Wednesday, July 29, 2009

7 months

together in the gardens

Double checking the calendar. Has it been seven months already?

7 months

Free Hugs

Here's the original video just in case you're not familiar with it.



Here's our experience in Millennium Park. :)

video

I'm with Ethica

I oppose the Families for Orphans Act and the Foreign Adoptive Children Equality (FACE) Act. You can read about Ethica's position HERE. I'm working on e-mails to committee members now, and will be calling my rep that is on the House Foreign Affairs Committee tomorrow.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Chicago Trip: Day 2

Saturday morning we woke up way too early. We set the alarm on our travel clock for 6am, but totally forgot about the time zone difference. Our 6am wake up was really a 5am wake up on Chicago's Central Time. Kevin and I were eager to have another hour of sleep, but Hannah disagreed and kept us up another hour as we tried to rest. About 5:45am I'd had enough of the "Ah! Ah! Ma ma ma ma ma!!!" and decided to start our day.

While parking our car in Chinatown and getting out the stroller, Kevin said, "Sarah, there's some blonde lady waving at me." How funny! Someone knew who Kevin was from this blog but he had no idea who she was. Of course, I knew who it was, and was so happy to meet up with another mama I'd been e-mailing with for over two years.

We met up with Mary and her parents (how did I not get any photos of the girls together???) in Chinatown and picked out some rolls at a Chinese bakery for breakfast. Mary ran around with a roll in her hand and told us all about what sounds different animals made. We checked out a few stores before heading the strollers toward the park where the races were. The girls briefly held hands while we pushed them in their strollers. Too cute!

While waiting for a train to pass to get into the park, a woman turned around and grinned and said, "Oh my! It's Hannah Claire! I read your blog!" I laughed so hard. How funny! So neat to meet another family with a child from St. Lucy's in Taiwan. We met up with several families with children from China and Taiwan at the park and had a great time. So much fun that I didn't even go down to the river to watch any races. I did watch some Chinese dancing and listen to a children's story about dragonboat races. Here's an interesting link about dragonboat racing if you'd like to know more about it.

Several Taiwan adoptive families went out to lunch together at a Lao Beijing. We sat at a big table with two other families with children that lived with Hannah at the orphanage in Taiwan. So strange to think that seven months ago these three children slept in the same room together every night... and here they are, together on the opposite side of the world, living within a four hour car ride of eachother. Hannah made a friend with another daddy and held his hand during dinner, placing bits of discarded dan dan noodles in his palm every once in awhile. Hard to decided whether to be embarrassed or find her willingness to share comical.

This pic is for Lisa, a blogger that always leaves the sweetest comments.
It was hard to get our little treasurers to sit still! I think Lisa would agree that
The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy! - Psalm 126:3

our little treasurers

After naps we met back up with some very special friends. We first met up with this family in Taipei on December 22, 2008. They had just been united with their son and we could be meeting our daughter a week later. Oh, how this little cutie warms my heart and has gotten so big over the last seven months! We enjoyed our children, the fountains, and "the bean" together in Millennium Park before finding a deli for dinner. I love the hand holding!

holding hands

I love taking pictures at the bean. If I could go on a day that wasn't so busy and I didn't have a baby in tow... I'd bring some Windex, a cloth, and play around with my camera for an hour or more.

the bean 3

the bean 4

I'm posting more photographs at the bean HERE and one of Hannah in the gardens HERE.

What a day!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Redirect: Unwanted Until Proven Good Enough to Have

I'd like to share with you a post that has me thinking this morning at Heart, Mind, and Seoul. If you have some time, this is an excellent blog to browse.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Video: Hannah's commentary

Today was a non-stop go-go-go meeting up in Chicago's Chinatown with so many great families that love their little ones from Taiwan so much. We enjoyed the children interacting and didn't take many photos, but everyone had a wonderful time. I'll be posting some photos and more later, but here's Hannah account of her day.

video

Friday, July 24, 2009

Chicago Trip: Day 1

family swim

dim sum, anyone?

I'm amazed that Hannah did pretty darn well on her longest car ride ever. Two hours of baby DVDs and two hours of a second nap went by pretty quickly. After checking into our hotel, we headed to Chinatown for dinner at Mountain View Dim Sum. We walked around the outdoor mall and did a little shopping. Back at the hotel, we had some family swim time before bed. Hannah's doing much better in a crib in the hotel room compared to our last trip when co-sleeping with all three of us in a king size bed kept us ALL up ALL night. It took her about 45 minutes to finally wind down with us in the room with her. Heading to bed now to sleep while I can!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

{pinch}

Yes, I still pinch myself every day. We're so blessed.

sleepytime

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

18 months old

Coke and a smile
This photo was taken in our backyard two days ago.
You can view a larger size of this photo HERE.

sitting on a firetruck
This photo was taken at our neighborhood 4th of July party.
You can view a larger size of this photo HERE.

