Saturday, July 31, 2010

Julia Jie

What an exciting day! Very
early this morning, my sister Lisa and her family of 5 arrived home from China from a life-changing 15-day trip adopting their newest member, five-year-old (she'll be 6 in a few days) Julia Jie, a.k.a. 'Jie Jie'. After just four hours of sleep, they awoke to their 8:00 a.m. alarm this morning determined to embrace the day...a.k.a. avoid jet lag. (If they succeed in this--the avoidance of east to west jet lag, that is--I will have to eat my shorts. Good thing I don't own any.) Anyway, as part of "embracing the day", we got to visit!

She is amazing. Brave. Resilient. Funny. Silly. Brave. Loving. Adorable. Brave. And loved. Today we met a little girl who, I have no doubt, will amaze us the rest of our lives.

Welcome Home, Jie Jie. We love you.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"I 'mell poop"--a.k.a. 'a mid-July trip to Door County'

We went up to Door County for the past couple days to hang out, see Washington Island, and pick some cherries. I (and all of BMW-driving Illinois, but that's a separate post...) looooooove me some Door County. Even the drive up is lovely. Ned enjoyed the ride, too, and decided to play the role of poo smell scout the entire trip. ("I 'mell poop again, Mama.") (BTW, another aside, Ned is beginning the use of proper personal pronouns instead of referring to herself in third person all the time. I am sad about this. Sigh.) Anyway, there is a LOT of farmland on the ride. Ned should have recorded "I 'mell poop again, Mama" before we left. For real.

So we drove all the way to the tippy top of the thumb and drove our car right onto the Washington Island Ferry. Ned loved this. "Mama's car on a BOAT?! Dat CWAZY."

The ride to the island is about a half hour and allowed Ned plenty of time to take part in her new pastime, hanging off everything in sight. And then we got to the island and stopped for an ice cream cone. Oh, look at that! Something else to hang from! HOORAY!The ice cream had eyeballs. Ned ate them. Then we went for a hike in the woods to get to a church. Dan's been wanting to go to Washington Island to see this church for a couple years now. This church is some sort of old famous Scandinavian thing. It has a special long name that I could look up on the web now, but I'm just gonna call it a wooden church. It was...wooden. Okay, okay, it was cool enough.Except that inside they filled it with these bent beechwood chairs with vinyl seats. I mean, what the hell?
We headed back on the boat and this time, Ned wanted to "wide in Mama's car on boat." Seriously exciting. "Mama, boat moving car. Car not moving on wheels." I'm telling you, she's a genius.We drove back down to Sister Bay and stopped at Al Johnson's for supper. Al Johnson's is a funny place. It's a restaurant not unlike a large Scandinavian-themed Perkins, except that the roof is covered in grass and several goats munch away all day up there while all of BMW-driving Illinois gawks and photographs them with their telephones from below. (And the rest of us photograph them with actual cameras. Don't even get me started.) Ned was pretty astonished that they were "on da WOOF!" The goats totally make the very average food palatable. And then we headed to our home for the night, a B & B whose name is escaping me, if only because they annoyed me this morning with a surcharge for housing Nedy, along with a "we don't actually allow children in the B & B" speech. Put it on your website then. Goodness. (And, if you didn't notice, she was totally quiet and much more enjoyable than the rest of BMW-driving Illinois filling up your overpriced rooms. If I do say so myself.)

ANYWAY, today, after a lovely breakfast outside at the B & B whose name is escaping me--truly, a lovely breakfast, all homemade--we visited a sculpture garden in the morning... and then headed back down the thumb to Cherry Lane Orchards. And, surprise for Nedy, Nana and Papa drove up to pick cherries with us! A really nice couple of days. And Ned got a perfectly appropriate souvenir. I 'mell poop.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Berry pickin'

Late June early morning strawberry picking with Nana and Papa--Ned thought this totally rocked...except that berry picking is VERY messy. So, after a few plucked berries and the ensuing red stained hands, Ned settled in a pile of dust with a handful of carefully selected dandelions. As she put it, "Dandy-yions just stinky, not messy."

Pals. And the next generation.

These two gals have been pals a long time. It all started in 9th grade with an innocent inquiry to the one behind in Mr. Simms' social studies class that went something like this, "So, was the shot really heard all the way around the world?"

One of the gals lives in Seattle now. Seattle came to visit recently and, for the first time, the two gals had the joy of watching their small maniacs feed goats together. Bliss.

Here's to the next generation of lifelong buds. :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Beach bums

At 11:30 today I decided cleaning the house just wasn't high on my list of fun ways to spend a day off. So we hopped in the car and headed up to the beach in Kohler. We have beach access a 5 minute walk from our house, but there's something nice about the quiet of beaches just a tad north.

Nedy is a "just add sand" kind of kid. She could care less about the water, but sand is
the big gig in her 2 1/2 year old life. (As an aside, I never would have thought I was capable of amassing such an obscenely large collection of plastic sand goods, but alas, I am becoming my mother...except that she would never dress a kid from head-to-toe in SPF 50 clothing on a 90 degree day. I guess I'm becoming a way more neurotic version of my Mom. But I digress.)

So after an hour or so of castle building (always crushed by Nedy before realizing full potential, of course), Dan decided to catch a little nap.

And then Ned announced, "Baby take yitto west, too." And then she flopped down and assumed what looked to be the most uncomfortable position possible and proceeded to rest for about a minute and a half, complete with fake snoring.
And she's back!
Not bad considering our cooler served as the tripod, eh? :)

So after the family photo, Ned says, "Baby take pikshur Mama and Baba. Baby use wemote, okay?" She positioned herself "just right" in front of the camera, pointed the remote with great precision and, in true Mama form, took no less than 15 pictures of us. And after she saw her shots on the camera, she looked at me and said in the most serious way, "Where Baby's head? Why I just yegs and one hand?"
Good times. :)