Sunday, April 29, 2007

Thomas the Train Ride

On Saturday, April 28th, we all went to Fillmore California to take a ride on Thomas the Train. Thomas visits here a few times a year to take families for a ride through the fields. On this day, it was packed full of eager youngsters and their parents. Also at the train depot were lots of booths with free play areas for the kids. It was a very warm, almost HOT spring day and we had fun riding the train with our friends Marc and his daughter Kamille.

Red Tongue Blue Tongue

This is what happens on a HOT afternoon in Fillmore California.


The girls played with their new motorcycles today. No peddling required, all automatic. Pete picked these up sometime before Christmas and we just never had a chance to assemble them and give them to the girls. Shame on us for holding out!

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Pet my tummy! Go on, I dare ya!

King of the rooftop!

HEY!! That's my tail!

This post is a response to a challenge to post pictures of our girls with our pet. Trying to get some cooperation between two toddlers and Marty the Cat is next to impossible, so this is the best we could manage. Pearl wasn't really interested in playing with Marty and Marty kept trying to curl around my leg, which also makes it hard to get a shot. We do have some birds, but I'm not sure they're ready yet to experience "Chloe and Pearl".

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Spring Sisters


Look! I'm an airplane...............

Pearl's 4th birthday

Even though Pearl's birthday was on Easter Sunday, we had to wait until the following Saturday to celebrate her birthday with a party. Many of the kids were on Spring Break for Easter, so we decided to wait until everyone was back in town. We scheduled the party at the same gym where the girls take swimming lessions.

At this new large gym, all of the kids can play on the trampolines, balance beams and jump into the large pits filled with foam padding. Our vantage point was upstairs and not too close, so we didn't get any pictures of them playing, but it was clear they were having a blast.

Afterward, we went into a room upstairs that is used for dance lessons. The kids ate pizza and cake and Pearl opened her gifts. Pearl was very excited and promptly showed all her guests her hair bow as soon as they arrived. Mom told her it was her "birthday bow", so she was sure to mention it. When it came time for cake, we even broke out the tiarra and Pearl loved that too!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Swim Class

On Thursday evenings the girls attend swim class. You can see them below waiting eagerly outside the glass door for their chance to get in the pool. Once they got in, another class was still in session, so they had to wait on the steps for another couple of minutes before they had the pool to themselves.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Dinner in Old Town

After an exciting day at Sea World, we ventured out to Old Town to eat dinner at a wonderful Mexican Restaurant. The food was great and the company was even better! Friends Taylor, Jeff and Chase joined us for our last visit together before we have to go back home.

There was live music and the musicians came over to serenade Pearl for her birthday. I think she enjoyed the attention. After dinner, Pearl, Chloe and Chase all played in the fountain until water ran down their arms and got them wet. This was a cold day for San Diego as we experienced rain and clouds nearly all day at Sea World.

We attempted to get some good pictures of the girls together, but it was a challenge. Here is the best that we could do.

And by the way, Pearl did NOT drink that large magarita! Daddy did that.

Easter Sunday at Sea World

Pearl turned 4 on Easter Sunday. Her birthday party is scheduled for next Saturday. We spent the day at Sea World with our friends from Alaska, Taylor, Jeff and daughter Chase. Jeff and Taylor adopted Chase at the same time we adopted Chloe. We were in the same travel group and we haven't seen them in two years, although we keep in touch via the internet.

Chase is 5 months younger than Chloe, but she is larger and taller than Pearl. She is a sweet child with a mellow and relaxed personality and a lovely smile. She was very patient at Sea World, which is more than I can say for our rambunctious whirlwind Chloe. Chloe cannot tolerate standing in line or waiting for a show, so Mom and Chloe missed out on a few of the events while Pearl, Chase and their parents had fun. Chloe had fun too, but it was in the sandbox and the toddler play area where she could boss around the two year olds and steal their foam blocks to build her giant castle. It was actually quite amusing to watch her run all over the bouncy floor mat collecting all of the cushions and trying to retrieve the ones that were reclaimed by the other kids. Thank goodness, no fights broke out and fun was had by all.

Unfortunately, the digital camera that we brought into the park had dead batteries. We purchased a disposable camera and will have to wait for the pictures to be developed...........the old-fashioned way. So for now, no pictures of Sea World.

Easter Egg Hunt

Since we were planning on going out of town for the weekend, we decided to have the egg hunt Thursday evening. We invited over Uncle Ray and cousins Cassie and Miranda to help us color eggs and hide them.

