The other day I was standing in line at the bank.... In front of me was a momma and a bare footed 3 month old baby in a car seat settled on the floor next her momma..... Three months is the age where babies are discovering their hands. The unrestricted JOY and wonderment of this new discovery showed on this baby's face. Each uncoordinated movement cause an avalanche of other jittery joyful movements. While this little sweet thing stared, watched, moved and sucked her hands, her tiny little toes were clenching and kicking. Her hugh eyes would move from furloughed brow to bright smiley joy. I stared in facsination taking in all that I saw. ME, as a total stranger, was in awe of each and every movement this unknown baby was doing. Tiny pink toes and dimpled fingers. Normally I would have gone along with my business, not giving this baby a second thought. This time however, I started thinking of Tate. Was there anyone who was so lovingly admiring in facsination her discoveries of hand and feet? Did someone kissing and playing with those toes? Tate, momma has a lot of catching up to do with you when you are finally in my arms. There will be admiration, astonishment, and joy in your every movement no matter how old you will be when you are finally with me. This I will promise.... to admire and accept the perfectness of who you are.
ThenTiffany recieved her Travel Approval (TA) for November 7. She should be hugging and kissing her Eliza on November 12th!!!
ANY SECOND NOW... Lisa and Eammon should be getting their referral and seeing the beautiful face of Baby M..... Breathe Lisa, breathe!!!
AND... fingers, eyes, and legs crossed for Julie who is LID August 24.... Rumors are saying referrals are through at least August 23... come on CCAA, just one for day for Julie and Tess!!!! At lease through August 24???? PLEASE???!!! I have offered Julie that I would be willing to give a visit to the CCAA director (wink, wink) IF that would help her get her referral this month....
I'm not too sure what it is.... The colder Autumn weather hitting the Wasatch Mountains??? Wanting to be "MORE on BUDGET"??? The fact that I went to Costco and bought a huge bag of broccoli... Whatever it is .... I am cooking HEALTHY meals at home. Tonight is no exception. On the stove is Bear Creek potato soup with a few healthy additions. Sauteed onions, chopped parsley, boiled pototoes and steamed BROCCOLI. Also on the week cooking expedition was meatloaf, brimming with veggies. Chicken-rice curry with added BROCCOLI. All neatly packaged and waiting in my freezer to be pulled out and ZAPPED in the micro when tiredness, unplanning or brain dead kicks in. All this is in preparation for when I will be a single working momma with Tate and hopefully a sibling. You know the sayings... "practice makes perfect" and "it take 30 days for a habit to be formed". Practice or Habit... either way, it just feels GOOD!!!
On the flight back from Norway, I got to experience something unique and quite special. About half way into our flight, the Captain came on the intercom interrupting all who slept. He was a seasoned Pilot of 30 years and has flown this routing often. Only one time before has he flown over Greenland when it was not fogged over. We were blessed with a CLEAR and sunny day in Greenland. The sight was amazing and something that I didn't want to waste time by hunting in my carry-on for my camera. So y'all will have to just take my word. As I gazed down, you could see a layer of white with variances of grey. Small fishing villages lined the edge of the water. Meeting the ocean were glasiers where you could see the cracks just ready to split off and plummet to the sea. Floating all along the coastline, were Icebergs. Some so large that you could actally view where they submerged into the water. INCREDIBLE!!! Oh man, I love Nature and the wonders it presents to me.
It finally happened today. I sat down with nothing to do…. NO commitments to anyone, NO jobs to go to, NO sickness to get over…. It was just me and the Mayflower pup. Heavy on my mind is all the STUFF that I need to get done.
PROJECTS, BUDGET, a PLAN!!!
I kind of approached it erraticly at first. I opened the pantry cupboard and started moving shelves around.
Liked what I saw and the feeling that I had. “Hmmmmm,” I thought, “got to get a system so I can be on track and get it all done in an organized way.” Down I sat with pen to paper and deep in my thoughts. The motivator was to get Tate’s Kingdom (nursery) done. On the top of the paper I put "Nursery" and each step that I needed to DO to get this accomplished and to have it completed by my goal before Christmas. Why Christmas??? I wanted to have it done so that I could share this amazingly cute room with my sister and niece visiting for Christmas. Also visiting will be my friends from Norway, Ingeborg, Scott and the kiddos. Normally for these projects I just move the stuff out of the way into another area and deal with it another time. This time I will move each piece strategically. I have Tate coming home and I need to be organized to be most effective as a single parent. Moving the computer will entail getting the laundry room ready with phone lines, antennae and electricity. I have to move the dryer power which will require framing. I have been using Tate’s closet for my clothes. My house is 100 years old and back in those days they didn’t do the built in closet…. In my room is the only original closet which is eight feet long with a two feet opening…..So, a sledge hammer to the walls and custom closeting before I move my clothes out of Tate’s Kingdom.
