Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Bit Schizophrenic

Don't adjust your monitor!

My apologizes to anyone who has tuned into this blog in the last 18 hours while I tweaked it, repeatedly! There were some really scary changes but I think I'll leave it as is for now. At least it's legible.

I'm insanely jealous of those cute little blogs with the awesome banners but every time I try to make one, all sorts of wrong happens. Freakin' technology! Oh well.

Anyway, I've been pondering the idea of changing the blog. "Bringing Home Beck" - OK, he's home, we know that. Should I change the title? I have to say, me and this little ol' blog have grown pretty close. But of course, the blog too has grown and changed. It no longer follows us through the actually adoption process, but now just life in general, and not just Beck's, but ours as a family, and now often just my own musings.

And of course, this isn't simply a Mommy-blog. I haven't completely given up that I'm a crazy kid with a wicked twisted sense of humor that likes to share tales of warped funniness in, at times, a form that may be NSFW (not safe for work), and while we're at it, probably not suitable for kids, pets, and some forms of horticulture.

OMG, I think I'm having an identity-crisis!

New title, whole new blog or just keep things as is?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My First Book!



So I started getting paranoid that one day I'd log onto my blog and all my archives would have evaporated into thin (cyber-space) air so I have published my blog in hard cover form to be enjoyed years from now. The book came out so well that I've decided to create one every year of all the events and every day things our family has done so that the kids can enjoy them in the future. How cool would it be if you could pull a book off the shelf and read about your life the year you were, say, 7.

Putting together the book was super easy! Just go to blurb.com!

Of course, I'm still working on my 'real' book which still sadly remains a notebook fullof notes and research. But I am committed, and at the right point, to put pen to paper and start fleshing it out.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring Concert

Morgan's school performed their spring concert. They closed the show with one of my favorites, "Rainbow Connection". I think Kermit would be proud.

video

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Cat's Meow

BEFORE


The cat is going through a mega-shedding and I can't take another mammoth size cat-fur tumble weed rolling cross my living room floor so I shipped him out to the groomers for a 'Lion Cut'. Some cats would be humiliated by this bare-all 'do, but not Milo. Not only does he thoroughly enjoy the spa treatment, he struts his new look. He's the cat's meow, to say the least. However, the little green bow the groomer placed on his head may have been a little over the top. He refused to allow me to take a picture of that.

AFTER




(put another bow in my hair and I will kill you in your sleep)



I didn't want Benji to feel left out (and I was losing the battle of the mats) so I broke out the clippers and gave Benji a matching buzz cut. Unfortunately, I probably should have left it to the pros. I don't think we'll be showing our face at the dog park anytime soon.
BEFORE



AFTER


YIKES! This haircut makes him look SKINNY! Believe it or not he's gained a good 5+ pounds since we adopted him and he always has a full dog dish of his special (read: extremely pricey) prescription dog food. I wish I could find a haircut that would make me instantly look drastically thinner!


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Interviews with The Ruggies


Stolen from Bev's blog, who stole it from another..... too funny to resist.

I interviewed the kids separately. I swear, I didn't edit their answers (because they luckily didn't say anything too embarrassing!)

1. What is something mom always says to you?
Morgan "Be good"
Beck "Listen"
Yup, that sounds like me.

2. What makes mom happy?
Morgan "Me listening"
Beck "Get dressed"
What can I say, I'm easy to please.

3. What makes mom sad?
Morgan "when we do something naughty"
Beck "When I break toys"
My God, maybe they have been paying attention!

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
Morgan "When you're being nice to me"
Beck "Hugs"


5. What did your mom like to do when she was a child?
Morgan "I have no idea"
Beck "Go swimming"

6. How old is your mom?
Morgan "ummm, 34" (WRONG! Geesh, don't rush it!)
Beck "3"


7. How tall is your mom?
Morgan "I don't know"
Beck "bigger"

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Morgan "Go swimming"
Beck "cook dinner"
Hmmm, I think this is their favorite things for me TO DO..

