Thursday, May 15, 2014

Daddy's Little Helper

There's just something about kids and dirt. It's fun, for sure.  It's entertainment, no doubt.  But for this little girl, I think there's something therapeutic about shoveling, hauling and spreading dirt (aka Mulch).  Cadie worked for several hours with her daddy on Mother's Day weekend to spread 6 cubic yards of mulch- only about half of what we use for our garden beds.  It's a lot of work that mommy and daddy would normally do together over Memorial Day weekend...for 3 days straight! But daddy was on a time crunch to get the trailer unloaded and our little girl was right there to help.  She worked for almost 3 hours straight on Saturday, pushing her pink wheelbarrow up on the trailer, filling it up with scoop after scoop of mulch, and wheeling it down the long front walk to daddy.  What a big help this was to us, since it's a little difficult to get anything done with a new little one.  Daddy always encourages her to grab her bike or scooter, break out the sidewalk chalk, or kick around the soccer ball, but she insists she'd rather be helping him with the yard work.  Last week they planted all new shrubs along the back of the house, this week they mulched, next week the vegetable garden goes in! She is really a natural at yard work and gardening, which makes her daddy pretty happy, because I think it's his therapy too!

And seriously folks, if you can stand the cuteness overload, here's a glimpse into how the little prince a All Terrain Radio Flyer, of course, complete with shading umbrella.  He can't stand to be too far from his big sister and he doesn't have to miss anything that's going on around our house!  He's got it made in the shade.

And this tired mama is still pinching herself, wondering why I was so blessed with these two beautiful children. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

{helper of the day}

Its been far too long since I've posted here, but life has been crazy busy since Popo's arrival last July.  He just turned 9 months and with his 1st birthday fast approaching, I thought I'd better get back to the task of documenting all the amazing things that are happening for our family!  I don't suspect life will slow down for this middle-aged mama with 2 little ones, so I just better get my act together and keep up!  Here goes...

Acadia has really been enjoying her new school and since her 4th birthday has just been growing and changing by leaps and bounds.  She always tells us about her school days over dinner, but I have never had the chance to make a visit until a few weeks ago. When a child is "helper of the day," they get to lead the morning meeting and parents are invited to stay and observe. Finally, my day off landed on her day on! And oh my...can I just tell you that I didn't even recognize my own daughter! She was a big kid, in charge, and having fun.  

Their first order of business is to call everyone up to the smart board to sign in.  

 So sweet how the girls hug each other after they sign in!

Next up: tallying up the number of kids in class that day. (Yes, there are only 14 kids in her class- small blessings)!

And then the Pledge of Allegiance...gave me goose bumps to hear all these little ones recite the Pledge so beautifully! 

Hold on to your horses for what was next!  Oh got it!  Singing the Grand Old stinkin' cute!

A quick review of the calendar... day of the month, day of the week, season, etc.  She did a great job.

And with a quick "Good Morning" to the Governor and the President, it was time to review the days activities.

Last but not least, this is her super-cool, super-energetic, and super-motivating teacher!  She is, to sum it up in one word, AWESOME.  And has really helped our shy and timid little girl blossom into a big kid full of wonder and actually excited to go to school.  God Bless the teachers!  HAPPY TEACHERS WEEK, Jackie!

What an amazing year this has been for our daughter.  We are so proud with how gracefully (and not so gracefully at times) she has handled all the changes that have been thrown at her in the past 9 months. She has taught this mama a thing or two about how to "Let it Go" and keep moving forward.  Thank you Acadia for being such an amazing kid!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


A little over 7 weeks ago our lives changed forever. Our family dynamic shifted. And the earth moved under our feet.  Our baby boy was born.  He was a healthy 8 pounds 6 ounces and 21 inches long.  He is a beautiful baby, calm and peaceful. 

The week leading up to his arrival I will never forget.  The Friday before he made his appearance I was admitted to the hospital for high blood pressure.  So much for my mile long list of last minute nesting!  I was discharged on Sunday with strict bed rest orders (yeah right, I do have a 4 year old at home, doctor).  I was scheduled for a c-section a week later.  I didn't want to wait, I wanted this baby on a particular date and apparently he knew that!  After 3 hours in Labor and Delivery in the middle of the night Friday July 26th, I was sent home (despite having contractions 3-5 minutes apart).  By 9 am the next morning, my water broke and back to the hospital we went.  Jordan arrived at 2:22 pm on the day I was so hoping to have for his birthday.  

Some things we've learned about him are quite amusing.  He won't tolerate a wet diaper for more than 60 seconds.  He likes to have his head rubbed and he loves the sound of his big sister's voice- instant calm!  He hates to lay flat and he's a cuddle bug, for sure.  He makes the funniest barking noise when mommy walks out of the room and then gives me the stink-eye when I return. He makes a snorting sound when he's hungry (did this on his very first night).  He has a scream that would send the ghosts and goblins running!  He has the sweetest smile (probably just gas, but melts my heart anyway).  And he is so loved and we feel so blessed. 

