Monday, December 22, 2008
Yesterday I noticed that my tiny little girl (I mean, Cinderella!) has two big new teeth coming in on the bottom! The only problem is that she hasn't lost any baby teeth yet! The ones in front are loose though, so hopefully these new teeth will push the old ones out. I guess this confirms that she really is almost six years old even though she is often mistaken for three! Emily was almost eight before she lost her first tooth, so this took me by surprise!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Lately Olivia's been on a kick of calling herself our "NEW child" and Emily our "OLD child." I'm still not sure if she really means younger and older, or if she's implying that Emily's old news who should be kicked to the curb! She's also been calling us her "new" parents. At least we're still her favorite parents--along with just about every thing and every one else that she states emphatically as her "FAVORITE in the whole world!" But that begged the question of whether or not she remembered having "old" parents...she was in foster care her last six months but she's never mentioned it. I'm still not sure what she remembers because now when I ask her if she had "old" parents, she causually says, "ya, Jimmy and Anna." Ummm...those don't sound much like Chinese names! I'm not sure where she gets these names--see last night's post about her brother, also named Jimmy! It's hard discern if it's all betend or if these stories contain any remnants of her former life.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The girls go to Pioneer Club every Wednesday night and tonight they came home loaded with all kinds of Christmas goodies. It sounds like the highlight of their night was when they got to go "shopping" for Christmas presents for family members with their Bible Bucks earned from memorizing bible verses. When we picked them up they could hardly contain their excitement--or their secrets! Olivia kept shouting, "Mom and Dad, I got you a BOOK! I got you a BOOK!"
Monday, December 15, 2008
Monday, December 08, 2008
I can hardly believe our tiny little baby is now a big NINE-year old!! Where oh where has the time gone?? We had a wonderful weekend celebrating with family and friends. When I remember her scary birth nine years ago and all the health scares in her first year of life, I can't help but marvel at how healthy and strong she is now. Such a miracle :) Such a beautiful girl :)
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Anonymous, it sounds like you've described some classic symptoms of APD (Auditory Processing Disorder)--difficulty with comprehending/processing fast paced speech, word finding, discerning the difference between similar sounding words (and thus spelling), difficulty following speech (or a plot line) when there are competing sounds, etc. We're pretty sure Emily has APD, but one thing that confounds me is that she can sound out words very well and combined with good visual memory, is great at spelling which does not fit the APD profile at all. Makes me sometimes wonder if we're really on the right track...
I've just started reading a book by Karen Foli, called Like Sound Through Water, a Mother's Journey Through Auditory Processing Disorder. I'm curious to see how well it will parallels our story. I also want to read, When the Brain Can't Hear: Unraveling the mystery of Auditory Processing Disorder by Dr. Teri James Bellis (who I think began suffering from APD after being in a car accident and Don't You Get It? Living with Auditory Learning Disabilities, by Harvey Edell, Dr. Jay Lucker and Dr. Loraine Alderman (all of whom had/have ADP, I believe).
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
if the scores she received are a true reflection of her ability at the time
the test was administered or a result of other factors, for example, her
language disorder. Often times, for example, the WISC is administered to
children with language-based disorders and they score low because the WISC
is heavily language-loaded. A good examiner would be able to discern this
through the administration of various testing instruments and observations,
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Monday, December 01, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
Halloween pictures at last! As you can see, the girls were cheerleaders and they went trick-or-treating with the cute captain of the basketball team! No, he didn't collect candy in that giant gym bag, but the girls did dump their candy in there when their little pumpkins got too full or heavy.
After collecting candy for a while the girls had fun handing out candy--you can see Olivia looking official as she attempted to take over my tally marks. Around 7:00 we ended up abandoning our bucket on the front porch with a sign that said "take two" while we went to our neighbors for pizza and playing. We figured some kid might take all the candy, but we were surprised to find some left when we came home! Everyone had great time. It was especially nice to have such warm weather and to be on a Friday night with no school the next day! A week later, we still have a LOT of candy left! It helps that Daddy hides it from us and only brings it out after dinner!
Friday, October 31, 2008
I had dinner on the table, but I was enjoying hearing how nicely and quietly the girls were playing beauty shop in the bathroom WITHOUT getting annoyed with each other (you see, we have a big sister who sometimes likes to BE the big sister, and a little sister with a big personality who often likes to be in charge). Even after Andy came home, neither of us wanted to interrupt a good thing so we let them play a little longer.
