Friday, March 28, 2008

Thursday, March 27, 2008

$15 worth of happiness

A few weeks ago, my sister shared one of her best kept secrets, a fabulous nail salon located near her house that gives $15 manicures. Yesterday, I went for my second one. Having been a stay-at-home mom for three years was wonderful for my children, but horrible on my nails which have become incredibly brittle. Ridges belong in the ocean, not on my fingernails! They look just awful! My dermatologist recommended that I take Appearex, a biotin supplement, and start getting regular manicures to strengthen the nails. It's only been a few weeks, but my nails are starting to strengthen. Through my chipped nail saga, I was happy to find my little inexpensive nail salon where I can relax without the kids for a few minutes whenever I need a break.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

A tender moment. . .

One night last week, my youngest daughter, woke up crying in her sleep. I didn't hear her which is unusual because motherhood has given me a very keen sense of hearing. For whatever reason, I didn't hear her cry, but her big sister, who shares a room with her did. I know this because the next morning, she conveyed the whole story to me quite eloquently.

"Mei-Mei woke up crying last night. It woke me up. I went over to her crib and patted her head. She stopped crying and looked at me. Then, she stood up and patted my arm. After a few minutes, I told her that I was very tired and needed to go back to bed. She laid down and we both went to sleep."

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wednesday's Reflection: Adoptive Parents

I found this list on one of my message boards this morning and thought it was too good to pass up.

You Know You're An Adoptive Parent When . . .

1. The fact that there are 143 million children without a parent to kiss them goodnight has made you lose sleep.
2. You realize DNA has nothing to do with love and family.
3. You can't watch Adoption Stories on TLC without sobbing.
4. The fact that, if 7% of Christians adopted 1 child there would be no orphans in the world, is convicting to you.
5. You spend free time surfing blogs about families who have experienced the blessing of adoption.
6. It drives you crazy when people ask you about adopted child's 'real' parents.
7. You were 'pregnant' with your adoptive child longer than it takes an elephant to give birth. (2 years!)
8. You had no idea how you would afford to adopt but stepped out in faith anyway, knowing where God calls you, he will provide.
9. You are willing to take an airplane ride half-way around the world with a child you just met.
10. You believe God's heart is for adoption.
11. You realize that welcoming a child into your heart and family is one of the most important legacies you could ever leave on this earth.
12. You know what the word 'Dossier' means, and you can actually pronounce it!
13. You have welcomed a social worker into the most private parts of your life.
14. You shudder when people say your child is so lucky that you adopted them, knowing full well you are the blessed one to have him or her in your life.

-Author unknown

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


My darling nieces, AJ & KJ, were baptized last weekend. These are a few of the photos that were taken. AJ is 23 months-old, only six days older than my youngest daughter. She was adopted from Jiangxi province in China. Her little sister, KJ, is now 7 months old. Living near my sister has given me the opportunity to see my nieces often and watch them grow. It has also allowed my daughters to form a close, meaningful relationship with their cousins.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Cover Story - A Day in the life of the Cruises

What makes a great stay-at-home mom? Could it be someone who gets up in the middle of the night, forgoing sleep to care for her sick child, or perhaps a mother who comforts her child when she is scared or upset. If you ask most school-age kids, they will probably tell you that a great SAHM is someone who has cookies waiting for them after school. According to Life & Style magazine, a great stay-at-home mom is someone who "still runs around the house in sweatpants and gym socks." Who could they be talking about? I run around my house in sweatpants and gym socks as does many of my friends. No, it's not me, it's Katie Holmes, of course!

The article is absolutely hilareous. In fact so is the entire magazine which I had never picked up before last week. I will admit though that I am completely addicted to People magazine. It's my weekly escape and something that I look forward to after putting the kids to bed. I love reading the articles about real-life heroes as well as the struggles and successes of today's celebrity. The difference between the two magazines is clear. People magazine credits their sources and the articles are written by 'real' authors. Life & Style magazine is thrown together, poorly written and has no solid foundation. All of the information comes from so-called 'insiders' whom readers are suppose to believe are people working for the celebrity.

