Our beautiful daughter turned 5 today! So grown up and yet so sweet and naive. We love this girl to the ends of the earth and back again and know that she was thought of and loved today on two different continents!
Our boy is chatting it up a lot more lately, and recently started getting speech help from a teacher who comes to our house once a week. His vocabulary may be a little behind, but really the hard part is getting all those words organized into sentences! Little by little, he's figuring it out.
We struggled long and hard this winter with Eli's asthma. Last week we started him on Singu*lair and I kid you not, he seems like a new kid! His spirits have been much higher all week, I wonder if he is sleeping more soundly since he can breathe a bit easier? I don't know, but I hope it continues. We hope to start some allergy testing soon also, though the doctors has been eager to do it until now, telling us it's not always reliable in children.
This boy can make me melt in an instant and pull my hair out all at the same time. But, as time goes by little boys get easier and easier it seems and their fierce Mama love makes you soon forget the stubbornness and tantrums. phew!
This photo sums up Emily these days. She is so good natured and loves to be a goof ball. She is constantly humming, singing, dancing. Whatever moves her will prompt spontaneous glee, singing, or dancing. She turns five in less than a month and I am loving this age!
Em is going to have a birthday party with her friends this year and she has been so excited making plans. It will be hard for her to pick just five friends, since she has made so many friends at her school this year. Her teachers tell us often that she is such a good friend. Open to everyone, excited to play anything. We're so proud of her!
Em is all about dresses and "big kids" these days. She wants to know who can do what and at what age. She has sprouted up this past year and lost all of her baby chubbiness. Often when I look at her lately I realize that SHE is a "big kid" and can't believe that she will be gone all day next year in Kindergarten.
I saw a recap of a decade on someone else's blog and thought it would be great to do. As I reflected on this past decade, I couldn't believe the changes that have happened in my life. Due to lack of a digital camera at the start of the decade, there is also a lack o' photos. My how technology has changed in these 10 years!!
*Ring in the new year with Tom, though he's my boyfriend of 6 years at this point.
*Teaching at a Spanish Immersion school in the spring.
*Tired of waiting for Tom to pop the question, so I head off to Spain to be an Au Pair for a bit. Travel around Spain and also Morocco. Love it, but get homesick and decide to return by the new year.
*Ring in the new year with Tom, again. We are happy to be back together!
*Wait tables at a restaurant/brewery. Live with Tom in a one bedroom apt. until I can get my apt. back. Cramped!!
*Get my apartment back and Tom pops the question! Finally :0)
*We plan to get married in Maui in October.
*We invite family and friends to join us and have an AMAZING wedding in Hawaii. (So glad we did that!)
*Work at the Spanish Immersion school
*We buy our first house in June. We have lots of fun fixing up the place!
*Enjoy spending time in Boston and CT at Con-fra*tute.
*Still at Spanish Immersion school
*Spend two more weeks in CT and travel the east coast with Tom for a week. Love Martha's Vineyard.
*It's kinda blurry what else we were doing?!
*Visit Paris & Evreux, where my sis is playing pro volleyball.
*Take Tom to Spain to meet the family I lived with in 2000.
*Decide to help start a new charter school Spanish Immersion. Go to training in TX with new colleagues/friends.
*Go to Camp Du Nord with friends over winter break and read the book The Lost Daughters of China.
*SuperBowl Sunday we bring our paperwork to the adoption agency and start paperchasing for our daughter from China! We decide to call her Emily Mei.
*We sell our first house and move out to a suburb nearby. I enjoy decorating our new place
*Em was born in May, the day we mailed our paperwork to China.
*I enjoy the summer planning for our girl. I start this blog in June 2005!
*I continue working at the Spanish Immersion charter...thinking I'll be leaving any day...but the wait stretches on.
*Luckily we got a wonderful trip to Monaco in November from Tom's company. Wowza!!
*The wait continues, but we got a trip to NYC from one of my students whose dad is a pilot. Most fabulous teacher gift ever!
*We get the call and learn that we will be heading to China in June! Finally we meet our girl!!!! One of the best days...(grainy from video copy, but our first minute together)
*We enjoy our first months together with our daughter...
*I decide to cut back at the Immersion school and pick up a few hours at the big local University
*We contemplate moving back to the city. We miss it!!
*We take Em on her first international trip in April to London. We have a blast with our friends P, L, M, T!!!
*Put our house on the market, sell it and move into our friends third story apartment for a few weeks. Find our new house and move in! Enjoy decorating/painting/gardening and playing outside with Em.
*Travel to Seattle in the summer to see friends and family. Meet up with Nina, the other Huining girl adopted with Em.
*I work for the University again this year.
*We decide that we want to adopt again, especially after seeing this face:
*The paperchase begins in earnest once again.
*We enjoy the spring and have fun playing and planning for our newest addition.
*I meet some fellow bloggers IRL in Texas. We hit the flea market. Great fun!
*Em turns THREE!
*We travel to China in June. We do some sightseeing with Em before we travel to Eli's province.
*We travel to Nanning to meet our boy!
* We come home and settled in as a family of four. I think I'm still tired!!
*I start a new teaching job, working at the school that I was doing assessments for the university so it doesn't feel "new". I enjoy the challenge of this urban school.
*Officially been married to this man for 7 years:
2009*This year went speeding by...
Chinese New Year
*Em starts Pre-K at the Montessori down the road. Where did my baby go??
We can't believe how much life has changed in 10 years. What an amazing ride it has been. I feel so lucky to read through all of this and know that it's my life.
I wonder what reflections will be like in 2020. Will we have more kids? Will we be living here? (I vote for some place warmer!) Where will we be working?
The kids will be 13 & 14, I imagine life will be just a bit different?! Tengo alas para volar.
Sorry, couldn't get it to zoom in any more for you. Try this one...
Everyone has asked us how long it took us to get this. In reality, it wasn't too long after the "costuming" and staging. We tried a few other poses, like me serving cookies to the family while they read a book (the irony continues!!) but it worked best with no props.
Oh my gosh, can you get a load of those kids?! Hilarious. And my husband, he looks like a curmudgeon when in reality he's about the friendliest, most approachable guy you could meet. Ha!!
There were a few out takes, but the truth of the matter is that the kids LOVE when we set the timer and rush over to smile at the camera. Try it some time, you'll be surprised at what good photos you can get.