Monday, October 3, 2011

5 Months Ago Today....

....Gwyndolin was placed in our arms!  Gosh, time has flown by.  We have been BUSY!  Sorry I haven't updated...  Things have been going great.  The boys are all back in school which makes the house really quiet during the day.  Gwyndolin is doing so well!  She is a kick in the pants and we just can't believe the miracle that has happened - how in the world did SHE come to US!!!  We are SO lucky!!!  Five months ago today, in Nanchang, China at the Jin Feng Hotel on the 10th floor in the family play room, she was placed in our arms.  We will NEVER forget that day and our journey to get her.  Yesterday, Deklan came to me and said, "I miss China!"  He couldn't really put into words what he felt, but he was feeling nostalgic and told me he missed going and getting Gwyndolin and walking all over China.  We ALL miss China and have such fond memories of our trip!  Truly amazing!

So, what is Gwyndolin up to these days?  Well she loves playing in the kitchen.  She carries my pink paisley lunch box around like a purse, she wears cookie cutters as bracelets, and she walks around with the beaters to the mixer like they are a bouquet of flowers.  She LOVES shoes and LOVES shopping and trying on clothes and shoes!  She is a girl after my own heart!  LOVE IT!  She likes having bows in her hair too.  She likes playing with her baby dolls and puts her Asian baby doll in the cradle my dad made for me when I was little.  As she places her baby in the cradle, she says, "Night night."  So cute!  She eats great - everything - well except meat - she can't stand it - which is O.K. by us.  She is talking and saying the following words - hot, up, thank you, brother, mama, papa (this is what she calls daddy,) night night, poo poo, hi, bye, bird, owe.  She is also not afraid to get messy - she likes to go outside when we are watering and walk around bare foot on the grass and get all wet.  She also likes to go splash in puddles!  She loves her brothers more than anything and when they get in the car when we pick them up from school, she leans as far forward as she can and puckers up for kisses.  So sweet!  Of course her brothers kiss her - she has them wrapped around her little finger!!!

I thought I'd just put a few pictures up for everyone to see how much she has changed.  She is getting so big and looks so much older!!!  We wish we could make time stand still...

Today, "Happy 5 Month Forever Family Day!"
Moments after being placed in my arms!  Look at how much she has  changed!!!

Today, "Happy 5 Month Forever Family Day!"

Playing with the beaters.

With her bouquet of beaters.

Sitting on Kallen's lap while he does his homework.
Reading with Deklan.

Helping Daddy move the car.

Outside washing the car.

Dang, this bucket is HEAVY!

Helping wash the car.
Going down the slide with Deklan

Going down the slide with Trayton

On the swing.

Oh, the anticipation of the SLIDE!

Gwyndolin loves to go down the slide!
Gwyndolin with her moon cake.  Celebrating the Mid Autumn Moon Festival!

Gwyndolin drinking tea we got in China from the tea set we got in China.  Celebrating the Mid Autumn Moon Festival!

Homemade Moon Cakes (more like cookies.)

Kicking back with "Jelly Cat" and "Blankie"

Feeding her babies.
Feeding her babies.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Four Weeks Today!

Well, it's been four weeks today that we have been home and we are definitely living our "happily ever after."  The boys and Gwyndolin are doing beautifully.  It is so fun to watch the boys with her.  Each of them have created a relationship with Gwyndolin and it is a joy to watch them.  Deklan is enjoying being a big brother like never before and he is beaming!  He is a wonderful big brother.  Kallen is a huge help and will go over and pick her up if she needs holding.  He will also come check on her if he hears her crying.  Trayton is just his kind and gentle spirit with her and that really soothes her.  Gwyndolin had definitely rocked our world and we can not imagine life with out her.

So, lets see - I haven't posted in 3 weeks, so a lot of little things have gone on...

The 2nd week after we got home, Deklan broke out in full blown hives - it was horrible.  He had an allergic reaction to the medication I gave him in China for the 103 degree fever (we are suspecting he had strep throat.)  This was medication we brought from the US and he had had it before a few times, but for some reason, his system didn't like it this time.  He itched so badly, one day he couldn't walk because the hives on the bottoms of his feet hurt so badly.  The day when his hands were covered and puffy, he had a hard time doing things like getting buckled.  It was just not fun.  But, hey, it got him out of another week of school - Ha!  Actually he would have rather gone to school.

School is out for the boys and it is nice to not have to pack lunches.  We actually timed this whole trip to China (actually, we didn't have any control over "when" we went, but...) as we left 2 days after spring break ended, and got back to school with only 2 1/2 weeks left.  We got back just in time for all the end of school fun!  Kallen got to go see a River Cats game for getting straight A's.  Unfortunately, it rained though.  Trayton had a fun field trip to a pioneer living museum, and Deklan had field day, and a carnival at his school.  Kallen has been having fun with his new remote control airplane that he bought with some of his birthday money.  Each time he flies it, however, he had to go to the hobby store to buy replacement parts.  Deklan turned 7 on June 7th and he got what he wanted (a lot of money.)  He has yet to spend a big portion of it.  He is enjoying feeling "loaded" (his word) for his age.  Deklan also has his hop hop recital coming up.  Trayton has been waking up most mornings at 6am and running with Todd.  He is "training" for a triathlon.  And Gwyndolin simply steals the show every day.
Kallen with his airplane.

Trayton with his teacher on the last day of school.  Hey he is wearing his "Great Wall" t-shirt here.

Deklan with some of his money he got for his birthday.

A couple of nights we have cooked smoores outside in the fire pit and that has been some good, relaxing, summer time fun.  Gwyndolin has yet to have one, but she likes graham crackers.  Here is a picture of her hanging out around the fire pit.

