Saturday, September 29, 2007

Disneyland & Mia turns 11 months

After the boys got out of school yesterday (Friday) we went to Disneyland with their cousins Kaity and Kylie and Laila and the kids. We try to get there as often as possible but have not made it there in over a month so we were real happy to get back to the HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH!!!! We did the normal and the kids, as always, had a blast. Lai and I just love Disneyland and it always gives us an excuse to eat like crazy pigs (You know we have to buy the hot fudge sundae-- for the kids-- right??). Since Mia has been home there has been a new magic with Disneyland. Mia has been about 4 times but now there seems to be something magical and new. We never use to go through the castle and go on the kiddy rides because the older kids wanted to do the fast rides. Now, we spend a ton of time in the kiddy area and the older kids actually like it. Just like my older kids dont seem to mind watching all the kiddy shows on PBS Kids (Dragon Tales, Sagwa and others). It is like they are enjoying being transported back a few years and while it is only a few years for them, they really seem to like it. They loved Mr. Toads Wild Ride and Peter Pan and the Merry-go-round and all the other little kid rides. It is just interesting and I love the renewed magic of Disneyland.

Today is Mia's 11 month birthday. In one month my baby will be a year. I must say I feel fortunate that she is turning 11 months today and we have had her for over 4 months. We have, luckily, got to experience almost all her "firsts" with her. We got to see her sit up and roll over and rock on her knees and crawl and pull up and now, almost walk (not yet but getting close). She is just amazing and I feel so blessed to have our little opinionated spicy Hunan girl in our lives. She has blessed us beyond comprehension.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Baby Proofing

Well our little Miss Mia has been getting herself into all kinds of fun situations. The drawer where we keep all the zip lock bags happens to be in reach of out little one and every single zip lock sandwich bag magically left their tidy container and ended up on the floor in the kitchen when I turned my back for a few minutes. This is one of the MANY neat new things that Mia gets to do because her mommy and daddy have not baby proofed their house yet. Why you ask? Because we just were hoping Mia would be one of those sweet little babies that don't need things baby proofed. We hoped that we would say "NO" in a stern face and she would obey from that point on. We were not so lucky. Instead, our response to a stern "NO" is a giant smile and a giggle. As irritating as it is, it is also endearing. So, this morning Mia and I took a trip to Babies R Us and bought a ton of child proofing items. While this is only a child proofing post, a doozie "No No's Mia is caught doing" post is coming in the next few days. She gets herself into many fun situations--uggg!!!

Looking so sweet and innocent while picking items to spare her from her death!

"Show us what we have to use to keep you out of the fireplace."

Posted by PicasaAnd Mia in true form-- planning and executing her exit strategy!! She is very good at getting out of anything- even if tied down-- Our little Houdini

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Many of my blogging friends do a blog post on Thursday's called "THANKFUL THURSDAYS". It is intended as a day to reflect on what we are thankful for and and to realize our blessings. Since I would now consider myself a daily blogger, I have decided to begin Thankful Thursdays.

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So, this being my first Thankful Thursday post I must post on the main things in my life that I am thankful for. Those main things are the people who surround me and are a part of who I am. These are the people who lift me up and allow me to cry on their shoulders. The people who love me for who I am with all my faults and shortcomings. The people who challenge me, make me laugh, laugh at me and who are the people who I count on. These people are amazing and I am genuinely thankful for them being in my life. These amazing people are my family and my friends. There are many people who are significant in my life- many of whom are pictured in the collage, but many more who are not. You all are the people whom I love dearly and who make me strong. Thank you for your unconditional love and support!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Kid Nation Party Take 2

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* take a look at Mia's pic to the right in the yellow PJ's and then glance over to her referral picture. I am tripped out how much she has changed. In the referral pic she was 4 month and today she is 10 months +. So look at how much she has changed in 6 short months-- wow!!!!

