Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Strawberry Fields & the Statue of Lily

We love New York, so we had to give that city a little mention in this title. Our night just seemed like it fit right in with a walk in Central Park and a boat ride over to the island. We probably used a tactic that many won't approve of, but we were desperate for Lily to use the sippy cup. As you can see above, she finally gave in and taught herself how to use this new device. This is where the Strawberry Fields part comes in. When I was young, my Mom used to give me Strawberry milk as a special treat. So, Jamie and I thought, "Hmmmm... I wonder if Lily would like the taste of this yummy treat enough to use her sippy cup?" Well, the answer is in the picture. She drank the whole thing. It wasn't easy. She bit on the cup a few times, and then - just like the magic of walking through Central Park and visiting Strawberry Fields- she just started sucking the milk perfectly. Of course, she did not want me to hold it either. She made sure she held her own cup the entire time. Then, we had bathtime after dinner. This is where the Statue of Lily appeared. Look at her crown upon her head. We both said, "Look- she looks like the Statue of Liberty. Oh, she is the statue of Lily!" She thought she was pretty cute this way, too. Jamie held her up to a mirror, and she laughed and laughed at herself. I hope we are able to share our love of New York City with Lily one day. Then, we can show her these pictures, and we can laugh together!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Glimpse into the Walking World

Lily is really taking off these days. It is so cool how you watch your child learn how to crawl, then learn how to pull up, then all of sudden- they start walking. Now, she just stands up in the middle of the room and takes off. We caught a couple of walking moments on video, so I just had to share them. She also just learned how to work puzzles in the last few days. We have been working them for her for months, and over the weekend, she just started putting pieces back in place as though she had been doing it all of her life. Now, if the sippy cup would just be that easy... We will just keep trying! :0)

She has also learned how to pick up her big purple ball, and she can walk a little bit while holding it! She is fine when she falls at the end, so don't worry. She was back up in seconds walking around with her ball again. (Aunt Suzette is talking in the background.)

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Family-Filled Weekend

We spent the weekend with lots of family. We started out stopping by Jamie's Grandparents house on the way to see my family. Lily had a blast. She laughed and giggled with Mama Mary, Papa Marvin, and Aunt Pam. She had the best time with them. She showed them the "real Lily", instead of being super shy the whole time. She let everyone hold her, and she followed them around the house. When it was time to leave, she whined to go back to Mary. It was so sweet! Then, we drove to Kentucky. Dad (Lily's Pop) and Mammow were so happy to see her. They met us at the car with open arms. She went straight to them, and she knew exactly who they were.
The picture above shows us ready to go to my Mom's family reunion. Pop took the picture.
Here is another family photo on the farm. Pop loves flowers, so they are everywhere. Lily loved being outside with him looking at all of the butterflies and flowers that surrounded the yard.
Here Pop is teaching Lily how to drive. (He is actually just waiting for us to load the car for our trip to the reunion.)
We did a horrible job taking pictures at the family get-together. But, I did manage to get this picture of Lily walking through the grass with Baba. My Mom's whole family gathered at my Uncle Donnie's house. Lily was really shy outside, but once we went inside- she remembered being there. She took off. She walked all the way down the carpeted hallway to lots of applause. She also wanted to crawl up the stairs. I let her one time, then Aunt Ruth took her up the second time. She just babbled and giggled. She made herself at home with everyone. She was really good, and we were so proud of her. We did not do well with the picture-taking because we were busy spending time with our family. Half of the time, we were taking care of Lily. Then, the other half of the time, Jamie was playing the Wii with the kids. We had a great time with everyone. Next time, we will do better with the pictures. Lily really did enjoy her day...
Only seconds (literally) after we left Uncle Donnie's house- Lily was asleep. She was worn out from entertaining everyone. We got back home late yesterday. Lily had another wonderful night of sleep. Now, she is taking her nap in her pink and white bedroom. So, I am going to get busy on some housework. Have a great day!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Learning How to Eat

