Sunday, February 28, 2010

More First for The Queen







The Queen continues to settle into her new life. This weekend has been a more relaxed weekend for us, i.e., we haven't had to run around to ball games/practices for the boys. That meant I had more time to clean the house. In The Queen's former life she would have been right there with whoever cleaning. But she has been so transformed that life happens around her and she is too busy being a child, a little girl. While I cleaned and the boys practiced in the backyard, The Queen, spent her time doing girl stuff in her room. She took care of her babies and fixed us all lots of plastic food to eat (thanks Criss). And today she came home from church and lunch and went right in there again to read to her doll and fix us more food to eat. I am so glad she doesn't feel the need to have to be cleaning with us all the time. But when I did ask her to clean something for me yesterday she hopped in and did it with a happy heart. But when she was done she definitely looked to me for praise, which she got lots of .
Along with a relaxed weekend we got to experience some more first with The Queen. She had her first visit to our local tea room. It was so much fun to go with "my daughter." We had a full tea (except she got lemonade since she doesn't like tea) with salad, sandwiches, dessert bites and scones. The Queen liked it all but the ham salad sandwich, but she loved scones and grapes with devonshire cream, and oh yeah, drinking from a tea cup. Her 2nd first was a trip to the beach to see the ocean live and up close. She has seen pictures of the boys in the ocean and has built up the desire and courage to want it too. So while wating for the tsunami to hit it got us itching for the beach. We took a little ride down there and got out and walked on the boardwalk and

hit the sand a little, but brrrrjing cold and we had to leave. But The Queen liked it and was ready to hit the water, we had to hold her back. And her 3rd first was baseball. She has watched her daddy practicing with her brothers and has been dying to get back there in it too. Being the cautious mom that I am I just couldn't let her back there with a real bat. So on our trip to the grocery store we picked her up a plastic (fat) bat and ball. We got in the backyard with her this afternoon and she is pretty good at it. She had contact with the ball as much as she missed. And when she hit she could pop it to the very back of the yard over the swing set. And you know males genes, they were quite proud of that and so was she. She was grinning from ear to ear.

And lastly is our family wall. When we first arrived back from China, one of the first things The Queen noticed and would point at was our family photo on the wall. There was a big family photo amongst other photos of us on a collage on the wall. We didn't leave her out, what photos we did have we had blown up and framed and placed along with other frames, but she wasn't in the big family photo. So being the great dad that he is he had a us go and get a family photo done along with some shots of the kids. See our new wall and family photo that didn't make the cut.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Language Barrier and Rainy Nights

A language barrier can really lead to lots of tears and frustration on all sides. The Queen had an incident with her baba before trying to go to sleep. Later as I was putting another child to bed she kept calling me. When I checked in with her there were some tears and she was pointing to a pin size hole in her ceiling that I left ages ago with a teacup hook. In order to stop tears and for sleep to come I grabbed some toothpaste and filled the hole in. I am figuring that maybe it has to do with the institute. Maybe they had holes and bugs would come in or something. So I am a genius and plug the hole. A little later I checked in a little later to find tears flowing more freely than ever, silent tears. I scooped her up and held her, then questioned her if it was because of me, no, because of baba, yes. So I dragged him into the whole thing. I am thinking poor orphan and her feelings and emotions that may be rising. We make sure life is all good again with us and that she doesn't think anyone is upset with her, that even if we have to discipline her we still love her. That gets her somewhat calm and I convince her to try to use words instead of her tears. Thats when she points to that hole again and makes swishing noises and proceeds to jabber away in Chinese. And that is when it hits us!! Rain. It is drizzling outside and there is a gutter pipe outside her room at that exact corner and it is making some swishing noises and she thinks that the rain is going to come in through that hole in her bed, above her head. I can't imagine what her room was like back in her orphanage and what she was used to dealing with. There it was her normal and she knew how to survive among it. But here, it is all new, and she was not sure what to expect I am sure. It will be nice when the Queen learns her new language.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Queen's Doctor Visit


