Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Aunt Mindy's Photos



I love it when Mindy takes pictures of Lily during the day, and she takes videos too sometimes. My favorite thing is that she has taught Lily how to send me text messages during the day! :0) I love seeing Lily's picture and getting a little note from her at school. She likes to tell me what they have been doing, and she likes to let me know how well she is doing. So, today Mindy took some pictures of Lily and her cousin, Nathan, that I just had to share. So, apparently, this is one of the many things they do during the day.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Lily's First Concert

For those of you who know us really well, you know that we are huge Christian concert go-ers. Since Lily has been with us, we have been staying away from concerts simply because we weren't sure how she would react. We wanted her to be ready for the adventure. Then, Jamie found out that two of his favorite bands would be in Atlanta in September- Third Day and Jars of Clay, plus they are coming with Switchfoot. So, we bought tickets, and we said that we would deal with whatever happens concerning Lily's state of mind at that time. About a month ago, Jamie heard that another of his favorites, DecembeRadio, would be doing a FREE concert at a church nearby. So, we decided a free concert would be the perfect way to break Lily in. Lily LOVES music, and I mean, seriously loves it. She dances to it, and she knows how to turn the radio on whether it is on the alarm clock or the t.v. She turns it on herself, and she starts dancing. So, we are showing her who we are going to see on Sunday evening.
When we got there, she just took everything in. She was really excited about being there!
Once the music started, she started laughing and clapping when she was supposed to. Here she is- mid clap. The people around us were amazed at how much she enjoyed herself. She even held a stranger's hand beside us when we were swaying in the crowd. She never does anything like that!!! Then, when they were talking about Jesus on stage, you could hear her little voice repeating "Jesus, Jesus!" with a huge grin on her face.

Once again, God has shown us how perfect He is. He truly made Lily for us in every way!

Here is a video of part of the concert if you are interested to hear a little of the band. We cannot wait to take her to many more concerts with us!


video

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Baba Magnet

This morning, we were eating breakfast at the kitchen table. Jamie said, "Next time we go to the doctor, we need to get them to x-ray Lily's head." Being the Mama, I said, "What? What is wrong with her head?" Jamie answered, "I think she has a Baba Magnet in there!" I think he is right. We don't really need medical proof! :0)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thankful

God has given us so many things to be thankful for. Of course, we are most thankful for our daughter, and for the way He planned her life specifically to be ours. We know that Lily was no Plan B for us. God knew before time began that Lily would be born in China, and He knew that she would be brought up in our family as our very own. The first three pictures show one of my favorite new things that she is doing... being our copycat! She loves copying everything we do- the way we eat, drink, sit, talk, and walk! I love watching her want to be like us!
How cute is she with her little hands right behind her back...
Just like her Mama's hands! She does this at least once a day now.
Another thing we are very thankful for today is the Avent Magic Cup. How cool is this sippy cup! If only we had discovered this earlier- we would have never had problems with the switch to the cup. It is truly magic, and Lily loves it. She can shake it, turn it upside down, and throw it anywhere- with no leakage. This is good for a child who really wants to play with her new "toy" cup.
Last, but not least, we are so thankful for our Nanny- Aunt Mindy. We are so thankful that we get to leave Lily here every day in such good hands. It is so nice to come home to a happy child who is so well cared for during the day. Plus, it is such a bonus for her to get to have her cousin here with her, too! I hope that they will be such good friends as they grow older. I wish I had a video of the other day when Lily "hiya" kicked Nathan (which her Aunt Suzette taught her), then Nathan pushed her down, and finally Lily patted him on the head and kissed him. But, Mindy did take some video of her today after she woke up from her nap. Nathan is in the playhouse- so you will see him for a second, too.

video

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

15 Month Check-Up

Here are a few pictures from our weekend. Thank you to the O'Malley Family for this beautiful purple and white flowered dress. Lily just loved it when she wore it to church on Sunday.
Can you tell how much she loves going out and about!? She is a social butterfly once she gets to know her environment and the people around her.
I love this picture of my two favorite people. Lily is reaching for the sky- something Aunt Suzette taught her over the summer.
We had some close friends to come see Lily over the weekend. Their son, Colin, is just like a big brother to Lily. She absolutely loves him!
Now onto the title of the post, we took Lily for her 15 month check-up today. Lily is still the same weight- going back and forth between 21 and 22 pounds. But, she has grown another inch. Now, she is 32 inches tall. She is also completely caught up developmentally, if not a bit past where she should be. So, we were very pleased with what our doctor had to say. She only had to get 4 shots, and she did as well as could be expected. The best part of today is that I got to stay home with Lily all day! What a blessing!!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bathtime with Baba