Lily has been feeding herself for the past few weeks with Cheerios or Puffs, but only when she wanted to. Even then, she would just feed herself one, and then she would hand them to whoever was feeding her for them to resume their job. But, last night, that changed. She sat in the floor and fed herself Puffs for about 15 minutes straight. It was so cute to watch her put them in her mouth, miss her mouth, pick them up off of the clean floor, and try again and again. So, we just caught a few seconds of it on video.
Lily also learned how to climb up on the sofa, push the water dispenser on the fridge, and open the pantry door. She was busy learning all kinds of new things yesterday.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Walking and Talking (with a video)

Lily is walking like crazy! She will find something to hold onto, and then you better watch out- because here she comes!
She will start walking right toward you, and then...
Get ready for a BIG LILY-HUG! That is how she ends every walking session. She gives a big hug to whoever she is walking to!
The video below is from last week. She took a few steps, but the part we wanted to share is where she just talks and talks. She does this most of the day to anyone who will listen. I can't wait until we actually understand what she is saying!

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Tisket, A Tasket... Lily's in a Basket!

Yes, Lily is actually in a basket. Aunt Suzette decided this would be a fun way to carry Lily around today. Lily loved it. She would whine when Suzette put her down because she needed another ride in the flying basket.
But, before the basket expedition took place, Lily took another nap by herself in the pink and white bedroom. This is a big deal since she has been attached to me during naptime for the past four months, unless she took her naps in her car seat or her stroller.
So, here she is. This is the place where I slept with the exact same sheets and pillows over 11 years ago. She slept so well again today. Of course, the monitor is attached to my ear during the two hour naps that she continues to take. I also checked on her about a zillion times. But, we are making progress. She seems to really enjoy sleeping in an actual bed. She doesn't make herself sick like she did when we put her in the crib. So, we are just praying that she won't fall out of the bed. Until she is walking a bit better, she will still be sleeping with us at night. Then, I think we will make an easy switch to the big girl's bed.
In one day, Lily went from a big girl's bed to a basket. You never know what new adventure each day will bring in the land of parenthood.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Sunday Dress

I am totally breaking my "Jamie Rule" today. He says no posts are allowed over the weekend. Actually, he says no computer time is allowed over the weekend, either. But, he understands that these cute pictures just have to be shown. So, this is Lily is another one of Jayci's dresses (thank you April!!!). Is this not the cutest sundress! Once Lily realized that she was being photographed- Look what happened...
Yes, that is right! She is starting to finally realize that she is totally gorgeous! It really is about time. She really cheesed, as they say, for this photo. This, by the way, is the real Lily for those of you who see her out in public and she pretends like she is shy. One day, she will show this side of herself. However, we enjoy the quiet, shy, mannerly Lily for now.
So, here we are this morning, on our way to Sunday School. Lily had a great time this morning. She is starting to talk more at church, which is nice to see. She is also playing all by herself, and she doesn't have to be in my lap constantly. However, if anyone else sits in my lap- Lily is not happy at all. It is a good thing that the girls who want to sit in my lap are a bit older. They just seem to understand when I explain that I am Lily's Mama and she needs me right now. I am just thankful that we are making progress with our anxieties as far as people go.
Once we got home from church, we had to fill out more paperwork for China. We have to send post placement documents that tell about how Lily is doing, and we got to show them pictures of how she is blossoming into our Lily-flower. I had forgotten how much time that paperwork takes. I ended up working on it for 2 hours. But, it was nice to do the paperwork with my little blessing playing right beside me with her Baba.
After that, it was naptime. Lily took her first nap in my old bedroom, the one I slept in when I was little. (For those who don't know this- we live in the house where I grew up. When my Mom passed away 7 years ago, it was given to us.) She loved it! She slept so well in there, and I almost lost it when I watched her sleep where I had slept a lifetime ago. She looked like a princess in my pink and white bedroom, that can no longer be called mine. I just stood there imagining my own Mom watching me as I slept. Parental love is the most wonderful love. Jamie and I were talking about how you can never imagine the love you will have for your children- until they are here. I guess this is the closest we can ever feel to how God feels about us. It is truly pretty amazing.
So, a Sunday Dress to an Amazing Love. You never know where these posts will go, do you? I will be posting again soon. Have a great week!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Beliefs and a Strong-Willed Child

Lily napping today. She started out in the HipPanda, but ended up on the couch.
When she woke up, she rolled over and saw her bear sitting on the coach. It was actually Nana Claire's bear that was passed on to Lily. She immediately gave it hugs and kisses. She is always very happy when she wakes up from a good 2-hour naptime.

