Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The stuff that comes out of Lily's mouth sometimes just crack us up...
I thought I better write some of these down, as I'll never remember them later...

So here are a few LILY-ISMS:

I'm like my sisters... I have 20/20 hearing!

I like Dum-Pa-Lings Mommy!

I gotta pee like a horse!!

Santa's Reindeer's say Hee-Haw Hee Haw!

Mommy!!! Here's my snot!

I washed my hands... with my spit!

and our all time favorite....

Smell my fingers!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Her menu..... Red Velvet Cake
Lobsters, Oysters, Shrimps, Atichoke/cheese Dip, Asparagus, and Roasted Sweet Potatoes
and Lemon Grass Spring water the kiddies, but thankfully Sangria's for the Bigger guests!
Quite the menu for an 11 year old.... She didn't want to invite her friends because she said they are all picky eaters and would never eat this stuff!! She also requested that the 2 little ones be in bed when we had her birthday dinner. She knew that if they were up, there would be a lot of commotion and we wouldn't be able to focus on her night like we should!
Every year, we end up putting her birthday dinner off, because it is so close to Christmas, and every is always so busy. I'm so happy we were able to celebrate on her actual birthday!
She invited our great neighbors, and we had a wonderful time!!
The weather was bad, and school and gym was canceled, so we decided very quickly late in the afternoon to have her "party". It was a great day, cooking with the 2 girls, preparing everything! They seemed so grown up to me! sigh....


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008

We are getting ready for x-mas! Hanlin is asking for presents, even shows me pictures of wrapped presents, but he has no idea what actually is going on. Lily has asked for a dinosaur and a boat, not a small boat either, one that goes in water and you ride on! (yeah, right, like that is going to happen).

My big girls haven't asked for much! Abigail asked for a can of creamed corn and a jar of capers.
She has gotten capers in her stocking since she was 2! Isabelle wants Lindt white chocolate and for her parasite friend "George" to go away.

Oh yeah...I didn't tell you about George..
Isabelle since the first of November has been having severe stomach cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, weakness...
When she had her first "bout" it was 2am and she woke up suddenly, screaming in pain! and I mean SCREAMING! I thought she was giving birth! We jumped up, and was getting ready to bring her to emerg and were also assessing if it was a flu etc.. when she went to the washroom and felt a bit better...she was still in pain, but the screaming stopped, so we thought it was either gas pain, or the flu (which was going around at the time). She was very weak the next day, but starving!! I kept her home, and she was fine. The following week the same thing happened, but this time not as severe, then again the following week, but with so much pain she vomited.
Every time this happened we kept thinking...flu??? But we knew something wasn't right. The doctor ordered (with some pressure from me) stool and blood samples. We had both samples by 9pm that evening. Now at this point, the gym coaches and the school are either sending her home, or saying that she is weak..etc.. the doctor is telling me that it is nothing, I'm getting upset
at Isabelle because I'm frustrated and worried, Isabelle is upset because she knows she doesn't feel right.
So, another week, another bout, now 4 times in 4 weeks. I'm ready to call the doctor again, when the phone rings and it is the doctor.. Surprise!! Isabelle's samples have grown a parasite!
Dientamoebal Fargilis to be exact! She has all the symptoms!!

Poor little thing has to take meds for the next 3 weeks. The pharmacy has to order them in, it is not a common drug. Its an anti malaria/anti parasitic drug.
When she found out yesterday she was a little shocked at first, until I explained what it was, (that it wasn't a big worm that was eating her insides out), and then in true Isabelle character, she decided to name her new pet!!
We've had a good laugh, I told her that she was not allowed to get any more pets,and she did this without my permission! We were adopting her brother..not parasites!!
So she will start these meds on Saturday, and by Christmas, George should be gone!!
At least he better be gone!!

So instead of pictures I have a video for you!! Lily is an absolute crazy girl! I swear, she will rule the world someday! Her antics just crack us up!

Hanlin has definitely had to learn to "tread" lightly around her when she is in a mood, but when the 2 of them are in sync, they play so well for hours at a time! He is learning to play with her at not "at" her.
She actually asked today to go back to China to get another Hanlin, she said "2 Hanlin would be fun!" Oh, and she wants to go and get Cheryl, for some reason, she thinks we left her in China.
Cheryl left earlier in the day than us for for Lily, she just disappeared somewhere in China!

