She's gone and done it!

Monday, July 29, 2013

That precious little girl of mine has lost her first tooth!

Now mind you, it was extremely loose on Friday, and since Patrick was going out of town (and she opted not to let me pull it), I told her to leave it alone until Baba returned on Sunday, since she wanted him there.  Well, during a diaper change yesterday, before Patrick returned home, Caleb came to the door to announce he had some news to share... that Madeline had pulled her tooth out.  That stinker! lol
 The shot above cracks me up: big fake show-off-my-missing-tooth smile from Madeline, Caleb looking at Havi playing with my lens cap, and Havi who's looking anywhere but my camera.  Yep.  Real life.

So there you have it.  A super quick photoshoot in the same location where the little miss pulled her first tooth out just moments before.  A smile forever changed....sniff sniff.

20 months old and some randomness

Friday, July 26, 2013

This past Tuesday (um, yeah I'm a bit behind in my blogging), our precious dumpling numero tres turned twenty months old.  We didn't do anything to celebrate, other than smother her with kisses.  I'll likely make it for it next month.

Anyway, one of the things that Havi enjoys doing is brushing her teeth.  One day when the two big dumplings went with Baba to work, she stayed home with me.  And she spent some time brushing those little pearly whites, which meant I had to grab my camera. (That's her sister's toothpaste in the shot; hers is training paste.)
In other random news, I have been busy churning up some delish ice cream.  The milky chocolate I made for Madeline was such a hit that it was consumed quickly by the dumplings, and another request for chocolate was made.  I complied.  I did, however, squeeze in some strawberry buttermilk which was insanely good!  I roasted and pureed the strawberries so there weren't any big frozen chunks of strawberry in it.  Yum!!!!  Tomorrow I will be making some pistachio at the request of my dear hubby.  And then I'll be churning up some more fun flavored, fruity modern batches.  I love fruit, especially in summer.  So why not try it in my ice cream?!

Besides churning up ice cream these last two weeks, we've also been spending some time on the tennis court.  Let me rephrase that, Caleb and Madeline have been spending time on the tennis court.  When I used to take Caleb to the library for storytime, we would regularly see another homeschooling family who also lived in the neighborhood.  Naturally we would end up at our favorite park at the same time throughout the years since then.  This family is a tennis playing family, with one of the older boys now playing for our local college, and his brother was the coach for the local high school (at 19 years of age.)  These guys are good.  And they were always asking us if we were interested in lessons for the kids.  Well, a few weeks ago, we decided to take them up on their offer.  The oldest boy does the lessons for now, but he will be attending college in a different city.  So they will tag team during the school year.  Caleb's coach has been so impressed with what he can do already.  Back in the spring when lessons were first suggested, we bought him a racquet so he could practice hitting the ball against the wall.  Well, apparently that has been a jumping off point, as Caleb has great eye-hand coordination.  His coach suggested he play in a tournament for under 8, and, to my surprise, Caleb was eager to do it.  He gets so shy in new situations.  So I was thrilled to hear he wanted to do this.  The tournament isn't until next month, but he can't stop talking about it!  And today, he handled the full court really well.  So now I need to get him a new racquet... and real tennis shoes.  lol  Madeline's interest in tennis has not taken off like Caleb's has, though she did like the idea of a new pink racquet. lol  I think she'd rather play on the playground with Havi and the boys younger sister, who happens to be around her age.

Anyway, the tournaments are on Saturday mornings.  So they will likely interfere with baseball during baseball season.  Thankfully they are just once a month.  So it won't interfere too much.  The thing that makes me happiest is to see him so happy.  It just warms my heart to see his enthusiasm and joy.

Well, I'll be back with some more random, ordinary photos because that's about all I've been shooting.  Oh, and to add to that...I expect a precious little girl to lose her first tooth any day now.  So you know I'll be snapping a few to mark the momentous occasion.

One month in our arms

Thursday, July 18, 2013

It's hard to believe that yesterday marked one month that this precious little dumpling has been in our arms.  In that time she has come out of her shell in a big way.  She cried every time we walked into our hotel room in Taiyuan.  Nights weren't easy either.  We occasionally heard her babble. She was grieving, and if you have adopted, you know it's hard to watch.

 Today she's a very different girl, a typical toddler.  She screams when she wants something and screams just to be heard.  It's really nice for when you want to make phone calls.  Um, not really.  She really does pester poor Madeline.  Oy!  She's always wanting what she has and will scream, pull her clothes or hair, or, usually, squeeze her arm.  Yep.  Everything is mine, and I want it now.

She loves her chocolate milk and can drink it by the gallon.  She'll generally eat what I fix the big dumplings.  This girl LOVES to drink all day and a lot....which means lots of pee pee diapers.  I still do put her on the potty to pee, but she drinks so much stinkin' water, I have a hard time keeping up. lol  She's sleeping well, both for naps and bedtime.  We had a few days of big time crying and thought it was grieving.  But my wise sister who has parented this age before told me it just might be that she doesn't want to sleep.  Ding ding ding! We have a winner.  Thankfully those times of crying about sleep were short lived.  She sleeps like a champ without any crying now.  
  Since coming home, she has learned a few basic signs- water, milk, more, please, and thank you.  She can say water (wa wa) and diaper (bi bur) and mommy (though she says mommy when pointing to herself, so she doesn't know it means me yet.)  I originally wanted to her call me mommy because I know she called her foster mom "mama", and I didn't want to upset or confuse her, which it did (upset her) in China.  She says mama and baba but only to babble, not in reference to us.  She babbles quite a bit and will even act like she's having a conversation with you.  It's so funny.  She loves swinging at the park, swimming in the pool, riding in the wagon or on her tricycle, brushing her teeth, dancing to music, and anything she can grab out of her in her sister's hand.  She loves to fake laugh so she can join her brother and sister in their laughing fits too.  She reminds us that we have to check her mouth for loose teeth because both her brother and sister have loosey-goosey teeth that need checking.  Oh she won't be forgotten.  Nope. Well, I could go on and on, but I think I'll stop right there.

