Friday, October 29, 2010

One Year Ago Today…

Mom, Dad, Norma and I boarded a plane first for Vancouver and then for BEIJING!  We were going to China and were just days away from meeting Hannah XiaoFen!!!Imported Photos 00004

Truly, I cannot believe an entire year has passed.  How did that happen?

We left Toronto bright and early that Thursday morning and our hearts were soaring higher than the plane!Imported Photos 00001

I vividly remember the wonderful feelings of anticipation, giddiness, excitement, a little uncertainty yet more than anything I remember God’s peace covering me like a blanket.  In the past, unknown adventures ahead had led to anxiety and fear but this time peace.  Sweet, sweet peace.  A peace that only He could provide.

The plane that flew us to China!!! Imported Photos 00009

I had to keep pinching myself.  I was on the way to China to meet Hannah!!! Imported Photos 00024

This was one of our first glimpses of Beijing.  I was immediately struck by the sheer density of the population as we looked down upon row after row of apartment buildings.  (We were later told by our guide that there are no single homes in Beijing, all are apartment style buildings!) Imported Photos 00012

When we landed in Beijing it was one day later, Friday, October 30th, late in the afternoon.  We had been up for a while as the flights had been 5 and 11 hours long but you can tell that sleep was not on my agenda.  I was now standing in the very same country that my daughter was living!!!Imported Photos 00013

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I think in this picture I think I’m asking our wonderful guide Sarah if she knows when we’ll be meeting our babies?  And….she did!  Less than 72 hours after this picture was taken, Hannah would be placed in my arms!!!

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We settled into our rooms Imported Photos 00003 and while mom and dad went downstairs to the hotel restaurant to find some supper, Norma and I ventured out into the night to see what we could find.  The adventure had begun!   Mmm…cake.

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Hmmm…last I checked we didn’t have Seaweed or BBQ Steak Pringles at our local grocery store.  Imported Photos 00023 

We were less adventuresome deciding on plain Pringles, coke and apples for supper but we sure did enjoy them.

I will be forever grateful to Mom, Dad and Norma for going on this trip of a lifetime with me!  It wouldn’t have been the same if even one of them had been missing.  We were a great team and I love them all SO much!  Thank you again!!!  Love to each of you….xoxoxo

This was the picture I was holding tight too.  Mommy was coming XiaoFen.  Mommy was coming!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hide and Seek ~ Hannah Style

Today Hannah and I had an unexpected day together as she woke with a fever and wanted nothing but cuddles and snuggles with mommy.  She’d had a rough night which is unlike her, with a couple of periods of crying where I just couldn’t settle her.  Normally she goes down well and wakes once or twice in the evening and then once Mommy goes to bed too and she snuggles close and is gone for the night.  Last night’s sessions were my first hints that something was up.

Thankfully she reacted well to the Infant Tylenol and Advil I gave her and by the afternoon she was her happy self.  Please ignore the dirty jammies.  They were fresh in the morning but a day of not feeling well = extra treats if it means she would eat something.

Here she is playing Hannah style of Hide and Seek.  Absolutely adorable!!  I love how she hides the stuff herself but still pretends she can’t find it.  She made this game up herself while we were playing in our room.  So cute!

I also found out this past weekend that our cable company is now carrying Playhouse Disney 24/7.  Yay!!!  It was nice to have this as an option at 3:30 this morning and she was totally inconsolable.  After more than half an hour of crying I turned it on and within a minute she’d stopped crying and within 5 was back to sleep.  I totally get this as sometimes in the middle of the night when things are going around in my head I just need a couple of minutes of TV to distract my thoughts.  Like mother, like daughter.

What an unexpected treat it was to spend today with my daughter!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Most Thankful Thanksgiving Ever!!!

