Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Our Day with Anslee (Oh, yeah, and her mom and dad too!)

Our Delta River Boat Ride

Water Girl Annslee wanting out of the boat

Welcome to America where we give BIG hugs!!


Brotherly Love

Annslee checking out this new bib thing

The water mesmerized them all

Annslee being cautious after slipping on the stairs

Robbie explaining how this whole "fountain thing" works

Sam joining in on the fun

Annslee sure does love her daddy!

Big Hugs

Monkey See Monkey Do!

I am not really sure what this is all about......

What a good big (by 4 months) sister

Yes, that is Annslee the Pole Dancer

More Pictures Of Our Trip

Robbie and Olivia
MMmmm....Banana Split!
Two Cuties
The Tricycle Safety "Race"
And rounding the corner....It's Sam!
Robbie is checking out to make sure his wheel crosses the line first - I had to remind him that this was about safety not winning!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I have so much to share and don't even know where to start!!!

Little Miss Attitude

The most incredible balloon jungle!!

Are they checking each other out??

Come on Emma, Sophia is smiling!

Sam, Emma and Sophia

Look up quick Sophia so we can get the picture!

All Dressed Up

Jack, Robbie, Sam, Emma, Olivia, Sophia and Coleman

Things have been non stop since we got home as you can imagine! Getting adjusted to life with 5 (yikes!) kids, starting back to school, homework, after school activities, going on our family trip to the Horse Show in Kentucky, blah, blah, blah....

We went to Kentucky last week with Russ' family for the World's Championship Horse Show. We visited all of the exhibits and even spent a night riding rides and playing games at the Kentucky State Fair (too HOT to go during the day!) Our dear friends, The Proctors, live just a few miles away from where we stay and we were able to meet up again this year. We met David and Becky from our DTC yahoo group when we were waiting to adopt Emma. They have a 4 year old daughter Olivia who is the cutest stinkin' thing you have ever seen, and a 2 year old daughter Sophia who is so beautiful and reserved - at least around us anyway! :o) We met last year also and hope to continue the tradition for years to come. Robbie and Olivia velcroed themselves to one another again this year like they did last year. It is so cute!! They still look the same as last year, only taller. We walked all over the exhibition hall and had lunch together (yum - fair food!!) We had so much fun with them and cannot wait to meet up with them again next year! We did not watch as much of the Horse Show this year as usual because we just have so many kids now! Ha! Sam did amazingly well - he was very friendly and social. He waved to and interacted with anyone who was near him. Emma tends to be more on the shy side with a heart full of emotion ready to spill out at a moment's notice. She did warm up to everyone before long and was her sweet charming self. Taking pictures with the Proctors was really funny - Sophia would smile and cooperate when Emma wouldn't and vice versa. I think we may have still gotten a couple of good photos. On Sunday we drove home and stopped in Nashville along the way to meet with the Ladybugs and Dragonflies Family . We also met them on our DTC yahoo group. Their daughter Annslee is so precious and full of pure joy! She is a real hoot! She loves to run and jump and climb, meanwhile Emma just watched her from her stroller while making sure her headband was in the right place and she still had her purse! They were so cute together and have the bond of both being from the SPICY Hubei province, but their personalities are so different (except for the stubborn spiciness!! Ha!). They really complimented each other well. Laura said that Annslee had never worn a bib before and the minute she saw Emma wearing hers (Emma likes to be clean and tidy!), she wanted one so we let her wear a spare one that was in the back pack. It was so cute! Then when Annslee was jumping and dancing around the fountain, Emma decided that she needed to join in. I loved seeing them look to the other for ideas on what to do. We took a boat ride through the Delta at the Opryland Hotel and had lunch before playing by the fountain. Little Annslee fell and busted her lip but she was a wonderful "patient" and let us doctor her right up. We are hoping to be able to meet up with them again soon!

Monday, August 20, 2007

We Are Back!

Wow! What a journey this has been (and still is)! The older boys are back at school - I cannot believe that I have a middle schooler!! Aahh! Also one in 4th grade, and my baby is in Kindergarten. Time just goes by too fast! But I know everyone wants to know about the newest addition to our household - Sam! He is just wonderful. Things are going better than I ever dreamed they could. He is so sweet and obedient and so smart! He learns more and gets more comfortable every day!! The bonding has gone really well. In China, it was all about Daddy and now that we are at home, it is all about Mommy. Emma has adjusted well to being a big sister and of course Robbie, who is always full of joy, delights in having Sam for a little brother. Coleman and Jack continue to be amazing big brothers. The only issues we have relate to food, with the occasional potty/sanitary issue. It will all come in time. Sam wants to eat ALL THE TIME! Bless his heart, he eats (and poops) nonstop. It has become his security blanket. Instead of a lovey, he will carry around a sealed snack pack of Spiderman Cheez Its all day long. Just having it with him, knowing he could eat it at anytime, makes him feel comfortable. He calls me Mama already and when he dropped something the other day he said "Uh Oh!" He signs for more (when he wants more food) and has recently begun to say it too. He has a great sense of humor and laughs a lot. He is very loving and happy. He loves to go to the pantry and point out what he wants to eat. He gets so excited and will squeal and clap. He will say "Ni Hao" (very nasal sounding voice with the open palate) and wave, and then he will wave if someone says "Goodbye." He is potty trained, but we put him in Pull Ups because in China he had the freedom to relieve himself wherever he was. We decided with all of the flights and bus rides and the language barrier, not to mention some tummy issues, to go with Pull Ups. He still wears them here at home as we all try to get on a schedule. He will occasionally have an accident, usually during carpool when we don't have access to a potty and he is still not vocal enough to let us know. He doesn't seem to mind - I am hoping that he does not get used to it. He really is good about using the potty, but for the past 2 weeks, with the increased food intake, I feel like that we spend a good portion of the day pottying. And he does not have the potty etiquette issues (for lack of anything better to call it!) that we have so we are really working on that. Mommy will not compromise on sanitary issues. He is a really good listener, and he is not getting as upset anymore when I try to redirect him. He responds well to "No" and does not get upset (I wish the same were true for his sister). We had our first visit with the pediatrician who thinks he is great and really healthy. So far, we have gotten the results from one of his tests and everything looks great. We should receive results from the other tests soon. His motor skills were always good, but he did not have a lot of muscle strength. Now we can really see an improvement! I took Emma and Sam to the playground and they played on the swings, slides and stairs. They had a lot of fun, and it was great to see how far Sam has come in the past 2 weeks! We have our first appointment with the Cleft Team in November. At first, I was really upset that it was so far away, but I have realized that with our schedule, it is probably a blessing. This will allow us to get used to all of our activities and schedules before adding this very important aspect of our lives. He eats well and has learned how to adjust the way he eats and drinks to accommodate the unrepaired palate. Well, I am sure there are a thousand other things that I want to tell you, but there is plenty of time for that. Enjoy the pictures!