Saturday, June 30, 2012

Service Project

The worst Colorado wild fire, Waldo Canyon, is about 30 miles from our home. We love to do things in that area like go to Garden of the Gods, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and Silver Falls. So today we decided to do a little service project. We left early in the morning and headed off to Walmart to pick up items for evacuated families and firefighters.

After a quick stop at the Post Office to mail a few packages, we headed down to Colorado Springs. From the freeway we could see several helicopters dumping water on the fire.

We dropped our donations off at a local collection place and then went over to Garden of the Gods to see how close the fire had come to it. Many roads were blocked and Garden of the Gods was closed, but the fire had not gotten that far south. I was glad to see it hadn't been touched! Flying W Ranch did burn down, a touristy BBQ and show place that we went to a few years ago.

Garden of the Gods....Safe!

After a lunch, we went to look at a few model homes to get ideas for kitchen cabinets and granite. The girls love to play in the fake exercise rooms.

A very productive Saturday!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

So I have found out that if you are viewing this blog on a PC, the enlarged pictures are just horizontal lines. On my MAC they look great! But I think I have fixed the problem.

Just a Little Bit

Just a little bit of my life:

By the way, the phone does not change the channel no matter how many buttons you push or how good you are at pointing it at the TV. Just thought you might want to know.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Doctor Visit

Anna had the second half of her International Adoption doctor visit today. She only cried once, when the doctor took her across the room so he could watch her walk to me. That is a HUGE improvement from the screaming at the doctor visit in China and last Monday here. All her labs were normal and she only needs one vaccination which we will wait to get until her two year old check up. I'm so glad she is coming out of her fearfulness because on July 12th she has an all day cleft lip/palate evaluation!

She's even feeling adventurous and walked this far away from me at the park.

Normal Days

Yesterday I took the two of them by myself to run errands. They were so good! Mia was so excited that they had a Woody to play with at the oil change place. She spent almost the entire time looking for his hat.

Anna was just content to eat cantaloupe. She is always content to eat. Her weight is in the 50th percentile and her height is in the 10th. The doctor advised me to take her off the bottle which I did and she hasn't seemed to miss it at all.

We decided no to go to the pool today as Mia has a stuffy nose. We played with water on the deck. Mia had a blast filling up pitchers of water and pouring them into bowls.

She put on her swim suit and went swimming!

Someone else liked to spend her time dumping out the bowls!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fun Sunday

Today we went to church for the first time in about a month. Mia went to Sunday School, but Anna stayed with us in the big church. She sat on my lap and was very quiet the whole time. She is very timid and prefers to just observe, rather than participate, most of the time. I'm not sure why they labeled her as extroverted. After church there were donuts!

Mia eats her chocolate donuts from the top down. How she manages to not have it all over her face is beyond me.

Anna is still sleeping in our room, but is able to sleep through the night and naps in her own crib. Mia didn't take a nap the first four days, probably afraid she would miss something. But she is back to taking naps again too. Sleep issues are pretty good right now. Mia is having some behavior problems, however. Anna is not yet the sister she imagined and she is acting out. Hopefully, she will settle down soon. We hate to be so hard on her when she is going through a tough time, but we can't let her disrespect us either.

After naps, we headed out to the new homesite to go through all our electrical upgrades. The foundation has been excavated. We were surprised when two visitors popped out of the hole. Can you see them? They must have liked the coolness down in the hole. It was 100 degrees today!

After that we got the key to the community pool from the sales office and had a fun time swimming. It is an amazing pool for kids with a slide and all kinds of fun water features. Too bad I left my camera in the car!

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Introducing the World's Best Daddy....

Dan has been amazing through this whole adoption. He has been so kind and gentle with both girls, not so easy to do when one was screaming every time he came near and the other decided that she didn't like him any more when he came home (amazing how one sibling can have such an effect on the other). But as you can see from the picture that has all changed!

And it's easy to love a Daddy who takes you out for PINK ice cream.