Earlier this month we celebrated Thanksgiving and this year I did so with Hannah in my arms!!!  Truly she is the one I am most thankful for and even though we’ve been together for almost a year I still pinch myself to believe that she’s truly here!  Hannah is the most delightful, happy, easy going, fun-loving, independent, active, inquisitive, excitable, loving baby girl ever! (Yes, I’m biased as I know you think this about your kiddos too.)   I love everything about her amazing personality and just cannot express in words how she makes me feel.  On a daily basis people at work ask my how Hannah is an my response is always ‘AMAZING’ and truly she is!  I still light up at the sheer mention of her name and can’t hurry home fast enough to spend time with her each evening.  I am thankful for a job I love with great co-workers and Hannah wiggles each morning to get out of my arms to play with her friends at daycare.  I am so thankful for Ange and her wonderful care of Hannah.  Truly I don’t have a thing to worry about when I’m at work and I am so thankful for this.  The evenings are time for Hannah and I to be together and it’s a treat to spend time with her. 

Heh….got a bit off topic there which is pretty common when I’m writing a post but most often I just go with it as I did there.  Now, back to Thanksgiving.

The entire family was able to be there with the exception of 3 of Hannah’s cousins.  Hopefully we’ll all be together at Christmas.

Preparing to enjoy the yummy turkey dinner

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After dinner some of us headed outside to enjoy the beautiful fall day and play in the leaves.  What fun to see all the cousins enjoying their playtime together.

Running through the leaves

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On this day it was fun to watch Hannah play with her cousins.  Until this day she was a baby who kinda did her own thing but now she’s was old enough and big enough to actually interact with the other kids and play their games.  So cool!  She had her own set of rules but her older cousins we so good with her!

Playing Hide ‘n Seek


Yes, it was the very best Thanksgiving I’d ever had!  HANNAH IS HOME!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Swinging and Spinning with Grandma and Grandpa

The past couple of weekends have been absolutely glorious so after church on the Sundays we’ve met up with Grandma and Grandpa for lunch and headed to some local parks for fun, fun, fun!  This particular day my nephew Noah was there to enjoy it with us.  Normally by this time of the year we’re bundled into warm coats and park attendance has begun to wane but not this year.  The temps have been a balmy 70ish degrees and we’ve taken full advantage of it.  Here we took a drive to a small town that has a lake on the waterfront and enjoyed our afternoon together.

Higher Bampa, higher!!DSC_5345

My adventuresome girl loves rides and spinning ones seem to be no trouble at all.  I can see lots of big amusement park rides in our future!

Noah navigating the swinging pendulums.  Way to go little man!DSC_5348

Ready to bounce!


DSC_5357 Slide fun! 

It’s hard to believe that when we first started going to parks in the spring Hannah wasn’t even walking.  Now she’s running, jumping, climbing and sliding all on her own!  It only takes 3 of us to keep up with her!!  (Love her little chatter in this one.  I am blessed to hear this all day long and it is the sweetest song!)

What better way to top off an afternoon at the park then a yummy ice cream cone?DSC_5376



Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sure to Become an Annual Tradition…Visiting the Pumpkin Patch!

Saturday was a bright, glorious, warm fall day and Hannah and I were excited to go to a local pumpkin farm with Uncle Dave, Aunt Trish and Makenna.  From the moment we arrived the fun began and the picture opportunities were endless!!



‘Hurry Mama!  I see more fun ahead!’


Jumping in the hay

‘Look Makenna!  These are just our size!’



I love how she’s enjoying more independence these days but still checking for Mommy.DSC_5297

‘I think we should get this one Mommy!’DSC_5299

Nothing but beautiful, bright pumpkins as far as they eye could see!DSC_5303

Beautiful fall treesDSC_5327

Yeah!  A pony ride!


Check out her excited face!


Oh Mommy!  What a fun day we’ve had together!!DSC_5321

We sure did baby girl!  We sure did!

Hannah - Dave's pic Oct 9, 2010

The Day Dawned Bright, Sunny and Warm So In No Way Was I Prepared For….

Hurricane Hannah!! 

Don’t let this innocent look smile fool you friends, my sweetie is able to wreak havoc in a matter of minutes!DSC_5264

Saturday morning I just had to laugh as I followed Hannah throughout the main level as she dumped and emptied every toy bin she could find.  They’re her toys so I really didn’t mind as it’s much easier tidying toys than keeping my climbing monkey off the counters and tables!


