Monday, June 29, 2009

3 Months, Babybugs & A Controversial Question & Tribute

Happy July 4th week!! I promised a picture of our visit with my dear friend Suzy's kids. Isn't this a great pic? Thanks Suzy for the visit AND the great pic. Adam starts the group on the far left, then is Sydney (just 2 months younger than Tatiana) and finally Natalie. Suzy and I are celebrating our "23rd" Anniversary this summer as friends. I love my friends and watching their gorgeous kids grow up.
T has been home 3 months today! I literally cannot believe it. In someways it seems like we were just in Vladivostok a couple weeks ago. My friend Pam has just arrived in Vlad today for her first trip - so please keep her in your thoughts this week!

A new nickname has steadily crept up on us. The kids at daycare started calling her Tati (pronounced "ta-tee") - and it's stuck. I actually like it and SHE can say it (unlike Tatiana at this point!). It's funny when someone calls her Tania it sounds weird to me now.

The outfit above was a present from Gramma and Grampa. She calls it her "babybug" shirt. I about wet my pants when she said it. Her toothbrush also has 3 painted ladybugs on it and she points to them now and says "babybug". Tooooo cute.

My question of the day - and this will be old news for those of you on facebook - is: the ears, to pierce now or not to pierce now. Thoughts? This was a VERY controversial topic on facebook when I asked - and great points were made on both sides. I still don't know which way I am leaning.

Finally, I want to comment on the events of last week. This will likely also be somewhat controversial, and that's ok. I believe that freedom of speech and listening to other's opinions is what makes our country strong. So here it is.... Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson was a part of my life for a LONG time. In the early and teen years, I will admit that he played a huge role. Looking back I can tie some very specific GREAT memories around MJ. Starting with Nikki Loseth's 4th grade birthday party (what is that about 10 yrs old?). Nikki got Michael Jackson's "The Wall" album for her birthday and I remember dancing and singing in her basement to the music for hours. I got a new hairbrush for a party gift that day and thought I was the BOMB. Michael Jackson and new brush - now that's a party. It was a party to judge future parties upon. Sadly, Nikki passed away in her late 20's from a lifelong battle with diabetes. We had lost touch after high school, but I always remember her, her party and "The Wall" fondly. They go hand in hand to me.

I had known Michael Jackson before that - but I think that birthday was my eye opening to music that was uniquely my own NOT my parents. And so my love for Michael Jackson grew. The next year, I started taking dance classes at Toni's Studio in Mt. Pleasant. That was the name of the joint "Toni's Studio" - no joke. My good friend Carrie who you've all heard about (mother of the adorable Mary) and I danced our performance routine to MJ's "You Got Me Workin Day & Night". It was chosen for us, but I LOVED it.

In 8th grade "Thriller" came out. My family lived out of town on a lake, so we DIDN'T have cable . No MTV. I remember when the video Thriller came out, I was spending the night at my friend Krista Plummer's house (also still a friend to this day!) and we stayed up LATE, camped out in their TV room to watch Thriller. I think you could have told us the sky was falling during that 20 minutes - and we wouldn't have heard you. We of course, like every other teenage girl (and most of the boys, even though they'd never admit it) tried to duplicate all the dance moves.

Fast forward ahead to my freshman year in High School. Good ole MPHS. I tried out for the Flagline with the Marching Band and made it. I was 1 of 10 "Flag Girls" - 3 of which were my new friends The Bettisworth triplets (Kara, Kim & Kris) in the class above me. At the time, I was often mistaken for "the 4 Bettisworth" some people thought I was their younger sister. I was thrilled with these new friends as we had a LOT of the same interests - flags, Tiger/Teen Beat magazine and yes, Michael Jackson. We were fervent fans. VERY LOYAL. Kim was probably the most loyal at the time, even sporting a "PYT" t-shirt, but in all honestly, we knew every word to every song. And most of the dance moves too.

