We drove into Chinatown as we do every Saturday so Jess could go to dance class. After class, we stopped in one of the stores and looked around for a while. I bought Jess a fan and a paper dragon. I realized I'd forgotten to try on her Chinese New Year outfit that I wanted her to wear to the celebration tomorrow but resisted buying a new one. I was tempted but I'm trying to squelch the impulse buying. On the way home, we stopped at Derby Street Shoppes and ate at B. Good. I had the best burger I have EVER had anywhere! Their fries were also very good but the burger was amazing. Hanna Andersson just moved into the shoppes so we walked over there. I'd heard a lot about this store and I wanted to check it out. As soon as we walked in, Jess wanted to know where the television was. Sorry Jess, it's not Gymboree, no tv. I have to admit, I like Gymboree's set up with the tv at the far end of the store away from the door. It lets me look around while still keeping an eye on Jess and she's entertained so she's not pulling at me asking to leave or asking for clothes that aren't on sale. Anyway, Hanna Andersson might be good quality and perhaps if I had 19 children like the Duggars and 10 or so girls to pass the clothes through, I might pay that much money for a cute pair of shorts or a playdress but since I don't and have no plans to have any more children, we didn't spend long in the store. Gymboree has good deals which is usually when I buy clothes there; perhaps HA does as well but not today. After our nonproductive retail excursion, we walked over to Pinkberry and got some frozen yogurt - yum!!! Jess wanted to go to Cold Stone but we can do that 5 minutes from home. Jess got coconut with strawberries and I got blood orange with shaved milk chocolate and a waffle cookie. There was nowhere to sit in the shop (only 3 tables) so we walked to the car and ate in there. We got some nasty looks from people when they realized we weren't moving from our parking space but it was too cold to eat outside so we sat in the car and ate our desserts. On the way home, we did stop at Gymboree so I could earn some Gymbucks. I had gotten a gift certificate when I went to the Teddy Bear Tea last weekend so I used that along with $25.31 of my own cash. When we finally got home, Jess wanted a bath and I wanted to organize her bookcase. We settled down at 8 to watch Best Memories of Disney on the Travel Channel. Jess is dying to go to WDW. She's been to HKDL (doesn't remember it since she was only 17 months old and a bit overwhelmed) and DL in Anaheim which she loved. I'm thinking Disney Cruise maybe next year.
When Jess was done with her bath, we tried on her Chinese outfits. She's going to wear the pink one tomorrow and the purple one on the 25th for her Gotcha Day anniversary dinner. I have to sew one of the frog closures on the purple one and I don't feel like sewing anything tonight so it made the choice easy. It's hard to believe that on the 25th, Jess will have been part of our family for 4 years. Time has flown! This will be the first time Mike's able to go out with us; the other 3 years he's been working. The first year, it was the kids, me and my mom. The second year just me and the kids because my mom was sick. Last year my mom was in the nursing home and unable to come with us but a good friend and her daughter came and we had a blast. Jess chose to go to New Tokyo and sit at the hibachi so we could watch the show. This year she asked to do the same. It'll be Mike, the kids, myself, my friend and both of her daughters. I'm so glad my friend is helping us celebrate this important day; Jess loves her and her daughters. I am a little sad though. I wish my mom could come but I can't take her out at night and I don't think she'd deal well with the noise of the show. A few years ago, she would have jumped at coming to celebrate with us. When she lived on the north shore, there were periods where she came down at least once a month and stayed at the local hotel (we have cats and they bothered her allergies) so she could spend time with the kids. I miss those times and I'm glad Jess has the memories of it, whether she actually remembers it or whether its just from looking at photos of her being with my mom. Jason got to spend a lot of time with my mom when he was younger going to NH, Sturbridge, and the Cape but Jess missed out on that. I wish I had taken advantage of more of those moments to build memories for the kids (and for myself). You always think that there'll be a tomorrow until one day there just isn't.
I was talking to a woman who was adopted domestically and she said she doesn't get the big deal about an adoption day/gotcha day/family day/whatever you choose to call it. Jessica's birthday, like that of most Chinese adoptees, is an estimate. There is no way of knowing the actual date she was born. Obviously, we do know the date she joined our family and I think it's important to celebrate that occasion. Some people go a little crazy and do presents and parties; I choose to keep it a little quieter than that. Just family and friends who love Jess spending time together for a meal. The term Gotcha Day is quite controversial on the Chinese adoption boards. Some people think it sounds like something you say when you're swatting a fly. To me, it brings back memories of my father. I used to wait at the top of the very steep hill I grew up on for him to walk from the bus (he worked in Boston and took public transportation rather than leaving my mom without a car all day) stop to the bottom of the hill. When I'd see him, I'd run down the hill and he'd catch me, swinging me up in his arms, saying "Gotcha!" If Jess should ever tell me she doesn't like the term, I won't use it. But at the moment, she likes it. Jess has lately been pretending she doesn't know what things mean and asking everyone questions like "What's a dog?" "What's a camera for?" "What's ice cream?" My friend told Jess she was coming with us for Gotcha Day dinner and Jess asked "What's Gotcha Day?" I turned it around and asked Jess what it was and she said "It was when the Nannies put me in your arms when you and Jason and Daddy came to China." Yep, she knows what it is.