Monday, August 29, 2011

birthday girl

And she's now two!

Which means I now have two two-year olds...




Two cute two-year olds




We celebrated on Saturday with friends and family, a party complete with a cake (all her own) and presents (probably the first she's ever opened!) Correction - she did get a present or two once we first got home. ;) But she was pretty clueless about what to do with them, at that time, too!


And since today was her actual birthday, we needed to do something special, too. We planned a fun day with friends, the zoo and a birthday dinner at our local Chinese restaurant. (I forgot my camera in the car, so no pictures of the zoo.) We had a great time checking out the animals and taking advantage of half-price rides. The girls loved the carousel and the choo-choo train! (I like the log ride - it's like a lazy river. Although actually, it would have been lazier if I weren't trying to keep two two-year olds from jumping out of the boat.)



Dinner was yummy, but late since Daddy has to work late all this week. It was dark when we left and time for bed. The birthday girl didn't even get to open her presents. (I'm sure she won't mind in the morning.) I am a little afraid to give her anything new, though. Ever since opening presents on Saturday, she has since determined that all toys are her toys. Two-year olds... (Two of them.)


I think she enjoyed her first special day. (Well, the first time her special day was probably celebrated.) Although I'm sure she had no idea what all the celebrating was for.

Happy Birthday, little girl!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

'twas the night before Cora's birthday...

But somewhere in China a mother is waking up with empty arms, and I can't help but wonder about that. Adoption does not come without complicated emotions. Tomorrow we will celebrate Cora and her special day, knowing that somewhere around the world another mother's heart might very well be breaking. I wish she could see what a beautiful girl Cora is. How she smiles and makes funny faces. How she loves to dance. And sing. How smart she is. How quickly she is learning English. How she plays with her sister. And loves family.

I wish she could see moments like these...



She would be proud.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

5 months

It has been 5 months since we met Cora. That day seems so far away, and yet it also seems like we were just in China. I can't remember what life was like without her, but today in church I was remembering all the Sundays morning services when I would sit there, just wondering when we would bring our little girl home. She was no more than a couple pictures and a mystery to me at that time. I didn't even know what she looked like, as all I had were a few baby pictures of her.

But now here we are on this side of the adoption. So I thought I would reminisce a little - go back to that day. I haven't looked at some of these pictures since we were in China. Wow.

Here we are just minutes before meeting her. It's our "before" shot.

Olivia had a blast playing with all the toys. Of course, when did that kid not have fun in China?


And here she is.

Olivia absolutely adored her!

And as you can see here, Cora was just as excited to meet her new sister. ;)

She did laugh and play a little with Olivia on the slide. But as you can see, smiles were a little hard to come by that day. Understandably so.




See how red those cheeks are???

And here we all are!

The end of an emotional, exciting, life-changing day for us all.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

nap time

The other day, Cora woke up from her nap in an incredibly good mood. A well-rested, happy baby makes for great pictures, right? I ran for my camera, not sure how long the cuteness would last...

Augh! Not enough light. Too blurry. Get the blinds open.

Too late.





I think I asked if she wanted ice cream.

i did it!

After a little switcheroo of the bedrooms, we had enough empty space to finally set up my (I mean, the girls') beloved play house. We really had no room for it initially, and for the longest time I've wondered where or even when I could squeeze it in somewhere. But I got it for such a good deal; I couldn't resist bringing it home. (It really was a great deal!) And Brendan was just as thrilled with my purchase.

So maybe Brendan wasn't as excited about the house... That meant I got to assemble it. The reason it was such a great deal was that it was a floor model. (Fine with me - the cover is machine-washable and the frame is easy to wipe clean.) But the store had thrown out the assembly instructions. No problem - guess what! The instructions are online! Now that is thinking ahead... Way to go pbk!

So here I am ready to go... Assembly instructions on the laptop and a mess of pieces.

There must be several versions of this playhouse, because my pieces did not match the online instructions. Not at all. It took me 2 1/2 hours to get the thing put together.

But I did it.

And WE love it!