As I said in my previous post, I knew I had to start taking some photos of Havi at home because I need to send them to our agency as part of our post placement report.  So one night I decided to take my camera with me on our evening walk.
 I thought I would take this snapshot of the three dumplings together because China wants to see the child experiencing their new culture.  They were thrilled to go on the walk, though not to stop and smile for my camera.  Oh well, it's good enough to send to China.  Done.
 We spotted this small but pretty rainbow as we were nearing home.
Happy 1 month with us, Havi Xue!
You have turned our lives upside for the better, you loud, spunky little girl!
We love love love you like crazy crazycakes!!!!

To the beach!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Yep, we're backing up when Bammy was down here visiting.  I know I said I was going to do a Havi post, but that will have to wait.  I've actually had some time, no wait made time to pick up my camera to capture these first few weeks of Havi at home.  Well, maybe it's also because we need to send photos to China for our 1 month post placement visit.  But either way, I'm snapping away.  

Early one morning when Bammy was here, we all headed to the beach.  We arrived by 9am to avoid the heat and crowds.  Score.

 Havi hung out with me under an umbrella while Caleb and Madeline built sand castles with Bammy.
 Then Havi made her way down to the water's edge.
 She was not nearly as ecstatic about the ocean as she was in Hong Kong.  I can't blame her.  The beach in Hong Kong was small, and the waves were mild.  Not so here on the east coast of Florida.
She did enjoy the sand though and picked right back up where she left off with it in Hong Kong....eating it.  Oy!  But her favorite part of the beach?  Well, that was rinsing off in the shower.  She couldn't get enough of the water splashing over her head.  It was a short but sweet and enjoyable first trip to our local beach.  I'd say it was a winner.

Later that night, we went for a walk in the neighborhood.  I love taking walks in this quiet beachside community....just people and their four-legged friends out and about.  We always saw people walking in our old community.  But we lived on a busy street.  So we always had to contend with lots of car traffic while navigating the streets.  Not so here...which is why I can ask my kids to step off the sidewalk and into the street to pose for me without fear.
Then Patrick plucked Havi out of the wagon so she could also participate in this photo op.
Do you see that face?  And those arms across her chest?  Oh yes!  She did that back in China.  This girl can cop a 'tude like no one's business.  Yep, it's safe to say she's giving Madeline a run for her money for the next Academy Award.  She's just a little bit dramatic. Ha ha.  Or as we say in our house, a lotta bit dramatic.

Well, Madeline's 3 year Family Day/Gotcha Day anniversary is approaching.  It's actually on Friday, and to prepare for it, I plan on making some yummy treats.  This girl loves chocolate.  So I will be making some fresh chocolate ice cream for her.  You read that cream....because we just bought ourselves a handy dandy maker for the home.  It's safe to say I'll be churning up some cold creamy goodness this summer (which, lucky for us in Florida, lasts all year.)  I will also make a double chocolate chocolate cookie, nothing fancy, just lots of chocolate for my little chocolate lover.  Other items that I've been baking up are your basic quick breads and muffins that we like to snack on.  But I also made some delicious butterscotch supreme cupcakes from Rosie at Sweetapolita.  Big big winner here!  And it was great to have something that wasn't vanilla or chocolate. lol  I do love my cake and cupcakes, but I'm trying to change things up a bit because I know the rest of the peeps in the house aren't as crazy for them as I am. So we'll see what else I can bake up.

Anyway, I'm gonna try my best to catch up on my blogging here this week.  Promise.  I know you're all itching to see that third dumpling of ours in action.

Her first trip to the park

Friday, July 12, 2013

I'm a bit behind in sharing about Havi's first week home.  That's because I have been busy in the kitchen or in the pool with the dumplings.  Anywho, last week when Bammy was here, we went to the park late one morning/early afternoon.  The lighting was harsh, but I brought my camera anyway.  Havi loved the slide and swing.

Now, don't get any crazy ideas, like I allow my kids to go down slides head first.  This is the toddler slide, so very short and low to the ground.  Madeline has to crawl her way out.  So she's completely safe going head first.

So there you have it.  A short, sweet little trip to our favorite-y favorite park by the river.  It's the first of many more for this little girl.  

This week saw Bammy heading back to Connecticut.  The dumplings were so sad to drop her off at the airport.  We hadn't even left the airport parking lot when they were telling me how much they missed her already.  It was a great visit!  

Yesterday Havi had a doctor's appointment.  She did fairly well.  She got 3 out of 5 vaccines in order to make her current for her age and to comply with the Hague requirements.  She did cry but not for long.  She cried harder and longer when she tripped in the waiting area and hit her cheek hard against the leg of a chair.  It bruised up right away.  Poor girl.  Oh yes, and right before our social worker comes out tomorrow for our one month post placement visit.  Nice.  Anyway, I plan on writing up a post to share with you more about our precious little Havi.  For now, I'll leave you with one word to describe her- LOUD!

Happy weekend everyone!

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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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