Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Six Months

As of today, six months have passed since we first met our son, Wei-Che!  Six months.....

Wow, so much has happened and so much of our lives- as individuals and as a family- has changed in these 6 months!  Every day there is something new, sometimes many new things, we get to experience together!  The bonds that have formed between Sammy Wei and each of us are so strong.  To see that my two sweet dumplings have truly become siblings and the love between them is so wonderful.

So I thought I would write down some of the things I want to remember about my precious son, now that we've known each other for 6 months.

Let's see...some of his likes is a great place to start!
  • He loves to play chase, even if you just stay in one place and he runs to you!  As long as you "catch" him he will giggle with glee!
  • He craves eye contact and can get into a fit of happy giggles just looking into your eyes.   He likes to look intently into my eyes when he's sleepy, when he's eating, when he wants to play...whenever!
  • He is a great eater, and really enjoys both eating and watching others eat.  Mealtimes are always fun and have been great times for bonding.  His favorite foods are mac n' cheese, applesauce, bananas, cheese of any kind, yogurt, lox....well almost anything!
  • He is a cuddle bunny and loves to get all snuggled up on you.  He can cuddle as long as you want to hold him some days!  And he doesn't just sit in your lap or allow himself to be held, he conforms to your body and snuggles right in.  Ahh, so nice!
  • He so enjoys copying us and is a master imitator.  He will copy actions, noises and facial expressions-  then you do it, and then he does it.  It gives him great joy to play this game back and forth!
  • He likes to topple everything.  Nothing should remain on a shelf or in a row around him.  It gives him such pleasure to be "the destructor" as he's known in these parts!  Boys sure are different than girls!  (But...he is a great cleaner uper too and will help put away anything if you sing the "cleanup song"!)
  • He love, love, loves to dance! A phone ringing, a commercial with a jingle, a toy that has a song, me singing....all can make the boy break out the groovy moves!  And he started "singing" as well this week, so I guess he just loves music!
  • He loves electronics and toothbrushes.  These trump any toy you can give him.  He wants the TV remote, the Wii remote, computer mouse, phone, clock radio...just to use or to carry around.  He delights in changing TV channels or making the phone light up.  And hide your toothbrush, he will take off with it before you know he has it!  He likes to sit on the counter while I brush my teeth in the morning and choose his brush to carry around.
And some things I've learned of his personality...
  • Well, he is determined.  Very determined- when he wants something or wants to do something he is hard, impossible really, to persuade into a different direction.  He sure knows exactly what he wants and will find a way to get it.  With this comes this amazing curiosity and a need to explore cause and effect.  He will be the child/adult that takes it apart (whatever "it" may be at the moment) to see just how it all works. 
  • Sammy has a very sweet and loving personality and is quite a social butterfly.  He is always ready to give huge hugs and cuddles.  He greets me with loud hoots of delight anytime I come back into the room or he finds me in another room.  Even when he's keeping me chasing him he is a true joy to be around.
  • He's not an "easy baby".  He is always challenging.  But that's okay, because the rewards in the amount of love and affection he gives back are so worth it.  He is as his name says - Wei meaning great, mighty; Che meaning wise, sagacious, philosophy.  I know he will grow up to be a fair but strong willed adult, it is in his personality now!
  • He develops deep and strong attachments and likes to be close to people.  He is very attached to us as his family, and to the people he sees on a regular basis.  He really knows who Mama, Dada and Sissy are and is happiest when we are all in the room together. 
  • He is a constant contradiction of personalities.  He can be so very serious when he first meets a new person, or he can climb up into the lap of a stranger at Cr*cker Barrell -just depends on the mood of the moment.  He can sit in the cart sweetly and silently or decide to roam the store greeting everyone with a gleeful wave and smile -just depends on the mood of the moment.  He can sit through story time somber and unsmiling or he can go to each parent in the room with a big grin and a wave to the other kiddos -just depends on the mood of the moment.  I must say though, this outgoing Sammy Wei is being seen more and more often these days.  His giggles fill the house now almost constantly where two months ago it took serious prodding to get a laugh.  He smiles almost constantly and seems to be happy.
  • Sammy is very vocal.  He doesn't have a big vocabulary with actual words but "chats" non-stop still.  His favorite word is "hot" and he finds anything he can to say it- someones coffee, the deck when the sun is on it, a car tire..anything just to say it.  He also says cold, up, down, dog, uh oh and of course Mama and Dada.  Oh and "Casey" (sounds like a real hard C followed by eeee "CCCCeee" - and Casey is one of the horses next door to the house) Now all of these are pretty open to interpretation, the only reason we say he is saying these words is because he consistently uses the same noises in connection with the object or act.
So these are the things I want to remember about my baby, 14 months old now and growing every day!  Six months ago we had no idea the amazing amounts of joy and completeness we would feel with this little guy in our lives.  Our hearts have swelled with love for him and we know that life is as it was always meant to be.