Once they emerged and we were eating dinner, Olivia stuck a serving spoon in her mouth for the umpteenth time...so I was all too quick to correct her. Not appreciating the scolding, she started wailing. At this point I fully expected Emily to snap at her for crying, but instead, the nurturer in her rose to the occasion and she walked over to comfort her little sister. In soft sweet tones she calmed her and then asked if she wanted to come sit by her. Andy and I were a captive audience as she then proceeded to move Olivia's plate and chair right next to hers. Once they got re-situated, Emily put her arm around her sister and Olivia reciprocated with her arm as she declared, "Emily, you're my best sister ever."
Parenting can be challenging, but I'm so glad for the little moments like this that make it all worth while and remind me how great it is to be a mom.
Andy just came home early and now we're off to school to watch the costume parade...I'll post pix of our little cheerleaders later :)
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Wow. How sweet is that?!
Friday, October 24, 2008
I've been tagged again which means I'm supposed to list share seven things about myself and then tag seven other bloggers so they too can reveal their deep dark secrets. My first thought was to just link to my old post here where I already listed seven things about myself, but I suppose that'd be cheating. Surely I can think of seven more, right? Ummmm...hopefully.
Okay, here goes:
1. I am the middle child of five kids and married to the youngest of five kids.
2. I am not planning to have five kids. When we got married, we said we wanted 2-3 kids, so I always joked that we were going to have 2.5. If you count our dog as half a person, we're on target!
3. Andy and I have been together since we were 16--dated for seven years, and are still going strong after 16 years of marriage. This past year we've been going out for a date every Wednesday night while the girls go to Pioneer Club (kind of a cross between scouts and Sunday school).
4. Unlike Julie who tagged me, I started turning gray in my teens, way before kids :( At least my kids will have one less thing to feel guilty about.
5. My favorite TV channel is HGTV and my favorite show there is probably Designed to Sell. No, we're not planning to sell, but I love seeing what changes they can make in one week with only $2,000.
6. Waaaaay back when, I was into gymnastics and tumbling. I can still do a cartwheel, but I'm afraid back bends and back flips are a thing of the past.
7. Oprah's CFO lives across the street from us. Okay, I know that's not really about me, but I couldn't come up with #7 and thought some might find it an interesting tidbit ;)
Here are the next victims that have now been tagged. They're all adoptive moms, most from our agency, LifeLink. If you want to check out some other cute kids from China, then check out their blogs :)
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I'm not usually in love with the results of prepaid school pictures, so yesterday after the girls posed for their year book/class pictures at school, they got to come home and pose some more! I was going for school type mug shots and kept trying to get Olivia to keep her hands away from her face, but my little model had her own ideas. In the end, I was happy with the results :)
Once I got some good individual shots I had them pose together and Emily, my little stager, had her own ideas. Instead of sitting on the step stool, she thought it'd be cute to have Olivia in it (up side down)!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
When they were reunited a few hours later, Olivia told her sister that she had missed her and Emily just beamed. The two then enjoyed a little love fest and happily went off to bed. Ahhhh. If only my angels were always so angelic :)
When I went to bed, there was a little love note from Emily on my pillow. Ahhh. Makes a mom's heart melt! I don't know if any of this lovey-doveyness had anything to do with the fact that I tucked little love notes in their lunches yesterday (for the first time), but you can bet I put some in again today :)
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Emily is a little more self conscious and doesn't much like to have her picture taken, but Olivia is another story! In China she HATED the camera, but it didn't take long before she changed her attitude! Olivia's got a lot of dramatic flare and is not afraid to strut her stuff or pose for pictures. Here she is sporting her new, shorter "do." Her hair was getting a little long, thin and shapeless so we cut some length off to go for a bob. I think it makes her hair look thicker than it is and I like the way it frame her cute little face. Isn't she cute?!
Tomorrow I'm going to attempt to take both girls' school pictures at home again. I got tired of prepaying $$$ for unflattering pictures and figured I'd have better results on my own with a homemade backdrop (sheet or blanket). I was pleased with our little photo shoot last year (I ordered prints to hand out at Walgreens for just a few bucks) that I'll attempt it again. Wish me luck. Hopefully I'll post some more cute pix tomorrow of BOTH of our girls :)
Saturday, October 04, 2008
I've also added a new BLOG FOLLOWERS gadget that's kind of neat because YOU can add your mugshot to our blog if you'd like :)
Not sure that I'm loving the black background. Let me know if it's too hard to read. I think the blog design is due for an overhaul!
