Sunday, February 28, 2010

Last Day of February

 

It’s hard to believe the last of February is here!  Time if flying by like crazy!  We didn’t do much but hang around the house today.  I continued to fight my allergies but I am getting better.  This afternoon Lexi and I went outside for a little play time.  She was so happy to be outside!  I decided to post a few of the 100 pictures I took! 

LJ 220 So happy!

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Flower Child 

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Caught in Mid-air 

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Pick Me Up!

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 Making Tea

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Watching Caillou

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Okay so you know what we're comparing...

My earlier post showed what I learned to do with Photoshop. My Dear Hubby told me that he had to actually READ to figure out what I was talking about and taking that with my Dear Friend (Melissa) who tell me they mostly look at the pictures, I figured I'd ILLUSTRATE it a little more clearly! LOL!

Original Picture:



After Photoshop...

Now that is just "cool beans" isn't it???

P.S. You have to agree or else I'm a total tech-geek/freak! LOL!

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This Blog Post Was Interrupted by...

the Mama of all allergy attacks! Yesterday I attended a Photoshop conference all day in Savannah. I had the perfect plan of riding to work with Geoff (since I was only 3 blocks from his office) and having Panera for breakfast! Breakfast ended up being McDonald's since we didn't get up early enough. And our plans to meet for lunch were also changed since I opted to run for a really quick lunch with Melissa and Kellie thinking that we could eat dinner downtown before going home. No such luck! As soon as the conference was over and I began to walk over to his office, my allergies started. One of the first questions Geoff asked me when I got there was "do you need an allergy pill?" and then "do you need more kleenex?". I was so miserable that we skipped dinner and headed home. When I get like that the only thing that really helps immediately is to lay still with my face covered. So that's how I rode home. We picked up LJ and headed home. I took more meds, grabbed my extra special sock filled with rice and heated it in the microwave and hit the couch. So needless to say as soon as Lexi went to bed so did we. I hate allergies! I hate that the problems I have had lately are from the COLD weather! We have not had a cold winter like this in over a decade! I think most of us had forgotten what it feels like!

So about the Photoshop class.... there is nothing more frustrating to me regarding the use of computers than Photoshop!! It's not one of those programs that I can learn without help of instructions or personal help! And to think just when I was getting somewhere with Photoshop Elements I get this crazy idea that I can learn Photoshop CE! It must be the allergies clouding my mind! Melissa and I took the Pro class (temporary insanity!!) ... she is the fast learner, I"m the slow learner! I managed to do ONE thing that the instructor taught us yesterday! (Making a reflection out of a photo) Here's my one thing that I learned...



Actually I do think I will be able to do a panoramic shot now but I didn't have any photos with me to practice. Maybe later I'll give that a whirl.




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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Time Out

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How does such a sweetie end up in Time-out???  Time out is just the most awful thing ever for Lexi!  Sometimes she ends up there longer because she hates it so much and then acts out worse.  This afternoon, she was not pleased with me for making her walk out of the laundry room and slammed the doggie door open so hard that it smashed into the pantry door as she demanded “NO”!!!  That landed her in time out.  Then as she pitched a fit she in baby fussiness shook her arm at me as she yelled something that is thankfully incoherent. After it was all over, she hugged me and told me “sorry” (with prodding of course).  I really have no idea what sparked it.  It could have been that she is cutting her 2 year molars and is feeling especially needy or more likely, she was missing her Nana.  Mom had a dentist appointment today so she woke up to Papa and Richard.  Not that she does not love them like crazy but more because it was NOT her routine. Lexi thrives on routine and it does not take much to upset it.  We survived the afternoon and evening though and she is in bed sleeping and tomorrow will be a new day.  Hopefully one without time out!  LOL!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Our Lj Family Day Anniversary

Today was the official day of our one year anniversary of Lj Family day.  We welcomed her into our arms and family with big hearts that have only continued to grow day by day. 

Geoff called me today to wish me Happy Lj Day.  How sweet is that??!!  I thought about Lexi all day.  I know we just celebrated her birthday last month but today was like another birthday!  I guess it really was… the birth of our new family!  This day will forever hold significance in our family.  I had an easy day at work because it was my usual “easy” day and we only had students for half the day because of Parent-Teacher conference afternoon.  I had plenty of time to think back on last year.  I even sat down with Lexi this afternoon and looked at pictures and video.  Some things really have changed and I must point them out.

Take a look at Lexi last year…

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compared to this year….

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We decided to make a tradition of eating pizza each year on family day so we ordered pizza tonight.  This year we actually ate it (as so did Lexi)! 

