Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Also, Miss Bossy Britches has decided that Mojo, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who so desperately wanted to be her friend, is pretty entertaining. She thinks it's a hoot to act like he's chasing her (even if he's not even looking at her) and run to Mama. She'll watch him the whole time she's rushing to me.
Tonight, she found an even more amusing way to play with Mojo. She'll stand at his crate if he's in it, finger up and lecture him. If he's out of his crate, she'll go near him (again with that index finger up) and tell him to go to his crate. Now, it doesn't matter if Mojo or we can understand the words. The meaning is clear because Miss Bossy Britches will walk over to his crate pointing to its interior with the index finger of which she's so fond.
Finally, and this is the newest and possibly funniest thing: she's interested in people using the bathroom. When Gene goes in and shuts the door, she start talking to him. This progresses to getting down on all fours and trying to look under the door while talking away. Apparently, she'll do it while I'm in the loo, too, but I'm not on the other side of the door to see. I'll have to catch her in the act and get a picture. I'm sure it'd be worth the 60 minutes it would take to upload on the blog.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Suzy worked her tail end off for the first 7 months of the year: 40 hours/week at the pediatric daycare and 3-9 hours of home health after that.
Drew left UofA for UALR.
Gene continues to work for the most remarkable company on the planet.
We continue to attend a fantastic church.
Gene & Suzy attended "A Weekend to Remember" and highly recommend it to others when it comes to your neck of the woods.
We received our referral for our daughter, Lydia, from China.
Gene & Suzy traveled to China, and Lydia returned home with them.
Suzy resigned from the daycare and only does home health part time now!
We got a new heating unit, new refrigerator, new oven, new dishwasher, and new microwave.
I started blogging!
When we get something faster than dial up, I'll post more pictures. I PROMISE!!!
The house is a mess quite often, I can't seem to sit down in front of the sewing machine, and I wonder how it is that I used to work so much and still send out Christmas cards. BUT (yes, it's a really big but) I am happier than I have ever been, and I am so grateful for all the blessings in my life.
Merry, Merry Christmas to all of you!
Saturday, December 1, 2007
2. The scent of candles almost always makes me sick - I'm either nauseated or get a terrible headache. The exception seems to be cookie (Christmas or butter) scented candles.
3. My favorite times to cook are Thanksgiving and Christmas.
4. I married one of the first guys I ever dated -so you can count them all on the fingers of one hand.
5. I really, really wish I could sing and dance - but I don't do either.
6. I ADORE, COVET, LOVE tiaras.
7. I want to go back to China (I may have mentioned that to a few people)
8. I prefer not knowing what I am getting for Christmas. PLEASE do NOT tell me what I will be getting. PLEASE!!!!
9. My 10th grade biology teacher had a profound effect (if that's supposed to be affect, you'll have to forgive me. I used to know the difference but someone recently confused me about it.) on my life. Her love of the subject was infectious, and my education took a different direction because of Mrs. Joyce Parnell.
10. I love taking pictures but don't really enjoy having mine taken. I'd share the pictures I've taken more often if I had DSL or anything faster than dial up.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
At one point in my life, I'd have sworn that being a stay at home mom was NOT for me. At that point, it wasn't. Today, it could be. I love every minute when my occupation is simply being Lydia's and Drew's mom and Gene's wife. Instead of feeling like the drudgery I used to think of this life being, I see it as the ultimate luxury.
We went to the library today for story time. None of the other babies in our age group showed up, and there was no story time. Lydia and I had a great time anyway! We looked at books, we watched the goldfish, and we played with some of the cool toys the library has. Maybe next week the others will show up! I've still got one good week left, and I'm not going to waste one single moment of it
Thursday, October 4, 2007
This whole conversation started when she came over to me, buried her face in my midriff and repeatedly turned her head right to left and back. I picked her up and did the same thing to her. She SQUEALED with laughter.
Some of Lydia's other laughter inducing tricks:
*She dives for me when the phone rings so she can participate in the call.
*She'll splash until she falls over in the tub
*Almost any bad mood can be fixed by taking her picture
*She'll chase you laughing all the way if you crawl out of the room - the faster you crawl, the harder she laughs
*She'll play peekaboo with just about anything you could hide your eyes behind
*Watching her interact with her reflection is sure to make me laugh
*She loves to point her index finger while speaking
*She's learning to call the Hogs, but sometimes she point her index fingers (see above) instead of wiggling all 10 fingers over her head.
