About Me

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I love to laugh and love with my family, read, exercise, cook and sew, all the while giving thanks to God for his immeasureable love and faithfulness to me.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

How much fun can you have with a tutu?

Hmmmmmm I think I like this tutu.
One of the 2 Bs and the Chinese Noodle
Definitely the crowning glory
Tea and tutus
Tutus in the kitchen? Sure, why not?!
Parachute? But of course!
Today we went over to a good friend's house, who watches her granddaughters, for a play date. This friend is the one who is helping me with my sewing. She really is amazing--definitely a gift that God has blessed her with! Anyway, her older granddaughter had wanted a tutu...specifically red and she also wanted something to wear in her hair (hairbows just not cutting it in this case). M. whipped up these last night and was gracious enough to make one for the Chinese Noodle as well. It was great seeing them prance and dance, whirl and twirl around. I think we enjoyed watching them as much as they did wearing them! Thanks again M!!

As a side note, they have a pet cat and the C.N. has a love/hate relationship with pet dogs and cats. She loves to see them out in the neighborhood, in books, when we are driving, etc. but when she comes up close and personal with one, she gets really scared. The entire time we were there, she kept one eye out for the cat and would sprint back into my lap anytime he got too close. That's probably why she wasn't smiling as much.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Fat Tuesday!

"Man World"...a little scary down here. Think I'll stick with Daddy!
Farley, my frog, and I are getting so good at coloring and cutting!

I can't believe it has been a week since I last posted. We haven't had a ton of stuff going on, I just haven't gotten around to updating. So sorry! It took my sister-in-law reminding me gently on my Facebook page that "we need an update!". So here are a few photos taken over the last few days. J has been working on the cradle and took the C.N. down into the basement, aka "Man World" as one friend likes to call it, to do some touch up painting. She was fine for the first few minutes and then spied a bike that needs a new chain. She kept saying "bike? bike?" and swinging her legs like she was pedaling...not the easiest way to paint, but I know he loved having her down there with him. She's also been very into coloring and cutting. J brought home some old drawings and so this past weekend, while I was at the gym, the two of them kept busy coloring.

Hope everyone went out and ate some pancakes. We certainly did! J was cooking at church and the C.N. and I were only too willing to help eat up. Happy Fat Tuesday :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A long awaited phone call (LONG post)

This is what happens when Daddy dresses me!
Upon not hearing a sound coming from her room, I went to go check on her and saw this:
(The pictures don't go with the post, I just thought they were cute!)

The phone call that I have been waiting for finally arrived...no not "The Call" phone call, but the call from the Chinese Noodle's new speech therapist. She had been evaluated back in December and qualified (no surprise there) for speech services but I had been told not to expect a phone call until mid-January due to Christmas. Fine, I understand how the special ed machine works, especially during the holidays. When mid-January rolled around and we still hadn't heard anything, I started getting on the phone, making calls. Long story short, the doctor had faxed over the script for speech therapy and it had gotten "lost" in the fax pile-up. They re-faxed it over in early February but it took me talking to the speech supervisor last week to figure out what had happened. She told me she would hand delivered the script to the speech therapist and to expect a phone call early this week. Thankfully it came today while the C.N. was napping!!

We'll start the first week in March (I of course wanted to start tomorrow, but her schedule was already pretty full) and then go from there. We also have an appointment with the Cleft team in the middle of March and hope to do the surgery soon-there-after.

Many have asked "Is she speaking yet?" to which I always sigh and answer to the best of my ability. You see, I have a tendency to focus on how she is communicating rather than just whether or not she is speaking...is she able to follow 1 and 2 step directions? yes...does she demonstrate comprehension of vocabulary when we read books by her pointing to various things when asked? yes...is she able to express her wants and needs? yes through a total communication approach i.e. facial expressions, gestures, signs, word approximations and words...is she able to comment to us on what she sees and experiences? yes (see above)...does she consistently use the same words to stand for the same things? yes, however they often are more "unconventional". In a nutshell, the C.N. is doing a great job with her communication, especially considering how long she's been hearing English (hmmm...I wonder how much Chinese I would be speaking if the tables were turned?). Like I said before, she uses signs and word approximations to let us know what is on her little mind. The million dollar question, however, is "Is she speaking?". So...to answer that question, I guess I would have to say no, because fluent English isn't pouring out of her little mouth.