THIS STUFF WAS TOO GOOD TO PASS UP BLOGGING ABOUT..... First, this is M, Ingeborg and Scott's second child. M loves animals. When she heard I was coming to visit, her first concern was "Who was going to take care of Mesa?" For three years now she has been taking weekly riding lessons. I just love this picture of her. She is only 8 yrs old, but look at the elegance and beauty this little horse gals has!!! It was so much fun going and watching her riding lesson!!!
As I said before I left for my trip to Norway.... I did not plan of doing too much shopping.... I really HATE to shop and everything is so expensive in Norway with the poor US Dollar to Norwegian kroner exchange. However, there were three things I wanted to buy or check into buying while in Norway.
The first ITEM was a crib size down comforter for Tate's Kingdom---Stephe recommended The Company Store- I will be buying one there.
The next ITEM was yarn to knit Tate a sweater. I did not even see a knit shop in my walking in the forests so this I am buying here at a local knit shop. I will do a whole posting on this when I can scan the picture of the sweater and the yarn I had picked ... (Ah, something to look forward too!!!)
AND finally and the most important thing I wanted was a Norwegian tradional dress (BUNAD) for my Tate. As mentioned before. Tate will be a melting pot of three cultures. First and formost she is AMERICAN and will the most proud of this. By birth and ethnic origin, she is Chinese and I will do my BEST to involve her in as much Chinese culture as I can. A finally she is Norwegian by adoption into our family..... We have so many Norwegian traditions that it would seem unnatural for her not to be part of this heritage and learn to love what makes her so unique and special.
You might wonder why I am so determined to get Tate a dress??? I guess all mommas want for their daughters what they did not have. My parents were not into keeping memories for us kiddos..... They always thought that once it was not needed by me then someone else could use it. I would say they are in the opposite side of the scale when it comes to being packrats. When I was a youngin, I never was bought a Norwegian costume. My younger sister has two. A very simple one was given to her when she was a toddler by a visiting Aunt from Norway. I think I got a book on Norway's industry from her. The other dress is from Germany and was bought when the family went to Europe. Am I Bitter???? Just a little, but I will provide my daughter with one of the things I wished for the most.
The little girl costumes are quite expensive and can be so adorable. I can get a cheaper version here in SLC at a local Norwegian shop but they are so ordinary and simple..... SO everywhere I went in Norway I would asked if they had BUNADS for kids. Most places said that they would have some in April and May because that is when these costumes are worn for the 17th of May of Norway's Independence Day. Another option was to have my friends and family keep an eye out in the thrifties for one someone was selling.
When my friend Ingeborg lived on my street, she had her sister send two Bunads to her girls. Both Ingeborg's little girls (B and M) wore this BUNAD pictured on the left. Just before Ingeborg and Scott moved to Norway, I borrowed both Ingeborg's daughter's BUNADS and had my nieces Twinkle Toes and Sparkles photographed in them to give as a surprise picture gift to my mom. When I was asking Ingeborg if she knew where I could get a dress, Ingeborg disappeared and came to me with THIS DRESS!!!! I was teary and speechless, and those who know me, know this does not happen too often. This dress represents a history to me.... Good friends and loved snuggle girls, and my own nieces in this dress!!! Tate will always have a connection to Ingeborg, Scott, B, M and Snuggle boy. This is the cutest Norwegian Costume BUNAD that I have ever seen!!! In the close up, you will see a sterling silver broach or SOULYA (spelled wrong but ou sound is a special letter in the Norwegian alphabet). My mom and Tate's nana bought her this and will give her the gift when she is big enough to wear this dress. It should fit a 3-4 yr old.
Hurry Tate... We all are waiting and preparing for you to join our lives!!!
(side note, today is my 7th month anniversay since LID)
(view off of friend's deck on Oslo fjord)
Sorry it took so long to post and talk about my trip to Norway.... Ahhhh, the reason I feel sooooooo good right now by trip to NORGE (as they say in their native language). I really did nothing touristy..... been there, done that on my other trips!!! When I left home that Thursday evening, I was a bundle of kinks and aches. Slowly as I sat basking and breathing in the beauty of Norway, I felt my head clear and my body relax. I had not a care in the world, just to enjoy my mom, family and friends.