And other things she does are just spontaneous, never to be repeated funny little things she does. She's got a funny big grin that is likely to get her out trouble - you know, if she ever does anything wrong...
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Saturday, September 8, 2007
1. Print pictures.
2. Give away the gifts from China so I can see the dining room table and the entire living room floor.
3. Finish the curtains for Lydia's room.
4. Clean up the computer/sewing room once the curtains are done - It's quite scary in here.
5. Teach Lydia about an "inside" voice so we can eat in relative peace.
6. Arrange for child care for when I have to go back to work (really finalize the plans I have already).
7. Make plans for Lydia's first birthday party. Heaven help me this one alone could generate several more To Do Lists!
8. Have professional pictures taken
9. Get my hair cut
10. Start exercising again
There's more, and I know I'll think of several the moment my head hits the pillow and still more as I am on the brink of sleeping.
Two things Gene did get checked off of his list: Make scrambled eggs for Lydia's breakfast and take her to the county fair. I'll post pictures later!
Thursday, September 6, 2007
I saw my first home health patient since returning home. She just got out of the hospital, and I didn't want to turn her over to anyone else (even though Katie is a fantastic PT and the other PTs are, too). Gene asked if I remembered how to do "PT". Yes, it's like being a mom: it comes back to you.
Please be praying for one of my co-workers from my full time job, Shiquita. She had a stroke, and I am hoping for a full recovery. Shiquita has 2 little boys who need their mother, and she's a lovely person.
Ok, back to Lydia: she's crawling like a pro, her hair is really growing, she's so smart and even funnier, and I love to taking her places and doing new things with her. It's 13 days to her birthday! I must plan a party for the little empress. She will not tolerate anything in her hair or on her head - which is a shame since I bought so many cute hats for her. People are just going to have to recognize her royalty without the tiara to clue them in. It's a good thing I never earned one, though, because I'm afraid I'd still be wearing it. TTFN!
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
On a more positive note, we are doing great. Lydia rides in a car seat like she's done it all her life and doesn't mind a bit! She's been to her first Razorback game (we won!), and none of that phased her. In fact, she's pretty excited about all the music and clapping.
*We've been to the lake. While it wasn't Lydia's favorite thing at first, it was A-OK after Drew was waving at her while kneeboarding. She laughed so hard while watching him!
*We've been to Mom's work, Dad's work, and Drew's work.
*We went to the airport to say goodbye to Carol as she returned to Brazil.
*Lydia's received THREE packages through the mail. One was even delivered while we were outside blowing bubbles.
Lydia is so willing to try new things and eat new foods (the food may be what won her over ;o) She loves her Dad & Drew. She's not too sure about all the new women she meets, but she seems to like all the fellas.
I promise to add pictures as soon as I can figure out how to make it work. I may have to take Drew's laptop to Hastings for the wireless internet, but I will find a way to add pictures. Really.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
As always, the travel was an adventure including a lost wheel from the baby stroller, "weather", flight delays, and lost luggage that was returned the next day with wet contents. We're just happy to be home with our little Lydia! She was a trooper through out our journeys.
We had a lovely reception from friends and family at the Little Rock airport even though we were very, very delayed. Lydia went to Drew and just adores him. She thinks he's very funny, and Drew is completely smitten with his little sister.
We've had moments where we felt like we were great and moments when we wondered if we were walking in our sleep. In fact, we had a 2:20pm appointment with a pediatrician yesterday that we overslept for. They were kind enough to take us anyway.
Internationally adopted children are supposed to have tests run within the first 3 weeks of coming to America. Poor Lydia had to give them blood, and poor ME, I had to collect a stool sample this morning. Ewwwwwwww! She's on an antibiotic for a runny nose with cough, and you can imagine this was a particularly ugly and stinky stool with 8 vials to fill, stir, and shake. I felt like I was doing some horrid chemistry lab.
I'll post pictures and fill in some gaps later!
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Lydia hung out in the room with Dad and played and ate (and BOY, can she eat!)
