Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sunny Saturday in Seattle

This past weekend we traveled to Seattle for a Sweet Pea Reunion. If you are wondering what that is, the Sweet Peas are a group of families, using different agencies, who completed all their adoption paperwork in August of 2004 and submitted it to China, awaiting their referrals for a new family member. We shared our stories, our hopes, our fears and our frustration as we waited for our referrals, which turned out to be 5.5-6 months, one of the shortest waits ever!

Since then, we have all traveled to China to adopt our kids and some have even made more adoption trips since then. Now most of the girls are 4 years old and just old enough to have fun socializing and playing with each other. This is the first year that Pete and I brought our family, since the reunion is usually held in the Pacific Northwest, a fair distance from Central California.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Eye Screen for Ice Cream

Chloe has a condition where her left eye turns outward or upward during times of fatigue or when she is "zoning out". I believe this condition is called strabismus.

Today was Chloe's first visit with the opthamologist. She was in fine form and acted like a playful kitten, swatting at all of the doctor's tools, spinning in the chairs and looking every direction except for the one the doctor asked her to. There wasn't much I could do other than repeat the doctor's demands and remind her of the imminent "special treat" if she behaved. She tried a little harder and behaved well enough for the doctors to complete their examination. It took over an hour and a half.

They have not yet recommended a course of action, but they want to see her again when her eyes are at their most alert, so that they can take measurements and confirm what they have already documented. The worst case scenario would be surgery, but it sounds like she will just need some therapy.

During the examination, Dr. Yang asked Chloe which type of ice cream she preferred, chocolate or strawberry. For a second, I thought they were gonna give her some ice cream and I am sure she was thinking the same thing too. No such luck. Dr. Yang was just reaching for the "chocolate" eyedrops to dialate her eyes. Seeing the disappointment on her face, I immediately reassured her we would go to the ice cream parlor afterwards (even though it was almost dinner time).

After the appointment, Mom also needed a "special treat", so I went to the fabric store to pick up some notions and some sidewalk chalk for the girls (sounds like a future post).

Ice cream for dinner again!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

One More Fair Post

Saturday, September 20, 2008

"Best In The West"

The title of this post is the theme to this years' fair. I must admit that I do not look forward to this time of year and would completely avoid the fair entirely if I didn't think my girls would love it. I don't like dust or crowds or heat, all very prevalent at the local fair. But I promised myself and my husband to put on a smile for the day and enjoy my free time away from my sewing machine (waaaaaaa)

I cannot figure out what it was, but this was the most fun I have ever had at the fair. The weather was cooler than usual, only in the high 70s (still hot in the sun). The air seemed cleaner and everything looked better, newer and nicer. Chloe and Pearl enjoyed every minute and behaved like perfect little ladies the whole time. No "I want that, I wanna do this, I want I want I want". It was such a joy to watch these girls utter their appreciation time and time again. People stopped us to give our girls compliments and Chloe and Pearl used their best manners.

We enjoyed the animals, the food and the rides, but most of all Mom and Dad enjoyed the smiles and laughter on their two precious daughter's faces.

Face Painting

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cute Stuff

Mom has been so busy at work the past couple of days (retirement party last night for a co-worker and council meeting tonight) that I haven't got much quality time in with my girls, so when I was home, I spent all my time just playing with them.

Tonight I had just a half hour to spend with my Chloe and she asked me to play "Pet Doctor" with her. She had all her doctor tools out and was examining and caring for her stuffed teddy bear and stuffed walrus. She then comes over to me with that gadget that the doctor uses to look in your ear. She holds it up to my ear and confidently proclaims "You have a cavity!" After a slight chuckle, I ask what she would prescribe for me. She reaches for the miniature toy water bottle and says "Here is some ear medicine. Be careful, it burns a little." She administered the medicine and now my ear cavity is all better.

