I've been waiting...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

It's Her Fault!! LOL

If you are wondering why you haven't seen too many posts from me lately, well, it's sort of Grace's fault.  Her sleep issues ebb and flow and right now she's having an incredibly difficult time staying asleep.  That means she is waking up after only 40-60 minutes of sleep each nap and night, normal for nap, not normal for night anymore.  As a result that means I'm only getting 40-60 minutes to myself each evening, and well, let's just say, showering sometimes just takes priority!!LOL  On the upside (?) we are working on going to sleep on her own with some success.  Normally I have always stayed with Grace until she is soundly asleep but the time has come.  Her attachment is secure enough now that I have introduced a modified cry it out method for several nights now.  I have had to endure a lot of crying and calling out to Mommy, but so far it is working. She is now content with the expectation that she needs to go to sleep on her own while Mommy "does her work in the kitchen"  my general line when I put her down.  She still sleeps in my bed most of the night and I'm fine with that, have no intention of changing that routine right now, but I really wanted her to be able to put herself to sleep on her own, so hang in there faithful readers!  I hope to have more time soon to write.  I love keeping track of her adventures and can't wait till she's old enough to read the blog herself.

ps. Adoption issues are different than bio issues, especially in the realm of attachment, so if there are any adoptive parents out there who have experience with this and could shed kind words of wisdom, I'm open to hearing from them. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Difference a Year Makes

The difference one year makes.  Grace was invited to her first ever birthday party last year at this time, a little girl we had met through a friend, who has since become a friend of ours as well.  A year ago, Grace was shy and insecure and clingy at the climbing jungle place where the party happened.  I held her in my arms the majority of the day. She climbed on the structures but only with me.  She definitely stood out in the crowd. 

Fast forward to a year later and the change is amazing.  The party took place at the same jungle gym although I'm sure Grace does not remember it.  Grace knew we were going to a birthday party and she knew most of the people there.  When we arrived, she walked straight in, could hardly get her jacket off quickly enough, threw it on the floor and ran for the play area.  You can see below that she enjoyed herself tremendously, playing with the other children, her daycare provider and me.  

My girl is getting more and more confident every day.  She's amazing and amazes me with how much change I've seen in her, especially in recent months.  While I hate the thought of her "growing up" I know it's inevitable and if it has to happen I'm glad to see it happening well!

Grace with her friend and their babysitter, preparing to go down the big slide!

"Come on Mommy!!!  Catch up!!!"

Grace with her daycare friend

The only thing she didn't like about the party was the hat!!!

Eating of course was a highlight!!  Grace definitely likes her food!

"See you at the top Mommy!!"

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Finally, A Glimmer of Hope!!!!

Finally, some spring weather, a glimmer of hope that this snow and cold and ice will actually disappear some time!!!! What a relief today was from this past winter and Grace and I took full advantage.  When I saw that sun shining this morning, I couldn't wait to get outdoors so I packed up Grace and headed out to a local maple syrup festival.  We enjoyed a great pancake brunch and walked around through the spring snow.  We ended our visit to the lake with a horse drawn wagon ride.
 Yummy yummy pancakes!!

Grace wasn't too sure of the horses at first but she warmed up to them eventually.  Look at that blue sky!  Gorgeous!

Back home on the driveway, Grace got a chance to play outside in the sunshine, I got a chance to clean out the car and fill the bird feeders and everyone was happy!  

After nap time, Grace and I headed out to Grandma and Grandpa's (the house of which apparently is only Grandma's, as Grace has enthusiastically explained in Grace-ese.  We don't know where Grandpa lives, in the workshop maybe!!LOL)  The sun was still shining strong and it was a beautiful little hike into the forest to check out the sap buckets.  Can't wait for the maple syrup to be ready!!! Rubber boots however were a must as the mud was up to our ankles.  Oh well, spring is mud and I love it!!

On the way home we saw another sure sign of spring.  A herd of about a dozen deer were scavenging on newly revealed bare patches on a farmer's field along the highway.  I stopped to take a photo but between the sound of the car stopping, me rolling down the window and Grace enthusiastically yelling "Me! Me! Me!" because she wanted to take the picture, the deer got a little spooked and ran off before I could get the shot.  Oh, well, seeing them enjoy the warmer weather was a nice way to end a glorious day!

 Looking for Grandpa.  He was away for the day and Grace just couldn't get her head around that, kept calling him in the workshop and outside.  How dare he be away when she comes to visit was her opinion I think!!!
 Beautiful hike through the forest.  I love spring snow!
 Trying to taste the sap.  I had already given her a little taste on my finger and she like it!

 Goofing off like usual!!!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Stay at Home Mom

This is actually an old post from back in the winter.  Unfortunately still true yesterday. 

Today I remembered why I do not go to a mall anymore.  I'll leave you with this image:  2 year old who hasn't napped.  Snowsuit.  Hat, mitts, scarf.  Stroller across a snowing/blowing parking lot.  People EVERYWHERE.  Eating lunch in a crowded food court.  Need I say more??