We have created a bit of a tradition on Wednesday nights to watch Kid Nation at Chuck and Susan's house. On Wednesday afternoons the boys have Scouts so after Scouts we do the Kid Nation Party. I decided to document the evening by taking a few pictures.

To update you on Ethan and his quest to be on Kid Nation-- we pulled up the application and there were 58 paragraph questions that must be answered plus about another 75 short answer questions plus a video. It was overwhelming. Because Ethan has homework and all his other obligations, we opted out this time. He may still change his mind but for now, we will put it on the back burner.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My Little Walker-- Almost!!

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These pictures represent what Mia has been spending most of her time doing-- walking with her walker. She is doing really well and she is sooooo close to actually walking without assistance. She bumps into things and screams "MAAAAA" in a very loud voice until I come and help her move and get going again. My little girl is becoming much more demanding and much more mischievous. Besides walking all over the place, she is getting herself into a ton of "situations". Every time I catch her in these situations, I take a picture. I have quite the collection of pictures that will be used in a later post.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Help with those link buttons

OK, many of you post on your blogs little places where you put here and you click here and it takes you to a site. How do you do that? I need to know because it is driving me nuts that I cant figure it out. Thanks in advance.

UPDATE: I think I figured it out. Here is a test-- I love RQ

My Favorites of the Weekend!!!

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I finally was able to go through all the pictures from our crazy whirlwind weekend and choose my favorites.
I love the picture of Ethan with the sheep. I think he is just so adorable with his big massive dimples. He is just such a good big brother. I love that!!
I love the picture of if Owen with the sheep. He looks so angelic (good act Owen :) with his big green eyes. He is just so darn adorable and such a sweet boy!
Love this picture of Mia. This was taken at the Ducks game and it just shows what an amazingly happy little girl she is.
Finally, I love this picture of Mia and Kevin. It for one shows how small Mia is-- tiny. But it also shows how smitten Kevin is with his little girl. It is just adorable.
So those are the favorites of the weekend. It was a phenomenal weekend and as I said before, I really appreciated our family and friends supporting us with Mia's dedication.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Anaheim Ducks Game

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We ended our very busy weekend (LA county Fair, Dedication, Party at our house) with the Ducks game. Brian and Heather have season passes and invited us to join them at the Ducks v. Canucks game at the Pond in Anaheim. We gladly accepted the invite but were conflicted due to the "Who to root for" issue. Kevin was born in the Vancouver area of BC and has dual citizenship- Canada and US- and moved to LA when he was 15 (we started dating when we were 16). He has allegiances to Canada but loves our area so, the dilemma was who to root for. It was so cute this morning. Ethan had just gotten out of the shower and I was getting ready and he sat down on the side of the bathtub and said, "Mom, I am just not sure who to root for tonight. While I love the Duck's I just don't know if I should stick to my roots." I thought that was so funny. I told him to root for whoever he likes better so he went with the Ducks.

We had a great time and yes, the Ducks won 5 to 0.

Mia's Dedication

This morning we had Mia dedicated at our church, Pomona First Baptist.


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When we dedicate we are saying that we, as a family, church family and friends will raise Mia up in the ways of the Lord. That we will be a positive roll model of people who love and serve the Lord. That we will pray for Mia and pray that she will come to know the Lord at a young age. Because this is an important event to our family, we asked many of our close friends that share our faith to be there as a support to our family. We also had all our family and extended family. Thanks for coming Don and Mary, mom and dad, Grandma and Grandpa, Cassie, Brad, Amy and kids, Greg and the girls, Laila, Brian, Heather and the kids, Jack and Natalie and Benny, Chuck, Susan and kids, and all our wonderful church friends that are such an important part of our lives. Thanks you all for sharing such an important part of Mia's life with us!!

We then came back to our house and had a lunch and just hung out. Thanks to Dave, Kimberly and Emmy and Keri and Kayli for coming by for the celebration. It was a perfect baby dedication-- Thanks you all for being a part of this day!!!

By the way, I will post video of the dedication later :)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

LA County Fair!!!!

