Thursday, March 31, 2011

There is so much to ‘No!’ when you are 2!!!

If I had a penny for every time I hear the word ‘No!’ each day I would be rich!  What is it that is so exciting about it?  I’m not sure but Hannah sure likes it!

The funny this is that knowing this stage would arrive I tried desperately not to use this word with her!  I’d say something like, ‘Let’s do this instead’ rather than ‘No.’  Or, ‘How about we do this?’ Yah, you can tell this got me nowhere!

I’ve quickly learned some ways to lessen the daily ‘no’s’ by offering options and this has been helpful.  Rather than asking if she wants yogurt for breakfast, which is sure to be met with a resounding ‘No!’ even when she does want it, I ask, ‘Do you want this one or this one’ to which she’ll say, ‘Dis one!’ as she points to her choice with a big grin.  Success for both of us!

Sometimes her ‘no’s’ mean we have to have a little heart to heart chat.  When it’s time to get in the car to go someplace and she runs away with a defiant ‘No!!’ I get down at her level, get eye contact (which isn’t always easy) and explain that saying ‘no’ isn’t an option right now and that we have to go.  I usually hear anywhere from 3-5 more no’s during my ‘talk’ but hopefully she’s still learning.

Lately when I’ve had about all I can take in a day I’ll begin to respond to her ‘no’s’ accordingly.  She’s none too impressed when I ask if she wants chocolate or vanilla ice cream for dessert only to hear ‘No!’  so I scoop myself a small bowl and leave her without any.   Before I can even sit down next to her a precious little. ‘Sowwy Mommy’ can be heard and yes, I cave.  But, hopefully something has been learned in the process.

Another one of her newest no’s makes me giggle if I’m not careful!  ‘No way Mommy!  No way’ can often be heard coming from Hannah.

One thing that does surprise me is that with all the ways she’s learning and trying to express herself, getting dressed in the morning is still a non issue.  Phew!!  For this I am thankful.  She lets me choose her clothes and wears what I choose.  At bedtime I let her choose what pj’s she wants to wear but in the morning it’s still Mommy’s call.  This makes life much easier so I’m hoping it stays this way at least for a while!!  (Watch her change it up now that I’ve put it in print!)

The other phrase I hear often is ‘I do Mommy.  I do!’  She’s growing and learning at an alarming rate and it’s wonderful (although time consuming) to let her attempt many new things each day.  What I love though is that when she tries, if she can’t quite do what she wants she’s also quick to say, ‘Mommy help pease.’   Oh yes sweetie, Mommy will help for sure!!

I’ll end this post with a fun conversation we had one night last week during our bedtime cuddle time after I’d turned out the lights:

Mommy:  Hannah, are you going to gymnastics tomorrow?

Hannah:  No!

Mommy:  Are you going to eat tomorrow?

Hannah:  No!

Mommy:  Are we going to read stories together tomorrow?

Hannah:  No!

Mommy:  Are you going to say ‘No’ tomorrow?

Hannah:  YES!!!

Heh….that’s my girl and I love every bit about her….even the ‘No’s!!’

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Riding in Style!

Hannah’s main birthday gift from my parents and I was a little Princess electric riding toy.  Auntie Deb gave her a cute little pink toddler bike helmet with ladybugs on it and she was set to roll!DSC_7064

My niece Rebecca helped to catch this fun video when Hannah discovered her new toy. 

The weather turned cold and snowy after she received her gift so we needed to wait for a few weeks to take it out for a spin.  While she waited she test drove it in the house.  Sometimes successfully….DSC_7147

sometimes not so much!  DSC_7148

And lest you think the transition to a bike helmet was an easy one I give you one (of many) helmet meltdowns.  Ah…..2!DSC_7154

Finally it cleared up a bit and was warm enough so that he little fingers wouldn’t get frostbitten as she drove and I tell you, Hannah was ready to roll!!DSC_7313

This video won’t win any prizes but I tell you the giggles alone are worth watching it!  (Sure hope she hasn’t learned these skills from my driving!)

