Friday, February 26, 2010

Chinese New Year photos

This year we celebrated Chinese New Year with our local FCC Chapter (Families with Children from China). It is a great group and the event was so organized and so much fun for all of us!

Our FCC Chapter is made up of some wonderful people and just amazing little girls and boys and we are just so lucky to have such a positive outlet for our kiddos.

Below is my sweet girl, isn't she just lovely!

And here is a photo of Adam, Sammy and Ms. Connie. She is the language (and dance) teacher where Simone takes language class on Sundays. She is a wonderful teacher and has been so kind to us all. We are so appreciative of all she does for our kids, to help us as parents teach them the culture they so deserve to know and participate in. Both Simone and Sammy adore her!

Some of the girls took part in a song/dance of "The Tortoise and the Hair". They were darling and did a really great job!
Here's me and my two dumplings!

And yep, I got up on stage as well! I was voted in as a board member of the FCC, both an honor and an exciting new thing for me. I am happy to have this chance to get more involved, and honestly could not ask for a better Chapter than this one to do that with.
The dance class, called "The Butterfly's" I am told, did a beautiful ribbon dance. Very challenging and really quite lovely to see. These girls sure worked hard and it showed!
And here is Simone up on the stage popping the bubble wrap! She had a fantastic time and is looking forward to next year already!
So that was our CNY fun this year. What a great night and fun event it was!
J

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Can you say....Chocolate?

Dove Chocolate Discoveries that is.

Last night I had my Dove kickoff party.
What is that you ask?


Well it is a subsidiary of Mars, Inc which produces some of the highest quality chocolate, using real cocoa butter, not vegetable oil. DCD has product lines to tempt anyone and satisfy any chocolate craving. Really, it is that yummy!

And I am now a "Chocolatier" for the company. It's a way for me to be able to stay at home with the kids, earn a little extra money and meet some new people all at the same time! I couldn't be happier or more excited, the parties are such fun, I mean its chocolate...and not just candy bars.

We tasted cinnamon covered chocolate almonds, chocolate covered fruits, we made a chai tea whipped dip, dark chocolate fondue, a scrumptious mousse and even some really good chocolate martini's!

Here's me and my friend Perla, who is also my sponser. She is the first Chocolatier in Tennessee, with me being the second! How exciting!

And below are some photos of the fun tasting!



So my new "career" is in chocolate.
Well chocolate, baby Sammy Wei and sweet Simone. Who could ask for a better job?

And now my plug....
If you are interested in having a party or joining the Dove Chocolate Discoveries team here's my web address below!
To the sweet life.....
J

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sammy Wei's party

Yep, I'm a bit slow getting my Birthday posts out!
But here's the pics from Saturday night's "party" we had.

Below is a picture of Sammy's new smile face. He crinkles up every inch of his face and giggles heartily as he does it. He loves to do it when he eats something yummy or if he hasn't seen you in a few seconds! He is a silly boy!

And just moments before the party big sis fell into a deep sleep. Sammy thought it was quite a fun game to try and wake her! Can you see the grin on his face...he thinks he is getting away with something!

And before I had mentioned I thought Sammy had figured out the whole gift thing...I don't think our friends got the bag set down before he was making a beeline right to it.

Not bashful either! He dove right in...
Adam and I were busy in the kitchen cooking up some traditional Chinese and Taiwanese dishes. Quite fun and very delicious! We had lots of yummy dishes, like stir fry chicken and mushroom, homemade dumplings, broccoli with sesame seeds and jasmine rice.

We also did a "Chinese Birthday Grab" or Zhau Zhou. This is done for a first birthday and in this game you lay out various objects to represent different career choices... like, stethoscope = doctor, book = writer.
I got the idea from my blog buddy Lisa. She did this in July with her gorgeous son.
Well our little guy went right for the calculator, not even a debate over the objects. Just grabbed it and that was that! So I guess we may have a business man, something with numbers.
We let the girls grab up their objects too, just to see what they would choose.
Simone scooped up the bear...