From my sister:

you know
there are people out there that open your blog EVERYDAY to see
something ......anything .... maybe you should get Abby or Isabella girl
or even Barb to blog too!!!!!
UP DATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, sorry to my sister Cheryl!! I had no idea that you followed my blog so religiously! LOL
I promise to be more dutiful with my blogging duties!

Monday, November 24, 2008

well, I'm waiting for my chicken to finish cooking, and then I'm off to the gym to pick up the big girls. So while I'm waiting I'll share a little story that happened to me last week.
We went to get our family picture taken to put in the church directory...yeah... I'll wait while you pick yourself off the floor.....
so the pictures were taken, and we were ushered into another room to look at them on the computer to see if there were any we wanted to buy..(NOT), when the girl showing us the pics said to me smiling,
"umm so, are they adopted??"
I replied not smiling ( i wasn't in a very good mood).. "ummm, yeah.."
she then asked "umm, can I ask you why you adopted?"
I replied without a breathe very straight faced "well, we weren't happy with the 2 older ones so we thought we'd try our luck with these 2".
Oh man... you should of seen her face, ohh I love those moments.

How could I not be happy with these 2 fools????

Friday, November 21, 2008

So I had the 4 kids at the dentist this week! I had to laugh, as we took up all his examine chairs.
Lily had her first full cleaning, and did great! She was just dying to get to the dentist for some reason. She really likes it there. Hanlin had his teeth counted, no cavities and good enamel.
The older girls also got a great report!

We also brought Hanlin to the pediatrician this week. The doctor just loved him, He has no concerns. We've known this doctor for years, 10 to be exact!
We had a great chat, and I felt great leaving there.
I'll post more about it in a bit, but right now I'm off to shop with Isabelle.

Cheryl this post is for you!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

When we received our referral for Hanlin, lots of things happened that I couldn't blog about. Also while we were in China, "stuff" happened that again, I couldn't blog about.... BUT now that we're home, (and as of Friday, officially a Canadian Citizen), I can tell you the whole story!!
Some people know bits of this so skip the part you might already know..

Now, let me see, where shall I start???

I posted back in April about receiving additional information from the foster family via a friend living in Beijing. What I didn't post about is that from April to September we were able to have webcams with the foster family. We were in constant contact with them. It was wonderful and really helped out Hanlin with the transition. He was calling us Mama and Baba before we ever left for China! He knew each of the girls by name, and would shout at them on the computer! He and Lily would chat and show each other their toys.
He saw the inside of the house, the toy room and even outside!! When he arrived home, he ran to the playroom within 5 seconds of arriving. He knew where it was!!

We still sent pictures and a care package, but seeing him "in person" right after the referral was truly amazing.
Since we got to know the foster family, we decided to spend an extra week in Tianjin meeting with them. (1 week before the actual "family day")
We arrived on the first and on the 3rd, met Hanlin for the first time! They came to our hotel and we all ran to the lobby to greet them! It was a very emotional meeting, very happy!! We exchanged gifts, and many tears.. They gave us a photo album journaling his 4.5 years with them. To have baby photos is amazing!
The foster parents soon left, but wanted us to take Hanlin and his foster sister (21yrs old) shopping for the day. We went sightseeing, shopping and had a good time. He was very wound up, and we found out that he was slightly addicted of pop (coke)! LOL
We had a few more days with the family, we went to the park another day, and we took them out for supper and we took a boat tour of the Tianjin river.
When the actual adoption day happened, it was still very emotional!! Although I didn't cry right there, I held it together not only for Hanlin but for the foster parents.(But I lost it later in the van.) I kept hugging them telling them, we'll call..we'll e-mail... (and we have).
This adoption wasn't anything like Lily's, just like the birth of the girls wasn't the same, its neat for each of them to have such different stories and they love to hear about them.
All my pictures are still on the laptop, once I get them transferred over I'll post some pictures of our "secret week" hee hee

Thursday, November 6, 2008

ok, ok, I am sooo behind with my posts! Bad Blogger!!