It didn’t take but a few minutes for her to get the hand of things and we were off!  There is a quiet street where we live that she can drive on which makes mommy very happy since she hasn’t gotten the hand of driving in a straight line yet!DSC_7329

My curious little muffin needed to check under the hood to see how everything works.  It’s not unusual for her to check things out which makes me wonder what she’ll decide to be when she grows up.  DSC_7327

Our first ride was a huge success as have been others since.  I can already tell we’re going to have lots and lots of fun with this toy!  It sure will be nice though when she can drive it without her little mitts hanging down.  C’mon spring!!!DSC_7317

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Morning Cuteness

I know I need to post!  Hannah has been a little more unsure at night the past couple of weeks so doesn’t completely settle until I go to bed too.  Since that is my normal blogging time it’s taking a bit longer to get posts up.

So, until I can get something more together, here’s a ‘Good Morning!’ to you from Hannah, taken just moments ago!DSC_7374


Is it just me or does she seem to grow up with every single picture I take these days?  How do I slow it down?  I LOVE this stage and don’t want to rush through it!

Mommy loves you Hannah!  xoxo

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A crying shame: China's lost baby girls

This article brought me to tears more than once as I read and reread it today.

Some of what was written, others choose not to tell their daughters. I tell Hannah because I believe in my heart of hearts it is true. Hannah was loved by her birthmother and that is what she will learn from me now, and in the years to come. My heart tells me it's true and I believe it. She carried my daughter within her for 9 months, gave birth to her and then left her somewhere safe and warmly dressed, to be found. Yes, Hannah, your birthmother loved you and Mommy loves you more than I can express!!

The article reads, 'She assures adoptive children they were loved. “Your life is given to you by two mothers, you are lucky,” Xinran says. “Your birth mother must have been a good woman. (She was) against traditional rules . . . This is why you have a life. I want to give this message to the adoptive mother, too, how much Chinese moms want to thank you.”

That last sentence was one of many that caused the tears to flow. It has crossed my mind over the years of waiting and now home with Hannah, 'What would her Chinese Mother think of me taking her from China and raising her in Canada?' As much as I know this is the plan God has for Hannah and I, I've often wondered if her Chinese Mother would understand? Xinran has spoken to many, many Chinese women who gave their daughters up and to hear that these precious women are thankful for the adoptive moms, brings peace to my heart.

Even though Hannah just turned 2, I already talk with her about her Chinese mother. Most of this 'conversation' happens during our bedtime prayers as I pray for this beautiful woman (I know she is beautiful....Have you seen the amazing baby girl she gave birth to?!!) I pray for peace in her heart. A peace that only God can provide. I pray that He will whisper to her heart that her daughter is ok; that she is loved beyond measure and cared for and that she gave a gift unlike any other. First and foremost though, I pray for her salvation. May she have an opportunity to come to know Jesus as her own personal Lord and Saviour. I pray this for her sake but also if I were honest, I'd say it's for selfish reasons too. I have to admit part of this prayer is so that someday if not here on earth, then later in Heaven, I could watch the precious reunion between a mother and a daughter.

The reunion of a baby girl who was blessed beyond measure to have not just one mother, but two!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

And the Winner Is….

After cutting all the entries into equal sized pieces, Hannah helped mommy tonight by drawing the winner of the $20.00 gift card.DSC_7354

Congratulations Stace!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Special Days with Grandma and Grandpa + Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Last week proved to be a busier one than normal.  Hannah’s daycare family were off enjoying a fun week at Disney so my parents stepped in to help with Hannah.  I couldn’t have done it without them and I was so thankful they were able to spend the week with her.  I know she had a great time and loved being with them too!  She woke up Saturday morning and immediately asked for Grandma and Grandpa. 

One of the extras of Mom and Dad watching Hannah was that supper often came with the deal.  Bonus!!  It meant we got home quite late but I will be forever grateful for the help and care Mom and Dad provided once again.  At different times in our lives myself and both of my brothers have been single parents.  Over and over Mom and Dad have helped each of us out and I know all 3 of us are thankful and our children are blessed to have such amazing grandparents who play active roles in their little lives.

This week I’ve made an extra effort to spend our evenings at home, doing things together.  Tues and Wed nights we made sugar cookies to share with her daycare friends as well as my coworkers and Hannah’s grandparents.  I found a couple of great recipes online that we used to make the cookies and the icing.  The cookie dough ended up making 7 dozen cookies and I tripled the icing recipe but could have used 1 more batch to make sure all the cookies were iced.  Everything was simple to do and it was extra fun to make these with my little sweetie.  It’s great that she’s now old enough to do so much around the house and kitchen!

