Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving and 2nd Birthday!

We celebrated Sophie's second birthday on Tuesday evening before heading down to Miami.  We did a quiet dinner with ourselves, Patti and Grammie.  We then went home to open presents.  How fun!  I can say hands down this was my best birthday ever.  Hopefully it was Sophie's too.  I don't mind sharing with this special little girl one bit.  After lots of present time we went right to sleep to be prepared for our 4AM waking and trip to Miami.

Wow!  All I can say is that I'm amazed by how quickly this little girl of ours is adapting to new situations.  She has seen my parents before but had never come to their house.  She made herself at home in no time.  In fact, it took seconds for her to want to jump into the pool.  Scary!  Is this the same little girl to pitched a fit and didn't want to go swimming in Guangzhou?  Yep!  She played all day Wednesday, minus nap time, and met the neighbors I grew up with...well, those not out of town.  She LOVED Robert who lives next door.  He's sixteen and probably could have cared less about a two year-old, that is until he realized he was being idolized.  He pushed her on her tricycle, helped her find her special dollar weeds from the grass, and let her inspect all of their mail.  They were so cute together.  After going inside it wasn't long before he and his mom Vilma were coming over to bring birthday gifts and Vilma's famous cake.  Try two of blowing out candles, still no luck.  While Sophie took control of Robert's phone, we chatted some more and then did our second birthday celebration.  Yes, we lit the candles on the cake before eating dinner!  Oh well!  Bedtime rolled around early as we prepared for an even bigger day, relatives being met for the first time, pool, ocean, and LOTS of breakables. 

Thanksgiving day we traveled up to Fort Lauderdale to Aunt Debbie and Uncle Pete's house.  We arrived first which was perfect for Sophie.  She got to meet her great aunt and uncle as well as her cousin Melinda before everyone else arrived.  She seemed a little apprehensive at first but then her cousins Casey, Dylan, and Drake arrived as she was in heaven.  They are all of my younger cousins and therefore I think Sophie knew they'd be fun right away.  She hung out with her cousin Casey, who is nine, all day long!  Casey was amazing with her and also enjoyed being idolized.  Actually, Dylan joined in at one point and won her heart too.  They were both so good with a little child.  They made sure to consider her safety and tended to her needs.  Casey even taught Sophie three new words, cheese, up, and down.  Amazing!  Needless to say, Sophie was feeling super comfortable and didn't attempt to pick up a single breakable.  She also met her cousins David and Carl, Jim and Lori, and several family friends.  She had a blast!  At dinner time she ate very well, minus the yams...not a hit.  However, she LOVED Lori's cranberry sauce filled with fruit.  We also had our THIRD birthday celebration.  Attempt three at blowing out candles was another failure...but hey, there is always next year! 

A month of being home, meeting countless new friends and relatives, taking her first road trip since coming home, and having a birthday.  A lot is changing and she's taking it all in stride.  Amazing!

And in preparation of Black Friday.... comfy heels and biggest purse!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I know you all have missed us so much!  I'm very sorry for the lengthy delay in getting back of the swing of things here.  To be honest, to say I didn't know what I was in for would be an understatement.

You know, I know parenthood is a lot of work.  However, being the first time mom of a TODDLER...whew!  Nap time has been my only restful time and unfortunately they have gotten shorter and shorter and shorter every today.  It's tough work keeping up with a toddler, keeping the house clean, doing laundry, figuring out what child proofing you neglected, and trying to making sure everyone gets decent meals.

Anyway, I figured now was the best time to "get back on the wagon" so to speak because it is our ONE MONTH ANNIVERSARY OF GOTCHA DAY!  In celebration of this we guessed it, CAKE!  It wasn't just any cake though.  It was a giant panda head which had been frozen after our baby shower.  You would have thought it was our first wedding anniversary.  It was also a first for Sophie, first taste of cake!  It went over very well as you could imagine.  Here is evidence of the event.

In the past month, particularly since we've been home, we've had tons of firsts.  In fact, Jason and I sometimes wonder what Sophie has seen and what she hasn't.  We know she's taken her first plane ride, had her first encounter with dogs (A.K.A Woof Woof's), first wagon ride, first bike ride, first good sleep in a grown up bed, first car seat experience, and many, many, many more.  I'm not too sure about baths but it sure seems like that has been a first also.  Out of these firsts, most did not go well on the first time around.  In fact, I think the only one that did was the sleeping in a grown up bed.  However, she's coming right along.  She runs in the house to hug Sandy (our dog) and has been trying to trick me to get into the bath tub the past two days.  She is also improving on her social skills.  She has not been anti-social, but she has been very slow to warm to people.  After having some repeat visits with a few people and also seeing so many people she is not waving to strangers and approaching familiar adults without any hesitation.  The hardest challenge with bonding with BaBa but even that is tremendous, thank goodness!  Sophie and her daddy go for bike rides, stick hunts (yep, the girl loves a good fallen branch or two), and play outside.  In fact, this is where she'd love to spend the majority of her day.  After seeing the orphanage I can understand why.  She hasn't had a ton of exposure to all of these wonderful outdoor elements.  We can't wait to see what she does at the beach or springs.

As for the trip home and first few days, they were tough.  She did well on the flight home after the first couple of hours of on and off crying.  She settled in and slept, ate, played, ate, went potty, and ate some more.  It was exhausting though!  We were also making our way around typhoon Megi at the time, and it made for a pretty bumpy ride.  My two favorite things, hurricanes (or typhoons in this case) and planes!  Yikes!  We made it home safely without a glitch in the travel plans.  The most amazing part was touching down in San Francisco and knowing that we were HOME and that Sophie was officially a citizen of the United States.  I know I made a big fuss about the Fourth of July, but seriously, what a big deal!  It definitely brings new meaning for me.  Anywho, it took a loooong time for us to adjust to the new time zone.  I really think that this week is the first week we're all feeling normal.  I would literally crawl in bed right after Sophie because I couldn't keep my eye lids open any longer.  Poor Jason who had to actually go to work and couldn't sleep in.  Bless him because I don't know how he did it.  There must have been a ton of Red Bull involved!

All in all, what an amazing experience.  Everyday there is something new, a new word, experience, or joy.  Today I got something daddy has been getting for a couple of weeks...a "mommy, mommy, mommy" chant.  It was great!  Sophie has also said puppy, baby, daddy, and many expressions like wow.  She is trying to say night night also.  Her receptive language amazes me everyday.  I can't believe the things she understands sometimes.  After being told how to do "nosey nosey" or Eskimo kisses as some say, only a couple times by Aunt Patti, she dove right in and scrunched up her little nose by the third time.  She is also using some sign language and I continue to add a new sign each day.  What a little sponge.

Today she had a good play session with a buddy.  She actually has met her friend Brady a couple of times already, and has initiated lots of kisses (YIKES!), but today they got to really PLAY!  She was chasing him around everywhere.  It was so cute to see her interact with another child her age. 

Anyway, I know I'm making up for lost time here but I won't bore you any longer with all of my proud mama stories.  Here are a couple of pics of the firsts she's had and with her friend Brady teaching her to turn on a lamp.

Of course they are all taken with my phone so they are not too hot.  Sorry!  I will update Shutterfly soon too!

Thanks for the amazing wishes from everyone.  I am looking forward to catching up with all of my Inner Mongolia friends and seeing how your trips went too!

BTW...I'm now VERY sleepy and will not be proofreading this!  LOL  Sorry in advance!