Thursday, July 31, 2008

Look Ma! NO HANDS!

Ok, more catching up to do...

We came home from vacation a week ago yesterday. Tony loves to be home mid week so that he still has some much needed days at home with us before he returns to work. Well, one afternoon we were just hanging around and he got the idea to go look for a new "toy" for the girls. Our excuse was that we didn't have a big hoopla for the girls' second birthdays because we had only been home about a month and they were just overwhelmed with Christmas. Our plan was to have a 2 1/2 birthday party in July, but that never came to fruition. Never mind the girls were clueless about all this, we decided they needed a present. So Tony went and picked out a NEW Jeep for them!

This, my friends, is a Barbie Jeep. It's all awash in pink, purple, and lime green. It's quite the ride, if you ask me. It also comes standard with a real working radio!

Well, the girls didn't know what to think the next day when they got to ride in it. Yes, the NEXT day because the stinkin' battery takes 16 some hours to charge! How horrible for a parent, I mean kid to have to wait all that time!!!

So we rolled it out into the yard, put the girls in, explained how it worked, blah, blah, blah. On to the cuteness...

Aren't they stylin' in their new set of wheels? This, by the way, is how you will almost always see the girls sitting. Laney prefers for Abby to drive. Why? I'm totally unsure because THIS is how Abby drives...

She ALWAYS gets distracted and doesn't pay attention to where she's going!


Drives while having a death grip on the windshield...NOT the wheel...


She is playing with the radio. (Which is pretty cool by the way) But look, Laney is totally unfazed! Do you want to know why Laney is totally cool with her sister's crazy driving habits? It's because she's figured out how to push the gas herself...from the passenger's seat. She lets Abby FEEL like she's in control, all the while, knowing she can take her own foot off the gas pedal to avoid certain danger! HA!

Hindsight? The wheel is too stiff for them to turn, so we look quite comical chasing them down as they try to maneuver it. Maybe we should have waited.

Tony's conclusion?
"That was the most expensive radio I have ever purchased."


Monday, July 21, 2008

Summa, Summa, Summatime!

Ok, did you get my Will Smith throwback? I used to love this song. Truth be told, I still do. It reminds me of how much fun summer is. However, I must say it has been way more fun this year.

Well, settle in, my friends. This might end up a long post. We have lots to report!

We were blessed to take a nice family vacation to Tennessee this summer. It was the first time we had taken the girls on a big adventure since China. What's funny is, we packed WAY more for this five-day trip than we did for China. We should have imposed weight limits!

Here the girls are just getting acquainted with the water. Aren't they the cutest?

Before we headed on down to TN, we stopped in Lexington for an overnight stay in a hotel. We wanted the girls to experience their first time swimming in a big pool! Well, they never cease to amaze us because we saw them flip their roles as sisters. Usually, Abby is the brave one. She's up for anything fun. Laney usually stands off to the side and lets Abby try it first. Well, this time, Laney took the lead. She got in the water with us (and Uncle Robby and Aunt Ally) and loved it! Abby was a lot more tentative. She had lots of fun by the end, but it was nice to see Laney throw herself into something new and excel. She was even jumping off the side of the pool into our arms! Both girls were even daring enough to submerge part of their faces and practice blowing bubbles out. They had such a good time and we were proud parents sharing in their joy!

"NO nite-nite!"

Back in the room, the girls slept on a pull-out love seat. We thought surely the swimming would have worn them out, but no deal. They were just too excited to sleep on their "little bed" next to Mama and Baba. I was a little worried the hotel would remind them of China and get their little minds stressed. It didn't though. They enjoyed the first leg of their vacation.

Behind Robby and Ally's Jeep...getting closer!

Saturday morning, we got up and hit the road (after the continental breakfast, of course!). We met up with Tony's parents in Pigeon Forge and headed to the cabin.

Our cabin home.

--Side note #1--The girls traveled like champs! They watched a bit of Cinderella (or as Abby calls her, PRINCESS!!!!) and munched on snacks. Another bonus, the potty training stress was slowly melting out of sight. We left pull-ups on them for the ride, but they stayed dry! Each three hour leg, they did not have any accidents and asked to go to the restroom whenever they needed to! PRAISE GOD!

The stream near our cabin. Isn't it lovely? Kids would jump off one of the high rocks into the deeper parts!

--Side note #2--Bless the girls' hearts. Every time we got in the car they'd say, "Home?" Sometimes you could tell they were hoping we would say yes, and other times you could tell they were hoping we'd say no. But it was cute. By the end of the trip, they were calling our cabin their "Cabin home".

While we were there we did some shopping and the girls shopped like champs. At the Disney outlet, Tony had them pick out a stuffed animal (great, just what they need!) and Laney picked out a Tigger (after some serious contemplation about how disappointed Mickey Mouse would be if she left him behind). Abby, happily chose Mickey Mouse over the pyramid of characters. This made Laney both happy to see him come home with us, and stressed because she knew she couldn't get her hands on that Mickey rightfully because Abby had chosen him. What I thought would be just another stuffed animal has developed into beloved friends. They snuggle with them in their beds and they went everywhere with us on vacation. Good call, Baba!

Ok, before I launch into the next part of our trip, I have to clarify. We do NOT mind when friends, family, or friends of friends, or friends of family ask us the following questions. It was just tough because we were stopped at least fifty times by total strangers. And the questions are not always asked politely or as innocently by these strangers. You'll see why it wore us down after you read on...