Our first stop was a weekish stay with my Uncle Kaare and Aunt Ingeborg. There we ate like royality and talked and talked in Norwegian (I listened and listened). I never knew how much my mom could talk and even in my sleep I could hear her talking in Norwegian, my head was so full of it!!! Uncle Kaare lives in the area that my mom grew up in. Here all eight brothers and sisters shared a large farm which included acres of forest. The only wish my mom had was to take a walk in her childhood forest. This forest was a major part of her childhood memories. Both my parents grew up during WWII and the occupation of Norway by the Nazi Germany. There were a lot of sacrifices and things she went without, soooooo this forest provided hours of fun, imagination, and a sense of protection. All this she and my Uncle talked about while we "walked" in her forest. Sadly, my 82 yr old Uncle Kaara (Cora) was recently diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. We were so happy that we could visit with him while he was still his high energy FUN self!!! On my mom's side of the gene pool, there are tons of artists. My mom's oldest (deceased) brother Bjarne, was a very successful and well know artist in Norway and other parts of Europe. My Uncle Kaare is a great local artist. I have hanging in my dining room an original oil painting by him..... something that I love and cherish especially because he let me pick out my favorite painting and gave it to me, a gift from my much beloved Uncle. My Aunt Ingeborg was from an ocean harbor area that is know for its local charm and beauty refered to as "the End of the World". Here we spend time in a little cabin owned by them eating pounds of peeled-your-self shrimp right out of the ocean, laughing and MORE talking. We hiked to the top of this cliff place where one of the most interesting Lighthouses is located. I have been to all sort of lighthouses on the East Coast, but none have been as unique and interesting as this one. This is a lighthouse of old. The way this works is, you would lower the metal basket down and build a raging fire in it and raise it up where is would mark the way for passing (??VIKING??) ships??? Hey, I might be stretching here with this Viking stuff, but it does make it kind of exciting doesn't it??? One day my mom and I headed for a ride along HER beach and play area while Aunt Ingeborg and Uncle Kaare was preparing for a big (delicious) dinner party in our honor. It was such a clear and beautiful SUNNY day and we headed along a beach road really unknowing where we would end up. I love being tumble weeds and just going where ever the road takes us. We had a general direction and destination point which was the town that my mom played in the ocean and on the beach. Also the place where she got a glimpse at age 12 of the five year older and breathtakingly amazingly handsome man that later became my dad. That is another story in itself. Along our journey we stopped at a beach were 3rd and 4th grader kids were playing. I love the way the Norwegians raise their kids with respect to nature, the weather elements and the excersise. This class had walked for one hour while wearing their rubber (called Gummie) boots and rubber overalls. There they studies ocean sciences and had a big bonfire where they were roasting bread dough on sticks and splashing and playing in the cold ocean. To my surprise, one of these Norwegian students was a Chinese adopted daughter. Here you can see her roasting bread dough and the some of the other kids playing in the freezing ocean water. The teacher in the navy (background) told us that in other grades, these kids go to a 6 week course in ocean science where they learn everything with the ocean, to fish and ocean kayak, to learn eco preservation, and just learn to love the outdoors. You could just tell by the faces and the energy that these young students showed that school was FUN and any weather was reason to head out and enjoy their childhood. Rounding out this day trip, we made it to our final destination... Asgardstrand summer place of Edvard Munch (the Scream) and most importantly my mom. Here you see my mom and I hanging our enjoying the views, history of my mom's, sun and especially EACH OTHER. I am not sure how many more of these pricelss days I will be blessed with spending time with my Mother. So ends the first week in Norway.......
The day we left Tonsberg (childhood area of my mom) we headed via train to a quick lay over for five hours spent with my mom's cousin Gunborg. Gunborg is an amazing sculptor and photographer is has had countless of shows selling as well has received many awards for her work. She is now in her late seventies, loosing her eye sight and has arthritis. Even though she has aches and pains in her hands, she is still sculpting a little and her past work is being requested by Oslo galaries and sold like hotcakes. There you have that artistic gene on my mom's side again. I only wish I had taken my camera out, shot some digital pictures of the sculptors and her and my mom. I do have pictures from other times visiting, but those need to be scanned and uploaded..... Something I will have to do later.
