Thursday, May 31, 2012


We touched down into Los Angeles at 1:30 and made a beeline for Moorpark. We couldn't wait to see this...

I got to hold her for two hours. She snuggled and slept almost the whole time. She tried to suck her fingers, but just couldn't get them into her mouth. When we gave her a pacifier she just had to hold onto it.

Then Grandpa got his turn. She is just too precious. Wish we lived closer!

We're back at the hotel now. Gotta get up early to make the flight to San Francisco and then China!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Heading Out

We are packed and ready to go!!! Our plane leaves at 11:40 tomorrow. We've got the clothes, the toys, the paperwork, the antibiotics for the dog bite...yep, just what I needed today was to get bitten by a dog! But, the rabies shots were up to date and we're good. First stop tomorrow...precious little Avery!

Monday, May 28, 2012

First Grandbaby!

Avery Nichole Collins entered the world today at 1:34am PST. She weighed 6pounds 14 ounces. She is cute as a button and we are thrilled we get to see her on Thursday!

Thank you Becky for being there to get us some pictures!

Memorial Weekend

Little Avery is on her way! Brittany's water broke about 5:00 AM. Joey's latest text said she will be here within two hours! We feel blessed and grateful we will be able to see her before we go to China. Becky and Arek are on their way to the hospital now.

Last night we had Michelle, Stel and Lorelei over for a barbecue. We are so delighted to have these friends. Mia and Lorelei played for almost five hours, never fighting or arguing. It reminds me so much of Joey and his cousin, Matt, when they were little and they are still good friends today.

I love when they fall asleep in the car. Innocence at it's best.

Dan and some friends played tennis this morning and Mia and I went to watch towards the end. Afterward she asked Daddy if he would play tennis with her. He didn't have a little racket with him, but she was still happy to play.

Last, but not least, thank you to all the families of servicemen and women who have given their lives so that we can be free in this country. God Bless you all!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Opening Day!

The pool opens today! It's 8:30 in the morning and it opens at 10. I better get ready. I think I'll put on this life jacket made for babies. It still fits me!

Now, it's 8:35 and I better put on my floaties. Can we go now?'s 10:00!! The 1 mile drive seems to take forever!

Here I am at the little pool. It looks like I won't share my ball, but I shared all my toys with my "friends". My mommy just takes really bad pictures!

There was a DJ for Opening Day and when he shouted, "Are we having fun?!". I was the only one out of about a hundred people that shouted, "Yes!".

Here I am with my friend, Gabby, in the big pool. Everyone thinks we're sisters!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It's a Busy Life

Becky is having a boy!! We will have our first granddaughter and grandson all in the same year. We are still hoping that Avery will make it out before we leave for China in just one week!

We are super busy getting everything for China. I never would have thought there would be so much paperwork! Every time I think I'm done I get a new email with a new check-off list! Getting stuff ready for Mia while we're gone, planning a baby shower, choosing stuff for the new house, and helping plan Beth's wedding are filling up my days...but all in a good way.

Mia is obsessed with drying our shower.I'm not sure why. She gets out a huge pile of rags and then dries the floors and the walls. We have the cleanest shower on the block!

Ever since we went to Palm Springs last November Mia has wanted a pair of ship shops. You know, those shoes that all the grownups wear to the pool. I have never seen any in her size without a back strap (which she doesn't want because she knows that they aren't the real thing.) But last night we found some unexpectedly at Penney's. She was sooooo excited!

It's a bonus that they light up!

Saturday, May 19, 2012


I fit in anywhere! I find friends everywhere I go! Everyday when we go to the park Mia meets lots and lots of "friends". Last night we went to a graduation party. She felt perfectly fine sitting in the circle of teenagers who were graduating. They were all her "friends".

Today it was raining so we did some indoor stuff. First we went to a McDonald's playspace. Mia met many "friends" there. Some told her to take her socks off so she could climb up the slide easier. Mommy and Daddy told her to put her socks back on because that's what the rules said. We showed her the rules and then she read them to her new friend, "Rules say Mia keep your socks on." She took them off again when we weren't looking. Urgh...