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
Morgan "Send a babysitter over" (errrrrr??? Not unless he's hot and does laundry!)
Beck "Do good things" (So right son! And by good things I mean, enjoy the silence, admire a toy-free floor, go the bathroom by myself!)

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
Morgan "singing" (hasn't she heard me sing?!)
Beck "Getting me presents. Santa" (well, I have been working on the belly part. Sadly)

11. What is your mom really good at?
Morgan "Taking care of us"
Beck "Wii" (sweet!!!!)

12. What is your mom not very good at?
Morgan "Nothing" (She wants something....)
Beck "Put fire in the house" (firefighter? Cooking dinner?)

13. What does your mom do for her job?
Morgan "Wine Tasting"
Beck "drive car"
(It feels like I drive a car for work! But sadly, no pay. Funny how no one mentions that job consisting of all those horses outside. You know, the one that requires hours every. single. day.)

14. What is your mom's favorite food?
"broccoli" (WRONG)
"asparagus" (WRONG AGAIN)

15. What makes you proud of your mom?
"When she takes me swimming"
"Giving her hug"

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
"Sandy from SpongeBob"
"firefighter"
I couldn't think of anything either

17. What do you and your mom do together?
Morgan "Have fun"
Beck "do learning stuff"

18. How are you and your mom the same?
Morgan "We're girls"
Beck "I don't know, Momma"

19. How are you and your mom different?
Morgan "You're a woman and I'm a girl."
Beck "You bigger and I little"

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
Morgan "When you're having fun times with me"
Beck "Get hug"

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?
Morgan "Coz he's cute" (That's true)
Beck "doing work" (That pay check is nice)

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
Morgan "On the Disney Cruise"
Beck "Disney Boat!"
(DING DING DING! WE HAVE A WINNER!!!)

Monday, March 23, 2009

If We Were Pioneers...

...we'd be syrup-less!



On Saturday we took the ruggies up to an old farm, strapped on some snowshoes and headed out on a maple syrup making tour. I know what you're thinking, Beck has enough of a hard time staying upright in sneakers, why on Earth would we tie tennis rackets to his feet and set out on a mile hike through the woods?! Well he was a trooper, even if Daddy has to carry him at a few points.

We had a great time learning how to identify a sugar maple. When asked how to tell a sugar maple from other trees, Morgan quickly raised her hand and answered "the ones with buckets!". I'm with her, that's the only way I can tell a maple from a pine.

Once we identified a sugar maple (one without a bucket), we got to drill a hole and tap it. It was a perfectly warm day and the sap begun to run immediately and we all got to sample it straight from the tree.


Then we made our way to the sugar house. The sweet smell of the sap boiling was inspiring, so on the way home we purchased a spout and bucket and spent the afternoon hunting down a sugar maple on our property. After all, we have 10 acres, there must be at least one sugar maple, At least one would think.
We settled on what we thought, or rather hoped, was a sugar maple, so we tapped and waited for a drop of sap... nothing. We then decided to try our luck with another tree. Tapped it, hung the bucket and crossed our fingers.




Don't they just look so proud? Oh course, the next morning we took a drive to check out some nearby tapped maples and came to the conclusion that we in fact tapped an oak. Yeah for us.
So we set out sugar maple hunting again and finally I found one that fit the criteria we were taught on our maple tour. This had to be a sugar maple! Hooray! Of course it was also doubling as a fence post in the horses' pasture so we tapped the tree on the side away from the horses (not the south side as we were instructed, but oh well). As soon as the tap was in place sap began to drip. PAY DIRT! Finally we were on the right road to our very own sweet liquid gold!
Unfortunately, it was a short road. Actually, a dead end. I went out to check on our bucket in hopes of it being heavy with sweet maple sap. Sadly, the horses had the same plan. This is what's left of our sap bucket.

Flat. Flat as a syrup-less pancake. Damn horses!
Guess it's back to the Log House pancake syrup flavor high fructose corn syrup for us.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Thank You From Aipery

John posted a note from Aipery and I wanted to share it with you:

Thank you . I read all your letters . I thought that (I) was Just a little girl in a small country and nobody knows about me. But now I know that people all over the world care about me. So now I feel that I am special. Thank you.