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After dinner, it was nearing bedtime so Geoff took Lexi to change into her pj’s.  I headed to our closet and found the baggie with the clothes she was wearing on Family day and extra diaper they gave me for her.  I headed into the bedroom and took the clothes she was wearing.  It’s amazing to see the difference in what she was wearing a year ago to now.  The pants were 0-3 months while her shirts were 6 months.  The little footy’s were for a newborn.  This compared to her 18 month outfit today complete with size 5 boots.

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It’s incredible to compare last year to this year.   We’ve had a great year and just know next year will be EVEN better! 

Taking a Walk Down Memory Lane

Along with some unseen video footage that I will be using one day in our Adoption Video. This was day 4. The day after she walked for us the first time.

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And here we are on Day 7...
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It took until October for this outfit to fit properly. It was a 6-12 months Gymboree. This cute little outfit has since been passed on to another child.


And on the last day in China...
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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Gracious… just “deal” with us…

as we reminisce.  Last year this time last year we were on a plane from Beijing to Guangzhou.  (in the states we are 13 hours behind China) We were in culture shock and full of anticipation of meeting our daughter and at that point had NO idea when we would get her that day.  I remember falling asleep as the plane took off just avoiding the reality of being the only American’s on the plane and for the first time in our adult lives feeling the feelings of being a minority.  It was eye-opening and scary at the same time.  I awoke during the flight to the sounds of the airline in route service and the smells of unfamiliar smells among it.  I couldn’t even taste one morsel.  It was a combination of nerves and strangeness that I could not overcome.

I was so happy to land in Guangzhou!  We came through the security gates and met our guide Erin She made sure it was US and then asked the $64,000 question… “have you exchanged your US dollars or Yuan?”  We said no and then she said we must rush because we were supposed to meet Lexi at 2:30.  Here it was 12:30 already!  After all the waiting……… and waiting….. and waiting…. and waiting some more, suddenly it was HURRY UP NOW!  It was hard to internalize.  We gathered luggage, met our driver and raced to our hotel (the White Swan).  We checked in and then split up immediately.  Geoff went with Erin to the the bank and I went to our room.  I walked in and the first thing I noticed was that there was NO baby bed.  I just assumed that the hotel KNEW why we were there and would have one waiting for us.  Not the case.  So I called to the front desk and told them that we needed a crib.  Then I took off like lightening for the lobby hoping that it would only take Geoff seconds at the Chinese bank.  On the way there I saw the chamber maid taking the crib to our room.  I fought back tears as the reality that our dream was finally about to come true.  I was trying so hard to not cry so I would not be too emotional when we met Lexi so as to not upset her more.

I got downstairs and then paced and paced looking at all the art for sale in the lobby area. I watched families who had already been united with their child and envied them but yet it fueled my anticipation.  There was this beautiful indoor Kio pond that I watched and then I found a beautiful Buddha statue.  It was made of gold and so pretty.  I hesitated but finally as no one watched, I rubbed his belly for good luck.  (I’m not a Buddhist by no means but while in China and while being so nervous it just seemed the right thing to do…).  Finally Geoff and Erin arrived and like a speeding bullet we boarded the van and fought more Chinese traffic to go to CCAA.  We took an elevator to the right floor and entered to a very quiet room.  Amazingly, we were the only family that day to meet their child.  As we walked in I can still remember the breath being sucked out of me as I laid eyes on Lexi for the very first time in person.  I remember feeling that she WAS real!  I recognized those beautiful eyes in the face of a very scared baby.  I knew I had to hold her and assure her that she was in good hands.  It was a moment when time stood still.

I have to say at this point that I remember every detail of Sara’s birth and the day of meeting Lexi is no different.  I remember the smells, the feelings, the looks… everything.  It makes no difference that one was born to me from my flesh and the other was born to me from my heart.  They are both precious gifts from God. 

It was after she was “ours” that it became strange.  We were rushed out and taken to a very foreign grocery store.  We bought food for Lexi and snacks, hair mousse, and Ferrero Rocher candy.  Then walked across the street to a Papa Johns and got a Pizza!  How twilight zone is that??? I remember giving Lexi sips of water from the cap of my water bottle.  All we really wanted was some time alone with our daughter but our guide had her job to do and we had paperwork to do.  So we headed back to the hotel and she gave us about 30 minutes to be with her before coming to have us do more paperwork. 

The things I remember most are the clingy little koala bear Lexi who was clinging to us for dear life, the mad rush in Chinese traffic that scared the life out of me! I remember the humid heat so much like our weather in South Ga. in the summer time.  I remember Lexi being layered in clothes and sweating from the heat. I remember the smell of her, the lightweight baby body and how perfectly she felt in my arms. 

