This blog chronicles the miracles and struggles of our daughters, Emily and Olivia. Emily was born 15 weeks early and had many complications, but she continues to amaze us! Olivia, born in China with heart complications, is also beating the odds. She joined her forever family (us!) when she was four years old and has been doing wonderfully! UPDATE: We started homeschooling August 2009 :)
I'm behind on posting so I'm playing catch up here with some recent pix and video clips. I'm having trouble getting the videos and text to insert between the right pix, but in the interest of sleep and sanity, I'm leaving this jumble as is.
The first photo is from this Sunday when Olivia bumped her head before church and our pastor sat down next to her to console her. I happened to have the camera at the ready because Emily was going on stage and caught the end of their chat. As you can see in the next photo, Olivia made a full recovery :)
I'm proud to say that both our girls made it on stage this year at church without a single tear :) Last year, after many fears and tears Emily sat out, but this year I tried to help her out by not giving her that out and it seemed to work. I reminded her that at school when it's time to go to gym or music, she doesn't choose if she goes or not, but just does what the rest of the class is doing...and that sometimes we have to do scary things that we don't really want to do. Or maybe it was Daddy's pep talk that did it--the one about envisioning everyone in their underwear! I'm not sure what made the difference, but once she resigned to going on stage she seemed to relax about it and looked very comfortable up there :)
Olivia has no stage fright and is quite a ham! Her class didn't sing at church, but her preschool had a little program that I went to. I wish I'd caught her on video when she noticed me in the audience and lit up, shouting, "Hi, Mommy! I'm over here! That's my mom!" Or when I coughed and she yelled, "Mommy, are you OK?" The other parents couldn't help but snicker. Although I didn't capture those comments on video, I did get her very animated hand motions as her class sang. The video here starts with Emily on stage and ends with Olivia wishing you a Merry Christmas.
As a teaser I've posted a shot from our Christmas card photo shoot that did not make the cut. After all that hard work posing, Olivia relaxed with her own little jam session on Emily's new guitar.
I've also included a shot from a very intimate (nearly naked!) Saturday morning tea party using a cute tea set we bought in China. Have I mentioned it's hard keeping clothes on that girl?!
Emily turned eight years old today! Her day started off with our tradition of a new birthday outfit that she wore to school. Then, after school, she got a nice surprise when she walked in the door. Her neighbor friends had let themselves in and had hidden while Olivia and I were picking her up; when we got home her friends jumped out and gave her quite a surprise! She had a lot of fun playing, eating cake and ice cream, and opening presents! Then, of all places to go for dinner, she chose Burger King (play land!) and continued the fun. I'd wondered how Olivia would respond to all the attention and gifts Emily got, but she took it all in stride and enjoyed the day, too. I'm sure it helped that Emily was a gracious big sister and let Olivia play with the new toys, too! Overall, I'd say it was a great day :)
Olivia came from a subtropical climate in Southern China, but she does not seem to mind the cold here at all! In fact, it was hard to get her to come in from playing in the first snow fall. When she did come in, instead of wanting to warm up with hot chocolate, she promptly changed into a swim suit (which she's wearing here as she trims the tree, fortunately with other clothes, for a change!). On the nights we are able to convince her to put on warm, footed PJs, once in bed, she unzips them in protest, throws off the covers and turns on the ceiling fan! She also resists wearing a winter coat and often takes it off in the car and tosses it on the floor. People in China would be shaking their heads in disapproval, telling us we're not dressing her warmly enough! We try, but she's got a mind of her own! Some days I wonder why I bother to pick out clothes for in the morning because they never stay on! She leaves clothes strewn all over the house from all of her changes throughout the day into multiple "princess" dresses, swim suits and gymnastics leotards. I guess that just comes with the territory when you have a princess in the house. Below the pix I've added a video of the princess singing.
Tomorrow is Emily's big day! She just helped me mix her birthday cake which is now in the oven and she's getting very excited. Olivia wanted to help with the batter, too, but was a bit bewildered by the mixer and didn't want to touch the scary thing! She did, however, enjoy licking a beater :)
I asked Olivia to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and she opted for the ABCs instead. As you can see, that's one we haven't worked on much!