Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas '09

oh yeah!
Christmas for me had become such a big deal for us. every Christmas I would announce that by next Christmas Flora will certainly be here. That happened 3 times! So last Christmas I said it with great authority that '08 would be the last Christmas without Flora. I was so certain only because we had booked our flight and were China bound on January 1, 2009.
Here are photos of Flora's first Christmas.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Syrup Anyone?

Flora loves sugar, and she loves carbs! So what, in here mind, would be a better breakfast than marrying the two?
Waffles with Syrup.....finger er plate licking good!

*side note~I think the one photo could be an ad for Pottery Barn's Great White dinner ware!

Friday, November 27, 2009

The First Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving. In fact, I believe it may be one of my favorite two holidays. I enjoy the company of friends and/or family. Flora's first Thanksgiving was magical!
Happy Thanksgiving Ya'll!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

First Time....

.....ever I saw your face
First Referral Anniversary

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The First of Many Firsts

Halloween! Although I usually love Halloween, handing out all that candy to our 400+ trick or treaters, this year was a bit different. Football has altered our fall. We had a football game on Halloween night. So we were black for the night and did not hand out candy. Nonetheless, Flora donned her first Halloween costume at the football game.

This is the first posts of many firsts as we embark upon the first holiday season with sweet Flora!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

ISO the Perfect Pumpkin

Flora was in search of the perfect pumpkin. Sorry Folks.....she found it! The perfect pumpkin now resides at our house. Here she is similar to Goldilocks in search of that perfect pumpkin. This one is too big. This one is too small. This one is just right!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dada no more

Flora's language is moving along swiftly. Last night we went from Mama and Dada to Mommy and Daddy. Although I am excited, I am sad too.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Plague at our house

After a wonderful weekend at the homestead we came back with the stomach bug. Yuck. Joe started on the trip. Claire started 90 minutes from home. I started at 11:30 pm and Emily at 3:00 am. It was quick but awful! Flora escaped totally unscathed! I am very thankful for small favors and strong immune systems. One of the worst things ever is a vomiting baby/toddler! Especially for 6 plus hours!
Don't worry no photos documenting those 48 hours........

Monday, October 12, 2009


We spent the weekend in beautiful Hot Springs, VA at the Homestead. Truly one of my favorite places to visit. I always have a great relaxing time coupled with wonderful memories over the years with my family members who are no longer here. I like making new memories with Flora too!

Our Carriage Ride

Tex, the Harris Hawk, flying between the girls. Falconry is ultra cool!

The Hayride at Sunset.


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Just say no....... Swine Flu. I took the old one who was complaining of flu symptoms to the doc today. Not that I am on the Swine Flu bandwagon, but honestly if you get them there fast enough the doc will script Tamaflu. Em was a hot mess! She was so delusional she even wanted to go to school to take TWO tests.....crazy girl! Nope! I said. Good news: no Swine, Bad news: either MONO or Adno Virus. I have my fingers crossed for Adno!
we will know more in a few days.
On another better note, I took Miss FJ to the dentist for the first time today. I have been made aware of many children adopted from China who have significant teeth issues, so to be on the cautious side I took Miss FJ 6 months early. The appointment itself was rough, for her. She did not like people poking in her mouth. Nor did she enjoy being held down. However, the result was great information! She has fantastic teeth. FJ does insist that I brush them 1-2X per day. She loves having her teeth brushed. The hygienist was very complimentary, saying that she has no plaque on her teeth. Hooray for us! Now they want me to start flossing her teeth. I think we will give it a whirl!
Pictures will be coming. I have lost my cable to download photos. I have many pics on my camera. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Milestones

I can not believe how amazing my daughter is. Actually, it is not that surprising as all three of my girls blow me away almost daily. But Miss Flora met, head on, a huge milestone today. Today was a no school for us due to Yom Kippur! So I decided to have a slow morning and not hit the gym at 5 am as usual. I decided to wait until 9 when the daycare opened. (In the essence of full disclosure my good friend, Miss Deb, started working at the daycare.) I have not left Flora with anyone other than Joe, Emily or Claire since we arrived home. I thought that today would be a good day to try. She cried for a short time, under 10 minutes, and then she was fine. She did suck her thumb for a while. That is always a sign to me that she is tired, which she wasn't, or stressed. But when i returned nearly 2 hours later she was happily walking around with her paper. The smile when she saw was amazing! True pleasure and happiness. I am glad I tried it. It is something that will not be happening daily or even weekly, because my schedule doesn't allow for late morning gym time, but I am proud of her!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back to School

Today marks the day that we return to school. It is time although I have thoroughly enjoyed my summer with my girls! I have done a ton of nothing. I have been super busy trying to relax, decompress and regenerate. I am almost there. I am excited to see Flora back to school with a better schedule.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Speaking of signing.....

