September 29, 2010

Sparkles and Sunshine

And I Quote:
Me to Chicken Nugget last night as I tucked her in: "Who is my little Blondie?"
Chicken Nugget to me, giggling in her crib: "I not your Blondie, I your Sunshine!"

I heart my youngest child! There is rarely ever a chink in the armor of happiness that surrounds my little Sunshine and Sparkles - though Pollo might have done a little damage when he decided to wallow in Silky (the blanket has it's own name - you can only imagine how that went). When I complain and whine in my head (or to Lisa) about how crazy my summer was, I remind myself that I am not 1, but she is. Little Chicken Nugget has shown more grace and flexibility this summer than this 30 year old has ever possessed. So here is to my youngest little dancer.....


video

September 27, 2010

Betty's Place

We have been home 10 days now - really hard to imagine that it has been that long, and only that long at the same time. He is doing great, considering all the adjustments he has had in the last week and a half. Think about it - he is in a new climate, in a new house, with a new room and a new bed (oh, I can not begin to explain how excited I was to sleep on my old bed!!, but I digress), new sisters, new playmates, new schedules, new foods (he hates pasta and sweets, which are not very deChicken traits, but we can indoctrinate him, I am sure of it) and that new Mommy and Daddy to boot. He does get upset, and we are having our fair share of "settling in tantrums" (Thomas the Train had to spend several hours on the mantel this afternoon), but he is learning so fast - I am unbelievably proud of my boy!

Thinking about being home also makes me think about being in Colombia just a few short days ago. We still have friends who are down there waiting to come home with their children (hugs and kisses to MaryJo and Christina) but thankfully they are staying together at a great place. We all stayed at Betty's Place, and I would highly recommend that if you are ever in Bogota to visit (adoption or not); definitely stay with Betty! The ability to eat dinner family style, to have adults to hang out with once the little ones drift off to slumberland, and the for the kids to have both someone to play with and the space to play - it all made the trip truly pleasurable! Thanks again Tia Betty - you are the best!

Outside of Betty's Place

One late Girl's night in the living room. Those are all pictures on the wall of families that have stayed there through the years - it has spread throughout the whole house.

Our last dinner there - fabulous Aijaco soup

September 26, 2010

Five Guys and a Wedding

Chicken Little is currently obsessed with love. She is in that phase where marriage, kissing and boys are all extremely fascinating, yet slightly gross at the same time. She received her first love note this week (double duty get well card - but we are still not quite clear why there was money attached to the card?), and she kissed a boy last week (of course claiming he wanted to kiss her, but after meeting him and his parents, AMP is quite certain the opposite was true!). Today she also got to go to her first wedding. Well, technically it was a vow renewal, but there were vows, a white dress, and they sealed the deal in typical fashion with a kiss. To our good friends Jamie and Jon - best wishes, and I am so sorry for the Chicken Nugget screaming out "That's Aunt Jamie!" in the middle of the vows, and for the loud "EWWWW" when you kissed.

To show how high class we truly are, we went straight from the wedding to Five Guys, to introduce Grandma and Grandpa to the supreme bliss that is a Five Guys hamburger and fries. We ordered one fry for the 7 of us. Please observe what we received - this is what makes Five Guys fabulous, and what is causing all the weight that I lost in Colombia to magically reappear. Never mind that Grandma and Chicken Little made a batch of Grandma's famous chocolate chip cookies yesterday, and what kind of mother would I have been if I hadn't sampled their cookies - yes, a skinnier mommy, that is true.

The Little Red Hen and Gam-pa are headed home bright and early in the morning. You can tell from the pictures that Pollo and the girls had a really hard time adjusting to them being here! So sad to see them fly home!