One of our favorite times of the day is bathtime. Lily loves playing in the bathtub. It is also a time for us to get lots of kisses, as you will see in the video below. Lily is very loving toward everything! She kisses our toes, hands, faces, backs, feet, fingers, noses- you name it. She also kisses all of her toys, her books, and her cats. It is the sweetest thing! So, we thought we would share some of our bathtime fun with you!


video


Friday, August 15, 2008

Green with Envy

We are sometimes green with envy because exactly 5 months ago on St. Patrick's Day (get the Green part) we were united with our Lily. Sure, the first few days were not easy. But, the time we spent together in China will forever be one of our favorite times to remember. After waiting 3 years to hold our beautiful daughter in our arms, March 17th around 4:30 p.m. was the best moment ever for both us! Recently, some of our China friends gave us some pictures that they took of us on that special day. So, since this Sunday marks 5 months, and Lily will be 15 months old- we thought we would look back on that blessed day that has forever changed our lives for the better. ( and we would love to go back and relive it over again)Do you see our Lily pitching a fit in a half? She had that huge red jacket on that swallowed her tiny body, and she had just gotten a major haircut. We are showing the people at the Civil Affairs office our passports in order to claim Lily as our own. The other babies in the background are just waiting for their turn to be claimed while many anxious parents behind us were crying tears of joy watching every family come together.
This picture shows the lady from the orphanage bringing Lily to us. She is getting ready to hand her off to me. I am beside myself with joy at this moment. I just want to hold my baby.
Finally, they pass her over to me. She cried and cried. Then, she looked at me for a moment and made eye contact with me. She stopped crying for a second. Then, the tears came flowing again.
This is the picture on the day before we left China. I had been sick for three days, and Jamie had been taking care of Lily throughout that time by himself. We were both worn out, but Lily was used to us by this time. She knew she was ours, and she was settling in perfectly.
We are so thankful for our Lily. I am sad to see her so upset in the first pictures, but we knew that God had made her specifically for us. So, we knew that in His time, she would know she was ours too. Now, looking back, I cannot believe that 5 months with Lily have just flown by. As I type, she is giggling with her Baba and rolling around in the floor. Our lives feel so complete with Lily here. We have learned one thing through our experience- you may not ever understand why God allows certain things to happen in your life- but His plan is always perfect! Lily is proof of that!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ting-a-lings!?

So, you may be asking, what in the world is a ting-a-ling? Well, it is the cutest word that one of our China friends made up for the above hair-do. So, Jen- thanks to you- I tried again to play around with Lily's hair last night. It doesn't look okay enough to actually wear out in public, but it is getting longer and longer. So, we actually had something to play with. Lily really liked her hair this way, too.
This is a picture of her after Baba got her to look in the mirror at her ting-a-lings! She thought they were really funny!
Then, here she is in one of her favorite positions- laying on her back, "reading" a book!
Thank you, Jen, for the wonderful new word! Your Lilli's ting-a-lings are so cute!!!! (If you want to see Lilli's ting-a-lings, just click on the link to the left that says The Princess Diary.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Life without Lily

How sad does that title sound? Well, I can't help it. School officially starts tomorrow with the children, and I really miss my little girl. Well, the great news is that things are going well at home with Aunt Mindy. We had some bathroom issues last week, but now Lily can go to the potty in front of Aunt Mindy. So, all is well. Lily is also in love with her cousin, Nathan. Mindy said she had to seperate them today... because they kept hugging and kissing on each other. How cute is that!!! Hopefully, she will get a video of that soon so I can post it for everyone to see.
Onto the cowboy hat picture- that is Baba's hat and Lily has a real fascination with it. We kept trying to get a picture of her face, but every time we would click the camera- she would pull it down. I thought that was a cute picture, too!