But we've known these feelings before.  It wasn't vastly different when we went to China to bring our Acadia home.  But what we hadn't experienced before was helping an only child transition to becoming a sibling.  As much as we thought we had prepared her (and us), there's only so much you can do until you're actually going through it!  And it was tough.  On the day we brought Jordan home, Cadie cried the entire car ride, from hospital to house.  We went straight to the playroom where she sat next to me on the couch and just cried, for what seemed an eternity.  Her little world had been rocked!  She screamed every time I nursed the baby, including all through the night.  And she refused to let Daddy comfort her.  She threw herself on the floor and asked us "why don't you love me anymore?" [insert the sound of my heart breaking right here]  It still makes me cry when I think about her screaming those words through her sobs.  But eventually, we helped her find the words to express herself and give her a new confidence about her place in the family.  She loves this baby brother of hers now (though she still asks if we can make a baby sister next- um, NO), and has become extremely protective.  We are very proud of our little girl and are continually amazed at what a strong soul she has.

We are one lucky family! 家族

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Birthday {and more}

Every day I feel like this little girl of mine just grows by leaps and bounds.  I can't seem to keep up with all the new things she is doing, learning, talking about and mastering!  It's all just happening so fast.

In June we celebrated Acadia's 4th birthday. FOUR. YEARS. OLD.  No way can she be 4 already.  As a mom, I've tried to embrace every step, milestone met, and change with all my heart; because when a child comes to you a little later in their life, from a different culture, and having survived a rough start, every little thing they do is cause for a celebration, a "woo-hoo," or a high five.  But I secretly sometimes find myself longing for those early days, when she was still just a baby at 18months, and wishing I'd had her from her first breath.

Though she just turned four 2 weeks ago, we have already seen the shell coming off, and not so slowly either!  Suddenly, she is talking up a storm with family and friends, hanging with her cousins (and not caring where mommy and daddy are), and just generally being a more outgoing and confident little lady. 

Where we once met resistance and fear, we are finding acceptance and curiosity.  What was once an emotional challenge that left us all spent and frustrated is now replaced with certainty and determination.

And no one could be more proud of this little girl than her daddy and mommy. 

But one thing has remained the same for this beautiful child, probably from the day she was born.  And that's her smile.  The smile that stole our hearts on June 25th, 2010, and has held them captive ever since. 

So, Happy Birthday to our precious 4 year old (who is soon going to be a big sister). You continually amaze and delight us with your resilience, your joyful spirit and your very silly sense of humor.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Sunday Snapshot {super girl}

We had a very busy weekend with Super Girl.  We are trying to do as much as we can with our girlie before baby Popo arrives in July.  On Saturday, we headed up to Bucknell University to see the Erth's Dinosaur Petting Zoo (if you've never seen this, I would highly recommend it, incredibly realistic).  While it was very hot, we still really enjoyed the show and spending time with Mom (grandma).

One of the baby dino's we were able to pet after the show

Cadie and Mom, watching the show
One of the "baby" T-Rex dinosaurs...they were big and scary!

On Sunday, we headed to Chinatown, NYC with some friends.  Super Girl LOVES to go to Chinatown and especially if there is going to be Lion Dancers (crossing my fingers on the whole drive, hoping there would be lion dancers at the festival).  It was a hot day, but we got an early start and drank a lot of water all day.  We had lunch at Lombardi's in Little Italy and we finally found a kid sized lion dancer costume at a reasonable price!  Oh, did this make our girlie happy!  I would say the day was a success, even though it's getting harder for this 7 1/2 month pregnant mama to get around! 

A beautiful flag

Cadie was so excited to get her picture taken with the lions

Waiting for them to start so she can beat her drum

There they go!  It must have been so hot in there!

Cadie on daddy's neck again...dancing to the festival music!

SCORE... my own lion dancer costume!

Ni Hao Yall

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sunday Snapshot {Spring Planting}

This has been a long cold winter for us and getting out has been hard to do.  Spring is thankfully, finally here!  This past weekend, while it was still pretty cool out, the sun was shining bright, so we took full advantage to get the yard cleaned up.  Cadie is always a big help outside, as it is her favorite place to be!  In between raking, mowing, digging and planting, we played baseball, soccer, had scooter races, and rode our bikes!  The trees and flowers are in full bloom (despite the cold nights) and we are enjoying the fact that we can finally sit outside and enjoy our beautiful neighborhood.  We hope you had a great weekend too!

Ni Hao Yall

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sunday Snapshot {the witching hour}

I have heard other mothers use the term "the witching hour" but never really understood what they meant until I had my own child.  Because Cadie didn't come to us in the traditional way, but through adoption, we went through some tough transitions with our little one.  Cadie was 18 months old when she came home and from the first day, refused to nap!  Only in times of extreme exhaustion, would she close her eyes and nod off, but only if I was holding her!  It has been 2 years, and with the exception of short naps at preschool (we only allow a one hour nap or we are done for at night), our girlie NEVER slows down for a minute.  But there's a time between 4pm and 5pm when she is cranky and fussy and just plain difficult to please.  And without careful planning, it can be like dancing around a grizzly bear.  This is what I call "the witching hour."  Make or break time.  So this is how we handle the witching hour in our house- with art!  I plop her down at the kitchen table with paint, brushes, crayons, stickers, piles of paper, play dough, whatever.  And Cadie just seems to calm down, slow down and relax into another place in her mind.  There isn't a lot of talking... sometimes I'm getting dinner started, sometimes I'm painting too.  But what a difference 30-40 minutes later when my child emerges again, refreshed and calm, and proudly admiring her art that covers just about every inch of wall space in our kitchen.  I hope she carries this habit, along with her walks, into adulthood as I know how well they serve as a source of happiness and pride!

Ni Hao Yall