September 24, 2010

The Little Red Hen

My in-laws arrived today, and in my house, that is a good thing - a very good thing! The Little Red Hen (or Grandma, but that is a little to plain) and Grandpa flew in today meet Pollo, their grandchild #4 in arrival date, but grandchild #2 by chronological age (got love the flair adoption gives a family). They came bearing gifts, and ready to play. Pollo proved his full deChicken - ness, by being very excited about his John Deere tractor toy (this gift is an important right of passage in the greater deChicken family). The only cloud in this sky, was when Chicken Nugget kept stealing the tractor and the pig! So currently, there are three very happy children sleeping in our house, with visions of "Gam-pa and Gam-ma" fun dancing in their dreams.






And yes, they are talking to one another - "Hi Gam-pa!"

September 23, 2010

PJ's

Three years ago, when Chicken Little came home, AMP, in singer/songwriter mode, put together the little number below. It was an instant hit with the first child, our youngest child loves it dearly, and within the first week, I would catch little Pollo humming the tune, and mumbling the words in butchered English to himself throughout the day ("O, I tike to te in mu pj's!). So, by request of the B and the D, here is The PJ's Song, performed by the deChicken Singers - Enjoy!

video

The PJ's Song

PJ's, PJ's,

Oh, I like to sleep in my PJ's

(repeat)

PJ's in the nightime,

Oh, I like I sleep in PJ's

(repeat)

September 22, 2010

In the full Mommy mode

I took a quick break from the blog to wallow in the bright and shininess of
my newly reunited family and of America in general--there was also some
falling asleep on the couch at 9:30pm watching tv. The last few days have
been full of dr's appts, more dr's appts, "everybody be calm", "don't hit
sissy's arm", "cama si", "yes Pollo, cama si", and "don't hit your
sister"! A little chaotic, but funny nonetheless.


I was obviously more than a little scattered today in the car on the way to
pick up Chicken Little from school, because I realized I was using a diaper
to hold my coffee cup (cut me a little slack-that stainless steel cup was
hot!). Even funnier was Chicken Nugget outing me on it - "Mommy, that's my
diaper!"

September 19, 2010

Firsts

  • Eating an AMP cooked scrambled egg and biscuit breakfast on Saturday morning and getting to say meal time prayers as a family again - "blah, blah, blah, blah - A-Men!"
  • Pushing the Ikea wooden train around that the little wooden track that eventually wound its way into the dining room for hours and hours and hours - and promised to do it all again "man- yana"
  • Driving our little Flintstone cars and bikes around and around the driveway
  • Being buried waist deep in the grocery store shopping cart, while your sissies dance and flip through the store - no scene, and we definitely weren't stared at, at all.
  • Seeing "Buzz Liyear" on TV for the first time - pure excitement
  • Going to church and meeting all your new friends, playing with the train track at children's church, and finally realizing that church or "guitar and (clapping)" - his description after what I made him endure in Colombia, once for 3 hours - is not as bad as we thought
  • Partying like a rockstar at Tia Becky and Tio Damien's - These people all came just to see me? and there is pizza and cake and balloons and toys?!?!
  • Meeting all the Du****** part of the family, with more laughing, tickling, playing and pizza
  • Reading Good Night Moon, and Good Night Bible in our new bed under a canopy of stars (thanks again, Ikea), cuddled up under our solar system bedspread (thanks, TJ Maxx!) - all perfect for the little boy who is obsessed with the stars and the moon - just like his daddy!
The first weekend is done (and was in my opinion, the best weekend ever). We keep repeating, and Pollo keeps reminding us as he points around him "No more airpane, no more hotel, ....casa aqui!" - Here is Home.







September 18, 2010

Home at last!


Never have 5 people been so happy to see each other again! Crazy tickling (Pollo and Chicken Nugget- not AMP and I, of course) and screaming and hugging ensued in the middle of the airport!



So happy to be home, spending a lazy Saturday together - all 5 Chickens together!

September 16, 2010

Chicken Little


....broke a wing today on the monkey bars! My poor baby girl!! I don't know all the details yet, but I am glad Pollo and I are going home tomorrow so I can be with her. I had a great last day touring here in Bogota (I will give details later when I am home!yeah!). One more sleep - if you don't count the nap I am desperately hoping he takes on the plane- until the whole deChicken family is back together again.

