Journey to Lia

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas eve

The girls are now asleep, the cookies and milk are waiting for Santa and the house is quiet.....for now.  It has been really exciting getting ready for Lia's first Christmas. This time last year we had just met with our Social Worker to change our file, oh how life has changed in a year!!

Ami has had lots of fun teaching her about Santa, hanging stockings and of course about all the presents that will be under the tree tomorrow morning.

Merry Christmas!!!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

quick update and a picture

Wow, how time flies. 6 months ago today we were just getting home from the airport. 6 months has gone by too fast!! The girls are just way too cute.

Lia loves Handy Manny, Mickey Mouse, any and all candy, baths, Santa, trying to be the boss and of course still her Mama but getting a bit better with her Baba. Lia does not like fruits, vegetables, laying down the law, doing anything even remotely quicker than a snails pace (including walking in the cold, not good).

Ami loves Hello Kitty, grade 1, that a boy has a crush on her and that her spelling test words include things like parliament, responsibility, motorcycles, well ok thats really me but what a great speller she is!! Ami does not like going to sleep in her own bed by herself and pretty much thats all, she is really easy going.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I spy with my little eye....

someone with new glasses!!!!

Lia got her first pair of glasses last week and I am already sounding like the teacher from Charlie Brown. Wah wah wah waaaah, Lia put your glasses on, Lia pick up your glasses up off the floor or they will get broken, Lia's glasses are lost anyone know where they are???.

So far they are a pain in the you know where. Unfortunately, she needs to wear them all the time for strabismus (wandering eye) in both her eyes and to correct her far sighted vision. If there is not enough improvement in 6 weeks the dreaded patch will come out. Brian thinks she is more suited to a patch with her personality, we shall see.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Things heard....

Here are a couple of the interesting things that  have been heard  around the house lately...

Brian: Girls don't put the needle (from our play doctor set) up the cats bum, he won't like it!!

Ami: Lia, eat the bubbles they taste really good, eat lots (while the girls were in a bubble bath)

Ami: Lia, I am not a whack-a-mole (after being repeatedly being hit with a sponge hammer)

Myself: Lia, don't spit toothpaste on the wall
Myself again 1 minute later: Lia, don't spit toothpaste in Jie Jie's hair

Lia: Baba, hold up baby purple hair (by the) legs (as she puts medicine in the poor dolls bum, notice a trend??)

Ami: Its hard work being a big sister
Myself: Then why have you been asking for another brother or sister? (the answer is NO, unless we win the Lotto Max )
Ami: I just wanted to see what you would say!!!

and of course
Lia: Mama, Mama, Mama, no Baba no, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, no Baba no, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, no Baba, no, Mama, Mama, Mama, no Baba no, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, no Baba no, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, no Baba, no, Mama, Mama, Mama, no Baba no, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, no Baba no, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, no Baba, no, General Go Go!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Tea and turtle anyone???

Within a couple days of meeting Lia, we discovered at the tea ceremony that she loves to drink tea. She has had a cup of longjing tea almost everyday since we have been home. We have been home almost 3 months and we still are discovering new things about Lia everyday. This mornings discovery....

We were sitting quietly colouring in the Kung Fu Panda book. It was a picture of Oogway the turtle master.

Lia pointing to the picture of Oogway- "Lia eat turtle"
Me a puzzled look on my face
Lia-"Mama eat turtle?"
Me-"no, Mama no eat turtle"
Lia-"Baba eat turtle?"
Me-"no, Baba no eat turtle"
Lia-"Jie Jie (Amy) eat turtle?"
Me-"no, Jie Jie no eat turtle"

Lia, with a disappointed look shrugged her shoulders and went back to colouring. Sorry to have disappointed my dear daughter but no we will not be serving turtle.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Sweater

When we were in Sauble Beach, Lia started carrying around one of my sweaters. Its an old grey Gap one that I really only wear around the house but is one of my most favourite. So, I decided if she liked it that much she could have it. It goes to bed with her every night, gets carried around the house and occasionally goes outside. Every now and again I catch her sucking on it!!