We went to the LA County Fair last night (Friday) with Jordan (boys neighborhood friend), Chuck, Susan, Carson and Hannah-- and us. We had a great time EATING AND EATING and did I mention EATING!!! Oh ya, we also did a few other things besides eating. We saw the animals which was especially fun this year with Mia. Last year when we were at the fair I remember dreaming about having Mia with us and seeing the animals and this year it happened!!! We then went to the Winter Wonderland kid play area (which is a stretch -winter that is- here in LA) and let the kids play in the snow and sled. It actually was a lot of fun and Mia loved the snow (probably the first experience with snow). We then ate more and more and then played some games and did a bit of shopping and then before we knew it- it was midnight and the fair was closing. We really enjoyed ourselves and this has been a really fun tradition that was perfect this year having our family complete!!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bedtime Rituals :)

I decided to do a post on our bedtime rituals. They are nothing phenomenal but it is a way to put the little princess to bed. First I get her room in order while Mia plays in her bed with toys or crawls around on the floor and gets into things that are "NO NO's"-- see trash can. Once I have chosen her clothes for the next day (really one of my favorite things to so-- If I could dress her in 3 different outfits a day I would) I then read a story- or I pretend to read a story and she tries the whole time to take the book from me and turn the pages and chew on the book-- GREAT FUN!!! After we have wrestled with the book for a while I then give her a bottle with the lights off. I quietly talk to her and sing and then after the bottle it is in her crib and off to bed. She goes down easily and does not cry at all.

I then walk down the stairs with excitement in my heart knowing that I now have ME time to go online-- post on my blog- check out RQ- check out other blogs-- watch my reality TV shows (I'm in the middle of watching Survivor as I type this-- TIVO is wonderful!!) and just enjoy time alone with Kevin. The part I left out is that while I am putting Mia to bed, Kevin is also putting the boys to bed so while I am skipping down the stairs with excitement in my heart I know all the babes are tucked away and it is REALLY alone time for Kev and I-- YAAA!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Ethan- The next Kid on Kid Nation????

We just watched the first show of Kid Nation with the boys and they just LOVED it!!! Both boys were smitten by not only the premise but also the inner workings of the town. FYI- 40 kids are dropped in an old ghost town and have to fend for themselves without any adults-- really cool-- check it out!! Anyway, Ethan, my 9 year old, is totally enthralled with the show and wants to audition. Ethan has never auditioned for anything in his life and the closest thing he has done to "Hollywood" is living about 45 miles from Hollywood. I'm torn about letting him or not. He really wants to and I'm sure he is having a hard time sleeping tonight because of his excitement but I'm not sure what to do. I think it would be good for him to go through the application process knowing the chances of him even getting an interview are slim to none. I just think it would be fun and if by some small chance he gets an interview and actually makes it on the show, then we will deal with it at that time. Ethan is a fun, smart and social kid and this is really up his alley. I spoke with Kevin about it and we both think it OK if he wants to put the time in to the application process (54 LONG questions). So, what do you guys think about our decision to let him apply? Do you think it is crazy?

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My Baby Is Growing!!!!

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We had a doctors appointment for Mia today to get her next series of shots. Needless to say she did not leave happy-- poor baby-- 4 shots--ugggg!!! Anyway, since my boys have always been HUGE (like 95%ile all growing up) and Kevin and I are pretty tall -5'7''-me and 6'2''-kev, it has been strange having Mia be so small. I have worried about her nutrition as well as her growth. At our last doctors appointment (about 6 weeks ago) she had not even gained a pound since China. I was really worried but today we found out that our tiny little girl is now 17.2 pounds and 28 inches long. The weight of 17.2 puts her in between the 5th and 10th %ile (not too bad) and her height of 28 inches places her between the 25th and 50th %ile (tall and skinny). I have also noticed that many of her size 2 shoes are getting small and I have had to move to size 3. I am still buying her 6-12 month clothes but the pants are usually too big in the waist but length normally fits OK. I have purchased a few 12 month outfits but they usually run small.

