Thursday, October 20, 2011

The AMAZING Age of 5

There is something super amazing about 5. It is the final threshold from toddlerhood into big kid central. Piper has homework to do and a full social calendar. Naps are so two years ago, for sure! 

We have conversations and read chapter books. She takes showers instead of baths. She gets her own snacks and makes dinner requests. She still loves Barbies, princesses and dress up and is not embarrassed to admit this...yet. 5 years has gone by in a blink of an eye.

We usually walk to school. She tells me about her friends and the goings on of the classroom, who she sat by or played with on the playground. Yesterday, she offered insight to just how truly AMAZING 5 is:

"Mom, you know what I can do on the playground, by myself now?"

"I can, go on the monkey bars...sideways! I can, slide down the pole thing...backwards! And you know what I can do that is totally awesome incredible all by myself! Swing!"

"You know why I can do these things by myself? because I am the AMAZING Age of 5!" 

She CAN do so much by HERSELF it is AMAZING! But my heart aches a little too. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011


The rains have started to creep back into our weather patterns. It is a slow creep but still noticeable. We will need raincoats as they we soon no longer be optional as the dreamy mist turns to wet beyond wet.It is as if the rain is coming up as well as falling down and spinning on either side of you. There is also a wind that blows as if everyday were a cat 3 hurricane. 

To help usher in this change of season from mildly damp to saturating wetness we visited out local pumpkin patch. It is a good 40 minute drive from our house up a windy road along the river. It is perfect. Pumpkins, goats, pigs, a bunny. Hayrides, a grass maze & face painting. 

Did I mention the pumpkins? They have all sizes and shapes! Piper chose two huge ones and at least one was larger than Jack! We also scored a few little pumpkins too. There were a few that didn't make it....smoosh and mush decaying back to the ground with a daisy or two growing up in between the pumpkin guts.

Halloween checklist: 1. Rain & wind: check! 2. Halloween decor strewn about the house: check! 3. Pumpkins!: check! 4. Costumes!: still working on them... 5. Candy! have eaten every bag we have attempted to keep for trick or treaters. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

FACEBOOK vs Real Life

Facebook! I enjoy seeing pictures of my friends and family, reading little quips about their lives as if it were a tiny window into the lives of those we are close to but far away in distance. Facebook is fun.

Or is it....

Most of you know I am adopted. I have no personal issues with being adopted. It is not a stigma or something I use to get pity for or use to make excuses for my life. It is a part of me and I embrace it 100%. To me, it is not a negative in my life it is a double plus plus! I have also had the fortune of being reunited with my birth family and that is another double plus plus. All around, anyway you look at it, adoption has brought nothing but love. Real live unconditional love right from the start. 

Being adopted is a members only club and each of us comes with our own unique story to share. I love to hear those stories and I love to share my own story with other adoptees. We don't have a secret handshake instead we have a common bond.  

Today, I was on FB and I found this photo of Steve Jobs, recently deceased. I became somewhat unnerved by it.  Being adopted is not a disability. Steve Jobs did not think being adopted was a disability so, the photo doesn't work. 

I find it extremely frustrating that the only time the media sheds light on adoption or if people want to tell their tale to a larger audience is if it has been negative.  They are in need of attention or validation and most of the time, they make gross generalizations about adoptees. Such as "all adoptees suffer from..." We don't all suffer.  

Adoption is a healthy start to family and life. 

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." ~ Steve Jobs

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Baker's Dozen

Oh, delicious fall eats! I welcome you back into our lives, filling us up with hearty nourishment and opening the doorway to a season filled with a bounty of endless treats.

Yes, October is here. We have yet to visit the pumpkin patch but I have however, baked up an oh! so yummy! batch of cream cheese pumpkin muffins. (These were baked out of desperation for a local Starbucks.)

Here is the recipe (modified from a recipe found on

3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg (my most favorite spice)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin
1 1/4 butter melted & cooled
8 oz cream cheese softened
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a small bowl combine cream cheese and vanilla, mix well with an electric mixer. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine flour, spices, baking soda, eggs, sugar, pumpkin, and butter. Mix until combined with a wooden spoon.

Lightly grease muffin pan and fill cups 1/2 way with pumpkin batter. Spoon 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cream cheese mixture onto filled cups and press cream cheese down a bit into batter. (This way there is cream cheese to enjoy with every bite!)


12 Jumbo muffins: bake at 320 for about 25-30 minutes 
24 regular muffins: bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes 

Let sit in pan for 5 minutes before removing and enjoy once cooled down a bit. 

I recommend pairing it with a chai spice latte.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


After a summer of lamenting the end of preschool Piper finally began kindergarten. I had mixed feelings about it. I had just spent an entire 3 months with her at home begging for every second of her day to be filled with non stop entertainment. But there was a sense of loss for me too. I wasn't quite ready for my first born to go off to school.

We crossed a bridge. One where she will not be asked so much "how old are you?" but rather "what grade are you in?" And I have no way to slow her growing. This past five years has been the fastest of my life. As if one minute she is fresh and new all squishy in my arms and the next she is insisting I not enter the classroom with her and with a wave of her hand the door closes and I have to trust that all the love and encouragement and praise for her independence we have showered her with for the last five years if enough to get her through a 2 hour and 40 minute morning kindergarten class 5 days a week. So far is least for her.