, if you are wondering. Wikipedia has a great article on lemondde and all kinds of lemonade. I learned there is brown lemonade and red lemonade as well. I also learned that there ARE pink lemons (although the juice is not pink), but that is not really important here, so you can go look for that information yourself if you are interested.

After we brought DW her lunch, we went home and played a game of "Mouse Trap". Then it was back to raking some more leaves before DW came home. Actually, what we did, is not all that important. What is important here is that Shy and I spent time together contemplating more great questions of the universe and in the end had a truly wonderful time!

I love that girl.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Have a Nice Weekend

We have been together as a family in our new home and new location for exactly 4 months.

We thought when we first moved here that Shy would not need to go to any therapy as the therapist we went to in Maine seemed to think that she was doing just fine and would be ok.

Well, it hasn't really worked out that way.

Shy has some moments that tell us "maybe she could use a little tune-up". So today we are going to a new therapist down here that will hopefully tell us if the tune-up is necessary, and if so, how much tuning and when is actually needed.

I know you have heard me boast about how beautiful she is, and how smart she is, and how wonderful she is doing, and that is all true, so don't get me wrong. She is an absolutely wonderful child. It may actually turn out that the only thing that needs tuning up is mom and dad. We shall see.

In any event, we are taking her there today so we shall see what happens.

Tomorrow, on the other hand, DW is working at a book fair at the school. That means Shy and I will have about 4 hours to ourselves. We have to find something to do. I am sure we will find something fun and entertaining, but if anyone has any suggestions, then I am all ears! (and eyes), so go for it. I am always looking for fun ways to spend time with Shy.

Actually, any time I spend with Shy is fun, so I guess it won't be difficult. I will report back on everything on Monday.

Have a nice Weekend. I am looking forward to mine!