Friday night/Saturday morning: I broke down and decided to eat a steak off the hotel menu since the buffet was much the same every night. At about 11:45, I began to itch and not feel so good. I took 2 Benadryl and hoped for the best. An hour or so later, I took a 3rd Bendryl. About an hour and a half after that I took a Zyrtec. At about 4:45, I got Gene up to get the epipen. I wasn't sure if I should take it. I mean, I wasn't having trouble breathing but head to toe I was bright red and had huge bumps all over except for a stark white square on my abdomen. In a last ditch effort to avoid waking our guide, delaying everyone's travel, and a trip to the hospital, I used the epipen when I started feeling dizzy. I jerked it out and wondered if I'd gotten anything in of it IN me before I was startled into pulling it out. I immediately started heaving and threw up, and then the itching finally stopped. You could see parts of the rash all the rest of the day, but I was ok.
Saturday: Travel day. I began to understand how the passengers on the Minnow felt when they set out for their 3 hour tour. We were heading to the airport for a 1 hour flight. We got there in plenty of time, and then we waited for hours because our plane had mechanical problems. There were other flights available, but they only had a few seats. Our guide didn't want to break up our group - XiXi is a SMART woman! Lydia was a total wiggle worm at the airport, but after eating an incredible number of HoneyNut O's, she fell asleep in her Daddy's lap. Then she did the cutest thing EVER: sound asleep, she clapped her hands the way she does when we say, "Good girl!" She slept the whole flight: take off, drinks, and landing.
We finally made it to Guangzhou, and it is FANTASTIC. It's humid, but it was a little cooler because a typhoon had blown through somewhere else cooling things off. Our hotel is very nice - the famous 5 star hotel for American adopters in China, the White Swan. Shopping here is sensational. Baby clothes and shoes like you can not imagine await you in just about every little shop.
Sunday: Disney Land claims to be the happiest place on earth, but I disagree. The White Swan has to be the happiest single place on earth. Go to the breakfast buffet and see all the new families - little girls and boys who've gone from being orphans to cherished family members and if your heart doesn't leap with joy, then I think you may need a heart transplant. There are older children being adopted who may have a minor special need (like, hey! you're not a tiny baby anymore) to more noticeable special needs, but they are all joining their new families. It is a beautiful and miraculous sight.
Lydia and Gene went shopping around Shaiman Island while I went to 6 Banyan Temple and climbed the stairs all the way to the top of the 9 story Pagoda. I was soooooo hot!!! Many of the girls received a Budhist monk's blessing.
Then we were off to the Pearl Market where we were able to buy fresh and salt water pearls at whole sale prices. OMGoodness! I could have spent a year's salary there, and I wish I could have bought something for everyone. Next, we crossed the street (and I said an ugly word when I came closer to getting hit by a bus than I've ever come) to the Jade Market. I found a few things I couldn't live without.
When I came back, Gene said he'd shopped until Lydia dropped in her brand new stroller. When she woke up we fed her AGAIN and went to check out more of the shops around the White Swan. Holy Cow, again, I could spend a year's salary buying shoes and clothes, but fortunately, the prices are very cheap. We ate at Lucy's which has American style food, and I can't remember a better tasting cheeseburger.
Tomorrow is the medical exam and the guys are going to the Electronics market. I'm sure I'll have to hit the local shops again.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Every night after eating, Lydia get wiggly and silly. She's all smiley and bouncy. Would you believe that the moment you say "good girl!" or begin to sing, "If you're happy and you know it," that she starts to clap? What a cut up!
We tried to go walking outside the hotel yesterday to expose her to a few new things. I don't know that any of us can imagine how her life was turned upside down recently. Before Sunday, she'd hardly ever left the orphanage. If they had the doctors come to the orphanage, she may not have ever left once she arrived there until Sunday. So, a few things have been rather startling. For instance (maybe you can relate to this one) riding an escalator in a shopping cart at a 3 story WalMart was a little scary.
Some new things are really great, apparently. Having someone who will feed you on demand is pretty good. She has the potential to be quite the little empress. She can sit in a high chair and bang the tray, "FEED ME!!!" We were told she simply took what she wanted from the other girls at the orphanage. Having your own toys, toys you don't have to share, is ok with Lydia, too. One of her favorite games is to drop the toy so mom or dad will have to pick it up and give it back to her. She looks like she's saying these are all MINE. Don't touch.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Our group met downstairs at 10am, we were at the civil affairs office by 10:30, and by virtue of having the last name starting with "B" we received our baby first. XiXi is soooo funny. She said we didn't pay any extra to get our baby first, it was just the order of the list, and we had the only baby from our orphanage. A lady checked our passports and then Lydia was handed over to us.