Here is Miss Lily getting into everything. You know how kids watch everything you do... and I mean EVERYTHING. Well, beside our bed, I have a drawer with Little Tummy Drops for Lily, Orajel, Benadryl (just in case she had an allergic reaction to something upstairs), and our nose spray. She likes to go through the drawer, pulling things out, and then she puts them back. She just started going through the drawer, pulling out the nose spray and putting it up to her nose, then she makes a sniffy sound. She always looks at me like she expects applause for her cleverness. She is quite observant these days!
Here is Aunt Trina at school in my classroom for our school cookout last night. Lily just adores her, and she stayed with her for most of the evening. She has certainly come out of her shell at school. Trina is showing her my China bulletin board.
Now, Lily is looking through my cousin, Michael Cooper's, books that I have displayed in my classroom. She went straight to them, and as you can see, she wanted to read them right away. Hopefully, I will be able to post again soon with some new videos! Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Beautiful Lily

Thank you, Aunt Sharon, for this beautiful dress for Lily! We have been saving it until she started walking, and she is walking everywhere! Lily certainly felt pretty in this dress today. Notice that she has her favorite thing in the world in her hand. I have wanted her to be attached to something for a long time. Since Thursday, she officially has been attached to "kitty". She even had to have it when we went in Wal-Mart yesterday for our shopping trip. Jamie thought she was just drop it eventually, but she held onto kitty the whole time. We even had to take it to church this morning. She couldn't have picked a better thing to be attached to- in my opinion!
Lily is so happy, even though she is soooo tired! Getting up early in the morning is wearing her out. She was ready for her nap at 11:30 today, which is a whole hour earlier.
Isn't this the prettiest dress? It reminds me of something my Mom would have bought for Suzette or me. Have a blessed Sunday everyone!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

14 Months

A week from tomorrow, Lily will be 15 months old. I am wondering what else she will fit into this last week of this amazing month. I guess 14 months was just her magical age. She has learned so many things this month. I know I talked about these things earlier- how she can work puzzles now, brush her own hair, and learning how to walk/run. But, this month has been full of firsts for Lily. She now says my name all of the time, and it is the most beautiful word I have ever heard. She pronounces it with such meaning. She also has really started learning sign language, and she uses it appropriately. Signing "more" is her favorite one at the moment. But, she is always using "all done" for everything- being ready to go home, ready to go to bed, finished with food, finished with a toy, you name it- she has definitely learned that one. She also knows how to help Jamie put baby lotion on her after bathtime. That is one of my favorites- watching her get it in her hands and rub it on her arms and legs. I guess that one is part of her imitating us. Of course, the sippy cup thing is improving each day. Oh, and another favorite is when she helps me put things back where they are supposed to go. She also loves to go get my shoes or Jamie's shoes and bring them to us or try them on herself. Now, we can hand her something and ask her to take it to someone. Then, she will just walk it right over and hand it off with a "thank you" since she still uses that word for its normal meaning and you're welcome. She also wants to wear my glasses or headbands at home. She will take them off of me, and then she wants me to place them on her. She will just grin and walk around with them until they fall off. At that point, I have to fix it again.
Her food choices are hilarious, too, now. Whatever we eat, she wants. She has eaten sauteed veggies, fried green tomatoes, lo mein noodles, fried noodles, fried rice, scrambled eggs, biscuits, grits, oatmeal, fries, spinach, french onion soup, broccoli & cheese soup, grilled cheese sandwiches- you name it. The funny thing is that when we are eating- she does not want to use her silverware anymore. She only wants to eat off of our fork or spoon. She just turns her head and refuses the bite until it is on our fork. Then, she will just gobble it up.
One more cute story and then I am done breaking the Baba rule for the computer- Lily has watched Suzette leave the same way all summer long. She gets her purse, puts it on her forearm, waves bye-bye and says it, then blows her kisses. When she left yesterday, I brought Lily back downstairs to her playroom. Lily walked over, opened her cabinet where her purse is. Then, she put it on her forearm, turned around with a huge grin- said bye-bye while waving at me, then blew me kisses and walked toward the door. She thought she was too cute. I had to call Suzette immediately. How sweet is that! I wish I would have gotten it on video. Hopefully, she will do it again.
Have a great weekend! I will post more with pictures on Monday!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

We made it!