We then went to see the movie, Chimpanzee. It was cute. Mia got a little restless because she does prefer animated movies, but she made it through. She didn't make any "friends" there.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Shaving Cream

Shaving cream is for more than just shaving!

But you can shave with it if you want. Just make sure you use a "safe razor".

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Butterfly Pavilion

Today we took a field trip with Lorelei and Michelle to Butterfly Pavilion! It's a bug museum and tropical pavilion filled with thousands of butterflies.

First we visited the bugs. Both girls held Rosie the Tarantula and got their I Held Rosie stickers. That's a roll of stickers in the background - not what you think!

Next we were off to the pavilion where we had to be careful not to touch the butterflies. They are so calm they don't care how close you get to them and even land on your shoulder at times.

After we were done we went to Westminster City Park for a picnic and play. This was right across the street and another brand new park. We have amazing parks here in Colorado!

Mia was exhausted the rest of the day!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

It's Almost Here!

We have been busy busy busy getting ready for China, making flights, buying food, scheduling doctor appointments, picking out house colors, checking out wedding venues, oh...yeah, those last two have nothing to do with China, just stuff I'm trying to fit in!

Our itinerary looks like this:

May 31st: Fly to California and hopefully meet our new granddaughter

June 1st: Fly to Beijing through San Francisco, arrive June 2nd

June 3rd: Fly to Zhengzhou

June 4th: Meet Anna!!! She will be with us the rest of the trip.

June 14th: Adoption finalized in Guangzhou

June 16th: Fly to Shanghai and then Chicago and then home! Anna will be a US citizen when the plan touches down in Chicago!

Bill will watch Mia May 31- June 2nd and then Dar will fly out and watch her the rest of the time. I have such awesome siblings!!

We have been preparing Mia for life with another little by having a "pretend Anna" live at our house.

Anna received her first gift in the mail yesterday! Thank you Ibbetson and Migliorini families and Grossie.

News from the olders: Brittany and Joey are still waiting for little Avery to make herself known. Becky felt her baby move for the first last night!! They are having an ultrasound Monday and will hopefully find out the sex of the baby.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! My day was great!

I got to go to hot yoga for an hour and half of pure enjoyment. I don't know why I like it so much, but I do. And I feel so good afterward. Then we went to church for the later service. We relaxed for a few hours and then the Moseley's came over for dinner. I heard from all the grown up kids and life is good!

Happy Mother's Day to you all!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I Didn't Eat It

I don't know why I was hiding under the crib with my door locked. It wasn't cuz I ate that cookie.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Cinco de Mayo

We will be leaving for China right around May 30th! Our travel approval is granted and we are just waiting for our consulate appointment. We should have our exact dates on Monday or Tuesday. Brittany is due on May 30th! C'mon little baby know you want to come out and see the world early. If you aren't born before we leave, we probably won't see you until July!

Last Saturday we went to a Cinco de Mayo party at Bob and Sheri's house. It was a lot of fun and such a beautiful day.

Yes, she is holding the cupcake frosting down.

As a multi-ethnic family we are trying to make sure we celebrate everybody's heritage. So it's Cinco de Mayo for Mia, Chinese New Year for Annie, Oktoberfest for Dan and me, and Saint Patrick's Day for Dan. But the holiday we plan on celebrating the most is Fourth of July, as Americans! That is what unites us. Ironically, we just found out Dan will be in Moscow on that day!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Old News and Good News

I've been going through some stuff in the basement, deciding what to keep and move and what to get rid of. Most of you who know me are probably surprised that I have anything to get rid of because a) I clean out all my closets once a year and b) I am not sentimental. So even I was quite surprised to find this among my high school yearbooks:

It belonged to this little person at 7 months old:

You see her toes turned in on one foot and so she wore a cast for three weeks and then another for three weeks and then the one I still have was made into a removable cast that she wore at night for a few more months.

I sent Beth a picture of it. "Kinda creepy," she said. I asked her if she wanted it. "No." Sentimentalness must be hereditary.

On another note we got our Travel Approval today! The first trip they offered us is to leave on May 23 or May 25th. I really was hoping for June for less caregivers for Mia and so maybe we could see our newborn granddaughter before we left. They asked me to respond by email. That is so hard! I want to know when we are going! It may be in just two weeks!