Friday, December 26, 2008

Doctors and Dentists...

I knew when Sarah handed my a chunk of her tooth that we would be needing to go to the dentist soon. I was hoping we could make it to our January 18th appointment but I guess that wasn't meant to be. Today after I returned from the Dr with sick little Anna, Sarah looked at me and held her lower left jaw- ouch, she said. I immediately got on the phone to the pediatric dentist office that of course, was closed today.  The dentist on call, called me back and met us in the office within an hour. What a nice man he was! Sarah did so good for her first dental visit, especially under the circumstances and we had no way of explaining it in mandarin. He checked out the situation-  both bottom 6 yr old molars are in rough shape. They have cavities and a cusp has broken off both of them. The dentist took x-rays and said they are salvageable- thank goodness!! 
He put a temporary filling in - hoping that will stop the decay until her January appt.

Anna went to the Dr is morning- she has had a fever for the last 3 days. She is on an antibiotic now, hopefully she will feel better soon. She is two for two as far as being sick on Christmas.

Both girls were exhausted and ended up taking a late afternoon /early evening nap. It was so quiet, Jim and I couldn't help ourselves- instead of waking up the girls (so they would go to bed at a decent time at night) and feeding them - we sat down, had a glass of wine and called it a date! Works for me!! Sarah was sound asleep on the couch in the family room and Anna was under the coffee table in the family room- I will post the pics tomorrow! Both girls woke up after an hour and then we had dinner- it was nice while it lasted!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Girls do the Christmas Baking!

Katie loves to do our baking so when she came home I was all set for her to get started!! She had 2 very eager helpers this year! Sarah can actually do a good job and Anna is adorable trying to help!! She has a step stool that gets moved all over the kitchen so she can reach whatever it is that she needs! We are chocolate lovers, so pretty much everything we make must have chocolate in it!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The missing piece to our family puzzle!

It is so much fun to have our two daughters home and together! They are such a joy! Anna adores her big sister and Sarah is so good with Anna. They have taken a few baths together and have had so much fun in the tub!! I am guessing that Sarah has never really taken a tub bath before. I think in the orphanages the kids are sponge bathed and then they move on to showers.

Having Sarah home feels so good  and so right. Even Dad has said that "she is just meant to be in our family". It feels like we found the missing piece to the puzzle and it was her. It is amazing that so many families feel that way when they adopt!

She is making wonderful progress- somehow we seem to be able to communicate. She is trying more and more english words. She called Jim, Daddy today instead of Babba. She is eating more American food- like tonight she had a margherita pizza with Katie and I. She is drinking a half glass of milk in the morning and she has even had milk with her cereal once! When ever she has milk we all show our muscles! She likes Dad's but she thinks Mom's muscles are pretty funny! The other day she had a glazed donut- she really seemed to enjoy it! She loves salmon and chicken for dinner and deli meats are great for lunch! Fruit is always a hit! The cheese on the pizza worked but she doesn't like plain cheese.

It is getting late and I need to get to bed- tonight she wanted to sleep with Mom and Dad! Katie is in her room and she still wanted to sleep with us- wow! Things are moving in the right direction! 

Friday, December 12, 2008

Blessings abound!!

We are home from China with our darling daughter Sarah! Anna adores her new big sissy and wants to do everything just like her! We feel so incredible blessed by our dear Lord! It feels so good to have our girls home and together! My heart says to me that we do have one more daughter still in China and when the times comes we will move forward to bring her home but for now we will focus on our adjustments at home. Everything is moving in the right direction and it is good. We do have challenging moments and the mom of these darling girls is a bit tired but all is good!

Yesterday Sarah started ESL classes at the local elementary school, she loved it!! There is another little 2nd grade girl from Holland in the class and Sarah was amazed at her long white blonde hair. At one point she just couldn't help herself and she gently grabbed it, held it and stared at it in amazement! Sarah has made it clear to me that she wants her hair long! As long as can be!   

I am too busy to even finish a post ;-) I will add more when I can!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

We are in China!