Hanlin received his very first bike recently!!! Thank you Andrea and family!!!
He rides his bike everyday!! EVERYDAY!!!!!!!!!! He has really gotten the hang of it, at first he didn't know how to push the peddles, but after an hour of mommy back breaking pushing on the peddles with his feet, he got the hang of it! LOL
(yes he is wearing girls hat and mitts... give me a break...I have 3 might take me a while to break the girl habit!) Hee actually, I do have brown mitts and a sweet hat, but its a bit big for him and falls over his eyes, and when your just learning to ride a bike, you want to have nothing obstructing your view! ...oh and yes, we usually wear a helmet...but this was his first time, and we had 3 people flanking him. (he was very unsteady at first, and still has no idea how to brake! So Abigail would be on one side of him and Isabelle in the front of him to stop him from running into Lily, and I would hold the back of the bike, at the same time turning the peddles!) Now that we need a picture of ! LOL

Every year for Halloween, we put out our big spider in our maple tree and this year, Erica (our neighbor) had the great idea to add a decapitated kid in the web!! LOL
Lily went as a shark (this costume was made by my sister years ago for her son) and Hanlin went as a super hero!! Every house he went to he asked to eat the treat!! (it made for a long night for mommy)!

It is unbelievable the progress this little guy is making. He is speaking English and French and understands mandarin. (although he isn't speaking it.) I always understand what he is saying.
Lily has gotten so much better and has gained some patience with him. She no longer screams whenever he is near, or tries to gouge his eyes out. She is "using her words" more!
What I see between them now is more sibling rivalry stuff. yeah!!!

They both love going to school, and are even making letters!! They both can recognize their written names, and he loves to go around the house finding anything with his name on it! LOL

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

With my backyard filled with leaves, we took advantage of them last week to do some crafts.
The kids had fun collecting and pasting the leaves onto a big tree I cut out for them. I managed to collect a few extra and have them pressed in some recipe books for later crafting. Smart move, as today is it pouring out!!

All 4 of the kids have colds, runny nose, coughing etc.. Tis the season I guess.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dearest Krista,

In January when I had marked all the dates on my calendar, in small print I had printed your Mom’s name above the 24th because I didn’t want to let the date slip by and not let you know that I think of your Mom often and when I do I most always have a smile because she could make me laugh and I so love to laugh- you do that for me too!!

Your Mom lives on in our hearts- a lady of strength …yet a lady of gentleness.

I bet she watched over her girls while in China and was pleased to see the three of you share such an awesome experience.

Just know I am thinking of you – and all who were so near and dear to Abby Loiser

Love Louise

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Well, things are going a bit smoother! Although yesterday morning left a little bit to be desired!
But all in all, good.

Both kids have come leaps and bounds considering everything that has been thrown at them.
Lily is trying to use her words more when she is overwhelmed, instead of screaming, and Hanlin is learning to give her space. We still have our moments!! LOL Who doesn't !

I've started a sticker chart, and it seems to be working.... I think Halin has gotten the idea of it more so than Lily! He has his eye on the prize!!
Obviously, I know it is not going to be rainbows and roses, it isn't for any of my kids... they fight, they play, they have fun, they have tears! But I know they all love one another, and have a great respect for each other.

Here is a quick photo page from last weekend, at my Dad's place !

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm exhausted!!!!!!!!!
no, really, beyond exhausted...........

These 2 little devils have managed to suck the life out of me today!!!!!!! I hate that, I started the day thinking, what a wonderful day..
yeah right.....

we had breakfast together, laughing, I went upstairs, smiling thinking of all the things I could do with the kids today. Maybe I could take paint out, then gymnastics at 12:30pm, and then out for lunch!! FUN FUN FUN.

yeah right......

Well, I got out of my 15 second shower, dressed and called out to the kids... "Lily..what are you guys doing?" Lily says "watching TV and reading books" awwwww... man those 2 are wonderful. yeah right.....
I decide to go ahead and take the time to dry my hair since they are being so good. It takes me all of 2 mins.
I make my way downstairs to the playroom and I almost faint when I eyes fall upon the playroom!!!!!!