Life & Style magazine describe Holmes by stating that, "her life is glamarous, but she's careful not to get too carried away. She doesn't do things like laundry or wash dishes, but she does draw her own bath and pick up the phone when it rings." This statement could be describing anyone from Mattel's Barbie doll to Paris Hilton. The funniest thing about it is the subtitle, "Stay-at-home mom." Please, the one thing I do know about Katie Holmes is that she is not staying at home with her kids, day in and day out. She's a celebrity married to a celebrity. They are constantly traveling the world working on projects and vacationing.

Why do people read these trashy magazines? Yes, although I love reading People, some well-educated folks out there could call it trashy too! I guess we read them to relax and take our minds off our own problems for a while. It's entertainment, pure and simple.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Help, my kids are driving me batty!

Dear Moms,

I need your help! Although I love having two daughters, I will admit that life was much simpler and more peaceful when there was only one. My girls are getting better at playing with each other, but it seems like they are constantly fighting over toys. Little Sister (LS) wants whatever Big Sister (BS) has in her hand at the moment. If she doesn't get it, she gets mad and starts whining, screaming or crying. I, the mommy and mediator, have tried several techniques, including getting BS to give into LS, making LS return the item she grabbed out of her big sister's hand, setting the timer so that each one can take a turn with the toy, and when all else fails, taking the object away from both of them.

I know that some of my blogger friends have families much larger than mine with more than two kids. How do you do it? Can you offer me some advice on getting my kids to play nicely without constantly battling it out over a toy?

Yours truly,


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wednesday's Reflection - Robert Frost

One of my new blog friends, Karen, recently told me that the following poem is one of her husband's favorites and was inspirational in their quest to adopt their little girl, Katie. I have always loved the poem myself and thought it would be a lovely gift to share with all my friends in Blog Land. Enjoy!

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

- Robert Frost

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Today is a special day!

Referral Photo

Little Sister home

One year ago today, we received the referral of our second daughter, known here in blog land as Little Sister. After waiting nearly two years, we were filled with anticipation and excitement. Big Sister was especially happy, jumping up and down as the Fed Ex truck pulled into our driveway. For months, you dream, wish and hope for a child, and suddenly it all becomes very real. Next month, we will celebrate Little Sister's second birthday, an event we look forward to sharing with her. Although our start was rough, she has turned out to be exactly the child we longed for, caring, sweet and happy. Little did we know that she would also have this great sense of humor, making us laugh all the time. Here is my own little poem to honor this special day:

Referral Day

Endless mountains of paperwork to satisfy
the powers that be;

Watching time slowly move by, never fast enough
for me;

Hearing happy news of referral day each month,
so joyful and full of glee;

Longing for the day when it's finally our turn;
it's coming, you will see.

Our turn did come and I am so very happy to have this lovely child home with me as my daughter.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wednesday's Reflection: An adoptive mother's poem

The following poem was written by Lori Dubbs (January 29, 2000) and appears in Love's Journey 2: The Read Thread.

This Child of Mine

I see her first smile in the morning.
I kiss her goodnight.

I hear her laughter
and dry her tears.

I feel her joy and her pain,
and hug and hold her to calm her fears.

I sleep near her at night
when she is sick.

I share with her the wonder of books and music,
and the world around us.

I watch her learn,
explore and grow.

I hold her tiny hands in mine,
and marvel at the love and trust in her eyes.

I learn from her about life,
and the depth of a mother's love for her child.

I thank Him for this most precious gift.

I love her more than mere words can express,
and treasure the bond between us.

For I am her mother,
this child of mine.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Rick Springfield still rocks!

I was happy to see rocker Rick Springfield on Oprah last week. The 58 year-old General Hospital star spoke eloquently about his life growing up, his marriage and his new album, The Day After Yesterday.

Here are a few quotes from the show last week:

In 1985, Rick says he decided to leave the spotlight for awhile. "My wife was about to have our first baby, and I wanted to help raise him," he says. "So I just stopped my career and disappeared for five years while my two sons were born and became a house husband."

He doesn't regret his decision at all. "Now it was the most amazing thing that I could have done because I have an incredibly close relationship with both my boys and a great relationship with my wife," he says. "She's been through everything with me. I mean, we were dating before 'Jessie's Girl' was ever heard of, so she knows me like nobody knows me."

The first concert I ever attended was seeing Rick Springfield perform his hit, Jessie's Girl' back in the late 1980's. As a young girl, I was taken by his good looks and rocker image. Now, I am deeply impressed with his commitment to marriage and fatherhood. Nothing makes a man sexier than putting family first.