Tonight we went out with old friends. Now, I don't mean old as in age. But, when we stopped to think about the times we used to hang out together- we realized it was 15 years ago. Isn't it amazing how those "old" friends are the best friends ever as you get older? It doesn't matter how much time has passed, they are still those friends who accept everything about you- no matter what. So, thanks for hanging out with us again, Lita and Todd- it was a really great night!
We sat there tonight talking about being parents. It is extremely challenging being a parent, even after we've had all this time to watch our friends become parents. We thought we had talked about everything, and we were ready for anything.
Well....we weren't ready for Lily's tantrums. They started about 6 days ago. The first one was a doozie- it was one of those lay-down-in-the-floor with hands and feet kicking the ground tantrum. You know- one of those we aren't supposed to see until she is at least 2. Right? Apparently, we were wrong. Of course, I am sure you want to know what we did to provoke this horrible display of anger. We took away her sippy cup. She laid in the floor, kicking and screaming for at least 5 minutes. But, let me tell you- it seemed much longer.
So, we have been doing some research on these toddler tantrums, and it turns out that they could possibly be another reason why God made Lily just for us. The experts out there in tantrumland seem to think that Lily will be a strong-minded individual with very strong beliefs because these tantrums have started so young. I don't know if I necessarily believe that, but I like the way it sounds.
She has had a few more tantrums since Saturday. They have occured when she is awakened early from a nap or really, really tired. They don't last long at all anymore. "The Experts" said for us to simply let them happen and ignore her completely. So, that is what we have done.
All I know is that God put her with two unbelievably strong-willed, determined parents with very strong beliefs in God, faith, honesty, and living a clean life. For example, we don't see rated-R movies anymore. We believe that when you put garbage in your soul- at some point that garbage is going to come out. Most of our friends say that it is just a movie. But, that is where those strong beliefs come into play. We absolutely don't believe that way.
So, I am wondering if these experts are correct. I am praying that is the case. After waiting for 11 years for this Asian princess to come into our lives, we believe with everything in our hearts that God made her specifically for us.
So, we hope you keep logging on, and we will let you know how our strong-willed child continues to test our parenting skills.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Lily and her Aunties

Lily's fascination with the vacuum cleaner is getting stronger every day. I am looking forward to the day when she can share some of my chores around the house. She is already a big help in the laundry room. She loves to stand in front of the dryer and hand me one item at a time when I am hanging up clothes. I am teaching her the same way my Mom taught me. Laundry was one of my first chores, too.
Last night, her Aunt Trina and Aunt Ruella came over for dinner and playtime. Lily had the best time. She loves them dearly, and it is obvious to all who are around the three of them. They have spent a lot of time with her, and they were both so understanding in the very beginning about how important it was to actually spend quality time with her where they let her be herself. Now, all that time has truly paid off. She gave both of them kisses on the cheek last night very willingly and on her own while they were playing. She only does that with Jamie, Aunt Suzette, and me. We tried to get some of their playtime action on video. This is just a snippet of the time with Aunt Ruella who had her giggling uncontrollably throughout the evening. Poor Lily had to sit and breath for minutes at a time because she was laughing so hard at her Auntie.
We had such a wonderful visit, and it was the best present for us, as parents, to see Lily so connected to very special people in her life. Thank you Auntie Trina and Auntie Ruella for coming over and spending time with Lily. She was completely worn out last night, and we thank you for that, too!

