Friday, December 5, 2008

The Aftermath



You'd never guess by looking at her smiling face chomping on a slice of Salami that an hour before she had been screaming like I'd never heard her scream before. This morning Min woke up crying that her head hurt and we gave her a dose of Ibuprofin. She has a little bit of bleeding coming through the bandage that is a little disconcerting, but I know that it will stop in the next day or so.

After the girls were sleeping yesterday, I cleaned up the mess in the bathroom. It really wasn't as bad as my memory made it out to be, but it was bad enough.




Right now, the kids are at the YMCA kidcare and Jorg is exercising. Me? I'm not writing in my blog and watching the Simpson's in the background, don't think I am. I'm making Pizza for Pizza friday. Actually, I made the Pizza's about and hour and a half ago and they were waiting in the oven for the kids to go to the Y and I just started baking them. Oh yeah...a few minutes of no one else in the house...just a few...

Tomorrow we have breakfast with Santa and go to a classic car show. Horay!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Slightly Damaged.

Both of my daughters are at nap right now, and I'm finally able to reflect on what happened this morning.

We were literally 2 minutes from walking out the door for the girls "preschool". It's a Parks and Rec. program that meets 2 times a week for 2 1/2 hours, just enough time for me to grocery shop and catch a few minutes by myself. I had just finished combing and styling Min's hair and she wanted to see how it looked. She took off running from my room to her bathroom, just around the corner. As she got ready to turn the corner, her foot slipped and all I heard was a bang and a cry. I got up to see what was the damage, hoping for the best. She was face down on the floor crying and I could see the blood dripping.

I carried her the few steps into the bathroom where she could bleed on a surface that was easily cleaned and grabbed a wad of toilet tissue to wipe the blood, all while calling to Laina to get me a towel from the linen closet. Laina brought me a towel and after a few wipes, I could see that we weren't going to make it into Tiny Tots today.

I called my husband, but he didn't answer his cell. I called my girlfriend from MOMS club and she said that she'd drive over to pick up Laina and keep her while I took Min to urgent care. So, 45 minutes after initial impact, Min and I ended up in an examination room at the urgent care center.

Min had a gash on her forehead about 2 CM long and it was too deep for using the adhesive stuff, she'd have to be stitched. I helped to hold her hands while the doctor injected the lidocane and started stitching her up.

Min actually fell asleep on the table. The doctor and the nurse let me keep her there, sleeping while I went to go buy some children's Advil and fill a prescription for a short term antibiotic. She slept for about 20 minutes after the procedure was over, I actually had to wake her up.

Now, she has a bandage on her head that we have to leave on for a week. I'll get some mederma for scars so that she won't have a big scar on her forehead.

I had stitches 4 times as a kid. One of the times was because I ran into the wall, just like Min did. We'll have matching scars.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

About Min

It's easy to write about Laina. Everyone comments on how smart Laina is, how clever, how funny, how crazy. She's like commenting on how big the ocean is, or how tall the empire state building is. She's so out there that it's impossible to ignore her. She refuses to let people ignore her. I haven't written about Min too much, since it's so easy to write about Laina. That's not fair, is it? Let me tell you about Min.

Most people don't really know about Min. She gets the shadows of the spotlight that fall on Laina. Min is very smart, she figures things out very quickly, but she's also even tempered and sometimes, although she figures out that things work one way or another, she'll do things in her own time and in her own way. She's even tempered and it takes so much for her to lose her temper, which is good, considering her hair trigger sister. Min is sensitive and doesn't like people to be sad or mad. She also wants her own way and will pout and cry if she doesn't get it. Don't we all, though. She's a little girl who has been alive not quite 4 years and has already been through so much. When you stop and think what this little one has been through in four years, it's staggering. She was abandoned by the woman who gave birth to her. She was brought into institutional care where she lived for a couple of months. She was brought into a family that fostered her, a loving home, but a little less than stable. Her foster sister was adopted a couple of months before she was, a loss for her that she cried about when we met her. In her mind, Laina has been merged with the memory of her foster sister, Zi Qin. I asked Min who Zi Qin was and she said, "it's Laina". She won't process until she's older, that Zi Qin is now called Zoe and lives with a family somewhere in Florida. Min has left her home city which she still remembers and has taken this town as her home. She has accepted me and Jorg as her parents. When you ask her about China, she says very matter of factly that she was living in China waiting for us to come get her.
When we met her, Min didn't do many things. She didn't take off her clothes by herself. She couldn't get dressed by herself. She didn't walk very far. She didn't sleep by herself. She didn't swing, slide or jump. Taking a shower or a bath was terrifying for her. She can do all of those things now, plus many other things. She's learned English so quickly. She's retaining her Manderin with much effort, but we're trying to keep it up.
She's silly and likes to dance and sing. She bites when she's mad. She can be naughty and sabatoges Laina sometimes. She's sweet and funny. She likes to draw and paint. She's afraid of dogs and bears. She hated the beach and now she loves the beach. She can swing on the swings all by herself. She likes to shop. She likes to play in the yard with the water hose and also dig dirt in the garden.
She isn't the force of nature power house that her sister is. Min is more of a sweet and beautiful breeze. She's soft and easy to be with. She can sometimes cause a squall, but for the most part, she's so pleasant to be around. Sweet and beautiful Min, we're so happy you're with us!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Laina Learns a Song.

Today, Laina had a MAJOR temper tantrum. It was about a toy and how she couldn't play with it when she wanted to. I taught her a song, and she learned it very quickly. She was kind enough to sing it on camera for me. Here it is:

Monday, November 3, 2008

SWIM!!

On Saturday Laina decided she wanted to go swimming. Not surprisingly, Min wanted nothing to do with swimming. I told her that she must learn to swim, even if she didn't want to. So, off to the YMCA we went. Laina had a great time. This was her first time swimming since the great houseboat fiasco of this last September. That's another story...