September 15, 2010

Colombian Style

The spider has passed on, and we haven't seen any friends or family, so life moves on. However, we are going on day 3 of sporadic to no water service to the entire neighborhood- and Pollo and I missed the sporadic part of the service since we are at the US Embassy. So all our housemates are desperately keeping their fingers crossed that the service is on tomorrow and that the two of us can take showers.

It is a Colombian Soccer team. Apparently, a giant red devil with a pitchfork labeled American, is a great and historic logo for a famous soccer team out of Cali, so my Anti-american kidnap fears in the cab were slightly unfounded.

We ate roasted chicken today Colombian style- with giant plastic gloves. I had seen a small child doing this in the cafeteria in Barranquilla, and had assumed until today that she was allergic to Chicken skin oils, or something else bizarre, because seriously, who eats chicken wearing gloves (though I must say after trying it, it is very sanitary)? Apparently it is the must do down here - and no, this is not me, or even the people sitting next to us. We didn't have the camera with us (it is banned from the Embassy) so Google is helping me out in the visual imagery department. Have you ever googled "people eating chicken with plastic gloves"?

Pollo is US visa approved (but we don't have it in hand yet) as of 11:40 am today. We waited outside of the US Embassy in a sort of permanent tent for the whole process. Apparently, we are not paying enough taxes for walls.

September 13, 2010

The Spider and the Devil

And the spider was not dead. Because when I got up this morning and turned on the water, he leapt out of the drain. I re-drowned him. Please pray that he has gone to the watery beyond of the Bogota sewer, and there is no repeat tomorrow.

But this was not a sign of bad things to come, because the day was successful. Despite taking the longest time ever at both the passport office and the visa doctor (legitimately the agent said it was the longest she had ever waited at both places, and she has been doing this a while), we are now in proud possession of a Colombian passport, and a completed medical exit form. Keep your fingers crossed for tomorrow - we are off to visit the Americans, and hopefully secure a visa.

And my tiger of yesterday was a perfect lamb today. Pollo just finished Day 2 of no nap and lots of waiting, and driving. And he is seriously a trouper - we only had to threaten to take away Good Night Moon twice!

I leave you with this. Would it make you feel comfortable if your cab driver had not 1, but 2 of these stickers on his dashboard? I have some hopes that it is a Colombian B league soccer team we know nothing about, but the Ultimate Chicken of course went to the dark side of kidnap phobia for a few brief moments today.

September 12, 2010

Andres Carne de Res

I kissed a tiger, bought a cow, and killed a massive spider today.

The spider, well it was the jumpy kind (Yes AMP, there legitimately is a jumpy kind - it is on Wikipedia) and this one was HUGE - a fat nickel sized, short legged, jumpy spider, right there reading Good Night Moon with us tonight. I killed it myself - at least I think I sent him to a watery grave down the drain, but one is never quite sure.

The tiger and cow were both encountered o our adventure out today. All three families here at Betty's Place (the awesome guesthouse we are staying in) loaded up all 5 children and 4 adults and went to Andres Carne de Res in Chia this morning. We returned at 5 o'clock with 5 painted and exhausted, but incredibly happy children. I have personally never, ever, seen anything like this place. It took up 2 city blocks, with the first block being the adult side (a club at night, and I can only imagine), and across the street (we crossed with a choir standing beside us singing) is the kid and family side. The entire restaurant is decorated in handcrafted, whimsical, recycled items, all from Colombia, and and every place you turn, there is something hysterical or amazing to look at. The food is ridiculous, even the water came in adorable bottles, and there were activities for the kids, like make your own clay animal, or cookies, or bead bracelet. I even saw a kid leaving with a skateboard she made in the wood shop activity section. I took as many pictures as I could, but nothing captures it. I admit to being underwhelmed but willing, when everyone suggested we go to some restaurant with face painting for the kids, but honestly, it is not to be missed. If you are ever in Bogota, you won't regret the hour ride - just go!




