Home 4 months

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

As we make our way through last minute preparations for our trip north, I am reminded of just how long our precious girl as been home with us. It's hard to believe how quickly these last 4 months have gone by. The little, scared and grieving girl who was handed to us 4.5 months ago has disappeared and, in her place, stands this amazing, strong-willed, vibrant, sometimes naughty, full of laughter little girl. When we recently traveled to Virginia, I told my Auntie Alison, aka Gramma Ali, that she was in for a surprise when we got there. And Madeline Bei did not disappoint!

As we get ready to head north to New York, Madeline Bei will finally get to meet Patrick's family. She will get to meet her Bammy, Patricks' mom, Patrick's sister, Michele, our brother-in-law, John and niece, Lydia. She will also get to meet her Grandpa, Gramma Carol and Uncle Joe. It's so exciting to have everybody meet Madeline so soon after being home with her. We waited almost a year after being home with Caleb before we traveled. So it was a little bit of time before all our extended family got to meet him.

Anyway, we're thrilled to be seeing everybody very soon. And, although we skyped in Chin@, we are so excited to have everybody finally meet our precious Madeline. Hang in there; we'll see you soon!

Madeline, as a ballerina at Halloween. (I know, that's hard to tell. I took this photo while waiting to order our dinner at the Magic King*dom.)
My little Gator Girl. C'mon Gators, get up and go!

Our trip to Virginia {Part Two}

Monday, November 29, 2010

Whew! What a week. So much for getting the rest of these photos up quickly. Ha. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Our friends, Lisa and Shail, came over for dinner along with their 4 kiddos. That made a total of 6 kids under the age of 8. So needless to say, this place was hopping!

On Friday, my sister Deb, came over with Andy and Leah. We had a great time together, planning some sewing projects and taking a few photos. And yes, we were still managing to smile after our huge loss to FSU on Saturday afternoon. Hey, when you go in expecting a loss, it's much easier to take! LOL. Congrats, Uncle Bob! ;)

Well, here are the rest of the photos from our trip to Virginia. As you may recall, we spent one day at the Virginia Science Museum. We all had a really great time and are so grateful for such a wonderful trip. We will be heading up to New York this week because Patrick has a business meeting. We'll end our trip with a visit to Philly to see Dr. Kozin at Shriners for his opinion about Caleb's arm function. I'm quite excited for this visit and can't wait to hear what he has to say. I will try to post again soon. But I still have lots of photos to edit and, of course, now some sewing! Enjoy the photos.

Listening to the jets flying over head

The dumplings with their grandparents

Our trip to Virginia {Part One}

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ah yes,I know this story is getting old. But yet, it continues to repeat itself. I am way behind on blogging these days. And this has a lot to do with finding the time to actually upload the photos that capture all these memories I so long to blog about. In my humble attempt to catch up with what has been happening lately, I have decided to reverse the order of these next few posts. I am going to first share with you about our recent trip to Virginia to visit family and then backtrack to our time at Dis*ney, celebrating Caleb's 3 year Gotcha Anniversary (and of course, all the baseball in between.)

So here goes Part One of our trip to Virginia... (and even this trip will be blogged in reverse!)

A few weeks ago, we packed up the dumplings to visit my Aunt Alison, Uncle Bob, and cousin Ashley in Virgina Beach. Our only real plans were to spend one day in Williamsburg, where I lived for 3 years and went to school at the College of William & Mary. Other than that, we simply wanted to relax and enjoy each others company.

Upon arrival, we were treated to quite a feast. But this was no surprise because my auntie is a FABULOUS cook! Caleb was so excited to see his Gramma Ali and Grandpa Bob. Grandpa Bob got to meet Madeline for the first time. The kids quickly took over the house, marching up and down the stairs at will (while my heart jumped out of my chest.)

The next day was Veteran's Day. We decided to head over to the Virginia Science Museum. The kids (big and small) had a blast. The homeschooling mama in me was happy to treat this as a little field trip. While Gramma Ali and Caleb explored, the rest of us grown ups tried to keep Madeline from destroying things. (I'll be sharing the photos from this next in Part Two of our trip. So bare with me.)