Good golly, look at how cute she is!

After eating her graham crackers - messy face, but happy baby!
Gwyndolin LOVES to dance.  She is such a riot.  She dances to everything - and literally anything (the dryer chimes, loud obnoxious thumping music from gangster cars, toys that make sounds, you name it.  She points to the boom box when there isn't music playing.  She has her favorite CD - a CD of children's music we got for her in China.  There is one song on the CD that she sings to.  It is really sweet.  The other day we were at the mall and I had her in the baby carrier and every store we went into had it's own music playing.  If I wasn't dancing to the songs as I walked around, she would look at me and start doing her wiggly dance.  It was adorable.  A couple of the clerks noticed too that I had to dance with her and they just thought she was darling.  (O.K., anyone can barf if they want - we are just so in love with her, but I know it can be nauseating for some.)  She also LOVES to swim.  She doesn't care if the water is cold, nope that doesn't stop this girl!  She loves to be splashed, loves to kick in the water etc.  Tonight we were in the pool and we felt like she was getting really comfortable with the water (didn't mind water in her face, kept putting her face in the water etc.), so we did the baby dunk where you count to 3 and then blow in their face and then dunk them... she LOVED it.  This is amazing as the first day we had her simply washing her hair was very traumatic!  She has come so far!  Here are some pool pictures.

Gwyndolin floating with daddy.

 Ewww the pool looks green - really it wasn't, there must have been something funny with the lighting.

Getting warm in the hot tub.

She is clapping in this picture because she is excited to get in the pool.  I am laughing.  She is so stinkin' cute!

Kallen and Gwyndolin.  Gwyndolin sees the camera and wants it - hence the hand.

Having fun in the floaty.  O.K., folks, this floaty is 12 years old - yep 12 years.   I bought it for Kallen and have used it for all our kiddos.  Amazing!

Deklan, Trayton, and Gwyndolin getting warm in the hot tub.
Look at me in my bikini!  My mom bought this for her back in 2006.  Finally there is a little girl in it!

Some of you may remember for my birthday that Todd surprised me with a SWEET cruiser with gears decked out with a baby seat and baby helmet for my birthday.   Well, Gwyndolin LOVES going for bike rides and we ride practically everyday.  We ride to the grocery store, the Fountains where Whole Foods as well as Peet's coffee and an array of other fancy boutiques is, Block Buster (yes we are still in the dinosaur times and don't do net flicks,) the park, the Galleria etc.  We have found safe routes where we either ride on trails, neighborhood roads, or side walks that never have people walking on them.  One day G and I went to the Galleria to take my computer to the Apple Store as it wasn't charging...  I rode around and around and I couldn't find a bike rack anywhere, so I simply pulled up to one of the entrances and put it up against the wall and locked my wheels together.  Funny thing, I got a parking violation.  Ha!  I didn't have a fine to pay or anything, but I did get a note to secure my bike elsewhere.  So, when we got home, I called the number on the citation notice and asked where a bike rack is located...they said, "I don't know."  I about laughed.  So I said, "Well, can you find out?"  So, they put me on hold.  A couple minutes later the guy came back and said, "IT is outside Urban Outfitters."  I said thank you and got off the phone.  Then I started thinking "IT" seriously?  This is a large mall with 4 major departments stores, high end restaurants, as well as the whole slew of stores that every other mall in American has - everything from GAP to Tiffanys....... and they have ONE bike rack?  So, I have "putting a call into the mall management office" on my "things to do" list.  I want to see if they could install some more bike racks.  Other than that our bike rides have been great!  Since school has gotten out, the boys have been coming too and enjoying it.  We have gone to the grocery store a couple times and we all just wear back packs.  I told the boys that if this was how we had to get our groceries home that things would be a lot harder and we would probably change how we ate.  They LOVED the idea and now they want to just go to the store every other day or so.  Too funny.  I think once we get into REAL summer, we won't be lugging our groceries home in backpacks!

This is G and I getting ready for a bike ride.  This was taken the day we got the parking citation.

Well here are just some other pictures from our days.  Most of these pictures are of a day where G was playing in her room.  She is such a joy and I am having a blast having a little girl in the house to play with.  G is cherished more than she will ever know...

This is G sitting at the dealership waiting while they changed our oil.  She is having a blast digging through my bag/purse.
This is G enjoying a meal with her kitty.   She loves this stuffed kitty and it simply had to come to this particular meal.  G is a GREAT eater and she likes all veggies (even brussel sprouts.)  Today, she ate pancakes, yogurt, raspberries and pears for breakfast, garbanzo beans, asparagus, rice soup, and strawberries for lunch, KIX and pears and a bottle for snack, and for dinner she had a turkey meatball, mashed potatoes, steamed artichoke hearts, bread, and mango.  Did I mention she is a GREAT eater?
Gwyndolin and Deklan

Gwyndolin loving on Deklan

Playing tea party.  Actually it was more like, "lets mess up the table" playing, but we had fun!

"Oh, let me pick up what I just dropped."
"If only these pastries were REAL!"

"Well, I'll try a fake cookie anyway."
"Do you want a fake cookie Mama?"
Cutie Pie!

Checking out her baby doll.

(Below) This was taken right after Gwyndolin gave her baby doll a kiss.  If you look carefully, you can see a big string of drool.  Juicy!
 Deklan and Gwyndolin after a nice warm bath after a swim in the pool.
 Oh, I'm so tired!
 O.K., Mama, it's time for bed.  Hurry up and get me dried off and dressed.