Please follow our journey to our daughter on journeytome. com (delete spaces)
click on adoption stories and find Sarah Grace JiangMing!
Tomorrow is gotcha day!! Yippee Jesus!
I will try to do one post on this site about Ming Ming while we are in China- especially since this is her blog- and her little sister's!
Once we are home I will be blogging on this site again!
Please share our joy!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Princess Party!!

Anna has been invited to a princess birthday party!! This is the first birthday party she has been invited to!! She has a princess outfit from when she first joined our family. It was a gift from her older siblings.  We put it on her today and she absolutely loved it. In fact it is still on her now and I think we will have a hard time getting it off of her! The party is for Savannah and Aalijah from our FCC playgroup. They will be 5 yrs old! I am hoping to be in China when they have the party so we thought we'd get some pics now! Daddy will be taking her to the party!

No TA, yet. We are hoping they will arrive on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday! We are still backing, preparing and hoping things work out so we can leave asap (Nov. 19th)!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

New pic of Ming Ming!

We received new pics for Sarah! She is beautiful and growing up! Katie and I are so excited to get to China to meet her! We have our plane reservation and now we just need that TA and CA then off we go!! On Saturday Katie and I will go to the travel class at our agency. Anna seems to be warming up to the idea of a sister!  Hopefully after a little time the girls will enjoy each others company. My bag is packed and I am working on Ming Ming's bag. I am hoping to get the measurements and answers to the questions we asked before we leave for China. I really do not want to clothes and shoe shop while we are there. Please keep us in your prayers!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bonus day!

What a beautiful day it was in Minnesota! Absolutely gorgeous!! 73 degree, sunny and with a little wind! The weather is usually not like this in early November- so we really need to enjoy it! I have heard that reality will be coming at the end of this week. We have been so preoccupied with getting ready for China that we really didn't enjoy the outdoors this weekend as much as we should have, so today after lunch Anna and I went to her favorite park!! It has been at least a month or two since we have gone there. Her large motor skills have really improved! She is climbing, sliding, swinging and even attempting the balance beam!

Getting ready for China has been a little hard on Anna. She like things to run smooth and everyday should be like the one before but instead we are busy and preoccupied with packing, planning schedules for both at home and for in China. I have told her a couple times that Momma is going to China to get her sister and that we will be coming home.  She gets to stay home in her house with her Daddy, Mark and Johnny. She loves them all so much and is so comfortable with her surroundings- her home! She looks sad when she hears I am going but then relieved that she will be home with other beloved family members.  We are planning to skype as long as it seems to be a good thing for Sarah and Anna. If it is upsetting or confusing to one of them we will do it with they are sleeping.

Anna is really into doing things herself now! She wants to dress herself, put on her own socks and shoes, put on her own jacket and hat- I am very proud of her but also realizing that we will need to leave more time to get places. They are so cute doing it themselves but it takes a lot of patience on the parents part!  

She is practicing the weeee sound in speech so swinging on the swing was perfect for her today!! 

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

Our Halloween was very low key this year- with Anna only being 2 and her mommy preoccupied with going to China we did 2 yr old version of Halloween. Johnny had plans with his friends - the same crew he's done things with or the last 5 years. Due to poor planning on the mom's part and traveling out of town on the Dad's part we did not get our pumpkins carved- that's okay now they can be Thanksgiving decorations (at least until the rot)! 

Because we live off a private drive we did not have any trick or treaters. It's great if you are an older couple and empty nesters BUT we are an older couple refilling our home! Next year I am seriously going to use advertising and bribery to bring in the trick or treaters!! I thinking a sign that says "trick or treaters welcome, candy lovers will not be disappointed"!  I may live to regret doing this but I think it would be fun for the girls to have some trick or treaters!