They marked a map to show where each birthday well-wisher was from. Thank you to everyone who sent this little girl a birthday wish to remind her that she is special and many people around the world cares.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

When Sheep herders Get Bored...

No, not that!

This is a very cool video of some sheep herders that apparently have too much time on their hands.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Please send a birthday wish

John Wright, who I've mentioned here before for his wonderful work does for the needy people in Kyrgyzstan, is asking for a favor from all of us, and it's too easy to not do.

Years ago he wrote about a young girl who had experienced things no one should ever have to experience:

"Three years ago I met a young girl. Some of you will remember her story. On her 12th birthday her father decided that she was now old enough to be his wife, and tied her and her 4 siblings to a tree in the back yard and attempted to kill their mother while they watched..... unsuccessfully... As you can imagine. Her birthday has not been a time of celebration for her. On our last visit with the team from Norwood, she came to me as we were leaving.. She asked for prayer because of the dreams she had been having.... with out going into too much detail, we stayed... and we were able to work through a lot of issues that day. She then gave me a note....it read something like this. "I have had a difficult time with Birthdays. I have not liked to celebrate them.. It hurts to think about them... I would like to think of you as what a father is to me...... I am now ready to start celebrating my birthday again."

Here's John's simply request:
"we are going to take her and her family along with Altynai's family out bowling and for supper tomorrow night... we will then have them back to our apartment for the night... Please take a few minutes and go to the new birthday post on the blog, and leave her a birthday greeting in the comment section.... also please leave your town and state or province... We want her to see that there are people all over the world that care for her... She will have a chance to read all the posts tomorrow night.... you could even pass this along and see how many birthday wishes she can receive...
Thank you for your help.
Blessings John

Monday, March 16, 2009

We Take The "R" Out of R&R


My friend Lisa and I escaped for a 1 night getaway last night. Lisa is about 11 months pregnant with her third child and since her other two kids are 1 and 3 years old, Lisa hasn't actually had a full night's sleep in about 3 years. This fact, in addition that this winter has been nothing but a parade of illnesses with her and her brood, and of course #3's impending arrival, the girl really needed one last getaway and a full night of uninterrupted sleep.

Lisa easily talked me into a fabulous retreat at the famous, and historic, Mount Washington Hotel. This amazing grand hotel was built over 100 years ago and has welcomed nobles, presidents, poets and many others from around the world. It's an amazing sight nestled at the foot of Mount Washington, the highest peak in northeastern United States. It's also known for it's hefty price tag, and although I may have often dreamed of staying as a guest in the grand hotel, I never thought I actually would. But Lisa found a great deal we just couldn't pass up that not only included a stay at the hotel but an hour massage in their new 25,000 sq ft spa. Sign me up!

The spa was fabulous! The best I've ever been to. Dinner in the main dining room was also nice (we skipped all real meals that day to justify dinner). We strolled it's marvelous halls, looking at all the old pictures of the hotel's rich past. We marveled at the photos of it's construction. It's the state's biggest wooden structure. Being over 100 years old, that woods pretty dry and we theorized on how quickly it would burn to the ground (Can you say 'tinderbox'? I know, I'm a bit twisted, donchaknow). In the evening we found an entire empty patio room and and claimed it for ourselves, ordered a platter of cookies, turned on Comedy Central on the big screen and played Yahtzee. Yeah I know, pathetic, but that's how we roll! We just enjoyed the peace; no screaming kids, no nagging husbands, no barking dogs, no nothing. We did absolutely nothing and it was everything we thought it could be.

