Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend Report

We had a truly wonderful weekend. It was the kind of Holiday Weekend you hope for going in. While we just worked around the house on Saturday, it was still pleasurable and allowed us to get some things done that really needed to be done, and then still have 2 days of a weekend left. We went to Heritage Museum and Gardens in Sandwich, MA on Sunday. It was definitely a "Chamber of Commerce" day and we enjoyed the gardens and play areas, and exhibits immensely. We got a Family Membership for the year, so we will be spending a lot more time there over the course of the summer.

Sunday we went to Sandy Neck Beach with our neighbors. The ones with the little boy that Shy loves to play with. They are really becoming pretty good friends. I hope that continues as they are really good people. We got a Off-Road vehicle permit so that we can drive on the beach. That opens up a lot more beach for us and makes it a lot easier. We don't have to carry our stuff from the parking lot to the beach.....speaking of which....

Did you ever notice how much "stuff" some people take to the beach. It can be mind-boggling. I saw people with enough stuff to camp out for days who were only there for a few hours. You would think they were ready for an earthquake and to be cut off from the mainland for days before help could arrive. Now we certainly had enough stuff of our own, but it wasn't that much...let me see, we had three fold-up chairs. One for each of us. We have a large hamper type pail with toys in it for Shy and her friends to play with. We had a big bag with Potato chips and bread and a few other non-perishable items. Then there was another bag with a blanket to spread out on the sand and of course our towels. Then there was a cooler with ham, cheese, bologna, drinks, mustard, and other perishable items, but I guess that really wasn't enough so we had a second cooler with watermelon and some more drinks in it.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. I guess maybe we are those people. So you want to know how long we were at the beach....about 3 hours....but it was a very enjoyable three hours, and I can't wait to do it again!

I hope all of you had as wonderful a weekend as we did and thanks to all those who served so that we could enjoy that wonderful weekend.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Memorial Day and Family

Memorial Day Weekend is just about upon us. By the traffic I have already seen out on the roads, it would appear as though it may have been on us last night. In any event. Here on Cape Cod it is bound to be a truly wonderful weekend.

Saturday we are all working around the house. I am not sure if Shy will be helping DW with the gardening, or me with the painting, but I am hoping it is her mother with the garden. Then our plans are for family days on both Sunday and Monday.

I do love the time we get to spend together at beaches or at the gardens or somewhere away from the house with just the three of us. It is really wonderful. When my older biological kids were younger, there was always something one or more of them had to do so that it was difficult to get family time together.

The bigger the family, the less time you have to get together and "reconnect" as a family. With just DW, myself and Shy, we get to do plenty of that. I know as she gets older there will be more things that she is involved with, but we won't have to split between children. DW and I will be able to do things with and for Shy together. We will only have one little league game or one soccer game, or one basketball game to attend. We won't have to figure out who is driving whom where and when, and who gets to watch what game. When Barry was born, Amy was only 3 years old, and Kari came only 15 months after Barry. From then on, there was not much time to spend with all five of us together.

The one thing we did do after Kari's graduation from High School we were able to do a family trip to Disney together. All five of us. It would be so nice to do a vacation with all of us again, but I don't see that happening. The good news is that the family is growing and growing. Amy is now pregnant and I will be a papa again. That brings more additions to the family which is absolutely wonderful, but makes it that much more difficult to get everyone together.

Barry is out in Oregon right now and we are going to see him this summer, but that makes it difficult for the whole family to be together as well. I know he wants to get back to the northeast, but it will be a while before that is able to happen. It has been quite a while since our whole family has been together. I am hoping that might be able to happen this fall, or early winter.

DW would love to take all of our family on a cruise. I would love to do that too. We are kinda half-planning and kinda half-praying that we might be able to do that for our 40th wedding anniversary. That is only 3 years away though. Let me see....there would be 7 adults and some children. I say some because I have no idea how many there might be at that time. The more the better!! I would love for us to have a big group together for the trip. I think it would be an absolute blast!!

