Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Buh-Bye Epi-Pen!

Today was Hannah’s appt with the allergist and it went wonderfully!  He listened carefully to what had happened in January and I didn’t feel rushed at all.  That was such a treat as some specialists rush people through and you don’t really feel listened to.  He took time with us and even though he was confident that it wasn’t caused by the nuts he offered to do a test on her and I took him up on his offer.  I knew it would give me peace of mind to know whether or not for sure if it was the peanuts or tree nuts.

Hannah was a trooper through the test and barely flinched.   The doctor explained that he was going to draw on her back and then put 4 drops of liquid that looked like water.  He then gently took her arm and with the corner of a paper package he said that he was going to make it feel like there was a kitty cat walking on her back.  First he walked the kitty cat on her arm and then on her back when he gently scratched each of the droplets.  She was on my lap facing me and he was so gentle that she hardly moved.   Way to go Hannah!

While waiting for the droplets to react (or hopefully not react) he handed Hannah a basket of large stickers for her to look at and play with.  Oh yes, Dr T knows how to entertain pre-schoolers while waiting for time to pass.  

Here you can see how the ‘control’ spots on the right are having small reactions but thankfully the peanut and tree nut tests on the left are completely negative.  Yay!!!  (What you can see on the spots on the left are the peanut and tree nut liquid that he placed on her skin to conduct the tests.  The ones on the right are the controls and they’re red with a raised centre much like the hives she was covered with last month.)IMG_4828

Dr. T is confident that she does not have a peanut allergy and we are welcome to resume eating peanuts, peanut butter and all the other yummy nuts.  I won’t do so right before bed the first time but tomorrow morning for breakfast we’re going to enjoy rice cakes with peanut butter which is a favourite of both of us.

The doctor’s thoughts about what caused the hives is one of two possibilities.  Either it was the eye drops she was taking for her eye infection or, it was the virus that was causing the eye infection in the first place.  He’s not able to test for the virus as it’s now gone so we’re ok with that one.  His other recommendation to be on the safe side is to skip this kind of eye drop antibiotic in the future.  There is an oral version of the antibiotic but it isn’t given to children so she wouldn’t need to be concerned until she was an adult.  That works!  All of this has been recorded in her file and sent to our family doctor too.

One other bit of good news that he shared was that if the hives were due to a virus, the reaction to that is hives, not an anaphylactic reaction so it gave me more peace of mind about the future.

So, all went very, very well!  Dr T said I was welcome to contact him anytime I had a concern.  What a blessing it was to hear that.  I’m hoping not to need to take him up on his offer but it sure was nice of him to say it!

When we walked out of his office and towards the elevator I was near floating!  I hadn’t realized how heavily the concern of a nut allergy was weighing on me until we were in the free and clear!

Thank you Dr T and, thank you Lord for Hannah not having to go through life with such a challenging allergy.  I’ll tell you I sure did learn a lot over the past 6 weeks about what it might be like to face day to day life with a potentially life threatening allergy.  It’s not the ‘marked products’ that are the concern.  It’s all the possibilities of cross contamination just by people going about their everyday lives even when trying to be careful. Sure makes me think!

Praising God for GREAT news today!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday Hannah XiaoFen!!!

Happy Birthday sweet ‘baby’ girl! 
It worked out that I was awake and able to capture Hannah’s reaction when she discovered her birthday balloons on the ceiling.  How fun to capture this moment!!
She loved them and they entertained her for more than 45 minutes which is a long time for my busy little girl!  How fun it was to share this exciting time together!IMG_4764We sang ‘Happy Birthday’ over and over again.  IMG_4752Let the balloons float up then pulled them back down again.  IMG_4770It was such fun to share this time of giggles together.  The absolute perfect way to begin her 3rd birthday!!!
Happy Birthday sweetheart!  This day of celebrating all that is YOU has only just begun!!
I believe a new birthday tradition has been born!  I have a feeling the reaction won’t ever be what it was today but still, who wouldn’t want to wake up to a sea of brightly coloured balloons floating above you?
Happy birthday sweetie!  Mommy loves you!  xoxo

While She Sleeps….