By 11pm we were ready for bed. Lisa was downright giddy over the opportunity to sleep, uninterrupted! No kids, no dogs... just pure joyous, precious sleep, something she wouldn't see again for a loooong time with soon 3 all under 3. We even made sure the in-room alarm clock was OFF and volume turned all the way down just in case it mis-fired and still somehow sounded. I joked that maybe I should wake her up crying at some point so she didn't get too used to sound sleep, but realized she would probably kill me if I did. You just don't mess with very pregnant, sleep-deprived Momma. So off went the lights and we both settled into our own very cozy beds.
At 1:15 am, that tinderbox comment came back to haunt us.
I don't know if I heard the fire alarm first or the rapid-fire stream of cursing coming from Lisa. She was already dressed while I was still figuring out that my nightstand lamp wasn't a touch light. Slowly getting my wits about me, I pulled on some jeans and grabbed my jacket and amid ear-blasting alarms we made our way down the long hallway and down 3 flights of grand staircases. Kudos to the pregnant chick for keeping up! I was happy to see no signs of smoke, after all, the place is old and massive and I wasn't totally sure the best way to get out. We made it to the Great Hall where we were one of the first guests to make their way out the front door. It was dark out and no signs of flames. Oh, and cold, very cold.
After about an hour, and mind you not a single fire truck, we watched as a man dressed as a fireman, who must have, I don't know, dog-sledded to the hotel, got out a ladder and removed the cover off a smoke alarm in the grand hall, blew on it, wiped it down with his hand, replaced it and told everyone they could return to their rooms. WHAT?! We were blasted from our beds and sent out into the snow in the middle of the night for a dirty smoke alarm!!! We were finally going back to sleep around 3:30am. So much for that solid night's sleep.
On a side note, as we left our room we didn't bother to lock the door. The doors are probably original and the locks are horrible to work. They require the key to lock from the outside and one must shimmy, shake and wrestle it to get the lock to work. So in light of the possibility of the hotel actually being on fire, we didn't waste time trying to lock the door. However, when we returned to our room the door was locked. We watched as other guests who had left their rooms unlocked walked right into their rooms, but our door was locked tightly. (cue: Theme to Twilight Zone)
There's many ghost stories in this old hotel. Not sure if any of them messed with the damn smoke detectors!
And if that's not creepy enough, the TV show Ghost Hunters did an investigation at the Mt. Washington Hotel this time last year, in a room just above ours.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Celebration of the Incredible Child


On Monday Beck's pre-school is having a celebration of the Incredible Child and has asked all the parents to write a letter to their child telling them why they think their child is incredible. I thought I'd share with all of you my letter to Beck.



Dear Beck,
I can not explain in one letter all the many ways that you’re incredible. But I’ll try.
When I think of you, I think of your bravery. I am so thankful that you were brave enough to travel half way around the world to join us as a family. I am so proud of you for your courage to leave the only world you ever knew, to trust us enough to start a new life, in a new world where nothing and no one was familiar; new people, new food, new home, new language, new sights and sounds. I can’t imagine how scary that was for a little boy. But you showed your strength, your bravery, and most of all your heart.
You are also incredibly smart. You amaze me every day with how quickly you learn new skills, new words and new concepts. You have quickly learned your new language – that’s pretty incredible. I see nothing but a very bright future for you – an incredible future where you will succeed at everything you put your mind to.

Beck, you are incredible also for your capacity for love. Despite your beginnings, you greet everyone as a friend . You show everyone joy, love, compassion and friendship. You are full of love and kindness. For your hugs and kisses, I think you’re incredible.

I am so proud to have you as my son. I am blessed that we found each other across many miles. I am happy every day that I get to see you grow and learn and moreover, being happy and healthy. You are incredible and I love you so much.
Your Mommy

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Kickin' It With Some Kyrgyz Cuties

Beck was in HEAVEN today because he got to hang out with TWO beautiful Kyrgyz Princesses who both happen to be former roommates of his from back in Tokmok. Our playdate started with a few hours of rambunctious fun at the play area at BK and once they seemed to be slowing down, we headed over to Cracker Barrel for lunch.
Aidai, Jyly and Beck. Beck wore this smile all day - Who can blame him!

Beck insisted on sitting between the girls! Still smiling!
...and still smiling....
and, of course, still smiling!
Beck and Aidai hug goodbye
Aidai and Jyly hug goodbye
Aidai says, "Hands off my man!" (and Beck is still smiling!)
and here's a picture from back in the day of these 3...