Tonight as I think back, I just am in awe that I’m remembering a very special event in our lives that was one year ago.  It’s strange because I feel as if every day is special still.  Today after we got home, Lexi and I took a 2 mile walk.  We counted squirrels again (this time we only saw about 37 of them much to our disappointment).  We came in and headed out back to swing and play a bit before coming inside.  Once inside she colored a bit while I started dinner.  When she tired  of coloring, she asked to finger paint, and when she ran out of finger paint I pulled out the concrete chalk (even if it was in the kitchen using scrap booking paper).  We listened to music and just enjoyed having each other.  Moments like these are priceless.

When her daddy came home, we had dinner and she had her usual way with him and picked out an unusual outfit for bedtime…. pj’s with boots!  We read books after dinner and marveled at how smart she seems to be.  She called her aunt Carolyn and talked with no prompting.  I put her to bed as we said good night to everyone on the mantel and then kissed Mr. Frog a million times before giving Daddy high, medium and low fives.  I rocked her and then sang a few songs.  Put her in her crib and then as I blew kisses she said, “I love you”…….. so needless to say, my heart is a melted mess. 

I can say with 100% certainty that the 3 1/2 year wait for our Lexi was totally worth the wait.  We are looking forward to what our future with her will reveal.

LJ 092 Finger painting…

LJ 105

 Drawing with chalk with Mommy…

LJ 107

Our little Artist…

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Loves






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Vitamin Video

I attempted to get Lexi's vitamin routine on video this afternoon. It's not easy holding the camera and coaxing her at the same time but I think it's pretty good. She is such a joy! This afternoon we came home and then sat at the table and colored awhile. Then we took a mile walk (YES! I'm finally getting some exercise!) and counted squirrels. We counted 57! She is going to be a nature lover just like her mommy! After we came back in from walking, I put on an episode of Elmo so I could start dinner. Yes! I let Elmo help me out! Right now during tax season, he's next best thing to family! She did come in the kitchen for awhile though and that's when I got the video. Once she got the vitamin, it was Elmo time again. I know I'm not the only parent that just falls deeper in love with her child every day. I guess that is one of the wonders and joys of parenthood. Before I left mom's today I told her that I hope Lexi will always be as sweet as she is right now. Mom agreed and said that she had been thinking the same thing.

Tonight I cooked a recipe that is supposed to be just like P.F. Chang's Spicy Chicken. We've had it before and it was a keeper. It's not too spicy for Lexi but she was not into it... she ate a hotdog while we had Chinese. During our meal, I looked at Geoff and asked him why isn't the Chinese girl eating Chinese? It was funny because then Lexi repeated "Chinese" in her baby talk. Our lives are so rich with blessings.

So enough of me talking... here's the vitamin video. I hope someone can figure out where the arm rolling comes from! I'm stumped!


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Sunday, February 21, 2010

LJ Style

Lexi got up this morning in a great mood.  After Breakfast, she began to accessorize her  PJ’s.   Before long she had crafted this look for the morning.

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Then Daddy had to get into it…

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In this picture she looks like she could be saying, “Seriously?? This IS my Dad!”

Later in the day I took Lj on a walk.  It was a beautiful day!  I hope we have more days that we can go for walks and play outside. 

 LJ 077

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Vitamins! (more Quick Pages!)

I think one of the reasons Lexi’s hair is growing so fast now days is because she never lets a day go by without reminding us to give her a vitamin.  She loves the purple ones the best.  I need to get a video of her asking for one.  For some silly reason when she asks for one, she rolls her arms together as if she is doing “roll ‘em up, roll ‘em up”.  One night she was asking for one and I wasn’t getting it.  When she started rolling those arms I was like “OH!  You want to sing Patty Cake!” and then I began singing it to her.  This didn’t sit well with her at ALL!  And she immediately began fussing and telling me “NO!”  She is getting better at saying vitamin so now we know but at first we didn’t have a clue.  I’d sure like to know what the arm motions are for! 

One day this week she asked for her vitamin so I asked her if I could take her picture.  She was very accommodating for her pictures THIS time because she wanted that vitamin!

Vitamin page 1

vitamin

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Aunt Carolyn Loves Lexi!

Lexi made out like a bandit today!  Carolyn and I went to Springtime Made in the South this morning.  Lexi stayed with her Daddy and he brought her to work with him around noon and then met them for lunch when we were finished.  When Carolyn arrived she had a new outfit for Lexi complete with matching hat and sunglasses.  Well, at the show Carolyn bought her a Bunny Bow and I of course bought her about 7 of them! After lunch we wandered down to the Gap and I fell in love with a cute summer dress (on sale too!) and Carolyn fell in love with a pair of Bermuda shorts and a matching top.  So she bought them for Lexi.  She is going to make her a matching bow (which is why the shirt is not in this picture below). 

Lexi also got a new puzzle from Gail (one of the partners at Geoff’s office) and I bought her a new pair of tutu pj’s.  So I’ll tell you little Miss Lj surely is loved!