…the celebrations begin!!  What fun it will be for Hannah to wake up tomorrow morning! 


Happy Birthday Sweetie!  Mommy loves you!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

If I Could Tell Her…

On this the eve of Hannah’s 3rd birthday, if I could share with Hannah’s birth mother I would tell her:

Hannah is the most amazing little girl in the entire world!!

Her heart is big and her spirit is caring.

She is a bundle of energy that keeps mommy on the run!

She loves to help.   One of her favourite places in our home is beside me when I’m working in the kitchen or with the little vacuum when I’m using the larger one.  If we’re shopping and she spots something out of place she will either fix it or ask me to do so.

She loves to sing!  Many times each day she can be heard either singing quietly to herself or, loudly entertaining any who cares to listen.  She brightens many lives every single day!

Her heart is tender and caring.  It is not unusual for me to wake up to my little love leaning over and placing the covers on my shoulder or gently gracing my cheek with a kiss.  As she sleeps she often reaches out to hold my hands.  Precious moments for sure!

Hannah has a heart for prayer.    Prayer time is part of her daily life, not only before meals and at bedtime but also when she hears of something happening or notices an emergency vehicle.  She also remembers people we’ve prayed for in the past and asks to pray for them again.

She loves to run, jump and be active.  I often tease that her little feet don’t know how to walk.  When reminded she may walk for a couple of steps but then she quickly begins to skip and then run.  Gymnastics is a great fit for her and her independence when swimming keeps me on my toes!

She has a tender heart for China.  We talk about China all the time and soon she will understand more why this beautiful country and it’s people holds such a special place in our hearts.

Her little imagination is beginning to flourish!  She can be found hosting tea parties for us, creating ‘forts’ with chairs and blankets, cuddling her dolls and tell stories that come from her imagination.

Crafts are a favourite.  Creating pictures as gifts for family and friends.  She is mastering using scissors and can now cut shapes following lines rather than just miscellaneous clips.  New pictures grace our fridge daily and what beautiful decorations they are!

Her mind is quite logical and puzzles are a new source of entertainment.  She can complete 15 piece puzzles on her own and probably 24 piece too although we tend to do them together.  She also enjoys playing memory games and a new love is dominoes.  It’s such fun to play games with Hannah!

More than anything, I would like you to know that Hannah is loved.  She knows unconditional love and shares that back.  She is a happy, content, exciting, caring, sweet, loving little girl whom I love with all my heart. 

On this the eve of her 3rd birthday I realize that it is already the 27th of February in China and my heart longs for you to know that the beautiful little girl you gave birth to is amazing, wonderful, cared for and loved!  I wish I could tell you these things in person to give you peace.

And more than anything, to say Thank You from the depths of my heart.  Thank you for your selfless decision for Hannah.  Our lives are full because of you and I wish I could tell you…Thank you.  I cannot say these things in person so instead, I pray.  Asking God to somehow give you peace that your child, my child….is happy and loved!   Oh so loved by so many!

Thank you.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Month of Birthday Parties!

It seems Hannah shares her birthday month with many of her little friends!  She was invited to 3 parties over a 4 weeks period and hers is next week!

The celebrations began as Molly was the first friend to officially turn 3. 

Ice paintingIMG_4399

I love this pic.  She’s either dreaming of what it will be like to be 3 or….scoping out how to snag some icing without anyone noticing.IMG_4414

Big breath!IMG_4420

Happy Birthday Molly!IMG_4427

The next party was for Emma, a special friend as she and Hannah shared the first 8 months of their lives together at the DaoXian SWI in Hunan, China.  IMG_4501Emma’s party was at a play place with lots of Disney decor and Hannah was in her glory!  It was great to see 4 of her China sisters there!!IMG_4460

Hannah enjoyed this slide and would make her way to the top and then throw herself down over and over again.

Dora made an appearance at the party and she was a huge hit!

