This is our story....of love, life, and adoption

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

A day(or two) late...

More pics from her birthday...was that really over a month ago...

Monday, November 15, 2010

3 years old

Can you believe that our little girl is 3 years old....My how time flies...
I know that I am wayyyyyyy overdue at updating this blog.  So this will be quick and I'll add more pics later this week or next.

This is her "3 year old" pic..from a quick, get the shot photos at the park..Claire was super excited about her birthday party.  For weeks she would sing Happy birthday to cute.  She had a Dora birthday party and all she asked for was a bumble bee pillow pet...well she got it along with a basketball hoop from her Mommy and Daddy.  I have super cute pics of her playing ball in her party dress.  She is a very energetic child who no longer takes naps..unless she passes out from sheer exhaustion.  It's hard for us because she runs at 90 miles per hour until bedtime.  I am not exaggerating. Really I'm not.  I'm not sure where she gets the energy.  She is potty trained except at night..and lately there are several nights a week when she is dry.  She can count to twenty and sings songs we have never taught her...She loves to play outside, play with doll houses and we've introduced her to board games.  We finally introduced her to Dis*ney movies..her first one is The Little Mer*maid...she tells me it has a scary shark...not the effect we had hoped.  But I will say trying to imagine it through a 3 year olds eyes it does look scary.  She is however infatuated with Annie the movie. 

For Halloween Claire didn't want a costume...we told her that that's not how it worked.  She practiced trick or treating for a month, but wouldn't choose a costume.  On try number three after we looked at every costume..we thought we would just have to pick one for her...when I asked about a was cute) they have a girl pirate..........ARGGHHHHH...and the costume was chosen...phew....and it was adorable....This is Claire with her cousin and although I had to work that night(ugghhhh) Jon tells me they had a blast....

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Yearly update

So I just sent in Claire's yearly update.  That is such a difficult thing to do.  How do sum up a year in a letter and 16 pictures?  You don't, well actually I didn't.  I sent a pretty long letter, several pages and I think something like 40ish pictures.  I just couldn't help it.  It's such a hard thing to sum up the past year of your child's life.  I want them to see that she's doing well and see what kinds of things we do.  So 40ish pictures it was...
I've really been trying to talk with Claire about adoption, although she doesn't grasp it at all.  I just don't want her to have never heard the word.  I was looking through her baby book with her and talking with her about it.  In the back of her baby book is an envelope that closes.  I have her birthfamily pictures in there that way when she is older she can choose what to share.  But, we were looking through the pictures together and there is a picture of her birthmother holding her.  Claire looked at it and said "mommy" she often will see women and say mommy or men and say daddy, but that was like a stab through the heart.  I know it shouldn't have been because no matter how I feel or how I want to clarify or label the relationship, it is her birthmother.  But I wasn't sure what to feel.  One one hand I know I shouldn't be hurt by that and I should want to be open and all..but on the other hand I'll be honest I don't want her to be calling her Mommy. I just don't.  I know it's not politically correct and I know that I should feel other wise, but is it wrong?

Monday, July 26, 2010

164 pictures..

So in one weeks time I took 164 pictures...really? And the sad thing is that I won't print any of them out...I gotta get better at that.  So as you can see we have an apartment of a tent, which like I said before, Claire thought was great in theory...until she had to sleep in it.

I really don't know what happened or how this picture jumped to the top, but this is the result of my "sweet" girl.  The bugs just loved her at camp no matter how much bug spray we sprayed on her.
After a couple days of camping, Claire and I headed to my BF's house for another couple of days. There we relaxed, swam, hung out, found an old school playgroud(with merry go round and see saws). We also took the kids to a place called Birthday World, which is like a Chuckie Che*se except there are rides...awesome place to hang with the kiddos.
  In the olden days, when my friend and I would hang out, we might go to a club or a bar...the funny thing was that on a Friday night, we were at a place with rides and our kiddos were running around screaming...and the strongest thing we were drinking was a Dr. Pepper.. man...are we getting old....But if you snuck off to the glow in the dark minature golf room,  closed your eyes, screaned out the screaming kids, and listened carefully to the DJ(yes...they had a DJ) play the latest dance music, you might feel your hips start to move, maybe for just a second...until that is Claire found me..screaming "MAMA!! MAMA!! MAMA!!....awww such bliss in that little voice...screaming at me!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

We got kicked out.....