Initially when I gave it to her she repeatedly pointed to me and the sweater and then to me saying "Mama sweater"  and I would point to her and say " Now your sweater, Lia's sweater". I had to repeat it many times for her to repeat "Lia sweater" like she did not believe that I would willingly give her something of mine that she has seen me wear many times. She still weeks later will hold up the sweater and say "Mama sweater" point to herself then say "Lia sweater" with this goofy grin on her face. Then again, maybe the goofy grin is from the many things that are also now on the sweater... ketchup, soya sauce and I am sure some germ delight.

Its funny how she has lots of toys that are hers, all of which she likes but none I would say she has become attached to.  Its the goofy grin and the way she picks it up and smells it constantly that tug at my heart. It seemed like such a small thing when I gave it to her, little did I know that it would become such a part of her daily life. I hope she knows that along with my sweater, she also has a big piece of my heart.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Here Kitty Kitty!!!

One night this week the girls went upstairs to play. They can play on their own for about 20 minutes before I usually get pulled into some sort of dispute. This is what I heard this week:

Ami-Can Can I am holding on tight to Mobo (our friendly cat), go downstairs and put a treat on each stair  so we can teach him some tricks
Lia-just runs downstairs then up again
Ami-Can Can, we are trying to teach Mobo some tricks, just do as I say!!

Then all goes quite for another 10 minutes where I hear lots and lots of tape being used, I knew something was up as I did not get called and it was very quiet. The girls come downstairs looking like this:


They played around for another 10 minutes and I walk into the laundry room to find Lia.....


I guess we only had one set of cat ears as yes Lia is wearing devil horns!! And now of course what one sister does for some laughs the other does as well.....


I am really happy my 2 girls play together. When we switched our file to request a child up to age four, this is what we had hoped for!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Just Beachy

We are home from our annual Sauble Beach vacation. Lia loved the beach and we may be getting the sand out for some time to come.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Loving Lia

Loving Lia is hard. Brian and I have many conversations as we try and figure out who she was, who she is now and who she will be. On one end of the spectrum we have a silly girl who slaps her hand on the table and gives us this face.....

She does it to make us laugh and we love it. We call it her General Go Go face. And on the other side we have a little girl who has a meltdown if you can't get her something quick enough or you just pick her up and put her in her chair for dinner. Brian and I will never know who taught her to make the silly faces or even how she went to sleep when she lived in the orphanage. If she was the little girl who only smiled slightly in her referral photos or did she laugh hysterically there as she does here. And how on earth are we supposed to get a high fiber diet into a picky eater who was said to eat "everything"????

We are all having our moments of frustration, all of us. It has been a hard 6 weeks since we have been home. At the end of the day there always seems to be more I wish I could have done in the day. Today was a bad day, good thing we get to start fresh again tomorrow and for 6 weeks she has woken up with a smile on her face (good way to start the day!!). Its hard not really knowing who your 4 year old is. But we know we love her.

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Sunday, July 4, 2010

They gave me to crazy people who have tigers living in their house!!

When we first came home I wrote that Lia was yelling at the cats and was very afraid of them. So, I thought an update on this situation might shed some light. She was really terrified at first, I would love to know what she was yelling at the cats. Brian figured out about 2 days after we came home she was calling our orange cat laohu, tiger in Mandarin. Poor Lia thought she was going to be living in a house with tigers!!

Slowly she has gotten used to the cats and we have been explaining they are mao (cats) and not laohu. She will occasionally pet them and has once kissed Pickle Juice on the nose. Yesterday, she picked up a cup with Tigger on it and called Tigger Pickle Juice, silly girl.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

An interview with Ami

Thanks to all of you who have asked how Ami is with all the changes going on. So, I will turn to the expert herself.....

