Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year starts tomorrow so tonight is New Year's Eve. I was looking at the Wiki page on Chinese New Year and there is some really good information there. It says that it is traditional to eat fish on New Year's Eve, we didn't have fish tonight but we did have shrimp.

We are looking forward to attending CAWLI's Chinese New Year Party next weekend. We attended the party the first year we were waiting back in 2006 but have skipped the event since. It will be nice to see our travel group again and hopefully meet some fellow bloggers.

Some pics from the past week below.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Snowed In

I just love days like today. We woke up to about 4 inches of snow on the ground and forecast for much more so we got the wood stove cranked up and just stayed in all day. Nothing like a day snowed in with my girls. Snow during the week usually irritates me since it usually messes up my commute to work but on the weekend I just don't mind. The day was made even better by the left over Chinese food from our Chinese New Year Party last night. We have been celebrating Chinese New Year for the past couple years so it was nice to finally have Grace here to celebrate with us.

This has been a pretty rough winter, we have has more snow than I can remember in very long time and this past week we had a stretch of days with temperatures in the single digits and below zero. Usually this is the time of the year that Jen and I start planning a trip to somewhere tropical but I just don't see that happening this year. As much as we think Grace would love Jamaica I think we may have to wait a couple years.

Some pics of Grace clowning around over the past week.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Missed our baby

Jen and I attended my company holiday party this weekend at a the Water's Edge Resort in Connecticut. We stayed overnight on Saturday so this was the first night that we have both been away from Grace overnight. Grace stayed home with Grammy and did really well. She was a little confused when we left and were saying goodbye as she thought Grammy and Grandpa were leaving and not mom and dad. When she realized that we were leaving without her she got real quiet and had a sad look in her eyes, and a little pout, no tears though.

Grace did really well. Overall we were only gone for 24 hours and Grammy and Grandpa kept her really busy. She had no major meltdowns and pretty much slept though the night. We had a good time at the party as well. It was nice to get away for the night and sleep in a bit. To keep things interesting my company sometimes has a themed holiday party. This year's theme was The 80s. Jen pulled out an old dress that she wore at a high school semi-formal dance, which amazingly still fit. I was getting a little scared as she was getting ready putting on all of her "accessories". She seemed to be enjoying herself way too much.

As much as we enjoyed the party and our night away we really did miss Grace. Seeing her smiling face and getting hugs and kisses when we got home was pretty much the best part. A pic of our outfits from the party below.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Lunch with Teddy Rabbit

Apparently Teddy Rabbit was hungry and needed to eat lunch with Grace this afternoon.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Back to work

After almost two weeks off for the Holidays with my girls I am heading back to work on Monday. It was nice having the time off but what I really appreciated was getting some good bonding with Grace. The last few weeks before the holidays were kind of crazy and there were quite a few days that I got home from work so late that she was in bed before I got home. So being able to put her to bed and see her cute little face first thing in the morning was quite a treat. Grace and I do have a pretty strong bond but I think the last couple weeks really strengthened it.

We actually had an adoption related task to complete last week, our 6 month post placement meeting with our social worker. This is basically just a meeting to put together a document on Grace's progress that get sent to China and allows us to go through the re-adoption process which we will be doing within the next couple months. During our first couple home study meeting we were so careful what we said but now that we have Grace home I decided to have a little fun to Jen's chagrin....the conversation went something like:

Social Worker: I see you wrote that Grace likes to eat everything. Can you give me some examples for the report.

Jen: Bananas

Steve: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Jen: Diced Fruit

Steve: French Fries

Jen: Yogurt

Steve: Chocolate

Jen: (shooting me the look) You don't have to mention all of the unhealthy foods.

Steve: Ok

Jen: Pasta

Steve: Filet Mignon

Jen shot me another look at that point and we moved on to other questions. Of course Grace charmed our social worker so I am sure we will get a good report. Grace (as she usually is in new situations) was a bit shy at first but within 5 minutes was stealing her pen and car keys which were momentarily lost almost making for a longer than anticipated home study visit.

We've been slacking a bit in the picture taking department the last couple days so I will post a video we took of Grace enjoying a cookie on New Year's Eve. The past few years we have gone out for dinner and/or hosted parties to celebrate the new year. This year we were snowed in and just the three us but as you can see we had a blast just the same.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Closing the door on 2008

For us 2008 was a pretty good year. I guess that is a bit of an understatement, it is probably the best year we have had as a married couple. If I had to sum up the year in one word that word would be "Hope". We started out 2008 with a lot of hope. We knew we were getting close to a referral but just weren't sure how many months we would wait.

In February 2008 we took our last childless vacation to Jamaica. We had a great time in the sun and came back refreshed ready for what the next few months would bring. In March 2008 referrals came out with a cutoff of Jan 4th 2005, meaning we missed the cutoff by one day. We were pretty disappointed but it was not at all unexpected so we just looked forward to April when we would see our daughter's face for the first time.

April 4th, 2008 is a day that we will never forget, the day that we got that call that we have a daughter. I won't rehash it all but you can read about it here and here. The remainder of April and May 2008 were spent getting prepared for our trip.

On May 12th, 2008 a huge earthquake hit the Sichuan province of China. We were pretty confident that Grace was fine but the quake killed almost 70,000 people so our hearts were heavy thinking of all of the destruction in the homeland of our daughter who we had not yet met.

On May 22nd, 2008 we boarded a plane bound for Beijing China for a trip that would change our lives forever. It was trip of a lifetime, we became parents and fell in love with the sweetest little girl you could ever meet.

We arrived home in early June and jumped headfirst into parenting. Grace was a pretty easy-going baby though so we didn't have it too rough. She slept well, ate well and was generally pretty content.

Not sure where the six months since then have gone. Grace has grown and changed so much. She has gone from an infant who could barely sit up to a toddler that lets nothing hold her back. She knows what she wants and knows how to get it. She is smart, sweet, loving and funny and we can't wait to see what 2009 has in store for her and us.

So from our family to yours we want to wish you a happy and healthy 2009.