J grabbed the magnifying glass and our other friend nabbed the jingle maraca.
Sammy decided the whisk was fun to chew on also. So maybe he'll be a restaraunt owner...
Here's the adults enjoying dinner! It was also Uncle Marc's birthday, so we celebrated both. We already think we know what he'll be when he grows up so he opted to not play the game.

We had a cake for the birthday boys. Lot's of candles to blow out and then off to bed for the little dumpling!
Below we like to call "the day after". My Mom got Simone window crayons for Christmas and the girls decided to have fun with them during the party. I swear they colored for hours and had so much fun! It is actually very pretty and we'll leave it up for a bit before cleaning it.

So that is it for Sammy's first Birthday celebration. It was fun and we are so glad to have good friends and family here to celebrate these milestones with!
Happy New Year!
J

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sammy's big day!

Sammy had a whopper of a birthday celebration, starting on his big day and continuing until last night. Here are the photos of his actual birthday, I'll post his big "party" later!

I can't believe my little guy is a one year old boy! He is just so sweet and wonderful and keeps me both on my toes all day and laughing hard! He is such a strong willed child (yes...at one!) but so very cuddly and loving!

Below is the table for his family celebration. Simone & I made the cupcakes (and if you know me at all this is quite a feat as I do not bake well!) and of course she helped me decorate as well!

And below is how he started out his big day.

Yep...in the dog food dish again- he had it ALL over the floor! Little stinker....

And this one's for Elizabeth...I know she'll get a kick out of his "breakfast choice"! Hey...it was "his big day", who am I to judge?

And big sis giving birthday lovins before she heads off to school.


I was trying to get a picture of his crinkled face smile and he was trying to get the camera! He is a silly boy, whether it's his birthday or not!

And below - Simone is home from school now, and dressed herself for the party!

But seriously, only she can make him giggle like this!
We opened gifts and ate pizza, yum yum. Then it was time to test out those blue babies (my cupcakes...)
Sammy was more interested in giving his sister his toothpaste than blowing out the candle! He soon found out the special treat that was under that little candle though!


At least Simone thinks our cupcakes are great!


Hmmm.....Sammy is not too sure here. Look at that serious face!

Yep, didn't take long for him to discover how delicious cupcakes and frosting are! He ate the whole thing! Not much mess left on him or the chair either. Didn't get those cheeks by snubbing food now did we?

Ahhhh....and a nice birthday bath!

And off to bed.....

What a fun day it was! Sammy got some great gifts that he is really enjoying. He got a "Little People" garage, a toy phone, a new ball, more "Little People" gear and lots of spring clothes. Naturally big sis helped to open the gifts, but I think he started to get the picture...good things to play with come under all that wrapping.

We feel so blessed and so very fortunate to be able to celebrate such a big milestone with Sammy~ as his family. I am so amazed at what a wonderful little guy he is and look forward to all of his accomplishments in the next year!
J

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

San leaz quiet lo!

or

"Happy Birthday"
my darling baby boy!



Today is Samuel Wei Che's 1st Birthday. I can't believe this baby we brought home three and a half months ago is having a birthday...turning towards "boyhood" and away from "babyhood". Our lives have been forever changed by this little guy.

How quickly he melted our hearts and became our son and Simone's baby brother. There truly is no way to completely express the joy he brings to us, the wholeness of our family now, the love we have for him.

As I type this, my sweet Sammy Wei is hugging my leg (or wiping applesauce off his face...?) and I think of how blessed I was to have this little dumpling come into the world one year ago today- even though at the time I had no idea my son had arrived.

So again...
Happy Birthday my darling baby boy!
J

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Do these cheeks make me look chubby?

Seriously folks!

I can't get through a shopping trip, Doctor appointment, walk in the park or much else without at least one comment on the size of these cheeks!
And these thighs, and overall "chunky" appearance. I'd probably have a complex if I didn't suspect it all to be slightly true....but he's still a baby so he can get away with it!