I guess it wouldn't be so bad though. We could do it with 3 staterooms...maybe 2 if we got one of the big suites. Well, it is nice to dream about those things, but for right now, I am just thankful that we are able to do things with Shyanne and be together as a family. Especially on great weekends like Memorial Day. I know we will have fun, and I will let you all know about it on Tuesday.

Have a great weekend yourselves, and whatever you do, don't forget to take a moment to remember the real reason for this holiday and give thanks for those who gave their lives so that we could enjoy the freedoms and liberties we have that make us able to enjoy such a wonderful weekend.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Planning for Summer


When you're a child, whether you are adopted, in foster care, or with your original biological family, summer probably means fun in the sun.  That is not true for those of us who are foster parents, adoptive parent, or even biological parents. There is certainly a lot of stress and anxiety as we are faced with figuring out what to do with our children during the summer months. State Foster programs vary widely and may not provide the support needed for foster children to attend camps. If you are working outside of the home as well as doing foster care or tending to any children, child care becomes an issue. Planning for summertime activities is daunting. While summer camps are quite popular, they can also be expensive, and certainly have to be picked carefully.

You need to be sure that the interests of your child are taken into consideration along with your financial abilities, along with your own schedule. If you have more than one child, the differences may be such that they can't go to the same camp or even day care. Sometimes they are at that awkward age where you have a 12 or 13 year old child you are comfortable leaving alone, but if you were to leave "her" with her 9 year old brother, there might be blood on the walls when you returned home.

There is no easy answer for how to handle the preparations for summer. Not only can financial concerns be an issue, but there may be health concerns, or counselling concerns, or a myriad of other issues that can come up along the way.

So, what have we done for Shyanne. Well, we have broken the summer up into three parts. The first part is before our trip out to Oregon to see our son Barry. It is only a couple of weeks after school gets out, and that time will be like a miniature vacation. We are even going to spend a weekend up in York Beach, Maine. There is the part of the summer between when we get back from Oregon and my mother comes to visit for the month of August. Then there is the month of August when my mother is visiting with us.

We have signed her up for a number of town recreation programs during the parts of the summer before my mother comes. These are all programs that run between 8 and noon each day. They will keep Shy busy with things that she likes, but also keep parts of every day, and all of the weekend days available for family time together. Whether it be with or without my mother.

I think we have found a good balance of things to keep her busy, and time to have together as a family. We are all looking forward to the summer, which for a Cape Cod family gets started in earnest this weekend. So what do we have planned for this weekend.....well, I am painting the master bedroom on Saturday. but other than that, we should have time together and if the weather holds out, maybe a little walk/picnic on one of the beaches will be the way to go. Or maybe a trip to the beautiful Heritage Gardens will be in order. Maybe one of those on Sunday and the other on Monday. That is one thing about living on the Cape. There is so much to do and so much to see, we should have a wonderful summer.

Good luck to all of you in planning your summer.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Rainy Days, Mondays, Tuesdays, and Regifting

Yesterday was rainy and Monday. Today is rainy and Tuesday. I really don't mind Mondays much. Sure, I hate the weekend to be over as we have so much fun, but Monday isn't all that bad. I do however not like the rain. I know it makes the flowers grow and the grass green, and our yard does look absolutely beautiful this time of year, but why can't it just rain at night? That would be best.

Right now, sitting in my office and for the last two days all I have seen is grey skies and rain. I really don't like it. I know that Shyanne doesn't like it either. When I picked her up from dance yesterday she told me how she had to spend recess inside. She was upset about a picture she drew. She said she worked very hard on it during half of her recess and then gave it to a friend of hers I will call Mary. The reason she was upset is that that Mary wrote on it to: "Judy"  From: Mary and gave it to Judy. Shyanne didn't like that. she said she had worked hard on it to give it to Mary and it wasn't nice that Mary turned around and gave it away.