Flora still signs. I am a firm believer of teaching signing to children. She has been signing since becoming a family in January. Now she is starting to add some speaking to her signs. She'll sign and say the word simultaneously. I have not taught her enough signs honestly. She is becoming more and more frustrated as her brain is way ahead of her speaking skills/ability. So she has started a screaming and grunting thing. It is driving us all nuts. We can't wait for her to be able to communicate her needs and wants to us more clearly. She is definitely a girl who knows what she wants and what she absolutely wants no part of! I still can't believe that she is here. Our lives are wonderfully complete!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Still Sigining

After the last post it is important to relay that Flora's favorite new sign is......ICE CREAM! We have the refrigerator on the bottom. Flora now walks over to it and signs ice cream. Hmmmm, I think she truly enjoyed the ice cream experience.

Monday, August 10, 2009

First Ice Cream!

Following the tradition we started, the first ice cream cone must be:
~In a cone
~In a high chair, sitting outside
~Wearing only a diaper
~With a camera

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, old one!

It is time once again to wish that old one of mine Happy Birthday. She is 14. The day before her birthday I registered her at the local high school. I am proud to say that she was admitted into a special program that is medicine based, heavy in math and science! She is a typical teenager, oy vey! I love her to pieces and without her being so wonderful I would have never wanted more children. So, E, it is all your fault!! =)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

No need to call the authorities.....

we are all okay. Things have been a bit busy around these parts. Nothing like a little family drama. The old one graduated. I am so proud of her. She applied to and was accepted to the medical program that is offered in our high schools. Unbelievable! She is going to take Algebra 2, Chemistry, Honors English, World History, Spanish 3, and some elective to balance the schedule! What a ridiculously hard schedule! Kudos to here for being prepared to take such courses!
Did I mention that school's out for summer????
Flora is doing amazing well. We had a little jaunt up north to visit some family. We were able to hook up with some travel friends that we made in China. Their daughter, Emily, is doing very well. Traveling to China was an amazing experience, through and through. We meet some equally amazing people. But your experience in China is like no other. It is a flash of time when things are all so new, unusual, different, and fantastic. Never again will you see these people walking the halls trying to get their new daughters to sleep. We saw folks with bed head in their pj's. We scrambled to help anyone with anything. You need diapers? I have extras. You need prunes? Well, I have 2. But it is equally wonderful to see these babies (who were in shock, initially) comfortable in their own homes. I loved visiting our friends.
And now it is time for a few photos. We have a family photo that was taken for the benefit of our home study and then who doesn't love a smiling baby?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Time for a visit!

I can not believe that it has been 6 months. Okay it really hasn't been that long. But it is time for our home study person to visit today. House is clean, correction picked-up. No, we don't live in a hovel, however, sometimes it is messy.....
In the meantime, here are some photos of FJ.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


We have been very busy chasing after our WALKER!
~Flora started walking on Sunday April 26, 2009. She took her first steps and has since graduated to walking 80% of the time and crawling a mere 20%. She is proud of herself.
~She has been using a spoon lately to feed herself. Luckily we have dogs!
~She is going to eat us out of house and home. My girl can chow down. She is tipping the scales at 20.75 pounds. I turned her car seat around. She seems to be far happier with the view.
~She has continued to flourish. Joe has left town for 10 days. I was a bit concerned how things would pan out. It has been easy. Em and Cl have stepped up to the plate. Truly, I couldn't prouder of them.
~Flora was having some difficulty sleeping, getting to sleep and sleeping through the night. Joe and I read The Sleep Lady and we have had some success. As for sleeping through the night, all it takes is a light sleeper (Joe) to leave and a sound sleeper (Me) left in charge. Problem solved!!!!

The ape walk! She is not doing this hands over her head walk as much anymore.

I love this crinkled face. She makes snorting sounds while making that face!

Flora was given this chalkboard by one of my students. He carefully washed for her, because it was his. She loves drawing on the chalkboard.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Phavorite Photo

I love, love, love this pic of my girl. I took it myself a week ago. My husband, who is the avid photographer says it is great. I concur!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The post birthday haze

Flora is affected by sugar! Too much sugar wires my little darling to no end. It was a fun day (her birthday), but we spent all of yesterday dealing with withdrawals. Seriously, she was so wound up on her birthday that she did not take an afternoon nap. She stayed up way past her bedtime. She fell asleep in the car on the way home (the last 5 minutes that is). When it came time for the transfer from the car seat to her bed she woke up. Needless to say she did not fall asleep until 10:00 and she woke several times during the night. I am so happy birthdays only come once a year, only 363 days to go!
I forgot to post these photos on her birthday. She brought in a special snack and sat at group to eat it with her friends.