Anyways, the girls had on swim belts for floating and Laina was fine paddling along on her own. Min was always a half a millimeter away from full panic. We swam for about an hour. The girls were tired and ready for a rest after it was over.

Sunday, we did it again! This time, Min got a little used to things and she was able to paddle independently using a float belt and holding on to a swim noodle.

Today we went swimming AGAIN! The girls swam for a whole hour. I made Min let go of her noodle and I taught her the rudiments of treading water. I made her tread water while I counted to 10. She did this like a champ 3 times! After swimming the kids went to KidCare and I worked out in the gym.

The girls begged to go to bed at 6:30! So now, at 8:00 they are sleeping like little angles. Yeah...little worn out angles.

I have no pictures of swimming, but here's a picture of Laina wearing vampire teeth.



And Here's a picture of Min after she was digging in the dirt in the back yard.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sweet Sisters




There's been a regular love fest going on at our house. Laina and Min will say, "I love you, sister" and "I love you forever, Mommy", and "I love Daddy, I want to see him right now". Oh yeah, and then soon after they've expressed their undying love and devotion, they'll whack each other over the head because someone has the others sock.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween at our house:

Laina was a puppy.





Min was a Kitty.





They LOVED trick or treating and getting all the candy. My rules for Halloween candy are that the kids can eat as much candy as they want for a day and a half after Halloween and after that, they have to give me the candy and it will be doled out. Laina takes one bite and throws it away and then opens the next piece. Min learned from Laina and does the same thing. The short of the story is that there was no candy left by the next afternoon.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

3 years a Family

On July 26th, 2005, we were given this picture and were asked if we would accept this little child into our family.


laina mugshot

Laina in walker

Laina Walker 2

We met her on October 10th, 2005. Here's our first look at Laina in real life:



And our first family photo:



We went back to our hotel room in Chang Sha and started to make friends.



We learned she was very silly and sweet. She was also very passionate. She would scream and yell. She would tantrum and arch her back and smack her head on the floor. She was a challenging baby!

We didn't do anything for Halloween the first October she was home. We ignored it. But soon after we went to California for a visit. Here is Laina with the Monkey in the Zoo:



Here's her first Halloween, October 2006:


And her second Halloween, October 2007:



And here she is now, almost 4 years old, with her new sister...and the monkey!
Happy Family Day, Laina!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Laina's month.

Laina was born in December. But for me, her month is July. We saw her picture in July for the first time and July was the month that I knew we would be going to meet her soon and checked on the internet every day for news about when the referrals would be coming in for the babies. July 2005 is now 3 years in the past, and Laina is a very dynamic force in our family. So for the month of July, I will be posting about Laina. I'll add some in about Min, too. Her month is November, so you'll have to wait for her month to have her details.

Laina--the source the most frustrating frustrations and the happiest joys.


Monday, June 2, 2008

The dread pirates Plum

My nephew had his 4th birthday on Sunday. It was a pirate party and we were invited. Unfortunately we couldn't attend, so we had to send birthday greetings from afar. Here are our little Pirates giving their cousin some pirate greetings.





I told Min to look "Mean" and "Tough". This is what she came up with. Now, you're all terrified by her mean toughness, aren't you? Oooooohhhhh Shaking in my boots.....



Laina shows you her Pirate tattoos. Thanks Dollar Tree!!


Shiver Me Timbers, it's the dread Pirate Min, waiting to plunder your treasures. Yeah, right.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Just because...

Our beautiful girls...






About a week after we came home, we went to the beach with our friends Gisi and Moni. The girls were in the bike trailer that we converted into a stroller with the push bar. This was the first time the girls had shared close quarters for a length of time and they did great. Min and Laina now enjoy being towed behind the bike on the way to the park or some other place. When we're riding bikes, they'll have their helmets on, but since they were being pushed like a stroller, they didn't need helmets.

Two little piggies playing in the mud...

I got home from running errands and I had to put the groceries away. Laina asked if she could play outside in the back yard. I told her she could, and Min followed. I heard the water for the hose turn on. No big deal, they play in the hose and inadvertently water the lawn, so it's a win-win situation. I put away the food things and go to the window and I'm met by this:








The pink dress that Laina has on has been washed 3 times and the mud still hasn't come out. I don't think it ever will.

I let them continue playing after I stripped them down to panties. They played happily for about 45 minutes and then I had to carry them inside and shower them clean. Then I forbade them to play in the mud without permission. Punishment will be being hosed off by the garden hose instead of a warm shower. So far it's working.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

My 7 minutes of Fame.

A few years ago I sent in some pictures of my mosaic coffee tables for consideration on a new show for HGTV. The program director liked them and contacted me and a few weeks later a camera crew was in my garage filming me make a table. Here's the result:



I don't think anyone really watched the show when it aired, but it was fun to do.

Monday, April 21, 2008

HELP, my baby's pregnant!!!

So the other day I was sitting on the sofa and I heard Laina yelling from her bedroom, "Mom!! Hey MOM!! I'm going to have a baby".

"WHAT!!" I yelled back.

"I'm gonna have a baby, come see!"

I grabbed the camera and went to see what was going on.

I was greeted by my lovely daughter, definitely pregnant. She also seemed to be all ready to lactate, but it could be the angle and the lighting.



She looked pretty happy about things and was handling the labor well.


At last the happy moment approaches. Yes, we can see the first glimpse of the joyful arrival making it's way into the world.





Hooray here he is!! It's a boy and he's purple!!! Happy Birthday Purple Bear!!



As long as we stick to pulling Purple Bears out of our shirts for the next 25 years or so, we'll be doing just fine.