They even CLIMBED the toy rack to get at the things on the very top, things that take me 2 hands to carry!!!
Every square inch of that whole room was covered with toys, and books and chalk actually, it had toys on top of toys on top of toys from one end to the other.
Now, you have to realize something, I taught preschool in that same room for years. So I have toys and books, crayons and markers and paper for a preschool. Lets just say A LOT of stuff.

Ohhh I LOST IT!!!!! I almost cried! But I think what made it worst, was as I was loosing it waving arms, yelling, the little DEVILS laughed! They thought Mommy was being funny!
(I suppose I did look funny to them) but I didn't find it funny.

It took me 3 hours to clean it up. They HAD to help, but after 5 mins lost the point of it. I took 90% of the toys, and books, and sent them all to the basement. The only toys I left in the room are a small bin of people, small bin of cars, the kitchen center and the food, and 4 little stuffed animals.
I then sectioned off the room in 2, one half with the couch and the TV, the other with the toys.
I put the big preschool table across the room, as my divider and now, toys are no longer allowed out of the room or over to the TV side.
I think they kind of got the point when they came back in from outside, and the room was cleaned out, and when they tried to run around with toys out of the room, and I wouldn't let them. They stood by the door, with toys in their hands for minutes at a time...

They used to be able to run around the rooms and into the kitchen with their shopping carts!
NO MORE!! Everything stays in the little section I gave them!!
at least until I cool down!

Here is a pic, from this summer, to give an example of the room. The first one I there were at least 10 moms, and 12 kids, and the room still in good shape!

NOW, Here it is TODAY!!!!

Here is the nice book holder that Frank made, now empty! Looks sad doesn't it.
From what I can figure, they climbed it to get to the books on top.

and here is the steel book holder, in the playroom, now filled with board books or coloring books only.

At least they weren't fighting while doing this! Does that mean progress???

Sigh........ I'm going to bed........

Abigail is soo terrific with the little ones! She'll play with them, hours at a time! She really knows how to keep them entertained.
she comes up with all sorts of games for them to do. Yesterday she played in the leaves for a good hour with them. Letting them throw leaves on her or she would rake all the leaves in a big pile over and over again so the little ones could jump in it!
Tonight, she and Isabelle taught them little "dance moves" and came out to doing little dance routines all 4 of them in a line!
When we were in China, all the little ones would flock to her, be it on the bus or on a tour!
She is one special girl!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tuesday was Lily's 4th birthday, however, she was a real grump all day and I flat our refused to celebrate her birthday with such a grump!! So instead, we celebrated yesterday, when she was in a much better mood. Anyway, it all worked out as Wednesday fell between her birthday and her Forever Family day (today) and plus, the older girls didn't have gym.
So Hanlin and Lily helped me bake her cake! They had a ball, and got to lick the bowl and beater! A first for Hanlin I'm sure! He didn't quite understand at first, but quickly got the hang of it after watching Lily for about 2 seconds! lol Then he kept asking for more batter!!

Lily was soo excited for her presents! Her reaction to each one was a riot! She gasped, roared, and just laughed out loud!!

Hanlin has been getting better and better at using a fork and spoon. Yes, he has moved up from just a spoon! But sometimes with things he is unfamiliar with or if he forgets he is holding a utensil in his hand, he'll regress and use his ...mouth... here's a little example!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Alright.... I know I am supposed to be updating more often... I have no excuse!
I like to post my pictures using Fotofusion, but since I have been away from it for a while, it is taking me longer to get used to using it again!
So here is a quick page of Lily playing in what was supposed to be "hurricane Kyle"..yeah right....
Both kids were soaked to the bones, but had a blast! I don't think Hanlin was too sure what t o do at first, but quickly got the hang of it! LOL

On another note... Hanlin started preschool today with Lily! Last week Lily started back on her own first. For a couple of reasons..
1. I think she needed a little "space" from her brother!
2. I wanted her to be comfortable in the preschool on her own before starting Hanlin.