On another note, I found out how to change the HTML code to make my pictures larger!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Three Days Home

Ever since we got the referral for Anna, Mia has been so excited to have a little sister. We probably told her way to early!

First she thought Anna would be a tiny baby, even though we told her many many times that Anna would not be little. When we got home she tried to lift her. Ha! I can barely lift her. So then when she realized Anna was big, she thought Anna would want to play a lot. She has been disappointed that 20 month olds don't play with other kids, they explore. But she has adjusted and they randomly chase each other around the house.

Anna is sooo much happier since we got home. She smiles all day long. Of course if you had parents on 8 hour shifts that you had to share with 20 other kiddos and now you have parents 24-7, you would be happy too! She lets Dan hold her any time now, but has her ups and downs with Mia. She will give Mia a big hug and then two minutes later get mad if Mia touches her arm. She still doesn't like any strangers.

Life just keeps getting better and better! (Especially since we all slept through the night last night.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Last Day

Last Friday morning we took pictures with the group. Everyone but us was heading to Hong Kong in the afternoon for flights from there. We flew to Shanghai the next day and to the U.S. from there.

No way am I going to sit on that couch with all those kids...are you kidding me?

You're not fooling me by putting me on my mama's lap.I know I'm still with all these kids.

On Saturday we flew from Guangzhou to Shanghai (2 hours), Shanghai to Chicago (13 1/2 hours) and then Chicago to Denver (2 hours). Anna only cried once when she saw her bottle in the bag. We never dreamed it would be so easy to take a 20 month old on long flights!

In the Shanghai airport they had a playground with a glass floor that was elevated about 6 inches above a rock bed. Anna was so cautious at every break in the tile to step out even if she had already stepped out on it before. I admit I was a little leery walking on it.

On our last leg we were in Business Class. Here is Anna looking lost in her big seat.

We arrived home around 10:00, visited with Dar and Bill for about an hour and then went to bed. We got a good two hours before an upset Anna and excited Mia were awake for the day. At 1:30 AM!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Consulate Day

Hi All!

We are home! Got home Saturday night around 10:00 and all is going well. We are extremely jet lagged and Anna thinks day is night and night is day!

I was just too tired to blog that last days of the trip, but I plan on catching up now.

On Thursday morning we had our Consulate Appointment. This is the date your entire trip is arranged around. It's the last step - getting your child's visa and establishing her as a U.S. citizen. No cameras allowed!

You have to take the citizen oath for your child and have a short interview to make sure all your paperwork is correct. After thirty six hours, you are free to leave the country.

We went out to a local restaurant with the entire group for dinner that night. It was...authentic. We had to brush the dead flies off the table before we sat down. Not kidding. Here's one that was stuck under the glass so it stayed. Not kidding again.

Our Guangzhou guide, Grace, ordered all the food for us. She has been GREAT! She found medicine for us, ordered formula online and was just the most sweet and caring person ever.

We were thankful she didn't order this...

Or this...

I, for one, prefer that my food is dead before I get to the restaurant. But in China fresh is best!

Overall, the food we've been eating (not pictured above!) has tasted just like Chinese food back home.

Next post...home!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Shamian Island

Today we got out of the hotel! Just for a little bit. My foot started to swell up after about two hours, but we still had fun. We went to Shaiman Island or what I like to call Chinese New Orleans. It reminded so much of the Garden District with the old buildings and beautiful vegetation that thrives in humidity. All that was missing was jazz and creole cooking.

We mostly did shopping and visited the park for a bit.

We loved this sign advertising that all potato dishes used U.S. potatoes. Especially at the bottom where it say the United States Potato Food Carnival. Didn't know ours were any different than anyone else's!

The streets were really beautiful with the cutest sculptures.

On many of the corners they were doing model shoots.

We purchased squeaky shoes for the girls. Most of the kids in our group now have them. Instead of lighting up when you walk, they squeak. We always no where Anna is now. She loves her new squeaky shoes.

After four days of going to the playground she finally sat in the swing!

Tomorrow we go to the US consulate!