So, it appears my little MiPi is growing like a weed. Now I can sit back and not stress so much about her nutrition :)

Monday, September 17, 2007


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Click to play Make your own Smilebox

This is my first attemp at this stuff. I really loved it and I think it turned out OK. Let me know what you think.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Pismo Beach in September

This weekend we did a trip to Pismo Beach with our camping friends. We had an amazing time and Mia really enjoyed herself. The weather was perfect (with the exception of an afternoon of wind)and the water was actually relatively warm.

This was also our first trip in our new RV and trailer. The switch really made the trip nice- especially the getting there and back part. Kevin worked really hard to get the rig ready and his work really paid off. We had a blast-- Thanks Kev for all your hard work!!!

Oh ya,

Forgot to mention just in case any of you are interested. We are not trash-- I swear. I don't normally let my children run in their diapers but we were by the water in the morning and it was warm and Mia was in her PJ's. So, I saw a photo op and didn't want to strip her down so she was naked so I went with the white trash diaper thing. I know it looks trashy but I am hoping you all can look past that and see how darn cute she is!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Woman of Faith Conference at The Pond

My mom, my aunt Debbie, my sister Cassie, Mia and I went to the Woman of Faith conference at the Arrowhead Pond (Honda Center now I think) on Saturday. It was a great time to be with other woman and hear some amazing speakers. It was an awesome day!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Thanks for your support!!!

My little individuals in all their mischievous glory!!

It is so great to see all of your comments on my PERFECT PARENTING Post. It makes me feel like I am not the only frayed mom out there. I think it is really important to share the real stuff that goes on not only with the adoption but with parenting in general. I worry that too often there is a misconception that as parents we sit our children down and explain in a loving voice that xxxx is what we expect and that our children thoughtfully ponder our request and then comply without question. Unfortunately parenting is so far from that it is a joke. Our children are individuals that have their own minds and their own wills. They are little people that will someday grow into opinionated adults like we are. They are going to fight and push the limits and do things they shouldn't and argue and so on and so on--- BUT-- that is what makes them unique little people that we get the privilege of imparting our wisdom and values on. We get to mold these little ones and while we (or at least I) am far from perfect, we can display the model of unconditional love show them that we screw up but get the opportunity to make it right. We get to show our kids that we, as mommy and daddy, make mistakes but we can correct our mistakes and make things OK again. I think that is an amazingly powerful gift that we get to give our children. They get to see us screw up and make things right. They get to see in real life how to suck it up and say we are sorry for what we have done. That adults are not above what we teach them to do every day "say your sorry". When I feel like I am the worst mom in the world, I have to remember that it is a learning opportunity for my kids. It makes me feel good to know there are others out there that ride the same parenting roller coaster that I do. I know I sometimes wish that my kids would listen better and would be the perfect kids (whatever that means) but if they were, they would not get to learn the valuable lessons that we as parents inadvertently get to teach them-- The lessons I get to OFTEN teach them :)

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Thursday, September 6, 2007


I would love to say that life is always easy and that my children are perfect and do all they should and that Kevin and I are the patient loving parents who always put their childrens needs emotionally before ours-- but I am not a good liar. Now that the boys are back in school we are faced with the homework struggles and the organization struggles and the responsibility struggles. I have a tendency to try to bail the boys out if they get bogged down. For example, if they don't finish something I will get very mad and then dictate to them what to do to get it done. I will then proceed to force my hand in the pot and do much of it for them meanwhile letting them know each step of the way how angry I am that I am having to bail them out. Should I bail them out--- No way!!! Is it easier to bail them out instead of forcing them to do it on their own-- HECK YA!!!