As high school progressed, so did our love for MJ. BAD was just as emotional for us than the rest. We loved it and listened to it non-stop. By this time we were in "cassette" mode - and the fancy folks were starting to get CDs... but I think I bought BAD in record format in order to get "the big pictures" on the cover. The class above me even reproduced "We Are the World" at their spaghetti supper fundraiser their senior year.

Even in college, I stayed in touch with the Bettisworth's (they at MSU and me at CMU) and we continued to share our love of MJ. While the new albums didn't move us like when we were a little younger, there was no doubting the brilliance of songs like "Man in the Mirror" and "Black or White".

And then the dark days. I remember back to the first accusations of child molestation in the mid-90s. I didn't want to believe it. This was my childhood idol. My Michael Jackson, whose songs were so great. I wanted to believe it was an overzealous family out to get some of his millions $$ for themselves. I had myself convinced. Until the charges kept coming and there was another major case in the recent years. It was almost too much smoke to NOT have some fire.

I don't know what happened behind closed doors. The interviews he did about "sharing beds" with children severely creeped me out. Part of me says that it's not for me to judge him that's between him and god - however, I also say that if this was ANYONE other than one of my idols, of course I would judge him! Who wouldn't??

I do know that he had a strange life. Little to no childhood friends, reclusiveness, addiction to plastic surgery and likely painkillers. Fame does strange things to people. That's no excuse for child molestation - and I can't overlook it. Many people are highly frustrated by the high amounts of media coverage this event has received when there are greater issues currently in the world: Iran's voter problems and riots, Afghanistan and wars in Iraq. I get it. But last Thursday I lost a big piece of my childhood. It's not that I still worshipped him. But I will always remember my childhood and my love for MJ.


Becky and Keith said...

I love your posts... always! You have such a way of saying things and you're trip down memory lane during the MJ years made me feel like I was right there with you! I absolutely love the "babybug" outfit - it's one of my favorites so far! As for the ears - I have no opinion, really (shocker - something I don't have an opinion about!). I had to wait until I was 12 to get mine done (dad's rule) but I kind of wish they would have done it when I was little. I almost wound up with only one earring because it hurt so much and I was a wimp. :-) I know... that helps a ton! :-)

Becky and Keith said...

that would be "your trip down memory lane", not "you're" because we all know that "you're" is really "you are". :-) :-)

Sasha said...

This post was awesome! You expressed my sentiments about MJ almost exactly. Except I grew up in the Former Soviet Union and he was one of our first glimpses into the "evil" American life. I loved him back then! His music was so different and cool. And the clothes. I think we all cut our pants and wore white socks for a while :)

About ears, I had mine pierced on my the first trip without my parents. They did not want me to get them pierced until I was an adult, so I did it at 14. I think that you should wait to pierce her ears till she wants to do it, be it 4 or 5 or 15. To me, ear piercing was one of those milestones that were very memorable. So I think that if I ever have a daughter, I will let her decide when and where. I hope this helps. :)

Bill and Michelle Curran said...

Great post! I was also a big fan in my younger years. No matter how you shake it, he was a music icon and changed the face of music forever. I wish I still had my old records!

As far as the ears, my vote is no. I had mine pierced before I was able to care for them properly and BOTH are not ripped. I was a complet tom boy, and I think T may like to tumble too. Of course, you are the mom so it is 100% your decision!

jeanette wunderly said...

Great post! Love the ladybug outfit. Everytime I see any kind of ladybug, I think about referrals coming :)
I had my ears pierced when I was in Kindergarten. I really wanted them and asked for them. I remember everything about that day because I was so excited and felt so grown up and girly! My advice and what I plan on doing with our future daughter is to wait until she asks. It will be more special and a "right of passage" she will remember.

ps. I also dealt with the pain because I TRULY wanted them and remember everyone telling me how brave I was :)

Roger and Joanne said...

Beautiful post!

I say yes to ear piercing, that is if you feel T is attached enough to you and trusts you. That's the reasoning I'm going to be telling myself when it's time for Reese to get her ears pierced.