Our ray of sunshine turned 18 months old today. Usually she's such a happy girl. She loves to clap, make faces, feed us snacks, and imitate our body language. The fussing mostly consists of being upset when she's told "no." Hannah pouts by sticking out her bottom lip and slowly turns on the water works. She rarely throws a fit these days. The main source of misbehavior is using a sippy cup or a bottle to paint on the hardwood floor or on her foam play mat. After getting a large amount of liquid on the floor, she rubs her hands over it, smearing her milk/juice/water all over like fingerpaints. I don't even want to think about what the floor of our great room would look like if we still had carpet!

Hannah is officially a delayed walker now that she's 15 months adjusted and can not take five steps unassited. Our pediatric nurse practitioner advised us to have Hannah evaluated by First Steps Early Intervention if she wasn't walking in August. August is just around the corner, so I made the phone call today to arrange for an evaluation. I'm not stressing about this, but if a physical therapist can help her meet these milestones... let's do it. My girl is one amazing little cookie for having relatively few problems considering she entered the world three months ahead of schedule, weighing 2.6 pounds.

I'm getting more and more excited about our trip to the Chicago Dragonboat Races this weekend, as I keep finding about more and more people I "know" from Taiwan adoption circles that will be there. Yippie! Just hope the weather holds out, as there is a 40% chance of rain with scattered thunderstorms on Saturday.

Only five more days of old job left. I'm excited about a fresh start. I also have the "beo bei song" stuck in my head. I walk around work quietly singing to myself, "hua la la la la la, wo de bao bei, beo bei..." thinking of my "treasured little one."

Monday, July 20, 2009

Redirect: Bao Bei

I'd like to redirect you to read a beautiful post and video by William's Mama Judy in celebration of his second birthday. She's inspired me to learn how to sing the Bao Bei song. I'm practicing with this video tonight, and NOT with this video. Heh heh.

Edit: I went to every online source I knew to try and purchase this song for Sarah to no avail. I guess Taiwanese Indy Artists don't have distribution channels in "the west". :) -Kevin

Daddy's Love

Tonight after dinner we tried to take some photos of feet for an I ♥ Faces entry, but there's no way that "Squirmy" was going to cooperate with taking photos of her feet. Kevin wasn't into it either, so I ended up with feet photos that look like this. Typical Kevin humor.

foot in mouth

Hannah walked around the yard a little bit with Daddy's help.

walking girl

Then Hannah flew around the yard with a lot of Daddy's help.

flying girl

And then I captured this moment in time. I call it "Daddy's Love."
You can view a larger size here.

daddy's love

How we love this girl!!!

Now... I need three cheers for Kevin because he put in his first pony tail today. Let's hear it for Kevin!!! Woohoo! (Kevin needs some encouragement in the hair-do department. With Mama starting a new job working 35 minutes away, he can't keep bringing her to me at work for me to put in pig tails.)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Adopting the Waiting Child

New video posted today on YouTube by Love Without Boundaries.

cows say moo

Tonight after work we went to the 4-H fair. Unfortunately, the camera was left at home so there aren't any pics. Hannah had her first corn dog but was frustrated that it was too heavy for her to hold and had to have us break off pieces for her. Daddy encouraged dipping it in mustard. Hannah REALLY didn't like mustard. She used a hand to try to wipe it out of her mouth. Daddy had dressed her in a white shirt and I'm thinking NOOOOOOOOOOO as I took at her with mustard running out of her mouth and getting smeared all over her hands! No mustard stains! Thankfully the mustard spots are very minimal and I'll be working on those stains later tonight.

At the FFA booth Hannah got excited and yelled when she saw a very little calf. She didn't want to pet the piglet because he squealed so much. She did pet the donkey, a chick, and several bunnies.

Thank you so much to SANDY from work that got Hannah down in a pen with the BIG PIGS so she could pet one while he ate his dinner. In the cow barn Hannah mooed back at us when we said "cows say moo."

Good stuff. :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Zoom zoom

This mama's been busy lately. An hours crunch at work made work much more stressful in the last few months. No job satisfaction and all stress. Felt like being strangled all day long. I'd been searching for a new job in a little different line of work, but didn't find what I was looking for. Then... the heavens opened and a mailing arrived in my mail box. I jumped at the chance, went through three challenging interviews, and got the job! New job involves a 35-40 minute commute... but I'm looking forward to filling up with some iTunes and coffee and having some "me time" in the car. Looking at getting a new hybrid vehicle or a diesel VW now that I join the commuter ranks. Easy to get the car bug, but much harder to pull the trigger and sign on the dotted line.

