Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Clothes

OK, I am really EMBARRASSED! I bought this homemade outfit awhile ago, and I cannot remember who I bought them from. This is really bad. I love the clothes from Robin and have several of her creations. I am assuming she sewed this outfit; but please correct me if I am wrong!
The outfit is too big for AA, but I couldn't wait! I love the colors, style and total "cuteness"!

I have bought from here too: great twirly skirts! And from here: wonderful dresses that are just too cute!!
So with the new outfit on....... AA would only tilt her head; it was difficult getting a "straight on" photo!

We tried a few outdoor pictures trying to find that perfect pose and expression.
Here's AA with the geraniums we planted in the front door pots. She's so happy no matter what we are doing!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Enter a Giveaway - Mandy & Pandy Book

Enter to win a book at 5 Minutes for Mom that helps children learn Chinese. The Mandy and Pandy series looks like fun and AA loves to read all about China so I entered! You're next!

Also, read all about how popular Chinese language lessons are in schools in the New York Times (Jan 2010).

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fun with Friends

I am still catching up with the blog as we were all sick with various colds these past few months and I just finished my second round of antibiotics (you've read all about my whining on Facebook!). I am blaming everything on my flu shot I took for the FIRST time in my life right before Thanksgiving! I had the worst winter for colds, viruses, allergies (I guess..) and vertigo. My head still feels "clogged" so will make another trip back to the Doctor's office. I did make it into work except when I had vertigo; and I did make it to my preplanned obligations but not much else.

We visited with our friends in Orlando in mid-March while I was feeling better from the second 14 day run of antibiotics. We ate at P.F. Chang's and enjoyed some visiting and play time inside the Millenia Mall. Too bad the stores were closed after we finished dinner.... I could have had some fun (and I don't like shopping in a Mall...).

The center has a round calendar dial that the girls enjoyed running round and round on. We played on the floor as some very stiff and wary people walked around us!

Note the word "JUNE" under AA's foot. Very cool, open place and when the Mall is open, it blasts music on some surrounding screens.

JMei always wants to take pictures! Isn't she a cutie!

Playing on the floor...boy is it hard on my older body:

AA fell down once so we attended to her boo-boo:

More playing with the HomeDaddy!

Family photos when the girls would slow down:

We enjoyed our visit; now trying to "book" our next adventure together!

Friday, March 26, 2010

We Are Still Here!

I (we) have been on an unplanned hiatus with the blog....haven't felt like posting and been out of town a few weekends. Maybe a slump? Those of you who post several times a week know the feeling has to be there or you're just not inspired. We average about 25 posts a month so I'm not setting any records this month!
I need to get back on track as this is one way we are capturing our journey with Alyzabeth by slurping the blog each year into a book.

AA is really talking ALOT now! She is still shy around most people and takes her time to jump into the action, when SHE is ready. We are so impressed with her vocabulary and grasp of all the required kindergarten skills (she does not enter pre-K until August of 2011). AA does have behaviors that we are monitoring and helping her through, but more on that maybe in a future post.

So AA had fun demonstrating how to get mom and dad out of a blog slump....... with a smile.

Happy Friday, have a great weekend!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Finger Painting

Having fun with finger paints sent by Auntie-M!
We did lots of encouraging for AA to make a mess and have fun; BUT she really does not like to get her hands dirty!

Notice she uses only the tips of her fingers?

(the full size apron was loosely tied around her neck for a "bib"; made by AA's late great-Grandmother, E-E).
No big mess here!

Leftover Pictures from Last Weekend

I didn't work on blog posts much this last week so will push out some pictures that I would like to save. This week it rained two days so AA and her Daddy didn't have many new activities to photograph. Here's a few from last weekend.
Sitting pretty in her new chair from Auntie-M!

Azaleas in bloom!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Genetic Code Mapping & The Adoptee

Back in 2006, I exchanged emails with my friend Johnny regarding the likelihood of our children reconnecting with their birth parents. Without going into detail, each child's specific abandonment circumstance, laws and culture in China make that task nearly insurmountable. Suffice it to say, while not impossible, the obstacles are incredibly daunting.
I expressed to Johnny my personal hope and opinion that China would one day establish a DNA network for those undertaking such a search. I continue to hold out hope that they will.

Which brings me to this recent radio program I want to share with all of you touched by adoption. To listen, select the 11:00 audio segment for National Institutes of Health Director, Dr. Francis Collins. Available in Real Player and Windows Media format.
One huge, justifiable concern of the adoptee is their inability to have sealed court records released, thus providing a pathway to discovering their family medical histories. Without going into a privacy and personal rights debate, lets just agree that an individuals family medical history is vitally important.
As it stands now, Alyzabeth's chances of finding the pathway to her family's medical history is directly linked to the difficulties in identifying her birth parents. Without the expressed approval and active support of the Chinese government in developing an adoption DNA bank, that chance will remain depressingly low.

So, void of information, how can we help Alyzabeth pull back the curtain on her own unique medical propensities? How may other adoptees peer behind their curtain?
The answer is through Genetic Code Mapping. Though Genetic Code Mapping can't magically reveal our children's birth parents, it does reveal the genome makeup passed on to our children. It's not hard to understand just how important that information is.
By way of example, think of the countless number of woman who make breast screening and surgical decisions based on known family medical histories. Alyzabeth does not know or have access to that history. Another example, men in my family have the unfortunate family trait of dying from a ruptured aorta aneurysm. Armed with this information, I know to ask for a regular screening.

I don't know what the future holds in finding AA's birth parents but I do know that we can gift Alyzabeth with her individual genetic code map today. As individual human genome mapping continues to advance and becomes more and more affordable (just pray insurance companies don't make it a pre-condition of coverage), AA's family medical history once thought to be lost forever, will now become hers.

As it should be...

Monday, March 08, 2010

Weekend Wildlife

During our stroll, we saw squirrels, birds and a neighbor's cat.
The Blue Jay (in tree, mid-photo, to the right) was a bit allusive, but the Cardinals strutted for awhile before taking flight.

We encountered a yellow cat, that looks alot like Chester and OJ. This cat must be a progeny of one of the unions between our neighbors cat, Chester (who was allowed to roam free many years before being neutered in the early 90's, which means our neighborhood had several female cats not spayed!). At one time, I would spot many yellow cats in others yards.
With the sun in his eyes, he wouldn't look at us without squinting or eyes closed.

Enjoy the spring weather!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Playing Ball!

Many of you are posting about the beginning of Baseball...... our version is inside, more like basketball and sometimes golf (rolling the ball into the box). AA, with a box and ball, make for many fun ball games.

(if you were keenly observant, you may have noticed the box she was playing with, a very sturdy box that at one time held wine bottles. The South African wine brand name on the box is "GOATS do ROAM"; I always smile when I see it, with the play on words of the French "Cotes du Rhone" region! I thought it was funny!)

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Saturday Morning Fun!

Cousin Carolyn arrived for a PERMANENT stay in NE Florida. So glad to have her back with us. She is looking for a teaching job (K-2nd). Hope she finds something in St. Johns County since we are always going to St. Augustine. Now that AA has three people to spoil her, she has become a constant attention getter.

Carolyn came bearing gifts from herself (restaurant gift certificate and free babysitting services Yeah!!) and from my family, "Nana and Auntie-M". Auntie-M gave AA a child size lawn chair. She loves it! Sitting pretty!

Nana sent clothes and spring puddle boots. AA can stomp around outside now with her styling (L.L. Bean) boots.

AA in her new chair, watching her morning staple of "Imagination Movers".

This is Carolyn and AA hiding from the camera this morning. No bed-hair photos for them!