Sunday, December 27, 2009

Glamour Shots of a Two Year Chinese Princess

Christmas from the Eyes of a Toddler

Christmas is a time of remembering the birth of one very special little baby...Jesus Christ...sent down from heaven to be Savior of the world. Happy birthday, Jesus!

Here's a synopsis of what Christmas was like through the eyes of one very special little toddler...Sophie Rose...sent to us from God to help us know Him better.

I love all the ornaments on the tree and I'm happy my mama lets me rearrange them daily.

Santa is kinda scary. I want to take a peek at him at the mall but from really far away.

Cookies, candy, or anything sweet is a constant source of temptation as I can't get enough. I ask for cookies at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. More please!

Presents, what can I say. I figured out the whole gift thing on my birthday a month ago and it never seems to end. I love ripping open packages and I believe every gift is for me! Clothes don't excite me much. I want to play with every present I open right away and don't really care to open the next one. I just want to play with one!

I have my very own nativity and I like to play especially with the baby Jesus and the Wisemen's treasure boxes pretending to eat the food contained in them.

I love Christmas carols and on occasion, you can hear me trying to sing along with them. I like the one that says, "Gloooooooooooooooooooooooooo-ria!"

Out of all the food I tried this holiday, I must say that I like ham the best. Forget the mashed potatoes, just give me ham and apple juice and I'm set.

Now that I'm big enough to have my carseat turned around to facing the front, I love driving down the street looking at all the pretty houses lit up with bright colorful lights. I really like the "no-men", "ah-no-mos",and "ho, ho, ho" (snowmen, animals, and santa).

I adore all the excitement of parties, getting all dressed up in my party dress, dancing with my family, fun kids to play with, yummy cookies to devour, and stairs to climb. I could party all night and never get tired.

But the best part of Christmas is singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus and blowing out the candle for Him...over and over. I pray to Him every night and thank Him for the wonderful blessings He gives me daily. I love my Jesus and I know He loves me too.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Forever Family/Gotcha Day One Year Anniversary

Sophie's sooooo excited to dig into her Forever Family Day Celebration cake
Boy Scout Troop 719's littlest mascot

One blessed little girl to have such a loving brother and sister

Our family and the judge who helped us readopt Sophie through the California Juvenile Courts.

Sophie and her Papa celebrating being a forever family at the local Chinese restaurant.

One candle on her ladybug cake that signifies one year of being in the Light, being with the family that God wanted her to be in so she could know Him and grow to love Him with all her heart.

It was on December 8, 2008 when our family united with our sweet baby girl, Sophia Rose. This is known as Forever Family Day, or Gotcha Day in some circles. As we look back on that first day, we all agree it was a day that changed all our lives forever. Adopting a child has got to be one of the most incredible experiences a family can have. We are soooooo thankful that we didn't miss the opportunity. God led us down this amazing path full of the richest blessings anyone on earth can have.

The year flew by so quickly and Sophie has changed a bunch. She has grown 5 1/2 inches and gained 7 pounds! When we first got her she couldn't crawl, walk, sit up without toppling over, or even stand up alone as most 1 year olds can master. But she quickly learned with a little practice and exposure to the floor. Our special princess has learned so much over the last year with her favorite activities being reading books, helping around the house, doing puzzles, and watching Wiggles DVDs.

Although she has had a year full of firsts, i.e. birthday party, holidays, trips to the aquarium, ocean, desert, and museums, the one that will be the most special is the day she was first placed in her mama's arms forever.

Happy Forever Family Day, dear Sophie! Your family loves you with all their hearts!

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Latest

Well, it's about once a month that I get to updating my blog. My days are filled to the brim with toddler activites, such as drawing, painting, playdough, tea parties, cooking, puzzles, and speech therapy. My kids are the joy of my days and I love being so busy as a mom.

Here's the latest: Frank and I are planning a big party celebrating our 25 wedding anniversary, complete with a cute little apple green flowergirl dress for Sophie. The picture is one of the pictures that inspired my party theme. I love the colors and design of this table. I'll post pictures after the event on Dec. 6th.
Sophie just turned two on Nov. 24, a Thanksgiving baby! She had a Hello Kitty themed party and loved all the attention. The best part was that she enjoyed all the presents with such glee.

Courtney is doing well in school, almost finishing up her 3 semester next week. She still pursues a child development focus with a TV/film media bent. Who knows where that will lead. All I know is that she wants to stay close to home so she can be close to her Mei Mei. She adores her little sister with an amazing passion.