Q: Ami, do you like being a big sister?
A: I do like being a big sister but its a lot of work

Q: What do you like most about your little sister?
A: I love when she shares and is nice to us

Q: What would you like to change about your little sister:
A: Well, I dont really like her crying because its really loud and it hurts my head. When my little sister cries a lot it makes me cry too

Q: What did you like best about our trip to China?
A: The bacon (which she ate almost every day for the 3 weeks of our trip)

Q: Is that more or less then meeting your sister?
A: Less (good answer, phew!!)

Q: What was your favourite thing to eat in China (after the bacon)?
A: Dumplings but I like the ones my Dad makes the best

Q: What was your favourite souvenir from China??
A: My crystal balls (the ones that did not forsee our taxi breaking down, can we exchange them??)

Q: Anything else you would like to add about our trip to China
A: I am pretty sure that my Mom and Dad loved it too. Thank you, and I am pretty sure my sister says thank-you too!!

Ami is doing extremely well for all the change. She finished SK last week and will change from Montessori to public school. She is our easy-going kid. So long as we over describe our timelines if we go out and stop to answer her questions, she is a great traveller. Brian and I are trying to send time alone with her each day. Last Saturday we went strawberry picking for our time together!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

a new normal??

We are slowly settling in to a new routine as a family. Lia's birthday passed with some big meltdowns and the refusal of a cupcake (which I ended up eating!!) but she has slowly come around to the joys of Moms baking. Who am I kidding, I don't bake, they were from Metro. The only baking these days is the add water and stir kind. Even the Easy Bake Oven is too much work for me. Around our house Brian cooks and I clean. So far Lia has been eating about 10 foods including pizza, eggs, watermelon but in the last 2 days has decided other foods are actually ok and sometimes even taste good.

We have been lucky enough to come home to lots of food from our families and my Mom did our travel laundry. Kuddos to any family who travelled on an adoption trip with more than one child to drag around!!

Lia has very quickly learned how to use a water gun and loves the kiddie pool. We are maximizing our time at home by Brian taking parental leave first as I only work part time so am home more anyways. We are receiving less threats to beat us up, instead we are now treatened with being bitten, especially when Lia plays tiger. What a crazy kid!! She loves to do stuff which makes us laugh.
This is one of my favourite pictures of Lia. She loves to sit on the counter when we are doing dishes, cooking (Brian that is) or tidying up the kitchen. We are now having meltdown free days and getting to know each other better.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ups and downs

Life right now with Lia is moment by moment. She is such a great little girl but is having some difficulty with all the change. She has moments of tremendous sadness, we expected some difficulties but now that she is here and OUR LITTLE GIRL its hard. She is also having some temper tantums but at least she lets me hold her through them and she does calm down eventually.
She is getting better at helping us to know what she wants. We can now open the fridge and she will point to what she wants. She still only eats very limited food but at least she can pick (which we then hide medicine in, he he) She also loves to help Brian to drink his beer by pushing the bottle up so he drinks more. And of course, Brian  thinks this is great!!

She has started saying some english words like hello, Pickle Juice (our cats name!!), ears, baby, go, and of course she says no very well. She is a really funny kid. My Mom and Ami had cleaned out the bird bath in the garden yesterday and Lia decided to explore. Soon enough she was bathing herself in the water. I think if she could have climbed in, she would have.

She is our dare devil, loves to let go with her hands on the swings, stands up on the rocket swing. I feel more grey hair already!! Here are more pictures of the last couple of days...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Home at last!!

We are soooo happy to be home. The girls did great on the flight, they both slept for about 6 hours. It was nice to come home to family waiting for us at the airport.

We have had a quiet day. The girls and I finally made it to bed at 1:30am and then Brian and I were up at 5am the girls 6am. It was funny leaving Beijing at 6:00 pm and arriving the same day at 6:45pm.

Ami surprised us today and wanted to go to school so she went for a 1/2 day and then we all slept this afternoon. I have dug out size 2 clothing for Lia which fit better. I had them all out and ready to give away so I am for once glad to not be organized.