Other than the relaxing time of shopping and sightseeing, we did participate in a rather new sport with our family. It was called Chinese Twin Spotting. These are the rules: if you see a set of Chinese twins you're supposed to stare intensely as you pass. If the twins or the parents do not feel your stare enough, find your husband and child and circle around to look at them again. Extra points are earned if you can stop in the middle of a store and, while staring, you get to see the twin girls do something cute like yell for the thousandth time, "What IS IT?" as they point to yet ANOTHER stuffed black bear. Can you guess which players we are in this game?

It is perfectly acceptable to approach said twins (and family) and proceed to ask the pre-approved list of questions. In no particular order, they include:
  • Are they twins?
  • How long have you had them?
  • Where are they from?
  • How old are they?
  • Do they speak English?
  • What are their names?
  • Are they identical?
Our answers (secret thoughts written in parenthesis):
  • Yes. (That's why I painstakingly dress them alike)

  • We've been a family for 8 months. (Had them? Like new shoes? Good grief!)

  • China. (No need to name province, they have NO idea.)

  • Two and a half (Pretend to smile as they say, "That's what I figured!")

  • Yes they speak English. (Didn't you hear them say "What IS IT?" Or "Potty Baba!" when you were staring at us two aisles ago?
  • They usually ask the girls their names, to which the girls stare or reply LaLa or MeiMei. Talk about totally confusing. All this does is prolong a conversation I hoped would end 10 minutes ago

  • No, they're not identical. (To which they reply, "Are you sure? They sure look alike." We acknowledge that they do, and reassure them they're not identical.)

Ok, so please don't get me wrong. I LOVE that our girls are so adorable and that we appear friendly enough for everyone to approach, but it does get tiresome. I love that our girls are cute enough you don't want to take your eyes off them. We can't take our eyes off them either! (Hehehe, for other reasons too!) We have had only a couple of inappropriate comments, thankfully, and I worry about that. It isn't a problem right now because the girls pretty much ignore them, but I do worry about what it will be like as they get older.

If it were someone who wanted to know about them because they were adopting or someone in their family was adopting, we would be thrilled to launch into their story. We are proud adoptive parents! And the girls will be proud of their story too, hopefully. But we know there will come a time when they just want to be regular kids enjoying their family vacation.

One really neat thing was that we ran into a large group of girls (and boys) that appeared to be adopted. What tipped us off? The kids appeared Chinese and they were all shopping with Caucasian males whom they referred to as Dad. Well, one father stopped us and asked about the girls. He explained the big group he was with was an adoptive group from 12 years ago. The kids were all 13 and each year the group reunites and vacations together. The girls were all from Nanning, China. How cool is that? They were beautiful (and the boys handsome) and looked like they were having a good time. The moms had taken a day trip to the Biltmore and so it was up to the dads to corral the kids. They were all so friendly and interested in where the girls were from. Now THAT was a great experience!

We made the long trek home and it went well. I have to admit, at one point, the girls were singing so loud and I was suffering from some serious car sickness. About 15 miles south of here when we stopped to refuel, I jumped out of the car and asked my in-laws to ride with them the rest of the way home. Mama needed silence. I mean, it's not all roses and rainbows all the time here, right?

Overall, the trip was pretty darn near perfect. The girls were jewels and we had a great time sharing a special place that Tony and I had come to love as a couple. Now we celebrated there as a family.

Next post...NEW Jeep and FTIA reunion picnic!


Sunday, July 06, 2008

The 4th of July as US Citizens and Other Updates....

Greetings. We hope everyone had a fun and safe weekend!

Things are going pretty good here. The girls are growing and learning more and more everyday. They are amazing little girls (I know, all parents think their kids are smart, cute and etc.). They never cease to amaze us and keep us laughing non-stop. We are lucky parents! They are talking in sentences and Laney recognizes the following words if you show them to her: Mama, Baba (dad in Chinese), Kyler (our dog), Laney and Abby. They are pretty good with their colors, can sing their ABC's and have pretty much mastered counting to 10. They love music and Abby can typically be heard singing one of her favorite songs as she bops through the house. I know, I know, I'm bragging, but that's what Baba's do!

Potty training is going well. We are having very few accidents (if any at all, they are doing very well at this).

They have been feeling a bit under the weather and visited the Dr. this past week. When the nurse came out to get us, Laney stopped in her tracks and in a firm loud voice said "NO!" You see, the nurse that came out to get us was the nurse that gave them their last round of vaccinations in March. Laney has a GOOD memory. She thought she knew what was coming. Luckily, the worst part of the visit was the Dr. looking in her ears and mouth.

The girls experienced their first 4th of July as US citizens. We spent the fourth on our cul-de-sac. Some very nice families organize a pitch in and the shoot off fireworks at the end of our cul-de-sac every year. We were not sure what the girls would think of the fireworks. Abby kept saying "MORE!" Laney kept saying "Pretty, up to the sky" but really was not all that impressed when they just kept shooting them off over and over. But we were surprised that they tolerated and enjoyed the fireworks for a while.

Below are a few photos for you to enjoy. We know it is not Colts season yet, but we just had to get the girls new Manning jerseys for the upcoming season. And by request, you will find the photo of me modeling my father's day tie. Thanks for stopping in.

(here they are helping me wash the Jeeps)


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Happy Half Birthday Girls!

Today the girls are officially two and a half!!! It has been such fun watching the grow! It stinks though, they are both sick little girls. We're going to the doctor right after their nap. That is, IF they nap. Poor Abby keeps coughing, and Laney can't breathe through her nose.

It doesn't matter is their half birthday and they will hopefully be better soon!! We'll be sure to celebrate with some low-key fun, and something yummy!

Here are a few pics from a "feeling goofy" day!

Can you guess whose tongue this is?

Isn't she silly?

Awww, I caught a moment of sister sweetness!

P.S. Happy half-birthday to Jaxson too!!!!