Hannah with DoraIMG_4489

Happy Birthday Emma!IMG_4475

Birthday party #3 was for Hannah’s special friend Noah who is the little friend she spends each day with at daycare.  It is his amazing mom who cares for Hannah each day and they share a great friendship.  Ange and I often tease that they’re like a little married couple as they’re best friends one minute and pestering one another the next!

Noah’s party was a Super Hero theme so we borrowed one of his shirts and added our own personal spin to it.   Here Hannah is adding her ‘H’ to his card.DSC_9819

Owen and Hannah checking out the great cupcakes that Ange made for Noah’s birthday.IMG_4595

Happy 3rd Birthday Noey!!!IMG_4599

The last birthday party was for our special friends Tor Tor and Josh.   (Tor was such a good sport and wore the stickers Hannah put on her.)IMG_4636

There is one more birthday party this week and it’s one we’re super excited about!  Hannah’s th-th-third birthday party!  How can it be that my ‘baby’ is almost 3??!!!

Hannah chose a Mickey Mouse theme for her party again this year and requested that the party with her friends be held at ‘Mickey Mouse’s House’ (aka Walt Disney World).   Since that wasn’t to be we’re going to another location that every parent of a toddler needs to endure experience – Chuck E Cheese’s!  I know it will be a wonderful time of celebration Hannah’s friends!  Unfortunately ‘her Ben’ won’t be able to be there and he’ll be missed but her other sweet friends will be there and I know they’ll have a great time!

Saturday, February 18, 2012


We’ve had an unusually mild winter this year and while I’m not complaining, it sure was fun to wake up to a fresh cover of snow this morning and it continued throughout most of the day.  Yay!!  Hannah offered to help me shovel and what fun we had!!  IMG_4616I love spending time with my sweetie and it’s such a treat when activities that used to be a chore are now filled with laughter, giggles and fun!  We attempted to make a snowman but he somehow he was demolished.  Hmmm….wonder how that happened? Winking smile IMG_4617

Precious moments

Friday, February 17, 2012

Valentine’s Day with my Little Sweetie!

Valentine’s Day has taken on a whole new excitement now that Hannah is in my life!  Any reason to express my love more to Hannah is welcome!

We began our day bright and early enjoying her little treats: Princess posters to colour, an Elmo colouring book, Minnie Mouse puzzle, plastic heart necklaces (one of which she gave me and I wore with pride to work that day) and Smarties (Canada’s version of M&M’s)!  IMG_4545

One of the cute things that’s happening right now when Hannah speaks is that ‘s’ is often missed if it’s the first letter of a word.  At times when I can’t quite figure out what she’s saying I try to add an ‘s’ to what I hear and see if I can figure out what the word is.  Here’s a little video taken Monday night where Hannah’s talking about some of the treats she received for Valentine’s Day.


Hannah is all about puzzles right now and she’s very good at them.  Here she’s working on the Minnie Mouse puzzle with a little help from Mom.IMG_4549

A breakfast of yogurt plus a rice cake with jam and Valentine sprinkles.  Normally it would be peanut butter but until we see the allergist (Feb 29th) we’re still avoiding all nuts.IMG_4553

My princess prefers to wear her crown on the back of her head.  IMG_4560

Normally we have pink pancakes for supper but since next Tuesday is Pancake Tuesday we switched it up and dined on spaghetti.  At first she didn’t want any sauce IMG_4567

but then when she saw my dish she asked for ‘tomato soup’ on her spaghetti too.  Ahhh….that’s better!


We hope you had a great day surrounded by people you love!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

How Can It Be Time Already???

