Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas 2007

Magnolia had a wonderful 1st Christmas, she had a blast playing with all of her cousins!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone
a very happy
and safe
We're packing up the car and heading to STL to spend Christmas. It's been a busy week and all I've been thinking is how in the world my parents did this with 6 kids! We're excited to see family and celebrate together. It seems surreal to have Magnolia here, to finally have a Christmas as a family of three. Everyday I look at Magnolia I remember how long & how hard our journey to her was and I feel so incredibly blessed. She is an absolute joy in our lives.
Check back after Christmas for photos of Magnolia's First Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Finding Ad

"Since 1999, the orphanages in China are required to run a provincial newspaper advertisement for children that are found and brought to their orphanage. We call them "Finding Ads." These ads contain information about where and when the children were found and which orphanage is caring for them. Originally these were text-only ads, but most provinces now include photographs in their ads. These photographs are usually the earliest available pictures of the children, some from as young as a few weeks old."

I ordered Magnolia's finding ad soon after we got our referral. You'll find her under number 1935. She was the 1,935th picture ad for China's Southern Farmer Daily Newspaper for 2006. This ran Dec. 19th 2006, one year ago today. Hard to imagine this ad featuring our daughter was in a southern China newspaper only one year ago today. She would have been only 2 months old at the time, a late attempt at finding her birth parents. Interesting to me that they clearly know these babies' parents will not be found yet they still run the ads, even if they're 2 months past the time of abandonment. This will be the only photograph we have of Magnolia before we met her. I'm filled with so much pride and love when I see this finding ad, for Magnolia and for all the babies, for being so strong, for surviving the unthinkable. The ad states that this baby was found with a full head of hair and small eyes, weighing just 6.6 pounds and 18 inches long. What an absolute miracle in my eyes.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Milwaukee Weekend

George's work holiday party was this weekend in Milwaukee. We stayed at a hotel downtown and Nana & Papa came to be Magnolia's first babysitters! Mary, Tim, Lilah, & Sophia also came into the city for the day. We had a great time visiting and loved seeing baby Sophia and seeing Magnolia and Lilah play. It was very hard to leave Magnolia and go to the party, we would have much rather stayed in. We sent Magnolia down to the pool with everyone and I don't even think she went swimming, she quickly fell asleep in Papa's arms after some serious playing with Lilah. We didn't stay long at the party, I missed Magnolia way too much. :)

Ready to go!
Some serious cookie monsters.
It's fun to eat cookies together.
Bristle Blocks! Good thinking Nana.
George took this of Sophia as she slept on his lap.
Sunday we had a great time shopping and having lunch at our favorite spot, The City Market.
Magnolia is learning to eat with a fork!

Here are some random pics taken last week.
I think Magnolia decided she needed a chair she could sit on.
She dragged her wipe box all the way into the kitchen near the chairs and took a seat!
Learning the stairs.
Just after a bath. Look at those fingerprints on the mirror...and I just cleaned it! She loves to stand there while I brush her hair. Don't worry I don't ever leave her up there like that by herself. :)
Having breakfast with Daddy. Bran muffins with marscapone...mmm!
I was on the phone when I felt Magnolia on my heels following me around. I looked down and this is what I saw, using a spray bottle as a phone and carrying a noodle spoon. She's a very good mimicker. This just cracked me up.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

I think I finished all of my shopping tonight. Now I can start cooking, baking, and sewing. The Christmas cards are coming in and I'm hanging them on twine across the windows. The chocolate mice are on the tree and it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here. Magnolia's 7th tooth came in today! She's exploring more than ever. She's started to run and loves the "I'm going to get you" game. She's communicating more than ever through sign language. She uses the sign for "more" constantly. George calls it her genie in the bottle, she wants more of everything. She is so very active and way too busy to let me hold her as much as I would like. I also realized today how much trust she's developed with us. She will wander away from me for quite some time now. She doesn't let anyone she doesn't know hold her, she'll cry and reach for me. This is all very wonderful...I'm certainly her mama and we have built a pretty strong attachment.
Here are some pictures I took Thanksgiving weekend but wanted to post them because they feel Christmasy to me. Hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Oh Christmas Tree!

We had so much fun on Saturday. We went to the mall with every intention of visiting Santa but it never panned out. He was on a long break and then Magnolia fell asleep.
Then we decorated our tree with the rest of our ornaments. I insisted Magnolia put the angel on the tree. Great laughs over this one. Of course Magnolia had no idea what to do and it resulted in dropping the angel and bringing down some glass ornaments with it.
Oh well, maybe next year...
This is what Magnolia does when I ask her a question. It's her "I don't know" look.
Silly girl
I was singing songs to her to get her to smile and I captured her signing for "more."
We had Christmas music blaring and when this song came on we found Magnolia dancing like a River Dancer. George tried to capture at least a little of it. Sorry it's tilted sideways, I haven't figured out how to fix that yet.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Our Girls

Today is the 3rd anniversary of our girls' birth/death. Like every year, this day doesn't seem any different because every single day I think of our girls. I don't want to write much because once I get started it's hard to stop and sometimes I just can't go there. What I do want to say is just how happy I am that Joy, Madeline, and Anne are and always will be a huge part of my life. Not only were they sacrificed for me to live but they led us to the most amazing gift in our lives, Magnolia.
Here she is just discovering my travel reading light which she thinks is her new phone.
Daddy went to the Packer game so we got ready to go out for some retail therapy. After I put on her coat she goes to the door. She likes going "bye bye."

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Patridge in a Pear Skirt

We bought this skirt for Magnolia in a mall in China. Love that it says "happy girls room" on the leggings. We bought a few things in China with sayings that seemed to have gotten lost in translation. Magnolia grew a half an inch in one month and gained over a pound! She seems like she's gotten so big but she's still on the bottom of the growth charts. Here she's outgrown one of my favorite sweaters but growing into her little green wellies!
We went to a candlelight memorial ceremony for our girls last night. We try to go every year. It's such a nice ceremony and we see a lot of familiar faces. We also bring a toy in memory of our girls to give to the Salvation Army. I didn't think I'd be so sad this year because Magnolia has brought me so much joy but the past week has been a little melancholy and I'm anxious to get beyond their anniversary. I was, on the other hand, overjoyed that I saw two other families in our support group there with brand new babies! And us, with Magnolia on our laps, just made me realize how much time heals and life goes on. Unfortunately we couldn't stay for the whole ceremony because Magnolia was WILD!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Crazy Quilting

I guess this would be more like decoupage but I like to call it crazy quilting because I just put lots of pieces of fabric together and ran my sewing machine all over with no rhyme or reason. They were a lot of fun to make. I'm a terrible sewer so this kind of project is perfect for me, where there is no "perfect." We've been spending a lot of time in the sewing room. We are both usually very quiet in there, I concentrating of my project and she, hers. She loves to play with all of my cardboard pieces, spools of thread, tape measure, rulers, and ribbon.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


8 inches! Nice and cozy weekend around the house. Here are some random pics from the weekend and last week.

Sleeping by the fire
Needing a Mommy hug after her nap
Eating blueberries
Watching Sesame Street
Wearing Christmas pjs for the first snow of the year. Tis the season!
Sunday lunch at Culvers before getting our tree.
Magnolia has been very busy growing. She's sleeping a lot more and eating even more than ever. She's filling out her clothes and outgrowing shoes. We go back to the doctor this week and I can't wait to see how much weight she's gained. As I stored away her little blue shoes she wore home from China I almost cried. She's growing way too fast for me!