I tried to explain to her that since both Mary and Judy are friends, it didn't really matter, and since she hadn't told Mary that she couldn't give it away, then it was OK for Mary to do with it as she pleased. I suggested in the future, she might want to sign all of her art work so that the person who ends up with it knows who the real artist was, if that was her concern.

It seems that wasn't her concern. Her concern was that she worked hard on it for this one person who then gave it to another person.

Her first experience with "regifting". I guess I never really thought about how the original person would feel about their gift being given to someone else, but then as an adult, I would probably never tell anyone that I had given their gift to another person. Having said that, I have never regifted a gift. I hear about it all the time, and you see it on Sitcoms on television, but does it really happen all that often? I don't really know, but what I do know is that Shyanne doesn't like her gifts being regifted AND she doesn't like inside recess due to rain. My guess is there won't be any regifting today, but she will still be disappointed again today. It is pouring out.


Friday, May 18, 2012

I Am Not Quite Ready For This

There are some things that I am just not ready for. Not that there is a time I will be ready for them, but there is a time when you expect certain things to happen whether you are ready for them or not. Then there are things that happen so unexpectedly that you just can't be ready for them whether you thought they would happen at some time or another anyway! Then of course there is the expecting the unexpected, but then if you expected it how could it have been unexpected. If you try to get ready for something then aren't you prepared for it even if you say you aren't prepared for it. So how can you know be ready for something when it happens if you knew it was going to happen, even if you thought it would be later?

Have I got you totally confused? If you would like, you can go back and read that first paragraph again. I guarantee it won't make any more or less sense then it did the first time you read it. Anyway.........

Yesterday I got home after being away for three days. I got home before Shy got home from school and I changed into my shorts and a t-shirt thinking that she would love to play a little basketball with me out on the driveway when she got back with DW from the bus. Well, she did come down the driveway to say hello to me and give me a quick hug and kiss hello, but then it was off to play with the boy across the street. She had no desire to play basketball with me today.

Then it wasn't long after that the new boy next door came by with his mommy. He wanted to know if Shyanne could play with him. DW explained to his mother that she was across the street with the other boy and was sure it would be OK if he went as well.

A short time later I looked into our backyard and there were Shy and the two boys playing on the swing set. The three of them were having a great time together. It was really wonderful. When we lived in Maine there wasn't an opportunity like that as there were no other kids close to Shy's age that loved close enough to us. Now there are a number of kids and as they grow older and their limits are stretched, I expect to see more kids in our backyard playing and coming into the house for snacks and all. I love that and think it is fantastic that Shy feels comfortable enough to bring her friends over.

Even if they are boys...........After dinner Shy and I went to the store together. We got to talking about all her friends she has here and I found out that the boy across the street and the new one next store are her "best friends" not Sofie, or Isabella, or May or Lilly, but Jacob and Cameron. And it isn't just those two!!!

Shyanne has a date tonight. That is right. At 6 years old, she is having her first date. It is with a boy from her class. I think his name is Alex. Now this is nothing all that big, but it is a date. I guess his Dojo (karate school) has a pizza and movie night every so often. When this little boy came home from his last class he told his mother that the movie this week was "Tangled" and he knew that Shyanne liked this movie and he wanted to ask her to come with him. So............she has a date at the Dojo with Alex.

I am just not ready for this........On the good side......DW and I have a dinner date of our own tonight...alone...at a nice restaurant along the water.....how nice is that!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

First Red Sox Game

Yesterday DW and I took Shy to her first Red Sox game at Fenway Park. Now it was a great event really for all three of us. Besides being Shy's first trip to Fenway, it was also Mother's Day. It goes without saying why that would be important. Lastly, the tickets were bought for me in April by my children as a birthday present.

So....everybody was celebrating something. Now, the good news is that it was a big win for the Red Sox. (12-1) They haven't been getting a lot of wins so far this year, so any win is a good one. Although they have three in a row at this writing.