Tonight Hannah and I did something together that I’ve thought about each February for years but now that it’s here I can hardly believe it and want time to stop!
Tonight we attended an Open House for the pre-school that she will attend in September. 
Truly, how can it be that the little baby I brought home ‘yesterday’ is now preparing for pre-school???
She was pretty timid when we first entered the room and even hid behind my legs which is unusual for Hannah.  It didn’t take long though before she and I were playing with toys together on the floor and then she was happy to visit different play centres while I talked with the teachers and learned more about the program.  My niece Rebecca attended this very same pre-school 10 years ago and this fall it will be Hannah’s turn.  Wow!!
Here is my little love enjoying some of the activities that were available for the kiddos tonight.
Playing with the dollhouse IMG_4572
My crafty girl enjoying markers.  A rare treat!IMG_4574
Colouring a picture for Mommy.  Oh how I wish I had space for an easel at home!IMG_4576
Pre-school is still 6 1/2 months away but based on how time has flown since the moment Hannah was placed in my arms I know it will be here before we know it.  Wow!  It’s difficult to think of and yet at the same time I’m excited to see all she’ll learn and how excited I know she’s going to be about learning!  My gal is a clever little girl and I know that school will be something she’ll enjoy and excel at! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

A wish from us to you!DSC_9713modified
We took a number of pics trying to make a card that we could do this with.  It took a bit but we got one that we’re both happy with.
Here are some of the fun outtakes from our Valentine’s photo shoot.
This is the picture Hannah chose to use for her Valentine’s card.  I think it captures her fun, spunky personality perfectly!

Oh how I love my sweetie and her goofy grin!

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

My Little Fish!

Last week Hannah and I went swimming for the first time since last summer and I quickly realized how much Hannah had missed it.  She loves the water!!  Unfortunately I couldn’t take pics at the pool but hopefully these will give you a glimpse of how much she loves the water!  DSC_9658

Stylin’ with bubbles.  Check out the cute art work on the wall behind her.  We’ve had these toys since she was a baby but just recently has she begun to put all the pieces together into real pictures.  She’s totally into puzzles right now and these foamies are like little puzzle pieces for her.  I love seeing her bright, happy pictures on the wall!DSC_9661

When it’s time to wash the soap out of her hair she now likes to do it herself and does a great job!  I’m so thankful she doesn’t mind water in her face.DSC_9663

I think she’s contemplating how to swim in here.DSC_9666

We’ll probably start back into swimming lessons this spring.  The challenge I’m facing is that she’s well beyond the parent ‘n tot class but I’m not sure she’s ready for the first unparented class as she might just jump in while the instructor is working with other kiddos.  Yikes!  She’s following directions better now though so I’m pretty sure if we talk it through over and over that she’d understand not to hop in.  Hmmmm….will have to consider this decision over the next while as I think registration will open soon.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Baby Ellie is Here!!! (New pics added)

Today there is great news to be shouted from the rooftops!!!  Baby Ellie is with her forever family!! (Well...Mama and Daddy right now.  Her 7 siblings are waiting at home for her!!!)  I am over the moon excited for them!!!

Look at this sweet, precious, beautiful little girl!!

I have had the privilege of following this wonderful family's previous trips to China as they adopted 4 of their children and last year Pam and I began to email one another and a sweet friendship has been born!  We have been praying for this day since she and Bill accepted Ellie's referral back in May of 2011.  Oh how my heart has hurt for them as they patiently waited for God's perfect time to bring them together even though that time was almost 9 long months!  I.cannot.imagine!!  Their time in China is also special as Ellie and Hannah are from the same province of Hunan so I am able to picture the exact room in my mind where they met Ellie.  Oh what precious memories that room holds!!!

And yet, now...NOW Ellie is with them and God's promise has been fulfilled.  He has brought them together as a family and oh what a precious family it is!  If you want to read an amazing account of God in action, read Ellie's Story here!  God is SO good!!!

If you want to hop over and congratulate this family and follow their journey in China, you may do so here.

It's so sweet each morning as I open their website and Hannah excitedly exclaims, 'That baby Ellie!'

Congratulations Pam and Bill!  Hannah and I are so excited to see Ellie in your arms and we continue to pray for you.  We love you!
**Update** What a wonderful difference 24 hours makes!  Ellie is beginning to feel more comfortable with Mama and Daddy and her sweet personality is emerging!  Look at the difference in her beautiful eyes!!

What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do. ~Isaiah 46:11

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