Josh is also doing well in school because, as he puts it, he wants to get into a good 4-year university so he can move away from home as soon as possible. They are so different! Don't get me wrong, Josh simply adores his little sister too as she is crazy for him, but he likes peace and quiet. I think this is all show because it is him who wants to play with her all the time, trying to steal her attention by annoying her like big brothers are supposed to do.

Frank is actively looking for another job within the Boeing Company as his current one is fading away with this new administration and economy. Please pray that the right job comes along. We are not worried as we know God will continue to provide everything we need.

And me, well, I've taken the year off from teaching school, and God-willing, I will not return. I'm enjoying being a stay-at-home mom and as long as we can afford it, I will not work as a teacher. We are eating better because I have time to cook. But along with that, our midsections are getting a little fuller. We are spending more time exercising. That is a good thing.
Well, I promise to upload more pictures later.
Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Day at the Pumpkin Patch

We had a great day at the Underwood Farm's Harvest Celebration! Sophie loved all the animals (alpacas, sheep, chickens, cows, pigs, ducks, goats) and got to feed them carrots through a unique feeding tube that was a pvc pipe propped up on an incline. We also got to climb all over a wooden train, ride a John Deer tractor, sit in a wheelbarrow, climb a giant haystack, and find our way through a corn maze. We picked our pumpkin, smelled some beautiful sunflowers, then shooed away some bees. Sophie enjoyed her first pumpkin patch experience and we're pretty amazed at how the pictures turned out. The only thing she didn't like were the scarecrows. Oh well, we just learned to avoid them and we were on our way home...for a nap!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

How Do You Make a Happy Girl Happier?

How do you take a "happy-all-the-time" little girl happier? "Is it possible?" you wonder?

Do you put on a pair of the silliest Mickey Mouse sunglasses and visor? Noooooooo...

Do you give her a piece of Uncle Duke's favorite SunMaid raisin bread? Nooooo....

The answer to the question is as follows:

First, have your best big sister read the book If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff. This happy little girls LOVES her books!

Next, bake strawberry cupcakes and frost them with sweet pink frosting using a baby-sized knife. Anything to do with food is always highly recommended, especially when she gets to help with the cooking or baking.

Then, sprinkle on LOTS of multicolored sprinkles... sprinkles are the aphrodisiac of the toddler generation.

Next, of course, add just a few more sprinkles to top it off! And even taste test a few for "quality control" purposes only.

Then decide who each cupcake will be given to...Mama...Bubba? This beautiful one goes to Papa who LOVES cupcakes!
And that's how you make a happy little girl much, much happier!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Advantages of Being an Older, More Experienced Mother

You maybe one of those few people I see on the street who give me funny looks probably wondering if Sophie's my granddaughter. Or like many family and friends who boldly ask "Why I would want to start all over and raise a baby?" Here are a few of the answers:
1. Ever since I was a young girl, I've always felt God giving me the desire to adopt a little girl from Asia. I'd see an adorable little girl and my heartstrings would be tugged or Frank would come home and tell me about a broadcast he heard about adoption and say we needed to consider it for our family. Little signs along the way of our lives would occur here and there, over and over, always leading us on the same path of adoption. We were following a leading that God had placed in our hearts. I'm am sure of this like nothing else in my life, that adopting is definitely a "God thing".

2. Besides the fact that we were following God's plan for our lives, we can truthfully say that we've been there and done that (BTDT, affectionately referred to as in the adoption community). I know what to expect and have the experience to deal with temper tantrums, potty training issues, spilt milk all over the floor, and how important it is to play with her.

3. I have two, terrifically loving teenagers at home who enjoy giving her a bath, taking her to the park, playing with her while I cook, putting her down for her nap, and babysitting so I can run a few errands. Without Courtney and Josh this would be a different story. They are exceptional teenagers who continue to amaze me with their thoughtfulness, caring attitude, and gentle ways. They are being trained as parents and I know they are benefitting from all this practice, they've said so themselves!

4. Also, I actually ENJOY changing diapers, cleaning sticky fingerprints off the sliding glass doors, watching silly kid videos, reading wonderful children's books with lots of pictures, teaching Sophie all about the world and seeing her eyes light up in excitement, dancing with her in my arms to Steven Curtis Chapman's song "Cinderella", laying on the floor doing puzzles for the hundredth time, and building towers out of blocks only to let her knock them over.