The bad news is that I didn't see as much of the game as I normally do. I was spending more time (and money) watching and buying for Shyanne. She had a Hot Dog, PopCorn, Cotton Candy, Coke and Water and Lemonade inside the ball park. I also bought her a miniature pink bat and of course a pink baseball to go with it.

The best part once the Red Sox got the lead though was watching Shyanne enjoying the game. She was clapping along with cheers that other fans had started. She learned about the wave and watched very carefully for when it was our turn to participate.She also just sat there taking in the sights and sounds.

She loved singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" too. Although I don't quite get that one. I mean we were already at the ballgame. Why would we ask someone to take us there if we are already there.....and the part about never coming back is a bit much, don't you think? But anyway, I digress. so she liked that and if you haven't been to Fenway Park before there is always the rendition of "Sweet Caroline" that is played in the middle of the 8th inning that Shyanne seemed truly amazed by.

So, while the Red Sox did some great things offensively, and I am sure made some good plays defensively as well, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia had a 5 RBI day, the best part of the day for me was watching Shyanne. It was just as much fun as watching Amy Barry and Kari at their first games at Fenway Park. And while they are all memorable to me, my most memorable one is my first game that my grandfather took me to when I was a whole lot younger than I am now. I hope this game will always be a good memory for Shyanne.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Some Things are Truly Amazing

Our eldest daughter Amy received her MBA last weekend. We were there for the "hooding" and the graduation. It was a wonderful event and we are certainly very proud of her, I never thought in a million years that this was something she would do, but she did it and we are very happy for her and her accomplishment.

It was not, however the highlight of the weekend. While that was indeed the only reason we went up to Maine and it was a very short trip, the most exciting part of the trip was when she told us she was pregnant with her first child. (another little one to call me papa!). Now that is exciting.

This has however brought up a lot of questions from Shyanne about how the baby gets in there and gets out of there. We have been answering them in a way that we feel is appropriate for a 6 year old little girl. We simply told her that after a man and a woman fall in love and get married God puts a baby in the woman's tummy. As far as how it gets out, we told her how her two older sisters and brothers were born. That the doctor took them out of her tummy. Since DW had C-Sections for all three, that was the truth.

Then she wanted to know when then happened. So we told her all the dates that Amy, Barry, and Kari were born. her replay was a question of total amazement:

                             You mean they were all born on their birthday!!!!!!??????!!!!!!

Yes Shy, they were. Some things are just truly amazing!


Hey!!! I am going to be a PAPA again!!!!!!! I am so excited!!!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Forever Families Camp

For those of you who don't know about it, Jewish Family Services of Greenwich runs a weekend camp for Jewish families touched by adoption. DW, Shyanne and I went for the first time last year. The camp is located in Pennsylvania at an NJ Y camp. We had a wonderful time and Shyanne loved it so much she wanted to go back from the moment we left. So in about 5 1/2 weeks we will head out to Pennsylvania for another weekend of fun, friends, and learning.

We all learned a lot last year at camp and are hoping to have fun learning more this year. The reason I bring it up today is we just got an e-mail asking for informaiton for this year's camp. DW and I asnwered the questions and are hopeful that we will come back form this experience with more good informaiton like last year.

It is nice just to be around other families who share a commonality in their life. At our new Synogogue, we are told we are the only family with an adopted child. I really find that hard to believe in this day and age, but that is what we are told. So being around other families touched by adoption is certainly nice for us, and also nice for Shyanne. I am getting more excited about going back and just being able to relax and enjoy ourselves together as a family. Not having to worry about any outside pressures or what we are having for dinner or anything else. We can just be together as a family and enjoy our weekend as well as maybe bring home some helpful hints for dealing with some of the problems we have as well as how to celebrate the joys we have. I can't wait!!

I have no idea if there is any room left for this year as it is so close (the dates are June 8-10), but Debbie Schwartz runs the camp and informaiton can be found at the following URL. If it is too late for this year, it is definitely something to think about for next year.