Sunday, September 26, 2010

Harvest Moon Celebration

What a special treat we had this Friday when we got to celebrate the Harvest Moon with our wonderful FCC family (that's Families with Children from China) at a local park.  We had a great turn out with so many families and wonderful kids!  What a great group of people we have here, and what beautiful girls and boys.

As you can see took no time at all for the kids to start playing hard together. Simone (in green) had such fun playing some sort of badminton/baseball game they made up!
And then our bestest pal FuDa and his adorable brother showed up. The chase began....
And Sammy Wei practiced his yoga moves in the sand courts.  This would be "downward facing sandy dog".  Oh yes folks...he was covered from head to toe!
But he had so much fun doing it!

And the two buddies stopped for a rest and a little story time.  Ummm, I think it may be true love...wonder how poor FuDa feels about it!
And Daddy and Sam-Bam.  He was a handful as usual at the park but he had such a wonderful time and truly slept like a log that night.      That would be Sammy- not Daddy this time!
Story time while waiting for the craft lanterns.  Sammy and SP were in on the big kid fun, as well as one of Sammy's "helpers".  Sweet girl played with him for most of the night and he just adored the attention!

Look at the cool lanterns we had this year!  The kids loved them and it was great to be able to keep track of them as it grew dark!
And the FCC provided some "Family Lanterns" as well!   Ms. Connie (the language teacher) said this reminded her of Taiwan and let me tell you -this was awesome.  They were paper lanterns (100% biodegradable) that we lit.  They then blew up like hot air balloons and took off into the night sky.  Watching all of these lanterns reflectiing on the lake and hearing all of the whoops of delight, by child and adult alike...well it was close to magical! 
The pictures really don't do the scene justice...I mean it was beautiful!
Off they go....
Teamwork was required and Adam had a helper as I was snapping photos and hanging on to Sammy!  It was great though, everyone just helped out everyone else and we all shared in the benefit together.

And our glorious moon... ahh! 
Need I say more.

And there you have a recap of one great evening celebrating a holiday I wouldn't have had the pleasure to share if not for my sweet kiddos. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Busy Busy Bees

Yes...Busy busy and more busy is how I describe our days!

I thought having Simone back in school would give us a breather, a slow down and maybe some free time.  But once again I was incorrect  So very incorrect.

We just don't stop moving and grooving and and yet... nothing ever seems to get done!  Sammy and I have busy mornings full of one thing or another in order to keep Sammy from destroying the house to help entertain my sweet Sammy Wei, then I pick up my friends little one from Kindergarten and soon thereafter Simone's bus is arriving.  Which means a new flurry of activities for the late afternoon leading up to dinner, bath and bed.  And somehow I get the kids fed, cleaned up and asleep too!

So let's see,
Housework....well it feels like I'm constantly sweeping up messes and sopping up spills and putting things back into place but there's always more.

Gardening...what garden, that is the question- as outdoor projects are not in the books this year be it fruit, veggie or flower.  We tried, but between our long vacation and the lack of free hands I just couldn't keep up.

Reading, which is one of my favorite hobbies....ya no time for that these days!  I may read my AF magazine over the course of a week, but beyond that....

Checking blogs...yes I do pop by for quick moments but never have the time to comment on the awesome blogs I love to follow.

Ditto email....
And all other adult related things it seems!

I do attend plenty of playgrounds, libraries, Doctor appointments, girl scout meetings, soccer games and "play dates".  But beyond that the time right now is fleeting.  Which isn't so bad really in the grand scheme of things....I love what we do!  And I know this time will fly by so I do try to enjoy the business and the craziness of our lives right now!

So what do busy bees look like...?
Well let me take you through our hive!

Sibling love...his favorite spot to play is on his sister's lap and she usually obliges!  She's feeding him tacos and corn...yumm.
And my busy guys.  Not sure what they are up to but it sure looks important.
And sweetness on four legs!  Oliver is always trying to keep in the middle of the action!

Swimming time-how this boy loves the water!
And my big fish...
Now with her own little fish!  As a special treat we agreed to get Simone a fish of her own.  It is a Beta (supposed to be easy to care for) and she has named her "Goldie".  They eat breakfast together each morning, very cute!
And Sammy Wei got some new wheels last week.  He will not sit in his stroller~ escapes every time even buckled in!  So this is our solution... a tricycle.  And I tell ya what, he loves it and I can push him around all over!
So busy, so many things to feed our dogs, real or otherwise.  What a mess  What a responsible pet owner he is!
And playground fun.  Sammy is so brave on the playground, or fearless whatever you want to call it!  He climbs and jumps and throws himself.  Mama has a really hard time keeping up!

