A low-key birthday

Sunday, March 17, 2013

By the time Madeline's actual birthday rolled around this year, she had already been to Disney and had a party.  So we decided on the actual day, we would keep things a bit low-key.  While Patrick ran some errands in the morning, I snapped a few photos of the dumplings together.  Madeline is sporting a new top I made her.  My sister picked up this gorgeous Amy Butler and Sandi Henderson fabric for me *cough cough* a long time ago.  Thankfully the pattern I wanted to use it for called for the same yardage for the next size up.  I adore this pattern, as does Madeline...for its twirl power.
Once Patrick returned home, it was time to head out to lunch at one of his favorite-y favorite spots on the beach.  Being the homeschooling mama that I am, I try to get the kids to read in the car whenever possible.  Since we were going on two straight days of no school (the kids were sick the day before), I had Madeline read to me while we drove to the restaurant.  I think she preferred playing with her gum.
We ended up getting to the restaurant later than we wanted to. Our timing couldn't have been better though, as a table opened up by the window.  I know you can't see it in the images below because I was exposing the images for Madeline and not the background.  However, the ocean was right outside the window.  Although it was rainy, the view was still hard to beat.
Once we wrapped up lunch, we headed over to my favorite cupcake shop.  The dumplings picked out some candy while Patrick picked out a bunch of cupcakes.  I had wanted to make Madeline some cupcakes and a mini cake for her birthday, but I was also feeling under the weather the day before.  So I had to scratch that idea.
After finally making it home for some downtime and dinner, we regrouped and headed back out to the one place Madeline had been asking for all.day.  Chuck-E-Cheese.  The two of them couldn't stop smiling.  They had a fabulous time.  I didn't drag my big girl camera with me, though I did snap a few shots with my iPhone that I will have to share if I ever get around to doing an iPhone post.

Anyway, I just can't believe our girl is 5 years old.  It's hard to believe that three years ago, we were experiencing quite the adoption paperwork rollercoaster.  Wow.  I don't ever want to go through that again, thankyouverymuch!

Happy 5th birthday, for the umpteenth time Mei Mei Mooster!
We love you like crazycakes!

Her early birthday party

Sunday, March 10, 2013

As I said in a previous post, we celebrated Madeline's birthday a few weeks early.  Her party was actually last weekend, when Aunt Shell and cousin Lydia were down visiting from Connecticut.  She won't turn 5 until Tuesday.

Well, I didn't really get to practice my cake making since Caleb's birthday like I wanted to.  In fact, the only other cake I made was the dark chocolate peppermint one I just shared.  So what I decided to do was make the same dark chocolate cake  but frost it with a vanilla flavored Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMB) this time.  If you haven't eaten a whole lot of SMB, you need to acquire a taste for it, as it is not super sweet.  You could really taste the vanilla, though.  It was delicious.  (Side note, I really need to get a pretty cake stand! lol)
I didn't get any slice shots because I took these before the guests arrived.  After we sang Happy Birthday, I had to cut and serve it.  So I had no time for photos.  I will also say that I wish I had just a touch more frosting because I had wanted to cover the entire cake, including the top.  But I only had enough frosting to pipe a few rose swirls instead.  

Oh, and this was the second batch of SMB because I was too impatient when trying to thaw the first batch the night before and ended up ruining it.  I had to make this batch at 6:00am the day of the party and then quickly assemble and frost the cake before dashing to Caleb's baseball game that morning...which I didn't get to watch any of because I was on concession stand duty.  Yep, I missed the entire game.  Then we hurried back home to finish preparations and waited for everyone to arrive.

My sister Deb and BIL Andy came with their kids and Andy's parents, Phil and Marsha.

That's me on the left and my sister on the right.
My cousins Ed and Eil also made the trip from South Florida.
 Patrick's Aunt Betty and Uncle Roy also road tripped it.  
Gosh, this girl of ours is so loved.  Lydia actually came down with a suitcase full of clothes for Madeline.  Lyd and Aunt Shell, you are so generous!  Madeline just had to wear one of her new dresses from Lydia for her party.  And the cousins just had a blast playing with each other.
 She was showered with lots of love and goodies- a ballerina doll, My Little Ponies, a dream light, clothes and a new bike. The bike is a bit big (it's the same bike as Caleb's, and he's 3 years older than her).  Though she can manage it, she's a bit more agile on Caleb's old bike.  She's been riding both all week but prefers her big pink bike.  We've been unsuccessful at convincing her she really should wait until she grows a little more.  Oh well.

Then it was on to the cake. She actually blew her candles out a few times, once by herself and then with the help of her brother and cousins.

Madeline Bei, we love you and adore you.
It's hard to believe you're turning 5.
You amaze us every day with that bigger than life personality of yours.
We simply cannot imagine our lives without you, sweet girl.
We love you like crazycakes, Mei Mei Moo!

Happy Birthday!!!

To the Mouse!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Oy!  The days go fast.  I have been meaning to get this post up for the last few days, but time has slipped away.  My weekdays are busy teaching the dumplings, and our afternoons/evenings are filled with baseball and dance.  
On Tuesday our social worker came to update our home study.  You may recall I said earlier that she would be coming last week, but she came down with a cold and had to reschedule.  We are anxious to get our update signed off on so we can submit our I-800 application and the Supplement 3 as soon as possible.

Anyway, as I mentioned last time, we had some company last weekend.  Patrick's sister Michele came down from Connecticut with our niece Lydia.  The kids always have such a good time playing together. They pick right back up where they left off.  It warms our hearts.

We decided to celebrate Madeline's birthday a little early since they were in town.  So we headed over to the Mouse one day.  The day was cold, and it was crowded!  Welcome to Disney in March, even if it was the 1st of the month!  

Patrick had to work in the morning.  So he met up with us after lunch.  The dumplings were a wee bit excited to see their Baba.
We grabbed fast passes for Buzz and hit the People Mover.
We also joined a tea party.  You know it's crowded when the wait for the teacups is 20 minutes!
Then we ventured over to the new part of Fantasyland, rode Dumbo and checked out the new Under the Sea journey, complete with hot cocoa.
We couldn't pass up the opportunity to spin round and round again on the carousel.
We also enjoyed Winnie-the-Pooh by skipping to the front with our fast passes.  Gotta love fast passes, especially on crowded days like the one we had.  Then Baba revealed his surprise purchase he made while we were all on Dumbo...cotton candy and lollipops!
Madeline thoroughly enjoyed her cotton candy.  She also enjoyed cleaning her hands.
Caleb really wanted to ride Pirates of the Carribean.  So Madeline tolerated it...mostly.
Then despite the fact that the day was winding down and nearly over, all three kids managed to climb up and down the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse.
Then we had to call it a day because Caleb had an early morning baseball game the following morning.
Madeline was tired and cranky, but was really playing it up for my camera.  She's a hoot.
It was such a fantastic day, despite the crowd and cold.  The kids get to visit the Mouse all the time but to do it with cousins...well, you can't beat it!

I will share photos from our little birthday celebration soon!

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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