Six months ago I also had fears and doubts about how a new child would effect Simone and I am more than thrilled to say she is a great big sister.  A typical big sis, oh yes....we have a few of those moments here and there but overall she has been a wonderful helper and has grown so much in the last 6 months.

This was all so worth the wait and the journey to Samuel!  And I look forward to all that will come in the next six months and beyond, with these awesome kids of mine!
J

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Everyday life

I started this blog about a year and a half ago to keep a written record of our adoption journey to our son in Taiwan. Amazing the differences a year can make! I have so enjoyed using this blog to not only keep family and friends updated on our adoption stats, but to write my feelings on adoption in general - my own and my children’s and the joys and complications that come from adoption. And I've used this blog to post the occasional photo of some event or milestone in our lives. 

This blog became a stress reliever as well as a way to express my emotions, frustrations and excitments. It helped me to sort through all of my swirling thoughts and cope with the "roller coaster ride" called adoption our family just took part in. 

But alas... things have been busy in these parts and I find my writings fewer and my random picture posting more frequent.   I get comments from my family and friends these days saying they look forward to seeing the photos and videos I post of the kids, however random they may be.  It's a way for my parents, aunts/uncles and friends to see the kiddos even though we are a fair distance apart.  So with that in mind I gladly will change directions, slightly, and continue to post as many photos as I can of our everyday life. And as time allows I'll post my latest musings and thoughts and stories...having two at home provides plenty of material, just not enough time to get it all down on paper!

So here are my latest "random photos".  I realize there are more of Sammy than Simone, but that's because she's at school for 1/2 a day and sometimes when she gets home we are just to busy for me to get the camera back out (okay...truth is they are handfulls together...  A force to be reckoned with! I can barely keep up, never mind follow with a camera!)
Below is one of Sammy Wei's typical daily activities...chatting on his pink phone.  He gets it off the play kitchen and walks around the house saying "heyugh" and "argafram".  Very important clients I am assuming....
Notice also the Ollie dog leash on the floor.  Yep, another fav activity, trying to make Oliver put his leash on.  He terrorizes follows the poor dog around during this sport, loudly yelling things like "aawwggie" and growling!  Good excersize for both, right?

And below is the vew of my dumpling wearing his sister's crown.  And yes he put it on all by himself, thank you very much!

Oh don't I look smashing!

And to the park we go....Sammy has been very slowly warming up to the feeling of sand on his feet and hands.  This day he actually started to dig a bit....

And to eat it a bit....just a taste really!  Hey, can't be worse than dog food, can it?

Hmm........ yep still not sure about this sand situation. 

Ohhh...there's my sweet girl!  Can you get any more Diva'd up for fishing?

And I'm not called "Sam Bam" for nothing!  I move small cities with one flip!

So those are my photos of the week!   Maybe this week I'll be able to catch up to these two gooses and take some more pics...maybe not.  I'm guessing probably not...they are just so fast! 
J

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring has certainly sprung here in East Tenn!  Some days it's felt as if Spring took an premature vacation and had Summer start to work a bit early-    it has been warm!

Now I know that every year I say I don't have a favorite season, and that is mostly true.  I love each season for it's own uniqueness and what it has to offer.
Summertime....cookouts, lazy hot afternoons, fireflies, swimming in the lake.
Autumn...all the pretty colors of the leaves, the feeling of coolness in the air, Halloween and Thanksgiving.
Winter...a time for  Mother Nature to take a break, the starkness of the landscape, a time to cuddle or play games by the fire.

