Tuesday, September 30, 2008 No comments
Chloe drew this picture at Sunday School. It is a picture of our family. I am the one on the left with the BIG ears (what?) and Chloe is the one in the middle with the black hair. I am also loving Matt's hairstyle (on the right).

Chloe has a signature touch that she adds to all her pictures of Mommy and Daddy---a belly button. Notice how she doesn't have one? I am taking this as a hint that Mommy and Daddy need to lose some pounds from the middle.

Girl's Weekend

Sunday, September 21, 2008 No comments

Matt is at a Por*sche autocross race in Massachusetts this weekend so Chloe and I are spending a Mommy/Daughter weekend together.

Friday I took Chloe to the Bro*nx Zoo. This is one of her favorite places to visit. We have a membership so it costs very little to go to the zoo--we get free parking and free entry to all the exhibits. I learned today that going to the zoo on a school day is definitely the time to visit. We had free reign of the zoo and zipped through all the exhibits. It was fantastic.

I must admit though that I spent more time people watching among the few people at the zoo. Fall has arrived and today was the first day that the mercury did not rise above 70. I loved seeing all the people in the combo summer/fall wardrobe---sweaters and flip-flops. REALLY? You brought out the sweaters but not shoes to cover your feet?

Saturday Chloe and I went apple-picking across the state line in NY. There was lots of activities for kids and Chloe went on a pony ride and got her face painted. Later that same day we went to our neighborhood block party and Chloe played all evening. She was thoroughly worn out and tired when all was said and done.

Sunday we waited for the return of Matt and planted some mums in the yard. Matt returned earlier than expected because the rent a cops at S*x Fla*gs in Massachusetts shut down the autocross with two hours remaining for no apparent reason than to shut it down. Chloe was happy to see her Daddy return.

What I Learned from My Garden

Wednesday, September 17, 2008 No comments

As fall approaches and the weather begins to cool, the vegetable garden I planted with Chloe is nearing the end of its production. Chloe and I harvested over 20 pounds of Roma tomatoes today and I sheared back the cherry tomatoes which are encroaching on the fence. While I was shearing the cherry tomatoes Chloe was planning a garden for Matt, telling me that Daddy needed his own garden too. I think we will just stick to the small garden we have now.

I do believe that Chloe has learned a great deal from the garden. We had a nice chat today about the life cycle of a tomato plant and what the purpose of the fruit and seeds are on the vine.

I've been blanching, skinning and freezing the Roma's so we can enjoy the bounty this winter. Anyone have any good tomato soup recipes?

As an homage to my garden--and a written record for myself of what to do and NOT to do---following is a list of what I have learned from my garden:
  1. Six (6) cherry tomato plants are about five (5) too many for me. The children's gardening book that I took the vegetable recommendations from recommended six cherry tomato plants for the pizza garden. I don't know if the author was expecting us to make pizza for Pizza H*ut, but the six plants were out of control. I couldn't give the tomatoes away or fast enough. The cherry tomato carnage after shearing them back---

  2. Roma tomatoes are great for sauces, cherry tomatoes are great for snacking and in salads. I need to cut back on the cherry tomatoes (see #1) and plant a juicier variety of tomato next year---hello, Jersey tomato.

  3. According to Chloe, you should stop picking when the bowl gets heavy. By Chloe's calculation, you should stop picking after about 10 cherry tomatoes.

  4. I didn't enjoy growing onions. I just put little spring onions in the ground and in a month I had big onions. I guess it was too easy. Of course, my husband did learn that they are called spring onions because they are pulled in the spring, before they get big. They aren't a different, special variety. I guess that was rewarding.

  5. Skip the eggplant next year. We didn't like our variety.

  6. Gardening with a child is fun. Chloe asked lots of questions and she is quite proud of her garden.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008 1 comment
We've just returned from a weekend of Porsche racing at Pocono* Speedway in Pennsylvania where Matt competed in autocross. The entire family went and we camped near the racetrack in the RV. One of Matt's racing pals, Paul, camped with us. Needless to say, Chloe has a new pal.

We also got a new game for camping---ladder ball. That's all Chloe wanted to play. It was quite a hit with her.


Friday, September 12, 2008 No comments

we are adopting again (and again). We had a final phone interview Tuesday with our Ethiopia adoption agency that "officially" marked the beginning of our journey to Ethiopia for our son. It was the last hurdle to offically become clients and start the paperchase.