The camping trip went well...Claire on the other hand didn't fare as well.  She loved camping and the idea of the tent.  She loved swimming in the "cold pool", which is the natural spring that stays 72 degrees year round.  She loved hanging out and riding bikes with her cousins and helping them build a fire.  The bugs on the other hand LOVED Claire.  When I say loved I mean LOVED!!  Despite using two cans of bug spray on Claire in two days, she came home looking like she got beat up in a Tyson fight.  We seriously sprayed bug spray directly on her face, but it didn't help, she got bit so bad that we felt like horrible parents...she looked like she had two black eyes and had bites everywhere, even under where her clothes were.(I'll post pictures later of that).  She was great during the day(typical 2 year old stuff), but the first night she fought us tooth and nail to go to bed. The second night she was soooo exhausted that she fell asleep easily, but had a night terror.  Don't know if anyone has dealt with these, but the cure is to wake them up.  She was basically asleep, but screaming.  I'm sure all the campers around us loved us.  So here I am in a tent, it's pitch black, with Claire screaming and  writhing, my nephews are right next to us, it's steaming hot and I have a flashlight in Claire's face trying to wake her up, prying her eyes open to see if that would help. She started screaming for her mommy, who by the way was holding her. wasn't fun.  Anyhow after that night and Claire waking up looking like we beat her, we decided to head out a day early.  She loved the day, but we think she might not be ready to sleep in a tent....Anyhow, despite what it sounds like we did have a great time.
     Claire and I have been kicked out of our house so Jon can paint the outside. We are headed to Orlando to hang with by bestie from high school.  I'll post pics when I get back. 
**For Claire**
     It's been two years since you were placed in my arms.  It was a day that was filled with so much anticipation and visions of love.  But nothing compares to the reality of being your mother.  I tried to imagine what it would be like.  I tried to imagine what that love would feel like.  But no one could adequately  describe it.  I can't even describe it.  I am truly blessed.  Everyday you amaze me and I love watching you become who you are.  --love, Mommy

Friday, July 16, 2010

Can you believe it?

Can you believe that we are coming up on our 2nd family day anniversary?  Can you believe that it has almost been two years since we became a family?  Can you believe that we survived?  Can you believe that we are celebrating by going camping in the July heat with a 2 1/2 year old and her three teenage cousins in one tent and all the other cousins in the next two campsites?  God help us.....

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A snipet or two

Life is just speeding along...not that you really want to read about it..therefore...the pictures...

We started Claire in gymnastics..she's still young so I have to "participate" in the class with her, which by the way is rather amusing...she doesn't like to stretch, but loves all the jumping and if I'm not quick enough she'll run off in the other direction to jump on this or that. She's starting to listen more in the class, but it's still quite daunting.
The potty training is....going...she's not all that interested in it anymore.  She has three potty's to choose from b/c Mommy was getting frustrated only to learn that she just doesn't want to do it when I ask, but she will sneak off to the bathroom, close the door...LOCK IT..then go, just as long as I haven't asked her.
She did however tell me for the first time yesterday whilst we were out doing errands "Mommy? POTTY" as Mommy had to scramble to find/see if the place even had a toilet.
Her speech is coming along.  I..and I must stress just I believe that she is behind in her speech, not her receptive, b/c she understands all, but her expressive.  The last few weeks though, her speech is really starting to blossom, which helps with her frustration.  But I will tell you the cuss jar is about to enter our household,  She repeated loudly and clearly....the forceful word... "B*S*" just the other day at the dinner table, thanks to Daddy. Not all her speech is clear, but darn nit when she cusses you know was a clear reminder that we have to watch what we say.
She's a tomboy and I love it...she can rock a dress then play in the mud..she has an old car of Jon's that she likes to play with, but just so you know she's still a girl....there's a big purple flower that she added to the hood...NOW that's MY GIRL!!