Jyly is in the back at the table for 2 (wearing pink), Beck is at the middle table with the brown, white and yellow shirt, and Aidai is at the table in the foreground in the pink stripped shirt.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Me And My Big Mouth!


So my "special deal" with Comcast is expiring and they called to let me know that my monthly bill would be going up to $200 a month. That's crazy talk of course. $200 for my spotty internet connection and a phone line that makes whipping up the ol' string and tin can sound like a viable option?! You gots to be trippin'! So I tell them that the folks at satellite TV have been doing their best to charm me, and well, it might just be working. BUT, before I end our rather on again and off again relationship, I ask them if they can, well, give me a deal that might just tempt me to stay. The Comcast chick seems absolutely indifferent as to whether I stay a Comcast customer or hit the road with the Direct Tv, but nonetheless she magically comes up with a new deal that is $10 more than what I'm currently playing (and far less than the $200 rip off they were about to serve up to me). She goes over the details; my phone service will still remain craptastic, my internet will be faster (oh great, mind telling my tortoise of a laptop!) and I'll still be getting cable with HBO. "and STARZ right?" I ask.
"No." Miss Personality replies. "You don't have Starz"
"Yeah I do!" I laugh. "I've had for a year. I always watch the good movies on that channel. Starz rocks!"
Silence. Then I hear typing. Ummm, suddenly I realize my mistake.
"You don't have Starz" she repeats again.
So I get off the phone with a sinking, you-just-screwed-yourself feeling, switched on the TV and immediately went to Starz.... NO STARZ! CRAP!!! AMAZING!!! I've had the crappiest phone service on the planet for 4 years! My home phone drops more calls than my cell phone and let me tell you, my cell phone is crap! I've called for YEARS to get them to do something about it! YEARS!!! and nothing! But one little slip about a channel that I have appearantly pirated for a year get remedied in a few taps of a keyboard! No "I need to put you on hold"! No "only a supervisor can do that" bullcrap! NOTHING! All of a sudden Comcast is the most efficient problem solver in the entire freakin' planet!
FREAKIN' COM-CRAPTIC!!!!!!!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

When Will He Learn?




Sister was having a little fun with Beck this morning. When will he learn that if Morgan is having a great time playing with him one of the following is occurring:
A) She's getting him into trouble
B) She's making him look like a girl
C) She's doing something to him that will come back to haunt him when his first girlfriend comes to visit
D) Mommy is going to put a picture up on her blog for the whole world to see

Interview with the ruggies

Stolen from Bev's blog, who stole it from another..... too funny to resist.

I interviewed the kids separately. I swear, I didn't edit their answers (because they luckily didn't say anything too embarrassing!)

1. What is something mom always says to you?
Morgan "Be good"
Beck "Listen"
Yup, that sounds like me.

2. What makes mom happy?
Morgan "Me listening"
Beck "Get dressed"
What can I say, I'm easy to please.

3. What makes mom sad?
Morgan "when we do something naughty"
Beck "When I break toys"
My God, maybe they have been paying attention!

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
Morgan "When you're being nice to me"
Beck "Hugs"


5. What did your mom like to do when she was a child?
Morgan "I have no idea"
Beck "Go swimming"

6. How old is your mom?
Morgan "ummm, 34" (WRONG! Geesh, don't rush it!)
Beck "3"


7. How tall is your mom?
Morgan "I don't know"
Beck "bigger"

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Morgan "Go swimming"
Beck "cook dinner"
Hmmm, I think this is their favorite things for me TO DO..

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
Morgan "Send a babysitter over" (errrrrr??? Not unless he's hot and does laundry!)
Beck "Do good things" (So right son! And by good things I mean, enjoy the silence, admire a toy-free floor, go the bathroom by myself!)

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
Morgan "singing" (hasn't she heard me sing?!)
Beck "Getting me presents. Santa" (well, I have been working on the belly part. Sadly)

11. What is your mom really good at?
Morgan "Taking care of us"
Beck "Wii" (sweet!!!!)

12. What is your mom not very good at?
Morgan "Nothing" (She wants something....)
Beck "Put fire in the house" (firefighter? Cooking dinner?)