And he really thinks he can climb this thing.  With mama's help he whoops with glee as he gets as high up as my arms can hold him!  (and yes Mom...I think of my split lip on one of these any time either of them want to climb it!)
A serious looking break gives me a chance to smooch on those cheeks!
Yep, he's laughing because at any moment he is going to try to fly off this slide and he knows Mama is going to react and try to catch him before he tumbles down!
And back home, reunited with puppy!  He's probably hungry again...

So that's about it for us.  I have run out of time so now it's time to run!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

My 18 month old babe

Okay...19 month babe is more appropriate at this point!  Last month just got away from me, between vacation ending, school starting and one very ill little fellow....well it all just was over before I could post about my one and a half year old!

And still, at 19 months I can't believe my little guy has turned 1 & 1/2.  He's somehow grown out of babyhood and slipped into toddlerhood while I was looking the other way.  And as much as I am already missing those baby days (or the ones I got to be a part of at least) I am so very enjoying all these new and exciting things that he does and learns and shows us every day!  I wake up each day and wonder what he'll be doing this day to amuse or exasperate me...depending on his mood. 

But I also wake up each day amazed at how full of love I am...for my WeiChe (and his big sister).  I remember so clearly a year ago waiting for the courts to say we could go to Taiwan and make him our son...what a tough time for me, wanting so badly to just hold him, kiss him and be his Mama.  And now he has been home with us for 10 months.  Amazing months spent at first just getting to know him, and then getting to see what a truly cool child he is - once he got comfortable with us.  So many changes, even from a month ago, with his personality and his comfort level with us and his surroundings.

There are so many things I want to remember about my little dumpling at this time. 
He is just such a delight and such a handful at the same time!  He is one of the most loving and sweetest baby and is so happy to sit and cuddle with me, or Adam, or Simone....  He also has not only kept his determined attitude but has fully unleashed it and has had plenty of "tantrums" over things he feels he just must have.  Determination shouldn't be his middle is his first. 

His favorite game is still chase and "chase me up the stairs" has become a number one hit....much to his Mama's disapproval!  I hear him call me, it's either a "Mamaaaa" or a "yayayaaaa" followed with hilarious giggles and I know I'd better be running to those stairs because said dumpling will be about 1/2 way up them.  Laughing.  Oh yes...we play many times a day.

Sammy is also an absolute fish.  Whether it's the lake or a pool or the kitchen sink he enjoys water so much.  At the pool he just jumps in, no fear and no worries if he goes under.  Needless to say we have to keep an eye and/or hand on him at EVERY moment!  And the lake is no different, he walks in right up to his chin and walks around.  When we go out on our friends boat he loves both the ride, with the wind in his face and the bouncing of the waves, and the swimming part.  He will wallow around in the water for as long as we stay in one spot!

And he keeps me busy and on my toes all day!  Sammy is so curious and active and just plain busy!  He has plenty of toys but prefers to play with me and my the broom or vacuum, the pots and pans and right now the keyboard.  Power struggle to follow.

Some of Sammy's favorite things right now....
Well he loves his Wiggles and Sesame Street videos and loves to boogie to all of the fun songs.  And boy can he boogie...he has dance moves like I have never seen...It's rather adorable!
His favorite books are Goodnight Moon and Goodnight Gorilla.  He also loves his Touch and Feel Farm Book and his Book of 100 Words- the page with the trucks, cars and tractors being his favorite and the one with animals being his second!  He loves trucks, lawn mowers, tricycles & bicycles....anything with wheels pretty much as well as anything with fur.

He had a great 18 month doctor visit and is right on track for his growth.  He isn't saying much more than he was a few months ago...but we aren't too worried at this point.  He gets his message across regardless and is really one little smarty pants!  He clearly understands what is being said and follows all directions I give..sometimes even when I don't know I've given them!  He is so very physical though...climbing everything in sight and trying to master anything he can climb, take apart or throw.  We do have an appointment with an ENT Specialist next week, because he has had quite a few ear infections and his Pediatrician just wants to be sure there isn't a problem with the ears.  Plus he a bear.  So we want to get this all checked out. 