Thursday, April 01, 2010


Does is not just amaze you what children can do and figure out in terms of gadgets...
If you go online and type in Toddler will come to a fisher price website that has an abc game...the kids can press anything on the keyboard and it will play a letter and an animal that starts with the letter. Claire loves this and it allows me to cook dinner without parking her in front of the TV. Claire figured it out very easily...loves to play on Mommy's laptop like a big girl..and is learning her alphabet. She's even been trying to sing her ABC's and knows animals like a yak and a urial..
these kids are smart these days

Family days

Okay so the pictures are a little out of order. But this is Claire and her YO GABBA GABBA kite. Jon refused to buy a girlie kite and that was a good thing...b/c
B/c although other peoples kites really captured Claire's attention, her own kite didn't hold much weight. So Claire went to play in the park while Jon and my nephew played with the kite...Actually Jon thouroughly enjoyed the kite and my nephew placated Jon..
And this is Claire's newest venture in the bedroom...she will wedge her little self between the mattress and the footboard of our bed...notice her little cute is that!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

She's doing just fine

It amazes me how the time has flown by.  On one hand it seems like we were just in Taiwan and on the other it seems like she has been a part of our lives forever.  I look back on our pictures and tears still come to my eyes remembering what it was like to see her for the first hold her and know that she was ours. Claire has an endless amount of energy and we are always on the run with her. She fills our lives with laughter and excitement for life like only a child can.
She has an infectious and devious smile all at the same time.

Jon and I were just talking the other day about her caretakers in the orphanage...we wonder if they get updates on the children that they loved and cared for. Claire had one caretaker in particular that was very bonded to her. She wept when we picked her up.  We send updates like we're supposed to but I wonder if those are just for the birthfamily...I wonder if these women care for and love our children while we aren't there and then with heavy hearts hand them over with faith to foreigners, never to know how it all turned out. How hard that must be. So we've decided to send an email to the orphanage explaining that we didn't know if the caretakers were updated,  but we wanted them to know how happy she happy we all are and that she's well taken care of...and of course we'll attach the cutest pictures we can.  And we hope that it will get passed on to "Lilly" and she'll know for sure that that little angel is doing okay...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Back on track..

Well so much has been going on...let's update.  The past 5 months have brought some changes in our household.  About 4 months ago..Jon got hurt again..he fell at Pump it Up, which is an inflatable party place for kids..he and Claire were climbing up a high slide thingy, Claire squirmed and they fell...far.  Jon cradled Claire and she was okay, but he shattered his ankle-requiring surgery and Jon was out on disability for 4 months.  He is doing ok now, but will have problems for the rest of his life probably requiring more surgery as he gets older.  Didn't I say that he wasn't allowed on high things....geeesh..
I changed jobs. I was working 5 days a week(like most normal people) plus call shifts, but I didn't feel like the quality of my interactions with Claire were very good.  She's a day person and was just grumpy when I got home and I felt like I never saw her. So I went back to 12 hour night shifts and am now working in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.  I love love love my new job and I love all the time I have with Claire now.  I'm with her everyday and I only miss the nighttime routine 3 nights a week. Plus I'm a true night person at heart so I need less sleep.  I hated hated hated getting up at 5 am 5 days a week.  The relationship between Claire and I has changed..she's not grumpy around me as much and we're able to do so much now.  I almost feel like a stay at home Mom.
My oldest nephew has moved in with us for the school year.  So now we have the terrible twos and a 16 year old.  Claire loves having him around and he's a tremendous help to us and is very good with Claire.  But let's not forget that he's 16.  Seriously he makes me feel old......
Our phone lines went down one night..I thought it was the computer so I pressed buttons..a lot of buttons..and reset things I probably shouldn't have our entire computer network was down...for many after about 5 months we have it corrected and now finally I'm back on track...with more time to enjoy the things I like updating our blog...