Unfortunately for her, she's got a very intense Mama who pretty much worked on communication 24/7 in her old life as a teacher for children with Autism. I basically use the same strategies with her (i.e. making her request again and again and again and again for a snack--1 measly Cheerio at a time to get in as many opportunities as possible, force her to use her signs and then her signs with her word approximations when she wants something ESPECIALLY when it is a highly desired item (even when a tantrum is brewing), etc.). I've even been known to run her through some discreet trials (don't even ask!). So even though I do focus on her communication, I still have these intense, high expectations for her. What a blessing it is to have J to gently remind me that she has only been with us for 5 months and to remember how far she has come and what she has overcome. It brings tears to my eyes because he is sooo right and I'm only too ready to sweep all of that under the carpet, just because she hasn't put "2-3 words together". I really need to cut her some slack and myself as well and above all RELAX. Afterall, God's in control and He's got a far better plan on how He's going to get the C.N. to speak than I do.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day, My Love

Here's to a very special Valentine's day to the best husband in the world. I am so blessed to be married to my best friend. Who knew that a blind date 12 years ago would turn into something so special? God certainly had his hand in our meeting, and has continued to watch over us and bless us. I love you!!!!

"4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails."
1 Corinthians 13

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

"O.k. baby, it is time to get ready for bed. First I'll give you a bottle."
"Next I'll read you a bedtime story."

"Now it is time for prayers. Make sure you fold your hands and say Amen when we're finished."

"Nighty-night. I love you. Sleep well and I'll see you in the morning!"

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Break out the trike (at least for a short while)

Well, the sun peeked out, there was some blue sky, the wind died down and the temperature broke 35 degrees...so we decided to give the trike another try. The Chinese Noodle and I had gone out for a ride one other day when we had had a break in the weather and she LOVED it! During our last venture, she pretty much needed assistance the entire time to pedal, steer and keep her feet on the pedals. She showed a great deal of improvment this time. Unfortunately, the helmet is too big and so it kept falling down in her face--certainly not the easiest way to learn how to ride! There were a few times when she kept the trike moving, until she hit a snowpile--this is the Midwest in February afterall! When it was time to go in, she just kept saying "more? more?". It is rather hard to explain to a 2-year-old, that when your fingers and nose turn bright red and the sun is setting, then it is time to call it a night. Until next time..........

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Re-adoption day

The "official" photo
Is it time to eat lunch at Daddy's office yet?!?!
Yep, I'm really hungry so I'm going.
O.k., I'll sit here, as long as Farley is with me.
This morning we went downtown to the county courthouse to have everything finalized with the C.N.'s re-adoption. While this is technically not manditory, re-adopting her here in the US will give her an American birth certificate as well as the Chinese birth certificate we already have. As you can imagine, having a document such as a birth certificate in English makes life a whole lot easier when such paperwork is required. All in all, it was a very simple process. We had to fill out MORE paperwork, bring in the various documents we received in China, meet with the magistrate and pay the fee. When it was all said and done, it took about an hour. A secretary that works there took us up to one of the beautiful court rooms for a few photo opportunities. The Chinese Noodle sat on the witness stand, but was more interested in eating lunch than posing. Once we brought her favorite frog, Farley, into the mix, she was more cooperative.

Monday, February 2, 2009

New dress

Taa-daa!! My new dress with matching bow!
I had stumbled across this website and absolutely fell in love with the little dresses! J, ever the voice of reason, emphatically told me I could make those, no problem. So...with the help of a close family friend as well as my M-I-L, I made this dress. I'm rather proud of myself, especially because I didn't know how it would turn out. The family friend just got a monogram card for her sewing machine (waaaay more fancy than the circa 1960 one I work on) so we decided to try it out. I also made a matching bow that is orange with white polkadots. When I showed it to the C.N., she immediately wanted to try it on. I think she likes it too!

I'm going to make a few more in heavier weight material since this one is a bit summer-y. The Michael Miller fabrics are so cute as are the Amy Butler ones. Now the difficult part comes in narrowing down the selection. Do I even dare think about this dress for Easter? I know what J would say!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Chinese New Year Part II

Our small group from church hadn't been able to get together for quite a while, so J and I suggested a Chinese New Year party. What better reason to get everyone together? One couple graciously hosted and another woman, who sister lives in China, did most of the cooking, although everyone brought something to help contribute. J decided to make his famous dumplings, or Jiaozi, which was no small feat. He spent most of Saturday making the filling, making the dough, filling each dumpling by hand and cooking them. Last we counted he had made about 125. At the end of the meal we set off firecrackers which was quite a hit with both the big and small kids alike.