Monday, July 14, 2008

My Two Favorite People

I know it probably doesn't need to be said, but they are my two favorite people on earth. Watching Jamie with Lily is something I love more than anything else. I know that all of you Moms out there feel the same way. There is just nothing like a Father with his child.
We have been house/pool sitting for two neighbors for the past two weeks. It has been nice to have access to a pool every day. So, Lily has been swimming around like a little fish. The above picture shows our little bundle after a late afternoon swim with both of us. She definitely enjoys the pool, and she is not even a little afraid of sticking her head in and taking a big swallow of water. She is nothing like her Mama who still can barely swim.
Tomorrow, we are having her two Aunties over for dinner and playtime with Lily. Auntie Ruella and Auntie Trina are coming over, and I have warned them to be ready for this new Lily who is into everything. Her walking legs are improving every day, and she gets steadier with every step she takes. Once those legs really start taking her places, we will put a video on here for everyone to see. How funny is it that everyone walks around every day, but when it is your child who is walking- it is like it is the first time someone has ever walked...ever! I will probably have to put a sippy cup video on too! Hee Hee...

Sleeping Beauty

Our Sleeping Beauty just could not make it through dinner last night. She fell asleep while she was eating her grits. She just kept nodding her head and closing her eyes. She took a very short nap yesterday. She has been only taking one nap since we returned from the beach. They ususally last from 2 1/2 to 3 hours at a time. But, yesterday, she only took a 30 minute nap. So, we knew she would not make it through the night.

She did wake up though, and she managed to keep us up until around 1 a.m. She kept going from one of us to the other giving us kisses. She is so loving at night and in the morning. She is also very kissy when you are laying in the floor with her while she is playing. She will just lean over and get right in your face- and then lay a big smoochy kiss right on your nose or your cheek or somewhere near your mouth. Then, she will just grin at you as though she knows she has given you the best present ever! Of course, there was a Miss Fussy Britches in bed with us too last night. Once she knew she was going to have to go to sleep, she was not happy. She was raring to go after her dinner nap. But, eventually, she curled up with Baba and slept through the night. Of course, I woke up around 5:30 with Lily stretched out beside me. She enjoys snuggling with both of us during the night. Snuggling- mark that down as one of those things I am so thankful for.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cheerios- the new food group?

I thought that I would be writing to you about Lily's new food group today. She spent three days mainly eating Cheerios. I was starting to get a little worried. But, this morning, she ate her Baba's scrambled eggs and part of a biscuit. So, all is well in our little picky eater's world as far as the food goes.

She kept us up for three hours again last night. So, this morning, Baba left the two of us in bed, and he went to church by himself. I told him when he got home that I would rather have extra sleep as a present than flowers any day. We have had to put some steriod cream on Lily's excema that she got while we were on vacation. We have only used it three times, and that is probably the extent of our usage. Bless her heart- it really messed up her little system of sleeping the past two nights. However, her face is almost cleared up and back to normal. We battled excema a little in China, but this was the worst time yet.

On one last note, does anyone know how long it is supposed to take a toddler to use a sippy cup? All Lily wants to do is play with it. She knows how to get water out of it, which she will show us with total exasperation. It is like she is saying, "Okay- watch. Now, can I play with this cool toy?" Then, she wants to turn it upside down. I also think it is funny that every sippy cup says it doesn't leak. Apparently, Lily is a genius. She has figured out how to make every one of them leak- whether it is by pushing the spout down on her highchair or turning it up and shaking it until the water leaks out of the cup itself, which is never really attached quite right to the lid.

Oh, well. I really love all of these stages and watching as she changes every day. Here is a cute picture of her playing in her playhouse. She loves her playroom. I am afraid she might get tired of it, but she squeals with delight every time she sees it again as though it is a long-lost friend.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

My First Blog

This is my first blog post. I have wanted to do this for awhile now since our other website will be ending in a few more months. ( So, I hope that family and friends will be able to follow what is going on with our little family of three.

Lily is doing really great, and she is growing every day. She is learning how to walk, and she is learning how to fall very gracefully. We are a little sad since school will be starting in a few more weeks. This means our 24/7 time together will be coming to an end, but I know she will enjoy spending time with her Aunt Mindy and her cousin Nathan.

I am looking forward to sharing our lives with you as often as we can!
Have a blessed day!

The first video shows Lily walking, and the second one shows her playing with her Aunt Suzette.