We're on the part of the count down where we are at hours instead of years, months, weeks, or days!!! I can't tell if my stomach is a bit upset still from the other day (I don't think I've completely recovered from that spicy Hunan food) or if it's just excitment.
Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat!!!!
Today we took a 12 hour train ride in a soft sleeper car from Guilin to Changsha. 12 hours is a long time to do just about anything, but we had good company and decent air conditioning. It's a pretty good way to see a lot of China in one day. What I don't recommend is squatty potty use on a moving train. The problem is that they lock the bathroom while stopped at a station.
Yesterday we visited Jiang Yong, the town where Lydia lives. We met the orphanage director and the assistant director of the Civil Affairs Office. We had lunch at the only local restaurant with an air conditioned room. It was nice to see where Lydia has spent most of her first year. Because we believe Lydia will want to know where she lived and what it was like when she lived there, we thought it was important to make the trip. Lydia's orphanage director said she is quite naughty and had a spicy temper. Later, the spicy food had a rather undesirable effect on my digestive system. I'll have to add pics later since Gene hasn't added them to the computer.
If you've ever wondered if the pictures of China were old or staged when you see people plowing with a water buffalo, or wearing the pointed hats, the answer is that they still do things in the traditional way. We've not seen anyone using a small tractor or much of anything mechanical except a tiller and a rice husker (dethatcher?).
Friday we floated down the Li River. The scenery was really great, but one of the best parts was meeting a speech therapist and her engineer husband who were both from England. They were interesting travel companions on the long float - great conversationalists! I hope they'll read the blog or email me to keep in touch.
We spent the night in Yang Shou. Yang Shou is FUN! It's a lot like Mexico in that there were stalls and shops with vendors everywhere. You're expected to bargain for everything, and Gene is pretty firm in what he decides he'll pay for something.
We had dinner with the Oetjen family: wood fired pizza, fairly cold coke, and later an ice cream bar. Finally, we went to the local show. You would NEVER believe the scale of what they accomplish in that little river town. The director of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon helped create it (he's also doing the opening and closing ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics), and it is really spectacular. If you're ever in Yang Shou and it isn't raining, you should go. It's held once or twice a night.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
If you ever get to come to China, go to Beijing and get Joe to be your guide there. Xixi is great, too, she's a native of Guilin. Her English is very good, and she has the nicest smile.
I'll try to update again when we've been out to see Elephant Hill, Five Star Park, and the pandas and tigers. I'm hoping to avoid the cobras, though...
We can't read the comments on blogspot so email me if you have a question!
Yesterday was fantastic. We went to the Forbidden City, we toured a very old neighborhood and had lunch at a family's home. Then we went on a rickshaw ride that would have topped most amusement park attractions for thrills. Traffic in China is anything but boring. The food has been so fantastic! The Chinese Acrobats are phenominal. I've learned that not all tea is icky. It turns out I like hot oolong tea way more than I ever liked iced tea...
My friends I've made over the years because of the dogs will have to ask me about the cocker spaniel we saw today. It would be great if I still had the picture, but I'll tell you all about it if you call when I get home.
Hopefully, I'll have more time to post and better access tomorrow pm. We fly out to Guilin tomorrow. I've been thinking about my friends from work, play, and church. I'm praying for a dear lady who fell and broke 3 vertebrae. I hope you'll pray for her, too.
We meet Lydia in 4 days!!!
Monday, July 30, 2007
On a happier note, Premium Economy is THE way to go to China. I can not imagine flying economy. I had a miserable time trying to get comfortable enough to sleep even though I was exhausted by the time we took off for China, but at least I had some room to attempt finding a comfortable position. If you are one of those brave souls who have done economy and think I'm a wimp, all I can say is I salute you. I may have delivered my son without an epidural, but I don't think I'm tough enough to fly economy 14 plus hours. I think it'd be worse than labor.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
I have 5 more days of work, and then I'm off for 12 weeks. Can you even remember having 12 weeks off? It sounds like a fantasy, doesn't it! I just feel so blessed. I hope to have pictures of the new curtains and the baby room up next time I post...