5. She has caused me to slow down and enjoy life. I'm not working at this time so I can focus on being the best mommie I can be and I'm loving it. The entire family is reaping the benefits as well. Frank has been such an awesome father and provider allowing me to stay home indefinitely to be there for my kids. I appreciate all he does for our family. Having a Godly husband is a great advantage!

6. One of the best parts is I get one more chance to get tight, squeezy hugs; wet, slobbery kisses, and hear that oh-so-sweet voice calling out "Mama". I still get to see my sweet baby's eyes as she drifts off to sleep, or she stops playing for a minute-looks up at me-and smiles. I love it when she wants me to carry her everywhere, knowing that I'm the only mama she's ever had that would value her so much as to care for everyone of her needs. My heart is constantly being melted by this little miracle, God's miracle in our lives.
7. I now have the wisdom (and finances) to realize that hiring a babysitter is very cost effective, giving me a much needed break, allowing me to have dates with my husband of almost 25 years, and giving Sophie someone new to play and interact with. And...I don't feel guilty about leaving her. Now that's definitely an advantage!

So you see, it's not all that bad being a mama in my late 40's. It's a blessing really. Don't feel sorry for me. Be happy for me that I've heard God's voice, followed His lead, and have finally found my purpose in life. Adopting a baby is the biggest blessing of my life and I wouldn't have it any other way. Thanks for listening!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Beautiful Life Friday

Well, this old Mama is learning something new! Without any idea of starting to potty train on my part, 3 days ago Sophie signed that she had a dirty diaper. This was a new thing. So I followed her lead and took her to sit on the potty like a big girl. Lo and behold she went #2!!!! I was blown away. She actually had some control and knew what she was doing. How did that happen overnight? So for 3 days she's been going on the potty like a big girl at her request. She thinks she is so grown up and gets a big kick out of her own abilities. I know that she'll probably tire of the novelty of it all and go back to her normal diapering routine, but for now, we're going with it. I've stocked up my supply of M&M's (one of the few words she can actually say with clarity), bought a Winnie the Pooh potty seat and we're ready to go.
On the downside of all this "growing up" is the fact that I'm beginning to mourn the loss of an oh-too-short babyhood. I never minded diapering her, giving her a bottle, picking up the spilt milk (well, that one I did get annoyed with too often), or all the things that came with having a baby in the house. Rather, I enjoyed it immensely, savoring every moment of it. So now that she's entering toddlerhood in full force, I'm missing the cute little baby face, the fact that she loved to please me, that I could help her with everything. Now, she's telling me at every turn "I do" with her words and sign language. I guess this is to be expected and yes it goes by too fast, even more so with an adopted child that I've only had since she was 1 year old. I missed a year of her babyhood. I'm sad. But, I rejoice in things to come. I know God has a plan for this little spitfire's life and I'm excited to see how it all unfolds.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Can't You Just Stay Little Until Your Carters Wear Out?

Cluck cluck!
this is one overstuffed chick!

Trying to fly to no avail

Our little sweetpea will be a chick for Halloween

This is my favorite pose

Sophie's wearing her new hat (notice plastic tag thingy still on top) not caring that it clashes with her bib and shirt

Look at the delicate way she handles her "oh-so-precious" cupcake

As I was rocking Sophie before naptime, a tear formed in the corner of my eye. I realized my little baby was growing up way too fast! I must admit that I enjoyed changing her diapers, giving her a bottle as I cuddled her in my arms at night, watching all those Baby Einstein videos explaining what all the animals and shapes were, just basically doing all the baby stuff with my little cutie pie. Everyone knows that I've been loving her as much as possible and trying to catch her up on all she missed by living in an orphange, but all of a sudden it seems that she instantly turned into a toddler.

Her face looks more mature today. Her hair is longer, her body is leaner and taller. Her 18th month clothes are snug and most of her 12 month clothes don't fit anymore.

The biggest deal though is that for the last 3 days she's told me she has to go potty with her sign language. The first time this happened, not believing that she could possibly know what her body needed, I cheerfully sat her on the toilet for a little pretending. Well, much to my astonishment, she went #2! Now some might say it's a fluke but she has done this for 3 days now. I'm still thinking that the novelty will wear off soon and we'll be back to doing her business in the corner of the living room, but still...I am quickly realizing that she's growing up more and more each day. I'm not ready!!!! It wasn't my idea to start potty training. What's up with a little baby telling their mom that they're ready to grow up?
I'm really OK with waiting on the potty training thing until she's's fine to be a cute little complacent child who wants nothing more than to please her mommie. The terrible twos and threes are creeping up on me and I'm grieving for the loss of babyhood. God give me patience!