We are continuing with our China adoption no change in plans there). We hope to complete our Ethiopian adoption by spring 2009, thereby making our 3rd adoption our 2nd. You can follow along on our Ethiopian adoption journey and read about our decision-making process here.

Chloe's Presidential History

Tuesday, September 09, 2008 No comments
I am a former U.S. History teacher so it would only be logical that my daughter's dinner time placemat is of the President's of the United States. Nightly at dinner, Chloe will point to the Presidents and ask, "who's that?" and I tell her. Now, I give you Presidential History according to Chloe. I have to say in just the short time we have been talking about the president's she already far surpasses my 8th graders in presidential knowledge. Can you name the first 5 presidents in order (its a required skill on the Texas Ass!essment of Knowled!ge and Skills in 8th grade).

It's not on the video, but tonight at dinner I was telling Chloe that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and I began quoting it for her. I got to "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that....", when Chloe interrupted to say, "NO, all men and girls are created equal". Smart cookie that one.

Back to School

Monday, September 08, 2008 No comments
Chloe outside her pre-school getting ready to enter for the first day of school.

Chloe concentrates as she pours her own juice during snack-time, a new expectation in the four-year-olds class.

Chloe creating a self-portrait.

Chloe began school today. We are beginning to get the slightest hint of fall in the air and it was a beautiful, crisp day to start school.

Chloe is very excited about this school year. She is now the oldest in the pre-school and she thinks that is dyno-mite! She is only going to class two days this week for an hour and a half. Next week begins the typical 4-day a week schedule. Since this was the first day and the school is a cooperative school, the mother's attend the class with their child. I walked Chloe into class this morning and wasn't in the room for two minutes when Chloe asked, "Mom, why are you still here"? Despite her protests, I stuck around as expected.

I couldn't be happier about her pre-school teacher this year. I think it is going to be an awesome year. Her teacher has taught 4-year olds for 18 years at Chloe's pre-school and you can just tell she understands 4-year olds and has a system that works. This was a BIG relief to see as I was not pleased with Chloe's pre-school teacher last year. One mother turned to me during today's class and said, "I feel [my child] has learned more in this class today than he did all of last year." Her teacher this year is very creative, hands-on and organized.

Chloe also began tap/ballet today at a new dance school. I switched Chloe to a dance school in our community from the school where she took last year in a nearby town. Her best pal is also in class with her so she is very excited about dance as well--mostly the end of year dance recital.

On the way to dance this afternoon, Chloe asked if I had to stay at dance too. I told her I would and her response was, "No mom, don't stay at dance. Go run errands by yourself." Gee, thanks. I am starting to get the feeling that she doesn't want me around. She then added, "Just make sure to pick me up." Like I can forget about her! My response was, "Chloe, Mommy has always picked you up on time. I have never forgotten about you---Mommy always comes back." Of course, I added the last line thinking she was worried that I would forget her. Chloe's response to that statement? "Mom, why do you always say that? I know you always come back. I just want you to leave and come back today. That's all." Yes, it was a heartwarming mother-daughter moment.

Oh, and by the way, against Chloe's wishes, I didn't leave dance...I sat on the couch outside the door to her room and emailed Matt from my Black*erry.

Guess Who?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008 No comments

Coming up for Air

Tuesday, September 02, 2008 No comments
I am coming up for some air from underneath the massive pile of laundry I have had in my basement for weeks. I am happy to report that it is now complete and I can get about organizing the rest of my house.

Today Chloe helped me go through her toys and clear out some of the items she does not play with. Of course, once she "rediscovers" a toy it means she must play with it right then. However, once I showed her that she usually had multiples of each toy (like play phones, play cameras, etc.) she got to pick one that she wanted to keep. Once we completed Chloe's toy stash, she got to help Mommy do the same with her own possessions.

With all that done, I must say it is truly sweet to see that Chloe remembers who gave her special toys. She remembers that Aunt Deanna gives her neat puzzles, Nana gives her the America*n G*rl doll clothes and dolls, BeBe gives her the ladybug items and pencils & pens and that PaPaw gives her updates on her chickens. Most importantly, she reminded me today that Mommy & Daddy give her toys at Christmas (oh, and she wanted to know when Christmas would be coming).

In the meantime, I leave you with some photos of last week's soccer camp Chloe attended. She was a very good listener and kicked the ball with her feet and didn't use her hands---she was very proud.

**I know how small these photos are. I am working on them. A friend took them and sent them via Shu*terf*y who are now holding the photos ransom. **