Sunday, July 31, 2011

This will go down in history....

Well ok our little history....as one of my favorite pictures of Tigger up til now!

Water play


Friday, July 29, 2011

What 2 years old looks like!

Good morning sunshine....Happy Birthday

Dressed for Birthday Breakfast

hmmmm eating or presents?

oooooh  cake...or rather bite size cupcakes

I know what to do

I love eating frosting too!

opening first gift

Oh yay, I feel chalk taking over  the cement on the porch

Big present

BABIES!!!!!!!

Hugs

Happy Birthday Tigger.  Mami loves you and had fun this morning

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tomorrow....

Tomorrow my child will officially be 2 years old.  She is an amazing child.....a very typical child that is in the world of testing boundaries....but amazing nonetheless.

I love having my parents live down the street.  It provides grandparents frequently (I lived far away from both sets of grandparents growing up so didn't see them often enough) and they get to celebrate everything with us.

However, sometimes it's hard because they want to celebrate EVERYTHING together.  That is not bad, I just need to carve out some time for important events like Christmas and Birthday where it's just her and I with a tradition.  Thinking about Tigger's birthday I've been pondering what tradition to have between us....after all her birthday is smack dab in the middle of summer where people are off on vacation and there's no school to whisk her away from to play hooky and do something fun which is something many kids look forward to if their birthday is during the school year....so I decided on something simple.  Tigger loved her cake at her b-day party so much she's been yapping about cake all week long.  I'm sure the leftovers have been eaten up already (Grandma!) so went out and bought little cupcakes.

Yes tomorrow when we wake up, I'm going to do the whole Happy Birthday thing, give her the present from me, and let her eat a cupcake for her birthday breakfast (along with some other stuff too....I'm not THAT bad of a mom ha!).  It's simple moments like these or like tonight when she asked me to read about 6 books OY! while she melts and puts her head on top of me that I truly love.

A look back:  From last year to now!

*First haircut
*Walked at 15 months
*First Halloween dressed as Tigger (oddly, the day she started walking)
*First word other than mama
*Changing rooms at daycare to the toddler room and all that drama
*FINALIZATION
*Teething....Lord the teething

It's been a great year.  Hey Tigger.....it's you and me kid....love you bunches!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Gotta love the search terms....

Do most of you go and look up the search words or phrases that lead people to your blog?  I do occasionally and there have been a couple of interesting one.

'happiness'


'only God can judge me now'


'I'm having troubles with my morals'


'birth month birds'


'falsified adoption documents'


'dannie blog'


Ok first of all, I get the 'dannie blog'....Dannie is my online name and I have a blog.....

Happiness....ok don't know how that led you to my blog but cool....I am happy and daily life for me is happy most of the time so that's cool.

'only God can judge me now'.....you would think Tupoc would have already been clicked and that would be the end of that.....

'birth month birds'....I just have no clue

I'M HAVING TROUBLES WITH MY MORALS......dude, maybe you need to see a priest or a counselor or someone, but my blog is not going to help you with that.

'falsified adoption documents.....um I hope it's not because you think it's ok......

anyways just thought I'd share.  Sometimes a wacky one comes up here and there but tonight we had all these goodies!






Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Poop-Up

So Tigger was telling me all day that she wants a poopup....I'm like what???? I don't understand what you are trying to say to me.  Of course my child is easily frustrated when she is not understood (which is why I dedicate at least 20 min a day to vocab building/repetition) and keeps wailing 'poopup, poopup'.  Finally I asked her to show me what she wants.....Ladies and Gents....I bring you Poopups


yes my friends....apparently the word of the day for pull-ups is poop-ups.  My house is never boring!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Swimming Lessons started!

Tigger couldn't wait to get into the pool.  I was a bit hesitant as the pool my parents have has a cover so the water is warmer than the average pool.  It didn't matter, in went the Tigger happy as a clam.  Of course there were some skills we tried to help our kids with as our instructor gave them to us.