In Oslo we were met at the pier by my friend Ingeborg. This is a trip with TWO Ingeborgs.... my Aunt and my friend. Ingeborg, my friend, used to live on my street with her husband Scott. Scott is American and Ingeborg grew up in Telemark Norway. They met while Ingeborg was here in college, fell in love, married, move to a house on my street and had THREE BEAUTIFUL BABIES... all of which I got to snuggle and hold as newborns. The joke is that on my day off, I would knock on the door, see if the kiddos were awake, and either go in to snuggle, and play or head home with the explaination that I had lots to do..... These kids were so cute and it was so much fun hanging out with Scott and Ingeborg. Ingeborg was the one who challenged me to adopt. First by keeping the plant she gave me alive, then get a dog, and then to adopt a baby!!! When they decided to move to Norway, I sooooo missed them and was delighted that I could hang out with them in their beautiful home and see those amazing and beautiful kids. The kids are now 10 (B in white), 8 (M in pink) and the snuggle boy who I used to kiss and hug all the time, now is too big (just turned 5) and too cool for me to snuggle with..... I did gradually get a hug and snuggle by the end of the week. Scott and Ingeborg live in a beautiful house overlooking the Oslo fjord. To get to work, Scott takes a 20 minute ferry to Oslo and will have a 10 minute walk to his office. Life is so healthy and active in Norway!!! Besides the beautiful views, right out their door is forests that families walk (hike cause it has incline) in the Summer and Cross country ski in the Winter. The schools are right on the edge of the forest and the kids will spend all day learning and playing in these forests. While I was there, the snuggle boy who is in pre-school spend two full days hiking into the forest to play and prepare for the winter by building lean-tos of pine bows for winter shelter and play. The snuggle boy was full of excitement telling me of his adventures each day after Barnehagen (Children's preschool)..... What a healthy way for children to grow up. I really can only think of one time that these kids had the TV on.... this was to distract a cranky 5 year old because his best friend and my new boyfriend could not play. In the blue above you see the snuggle boy and in the green is the buddy (S who is almost 5) and my new boyfriend. The snuggle boy had a Birthday party on the Saturday I was there. It was so precious because the kids all came dressed up. One little boy came in a dark blue suit.... kind of looked like when the Jehovah Witnesses come a knocking. S decided to dress up in his Hawaiian shirt, long khaki shorts and two mismatched blue socks..... SPORTING THIS FIN..... and looking so cute and COOL!!!! I asked if he would be missed if I took him home.... Unfortuately he would have and those plans were squached!!! Ingeborg took me to Ikea and we shopped and ate lunch and shopped some more. We will be getting an Ikea here in SLC next year so this just wet my appetite for clever storage solutions and house stuff!!! I will post more soon with pictures of the yarn and Norwegian dress that I got (from Ingeborg and her girls)..... caused teary eyes.... MORE TO FOLLOW!!!!
A harvest of thoughtful and amazing gifts!!! So thoughtful is my SP that she waited for me to return from my trip to assure Mesa and me of the FUN of the mailman knocking on the door, Mesa barking knowingly that she has a treat and present waiting on the other side of the door and the anticipation of ripping open the box to the gleefully wrapped gifts!!! I am sitting her sucking on the most amazingly DEEP DARK CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES!!! How did you know my deep dark secret passion for truffles??? Halloween cookie cutters for a little seasonal baking and decorating next Halloween when Tate will be here for her first Halloween with me..... And for Tate??? Can you just imagine my Raven haired beauty in those vibrant autumn colors of red, yellow and orange!!! The pictures does not give the details of this most adorable outfit with puffed sleeves, buttons and ruffled blouse and applicated flowers and bow tied belted pants. And my first pair of PJ's!!!! Hmmmm, I mean Tate's first pair!!! I LOVE MOM!!!! The most beautiful words to me!!! And for snuggle time reading??? A snuggle touchy feely puppy book!!!
If you look closely at the first picture, you will see the Chew lotta treat is missing. Mesa said "just one little taste"... famous last words as she grabbed it and high-tailed it outside disappearing into the yard for hours!!! Missing also in the top picture is the silver bounceeeee ball..... This ball has not left her side since I gave it to her. Look at the puppy party wrapping paper!!! I had to include this in Mesa's pictures!!!
THANK YOU FEBRUARY SECRET PAL!!! FOR THE BOUNTY OF BLESSINGS THAT YOU ADD TO MY AND MESA'S LIFE....the fun, the anticipation, the generousity, and the thoughtfulness..... My words cannot express what you add to this time of waiting!!!