Tuesday, February 26, 2008

16 Months

Our funny girl is 16 months today. I wanted to take her picture in a pretty dress but she wouldn't stay still and she wouldn't look up at me. This is what I got instead. She's such a goof. Here are my Magnolia updates at 16 months. We gave up all bottles, against my will. I wanted to hang on to at least one bottle for as long as I could. Magnolia, however, was never even attached to her bottle and she really stopped wanting it all together. So one night we stopped giving it to her. I don't think she ever even noticed. I wasn't ready to give it up. It seems like I just got her (which I did) and all those bottle feedings are now just bonding moments that I miss a lot. Sigh. She interacts with books now. She knows what's coming next, she'll act it out or fill in the blanks, she also likes to find the kitty in her Karen Katz books. She is the absolute happiest when the three of us are together, I love that. She's getting bigger and stronger. She likes to walk up and down the stairs either holding my hand or using the railing or wall. She loves to spin, dance, be dropped or turned up side down, she loves getting dizzy. Everyday we love her more and more when it never seems possible that we could love her anymore. She's so much fun and has me laughing more than I've laughed in a long long time.

Monday, February 25, 2008


We had a pretty uneventful weekend. George has the flu. Magnolia was very upset about it. Everytime she would hear him cough in bed, she would cry and cry for him. I told her he's sick and he's sleeping. So now everytime she hears him cough she does the sign for sleep. Here are some pictures from the past week or so of Magnolia going about her daily business.

Reading up on shapes.
Working on her fine motor skills.
Feeding her baby.
Catching up on emails.
Dipping pretzels in her fruit smoothie.Bringing me her jacket to go to library storytime.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Repeat After Me

I finally got more than dancing on video. I captured this right after her nap so she's still waking up but it's the only time she'll sit still long enough for me to tape her. I know someday I'll be so grateful to have some of her first words on tape.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Another Dancing Video

I know, I know, another video of Magnolia dancing. I keep thinking I'm going to capture her doing other things on video besides dancing but I have yet to do it. I have nothing else to post and besides, I never tire of watching her dance. She first heard this song on the Apple IMac commericial and loves it. I put it on the blog so here she is dancing to her own blog. She's also trying to snap her fingers. I hope to get out the camera and take more pictures of her soon, she's so on the move, it's getting trickier and trickier.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Weekend at the Waterpark

We met both of my sisters and their families this weekend at a waterpark in Sheboygan, WI to celebrate Lilah's 3rd birthday. It was a lot of fun! Magnolia is definately a little fish and LOVED the water. Can't wait to swim with her this summer! We didn't get any pictures and what we did get didn't turn out. Wish we could have swimmed more on Sunday but horrible weather drove us back home earlier than we expected. We've had 6 feet of snow this year and we just got another 5 inches last night!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Funny Valentine

I love it when I'm looking at Magnolia & thinking just how much I love her, she somehow knows it and kisses me. Everytime. I love that she says "snow" as "no." I love when I'm trying to be serious with her and tell her "no" she bursts out laughing. I love that she kisses me first thing in the morning. I love that she can sit in my lap reading stories until she falls asleep. I love it when she hears daddy come home, she runs for the door and says "hi dada!" I love when she eats something she really likes she says "mmmm!" I love that every single time she takes her bow out she hands it me promptly. I love that everytime I say "come here" she hightails it in the other direction. I love that she still spontaneously conks her head at people in public to say hello. I love that she always wants to kiss her babies and even the babies in her books. I love the way she twists her little fingers doing the Itsy Bitsy Spider. I love the way she furiously signs for "more" when she REALLY wants more. I love everything about Magnolia. These are just to name a few. :) And, of course, I love my sweet husband.
Happy Valentine's Day George & Magnolia! xoxoxoxo

Monday, February 11, 2008

Dreaming of Summer

I was looking back at my photos for proof that things do bloom in Wisconsin. I was reminded that not only do things bloom but we have the prettiest summers around. I never posted these pictures from our family gathering on Washington Island last July because I was too busy getting ready to leave for China. We're gathering again this summer and I'm so excited that we finally have Magnolia. She's going to love playing with all of her cousins.
The Petting Zoo. What will the surprise animal be this year?
Ellie & Cici on Sand Dunes Beach.
Blue Moon Ice Cream all around!
What's summer without Blue Moon?
Swimming in Lake Michigan or a hot outdoor shower? The kids loved going back and forth.
Ellie & Cici.
Little Lily
Willa & Anthony
Nick sharing chips with Lily. Lilah in background
Within minutes of arriving, Willa and Ellie are off exploring.
Willa building a fairy garden.
BBQ & S'mors

Dreaming of these summer days. They're always worth waiting for.


Our Chinese New Year party was lots of fun yesterday. Magnolia loved it all. The running, the girls, the lion, the music. As the youngest of the group, she got lots of attention and of course, loved every bit of it.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Celebrating CNY

We are so happy to have another holiday to celebrate. It is important to remember this holiday in honor of Magnolia's heritage and to reflect who our family is. Her birth mother is somewhere in China celebrating with her family and no doubt thinking of Magnolia. I hope she knows that Magnolia is safe and happy in this world.
In honor of the Chinese traditions on New Year's Eve, I swept the entire house to sweep away bad luck from the past year. I set out flowers (because I couldn't find quince and plum blossoms) and bowls of oranges to represent money and good luck. Magnolia received a red envelope of "lucky money" and some other small gifts. George and I got new clothes. Traditionally everyone gets a haircut and wears new clothes to welcome in the new year. Red is also worn to represent good luck and happiness.

My friend, Christine, and her son, Charlie, came over for lunch to share dumplings, oranges, and an orange cake. We had a wonderful time with them!
Last night we went to our favorite Chinese restaurant for dinner. Magnolia was adorable...saying "mmmmm" at everything she ate! We are looking forward to our big party on Sunday which will be at Lambeau Field! Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year! We will celebrate the New Year today but our big party is on Sunday with all the families with children from China. What I'm really thinking about during this holiday is all of the babies in orphanages in southern China that were deeply affected by the cold and snow they've had recently. So many babies in these orphanages don't have warm clothes, blankets, and heaters. In the JiangCheng orphanage that Magnolia lived in is in desperate need of a heater for the room that holds the special needs babies. Our yahoo group is gathering money to wire to them right away. You can read more about this emergency situation here, posted by the director of our agency.

Wishing everyone a very happy Chinese New Year. Please check back for more photos from today and also from our big party on Sunday.

Six Months Ago

Our Family Day was 6 months ago today! What an incredible day that was. I just love to look at the photos of that day because it was one of the happiest days of my life. Words cannot describe how it felt to be handed this beautiful baby girl. It was the most surreal thing I've ever known. Here are some photos taken on August 6, 2007.

Today is also Chinese New Year's Eve. I am sweeping the house, setting out bowls of oranges, and wrapping some gifts. We will make dumplings this afternoon to eat tomorrow.
Please check back soon for photos!