Saturday, February 27, 2010

"You know what, Hannah?"

"You know what, Hannah? We don't draw on dogs."
Now there's a phrase I never thought I'd need to say.

Guess it could be worse. (See photo below.)
Thank goodness our dog has long hair!

Friday, February 26, 2010

for Nana

for Nana
Hope you feel better soon after having your gall bladder out today. Let me know when you're ready to read books and play. I said the word "books" today for the first time!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

pears and apples

pears and apples

pears and apples square

I took these photos right before I put the Elmo dress on her. When did she start pursing her lips like this? I swear, she makes the best faces for her daddy. I need a wing man to get her to smile like this. If it's just me in the camera, Hannah would rather run away to play with her kitchen or slide.

I've been admiring this Etsy seller's items for some time. Pretty Me offers "sweet clothing for hip girlies." I purchased this "pears and apples" dress along with another outfit that I'll reveal in a future photo session. LOVE the cut on this dress, especially the look of the apron that knots in the back. The neck line is a little wide, but I ordered a larger size on purpose. Hopefully it will fit a little better this summer when Hannah grows into it a little more. These items are the most professionally made items that I've ever bought on Etsy. They took about a month to arrive, but it was well worth it.

Elmo love

Elmo love collage

Grandma Adrienne sent Hannah a Elmo dress for her birthday. I sat her in front of the glass door with lots of diffused light coming in from the south. Daddy helps with our photo sessions by being silly and getting Hannah to laugh. She kept pointing at Elmo's face on the dress. "Eyes. Nose. Elmo!!!"

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Black and White Wednesday - Beautiful Bella

the long road

beautiful bella

lucky n' love

Kevin's niece visited us a few weeks ago. It was so refreshing to photograph a child that would actually look at me and follow directions, at least for five minutes. :) Photographing Lucky the dog was a lot more like what I was used to. Feeling REALLY LUCKY that I was able to get that shot with the two of them together!

Monday, February 22, 2010

parenting milestone

We had a parenting milestone tonight, the first punishment. Daddy eyed Hannah starting to play with the dog's food. Daddy told her to stop, but she chose to say "NO" and throw a little bit of it. Daddy sat her in the corner and told her to stay. We kept her there just two minutes. Her eyes were wide and her lip quivered. She started to leave the corner once, but scampered back when she noticed Daddy was watching. When her time was up and we told her she could come out, Hannah ran to Mama to cry and wanted picked up. I didn't play into her hand and wouldn't pick her up, but I held her hand. Dada picked her up and asked for a hug, which she gave quickly. Daddy explained that she couldn't tell Dada no when he asked her to do something. My tender-hearted girl!

No pics. Had to try hard not to laugh and look SERIOUS!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

we're CNY party animals

This family of CNY party animals headed out to the "big town" for our third and final party for the season. Tonight was the Chinese Americans' community party. When we arrived, I spotted another adoptive family from our area. I knew who they were, but didn't know them very well, so we joined their table and had a great time getting to know them a little better.

In our rush to get ready, we forgot Hannah's sippy cup (oops!), bib (oh no!!!), and there were no high chairs at the event. These three things aren't so bad by themselves, but put them all together and it spells mess. Luckily Hannah has a onesie on under her party clothes. We stripped her down to the onesie, and she ate her noodles, pot stickers, egg roll, rice, and Capri Sun while sitting on top the table.

oranges for a sweet life


The highlight of the evening was talking to other Asians that joined our table. A man asked Kevin where Hannah was from, and he got really excited when Kevin told him Hannah was from Taiwan. He was Taiwanese as well! We shared where Hannah was born, and he told us that he was born in Nantou County. We just happened to have been to Nantou County, visiting the town of Puli and Sun Moon Lake. He asked where we'd been in Taiwan, and we swapped travel stories with him. He joked that we knew more about Taiwan than he does. I must say, that made this mama feel pretty good!

Hannah sat really well for a long time, watching all sorts of dancers, singers, and instrumentalists. Finally she just had to get up and jump around a little bit. She stayed nearby for the most part with two pairs of watchful eyes glued on her. But... when the Chinese school students lined up to go on stage to sing "the Gong Xi, Gong Xi song," Hannah lined up with the four year olds and started to follow them up the stairs to go on stage! I laughed and laughed while Kevin chased after her and brought her back to our table. She's ready to perform!

Kevin took our little monkey out in the hallway for awhile so she could run around and let off some steam. On the way home Kevin told me that a Chinese woman asked where his wife was from. (Haha!) He replied that his wife is from (insert name of our town here). I wonder if the woman is still confused. Hmmm.

We had a few remarks about Hannah's name tag. Both her American and Chinese names were written. "That's a good name." "Big name for a little girl." Warms my heart to hear those compliments, as the story and meaning behind Hannah's Chinese name is very precious to me.

thought bubble at Chinese New Year

This is one of my favorite photos from the night.
What has Hannah all excited?

"can-kee" at Chinese New Year

Can-kee. Of course.
It wouldn't be Chinese New Year without lots of candy!

so, I like... figured it out

Yep. I did. Figured it out. I'm not privatizing the blog. I never really thought I'd quit, but I didn't know what to do for a little while. I felt that a blog titled "Journey to Hannah Claire" that is obviously an adoption blog... needed lots of posts about adoption thoughts, and I had little to say publicly. I have photography that I want to share, but didn't like having a second blog to put it on. So... this blog is hereby known as "my little lantern" and I've turned off the secondary blog site where I posted some large size photos. This thing is hereby the family blog, titled after the light of our lives, the Taiwanese American cutie that keeps asking for "can-kee" after I gave her a few candy bracelets for Valentine's Day. "Can-Kee. Peas. More." Anyway, a change in title and focus makes me feel less pressured.