The Queen visited the doctor's office today for her booster vaccinations. No she was not happy but this trip was different. When in China, we walked into the examination visit and she immediately burst into tears. Silent crocodile tears. It made us well up with tears too. It was very hard on her and us that day. Since being back in the states she has had one round of vaccines and that was so early on. That day she was frightened the moment we walked in but no tears, just nervousness and she of course cried big time that day and looked at me like how could you. But today was different, she was nervous but at the same time she would tease us about things. She even poked her head out into the hall to see if the nurse was coming and she was and still The Queen was being silly. This time when she cried it wasn't until she was actually stuck with the needle. It was just a "this hurts" cry. It didn't have all the other emotions a child that has been ripped from the only world she knows and thrust into a new world. This time it was just the raw emotions of child that hates needles. And our evening was good. She tried to pout in the car and I was able to discuss with her about not pouting (not in those terms) and she is getting it when we talk with her about her behavior and emotions. She pepped up and was just a regular kid. She would remind me that it was sore and I had taught her that we are "gentle" with

those legs. So she would point and say ow and then wave her hands over them and say gentle. And she trusted that I wouldn't touch them, and I was very careful like during bath time. It was just like my boys, ow, and it is over and we go on with our day. It was totally a new level of trust in our relationship as parents/child. It was just totally awesome.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

C*N*Y*







Our family has celebrated our first Chinese*New*Year! It was so much fun and look forward to next year. We did some pretty low key stuff, not too over whelming, but next year would like to visit the one in our capital city. It is a really big deal there and I think The Queen would like to have a taste and touch of home. But she seemed to enjoy herself this year and she is so regal about it all. She really goes with the flow and will go and do whatever we ask of her. It is amazing, but I think it really shows a deep level of trust she has for us and she knows we won't put her into any situation that would harm or hurt her. That goes all the way back to China when we were in Changsha, right after we got her. We went to the pool to let the boys swim and when she saw that body of water she bolted so fast I almost didn't make it in time. She hated elevators but was to it before I could catch up. Then a day later we were at the park with our guide and we were approaching a lake and bridge to cross when she started to fret and hide. I had the guide explain to her that we would never put her in harms way. At that very point she trusted us and never stopped. She reached up and took my hand and bravely crossed every bridge that day in the park without ever fretting again. And she reached a new level trust with her family that day and has held onto it.



On to our C*N*Y celebrations. As you can see in the pics we have a little duck. She joined with our local f*c*c and the girls did the Chinese Duck*Dance for the crowd. Then we watched as other groups did other performance and saw some video footages from aspects of China. After the performances we all had dinner and guess what they served.... pizza, no, Chinese Buffet. The Queen loved it and acted like she was in Chinese Heaven, but then add an egg roll in and that just stuffed her little belly and she was done with the food. Queen's worry about their weight, especially if you are from Chinese royalty as The Queen is. These girls will really watch their weight and she is great at pointing out any American that she considers over weight.
Our next C*N*Y celebration took place today. There are many families in the area that have adopted and we were invited to a party this afternoon. The girls had a blast. It was a long banquet table all dressed up Chinese style and served all kinds of food. I think The Queen's favorite was slices of oranges and pouring herself some lemonade from the little tea sets. And she really enjoyed the polly*pocket dolls that they had in their playroom. We also got to meet another little girl that is around The Queen's age and they are from the same province. We were actually expecting to travel together and God just didn't see fit. our TA took forever to come in. Maybe it was a test of our faith. Anyway it was great to finally meet them and the girls hit it right off. I would find them over in the corner together playing around each other with the polly dolls. It was like being with a half sister, lol. The Queen did have a great time and we had fun meeting new friends and seeing current friends. And we love having a reason to dress in our Chinese attire, she is so cute in it. (it is the outfit behind the eggroll).
Lastly, The Queen gets shots tomorrow. She hates them! We can't even say a word in our house that starts with sho... like shop or shock. All she has to hear is the sho and she starts fretting. So tomorrow this should be a fun time for all. Too bad Baba has to work and miss out on our fun.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What does a Queen wear?




What does a queen wear? Anything she wants. Not really, but the trick is to let her think she is. She is really not too hard to please, except on the days when she wants what she wants. She loves nail polish still, earrings, hair bows, funky tights, and shoes. And she is particular about it all. And that is why The Queen now dons a dress with its own crown front and center with a back drop of of pink stripes. It even came with its own crown to place upon her head. So cute on her as you can see, minus the crown, add the big bow for school. They still don't realize that they have royalty attending their academy yet. Trying to keep that under wraps so that the paparazzi doesn't plague us. Please try not to let his out.

We do have some really sweet relatives that found this royal dress especially for The Queen. They must have looked high and low for the perfect school dress and she is absolutely adorable in this cute thing as you can see from the pics. We even had to paint her nails to match.