Thursday, April 09, 2009


Today is Flora's first birthday! She started the day like this at 8:30.

Everyone was anxious to see her, because she brought this to "school" aka my work.

More later on Flora's first birthday adventures!!

We had a great dinner at a Chinese Restaurant. Miss Flora had congee!!! Something that she has not had since she left China. It was a special night!
The cake, FYI, was banana rama with chocolate buttercream icing. YUM, YUM, YUM!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Beach

We have a bit of a tradition in our family of photographing the first moment our daughter feels sand. Flora was honored with the same tradition. These photographs document that moment. Albeit these were taken in March, but I still love them. Flora went from not being too thrilled with sand to eating it! ARGH!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Em and Flo

Okay I have NO intentions of calling Flora...Flo. How ever there was a ring to Em and Flo (a la ebb and flow). These photos were taken yesterday on photo booth. Seriously cute sisters! I am so proud of my family!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Who's this girl?

While in China, the orphanage director gave us a disc of 50 something photos of Flora. All of the photos were of her with her foster mom and dad, or the orphanage nannies, or by herself......except for this one photo. I would love to find Flora's friend from YuLin. There are not many ties to China, but this is a big one (for me). Please if you know who this beautiful girl is let me know.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Two Months

We have been a family for 2 months now I can't remember what life was like without her. Flora's health is good. She visited the doctor for a "well baby" check up. It seems so wasn't so well. Flora had a double ear infection. She was pulling at her ears, really I thought it was teething. She was acting normally. After a week of one ant biotic that wasn't working we moved on to another. Things are right in our household once again.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Receiving Hate Emails...

I opened my email the other day and there was this horrid email. It said that I am the worst blogger EVER! Now, generally I am the type of person who rarely admits fault. However, in this case she was correct. I have been awful. I used to get annoyed with those people whose blog I would follow during their China trip. Once they were home, entries would drop-off. Now (my head hanging low), I am one of those people.

Friday, January 30, 2009

A Shout Out!

Let me give (another) shout out to Miss Tiffany, June's mom, who updated the blog for me! Thanks Tiff! I am digging the new look. Secondly, I need to give a shout out to my bloggy buds, who I have neglected terribly lately. I will find time to visit and check-in this weekend. (Perhaps during the Super Bowl...not a football fan.)
Flora is doing quite well. She is teething a bit. We all experienced interupted sllep last night. WE have decided that she really does sleep better in her own space (i.e. crib or pack-n-play). She is a thrasher!
We has our first Ped appt last week. She is 16 lbs and 11 oz, naked! When we were in Guangzhou, they weighed her at 17.6 lbs. That included her coat and shoes!
Our Ped so proudly pulled out a height and weight chart for Asian girls. He then looked at Flora. She was on the Asian chart at the 75th to 80th percentile for weight. He then threw away the unnecessary smaller growth chart. She is on the Big American Girl chart! At the 50th percentile for weight I might add! She is at the 40th percentile for height!
I truly believe that my Budda bellied Princess has gained 1.5 pounds since gotcha day! She eats everything and a lot of everything.
With the goings on around my house, I feel that my plate is full. It is by no means overwhleming, but it is full. So I promise that as our routine continues to settle I will be better about communication, on all fronts!
One more thing, FJ started crawling, finally, on Wednesday!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

More, more, more

Here are a few more pics!

My three daughters! I love the three of them together. FYI, this was taken at the White Swan. I was shocked to see that the WS is much smaller than I expected. This is a "platform" of sorts that over looks the waterfall.

Flora LOVES to ride on her dad's shoulders. Every time we put her up there she laughs and laughs!

The hat...well she was sportin' that look when she was hanging with her foster mom (who, for the record, is amazing in my book!) It looks like the Fresh Prince was about to drop by for a visit!

Well, Flora has adjusted amazingly well. We have all been on east coast time since Saturday. She is sleeping through the night with two naps (morning and afternoon). She is eating very well. She has yet to refuse a meal! I can't wait to see what our Ped says tomorrow when we go.
We are glad to be home, but I do sincerely miss China. There is so much more I wanted to do. I guess we should start saving for a return trip.