Sunday, December 11, 2011

Oh yes, We Have Christmas Costumes Too

Busy weekend.  Jen and I are just getting over colds that kept us out of work a couple days last week.  But we were feeling a bit better by Saturday so we met up with the Shahs for an afternoon at the Nutcracker.  Grace was completely impressed.  Sunday was spent decorating the tree and the house.  Grace donned the above attire for the occasion.

Monday, December 05, 2011

2011 School Pictures

We weren't planning to have Grace's school pictures done this year but we are glad we decided to at the last minute since they came out really cute.  She is looking more and more like a big girl every day.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Ummm Yeah, we watch the Wizard of Oz...alot.  Grace manages to put her own spin on the song though.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Not So Halloween

Got a little bit of snow up here so they postponed Halloween until Wednesday.  Didn't stop Gracie from putting on her Annie costume for a quick photoshoot.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Birthday Weekend

We spent last weekend celebrating Grace's Birthday.  On Saturday we had a party a local bounce house place.  Grace had a blast chasing her older cousins around all afternoon.  The best part was we didn't have to clean up afterwards.

On Sunday we headed out to Southwick Zoo to meet up with a couple familes from our travel group.  The group was a bit smaller this year but the girls had a blast.   It is amazing to me that these girls only see each other a few times a year, yet they pick right up where they were the last time we got together.  Definitely a special connection there.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Not sure where the time went but Grace turned four today.  Wasn't she just two last week?  Sigh.  She really is an amazing little girl.  More celebrations this weekend so some pics coming.  For now just a quick video of Grace getting her new bike this evening.  She was a little excited...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Back to School

Booo!!! Summer is over, the weather is turning cooler. Grace started school today, she was very excited to be back. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Grace's New Room

One of our summer projects was moving Grace out of her small bedroom and into the larger one across the hall into her big girl room.  Somewhere along the way Grace decided that she had to have a canopy bed (like a princess).  Not sure where she came up with the idea but she would not be denied.  Luckily Jen had a canopy bed when she was little that was still (in pieces) at her parents house.  With a little bit of paint, a trip to Ikea and a weekend of assembling furniture Gracie has a new room. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Clarks and Santa's Villiage

This past weekend we took our annual summer pilgrimage north to New Hampshire with the Shah family.  The past couple years  we have gone to Story Land but we decided to change  it up a bit this year and go to Santa's Village instead.  I have to admit the thought of Christmas in August seemed kind of odd to me but the girls had a blast.  Grace was tall enough to ride all of the rides and especially liked the water park.   Definitely will be visiting again.

We also stopped in at Clark's Trading Post on the way down.  The have a new Chinese Acrobat show there that we wanted to check out.  Seemed a bit exploitive to me as they performed in the same enclosure as the bears do but they were pretty impressive nonetheless.  And of course the bears were a big hit with Grace.  Some pics of the weekend below

Clark's Trading Post

The girls

Feeding the Reindeer

Almost as tall as an elf


Monday, August 15, 2011

Bad Blogger

Yes, I have been badly neglecting this blog over the past couple months. Two weeks of not blogging turned into a month and then two months with no activity.  Where does the time go?  I guess it was a blogging summer vacation.

Well, we have been busy.  We moved Grace into a new room, and have taken lots of little trips here and there.  I will try my best to update with some catch-up posts this week and get back to regular updates.  For now my favorite pic of Grace from this past weekend.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Our Timeline for Cameron

April 30, 2011 - Attended Waiting Child Workshop at CAWLI

August, 1, 2011 - Application to Adopt sent to CAWLI

November 2, 2011 - Completed Home Study

November 15, 2011 - Mailed I800A to USCIS

December 19, 2011 - Got Fingerprinted

January 16, 2012 - Received USCIS Approval

February 9, 2012 - Dossier to China

February 27, 2012 - Log in Date

March 22, 2012 - Date of Referral

March 25, 2012 - Sent Letter of Intent

March 30, 2012 - Received Pre Approval

June 1, 2012 - LOA

June 4, 2012 - Send I800 to USCIS

June 21, 2012 - I 800 Approval

June 27, 2012 - NVC Cable to Guangzhou

July 2, 2012 - NVC Letter Received

July 3, 2012 - 1st Article 5 Dropoff

July 31, 2012 - 2nd Article 5 Drop off (Due to paperwork issues)

August 2, 2012 - Article 5 Pickup

August  7, 2012 - Travel Approval

August 8, 2012 - Consulate Appointment confirmed

August 23, 2012 - Leave for China

August 26, 2012 - Family Day

Sunday, June 05, 2011

China Sisters

We had our annual get together with our China travel group today.  We had 9 of the girls attend and a great time was had by all.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to get a picture of all 9 of them at once.  Three and a half year olds move pretty fast and have a mind of their own.  It is always great to see Grace reunite with the girls from Jiangxi and start playing like they saw each other yesterday.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Different Parts

Earlier this week Grace had a little cold that was punctuated with a really high fever.  We were able to get the fever under control but we decide that Grace needed to see the doctor in the morning just in case.  Jen has some end of year stuff going on at school so it was up to me to take the day off work and take her to see the doctor.