Lia is settling in well. She does not like the cat and speaks very loudly to them. I wish I knew what she is saying. She has probably not seen animals before???

Some things I will not miss about China are the really hard beds and the insane taxi rides. I will miss eating out great chinese food for under $15.00 for all of us.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Last post from China

We spent our last full day here in China at the zoo and more shopping. Seeing the pandas again was great. Lia loved the monkeys, Ami loved being with her new friend from another FOI family who are still here. We had a great dinner with our guide Fei.

This will be our last post from China. Its time to bring our general home. Soon she will meet her new army of loving family that she can boss around (and threaten to beat up!!). Brian and I both feel although she is turning 4 in just over a week she is much younger than her age. We will bring her home give her lots of time, patience and love and watch her grow. This has been a trip of ups and downs and have seen China in a new way. We are not saying goodbye to China but see you later. I am exhausted.

The picture of Lia in the pink dress was the day we met and the other 2 from the last couple of days. What tremendous change for our little girl. She will have many more firsts at home and there are so many things we want to show her. See you soon!!

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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Last couple of days.

We had a great day yesterday going to the Panjiayuan Weekend Market aka the dirt market aka the genuine antique market (wink, wink). There was everything from scrolls to jade to wood carvings. I picked up some clay tea pots, Brian some papercuts and Ami some crystal balls. Too bad Ami did not see the taxi cab breaking down on our way home in her crystal ball so we could have picked another taxi. Poor taxi cab driver did make it to the Jianguo Hotel where we stayed last time so we went to Pizza Hut for some air conditioning (hot hot day) and some lunch prior to finding another taxi to take us back to the hotel.
Lia has now decided she is not only going to beat up Brian but also Ami and I. She says it very playfully and we get such a laugh from her saying it. I think she should take karate, Brian thinks she needs tai chi.
Everything new Lia has to smell. She smells toys, clothes, Brians socks. She also smells us, a lot. Its really funny and she loves it when we smell her back.
She has starting doing this thing were she pulls me down, wraps her arms around my neck and crawls into my lap for a snuggle. Its so sweet, shes such a cute kid. She likes to be carried around when we are out which is fine with us, good thing she is only 28lbs as we have been out quite a bit.

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Our Can Can

Our Lia has been called Can Can (prounounced tsan tsan) for the first 4 years of her life. It is very interesting getting to know this little person with likes, dislikes and who keeps chattering at us in Chinese.
We have heard her say what we thought was ta shi Baba to Brian which means you are Baba. Today we found out that she was actaully saying something different. We would hear her say it when Brian was being silly and tickling her or pretending to be a monster and what she was actually saying sounded similar but meant "I am going to beat up my Baba". She then slaps her hand on something hard, I guess Brian better be careful!!
Other interesting things about our daughter
-if you ask her for a kiss (something like ching ching in Mandarin) she will put her head on your lips. She has started giving kisses on the lips, but only spontaneous not when you ask
-the only fruits we have found she will eat is watermelon and what looks and seems to be a watermelon but yellow inside. So much for them saying she will eat anything, no veggies so far for this girl
-we have tried colouring with her but she does not seem to know how to use the crayons, she is slowly getting the hang of it
-she will feed herself only bits of finger foods, it appears that she has been mostly fed, which is not what we expected for her living in an orphanage. Maybe because there are only few children where she has lived they have been feeding her
-she will only pee if she has a piece of toilet paper in her hand
-she is very slow to wake, in the morning and from her nap, not good if we need to get somewhere!
Ami made her a beautiful crown today. Brian has decided Lia's nickname is going to be General Go Go because she makes some very good I mean business faces. She knows how to stamp her foot well!!