And when it comes to night time attire, you can see she also wears a pink gown. A sweet lady at church made this cute gown for her and it fits perfectly. It is way to cute on her. It makes me miss my grandma. She always made things like that for me as I was growing up. She was even able to make my first child some items before she passed away. Home made items are very special and well cherished around here.
So now you know what The Queen wears on a regular day.
Now let me throw you for a loop, try not to alert the paparazzi. She will be disguised as a duck come Saturday night while she performs the Duck Dance for CNY.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Queen Updates

























Lots of things have since we last met. We have celebrated Valentines, Chinese New Year, snow, meeting long lost family, another virus, and a class party.
First of all The Queen was sick last week with what seemed like a nasty cold. We knew she was really feeling puny when she went and stood by her medicine. Now that is sick. When daddy took her in she had a fever and was given meds. Doc said this won't be the last since she is being introduced to our nasty bugs over here.
We also had to spend the week gettting ready for Valentines. Had to do cards and we had to decorate a bag for the cards. And The Queen experienced her first party. It was her Valentine party and I couldn't be there. I hated to miss it, but no choice, had to work. Her teacher said she seemed to really enjoy her first party. Then all weekend she asked if it was her birthday and would sing the birthday song. Yes she says very few things in English but the girl knows the happy birthday song.
She also spent Valentines hanging out with her brothers. Especially the one that looks like a bug. He dressed up fro Valentines as the "Love Bug." That kids cracks me up. He is such a comedian and can pull off dressing up goofy in middle school. See the pic where the siblings are hanging out with the bug. Plus a travel buddy's child sent the kids valentines card. I have never seen kids get so excited over valentine cards. But they felt special that she was even thinking about them. They love Miss. HotfudgeSunday. She was their little buddy in China.
We also have a tradition at our house for Valentines. We do a scavenger hunt. So basically we don't give out candy for free, you gotta work for it. We hide the loot and make up clues for them to help search for their items. The Queen got a treasure map instead. The kids love this and ask every year if we are going to do it. The Queen seemed to like it to. She got a new Meimei video.
Secondly it was also Chinese New Year on the 14th also. We didn't go all out for it this year. Basically we hung a lantern and got red envelopes with $ in them. They didn't seem to mind that was our extent. But really we are going all out this weekend. Our local Chinese groups are pulling together and celebrating this coming weekend. The Queen will join the other adoptee girls and they will perform the duck dance, think Big Bird. It will be cute. And I have a long lost second cousin that I didn't know existed til my told her family that we were adopting. They too have adopted and we have had a chance to get together. They are coming to town and joining us for CNY. We are so excited.

Then we get to the big news... SNOW! We never get snow. It can snow 10 miles up the road but never around us. We live to close to the ocean, you have to be further inland to get it unless a low sits off the coast and sends us lake affect type snow. We got 5 inches!!! We couldn't believe our eyes when we got up Saturday. And the best part, we didn't have to miss school. The kids went out to play and play and play. We had already built a snowman and made snowcream by 8am. It was the best. And our Queen loved it. She has seen it before in her province and was not shy a bit when it came to snowball fights. Enjoy the pics.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Regal-ness

Is regalness a word? If it were The Queen would be it. The Queen went with me to my school PTA last night. As she entered the auditorium she began to wave to her subjects. And each person that would speak to her, she would just wave, then move on. Truly we had royalty among us last night. I bet many people didn't even realize it. She is very polite that way, not drawing attention to her status or anything. But ever the polite Queen, waving to her loyal subjects.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Changning Remembered

Our little queen has been trying to tell us a lot about her former life lately. If I only knew Chinese. From what we can tell she and her 3 friends, that all came to Gotcha Day to meet their forever families, cried and 3 of them got sick and vomited on the way. Her nanny was not one that came that day, but thanks to Karen (a buddy) we have a picture of her nanny. She traveled with Fava, haHa, and Ganga. (A guess on the spelling, just spelling it like it sounds.) The Queen also had a deep scratch on her face when we got her and apparently Ganga was the one that did that little number on her. And tonight we viewed a picture that Karen sent me and she went through all the kids in the photo and pointed out which nanny took care of which kids. This has really been the clearest conversation we have had and really it was all in Chinese, yet we could communicate. I can't wait til she can tell us in English what she is trying to share with us.
One thing we have tried to share with The Queen is that we love "nu mama" ( her nanny) and that we love all the people in the picture. We want her to know we are fond of them and are grateful for their care and love toward her. We figure this will take the pressure off of her so that she won't feel any anxiety in sharing things with us when we look at pictures. We don't want her to ever feel like she has torn allegiances. And we are grateful for their great care. It is obvious that she was well cared for.