First off, thank you so much Aimee, Jen, Kelley, and Stacie for your comments! They meant the world to me, and they helped me so much today as we took our first steps into this new world. I laid in bed last night with tears in my eyes just watching Lily sleep. Jamie looked at me with such kindness in his voice, and he said, "Honey, you've got to get some sleep." He is so understanding about my unwillingness to begin this new chapter in our lives. Then, the night passed into day.
This morning, Lily decided that she was ready to wake up with us at 6 a.m. It was actually the perfect gift for me. She wasn't fully awake. So, Jamie went down to get me some breakfast. I ate it quickly, then he got into the shower. Lily laid on top of me in the bed just hugging and kissing for 15 minutes. It was the best way to start my day. Jamie took care of her while I got ready, and then Aunt Mindy came to start her new job. We took Lily to her playroom, and that is where we left her. She just looked really confused, but there were no tears. (Not on her part, anyway!)
I didn't call home one time, but I did call Jamie a few times today. I called him before lunch, and he had just talked to Mindy. She had called and said, "We didn't discuss this, but what should I do if Lily falls asleep in her highchair." I thought that was so funny. Jamie went on home for his lunchbreak at that time so he could give her a bottle. Then, she went right to sleep in her bed. She did wake up after about an hour, and Mindy just rocked her back to sleep. Mindy said that there was only one small meltdown on her part, but the rest of the day was great. She said it was the best job ever! Isn't that exactly what a Mom wants to hear at the end of the day!!
So, I left school as soon as possible, and I drove a little faster that I should in some places. I finally arrived home, and I walked downstairs. When I walked through the door, Lily did a double take. Then, I ran over and grabbed her up giving her tons of hugs and kisses. She didn't want me to put her down, and that is how our day has continued. She wants my complete attention, and she is giving out tons of loving. I am so thankful to leave my daughter in such wonderful care. We are so blessed to have Aunt Mindy and cousin Nathan here with Lily each day! So, thank you to all of you who prayed for us today! We needed those prayers, and I still need them each day. But, I am well on my way to letting Lily find her wings.

(Oh, and the picture above is just from the other day. We took Lily out to eat with Aunt Trina and Aunt Ruella. So, we just had to have a picture of her in her Eiffel Tower outfit!)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Finding Lily's Wings

I hope you can hear the song that is playing now on our blog. It has been a favorite of mine for a long time. The first time I heard it, we were waiting on Lily. I quickly raced to the computer to print off the lyrics for Lily's journal. If I could write a song for her that would include all of my wishes and prayers for her life- it would be this song. I put this song on my playlist today because it fits what is about to take place in our lives in one more day. I have been blessed to spend a little over 4 months with Lily, but I am returning to my job on Wednesday. Of course, I am leaving Lily in the care of her wonderful, amazing Aunt Mindy. I know that this is all part of God's plan, but I am really sad knowing how many things I will miss each day with Lily. Yet, I am still reminded of how thankful I am that God planned our adoption at the perfect time of the year. He made sure that I would be able to take off the rest of the year and have a beautiful summer with my daughter. In a few more days, Lily will begin her first journey of finding her own wings. At the same time, I guess I get to figure out how to keep planting the seeds that will grow into her roots. Please say a prayer for both of us over the course of the next few weeks. I am sure her adjustment period will be much easier than mine. I never imagined returning to work would be quite this difficult. However, I do still love and appreciate my job. I also look forward to taking Lily to school with me. That will only be in 3 more years, and I am sure time will fly by just as it has over the past 4 months.

Shopping with Lily


We went shopping this weekend. Lily is the best shopper ever. She loves being out and about. She never complains. Of course, now, she only spends about half of her time in the HipPanda. Then, we get her out, and she walks with us. She thinks she is just the coolest thing with her new walking legs. The whole walking thing is still so amazing to us. It is just so neat to watch her every day as her legs become more stable and not quite as wobbly.
Here we are ready to go shopping with Baba.
This is Lily when we got home. She was still as happy as could be.
Of course, she knew we had gotten her a present today. She could not wait for Baba to open it.
Then, she wanted to pick it up. She is trying to pick everything up which is too adorable. It is really interesting when she picks up things that are really heavy, and she can actually walk around with them.
Baba put the cart together, and Lily is having the best time pushing it around. This cart was a huge hit with Lily. It is the only thing she has played with for 3 days in a row. She loves it! She puts things in and pushes it around. Then, she will throw things out, and put them back in. This happens over and over again. Her kitty in the photo is her first favorite stuffed animal. It goes everywhere with her. She even gives it kisses first thing in the morning. (Sometimes even before she kisses us!)

Friday, August 1, 2008

A Blast from the Past

Lily's Nana and Poppa came by to visit her tonight. She was excited to see them, and she made sure to entertain them with her laughter and giggles.
They brought her a toy that I have not seen in years, but I remember having one myself. It is one of those cans with some cows on it. When you shake it up and down, it makes a Moo sound. It is in the picture below.
Lily thought it was the coolest thing she had ever seen. She carried it around with her all evening. She would just shake it up and down- over and over again. Then, she would just talk to it and giggle.
Even when she rode her Rockin' Puppy, she still had it in her hand. In the picture below, she was giving it a kiss.
We thought since she had one of those oldie but goodie toys that we would honor it with some black-and-white photos. Apparently, she loves her new toy. Thank you, Nana and Poppa for the great gift.