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Back in Beijing, better late than never

We had our last day in Hangzhou yesterday. A quiet packing morning then we had to check out after Lias nap at 3pm. We were not leaving for the airport until 5pm so we wandered to the local childrens amusement park. For about $15.00 both girls went on lots of rides. Ami's favourite was the small roller coaster and Lia the swing.
Our plane was to leave at 7:50 pm, note the word was. The plane arrived late so we boarded about 30 minutes later and then we proceeded to sit in the plane. Sit, sit and more sitting for a total of 2 1/2 hours. Apparently we were not cleared to take off, Brian thinks the air traffic controller went out for tea, I think he fell asleep!! There was almost a mutany on the plane. We finally landed at 1:00am with 2 sleepy kids and too many bags to carry. Hainan airlines was so happy to have us fly with them they helped us to the front of the plane and then shoved the bags in our hands as we realized we were out at the farthest part of the airport. We took a bus from Tokyo to the airplane hanger. That was after our treacherous climb down the stairs outside with our luggage and sleepy children.
Thankfully, Yulins brother was waiting for us smiling at the airport at 1:30 am. He is so great, he even carried Ami up to our room even though she was awake at the hotel check-in. We love him!!
We took Lia to the Vista Medical Clinic, an international clinic this am as we still had some concerns and have more meds for our little peanut. She is such a trooper.

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

more photos

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the good and not so good

Adoption has been a wonderful way to build our family, very challenging and we are very proud of our two girls. With Lia, is has been more of a leap of faith with her part of China's Waiting Child program. We are trying to give her the best care we can with the little info we have and some of it has been contradicted since we have arrived. We spent 3 hours last night at the Childrens Hospital dealing with some medical issues which have arisen and needed to be looked at before they got worse. Our guide helped us tremendously and we got there and back pretty quick!! Lia has been a trooper through it all and still is a smiley happy girl. She is doing better but unfortunately we had to cancel our trip to her orphanage today as we needed to stay close to the hotel to manage her care. We are really really ready to come home.
Onto better things. We had a great day yesterday prior to our tour of the hospital. We went to West Lake and had a great boat tour. We did get swarmed (the first time that is) about halfway through when a bunch of people discovered we were on the top deck and more and more people came to take pictures of the white people with Chinese children. There were about 30 people (more during the second event) who asked us all sorts of questions about our girls. We have met quite a few people who have wanted to talk to us and have enjoyed our broken conversations but this was a bit much as there was no where for us to go when we had enough and the crowd was a bit too much for my comfort.
Our second swarming was at the hospital in the evening when I was trying to get instructions for Lia's care and over 40 people came out of all sorts of places to see us. It really made me feel like a freak show as it was the second time for the day.
Again, onto the better stuff. We went to a tea museum and had a fantastic time. We had a tea ceremony and both the girls had tea. Lia had all 4 kinds of tea, they must have been giving to her at the orphanage. That was a highlight of our trip which of course meant getting out the Visa card at the gift shop. We have some really nice items for Lia when she is older. Lia has started giving us hugs and kisses!!
We had a very quiet day today and are off to Beijing tomorrow. Both Brian and I have said we feel more comfortable in Beijing in all the places we have been in China.
Tonights thanks go to Sheri and Janice who are helping take care of our cats while we are away!!

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

more day 2 photos


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Happy Childrens Day!!

It is Childrens Day here in China and we celebrated by making our adoption of Lia official. We thought we were going to the Civil Affairs Office to just pick up some paperwork but we had a really nice little ceremony making our new family member officially ours. I did cry just a bit, it was really nice. The lady gave both the girls a stuffed panda.
We then had to run around to 3 other offices to do different stuff, register her paperwork, passport etc. I have never had to give so many fingerprints and sign my name. I dont even know half the stuff I signed!!! Maybe we will get home to no house or car or cats or maybe we agreed to stay here for another 3 weeks!!
Lia is doing well her second day.Lots of smiles and laughter. She is usally following either Brian or I around. She loves the birds in the lobby, elevators and a new little toy kitty from the McDonalds happy meal.
We slept ok last night. Ami was almost on top of Lia and in her usually horizontal across the bed postion. We moved our 3 super sized single beds into one and it is bigger than a king so we all have lots of room. Except Lia who has to now sleep with Ami!!

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