And sleeping...well he sleeps through the night at least.   In our bed, yes.  But through the night!  And naps have moved into the bed or crib (from my lap) and he now takes one that lasts for 45 minutes to an hour.  Trust me...this is progress!  And what makes me laugh is the post I wrote before we got his referral here - .  Too funny really, if only I had known that we would in fact be co-sleeping.  Not for us to bond so much, but for little WeiChe to be able to sleep well.  And believe me...we've tried it all, he just sleeps better (okay he only sleeps) when he is cozy in our bed. 

Okay okay...I hear you...
On to some of the latest photos of my sweet boy. 

So the zoo is still a big hit.  We go in the mornings while Jie Jie is in school.  And while we miss her during these outings it is nice to have some one on one with my guy!
Well, when he's not snuggling with a turtle statue that is!

And his first Merry-go-round ride!  He was not sure why we where on this and really just wanted to run around and touch all of the animals. 
So to the petting zoo we went.  He loves the goats and makes all these noises of excitement...
Back at home we work on getting into mischief of one kind or another.  Ya...this is soo not allowed but he does it all the time anyway!
But at least when he makes a mess he sorta tries to clean it up....

Oh and our all time highlight of the day...filling the bird bath.  Also known as soaking Sammy with the hose.
This look on his he has no idea how he got so wet!
And Big Sis comes and makes him crack up.  Oh yes, we smile with our entire face when Simone is involved...
Simone said it looks like he's at work here.  He's got his office props.  Too bad he'll get sent home for dress code violations.  Again....

And did I mention how we love the hose...
I just love this cute and serious.  Watering things is a big job, and since the office thing isn't working out he's got to be real intent with the watering.

And at break time we enjoy a boat cruise around the living room with some cheese puffs.
And then we give the boat a ride....
And jump on our sister!  She's trying so hard to watch whatever it is on TV and he was just relentless, trying to get her to play with him!

So that is my sweet boy at 18/19 months.  So many amazing and wonderful days we've been able to spend with this little guy since we've been home.  How I missed him all those months we were apart ~~~ but we have surely made up for that lost time. 

What does the next month hold in store for us...the next year...? 
Well I can't wait to see!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

So about that "running" thing

Okay hold it, before you make a hasty judgement...
I am officially up to two miles and have been on schedule and keeping up with it for the last two weeks!

So to recap how it's gone down.
I started in the neighborhood next to us.  To get there I take a quick jaunt down my street, run a few feet down a busy road to the next street (no sidewalks here folks...just the road with a hill abutting it) and a stealthy cut through an empty lot and I am in a nice quiet subdivision. 
Yup, great.  

Except for this is one of the hilliest places I've ever run.  I mean total hills and bends and after the first day I didn't think I was going to be able to do it again.  Ever.
Let's just say I am sure not as young as I was when I used to do this. Four years is a long time to be out of shape and this has been so much more painful than I anticipated. Between the hills here, my lack of formal exercise and my slight advance in age....well this has kicked my patooty!

That first day I got an estimated mile under my belt. Out of breath with legs literally shaking I staggered into the house thinking I'm just not up to this challenge! Yet at the same time I felt great!

So I tried again a few days later.
With the same results.

Legs squishy, shaky and so very sore already from the previous run, I am sweaty and panting by the time I am done. And I am rethinking this "get into better shape" thing. 
And then I figured it out - how hard is it to jump in the car and drive to one of the many parks with a track on it near our house.  I mean it's just dogs, no stroller and no child in need of goldfish, 8 toys and a sippy cup to keep him just slightly somewhat occupied.  Just me.  
So less than a mile later via car I have found my jogging oasis!

Flash forward to my next jog...
I get on the track and go.  It is still painful but I can do two miles without actually dying.  And this being able to actually do it, well this is a good thing in case you were wondering. 

Oh the time I am finished I am still aching, sweating and out of breath...but I did it!  And it feels really good. 
So I've been on the track four times now and although still very sore I am really enjoying this.  And oh yes, I am soooo relieved when I am done with my run...but I feel great that I took a half hour of time for just me - to do something that makes me a better me.  I have a little time to myself, and honestly that time makes me stronger not only physically but mentally and emotionally.

And I thought I would have so many thoughts to organize.  But really...I just run.  I think of nothing but getting around the next bend and how wonderful it feels to be out here running.  (Okay...jogging...but I keep a steady pace)
And sure, when I am finished I head to the car beyond ready for that bottle of water I haven't been able to get out of my mind for the last lap.  And yes, I drink it like I haven't had water in days...water is dripping down my chin and into my shirt without a care what passerbys think.  Nice....

But seriously now, do I care?
Nope...I just went two darn miles. 

And by next month it'll be three.