So Grace and I wait patiently for the good doctor who checks Grace out and declares that she is fine.  But based on a couple of her symptoms he wanted to get a urine sample.  So he proceeds to tell me that we need to wipe her with these antibacterial wipes before getting the sample and then leave the sample with one of the nurses. 

Ummmm.....I then realize he wants the sample now.  I am not going to be able to go home and let Jen take care of this later.  So I try to delay by asking Grace if she needed to pee and of course she said no.  The good doc just tells her to try and ushers us into the bathroom. Not even the offer of a nurse to help us out.

Now I have to say I am not one of those old fashioned dads.  I bathe and help Grace wipe in the bathroom but this girl peeing in a cup was new to me as I wasn't actually sure where the pee was going to come from.   Girls can't aim, right?  If she was a boy it would have been no problem, I know how boy parts work.  So I sit Grace on the toilet wipe her with the wipes, hold the cup under her area and wait for what seemed like forever.

It didn't help that Grace was asking me the whole time:  Daddy why are you holding a cup?  You want me to pee in a cup?  Why do I have to pee in a cup?  So finally after what felt like hours, but was probably less than a minute, she peed.  Most of it went in the cup, the rest on my hand.  I was just relieved that the job was done and we cleaned up and waited for the nurse to take the sample.

Luckily the test came back fine and Grace is now feeling much better.  I may be a bit traumatized from the encounter.  Grace is now asking if she can pee in a cup whenever she uses the facilities.  Jen has promised me that she will take doctor duties for the next few appointments to make up for it.   This is one of those things that I never thought I would find myself doing before I became a dad.  But I will do anything for my litte girl.  With any luck mommy will get a stool sample next time....

Monday, May 30, 2011

Love Long Weekends

We had a perfect Memorial Day weekend.  The heat had finally arrived and we spent plemty of time outside.  Lots of beach time, graduation parties and cookouts.   Some highlights below.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Family Day

Three years ago today we became a family.



Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dance Recital

Grace had her first dance recital this past weekend.  It was all quite a spectacle.  Grace had two performances, tap and ballet.  I have to admit I was disturbed to see my three year old with makeup on.  But Jen assures me that she did it as a kid and it is just so they don't get washed out by the lights.  We brought our families along to the performance and everyone had a great time, especially Grace.  We weren't allowed to take pictures during the recital so we we did a quick photo shoot today (sans makeup).

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms out there.  We celebrated the day with lunch in Newburyport and a romp around the yard for some photo opportunities.  Mommy and her baby below....

Monday, April 25, 2011

Grace's New Ride - Adams Trail-A-Bike

We really wanted to get Grace a bike for the spring as she has outgrown the Kangaroo seat that we have been using for the past couple years.  We debated getting her a bike of her own but decided to look into trailer bike so we can take longer family rides together.

We found the Adams Trail-a-Bike while researching bikes online and it  was really well reviewed so we gave it a shot.  It came while we were on vacation so we were really excited to give it a try when we got home this past weekend.

Adams sells a couple options on these bikes, we chose the compact folding model which is recommended for ages three to five.  I am pretty sure Grace will be able to use it past 5 though.  They have a tandem model as well as larger bikes for kids up to 10 years old.  The bike also has an optional seat back with a seat belt that I thought we were going to need to get but based on Grace's comfort level on our first quick test ride I don't think we will need it.

The one drawback is that the bike is pretty heavy.  It weights 23 pounds, add to that a 30 pound kid an that is a lot of extra weight to drag around.   So I don't think we will be taking many 25 mile trips.  I also got a little nervous on our first ride as I can't see her back there while I am riding so I picked up a mirror so I can keep an eye on her. 

Looking forward to getting out on the bike trails next weekend for a longer ride of the weather cooperates.  A quick video below of Grace's first ride.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


We spent the better part of last week in Disney World.  It was my first time going to Disney (Jen has been a couple times) so it was great being able to experience everything for the first time with Grace.  What can I say about Disney....It was really hot and really crowded but we had a blast.   

Grace is really into pricesses right now and her favorite princess is Snow White so it was pretty cool that she was waiting for us under the Magnolia tree as soon as we entered the Magic Kingdom.

Our first day was spent at the Magic Kingdom and Grace proved to us once again that she is fearless.  She went on every ride that she was able to and was begging for more.  Some of the rides have a 40 inch height requiremet and Grace was a little too short so we will definitely have some new experiences the next time we go.  More pics of our week below.

 Riding Dumbo with Mommy
 Cinderella and her castle
 Animal Kingdom with Mommy
 Re-enacting a scene from Snow White
 Swiss Family Tree House with Daddy
Lunch with Minnie