13. What does your mom do for her job?
Morgan "Wine Tasting"
Beck "drive car"
(It feels like I drive a car for work! But sadly, no pay. Funny how no one mentions that job consisting of all those horses outside. You know, the one that requires hours every. single. day.)

14. What is your mom's favorite food?
"broccoli" (WRONG)
"asparagus" (WRONG AGAIN)

15. What makes you proud of your mom?
"When she takes me swimming"
"Giving her hug"

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
"Sandy from SpongeBob"
"firefighter"
I couldn't think of anything either

17. What do you and your mom do together?
Morgan "Have fun"
Beck "do learning stuff"

18. How are you and your mom the same?
Morgan "We're girls"
Beck "I don't know, Momma"

19. How are you and your mom different?
Morgan "You're a woman and I'm a girl."
Beck "You bigger and I little"

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
Morgan "When you're having fun times with me"
Beck "Get hug"

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?
Morgan "Coz he's cute" (That's true)
Beck "doing work" (That pay check is nice)

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
Morgan "On the Disney Cruise"
Beck "Disney Boat!"
(DING DING DING! WE HAVE A WINNER!!!)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday Flashback

While aimlessly scamping around my hard drive (and being shocked on how much crap is on it!), I came across this little gem of a promo from my former life in TV news. Oh, and the lovely (and overly enthusiastic, don't you agree?) Bev narrates throughout. Bev was the Director (which means she would have to decipher the senseless mush the newsroom would give her and make virtual TV magic) and I was the Technical Director (which means, I push buttons on a big boards with lots of buttons). The best part of that job was hangin' with Bev and popping the on-air "talent" up live when they were being a-holes. Opps! Ahhhhh, Good times.

video

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Enough Already!!

or as Beck says, "DONE! DONE!"










Let my preface this post by saying yes, I know I live in New England. Yes, I know that snow is part of the deal. Yes, I know it's cold here. But that doesn't mean I have to like it!



This past week I have been endlessly stalked by an invisible football player who tackles my ass to the ground, without warning, constantly! It started several days ago while bringing a couple bags of garbage down to the end of the driveway for pick up. One second I was carefully making my way down, the next second I was layed out flat on my back, garage strewn about, wondering what the hell just happened. Not the greatest way to start the day.

The following day I went out for a little horseback ride. My horse has studded winter shoes on and we took it easy. That was fine and good, until I dismounted, and discovered my riding boots lacked any kind of traction. Again I found myself instantly starring up at the sky and wondering how I got there. So I make it back to my feet and start a granny-like, march of the penguins walk back to the barn. I made it about 5 feet before ass met frozen Earth again. Now I'm getting pissed. Time to lead my horse back to the barn and get these friggin' boots... WOOP! On my arse again with a 1000 pound horse standing over me, looking at me like, "what's your problem, bi-ped?". At this point I want to cry.

Flash forward to the next day. I'm working in the barn and I hear Morgan cry, so instinctively I run down the barn hallway. Mind you, the hallway is covered with rubber mat. Smooth. Rubber. Mat. Yup, just as I hit the end of the barn both feet fly up (and I swear, over my head, in cartoon-style) and I land with the step across my lower back. I'm sure something is broken, maybe everything, and I begin to plot my decision to just pack my stuff and get on the very next plane heading to any warmer climate!

Seriously, enough already!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Good Wine + Great Friends + Wii =

Pure Hilarity!
videoAt some point I must have felt the need to lay on the floor to video the excitement. You all know, shooting from the ankles up is the most flattering angle!
video
I agree Jim, total conspiracy to misrepresent the Oz's lyrics!
video
As the evening progressed, so to did our hairstyles! (note to self: For goodness sake, STOP making those stupid faces when you concentrate!)
video

Bev, Back Again???



OK, OK. Bev, I promise I will have our rockin' video up by days end.