These are the greatest moments.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Forget Me Knot Dress

I looked long and hard for a pattern for a knot dress. This style is very popular right now in some of the online boutique shops and specialty clothing stores. When I couldn't find the perfect pattern, I decided to create my own. Since I've made this dress several times now, I decided that I am going to try and sell the pattern to other crafters who are also interested in making a knot dress. I worked hard to develop my own design after looking at images from different dresses and styles. I am almost finished with the pattern and the instructions and should have it available in a week or so.

I needed to make at least one more dress so that I could take photos of the construction process to go along with the directions. After I completed the dress, I couldn't wait to take some pictures of Chloe wearing it. She was so excited to have a new dress and she wanted to have her picture taken. So many of the pictures turned out great, that I couldn't just pick a couple for the blog. I had to make a slide show. Chloe was in rare form this morning. If you're wondering where Pearl is, Dad took her to the store.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Moon Festival

Tonight we celebrated the Mid Autumn Festival with the local Chinese American community in a nearby park. We have celebrated several events with this group over the past 2 1/2 years, but this is the first time we have seen more than one other adoptive family with children from China. In fact, we have been trying to locate a local group of adoptive families for years without much luck.

For our FCC gatherings, we have been traveling over 2 hours to the nearest local group. Tonight, we saw at least four other families. It was really neat to meet them. We left our contact information with the lady who was the local group organizer, so we hope to hear from them about future events and playdates. There were a lot of children close in age to Chloe and Pearl this evening, some adopted and some born to Chinese families here in America.

The girls had fun and there was even a non-traditional lantern-making contest with plastic cups and glow sticks. Our neice Miranda won for most unique lantern.

Sunday, September 07, 2008


I was eager to take pictures of the girls in the Fall dresses I made them. I think these will probably be their Thanksgiving Day dresses. Never mind that the weather is still flirting with 100 degree temperatures, the girls still found evidence of the changing season as they examined falling leaves.

My next few projects are going to be simple ones.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Back to School Night

Tonight was Back to School Night at Pearl's school. She is really enjoying her first weeks of Kindergarten. She was so happy to show us around her classroom. We ran into her cousin Faith. Faith is in third grade. She is in the picture with Pearl.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Shawn Braden Daniels

Today we said goodbye to a very special and very loved nephew. It was a heartbreaking loss, because little Shawn didn't really get his chance to laugh, crawl, walk or experience the joy of a family's love. In addition to the family connection we feel for this special little guy, we are also drawn by a connection to our very own Pearl.

Shawn was born this April on Pearl's birthday, far too premature, but desperately clinging to life. We eagerly awaited updates over the weeks, listening to the stories of so many setbacks, so many operations, yet so many days endured. Little Shawn lost his battle on Pearl's Forever Family day after 141 days in this world. He left his parents the same day Pearl joined hers.

There was a poem that his mother placed in his funeral program that seemed to capture the sentiment and it was as follows:


God saw you getting tired,
When a cure was not to be.
So He wrapped his arms around you
And whispered, "Come to me."

You didn't deserve what you went through,
So He gave you rest.
God's garden must be beautiful,
He only takes the best.

And when I saw you sleeping,
So peaceful and free from pain,
I could not wish you back
To suffer that again.

-Author unknown

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A Relaxing Labor Day Weekend

We spent yet another weekend at home. I think this is a record for us. We might blow it next weekend and go on a road trip. We are still debating.

I was able to get a lot of sewing in as well as a lot of time spent with my girls and hubby. Our small town had a major fire on Saturday at a local roofing plant and then it re-ignited on Sunday and spread next door to the school district offices. It was a three alarm blaze and the biggest one here in town since I started working here 14 years ago. The picture of the fire was taken after most of it had died down on Saturday. I think the office building that burned was the same office where Pearl's records are kept. Good thing she is only two weeks into Kindergarten.

We took the girls shopping for shoes. Pearl's feet are two different sizes, so she will either have to wear one loose shoe or one snug shoe because I am not buying two pair of each style!