Only eight days left until the Chicago Dragonboat Races! So excited to meet so many families for lunch this year!

Redirect: Praying in the third person

I'd like to refer you to this post by our friend Amanda in Taiwan, as she comments on the importance of using third person and avoiding personal pronouns in Chinese in order to show respect to a superior. You're right, Amanda! "Interesting, huh?"

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

pics from this weekend at the lake

pontoon ride smile
That's my girl. :)


Ice cube thief. Thankfully, Great-grandma was finished with her drink.

Hannah earns her sea legs
Earning her sea legs.
Sherry, thank you again for such a cute dress! And the Dr. Seuss book you sent us a year ago is one of Hannah's favorites with all of the fun sounds Mama makes when she reads it. I wanted to get a pic of her sans life jacket but it just didn't happen that day.

Grandpa swings Hannah around in the lake water for the first time
First dip in the lake. Grandpa was ready to help!

Grandpa removes a little seaweed from Hannah's piggies
First seaweed on the toes. Ew.

Hannah and Great-grandpa
Great grandpa was more than happy to carry Hannah around the shore.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Redirect: Employers Trim Adoption Benefits

Planning on using employer's adoption reimbursement benefits to help fund your adoption? Recession effects just about everything. Here's a link to a Wall Street Journal article released yesterday titled "Targeting 'Feel-Good' Benefits." Loosing adoption benefits will created unexpected debt for adopting families counting on this money during an adoption process, and not getting the reimbursement they expected after the adoption is finalized.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Video: Baby, You Can Drive My Car



Here's a little video from our playdate with Aiden Bao and Kelli this week. Hope this makes you giggle, Kelli!

Video Blogging Is My Next Time Waster

Hannah eats french fries - Testing video upload from iPhone to blogger.
video

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ni Hao, Kai-Lan clothing sighting



I've been waiting and waiting for Ni Hao, Kai-Lan clothing and toys to make their mainstream appearance. There were a few clothing items at our Target today, but they are way to big for my little peanut. Here's what I found if you have a little fan at home that might be interested. I found one Kai-Lan pink dress and one red t-shirt mixed in with Dora and Hello Kitty attire. Seeing a little Chinese girl on clothing in a major mass retailer "makes my heart feel super happy!"

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Redirect: New Friends

We had a great day today on a play date with Kelli and Aiden Bao. I'm WAY too tired to even think about doing any photo editing or witty blogging... but I can keep my eyes open long enough to redirect you to Kelli's post about our day. Lots of pics to follow.

After dinner Mama and Daddy went to the Apple store and picked up their new toys. iPhones! Woot woot!

Friday, July 3, 2009

American Girl

Guess I found time to post again after all. :) Hannah was so funny again tonight. I was rolling my head around for some reason, and she started mimicking me rolling her head all around. We'd nod yes... and she'd nod yes. We shook our head no side to side and she did it too. Daddy would make the "oh no!" face with his hands on his cheeks and she'd scream and do it too.

American Girl 7

Tonight Hannah and I took some photos in the yard for fun while Daddy had a nap. It's pretty much always windy where we live as there's not many trees. The wind caught Hannah's dress and pulled it out into the air. She thought that was fun, and kept pulling her dress back up. Silly girl! When I'm rolling around in the grass taking photos of Hannah, I always wonder how much dog poo I'm getting into... but I don't want to look because I don't wanna know. Thank goodness we have a little dog with little poops and a BIG yard.

There are several photos from tonight on my photography blog HERE where they can be viewed in a larger format.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy Independence Day

I'll be working and going to parties this weekend and won't have time to be posting... but I wanted to wish my friends and blog readers in the US a Happy Independence Day.

Hannah took four steps today. We're so proud! Miss Independent is betting to be such a big girl!

firetruck1

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lucky Girl Redirect: "Has Your Family Read It?"

Mei-Ling Hopgood, author of the memoir "Lucky Girl," was a guest blogger this week at Devourer of Books. She writes about her birth family's response to her book. Very interesting. Not the response I'd expect. What do you think?

Conversations with Hannah on our Hannahversary

Hannah was just so funny Monday night with all of her laughs and baby talk. I'm so happy that I got a little bit of it on video. She's growing up so fast, and we won't hear the sweet baby talk much longer.