But Spring.......well it's the time for all things new!  A fresh start all around with trees and flowers in bloom, birds chirping and chipmunks frolicking.  It's time for mornings sipping coffee on the back porch, afternoons at the playground, and for long family walks after dinner (with the 4 of us finally!).  The lawns on our street are all being mowed on weekends, our nieghbors are busy in their yards and the kids on the street can be heard playing in each other's yards after school.    

So yep, Spring would be my favorite season, if I had to pick one. 
At least until summer rolls around and I remember all that I love about that season...

So here's some pics of just what we've been doing to welcome this season of Spring!

Love those eyes!

And with warmer weather comes a chance to play with water in the back porch!  Sammy thought this was super cool (it wasn't the dog's dish which made me happy) and Simone painted the whole porch with water!  What a fun and easy way to stay busy!  They can do this for almost an hour if given the right tools!

Mmmmmm, and this water is super tasty right out of the cooler!

My sweet girl "in" our dogwood tree.

Hold my hand, big Sis, and I know I can make it!
Wait for me Simone!
Simone and her Dad in Aunt Jody's tree!

Isn't he handsome! 

My big girl, playing ball with her Dad.

Who knows what the next few weeks of Spring will bring!   But I do look forward to the surprises each day brings... to see what lovely new flowers are blooming in my nieghbors gardens, to figure out what veggies we will plant in ours, to hear the new words my little fellow will speak and to be proud of all new things my big girl will decide to do or try!  

I'm also curious to see if this whole "spring cleaning" thing will make it to my house...I tend to think that it, like spring, may skip our neck of the woods this year!  Oh well, there's always next Spring.

Monday, April 5, 2010

High -5

While we were in Florida Sammy's Nonna taught him High-5's. He loves it and it causes such giggles of delight.

We sometimes have to work a bit for Sammy's laughs, although a very happy and content little fellow, he doesn't dole out his giggles as often as I would like! I love his giggles, it really is the funniest mix of laughter and squeaks!

Well I suppose below you can just see for yourself!

video

J

Zoo!

Oh yes, one of our favorite part of our trip (besides seeing our family and friends) was the zoo.
We've been patrons of Lowery Park since Simone was a baby and love to spend the day there whenever we are in town. This was Sammy's first zoo trip and he just loved it! He squealed and screamed for all the animals and the petting zoo was a huge hit! Simone remembered lots of things and it was great to see it through her eyes as she gets older.

My sweet girl playing in the fountains but trying to stay dry. I love that she chose her animal print shirt to wear to the zoo, how clever!

One of the biggest treats at this zoo is being able to feed the giraffe's crackers. I have never been so close to an animal this large before. Sammy was in heaven and did not want to leave! I think he may ask for a pet giraffe for Christmas!
Or maybe a billie goat....
I couldn't get him to leave the petting zoo. He made so many funny noises petting the goats! I remember so clearly Simone's first time and how she loved it! Now she prefers the rides!

My two handsome fellows! Notice Sammy's facial expression...he did that with his mouth for about a week...too funny!

One of my favorite parts of the zoo, the Manatee area! There were quite a few of those sea cows in there, all being rehabbed from some sort of accident or disease. They came right up to the glass and you could really see them! Simone was awed by it, Sammy was actually a bit frightened though.

Simone made a friend!

And at this point Sammy decided it was time for a nap, in my arms of course, so the camera never made it out of the bag again.
What a fun day we had at the zoo! Can't wait to take the kids to the zoo here, and I think a zoo pass is in our future.
J

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Beach Day!

Clearwater Beach...
The sand, the sun, the waves.

Wait, wait, wait....did I say "the sun"...cause that was one element missing on our chosen beach day.

Now I am by no means a beach lover-all that sand in your suit and the car, the swooping seagulls, the eyes stinging from salt and sunscreen...

But I had to see my two dumplings playing in the waves of Clearwater Beach. Especially after that "road trip" to get here! And the sun was hiding behind very nasty rain clouds. But we were troopers, and went to the beach anyway. And although my sweet babes didn't get to romp in the waves we did have fun on the cool playground. Poor Sammy was still not 100% back to his Bam-Bam self, but he managed to have some fun. And Simone...well she was having a blast romping in the sand and playing on the equipment.