Taking the wrapper off the butter.  Mommy quickly adjusted the Velcro on the hat so that Hannah could see.DSC_7302

My little flour child.DSC_7305

I cut out and baked the cookies after Hannah went to sleep Tuesday night and then we iced them together last night.  Ange suggested I give Hannah one cookie and decorations of her own and she was right, that was all she needed and I was able to do the rest while still spending time together.  As you’ll see by the video at the bottom, it was a good decision just to let her work on her own cookie.  :o)

Helping Mommy colour the icing.  You may notice when I ask her what colour it is she confidently says, ‘Blue!’  Heh….everything is ‘blue’ these days.  We’re working on colours but the concept hasn’t caught on yet.

Here she’s waiting patiently for her cookie to decorate.DSC_7332

Precious, sweet little fingers.DSC_7335

Hannah is one to do everything to the fullest.  Check out the shamrock sprinkles!DSC_7336

Hannah proceeded to eat some of the sprinkles off the cookie but the cookie itself and most of the icing have been left for another day.  Sounds like a good decision.  (LOL….tonight’s diaper was an indication of just how many green things she ate today!)  This is a little gooey grin but adorable none the less!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hannah’s Kids Birthday Party

Life has been a fun kind of busy this week so blogging has been put on the back burner.  (Part of that busyness has been ordering a book of last year’s blog from Blog2Print.  I’m excited to have a copy of this journal in hard copy for Hannah and I to enjoy for years to come.)

The day before Hannah’s birthday we celebrated with a birthday party for she and 8 of her little friends.  The theme was Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and we had such fun!  DSC_6995 I rented a room at a local community centre and it was a great way to have enough room to run around, play and celebrate together.  With the help of my parents we loaded up many of Hannah’s toys into our vehicles and all the party supplies we could find and created a space that was kid and parent friendly alike.  DSC_7019 I’ll keep this idea in mind for another year as my home is just too small for more than a few visitors at a time.  Friends also met us at the party and helped with the set up which made it all go like clockwork.  Thanks everyone!!  You helped to make this day extra special!

An attempt to take a group pic.  It was a lot like herding cats!!  I took about a dozen pics and this was the best of the group.  :o)  Really, they were having a good time even though it’s hard to see in this pic.  DSC_7015

This is a little clip of what it was like trying to get all the kids in one group shot.  Heh!! 

One of the toys the rec centre had was a popcorn table and it was a huge hit with the kiddos!  I think I’ll be taking a trip to Bulk Barn soon and buying popcorn kernels for Hannah to play with.  A great option during the cold winter weather when pool time isn’t an option.DSC_7004

It was fun when I looked over one time and this little group was gathered around the popcorn table.  This is Hannah plus her 3 daycare friends.  They have such fun together each day and I love the friendships that Hannah is building with all 3 of these other kiddos.  DSC_7000

The adorable Miss Molly posing with the big yellow ball


Pea knows that real men push pink strollers!DSC_6986

Chick and Pea offered to loan Hannah their slide for the party and it was a big hit with the kids!  Chick is showing her friends how to use the slide.  DSC_6987  Cheesy faced birthday girl! DSC_6998

Singing Happy Birthday!  Hannah was so excited this year when we sang Happy Birthday to her.  Check out that beautiful smile!

DSC_7033 DSC_7038

Thank you for coming everyone and helping to make Hannah’s 2nd Birthday extra special!  As I looked at the group picture above it suddenly occurred to me that all of these friends are the children of new friends I’ve made over the past 6 years.  God has not only blessed Hannah and I with family and friends who have been part of my life for years, but He has also blessed us with an entirely new group of friends and we are both thankful for them!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Adorable Little Chef!

I was recently contacted by CSN Stores offering me the opportunity to review an item carried by their stores and in turn offer a gift code giveaway to one of my readers.  The gift code is $20 that can be used towards a purchase from CSN Stores.

Hannah is beginning to help me more and more in the kitchen so I chose this adorable little apron and chef’s hat. It’s hot pink and oh so adorable on my little helper!  Initially Hannah wasn’t too keen on wearing the hat DSC_7269but once Mommy wore it for a bit she wanted her turn. 