On Friday, we just vegged around the house, went out for some Thai food for lunch and then hit a great wheelchair accessible playground at the beach. Caleb had a blast while Madeline napped in the car with Gramma. That night, we all went out to dinner. We had a big group, including my cousin, "Auntie" Ashley, and Alison's brother and wife, Scott & Judy. Alison's dear friend, Sheila, also joined us. We had such a wonderful evening. Caleb and Madeline apparently won the heart of a gentleman at the table next to us, as he was celebrating a birthday and delivered 2 big pieces of his cake to share with them. Caleb and Madeline ate like champs. And even Madeline behaved herself pretty well throughout the evening. To say that she's fiesty would be an understatement! So this leaves room for lots of "adventure." LOL.

On Saturday, we decided to make our trip to Billy's burg, as some call it. Although we had forgotten our stroller at home, Alison was able to borrow one for us to use. Unfortunately, one stroller and two kiddos isn't ideal, especially when the stroller is really only meant for a toddler (unlike our stroller at home.) So Caleb had to do the walking while Madeline got pushed around all day. Naturally, this didn't please Caleb too much. But he did manage to get over it and enjoy himself some.

When we arrived in Williamsburg, we headed straight to the Cheese Shop for lunch, only in the 9 years since I've been there, it had moved. So we had to find it first! Unfortunately, we arrived at lunch time. So the place was swamped. So we grabbed a few things to "make" lunch and headed out. After lunch, we made our way over to the College of William and Mary campus. We headed straight to the Crim Dell, a quaint bridge where legend has it that if you cross it with someone of the opposite sex, you're destined to be married. Well, when Patrick got wind of this he was determined to propose to me there. And that is, in fact, what he did exactly 9 years ago. (We were living in North Carolina at the time. So he really had to plan this proposal. And in fact, the weekend he proposed was homecoming. And I was determined to make it over to the football stadium. Little did I know what his true plans were. But I eventually gave up my determination to see the game and walked the campus with him. Silly me!)

Anyway, Madeline was in no way interested in having her photo taken. But I did manage to get Caleb to make some silly faces for me while on the Crim Dell.

After walking the campus, we decided to head back over to Colonial Williamsburg, CW(they are adjacent to each other.) We walked down Duke of Glouster Street, otherwise known as "DOG street" for short. It really brought back memories of all the exercise walks I went on as I took study breaks with my friend, Allison. I loved living in Williamsburg. It was a far cry from growing up in South Florida. I just love the quietness and solitude and the beauty all around. Oh yeah, I can't believe I almost forgot to mention the house I used to live in at in the heart of Williamsburg. The little, dumpy, yellow house has been transformed! And that's an understatement! Man, I wished I lived in the house that now stands there. This is what it looked like when I lived there, after the yellow was painted over.

And this is what it looks like today (taken with my iPhone, so I apologize for the teeny tiny size)
And to answer Patrick's question, Yes, they redid the whole house and even put a pool in the back and added a garage! Luxury!!

Anyway, enjoy the rest of the photos from Williamsburg. I will try to get Part Two of our trip to Virginia up soon.
At the courthouse on DOG street, there are some stockades. The kids were too little to pose for this shot on their own. Patrick had to hold their hineys up, otherwise they would fall to the ground. They had an absolute blast taking this photo.

The Governor's Palace

Fall foliage

Madeline wasn't too happy to have her photo taken

Sibling fun on DOG street

Taking a water break

Again not too happy to have her photo taken; notice the tear

Caleb being silly on the Crim Dell on the William & Mary campus

Vacation fun

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Okay, so here are the very long overdue photos and videos from our anniversary vacation at the Hammock Beach resort. Went spent most of our time swimming in the various heated pools, and all in all, had a fabulous vacation. Enjoy the photos and videos. And thank you, honey, for such a wonderful time!

Caleb diving/front flipping into the pool

Patrick hanging out with both dumplings

Auntie Deb finally got her photo taken with Madeline

Playing peek-a-boo

Having fun doodling

Leah on the beach

The best shot I could get of both kids "smiling"

How most of the photos of the two of them turned out

How they really felt about having their photo taken

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About This Blog

This blog is the place where shared our lives while waiting to bring our daughters Madeline and Havi home from China. (Our son Caleb was already home before this blog began.) It is now the place where we continue to share our life experiences, both big and little, as we try to glorify God and raise our 3 dumplings from China.

Feel free to join us as we journey through life, while I try to capture our days...

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