So Mon, Wed and Fri last week, I took Lily, (with Hanlin tagging along of course), he watched as I dropped her off, got her settled in the school, even stayed for the morning song once. Then he and I would come back home, or run some errands, then back in 2.5 hours to get Lily.
He watched as she came out smiling and running to me, or as she played in the play ground.
But he always stayed close to me, not wanting to join in quite yet....but you could see the curiosity in his eyes.
On Sunday, I took him to the Chinese school to have someone translate what would be happening today. He seemed to understand and smiled when she told him about school and playing and painting...
So when it was his turn today to go to the school, with HIS backpack filled with his snack.. he was very excited!!
He ran into the school, without looking back!! I had to run after both of them for a kiss goodbye!! LOL
WOW, I didn't think it would be so easy!! I managed to get in a full grocery order, coffee and a muffin and even Lily's b-day present! Perfect!

Although my day didn't start soo perfect! I locked my keys in the truck at some point last night, and didn't notice till we were leaving for preschool. So... a tow truck, a lock jimmy/shimmy thing and a $45.20 receipt made out to Krista "dumb ass" D... and we were on our way! grrrrrrr

Saturday, September 27, 2008

On Friday we went apple picking with Lily's preschool. Again we had beautiful weather and both kids had a blast. Hanlin wasn't too sure at first, but quickly followed his sister's lead and was picking like a pro!
This little guy is doing great, there has been so many "first" and I'm so excited to be there sharing them with him.

Maybe summer isn't over yet!! We were able to have a wonderful picnic on Thursday afternoon. It was so beautiful out and no one wanted to come in to have a snack, so I brought it out to them. Hanlin was so excited and the next day he kept asking to have a picnic again.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I have time for a very quick update.... I'm am procrastinating vacuuming!

Hanlin is doing great! Obviously we all have adjustments to make, however all in all I have to say things are going very smoothly.

I don't think he is using his Chinese very often any longer, even though we use Chinese words, and encourage him to use it also, but he seems to be using broken (almost baby talk) Chinese and bits of english. He already knows, "all done, bye, hello, pee, thank you"
Lily has decided to take it upon herself to help teach him. So she has developed this new language and he repeats it with her! "coo cu lup wiwi" Over and over again!! There are a couple other phrases she repeats too. Poor guy, doesn't have any idea!

He loves to be outside!! LOVE LOVES LOVES it.

The bigger girls started school today, and Lily will start preschool on Monday, Hanlin will follow suit the following Monday.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

WE'RE HOME!!!!!!!!

We made it home late last night, 12:10am!! The plane ride from Beijing to Toronto went very very good. I had lost sleep and was stressed over this ride. I thought since he had gotten sick on the bus from the Great Wall, he might be prone to getting sick on the plane!
Anyway, he didn't and actually the plane lifted off around 1800hrs and he was asleep by 2200hrs and stayed sleeping till we landed! A good 10hrs of sleep for him. Lily and Isabelle also slept for about 8 to 10 hours and Abigail and I had about 6 hours off and on and Frank had about 6 too I think. So overall a very good ride, of course sleeping and keeping entertained on a plane with kids is never fun and easy, but I have to say, this one went well.

We arrived home to some wonderful friends, who had also filled our fridge with food!!
Hanlin waved hello to everyone, and was quite willing to be introduced to people. He was very excited to get into the truck, but was a little puzzled when I buckled him in. When we got home, he jumped out of the car seat with ease... a little to much ease, and we think he may have unbuckled himself during the ride home. I'll have to watch him on that one! LOL

He had the biggest smile on his face when he saw the backyard, and when we came into the house, he found the toys in about 15 seconds flat and played with them nonstop for almost 2 hours. We got to bed at about 2:30am, and he was a little freaked out and was also frustrated with us, as he was asking for something, and we couldn't figure it out.. we knew it was wither food or a stuffed bear... but couldn't quite figure it, so Frank laid down with him, and he smiled and went to sleep. ( he was saying something like Me-ah)
He woke up in the middle of the night again and called out for one of us, so Frank went into bed with him and at the same time, Abigail came into our room, coughing, so I took care of her! LOL
He woke up this morning laughing with Lily! They played in their room together for about an hour, and they actually played the nicest they have ever played! Only 2 stern NO's!! from Lily!
I'm off to sit outside with everyone and take in the sunshine, hopefully it will help our systems get back on track. We are all not too jet lagged, just have coughs and colds! Hanlin has been outside ofr hours now.. He just loves it out there and everytime he finds a new toys, he squeals!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Krista should never have showed me how to blog. I am waiting in her room for Cheryl to get back from her excursion. We all went to the Aquarium but she decided to go off on her own and see more temples. She has been trying since we got here to see some guy's palace, I don't remember the name of the palace, Prince Ding Dong's Palace is what I have been calling it. I hope she finds what she is looking for. She is braver than I am, off on her own like that. I'll give her another couple of hours before I call out the red army to look for her. The only problem is that I don't think they will know where Prince Ding Dong's Palace is. I hope she left bread crumbs.

