Thursday, October 29, 2009

If you're happy and you own it

For the past two mornings, Abbey has woken up at 6:30, after going to bed relatively late. Yesterday, I tried to get her back to sleep in bed with me(I'd been to take Daniel swimming at 4:30 am and didn't want to get up again so soon). But, she never went back to sleep. Elijah slept to 9:40. So, this morning, here she comes beebopping in my room again at 6:30. I put her back in her bed, told her not to get up and go to sleep. At 7:30, Elijah started screaming. I went in and Abbey had torn her window shade trying to get it up. She had played with her hair thingies and was deep in her closet trying on shoes. I yanked her up and when we got to my room, I chewed her out. She reached over and gave me a kiss. Good start, but not enough to calm my anger. So, I said to her, "Abbey, Mommy loves you, but right now I'm very angry with you. When people are angry they aren't happy. Do you have any idea what you can do to make me feel better, to make me happy?" She thinks for a moment and then starts to sing, "If you're happy and you own it, clap your hands, if you're happy and you own it, clap your hands. If you're happy and you own it, your face will surely show it. If you're happy and you own it, clap your hands..." Well, it wasn't the answer I was thinking of, but  I must say it did the trick! After that rendition who couldn't smile?

Abbey aka Snow White
Speaking of Snow White. Did you know that she doesn't eat peanut butter sandwiches? Abbey wanted some cookies. I told her that she had to eat the rest of her peanut butter sandwich. She told me that Snow White doesn't eat sandwiches. So, I told her then I guess Snow White will not be eating any cookies either!

Later today, we went to the Hillridge Farms to meet some of our old friends from Grace Preschool. It was great to see everyone. Abbey and I sure do miss them. It was especially wonderful for Abbey to see Ms. Terie and Ms. Amy again.

Ms. Amy, Ms Terie and Abbey
Can't get this any bigger, and I don't know why? (It was taken from the preschool's snapfish account)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Visit to Grandmas

This weekend we took Elijah, Abbey and Daniel and went to visit John's mom. Beth drove in her rented car. Because it was the first time she had seen her in 2 years, Grandma was especially excited to see Beth. Her 83rd birthday was Sunday, so we took her out to eat.  This was the first time she had met Elijah in person. He was a little shy at first...

but by the end of the day, he was just fine...

We took her out to dinner at a Chinese restaurant. At first we were the only people in the restaurant, so we gave Abbey a little bit of freedom. She could go to the buffet and back by herself. Then John noticed that she was sitting down with the waitress. John went to rescue the waitress, just in time to hear Abbey say, "Hey, what cha doin?" to the waitress. You  just never know what she's going to do! Luckily the waitress was from China and was quite enamored with our children and thought Abbey was cute! Amazing what you can get away with when you are adorable.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

All it took was...

"I miss you Beth."
and this happened:

Last week Abbey got on the phone with Beth and unprompted said,"I miss you Beth." The next day Beth told me that she thought she had gotten an affordable flight to come home this weekend. Then Sat. morning she called to tell us there had been a mix up and she didn't have a flight. Abbey got on the phone again and said,"I get to see you today." I did not tell Beth that Abbey had been counting the "sleeps" until Beth came home. I was resigned to the fact that I wouldn't get to see her this weekend, when she called and said she was on her way. She had rented a car and was driving home. A lot of expense, time and a little bit of a visit, but I was touched by her longing to come home. (And, believe me, we longed just as much for her to come home).

These are my sisters!!

Abbey adores both of her sisters. One time she was hugging me and she asked, "Are you a sister?" She's trying to figure out this family thing, but she knows one thing, she loves and is loved by her sisters!


Elijah and two of his sisters.

All too soon, Beth had to leave. It was interesting to see how Abbey copes. She totally withdrew from Beth. She wouldn't talk to her or acknowledge that she was leaving. It really hurt my heart to think how Abbey guards her heart and is afraid to show that she feels sadness or pain.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Three year old check up

Abbey went to see Dr. Foster for her 3 yr old check up today. Something that may strike fear in some kids, absolutely thrills Abbey. She was so looking forward to her visit. She loved the paper gown, "Just like the people in my Jesus book!" She even wanted to bring it home and spent the evening wearing it.