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Paddy's Day Fun

She's got a cold and is a bit of a slobbery mess but still looking cute in her Irish gear. 

Eating our Irish Stew for dinner!  Yummy

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Where is Spring?

I have now officially run out of places to put the snow I have been shoveling.  Where is spring??

I want this back please.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Two and a Half Year Old Cuteness!

So, Grace and I were at the mall Friday night, getting some photos done and just hanging out.  We stopped at the food court for a little dinner of Chinese noodles.  We didn't eat them all so I brought home our left-overs and stuck them in the fridge.  Now Grace was sound asleep when we got home so she went straight into her crib, did not see me put the noodles in the fridge.  

Fast forward to Saturday morning.  Grace and I woke up and Grace went downstairs without me, something she has never done before.  I think I've hit the jackpot, so proud of her being so independent.  I take full advantage... I hit the washroom, brush my teeth, make the bed, sort the laundry into piles.  And then it occurs to me that she knows how to open the fridge.  Hmmm, I think, I should probably go check on her, it's very quiet down there.

So, down the stairs I go and here's what I see around the corner!!!!
"Hey Mom, what's up? Want some noodles?"

Nothing like a few noodles for breakfast!!  Especially when you can have them on the kitchen floor with your juice box!  And right beside the potty, just in case!!?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

10 Years - Happy Anniversary??

Thanks to an online friend who reminded me of this!

10 years ago today I started this journey.  I sat in a small room in Burlington with many other expectant and excited and anxious people, watching the video footage of a family meeting their child in China for the first time, wondering if this was the right journey for me.  What I didn't know then was where I would end up.  10 years ago, I had a different job, different friends, I lived in a different house, I had a different life.  This journey has changed me.  

Grace has brought excitement and craziness and mess into my life that was already crazy and messy.  

10 years is a long time to get to where you want to be in life.  I will not deny that I was bitter about the wait, really really bitter.  Life felt very unfair for many years waiting for Grace, getting older and more anxious about the outcome with every set-back.  

But I took a leap of faith to start this process, and it was my faith that kept me in it.  Unfortunately I often go days without thanking God for Grace but every time I get a reminder (like this anniversary date) I am completely humbled by the priviledge I have been given by God, by China.  Grace was definitely worth the wait!  A year and a half into parenting and I'm still in the "pinch me" stage most days.  I can't believe I'm actually a mom, although if you saw how tired and frazzled I am, you wouldn't doubt it for a second!!LOL

This process?  This journey?  This past 10 years?Exciting at the beginning, hard in the middle, amazing at the end.  And that pretty much sums it up.

Friday, February 14, 2014

What is Love?

My open letter to Grace.  I must confess, the idea was not entirely my own.  I was prompted by another mother's writing. :)

Dear Grace

What does Valentine's Day mean?  It's a day to show our love for the people we care most about.

What is love?  Is it fancy cards or chocolates or flowers?

Before I met you I thought love was a connection, a feeling shared between two people.  Now I know that love is even bigger than that.

Love is more than just a feeling.  It is a state of being.  Alone, I am just a tired, stressed out mom.  
Together we are love.

Love is handprints on the window, cheerios on the floor and Barney on the TV, one more time.

Love is toys under my feet, toes digging into my ribs and bags under my eyes.

 I say it again and again and one day you will understand when I say, I can no longer remember my life before you nor imagine my life without you.

That is love.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Chinese New Year 2014

Happy New Year!  Gung Hei Fat Choy!

Picked up my latest collection of photos today, Grace dressed in the outfit my parents bought for her in China.  It's just beautiful.  We celebrated the New Year a little more quietly this year, ordering in Chinese with my parents and tomorrow a small gathering with friends to celebrate the New Year.  I'll post more photos this week.  We'll go back to hosting a bigger Chinese dinner at some point, I just wasn't up to it this year.  Timing wise, it came during the same week as report cards, I have a book fair going on at school and pretty much everyone is sick with something.  Next year I will do it big again!  Enjoy the photos!

Forget the money!  She's looking for chocolate coins in her red envelope!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

My Little Helper

Grace, hard at work helping around the house!  

Of course, after all that hard work you gotta sit down and have a snack!!!LOL

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Snow, snow and more snow

I've been a little neglectful of the blog recently, sorry about that.  This winter just hasn't given us a break and between shoveling snow and no power several times, trying to stay warm and report cards and a computer that I absolutely have to replace soon because it's so slow.....I just haven't had extra time lately.  Why that is I'm not sure because Grace and I have barely left the house any weekend in January, mostly not by choice, it's just been too cold and too windy and too snowy, but somehow I haven't had time.  Is it because she's two and living every minute of her two-ness??!  Maybe!  I do have a few posts waiting in the wings so I will get them posted in the next week or so.  In the meantime, Happy Chinese New Year!!  I have some beautiful photos of her dressed in her Chinese outfit that I will post when I get copies of them.  Here's a few shots of how I keep Grace entertained while I try to clear the driveway one more time!  Our motto for all this snow?  If you can't beat em, join em!!!!

Who says sand toys are just for the sand??????