Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Changes

A little over 7 weeks ago our lives changed forever. Our family dynamic shifted. And the earth moved under our feet.  Our baby boy was born.  He was a healthy 8 pounds 6 ounces and 21 inches long.  He is a beautiful baby, calm and peaceful. 



The week leading up to his arrival I will never forget.  The Friday before he made his appearance I was admitted to the hospital for high blood pressure.  So much for my mile long list of last minute nesting!  I was discharged on Sunday with strict bed rest orders (yeah right, I do have a 4 year old at home, doctor).  I was scheduled for a c-section a week later.  I didn't want to wait, I wanted this baby on a particular date and apparently he knew that!  After 3 hours in Labor and Delivery in the middle of the night Friday July 26th, I was sent home (despite having contractions 3-5 minutes apart).  By 9 am the next morning, my water broke and back to the hospital we went.  Jordan arrived at 2:22 pm on the day I was so hoping to have for his birthday.  




Some things we've learned about him are quite amusing.  He won't tolerate a wet diaper for more than 60 seconds.  He likes to have his head rubbed and he loves the sound of his big sister's voice- instant calm!  He hates to lay flat and he's a cuddle bug, for sure.  He makes the funniest barking noise when mommy walks out of the room and then gives me the stink-eye when I return. He makes a snorting sound when he's hungry (did this on his very first night).  He has a scream that would send the ghosts and goblins running!  He has the sweetest smile (probably just gas, but melts my heart anyway).  And he is so loved and we feel so blessed. 



But we've known these feelings before.  It wasn't vastly different when we went to China to bring our Acadia home.  But what we hadn't experienced before was helping an only child transition to becoming a sibling.  As much as we thought we had prepared her (and us), there's only so much you can do until you're actually going through it!  And it was tough.  On the day we brought Jordan home, Cadie cried the entire car ride, from hospital to house.  We went straight to the playroom where she sat next to me on the couch and just cried, for what seemed an eternity.  Her little world had been rocked!  She screamed every time I nursed the baby, including all through the night.  And she refused to let Daddy comfort her.  She threw herself on the floor and asked us "why don't you love me anymore?" [insert the sound of my heart breaking right here]  It still makes me cry when I think about her screaming those words through her sobs.  But eventually, we helped her find the words to express herself and give her a new confidence about her place in the family.  She loves this baby brother of hers now (though she still asks if we can make a baby sister next- um, NO), and has become extremely protective.  We are very proud of our little girl and are continually amazed at what a strong soul she has.

 
We are one lucky family! 家族


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Birthday {and more}


Every day I feel like this little girl of mine just grows by leaps and bounds.  I can't seem to keep up with all the new things she is doing, learning, talking about and mastering!  It's all just happening so fast.


In June we celebrated Acadia's 4th birthday. FOUR. YEARS. OLD.  No way can she be 4 already.  As a mom, I've tried to embrace every step, milestone met, and change with all my heart; because when a child comes to you a little later in their life, from a different culture, and having survived a rough start, every little thing they do is cause for a celebration, a "woo-hoo," or a high five.  But I secretly sometimes find myself longing for those early days, when she was still just a baby at 18months, and wishing I'd had her from her first breath.


Though she just turned four 2 weeks ago, we have already seen the shell coming off, and not so slowly either!  Suddenly, she is talking up a storm with family and friends, hanging with her cousins (and not caring where mommy and daddy are), and just generally being a more outgoing and confident little lady. 


Where we once met resistance and fear, we are finding acceptance and curiosity.  What was once an emotional challenge that left us all spent and frustrated is now replaced with certainty and determination.


And no one could be more proud of this little girl than her daddy and mommy. 


But one thing has remained the same for this beautiful child, probably from the day she was born.  And that's her smile.  The smile that stole our hearts on June 25th, 2010, and has held them captive ever since. 


So, Happy Birthday to our precious 4 year old (who is soon going to be a big sister). You continually amaze and delight us with your resilience, your joyful spirit and your very silly sense of humor.

 YOU ARE LOVED!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Sunday Snapshot {super girl}

We had a very busy weekend with Super Girl.  We are trying to do as much as we can with our girlie before baby Popo arrives in July.  On Saturday, we headed up to Bucknell University to see the Erth's Dinosaur Petting Zoo (if you've never seen this, I would highly recommend it, incredibly realistic).  While it was very hot, we still really enjoyed the show and spending time with Mom (grandma).


One of the baby dino's we were able to pet after the show

Cadie and Mom, watching the show
One of the "baby" T-Rex dinosaurs...they were big and scary!


On Sunday, we headed to Chinatown, NYC with some friends.  Super Girl LOVES to go to Chinatown and especially if there is going to be Lion Dancers (crossing my fingers on the whole drive, hoping there would be lion dancers at the festival).  It was a hot day, but we got an early start and drank a lot of water all day.  We had lunch at Lombardi's in Little Italy and we finally found a kid sized lion dancer costume at a reasonable price!  Oh, did this make our girlie happy!  I would say the day was a success, even though it's getting harder for this 7 1/2 month pregnant mama to get around! 