 She checked out fine, with the exception of the little cough she can't seem to get rid of. We were given an antibiotic for that. She weighs 34.5 lbs and is 39 1/4 inches tall. That is 80 and 90 percentile. She even asked the Dr. if she could listen to her heart, so the Dr. let her listen to all of our hearts. She had a little trouble with the vision screening. Her vision registered as 20/40 in both eyes, and she could not see in stereo. With both of these, we will monitor and see if it gets worse or improves. It was hilarious, during the eye chart test, the nurse had gone over the shapes with Abbey up close, then asked her to step away. She pointed to the first object and asked Abbey what it was, "I don't know, let me come and see!" she said as she ran up to get a better look. On the circle, she said it was an octagon when looking from a distance. Thus, she doesn't have perfect vision, but not in need of correction right now. She knew all the colors and could count to 18. She had a grand old time!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Our little boy is 20 months old today!

Elijah has been home for almost a month. He is coming out and showing more of his personality every day. We are so blessed that God has given us this little boy. He is growing and developing very fast. When we first got him, he crawled more than walked. Now, he walks more, he still does the "frankenstein" walk, but he is walking. He has learned to go up the stairs, but coming down...not so much. So, up go the fences. He loves to play in the toilet, so the bathroom door has to be closed at all times. If he gets in, he will throw whatever he is holding in there, and then fish it out with his hands! Yuck!

Getting into trouble with the hearth

 Discovering that the piano makes noise

He is no longer afraid of the bath or our dogs. He will crawl over both dogs and think nothing about patting them.
He can say, "Hey, bye, and Mama". He will sign "More". When you ask him where is Elijah, he points to himself and says, "Lie, Lie, Lie". He plays patty cake and blows kisses. He also will give kisses and high fives. You can't touch Elijah's feet, they are so ticklish.  Physically, I think he has gotten fatter(although still tiny). The tabs on his diaper don't touch each other like they used to. He eats like a pig. He will eat anything except for baby food peaches. Because he will chew on something for an hour or so, we have to puree his food, or serve him something really soft. For nutrition and bonding, we are still giving him formula in a bottle three times a day.

Travelling isn't a problem, he loves the car seat. In fact, he sleeps best there. Sleep is still an issue. He sleeps well at night, but not during the day.  We still need prayer and work in this area. He is very jealous of Abbey and will throw a tantrum if someone holds her and not him. We are ignoring this little fit, because we want Abbey to have some one on one time, and also to teach him that these fits will not get him his way. There are times when he enjoys her, though.

Swinging bliss



Overall, he is a joy and we are so thankful to have him!
 I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. I Samuel 1:27

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

There goes my Mother of the Year award...

She still smiles!

Not that I had much of a chance to win it anyway, but today I really blew it, not once, but twice!

Yesterday, Abbey wouldn't stay in the "no-no chair" so I put childproof covers on her room doorknobs and made her stay in there for 3 minutes. She hated it, so it was effective. On the way downstairs, I asked her, "Did you like having to stay in your room?" "No," she replied. "Its like Cinderella, locked in the tower" Hmmm, I thought. I guess that makes me like the wicked stepmother? I tried to explain the difference in that Cinderella didn't deserve to be there, but Abbey did. I don't think I got very far with that, though.

And finds reason to dance!

So, this morning, Elijah wakes up screaming. Abbey called for me. Just like I do every morning, I yelled and told her to come into my room. Only this morning, she didn't come. She just kept on screaming and screaming. After about 15 minutes, it dawned on me. She couldn't get out! She was locked in, and I had forgotten about the doorknobs. We shut her door so that the kids leaving for school won't wake her up. I felt awful and spent a long while holding her and telling her how sorry I was. If that wasn't enough for one day, later today, as we were getting out of the car, she was reached in for something. I told her to get her hand out of the car. She did, then promptly put it back, just as I was shutting the door. Oh my! My heart dropped to my toes. I scooped her up and took her inside. Luckily, I hadn't been shutting it very hard, and it hit her arm, not her hand. It made a mark that I think will turn into a bruise, but it didn't break the skin. It could have been worse, but I couldn't have felt any worse. I'm so sorry, baby Abbey!