We baked Ham and Swiss Cheese Scones (recipe below) as they are one of our favourite breakfast treats.  The apron is durable and adorable, easily adjustable as is the hat which closes with a Velcro tab.

Adding the ham and cheese is best done while sticking out your tongue.DSC_7279

Mommy’s Great Helper!

Hannah did really well mixing the ingredients.  I know there will be many more baking adventures in our future.DSC_7284

Even the cutest little chef needs to take a break every once in a while.DSC_7289


Mmmm…the finished product.DSC_7299

Enjoying the yumminess.


Once our baking adventure was over Hannah still wanted to wear the apron and it didn’t come off until it was time to put her pj’s on.  She had fun putting toys into the pockets of the apron and carrying them around.

Ham and Swiss Cheese Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup butter chilled and cut into small pieces

1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1/2 cup minced ham

About 2/3 cup buttermilk (probably a little bit more)


Preheat oven to 450oF.  Grease baking sheet.

Combine flour, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl.  Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in cheese, ham and enough buttermilk to make soft dough.

Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface;  knead lightly.*  Roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness.  Cut out biscuits with 2” round cutter.  Place on prepared baking sheet.

Bake about 10 minutes or until browned.

Makes about 18 biscuits.

*To knead dough, fold dough in half toward you and press dough away from you with heels of hands.  Give dough a quarter turn and continue folding, pushing and turning.


This little set was a huge hit and I’m sure you’ll see it in many more posts to come.  If you’d like the opportunity to win a $20.00 gift code to be used towards a purchase at CSN Stores, please leave a comment below.  (This will be a quick turnaround giveaway as the gift code has an expiry date of March 31, 2011.  Entries will be accepted until 11:59PM EST on Thurs, March 17, 2011.  The winner will be chosen by a random draw from all comments entered.  One entry per person please. Also, please ensure that I am able to contact you via email. If an email address is not linked or provided I will redraw.  Thanks for your help!) 

GREAT News for Singles Wanting to Adopt from China!!!

I have just learned that CCAA has made a change that will once again open the door for single women to adopt from China!! This is wonderful news for so many great Moms or, those who long to be a Mom for the first time!!

The change does come with some restrictions but still there will be many wonderful children who will now be welcomed into a home by women who are called to adopt them. Adoptions will be of 'Special Focus' children which are children who have been on the shared waiting child list for more than 2 months. Generally they are older (pre-school- and school-aged) or any age (infant through school-aged) who have an identified special need.

I don't have any more information other that what is in the links above.

I'm guessing many of you may ask what this means for Hannah and I? At this time, unless God lays it on my heart, Hannah and I will be staying a wonderful family of 2! I do not feel led to persue another adoption and am happy to pour my heart and soul into the one little girl that God has blessed me with!! We are so very, very happy together and my heart is very content to remain the dynamic duo that we are!

For those who this announcement opens new doors and opportunities....Congratulations! I cannot wait to hear from those who may now be led to adopt for the first time or to continue to build the family they already have!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

2nd Birthday Photo Shoot!

2nd Birthday pics of my beautiful Hannah XiaoFen!2yo 2  Feb 27, 2011 2yo 3 Feb 27, 2011

2yo 1 Feb 27, 2011 

This was my sweet baby girl just one short year ago

Look at her grow!!!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Please Pray for Sweet Little Lucy

I follow many blogs and every so often I come across one that captures my heart.  That happened this morning when I clicked a link to this blog.  Lucy has been on my mind, in my heart and prayers all day long and I’m asking that you pray for her too.

Just 11 short days ago Lucy was like any other 5yo living life lucyto the fullest.  Wed, Feb 23rd her mom took her to the doctor for what they thought was a mild problem.  What happened rocked their world as their daughter was diagnosed with cancer and within days had 4 tumours removed.  Lucy is fighting for her life and is an amazing little girl!

Please pray for Lucy, her mom and dad as well as her older sister and baby brother who are adjusting to their parents being away.  This sweet little girl and her family are trusting the Lord through this all but I know they covet your prayers too.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Philippians 4:6

I’ve added an icon to the sidebar to remind you to pray and it’s also a link to the family’s blog.  Thank you so much for praying.  I know the family is thankful for all who lift them before the Throne of Grace.