Congratulations on 3 months! Wow! that did seem to go by fast. I'll no doubt be saying the same thing soon enough.

Clarese said...

It was nice to read about your life in this context.

Regarding the ears - I don't think it is big deal, but we plan to wait until our daughter asks to have her ears pierced before we do it.

Over-Caffeinated X 4 said...

I have to say thanks first for the trip down memory lane with MJ... oh, the genius and the weirdness of that one will be forever indelved upon my fondest memories! :)

As for the ears, I have a bazillion opinions on why you should wait. Big surprise, I know! First of all, putting on my social worker hat, I think you could possibly be playing with fire if you do it. Even if you feel that T is attached properly, we all know that at three months, attachment is still VERY MUCH ongoing! It's not a completed process at this point and to voluntarily expose her to anything traumatic or painful at this point could be a bad trigger for something totally not worth it. I mean, it would be different if she needed eye surgery to save an eye or something, but we just have no way of knowing in our children what traumas will trigger implicite memories that we are unaware of or unprepared for. Granted, I'm probably overly cautious due to my experience, but that's my social worker opinion of the day... why play with fire. For what it's worth (which isn't much, I know! :)

My mommy opinion is that even though earrings on little girls are precious and many times I've thought how cute Meg's outfit would be with a matching pair of, say, "babybug" earrings (Meg has that same shirt, by the way), I also think about how easily one could get caught on something (like a shirt being pulled over the head) and cause pain or a rip. OUCH! Plus, I totally think it's a right of passage and you would be missing an opportunity for some much needed girl bonding later (you know, after she starts to have a smart mouth and get on your nerves... which I assure you WILL happen.hehehehe) Just think of the memory that T would have later if you made a special day of it, took her to a girly lunch, got your nails done, and then got her ears peirced. I still remember when my mom took me to get mine done and I can tell you it made a HUGE deposit in the love tank (because I specifically remember her fighting my dad for my "right" to get them done.) I was probably about 8. I don't think the age matters as much as being able to care for them and actually wanting them enough to have it mean something to her that you took her to get them. That could be age 4, who knows, but someday she will want them and then you have a perfect opportunity to fulfill her little girl dream of doing something "big." :)

Having said that, obviously, I totally respect your mommy rights to do whatever the heck you please and totally disregard any and all opinions other than your own! :)

Troy and Rachel said...

Very nice post on MJ. I remember many of the same songs etc.

So here's our family rule on ear-piercing, or rather my parent's rule. I was told that in order to have my ears pierced I had to be able to take care of them. My mom didn't want them pierced, my dad thought it was fine. Each of us (3 girls) had to wait until the day we turned 13 to get them done. If we wanted further earrings, then we had to wait to 18. This worked for us and I believe we will stick to that rule.

That said I worked for a company that pierced ears for about 3 years. I pierced everybody's ear and it's really up tot he parents and how much time and money you want to spend on it. The biggest issue at T's age is the fact that she may (or may not) pull on them alot. If she does and one comes out after being freshly pierced, pften times you will have to get it repierced. Then it dependson if you want to incorporate several turnings and constant cleanings for the initial period too.

So either way - you can't deny they are cute on little ones!!

Thanks for letting me chime in!!

Anonymous said...

Hi there! thanks for sharing your adoption experience with all of us. I think Tatiana is just precious and would be adorable with peirced ears. I know some folks say it might be traumatic for her, or it might remind her of something that happened before she came to your life.
Having her ears pierced to me is not going to cause anymore trauma to her now than having 2 or more shots at a Doctors office. You can make it fun before or after by oicking out earrings that she likes or matches her clothing.
So as you can tell I say do it NOW! I had mine done when I was 9yrs old by frozen ear lobe and a needle and it was horrible. They said if I had of done it earlier then it would have been easier.

Also now days they use the gun and it does not hardly hurt. I had my nieces done when she was little probably 3 or 4 and she cried for about one minute. She screamed when she had shots. BTW, she is 21 and says she is glad hers were done early in life.