Here is how we got there - 1973 Dodge Dart - 5 Adults and 5 Children






The Menu - As you cranked, it scrolled through 10 pages


The Platter we almost ordered 2 of


The cow Pollo desperately wanted. Who could resist this face?









What a ferocious Tiger!

September 10, 2010

Seis Sleeps

This is one of my favorite pictures of the three little chicks together. Pollo had only been with us about a week, and we decided to go to the mall and have pizza for lunch. After we played the bathroom game (you know the one where your small potty training child demands the bathroom every five minutes out of sheer boredom, or fascination with the flusher, and you can't say no, because I did that once, and it wasn't very pretty for me) for quite a while, we managed to finish our pizza and start to leave the mall. But every Colombian mall that I have encountered is positively chock full of ice cream stands and stores. So after passing 3 of them, we at last stopped at the one that served the ice cream in Toy Story cups - what could be more exciting? It was the best lunch ever, as we loaded up our 3 hysterical children on ice cream, soda and pizza.

Pollo and I went for pizza tonight with the other guests in the guesthouse, and the pee-pee game was reenacted (imagine this time, 3 children who were potty training - you get the picture). It was fun, but I found myself missing the icecream, the Buzz Lightyear cups and the other 3 Chickens. Seis sleeps until we are back together again!!

What goes up, now must come down

Pollo and I conquered Monserrate today. Monserrate is one of the taller mountains surrounding Bogota, and on top of it is a church that was built in 1657. People have been making pilgrimages up the mountain to the church for over 300 years, plus the views of the city are stupendous from up there.

I had made the bold statement that we were going yesterday to the other members of the guesthouse...before I really knew what all was involved. It just sounded cool and I wanted to take some good pictures of Bogota, what could be wrong with that. I then realized as I was looking at the website last night, that it was a really tall mountain. Apparently, the only way up is either a funny little train or a cable car. Did I mention that this Chicken has real issues with heights? Like serious issues with heights. Here is hoping that funny little train was running, because I don't do cable cars - seriously, who does?


Jouney starts at the base of the mountain with our friend the Llama

This is the concerned smile before the hysteria set in


Smile returns immediately upon entering the Funicular (the train up the mountain)
Mommy is also smiling broadly - cable car averted!


View from the Funicular down to the station


Snack at the top before we climb





















Now we aren't even taking pictures of the views, we are just being silly!




And then we were hungry, or rather Mommy was, since Pollo had the whole packet of crackers

Yes, that is a whole chicken she is cutting up - lunch for the couple sitting behind us


You are looking at fried whole potatoes (sick good!! will be recreated at home) eaten with a toothpick, a dry arepa, and the best corn on the cob ever (which will be sacriledge to my husband who was born on a corn farm - my sincerest apologies to my dear in-laws) but imagine a cross between corn on the cob and popcorn, dripping with butter and salt.


And now we are tired, and it is almost 1:30 and it is time to go back to the guesthouse. Pollo doesn't not ever want to walk, he wants to be pushed in red stroller, or carried, and the majority of the few fits he has thrown at me revolve around this issue of walking. I have carried him up part of the mountain, but now we walk back down the mountain to the train station and he does fine (it is so steep, he is practically rolling). We reach the doors of the station - securely locked and gated doors. Yes, my funny little train only runs in the morning.
Only other options down: walk down the 10,000 foot mountain path....or take the cable car. Little red stroller is at home, and Pollo is standing at my feet, saying "up pease!" So I carry him back up the mountain, part way, put him down, wait for the fit to subside, and then continue on to the cable car, all the while reminding myself of what AMP always says, "They (the children) can smell fear." Here is a picture of the cable car:

AMP actually had the audacity to ask where the pictures where that I took from the car itself? Is he insane? I was frantically clutching Pollo in one arm, the pole in the other hand, and desperately making conversation with a tourist from San Francisco to distract myself. So we conquered the mountain, and I conquered the cable car. I think we will stick with the boring old art museum tomorrow.