On the way home we stopped to get some water at a gas station.  Carolyn noticed that Lexi was almost out of juice so she bought her some more when she went in.  She came back and put it in her sippy cup and then handed it back to Lexi.  Lexi said “cank u man” (Thank you mam).  It was so funny.  She has been saying that a lot lately to anyone who does things for her.  It’s so cute!  She also has been talking so much more.  She kept calling Carolyn by name when she wanted her attention.  Of course that just makes Carolyn love her even more!  :-)

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Quick Pages

Lexi Smile 2

 

Smile Lexi

I love Quick Pages!  They literally make scrapbooking easy-peasy! I found these Quick Pages at Two Little Pixels this Friday.  I saw the yellow and just knew they would be perfect for these pictures of Lexi.  I’m hoping I can get some more outdoor pictures of her tomorrow.  We are finally getting some nice weather so I hope to take Lexi out for another bike ride. 

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Technology at its best!

LJ 037

Okay, so we are smack-dab in the middle of tax season.  The busiest time of the year for Lj’s Daddy and on the other end the loneliest part  for both Lj and me.  Tonight Geoff called as he always does on his way home to tell us that he is running later than usual.  Well, as we “talked” Lexi just did as her usual “self”  and asserted herself into the conversation.  Before I knew it, I had Dear Daddy on Speaker Phone and Lexi was seeking book after book to read.  I would start each page and and Daddy with good childhood song, rhyme and recent resurrected memory skills would pick up as I stopped a line or two into the story or song… Lexi was in heaven!  She had me holding her, turning pages, directing the stories as she and her precious Daddy read nighttime stories. After each one, she would get up and find a new book.  He eventually made it home and they spent some face to face time together before he took her too bed and as I type he is putting her down for the night even though it is my “turn”. 

As I dreamed of parenthood with Geoff, never in my wildest imagination did I ever think that we would communicate as a family via the telephone!  But tonight it worked out perfectly.  And as I type this post I can hear them in the other room singing night time songs to each other.  I can’t even imagine a more perfect way to end a day. 

And to think I thought getting flowers from Geoff today at work was the highlight of my day… as usual, Lexi showed us who is boss!

LJ 009

But once again Geoff reminded me of just one of the reasons I love him so much… Blessed I am with both a dear daughter and a dear husband! 

LJ 012**  I love you too sweetheart!” **

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lost my school keys



Wonder who got them and where they went??


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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sure!

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Lexi’s new favorite word… “sure!”   I wish I could phonetically spell it the way she says it.  It is too cute!  The second favorite word is “huh?” This one we are trying to get her to exchange that one for “what” but so far no luck. 

I’ve been off this week.  Yesterday was a scheduled holiday but today was a furlough day.  As much as I hate losing money, I did enjoy spending some extra time with Lexi. She is awesome!  It’s almost been a year since they placed her in our arms and yet, we continually fall deeper and deeper in love with her.  Life has new meaning with her in it.  (Now if only I could get her to pose for pictures as opposed to ignoring me or looking the other direction!)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Smokey Has the Right Idea!

I went in to make up the bed… and look what I found!

LJ 069 So how does a cat cover himself up?  I didn’t do it!

LJ 068

 Then he looks at me like how dare you wake me up!  I left him there and will eventually get to the bed when Sir Smokey drags himself out of bed!  Actually with it raining YET AGAIN!  I think he has made the perfect choice!  In my next life, I think I’ll be a cat!

Best Chinese New Year Ever!

Okay, so we could have been anywhere doing anything and it would have been the best ever!  We have Lexi home and for that we are so thankful!  We had a busy weekend.  We really wished that we had gotten more snow but at least we tried to enjoy it Friday night.  Since there was NO snow left on the ground Saturday morning and no bad roads to worry with, we stuck to our plans of having dinner with 4 other families down in Orlando.  We all met at the Ming Court restaurant and spent several hours together.  (not enough time!) It was awesome to get to see some good friends even for such a short time.  Here are a few pictures of our first CNY with Lj!

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LJ 024  Jesus, Evelyn, and MeiLi

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 Sharon and Mary Alice

DSCF4806 Sophia, Susan, and Riz 

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  Us!  Me the only paying attention!

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  Andy, Lori and Qiao
Lexi just LOVES Andy!

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  Our Precious Daughters!  They are all so adorable!

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 Playing around outside

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 We haven’t seen this many Koi since the White Swan!

 

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 Lexi and I can’t wait to get Pony Tails like Sophia!

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 The only glitch in the trip… traveling home!  This IS Daytona 500 traffic!  We hadn’t even made it to I95 yet!  It took 2.5 hours to get from Orlando past Daytona!  Lexi was a trooper though and did excellent in the car.  I wish I could say the same about the trip down!  It was good time though!  I’m so glad we were able to take a little short trip in the middle of tax season!