Family photo...
even though we all had our coats on Simone was determined to wear her swimsuit. We were on the beach after all.

And where there are swings you will likely find Sammy Wei. He loves to swing! Here's Grampy pushing him.

And sweet boy....so determined to not let his toes touch the sand but so intrigued by the playground!

Sammy loves to climb as much as swing. Thankfully he is not a big climber in the house, but he loves to tackle the playground. Naturally Mama is always a step behind!

And I love slides and as well as my QingLu..so what could be better than both at once! Weeeeeee

And can you say ...date night! We had the wonderful opportunity to meet up with some very dear friends and actually go out for a nice dinner! First time in...oh...almost a year! We got Sammy to sleep and snuck out. And Simone was just as happy with her grandparents whether we were present or not! It was a great time and reminded me of just how important good friends are! So glad we got the chance to meet up, and to have some "adult" time! Thanks Rick & Jules! And Simone was the photographer for this photo...good job, baby!
There are more photos to come! We also went to the zoo- a huge favorite for us all, and had some other playground fun.
J

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Park day!

And our vacation memories continue....

This park in Dunedin was my favorite park to bring Simone when we lived in FL. Many of our great friends met us there for a few hours of fun play!

Below is my friends handsome son (and also a terrific Bball player I am told!). I've known him since, well...since before he was born! And his Mom was my maid of honor and is still one of my closest pals! I cannot believe how big he's gotten!

And neither can Sammy apparently!
Hey big guy...hows the air up there?

Ah, that's better, more on my level!
So...as I was saying....

Fashion girl....Simone had lots of fun and made a few new friends on the playground.

And below is one of my favorite pals and her oh so sweet daughter! It was just so great to be able to see them and hang out, sure makes me miss my FL "family"!
Mmmmhmmmm...nothing better than a juice on a hot day!

Me and my little fellow! You can see in these pics how he was feeling, still not quite himself. Still so very cute though!

And Sammy meeting one of my other very close friends. She was at our house when we arrived home with Simone 5 years ago! So good to see her and her great family!
Here's Sammy and my friends daughter. The two are just weeks apart in age. They were so cute, just hanging on the slide together! Although Sammy looks a bit unhappy he really was quite taken with her. I think he passed out in my arms just moments later!

And Sammy meeting another one of my dear friends! Hopefully next time he'll be feeling great and get to enjoy all of the snuggles!
The park we play at has a marina adjacent to it and we took a walk along the pier to see the boats and fisherman coming in with their catches. It was very pretty....

And our friends came back to the house with the two kiddos. Sammy and A became friends quickly and had fun following each other around!

More photos to come!
J

Pool fun in Florida

We started out our Florida trip hitting the heated pool at my In-Laws house. Simone has always loved the water and spent many seasons in this pool when we lived in FL. And although she has had swimming lessons, she just is a bit nervous to swim with no support, so we decided to try some arm floaties. After a few days she was just about ready to try without, so I bet by mid summer she'll be like a fish!


Now the ride down, as you may recall, was not the most pleasant trip I've ever taken. Poor Sammy was definitely not thrilled, and I think he may have caught the same bug that took both Adam & I down the week prior. He was not himself the first few days we were there, but like a trooper joined all the activities. Just with this cute little sourpuss on...
I just love him in his swim trunks though...such a cute little guy! And with his personality I had assumed we'd be in big trouble poolside, but he was actually fairly cautious. He did love floating around, but enjoyed the pool deck as well!


Here he is showing his Nonna the ropes of pool deck walking.

He's so cute!

And my sweet girl swimming the pool length. She had so much fun in the pool just splashing around. I can't wait for summer so she can get into the water again!
And sometimes you just need a cat nap, what can I say? This was more proof of just how icky poor Sammy Wei was feeling!

There's only so many photos I can allow on my blog of us in the pool...(meaning, pics of me are not going to make the cut...) so here I will end this post. I have plenty more photos to share of our other outings & excursions, and will be working to get those up in the next day or two.
And you'll be happy to know little Sam is all the way back to feeling better and has been giving his Mama quite a bit of exercise these past few days!
And I couldn't be happier!
J