And honestly, I hear everything from "that boy sure doesn't miss a meal" to "well, Mama has a little linebacker in the making" and even "is he storing nuts in those cheeks?". Now I see those sweet cheeks my darling boy has, but I just didn't realize they were considered so "chubby" to others. I always felt it showed he was healthy...oh, which I hear a lot also- with a little "wink wink".

Now I know he is a sturdy little fellow, and okay...maybe he does have chubby little cheeks.
More to kiss, right? No Mama is going to complain about that!
J

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


video

Just a quick video of Sammy.

He looked so cute dancing to his tunes I had to grab the camera. and I can't ever seem to get any video of his walking so I'm glad I got some of that too.

That's all!

J

Monday, February 1, 2010

"16 & pregnant"

Let explain it like this....

Sammy is a cuddler. He likes to nap on my lap. And since he's had some icky sickies since coming home he also has breathing treatments, which I give while he's napping. (Since he is impossible to keep still for ten minutes otherwise, this just works out) But I can't do much else when I'm giving him these treatments so I've taken to watching TV. Just 20 or so minutes of mindless TV, right? Well I stumbled upon MTV's "16 & pregnant" one day. Like that train wreck you've heard of I was drawn in and just couldn't look away.


Because, you see, this 16 year old was definitely pregnant, yes. But this 16 year old was also not keeping her baby. Nope, she and her boyfriend had made "an adoption plan".

I had to watch. Never before had I seen the struggle on the other end in such a way. I was mesmerized and touched by the obvious pain and anguish these kids, yes...kids, were going through.

It hit me on so many personal levels. Now not all birth mothers are young and unwed, I know this-there are many reasons why a parent chooses to not keep a baby. This show just happened to be about a young, unwed girl and her boyfriend and their decision about their unborn baby.

And it hit me, maybe for the first time......this could have been my birth parents. The circumstances were so similar to mine, how amazing to see what may have gone on for my birth parents. Did they want to see me before sending me to my new life, did they care or was it too painful? Did they worry over this decision, did they waiver and almost keep me? Did they really love me, really want me? I had never put any thought into "them" before. Just what I've been told of them, a blond haired, green eyed girl and a darker boy...faces without expression, except maybe a faint look of relief glinting behind those eyes. I never thought to put real emotions, real life, into my made up image of where I came from....
until I watched~ with tears of both sadness and joy~ this program.

Many things made me feel this way. The love they had for each other, the deliberating over if this was in fact the right choice, the lack of support from family all touched me. One of the things that really struck me was that the birth father wrote a letter to his unborn daughter and it basically said "please don't ever think that you were not wanted, not loved by us. I looked at the type of father I wanted to be and the type of life I could give you, and the two were not the same. I can't give you that life you deserve to have".

My adoption was done during the "closed adoption" era. Records are sealed and there has been no contact or even information about my birth parents-to get it I would have to petition a court. I've never been a strong proponent of "open adoption" just because I am very happy not having any other people in my life in that way. I am content with the path the good Lord saw fit to send me along, and the parents he chose to give me.

But to hear a letter like this from my birth parent, concrete evidence of love...wow, what a gift that would have been. To give a letter like this to my children from their birth parents....oh my....what I would give to be able to share such a thing.

So you now see how and why this little documentary has truly touched me in so many ways-both regarding my own adoption and feelings about my birth parents and in the fact that I am also an adoptive mother, that my children have these birth parents.

And now, as we approach my sweet son's first birthday I find myself wondering of what his birth mother's life was like a year ago... her pain? her anguish?

And I feel this sadness that both of my children may never know the feelings and circumstances behind their own adoptions. I think often of both my children's birth families and the tremendous gifts they gave to us, although they themselves may never fully know. But seeing this documentary has put expressions on those faces, the faces I've conjured of these others I owe so much to as well~ my children's birth parents.

It was pretty powerful, and I hope these kids understand the precious gifts they did give their daughter. First they gave her life, and then they gave her a chance at that life that they knew they could not give to her. And they gave another couple a chance for a family they so wanted...

The link to the documentary is:
http://www.mtv.com/shows/16_and_pregnant/season_2/episode.jhtml?episodeID=155167

J