That's ok, Mom, I forgive you.

For Nana, Thanks for the hat.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

At least she is listening

On the ride home from church last Sunday, Abbey kept saying," Elisha, Elisha" So, I asked her if they talked about Elisha in church. I knew that the closeness in sound with Elijah was intriguing her, so we talked about Elijah and Elisha. We then asked her what they said about Elisha. She replied, "We talked about Elisha and the witch woman." After several attempts to convince her that it couldn't have possibly been a witch they were talking about, and her insisting that it was, I looked at the paper. The title read,"Elisha and the Rich Woman." I tried to explain the difference, but later she was still saying, "Elisha and the witch woman". Well, at least she was paying attention enough to repeat what she thought she had heard!

Believe it or not, this is the result of Abbey eating a peanut butter sandwich. I don't think I've ever had to worry about any of the kids aspirating peanut butter before.

Elijah in mid chew, with Anna

Being the nice big sister

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Remembering-our coming home party, Sept. 27, 2009

 Can you tell she's glad he's home?

While we were in China, Anna asked if she could give us an open house when we got home. Of course, we said, "Yes," and were touched that she wanted to spend her own money and time to put it all together. She made the guest list, invited everyone and got some decorations and food. She enlisted the help of my Mom, who made sure we had lots of food. Beth also helped with the preparations.  The result was a wonderful time. Even though I was so tired it kind of seems like a dream, I'll always remember it. Elijah will have a record of the many people who couldn't wait to meet him and evidence of how much his older sister loves him.

Beth visiting with everyone

Daniel seeing Elijah for the first time.(Elijah was asleep)

Enjoying his party

 John with 2 of his buddies, Steve and Ricky

Grandaddy getting ready


Happy Birthday, Mom!

My precious Mom celebrated her birthday today. The kids and I went and took her and my Dad to Cracker Barrel(her choice) for lunch. Afterward, we went to their house and had cake and ice cream. My Mom has always been there for me. She gives with complete unselfishness to me and my kids. She is still very much a part of our lives. She cares about every little thing that happens in our lives.  My Mom possesses many talents that are totally foreign to me. She can do just about any type of handicraft you can think of. Her creativity knows no bounds. Growing up, she tried to pass on some of her skills to me, but I always said, "I'd rather go and read a book." So now, I rely on her for so many things. She is hoping that one of her grandchildren will carry on her traditions. Today, for example she made princess and pirate pumpkins with Abbey and Elijah.

Decorating the pumpkins

 I always know that I can count on my Mom to love me no matter what I may do. My kids will tell you she is the best Grandmother(Nana) ever. We all are very blessed to have her as our Mother and Grandmother.

Blowing out her candles-notice the pirate pumpkin

Elijah playing with Grandaddy

Tuckered out after visiting Nana and Grandaddy
(Why can't they both fall asleep at the same time more often?)

Happy Birthday, Mom!! I love you more than words can say!

Friday, October 16, 2009

It's all in the sleep

Thank you for the prayers, today was a much better day in many ways. I've really become convinced that Abbey's behavior (and probably mine also)  is determined by how much sleep we get. This morning she and Elijah did not wake up until 8:45. She obeyed much better and even got to watch some TV. When we went in to get her this morning, she jumped up and said,"Goood morning!!" I knew it was going to be a better day. I was able to get some chores done, because we didn't have anywhere we had to be until 3. Elijah took a nap today(in the crib,even), and Abbey slept in the car going and coming home from Cary. My heart is much lighter tonight.

This is her preferred way to be carried up to bed!