Even the floor mats were no match for HH!DSC_5265

After the toy room she made her way to the front hall first ripping apart the newspapers mommy had forgotten on the floorDSC_5261

and then ending her romp with the box of cardboard that was ready for recycling.  DSC_5268

I was hoping her phone call was to Molly Maid but alas, no.  She was just deciding which of her peeps to call and chat with while Mommy started the clean-up process.  So thankful that she thinks tidying is fun right now….even if she loses interest in a matter of seconds.

What a wonderful, fun age Hannah is at!  19 months rocks!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It Was Time to Let Go…

Last week at work we were encouraged to contribute to a Thanksgiving food drive sponsored by our employer.  I knew what I needed to donate but it still wasn’t easy to part with.  I dug through the cupboards and found all of the baby food that Hannah no longer eats and took that as my donation.  Another big part of her life behind me.  *sniff*


PS – My dear M3, if you’re reading the labels, that’s French!  ;o)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada and I have SO much to be thankful for!  First and foremost - my amazing daughter Hannah is here to celebrate her first Thanksgiving with us!!!

This week at daycare Hannah made this adorable little turkey and I almost cried when I saw it.  The tail feathers are her little hands and the body her foot.  This is a keeper for sure!  It is now proudly displayed on our fridge.Imported Photos 00111

Over the years I’ve had a variety of children’s art work decorate my fridge but I can’t begin to explain how amazing it is that now the art work was made by Hannah!

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Another Big Step for Hannah - Updated

Last Sunday Hannah took another big step – she stayed in the nursery for the very first time. 

Now that we’ve been home almost a year I am finally ready to leave Hannah in the nursery.  For attachment purposes I didn’t want to leave her for the first number of months and probably would have started this transition earlier in the summer but our schedule was so uncertain during the summer that I decided to wait until we were going to be at church for a few weeks in a row so that Hannah could get comfortable with the new routine.

The first week I went in with her and stayed while she played but truly she was great and played happily, just looking over every once in a while to see if I was still there.Imported Photos 00088

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Hannah with her new Sunday School teacher.

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Last week I stayed for about 5 mins, said good-bye and then left the nursery.  Hannah did great!!  Mommy cried.  :o)  I tried not to but I looked into the choir and my friends Carol and Karyne were there winking and smiling at me realizing what was happening and that was it….more tears.  This surprised me as I’m so used to leaving Hannah for daycare that I didn’t even consider for a moment that I’d cry when I left her in the nursery.Imported Photos 00099

One of the wonderful things our church has is a number system that flashes in the sanctuary if your child needs you.  Here’s mommy with Hannah’s first number and yes, that’s the soggy tissue tucked in my hand from all the tears I’d shed in the service.

I’d asked them to call me if she cried for any longer than 2 mins.  I’m sure I checked the boards no less than 50 times in the hour I was in the service but my baby girl was happy to be there and did great!

Hannah was excited to see Nana and I when we arrived to pick her up but it was great to hear that she’d had a lot of fun too and didn’t miss me.  As much as I miss her when we’re not together I’m so glad for her sake that she’s comfortable away from me knowing that Mommy always comes back.  Here we’re celebrating being together again.Imported Photos 00101

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Way to go Hannah!!!


This morning Hannah happily went into the nursery again but part way through the service she needed some mommy time and I looked up to see my number on the board.  I hurried to the nursery and could hear my sweetie from the moment I stepped into the nursery wing.  I went to her door and she was quite upset and reached up for me the moment she saw me.  I scooped up my little lamb and after a few more minutes of tears she began to settle.  She didn’t want to be put down for the longest time but eventually would get down long enough to get a book and bring it back to me so that we could read it together.  By then end she was playing again but I stayed for the entire service to give her the confidence that it was ok to be there.  We’ll try again next week and hopefully all goes well.  Each week we’ll work on this together until Hannah is completely comfortable there.  Step by step….

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