So, last night we were faced with the responsibility struggle with my oldest. He is now a 4th grader and there are a lot of demands placed on 4th graders. He is also exceptionally social and wants desperately to play with his friends. So, I told him to do his homework before playing with friends and then he could read at night. Well, he said he did his homework but before dinner while I was checking I saw he had not done his spelling contract thing they have to do. He played it down but I was very frustrated. Now, I had Mia to feed, dinner to get on the table, the spelling contract, getting ready for bed and reading. I was not happy to say the least. I forced him to do the spelling contract but I was just mad the whole time. I was not the most loving mother to my son-- to say the least. We did dinner and he worked on the spelling after dinner and then finally finished and then, after many angry words were exchanged, I sent him to his room for bed (about 1 hour after his bedtime).

This morning he woke up very irritated because I was MAKING him read before he could watch TV. That attitude made me irritated and the words began to get more harsh. He did his reading and then watched TV and played with his friends before school but I had to leave early for work (I work Wednesday's and Thursday's) so I really didn't get to talk to him about last night and this morning. So, on my way to work, I called him before he walked to the bus and I told him how sorry I was for being so angry at him and that I was wrong and that I needed to control my anger. First thing he said was that he was sorry also and that he needs to work on responsibility and that he will do better. He also said he forgives me and that he hates when we argue. I told him I loved him and to have a good day and that was that.

It is just so amazing how forgiving our kids can be with us. Am I a perfect parent? NO WAY!!!! I am flawed in every way but one thing I always try to do is to tell my boys that I am sorry when I am wrong or when I act in an angry manner. It blows me away how things are just wiped away when you say a simple sorry (hmmm--- is this a model from somewhere else-- sins wiped away-- forgiven-- hmm???). I can tell you there are many things I have done wrong that are nowhere in my boys memory because I said sorry. I so appreciate that quality in children because let's face it--- NONE OF US ARE PERFECT PARENTS so this forgiveness thing really comes in handy!!!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day & The Heat Wave!!

So, here in Southern California we have had record breaking heat. Pretty much each day this weekend it was well into the 110 degrees PLUS!!! It was HORRIBLY HOT and the only thing one could do to cool off was to go into a pool-- any pool. So, what did we do? We swam anywhere and everywhere!!

Saturday our good friends Dave and Kimberly had a party and we swam there. Then Sunday we had a family party and we swam at our house. Then today it was just too hot to even go outside (I think it hit 114)but after dinner Kevin and the kids took a dip. Even at 8:00 at night it was in the 90's. TOOOOOOOO HOTTTTT!!!!!! Not to mention the kids have been in and out of the pool all day. They do this pool hopping thing from friend to friends house. They swim at one house then move to the next- swim there and so on and so on.

So with the record breaking So Cal heat wave-- We did survive but barely!! Thank goodness for POOLS!!!! All in all, we had a great- leisurely weekend.

Disappointing Month For Chinese Adoptions :(

Every month The China Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA) updates their Internet site to indicate what date they have given referrals to. For example, last month CCAA gave waiting parents their referrals (their babies) if their paperwork made it to China BEFORE November 21 2005. Yes, they are really far backlogged. Anyway, a year or so ago CCAA was referring about 2 weeks worth of Log In Dates (LID)and a year before that, CCAA was referring about a whole month at a time. Referrals come out each month and for example 2 years ago they would refer the whole month of (for example) March in one month. A year ago they would refer (for example) half of March and now today, they only referred 4 days worth of LID's. That basically means that the China Adoption Slow Down is continuing and seems to only be getting worse. If CCAA continues at their current pace (which is not expected-- we are hoping for a speed up at some point) people who are just sending their paperwork to China will be looking at a 6 year wait. Mia will be 7 before those people get their babies. It is totally depressing that CCAA only did 4 days. The only other day in recent history that was worse than this month (if I'm remembering correctly) was when we got Mia's referral this past April. That month CCAA only did 2 days worth of LID's. That month was a big hit for the adoption community. Today I am sure will also be a hit as waiting parents have no end in sight. I feel for all the waiting families and I only pray that CCAA speeds thing up.