On a different note, if you think about us in the near future, please pray for John's job. It is very slow for a salesman these days, but he does have some prospects that would be mighty nice if they panned out. We know that God will provide, he always has. Tuesday was an example of God's provision.
I got out the clothes that I had bought Elijah and all the wonderful things he had been given. But, there was a little problem or I could say the problem was his littleness. Everything is too big. I was thinking as I went to babysit for MOPS, that I was going to have to break down and buy him some clothes. I hate to buy anything in the stores. Almost everything Abbey wears is from hand-me-downs or consignment sales. Well, God was at work. When I got home that afternoon, there were 2 bags on my front porch. I went to look and saw that there was a note from a neighborhood aquaintance whose little boy had just outgrown 12 month clothes. She had dropped them off hoping that I could use them. I was so excited! Again, God had provided for our needs.

Sitting pretty in one of his new hand me down outfits

Elijah update: He can wave and say,"Bye-bye". I've been pointing to myself and saying, "Mama". Well now, Elijah points to himself and says, "Ma ma ma ma". He plays peek a boo and patty cake. On the negative side, he has started to hit when things don't go as he wants. He wanted me to pick him up today, and started to hit me. I took his hand and sternly said, "No!" He got this solemn look on his face then leaned in and gave me a kiss! This fellow sure does know how to work a Mom's heart already, at the tender age of 19 months. I just love to watch toddlers as they start to do more and more.  It is amazing to me that a child who has heard Cantonese for 19 months can understand some English after less than a month. God's creation is really a marvel.

I saw this type of face more yesterday than today

I'm gonna love you whether you like it or not!

I'm getting out of here before she hugs me again.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Glenda and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

   I hesitate to write this. As I do, I realize I sound like a spoiled brat. Yes, I have a very good life. Yes, I'm very thankful for my family, and God's mercies. Yes, there are people with real problems, which I don't have. But, I want to be authentic, and not paint a glossed over picture of  life.  I don't want someone reading this to think, "She has a perfect life, why do I struggle, why isn't my life perfect?" Nothing is perfect, while most days are joyful,  it is only by God's grace that some days I don't pull my hair out.
Today was one of those days where I'm glad to go to bed so it will be over. It all started with Abbey getting up early and coming to my room. When she did that, she woke up Elijah. He screamed for quite a while and didn't go back to sleep. They both were up really late last night, because we had a dinner party we had to go to.  As Abbey was struggling to breathe with a stuffy nose, I got a kleenex to blow her nose. When she did, one side started gushing blood. That continued off and on all day. I still have no clue why, but it seems better tonight. So, I get both kids up and they are bears. Elijah is whiney and Abbey looks for any opportunity to take something from him, or push him down. John calls and tells me that the printer needs ink, and since he is going out of town, could I please get some. Well, it is cold and pouring rain all day long. I haven't mastered a way to get both of the kids in and out of their carseats in a quick fashion yet. So, I'm not looking forward to doing so in the rain. About noon, I have had it with the bickering and crying. I give Elijah a bottle and he passes out and even lets me put him in the bed without screaming. I rock Abbey and she falls asleep. I lay her on the couch. Wow! Peace and quiet! Times where they are both asleep are quite rare. I start to post on the blog and read e mail. All too soon, Anna comes barging in the kitchen crying her eyes out. She had hit another car in the parking lot at school. Her crying wakes the princess first, then the prince. They only slept about an hour.  Later, Daniel is at swim practice and needs to be picked up at 6. I'm doing childcare at church.  I have to be there right at 6 also, so he has to get out early and there is no time for dinner. No problem, McDonalds in on the way. At this point, I'm driving rather cautiously, as I know how the day has gone, all I needed was to get in a wreck. Thankfully,  the rest of the evening went rather uneventfully, but still I'm glad it is over. I give this day to the Lord, thank Him that I got through it, ask forgiveness for losing my cool, and  for not being thankful for the opportunities that today has brought(which I probably didn't see, because I was having my little pity party) and pray that tomorrow will be a better day.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Signs in China

The last time I was in China, I noticed many interesting translations on public signs. This time, I made sure to take a picture of some of the ones I noticed.

Chinese version of "keep off the grass"

At a lake in a park in Guangzhou

This is one of my favorites, another
"keep off the grass"This was at one of the upper towers of the Great Wall. After climbing this high, I wondered about my mental cababilities.

At the park in Guangzhou

If they do say so themselves!

This was outside of the Forbidden City