Friday, March 04, 2011

The Week After the Party Weekend

With all the fun and partying we did last weekend, this week been a quieter one spending our time together in the evenings.  As much as it was great to celebrate Hannah’s 2nd Birthday and party, party party, I can tell by her reactions this week that she’s needed some quiet time.  When I’d arrive at daycare she’d hop up into my arms, look me in the eye and pleadingly ask, ‘Homa?’ Yes baby girl, we’re going homa and not leaving the house until morning.  Lately she’s realized where our house is and as we get closer in the car I hear ‘Homa.  Homa!’ from the back seat.  She is still rear facing (not sure for how much longer as I’m struggling with turning her around as rear facing is so much safer) so she knows we’re almost home by the landmarks she can see on our drive home.

Our evenings have been all about the 2 of us hanging out together, making supper with her on my hip in the sling, reading, playing and more.  I love to hear the words ‘sit down Mommy’ even though they conjure up feelings of guilt as I’m struggling with trying to make supper as we’re both hungry and needing to eat vs. stopping and giving her my full attention.  Oh how my heart aches when I’m trying to chop veggies and feel her pushing into my legs almost as if she can’t get close enough.  She gently calls out ‘uppie’ and reaches up to me.  I quickly finish what I need to do with two hands and then scoop her up and we do the rest together.  Yes, it takes a little longer and it’s often messier but truly, so much fun!

After supper the dishes remain on the table and in the sink and playtime begins in earnest.   Imaginary play has arrived so we enjoy tea parties (with little pieces of plastic cake in our tea cups :o),  building blocks, playing with her dollhouse, cuddling dollies and so much more.  f-p bookHannah’s attention time for reading has also increased greatly lately so we spend more time reading books and talking about the pictures.  She loves the little books with flaps and her favourite ones by far are the Fisher-Price flap books.  We have a number  of these and read them over and over again.  If you have little ones around the 2yo age that you’re looking to buy a fun, bright book for, these are great! 

We continue playing until either bath time or bed time arrives.  After at attempt at clean-up (which begins with great intentions until a new toy catches her eye) we head upstairs to get her ready for bed, more stories, a final bottle while we say our bedtime prayers and then she falls asleep fairly quickly.

I’ve mentioned the book, ‘Mommy’s Best Kisses’ before and it’s still one we enjoy before bed but is now much more interactive.  I love this fun time that we share as one of our final moments before sleep

So, it’s been a fun post-birthday week filled with lots of Mommy & Me time.  Perfect!!

On a funny side note, we’ve also been finishing up the last of her birthday cake as dessert after supper.  Each night when I get the cake out of the fridge she begins to sing, ‘Happy Noo Noo to you!’ so once again we light the candle, sing and then blow it out together.  Fun!  Last night Hannah was with my parents at my niece’s birthday party (I was home teaching piano) and when the candles were lit on Rebecca’s cake Hannah hopped up on the couch looking as proud as could be but was surprised when the cake went to Rebecca rather than her.  That took a little explaining but when her dish of ice cream arrived all was right in her little world once again!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Happy Noo Noo To You!!

Birthday celebrations spread over 8 days.

7 birthday cakes to enjoy.

14 candles to blow out.

More love and excitement than I can express!

These past 8 days have been filled with so many birthday celebrations for Hannah that I’m guessing tomorrow she’ll wonder what’s happened?  Hannah is loved by so many and they all wanted to celebrate her birthday in a special way so we partied over and over and over again!

You know what’s so neat?  Every-single-time we began to sing Happy Birthday to her her little face lit up and she was absolutely adorable.  That little face is captured well in the first video below.  By the end of the weekend Hannah was even joining in on the singing and today serenaded herself on more than one occasion.  The words are creative but there’s no questioning what it is she’s singing.  Enjoy the cuteness!

Sweetest voice there is!!

And we continued after a quick call from Hannah’s cousin who had been trying to call her for a couple of days to wish her a Happy Birthday.  Thanks Noah!

Celebrating 2 with the love of my life!!!

I’m working my way through many pics and videos so there will be more birthday posts to come but for now, wanted to share these with you.

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