Thursday, August 28, 2008

Our Thoughts Are With You Cousin Al...

Hey Big Al we just wanted to let you know that are thoughts are with you this week and that we are sending lots of postive thoughts and prayers your way.... XOXOXO The West Coast Tomatos...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Little Bunny... er I mean Baby... FuFu

Next month will mark the two year anniversary of when I opened up my email and saw this precious little face looking back at me. September use to mark the month long celebration of my birthday, going back to school, cooler weather and it reminds me of seeing our MeiMei aka Little Bunny FuFu for the very first time. What a face.

We waited five LONG months to travel to China to bring her home. The wait now seems so long ago. On one hand the sights, sounds and smells of China seem so close....yet so long ago.

I have no idea how long we will wait to travel to China to pick up HooHaa. The process for HooHaa is so differenet from MeiMei. With MeiMei the cart was in front of the horse....with HooHaa the cart is trying to pull the horse ---with me being the cart and the us government being the horse. At times the lack of control in the process really gets to me. I am hoping to know this week if our homestudy is complete. Once complete, this cart is going to add jet packs to get that darn horse to move...Please Please Please Universe let us get our dossier to China in September for my birthday. This was my wish two years ago and I am asking once again for the last time I PROMISE.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Our Father....

For I have....pulled my Kids out of Catholic School....Hallejulah...Praise be to God... Yes it is true.

This week I walked in to the school office and said that's it I'm done! I have spent the past two years sucking it up in the vain of better education via private school. What I learned was that the emperor has no clothes on and I cannot stomach the lies anymore.
36 kids in a class with one teacher...NO MORE
Lower than Public School Standards....NO MORE
Unfriendly Families that cannot muster a smile or hello....NO MORE
$2000 a year in Mandatory Scrip...NO MORE
Teachers that cannot even look an adult in the eye...NO MORE
Teachers that do not return repeated phone calls and avoid you in the hallway...NO MORE
Principles that say because my son pinched his twin sister on the butt cheek that it is sexual harrashment and will not be tolerate...NO MORE
Parents who who spend more time posturing than spending time with their kids...NO MORE
Parents who care more about appearances than what their children are NOT learning in school...NO MORE
Classrooms where parents are NOT allowed to be present or monitor EVER... NO MORE


Our Father... we are FREE...and this year so will be our schooling....FREE. We are launching in to the abyss of public education. It is quite scary and a little bit exciting at the promise of having access to more opportunities for my kids to learn. The only thing I will miss at HoleySpit is paying to eliminate the ghetto factor. Not that the kids new school will have a ghetto factor, but that when making the decision to send you kids to private school there is a certain amount of paying to isolate from factors you would rather not have them exposed to when living in the big city.

I'm jumping into another leap of faith..... and I'm NOT talking about Catholicism.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

It feels like a cold day in

Yep! that is what I am feeling like these days and I plod along on this darn task called the paper chase. I keep thinking I am at the end and then there is one more thing I need to track down or do before we send off for our USCIS approval. I understand that with the new Hague treaty stuff that our government is experiencing a backlog of requests. It appears that the right hand does not know what the left is doing and so therefor they do nothing at all. I am hearing horror stories of it taking three months to get a fingerprint appointment. Last time with meimei it took us 12 days from start to finish to get our US approval to adopt. This time...well it feels like a cold day in....

Uncle John....if you are out there....we may need to to contact the big guns....

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Hurry Up China! My Son Needs Some Shoes!

Doggone this darn paperchasing process.... I wish we could speed up the USCIS and CCAA, cause my boy needs some shoes and I wanna buy them.. Just look at this adorable little guy and his shoes. Clearly once home and part of this shoe horse family....things will change...
Nice pants though...why I'm darn sure DaddyO has a pair just like them!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hey... Who's in the drivers seat here?