Friday, February 5, 2010

God Answers Prayers




He is still in the business of answering prayers. In The Queen's school, the kindergarteners attend Spanish class once a week but since she hasn't even learned English we felt that this was probably not a good idea for her to learn Spanish. So we asked the school to come up with an alternative. The principal was able to find a retired teacher to come in and tutor her during Spanish time, YAY! So I took it a step further and mentioned to her teacher that it would be great to find some more volunteers to come everyday and work with The Queen on her phonics. Ms. Kindergarten thought that was a great idea and would include it in her newsletter. The next day the principal came knocking on the classroom door and asked if Ms. Kindergarten could use a parent volunteer, she had one that would like to work. And do you know this angel was willing to come everyday for an hour and work with The Queen and 2 other students. Did you all catch that? Everyday, this saint is coming for an hour, and to work with 5 year olds. That is why she is dubbed our angel. That afternoon when I walked in, Ms. Kindergarten couldn't wait to tell me that God had already answered our prayers and she hadn't even had a chance to put it in her newsletter.
And our Drama Queen saga continues. Yes she got up Friday morning, or should I say she tried to get up by really just wants to sleep through breakfast. The girl hates getting up but once she was awake she resumed her complaint of The Tooth. Really she had eaten all her fruit and half of her toast when she remembered the owie in her mouth and then began to moan, OHHHHH. Mama A OHHHH. (that is what she calls me) Then she finished eating her breakfast with no complaints, just has to add that touch of drama to our lives that we were missing.
And we have learned that she has definitely learned something at school. MANNERS! Get the part where I said AT SCHOOL. We have just been working on saying yes or no, but apparently at school she has learned "yes m'am and no m'am. It is wonderful. It came out of nowhere and I love it. Plus she has learned from us too, today she started saying "I am sorry" on her own, and she also said "I forgive you" on her own, or would remind us to say it. She has the sweetest personality.
And can't leave out the the young prince. It was elementary ice skate night and he had a blast, see the pic. He was able after 5 minutes to get rid of the walker and tumbled around on his own. My husband explained it as running on ice, not sure if the blades ever hit the ice.
Afterwards we all met up and a Christian*** cofffee shop that has live bands, great place for young people and old alike to hang out. Even has wifi. It was great and she loved it, she moved to the front row. She LOVES music!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Drama Queen Saga's



The Drama Queen saga's continue. She is so funny. If she gets bumped in the slightest way is like lava flowing out of a volcano on her. This is not uncommon for institutionalized kids to react in this way, so we just go with it. But sometimes it just cracks me up. Like tonight, the kids were tickling on the kitchen floor. Somehow she came up with a bumped tooth. So, being the awesome mom that I am, I scooped her up and had a looksy. No blood! So I slipped my fingers in there to see if it would wiggly (it's a baby tooth y'all). No wiggling! No bruise, no blood, no wiggling, nothing. But as you can see by the pics the pain she was in, I mean thought she was in. And as you can see by the other picture that a few minutes later it was well enough to drink from a straw. But what you can't see is 5 minutes after that she complained again when Baba came in. She is soooo going to kil me when day if she sees this.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Queens Week






















This weekend The Queen was given the royal treatment. She has experienced her first time out at school. She watched mama get her teeth cleaned. Ate at Tex*s Roadhouse. She had her first tutoring time at school to work on phonics. And she tried to tell us about Gotcha Day, but unfortunately it was all in Chinese.





At the royal party we shared pictures of our trip to Chin@, The Queen was shown the royal treatment and given many gifts (mostly gift cards for the fairy godmother to shop), and lots of good foodies to eat. The Queen and the royal family all dressed in authentic Chinese garb and we enjoyed our evening. The Queen loved her evening. Many times she put on the shy mouth, but she absolutely loved opening presents. It was very sweet. It is hard to say what her favorite item was, they all varied in types of gift so they all hold equal likeness. She got a doll that giggles, a dog that sings Jesus* Loves* Me, pj's, a v-tech stype laptop, a wand, a purse and some jewelry. But I ave to say her favorite foodie was anything choco ~ translated chocolate.





And if these pics from the night upload quickly I am throwing in a picture of her eating with her chopsticks at home. I try to keep this one thing from her past going, I don't want her to lose all her past.






About Me

I am a pastor's wife and the mother of 3 active children. Two boys and a daughter from China. We live on the East Coast and enjoy the beach.