If you could update your links here to I would greatly appreciate it. I'd even give you a candy bracelet if you'd like one. There's about ten left and I need to hide them from Hannah. She's starting to climb on the kitchen chairs looking for candy on the kitchen table.


Today I snapped a few pics of Hannah while laying on the floor. She looked so much older to me when I was looking up at her from below.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Favorite Foto Friday

i asked for it

Our niece was very willing to make funny faces for the camera. :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Xin Nian Kuai Le! 新年快樂!

our family - Chinese New Year 2010

We are blessed in that we have some great adoptive families a short car ride away with children from Taiwan and China. We were invited to celebrate Chinese New Year with them last year, but the stomach flu took it's toll on our health and we weren't able to go. This year... everyone's healthy and it was a go!


We had a wonderful time. The community center was decorated with red balloons. Hannah said, "Oooooh! Balloons!" when we walked in. There were toys to play with such as a little kitchen, shopping cart, babies, play food, little tables and chairs, crafts, and lots of room to run. A toddler's DREAM PARTY, right? The families outdid themselves on the food. Kevin and I really liked the potstickers, dumplings, and Carmen's creamy potato soup. For dessert there was a cake decorated like the flag of Taiwan, Taiwanese pineapple cakes, cookies shaped like China, and all sorts of other treats.

toddlers + balloons = party time

Malia and Hannah's favorite part of the party
involved running around with balloons.

Kevin and I brought sky lanterns, and the group bundled up our littles and went out into the snowy parking lot to light them off. I kept giggling, thinking of guys out ice fishing... drinking a few beers, looking up at the night sky remarking, "Hey, Elmer. Do you see that? I think them there are some UFOs!"

sky lanterns

sky lanterns

sky lanterns

sky lanterns

Carmen gets the above photo credit for lanterns in the sky.
I know nothing about nighttime photography,
and mine didn't turn out very well.

Thank you so much, Dan and Megan!
You were wonderful hosts!
These toddlers really know how to party!

Last but certainly not least... I have to share with you some Taiwanese baby sweetness that I've been looking forward to photographing for some time. Aren't those cheeks just the sweetest?!?!?

sweet Libby 1

Sweet Libby 2

Sweet Libby 3

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Gong Xi, Gong Xi

When we were in Taiwan, we spent some time with Amanda and Lawrence in Tainan. When talking about Chinese New Year festivities, Amanda laughed about hearing "the Gong Xi, Gong Xi song" over and over again all over the place. Now we know what she was talking about. I found a youtube video with subtitles in English, as well as a cute video with little kids rehearsing the song for Chinese New Year. Enjoy!

Friday, February 12, 2010

CNY party time

This evening we went to a very local gathering of mostly adoptive families for a Chinese New Year party. This is the second year we've been invited to this little party, and had a great time once again. Feels really good to spend time with families who are a lot like yours in that we all have little girls from China and Taiwan, but we're all very different, all in the same community. Once again, Hannah was the youngest of the bunch, but this year she was able to participate in some of the activities. Coloring, playing with legos, and cooking in a play kitchen is right up her alley.


I took this first photo after I woke Hannah up from her nap to get her ready for the party. She doesn't like to have us wake her up, and wasn't in the mood for photos before dinner.


This photo was taken at the beginning of the night. I censored the faces just in case some of he parents wouldn't like the idea of their children's photos posted here. I thought Hannah had gotten comfortable enough to stand for a photo with the big girls. Guess not! Thankfully, she was having a great time running all over the place like the big kids by the end of the night.



Tigers say "ROAR!"


What's this green stuff in the red envelopes?

The highlight of Hannah's night was playing with big kid legos and eating ice cream cake. The highlight of our evening was talking with a Taiwanese American adult adoptee that is an old high school friend of another adoptive parent. She shared her adoption story with us, and we shared our family's story with her. Interestingly, she had more questions for us than we had for her. Feeling blessed to have had this opportunity.

I know that my posts are a lot less meaty than what they were at one time. Adoption related thoughts that I once thought I'd like to write about are now too personal and only shared among close friends. Giving a lot of thought to giving up blogging. Facebook is easier, quicker, more private, although not as pretty and doesn't leave room for serious discussions. But... if I'd never blogged, I never would have *met* the mamas that I can pour my heart out to over the phone to and in an email, and you totally get it. Love you guys. You know who you are. :) HUGS!

Getting together Saturday night for more Chinese New Year fun with TAIWANESE CUTIES! Gotta sleep and rest up for tomorrow!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

getting ready for CNY

Chinese New Year/Spring Festival starts next Sunday. We're thrilled to be able to go to two parties with lots of adoptive families next weekend, and a Chinese American community party the following weekend. In prepping for family parties, the mamas are always looking for ideas for CNY themed crafts. Tonggu Momma has a collection of links of CNY crafts and CNY Children's Books. Kristi also has a review of CNY Children's Books, coloring pages, and craft ideas. Very good stuff! Thanks, mamas!

Friday, February 5, 2010





To quote my dad, "Who's kid is that?!?!"
Uh... Kevin's. For sure.