1.  sitting on the ledge and jumping into the pool
2.  standing on the ledge and jumping into the pool
3.  the "choo-choo" which is having the kiddies learn to hold onto the inner ledge of the pool and creep down the side without the parent holding them (mini-heart attack)
4.  kicking with the paddle board
5.  tilting head back to put it in the water
6.  blow bubbles
7.  kick while on their backs

yes this is a parent-child swim class....introduction to swimming....and we did all that, all 7 of the kids along with the parents were in the pool, and all 7 were between 1 and 2 years old.....after age 2 1/2 they like for them to go into the tiny tots division where they do a lot.  I'm actually happy with the lessons I signed up and paid for.  Seems to be exposing the kids early to what swimming mechanics are all about.

problem is, my Tigger wanted to keep on jumping from off the ledge into the pool....by far her favorite part.  Oy vey....maybe she should go into diving.  Hopefully next week when my mom accompanies on since she will have a week off, I may be able to get some pictures.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Chuck E Cheese

Well we had Tigger's birthday party!  It was a blast and while serious at times, she was very excited about 1) CAKE and 2) CHUCK E  as I've been indoctrinating her so she wouldn't spazz out too much.  She did get startled by Chuck E once, but all in all, she was happy going in and happy leaving the place.  She ate a whole slice of Cuban cake and was pretty much bouncing off the walls after dinner and cake.

I, the mama, was very happy and put this down as a success.  Enjoy!

Gotta love the cake....special ordered!  

You'd think a couple of girls would be happy while eating ha!
My girl!
There were about ten million cameras all flashing in her eyes so this look is one of  "please stop the madness"
Ticket blaster....we got a lot of tickets

That's the way to attack Pizza

Do you see how fast she's eating her slice of cake...it was gone in about 2 minutes
opening presents back at home



video




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Friday, July 22, 2011

Full Steam Ahead

Well in a week Tigger will be 2 years old.  Between now and then it will be frenzy.....This Sunday is the party at Chuck E Cheese with the mouse!  Next week is swimming lessons and then Friday she'll get her big present from me and later her big present from grandma and grandpa.  So it will be a busy week.  Speaking of which we are off with my dad in about half an hour to go pick up her cake I special ordered.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Moral Dilemma

It's interesting being a single parent.  It's even more interesting when you've adopted and it's a transracial adoption.  I have mentioned before that I rarely get any rude or intrusive questions because quite honestly, where I live, I'm not the only family that looks like "us".  I live in a very diverse city/town and the population has a high number of interracial families of all sorts.

While I'm not shy about adoption, I also don't go around telling complete strangers my business or Tigger's business.  And let's face it, while in a total view of things she has two mothers...during the day to day happenings she is my daughter period....no qualifiers necessary.  I don't go around announcing that this is my adopted daughter Tigger, nor do I go all the time saying oh here's Tigger...I adopted her.  Yes close friends know our general story....I'm glad that I'm connecting with more mom friends at church through playgroup and Sabbath School, however, it's not something that needs to be shared with everyone I meet especially if they are strangers.  (I'm having issues with a foster mom I met that anyone she is talking to, she says of the baby..."we are foster parents, this baby's mother just abandoned her"....ummmm I try not to slap her silly, but I'm about to....my mom is closer to slapping this person silly than I am....no one needs to know details of that sweet baby)

Which brings me to an incident that happened a couple of weeks ago.  Tigger and I were shopping for my dad's birthday gift and while at the store in the escalator, two people were behind us...I guess Tigger smiled at them...and let's face it, Tigger has beautiful eyes, and the woman was asking me if she was my daughter....I said yes and then she smiles and says....."she got a black daddy don't she?"  and well, without missing a beat I  smile and say "yes, yes she does".  The guy was horrified and apologized for his crazy sister....I told him not to worry about it....and they complimented Tigger on her hair and eyes and told us we were both "cuties".

Um ok.....they were nice enough.  Problem is, with Tigger, her mother was black and dad was another race.  So hence my moral dilemma.  During brief social exchanges, I don't feel I need to explain and educate about adoption and foster care especially since Tigger can decide whether or not to do that when she's older.....yet as a Christian, it kinda feels very wrong to lie.  Now I have been asked before if Tigger is "mixed" and I answer yes....but answering that question isn't a lie.  When Tigger is older and knows more (although I know that she comprehends way more than what I think she does in general at this point) isn't it bad if she sees/hears mom lying?  Does it really matter especially if it's to keep/maintain some sort of privacy?  It just kind of seems like a slippery slope....yet how to maintain my child's information/privacy until she is old enough to come up with answers she wants to when questions arise.