This year Anna was a pink pig that says oink! Which is much different than what she was last year- a pink pig that said baa. She looked adorable and she enjoyed wearing her costume. She wore it to ECFE, Speech and trick or treating. Daddy took her to 5 houses- one of which was ours!! She liked that one best! There was a doggy at the second house after that her feet never touched the ground. She said trick or treat at every house except her voice got quieter with each house. Last year she was overloaded- shut down and fell asleep. this year she did good- and the celebration was just right for a 2 yr old!  She came home, sat in her high chair and ate the candy!! When she sat in her high chair she gave us very clear direction "momma, you leave, Daddy you leave"! She wanted us away from her candy!  And ohhhh, she loved her candy!! This morning she wanted the candy for breakfast! When we said no- we had a few tears.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Conferences... for a 2 yr old??

The other day I had Anna's conference at Montessori. Personally, it seems so silly to me to have a conference for a 2 yr old. But we'll go with the flow! The people are very nice and we do like it there, we have no complaints. I just personally have inner turmoil regarding sending her to Montessori vs staying at home with Mom. You see part of me wants her with me during the day and the other part needs a little down time to get things done and refuel.  So this battle continues to go on inside of me. Sometimes I think God is giving me this little extra time- kind of easing me into re-expanding our family. When we have more children and I homeschool this down time will probably not be happening. Even when Sarah is here I won't really have time to myself. Jim and I have talked about me taking some time on Saturdays and then he can spend time with the girls. Anna is at Montessori 2 days a week. We are planning to continue with that schedule so Sarah and I will have 2 days- just the 2 of us!

We enough of my inner turmoil and back to the conferences! Sweet Anna is our baby. We love to baby her- she gets carried, she sleeps in a crib, still uses a high chair and sippy cup and we do not have big plans to potty train in the imminent future. I guess in her Montessori class she is one of the older girls and within 2-4 months she will move on to the preschool room. (My baby in the preschool room- oh please.) I encouraged them to keep her in the toddler room for as long as possible. After all, she has only been home 15 months and we want to give her plenty of time to learn, to experience and grow at her own pace. All in all our conference went just fine but I guess she needs to work on her independence with daily skills- washing hands, putting on her coat and hat, putting on her shoes, etc. She also needs to talk more in class. Work on her manners- please , thank you, etc. Then there are a few academic skills to work on- colors, numbers, alphabet, etc again. So Katie went to get Anna and I went to the conference. The minute Katie steps in the door Anna starts talking away, their conversation goes from colors to what they did during the day. Next thing she does is put her jacket and hat on... all by herself! The teacher with Anna was stunned, the teacher telling me she needed to work on these skils doesn't even know she can do them... IF she wants to! I guess our daughter is choosing not to talk in class- that is okay - she gets in the car and counts to 10 and sings songs! She is taking it all in but for now she is watching some things and not participating in them. At ECFE- they joke that she will be taking the teachers job soon because she knows all the finger plays! By the way she does say please, thank you and sorry BUT she needs an occasional prompt!  Way to go Anna- you go girl!! 

One more thing- Anna tends to play with the younger kids in the class- I guess she mothers them. She has never really enjoyed kids her own age. She seems to like them older or younger- no artificial twinning for her!

These pictures are of her putting on her jacket- flipping it over her head! 

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cozy Jammies!

When little ones sleep they kick off all their covers. Anna is quite good about covering herself with a blanket but still when she is in a deep sleep blankies go everywhere! First I bought her sleeper jammies with the feet BUT they were too small and of course being very efficient I took off all the tags, threw away the receipt and put them in her closet- darn- back to Target I went. I got a few pair the next size up and then I stumbled on these cute cozy jammies, They are made of the same material as the sleepers but no feet! We just love them and I think they are soooo cute!

Mark is home for the weekend from Denver. Billy is home working on a school project. Anna is loving having her brothers home! I think sweet Sarah will love her brothers (and sisters), too! They have a lot of fun together! Thank you Lord for these wonderful children! What a joy they are!

We also have a pair of cute pink sunglasses that look a lot like sweet Lucy Joy's lost pair. How did they get all the way to Minnesota?

Playgroup at our house!