Friday, October 03, 2008
Here's Olivia's version of The Pledge that she's learning in kindergarten. I like her version, mistakes and all :) After you see it you'll might know what I mean.
I'm still getting used to my new Mac's iVideo, and need to figure out how to improve the compressed version without making the file size too big--the original video looks so much better than this too-compressed YouTube version :(
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Last week we got to meet up again with one of Olivia's orphanage friends, BeiLee(3), who happened to be visiting Chicago :) We met at Navy Pier where the kids enjoyed playing at the Chicago Children's Museum before eating at Bubba Gump Shrimp. I'm so glad we're able to keep some ties to Olivia's past :)
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
After school I tried to capture Olivia's reaction to her first full day of kindergarten. In the first video she didn't mention school, but was just hamming it up for the camera with silly names for herself--first Sully (from Monster's Inc.??) and then Sharla, the mom (from ???)...chattering about getting big and little. I'm not exactly sure what her point was, but it's a 29 second snapshot of her silliness :)
Then, in her second video, I was actually surprised by what she said about school.
Olivia was very excited about going off to school and Emily was very intent on helping her little sister. Often times Olivia doesn't need or want all the help from her mother hen sister, but today she happily accepted it when Emily eagerly offered to help her tie her gym shoes so we could walk to school. Then, when we got out the door, I couldn't keep up with them! Last year when we walked to school, Olivia was always dawdling and as slow as molasses. Today, in her excitement, she was almost a block ahead of me!
For months now, Emily has talked about walking her little sister into class, but when we got to school, Olivia left Emily and me in the dust as she joyfully bolted for her classroom! So much for needing Emily's helping hand! Emily took off after her and neither one even turned around to say goodbye. I was surprised by their quick departure and had planned to give them a proper send off with a kiss and a reminder about our after school pick up plans, but I'm sure they'll figure it out. I thought I might be sad, but their excitement was so contagious that I couldn't help but smile. Both my babies are now in school and we'll all be okay :)
Sunday, August 24, 2008
We met a really nice family of five at the resort where we were staying and then ran into them again both days we went to the the theme park, Silver Dollar City. There the we went on rides together, shared strollers and snacks, went to shows together, and ate together. Our girls enjoyed playing with their three-year old, but also enjoyed borrowing her 12 and 15-year old big sisters, especially when some rides required older chaperons! Andy also enjoyed having someone to go with him on the water rides and the hour-long cave tour while the moms and little girls did other stuff. Back at the resort, we also hung out at the pool, keeping cool together. Our girls just couldn't get enough of them and we didn't mind because we enjoyed hanging out with our new friend, too! We had a great time together and meeting them was a highlight of our vacation that our kids still talk about!
As we talked, I recognized the dad's home town in Iowa as a place in my dad's family history and, in an email after we got home, I asked if they happened to know anyone with my grandma's maiden name. I was floored when I got an email back saying yes, that was his mother's maiden name! My dad did some delving into the family tree and it turns out we're related! We're actually third cousins in two different ways, making us "double cousins," with two different sets of common great, great grandparents! What a small world! The kids got quite a kick out of the fact that their new friends are actually long lost cousins!
Below are some more vacation pix that include our new friends that ended up being our new-found cousins.
School starts tomorrow!! My next post will have back-to-school pix :)
We really enjoyed Silver Dollar City! They offer quite a variety with kiddie and big kid rides, a spray area to keep cool, lots of live shows (Veggie Tales, magic, ice skating, singing & dancing, etc.), and also a big cave to tour. I especially like how short the lines were and how the girls could go on their favorite rides over and over again while we kept cool under a misting fan!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Below are some vacation pictures. We were a little hesitant that Branson was only for retired country music lovers, but we were pleasantly surprised by how many things there are to see and do for young families. I was especially impressed with how family friendly and clean ALL the entertainment is and how much of a Christian influence there is everywhere you look :). We all had a great time!
In my next post I'll share an interesting story about some people we met in Branson.