The State Fair starts tomorrow and for the past couple of days the yahoos have been ganging up on me trying all forms of negotiation to get me to take them to the fair on opening day. From making their beds, emptying trash and feeding the cat ---they are pulling out all of the stops in their attempt to sway my decision. They had made a list of all the rides and food they was to eat at this years fair. They have decided the best place to park, the order of events and where they want to get their photos taken. (yikes, what have I created?) Despite their rather impressive gestures, with temperatures expected in the 105 range.... I think I'm still going to hold fast on my decision to wait till next week. Heading to the state fair is the signal of the end of summer, so there is no way we can miss summer of 08's farewell. Good try guys...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

How many rubber bands can your hair accomodate?

Well, if you let a four year old style your hair, you will learn that the answer is A LOT!

Yes MeiMei loves to style hair and her favorite part is the making of ponytails. She has been putting ponytails in my hair since she came home to us at three years old. She is obsessed with ponytails. Aside from the frightening look of my hair from behind...what is much more scary is the fact that I often leave the house forgetting that I have several of these little things stuck in the back of my head.

Summer Vacation 08 Round Up

Funny last year we found ourselves looking at the end of summer with the realization that we had not done one single fun summer trip or activity. I think last year we were still in the post adoption haze of adjusting to another set of feet in the house and post surgery recovery for Meimei's cleft palate. So to make up for our guilt, we took the kids to San Francisco and Pacifica for two days....not exactly my idea of a vacation but hey it's all in how you package it to sell it to the kids. Stay in a hotel, swim in the ocean and eat in a restaurant and our yahoos are happy--- Very Happy.

This year, we took a different approach to Summer. We planned a trip each month. Disneyland in June, Mendocino-North Coast July, and Santa Cruz in August. These photos were taken from our Santa Cruz Trip.

As we look at the last two weeks of summer we round out our summer with the arrival of the California State Fair---one of the top five activities of the yahoos. Corn dogs here we come...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I wish we all could be California Girls....

Well California we thank you for officially adding one more California Girl to your state. Yesterday we successfully completed the CA-Readopt so that MeiMei could get her own official California Birth Certificate. This Birth Certificate will indicate China as her birth location, but it will allow her to always have a US birth certificate and avoid any issues down the road with having a Chinese birth certificate with an unknown location of birth. God forbid anything happen to our Chinese documents... but if they did she now officially on record here in CA.
The re adoption process is not required as she was officially adopted in China and became a US citizen when she set foot off the plane in San Francisco. It is more a formality and the avoidance of a potential problem down the road---that and now she can sign up for soccer.
Good Reason to Celebrate. Here is a photo of our new California Girl...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Riding the Mendocino Skunk Train

Thank you aunt Bee for your generous family gift of Skunk Train Tickets. And for those of you it does not stink. It was actually quite nice. I highly recommend it as a great family day trip. We drove to Fort Bragg which is just north of Mendocino and about 3 - 4 hours from the big Tomato---depending on your route.

Driving Hwy 1 also known as the Pacific Coast highway is not for the faint of stomach. As no surprize we left a family DNA deposit along the side of the road (in a biodegradable brown paper bag). And No it was not mine this time. I do not know what it is about us Tomato family females but we can barf with the best of them and our Noley is a world champion barfer. This girl can talk, barf and laugh at the same time. We spared you the photos. We toured Fort Ross, hung out at the beach and took the four hour train ride (2 up the mountains and two back to the coast). The kids loved it and aside from the barforama the parents did too!

Boys Road Trip to Curd Country

The land of cold weather and cheese curds. Last May the boys took a trip back to Daddy'O's tribal village in small town USA Minnesota - Cheese Curd Country.

What is a Cheese Curd? Well, as a west coast girl I had never heard of such a thing until I traveled back to Minnesota and went to the county fair. They sound disgusting like some bodily function gone awry but in fact are a might tasty by product of making cheese. I think I ate ten pounds of them deep fried when I was back there.

Here are a couple great photos of the cooking R Boys and a nice family group shoot minus all of the CA girls (Linjit, KC, CanNoley, MeiMei and Moi). Guess this is where photoshop comes in handy....I could insert our heads in the photo and we would have a lovely family photo.