Our FCC playgroup came over to play! A couple of the kids have moved onto kindergarten so we are missing some of our friends. We will also have a few new kids soon. Anna's big sis Sarah will be joining us and 2 of the families will be getting new little ones! Right now Anna is the youngest in the group so I seem to be the mom running around the most and unable to sit down and chat with the ladies. As Anna gets older I will be sitting and the new Moms can do the running! When the kids first came my darling daughter just wanted her Mom but later in the afternoon- SHE PLAYED!! Totally interacted with the last 2 children that stayed a little later. No parallel playing, actual interactive play! Way to go Anna!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I've been what? Tagged?

Okay Mom- I will try to play along.  Mom did you tag me because you are lurking through others blogs and you really don't know most of the people, whose blog you read? I'm sorry mom, I know you have a lot of friends. I didn't mean it that way. 
Here goes- 7 things about me!

1. I'm liking this family. They pretty much think the sun rises and sets on me. There is always someone to hold me, get something for me and play with me. Every so often I let 'em know what I want and they all jump! It's pretty cool!

2. I do this babbling thing- you know pretend I'm carrying on a conversation with myself. They all think it is so cute. I guess none of the other kids did that when they where little, so they all get such a kick out of it. When your the 6th kid- it's kind of hard to come up with something new but I thought about it for awhile and decided to try this out- it worked!

3. I am from Shangrao, Jiangxi Province. They call us the spicy girls! Hello Mom! We like zippy, spicy foods! In this house they consider butter and salt, spices, oh and if they want to get really daring they may throw on a dash of pepper. Thank goodness for ordering out Chinese food! Ya know, a girl's gotta eat!

4. Well, I have this big brother Johnny and every time I see him he has a ball of some kind and he's throwing it up and catching it. I've tried that catching thing, it's not all it's cracked up to be but throwing, now that is fun! Plus who needs to catch when all these big people go running after whatever I've thrown! If you want to see them move really fast throw the food!

5. I love to write! A blue pen on any body part works best!

6. I like to talk on the phone! Sometimes I talk to my big brothers and sister, but really anyone will do!  I just push a few buttons and see who I get!

7. I am a T.V. star. My stage name is Ki Lan. My show is called "Ni Hao Ki Lan". You have probably seen it on T.V. It's kind of like a Hannah Montana/ Miley Cyrus thing. Nobody knows it's really me. Yeah, I know, I seem just like any other 2 yr old BUT I'm really a celebrity!

8. Oh boy, I guess I'm just like my mom! Ya, get me going on me and I just can't quit! But, I just have to add this one - I have the best time driving my mom crazy when she is trying to take a picture. I look at her and I make this really cute pose, she runs and gets her camera and wants me to do it again... yeah, right mom. So then she keeps calling out my name and get this- I pretend I don't hear her. The lady has a hard time giving up, she just keeps on trying. Picture after picture, she takes of me. I try to give her one decent one now and then. This is my favorite game! I'm good at it and I win!

Some family time in Phoenix!

We had a wonderful little family getaway- 4 days in Phoenix! Anna was a bit fussy before we left so we took her to the Dr., one of the tubes has fallen out and the other one is blocked- so there may be fluid behind it. We really questioned if it was worth going but then decided to go for it! We are so glad we did! We all loved the family time without interruptions! Jim, Anna and Johnny went swimming 5 times in 3 days! Anna loved the water! She paddled around in her water wings! She knows to close her mouth when she goes partially under! We went to the Phoenix Zoo, took walks, relaxed and had great dinners- at our place! Oh, yeah, take out! Anna loves the great food that other people fix her. I ordered a salad and her chix fingers and fries- big oops! She wanted my spinach salad with buffalo tomatoes and feta cheese!   She devoured it and wanted nothing to do with the chix fingers- who can blame her!  P.F. Changs was another huge hit for her! Anna loves chameleons- one of her favorite book's is "The Very Mixed Up Chameleon"!

It was so nice to have a few more summer days! On top of that we heard we got our LOA- icing on the cake!!