A beautiful flag

Cadie was so excited to get her picture taken with the lions

Waiting for them to start so she can beat her drum

There they go!  It must have been so hot in there!

Cadie on daddy's neck again...dancing to the festival music!

SCORE... my own lion dancer costume!



Ni Hao Yall

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sunday Snapshot {Spring Planting}

This has been a long cold winter for us and getting out has been hard to do.  Spring is thankfully, finally here!  This past weekend, while it was still pretty cool out, the sun was shining bright, so we took full advantage to get the yard cleaned up.  Cadie is always a big help outside, as it is her favorite place to be!  In between raking, mowing, digging and planting, we played baseball, soccer, had scooter races, and rode our bikes!  The trees and flowers are in full bloom (despite the cold nights) and we are enjoying the fact that we can finally sit outside and enjoy our beautiful neighborhood.  We hope you had a great weekend too!


Ni Hao Yall

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sunday Snapshot {the witching hour}

I have heard other mothers use the term "the witching hour" but never really understood what they meant until I had my own child.  Because Cadie didn't come to us in the traditional way, but through adoption, we went through some tough transitions with our little one.  Cadie was 18 months old when she came home and from the first day, refused to nap!  Only in times of extreme exhaustion, would she close her eyes and nod off, but only if I was holding her!  It has been 2 years, and with the exception of short naps at preschool (we only allow a one hour nap or we are done for at night), our girlie NEVER slows down for a minute.  But there's a time between 4pm and 5pm when she is cranky and fussy and just plain difficult to please.  And without careful planning, it can be like dancing around a grizzly bear.  This is what I call "the witching hour."  Make or break time.  So this is how we handle the witching hour in our house- with art!  I plop her down at the kitchen table with paint, brushes, crayons, stickers, piles of paper, play dough, whatever.  And Cadie just seems to calm down, slow down and relax into another place in her mind.  There isn't a lot of talking... sometimes I'm getting dinner started, sometimes I'm painting too.  But what a difference 30-40 minutes later when my child emerges again, refreshed and calm, and proudly admiring her art that covers just about every inch of wall space in our kitchen.  I hope she carries this habit, along with her walks, into adulthood as I know how well they serve as a source of happiness and pride!


Ni Hao Yall

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sunday Snapshot {breaking news}

Shocking news, in fact!  Back in November, we found out that we are going to have a baby!  While for most couples this would be the most exciting news they could hear, we were just in shock. I am 45 years old, we have been married for over 12 years, and we just never thought this was something we were going to experience.  Earlier in the fall, we had been having long discussions about going back to China to adopt another little girl.   I wanted it more than anything.  I wanted Cadie to have a sibling from her birth country and I wanted to have 2 little giggling girls! But when we took a hard look at our finances and our financial future, we just couldn't see how we could make it work.  I cried a lot. But the idea of just having one was beginning to settle in.  We started looking into the best private school in our area, we started thinking about return trips to China, and getting Cadie started in Chinese school.  But apparently, God had other plans for us.  So, now after shifting gears again, excitement is starting to build and Cadie is so excited to be a big sister!  Cadie will turn 4 in June, and she is already planning all the things she is going to teach her little brother...how to play hockey (her current obsession, thanks to cousin Jack), how to play soccer, and how to brush his teeth!  Oh my...she's in for a shock when she sees how little this baby is going to be!  But it is opening the door for questions about her own past.  And we are welcoming the questions as they come.  I just hope I can provide the answers.  She is such a sweet, loving girl.  Most days, I still pinch myself when I look at her.  God really does answer our prayers.



Ni Hao Yall

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Progress!


Do you remember this picture?



This was the first day of preschool and my little girl did not want to go.  It was a tough day that first day, and for many more days after.  But then something happened.  We discovered the window.  The window in the preschool classroom that looks out over the parking lot.  A life saver for this mom and dad!  At first, when the teacher peeled Cadie off of us, she took her to the window to say goodbye.  Tears.  Then one day, no tears and a wave.  Then a shout, "Wo Ai Ni, Mommy!"  Then... {brace yourself}, no teacher.  She went to the window, all by herself and waited patiently for me to walk out of the building to my car which I parked right in front of the window. I promptly heard "bye-bye Mommy...have a good day at work, Mom...put Kung Fu Panda on (yes, she loves this song)!"  Oh my, how far we've come.  Here is how I left her on Friday morning as I pulled away...



 I'm so proud of my girl and how much progress she's made in such a short time.  And I'm proud of myself and daddy for hanging in there with her and giving her all the time, hugs and kisses she needed to feel secure in her new classroom.  We love you CadieXin, and we will ALWAYS be here for you!