A couple of days ago, Tuesday, I think, we all went with the group to 3 different markets. The Silk, Pearl and Yashow Markets. The only problem is that they gave us only 2 hours at each market. Krista was flipping out, saying, "Okay, I can do it, Keep out of my way, I've got plans. Frank you watch the little ones, girls lets go". First the Yashow market to buy shoes. Then the Pearl Market to buy, ummmm, shoes, oh yeah and purses, then the third market to buy, ummmm, shoes and purses. I decided to go off on my own to look for a duffle bag to bring all my shopping home in so I head down to the purse floor and tell Krista I will see her down there in about 10 minutes. MISTAKE!!!. Well there I was on the purse floor walking around aimlessly, smiling and nodding at all the crazy chinese sales clerks asking me what you want, what you want? After ten minutes I started looking for Krista, then I realized that I forgot to set a meeting place. This place is packed with screaming Chinese, tourists and me. No Krista. Earlier Krista gave Cheryl necklaces with the chinese word for sisters on it. So when they as me,"What you want?", I replied, "my sister". So I talk to a clerk about a bag and she notices my necklace and says Jiamay (phonetic) Sisters. I said yes that I was looking for my sister and if she sees a girl wearing a necklace like this to let me know. So off I go and about 15 minutes later I pass by this same clerk and she yells Jiamay, Jiamay. I asked, "did you see my Jiamay"?. She nods her head and jabs her finger saying Jiamay, Jiamay. So I run off in that direction for my Jiamay, (it doesn't help that Krista looks like a little chinese girl from the back and even a little from the front). I keep running until I once again pass the same clerk she looks at my necklace and says "Jiamay?" I answer no, then she scratches her chin and looks at me again and starts laughing says, "Oh, that you, so sorry". So here I was chasing myself all over the damn purse section. I guess we all look alike to them. I finally gave up and then accidentally bump in to Cheryl on my way out. Go figure.

After Krista's Bicycle ride she was so pumped. She now has waffle bruises on her butt. She kept squealing and squealing, especially after Lily the driver rang her bell. It doesn't take much.

Cheryl can add a new item to her list of weird things she has eaten. The other night she actually ate pigeon. I only ate a small bite, just to say that I did. It was kinda gross, but she liked it. They served it with its head on the plate as well. We kept covering it's head with parsley and flowers, it kept looking at us, asking why, why?

Wednesday I stayed in the room and slept until 1230 in the afternoon. I was quite ill with a massive sinus headache and sore throat. Everyone else were going to see some temple or something, and you know my attitude towards that. I read two James Patterson novels instead, and enjoyed every minute of my time alone.

Back to the Pearl market, aka oyster market, today to pick up some last minute things that we couldn't live without. I bought two NorthFace Soft Shell flannel lined Gortex jackets for golfing and skiing. I paid only $30 Canadian for each. Krista went back and bought one for herself and one for Frankie.

I actually managed to get us back to the hotel saftely without Cheryl's help. I think Krista was a bit nervous as I didn't have a map for a reference. I faked worry, and said I THINK this is the right bus back. I like messing with her mind. Anyway, I am going back to my room to wait for Cheryl. We have dinner plans and maybe a massage later. We leave tomorrow and I can't wait to go home to see my family. That's all for now...... Barbie....

Krista is now thinking, "Holy Crap, what was I thinking"?
Is is okay if I scream with glee the whole way there?
I'm home and I'm alive, yesssssss!
I think she actually did scream all the way there and back.
Isabelle is in the house, watch out for her, she is a tough bargainer.

Frank is trying to make his great escape. Run Frankie, run while you still have money in your pocket. Krista is right behind you. She wants MORE SHOES, MORE SHOES, run run run.