Pearl and Chloe had a fun time looking for the eggs. Even though Chloe has done this before, she had a confused and blank look on her face in most of the pictures. Pearl was so sweet. I don't think she saw this as a competition. About every 3rd egg she found, she would give to her little sister Chloe for her basket. She would even point out eggs for Chloe to find.

Afterward, cousin Miranda helped the girls to open their eggs and retrieve the treats inside. Chloe decided she wanted to peel one of the colored eggs.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Yesterday's Pictures from Chloe's Gotcha Day

Big Sister Pearl

Do you like my new pen?

This Morning's Conversation

As usual, Chloe got up very early to sneak into bed with me. But it was too late for her to fall back to sleep, so we cuddled for a few moments and she began speaking.

Pointing to the ceiling she exclaims, "Mama, look at those beams." As an engineer, we have already introduced our children to some construction terminology. I say, "Yes. Those are beams."

"I like beams." Chloe replys. Then she says, "I like to eat beams." Now I realize she likes to eat "B-E-A-N-S". I chuckle and point to the big one on the diagonal and say "That one is a hip beam". To which she just laughs and says "Hippo beam? No Mom, Hippo bottom".

Yesterday's Conversation

Yesterday was our two year Anniversary of Chloe joining our family. We picked Chloe and Pearl up from daycare early and decided to go out for Chinese food to celebrate. Chloe didn't want to eat at the local restaurant, so we went into the big city (of Bakersfield) to go to PF Changs (maybe not the most authentic food, but fancy atmosphere).

Afterward, we took the girls to their favorite playground nearby. There was another family playing with their adorable curly-blonde-haired, blue-eyed daughter and she kept staring at Chloe and I playing on the swing. She looked to be about Chloe's age and size, and I later found out that she was more than a year younger, not even two.

Typically, Chloe is not very social outside of our home, so I was a bit surprised when she struck up a conversation with the family. Pointing across the way, she exclaimed, "That's my sister Pearl. We got her in China. I'm from China. My mom and dad adopted me."

Totally shocked and a bit embarrassed, all I could do was laugh. The other mother got a big smile on her face and enthusiastically proclaimed, "This is our daughter Hannah. She is adopted too."

Chloe's use of English isn't usually that clear and understandable, and I wasn't even sure she was hearing us when we talked about how she joined our family. Not only was she listening, but I think to some extent, she was comprehending as well. It was rewarding and heartwarming to hear her say it with pride, like it was something special.

We were the only two families on the playground that evening. I remember being curious at seeing both parents so actively engaged in their daughter's play, and somehow, this now seemed to make more sense to me. It seems like adoptive parents tend to fawn over their children a little more than most bio parents. I realize this is an overgeneralization, because most parents love and adore their children. It just felt like more than a coincidence that we were the only two sets of parents playing with their children in the park on a Wednesday evening. I think my rationale is that adoptive parents had to work really hard to become a family and exerted a lot of effort, expense and subjected themselves to scrutinization. Many bio families don't even plan; life just happens.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

2 Year Gotcha Anniversary

I can hardly believe it was just two short years ago today that a 14 month old quiet and curious baby was placed in my arms. At the time, I couldn't sense that she was sick and scared. Having never much held a baby, she seemed heavy and I couldn't find a comfortable position. I was unsure of myself as a mother and I was apprehensive of the work and effort that lay before me. It wasn't love at first site, but I really liked my little daughter and I promised to myself and to China that I would never neglect, abandon or abuse her.

Now, even when I am at work, I can hardly think about Chloe without a happy tear coming to my eyes or at least a fond smile. She is truly the light of my life (and now I finally know what that saying means)! She is funny, smart, SILLY, affectionate, sensitive, loving, sporty, stubborn, fussy and active. She is shy with strangers (and sometimes even family) in public, but get them into our home, and she will monopolize the conversation, never letting Mom get a word in edgewise. For now, she is the leader of her older sister, who looks to her for guidance and companionship. The two are the best of friends, more than any mom could ask for. She loves to dance and sing (off key) and her smile is infectious. Sometimes just a look will cause Mom to laugh uncontrollably.

As I remember back to that first moment, I recall that I had preferred an older child or toddler. Now I would give almost anything to have had this wonderful child from the moment she entered the world!

Hopefully, pictures will follow within a couple of days!