To my blogosphere peeps out there....especially my readers that have adopted transracially....how have you handled this?  do you have the same inner struggle I do with what I consider to be moral dilemma's?  If you have and would like to give insight, please by all means!

Monday, July 18, 2011

I wanted to blog today with pictures...

I've been dying to blog about our last week with you all....with pictures except for one annoying factor.  I left my camera at my folks house.  Now since they live down the street, I could easily go get it, however, this week we're doing more intentional pull-up going to the potty routines, so I'm staying quite close to home.

We will be going to my parent's house on Tuesday to swim....so hopefully I'll get to share some cool pictures with you and maybe a snippet of video from the VBS week at the church I used to be a member of.  I was an avid church goer to this particular church since I was 6 weeks old, so just because my membership transferred 6 months ago doesn't mean I still don't keep in touch.  Well enjoy the beginning of the week.  I hope to have something better to share visually later on!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The dining area looks so empty....

So it was time to put away the high chair and the booster chair was introduced.
It was a hit.  Tigger liked sitting at the table and we had a normal meal together....well it looked like it tonight...normal that is. Looking at the dining area later tonight though, it just doesn't look like a baby lives here anymore.  My goodness!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Stuff You don't Hear about

You know, there are obvious things one expects to talk about and educate their children about before becoming a parent.  Examples include but aren't limited to:
*Don't talk to strangers/nobody has the right to touch you
*Sex
*Review homework with them
*Play with them/go over what to do in their sports practice
*Teach them to drive
*Riding a bike
*Potty Training
etc.
What you don't know is HOW much you have to teach them, down to the little things....things I didn't even think about until now!  Examples include but are not limited to the following:
*How to spit when starting to use toothpaste that has fluoride in it (really, not even on my radar until just now)
*How to eat with utensils (I was really hoping it was just as easy as picking them up and suddenly voila...HA!)
*How to lift one leg at a time when getting dressed
*How to show them to solve simple problems (puzzles, those shape sorter put in hole toy thingies) especially if your child tends to frustrate easily which will end up in screams and toy throwing.

This parenting gig constantly amazes me.  Anything you had to "sit down" (or whatever) and teach your kid that never even crossed your mind?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Enter the world of Tantrums

So have entered the awesome land of tantrums outside of the home.  Today we went to get the car washed because it was just filthy at a real car wash!  At the car wash we played a car game, Tigger "drove" sitting on my lap while I pushed the gas pedal LOL

Then I had to go outside to see the progress of the car and Tigger decided that wasn't where she wanted to be so I got the tantrum....I just rolled my eyes, looked at her and said "I guess you need Mami to hold you now until we go" so out we went and she had to sit on my lap instead of playing near me or dancing or whatever, until the car was done.  Oh the tears, the scream, and then the wonderful sorrowful silence.

Ack....didn't enjoy that, but I guess it comes with the age no matter how "great" you think you are!

Monday, July 11, 2011

I would have never thought

that the day would come when I would say that summer break is busier than the school year/work year.  Wowzer!  I thought I'd be all about writing at least once a day on here, but I was mistaken....but I'm really not so sad about it.  That just means that little Tigger and I are spending time doing fun stuff.  That takes the cake any day way more than sitting down at my desk and writing a post daily.

I do miss reading people's blogs...I don't get to all of them right now, but I still love the blogosphere community and will catch up one of these days.  In leaving, we went to a party yesterday....it was a princess party full of crowns for the guests.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I Wonder What Life Would Have Been Like.....

Do you ever ponder that?  "I wonder what my life would have been like.....if _________"?  For the most part I don't, however, every so often I do wonder.  This past weekend with the 4th of July and family get togethers, my aunt had a PBS documentary on DVD about Cuba and it's music.  (In case you all forgot my family is Cuban and my cousins and I happen to be 1st generation born outside of Cuba...which means most of my family happen to be immigrants) 

Well as we start watching this DVD, it invokes nostalgia for the older folks and of course I get drawn into the whole family culture and stories.  Even my dad was pretend dancing with Tigger (if you know our family you'll know this is funny because our particular denomination isn't fond of dancing in general) At one point my mother was wistful and stated "It's too bad that Castro ended up the way he did, can you imagine if we could have stayed and had a nice life with the music and beautiful countryside/beaches etc."? Then she went on to say what she missed about the good times before the country really got bad under Castro. 

Of course our family is happy to be here in the USA.  It gave my family freedom.....politics, religion, education, free speech, none of that is taken for granted in our family.  I love my small townhouse, I love that my parents could come from having $200 dollars in the bank when they got married til now where they own a home and we have a comfortable life.  But I also wonder what life might have been if people didn't feel the need to leave the country of our origin?  Where would we be now?  Cubans have pride in their culture and in their past....we recite poetry and we play music....and many of the older folks sometimes still talk about "the past" as if maybe we'll acheive it one day.  The reality is, we won't. But it is nice to talk about it and remember and listen to our parent's stories. 

I had a co-worker (she retired) that is also Cuban and she was one of the original kids that came into the USA after Castro....during operation Pedro Pan in the early '60s.  That was the first wave.  My parents did not come through this method, but after the freedom flights were negotiated in '65, both families (obviously my parents didn't know each other then) put in for visa's to leave under the freedom flights.  It took until '69 for both my parents to leave the country. 

My dad came by himself at 14 years of age....that was a miracle, if he would have been 15 he would have had to go to the military (mandatory) and wouldn't have been able to leave....his plane went to Spain where he was taken in by a Seventh Day Adventist family for a while before being able to come to New Jersey to live with an aunt.  Luckily for him, his dad, my grandfather was able to come out to Puerto Rico....so after that happened he stayed the school years with his dad and then spent the summers with his aunt in New Jersey.

My mother's family was also very fortunate that all of their names were called to leave at the same time....many families were split during these times.  Leaving with only the clothes they had, my grandmother had a brother that resided in New Jersey and so that is where they were sent.  And that is the state where my parent's met. 

Before my mother's family left, my mom's uncle...another brother of my grandmother's came to visit and scowl at them.  He had joined the ranks of the Revolution and was a high official in Castro's regime.  His visit was mainly to flaunt his power over whether or not they could leave, and then if their minds were made up, he exclaimed that they as a family were dead to him. 

My parents have interesting stories.  Bizarre stories.  Sad stories.  Some of them like my dad and aunt (mom's sister) want to go back to Cuba to visit and to reminice....other's like my mom just can't fathom going back there...she will get nostalgic, but is apprehensive about going.  My aunt and her were going to go...after my grandmother's death in '09 my aunt really wanted to go just for closure....but my mom couldn't continue plans to go, she just wasn't sure there wouldn't be a problem and she wouldn't be able to come back....she has that fear. 

Anyways why is this on my blog?  It has nothing to do with raising Tigger nor it has anything to do with adoption....well.....does it? 

As I was thinking about Cuba this weekend and my parent's past, it dawned on me that someone may understand this line of thinking, however, when a person that was adopted starts questioning where they come from and talks of searching and going into reunion start....there are all sorts of judgements made about people.  Why are they searching....aren't they happy with the life they had?  Don't they love their [adoptive] parents? 

Why do we ask these questions of individuals?  Do you think I or my family love the USA any less just because we wonder what life would have been like if our families didn't have to leave Cuba?  Are we less patriotic on the 4th of July because we chat, play dominos, and talk about Cuba pre-Castro?  I don't think so.....and so I venture to guess that adult adoptees or younger teens that question about their origins, families have a natural curiosity and wonder about what "that life might have been like"....it doesn't make them think less of their current family does it?  I would argue NO.  My hope is that when Tigger is older, that these experiences with family like this past weekend remind me and make me sympathetic and have true understanding of why this is important, during times of questions and if there are searches made.

Since it is a post about my family's era I thought I'd throw in a few youtube exerpts....the first two are short and the last one is a decent report they did on 3 or 4 operation pedro pan children (now all grown up)  It's really interesting, the report is in 5 segments so longer than my first 2 exerpts.

 



This is the report.  It's in 5 segments....after the first segment is finished you can click on 2/5, then 3/5 etc.  I do caution that if you have little people in the room, the second segment has images of the firing squad so please advise.




Monday, July 4, 2011

How does our family celebrate the 4th of July?

By celebrating dad's birthday of course!  Happy Birthday dad....this day is doubly special


Singing to the Birthday boy!

Grandparents and Tigger

Futbol (Soccer) is quite popular at any gathering...Mexico and Chile game
Well Tigger is in bed...still a wee bit young to be out and about for fireworks, so I will go downstairs and watch them on TV.  Ah life with a small child.