Thursday, January 28, 2010

Aloha! Callie turns 4!!

What's the next best thing to being in Hawaii when you are buried in the snow in Western NY? Why having a hula party to celebrate Callie's 4th birthday!! I can't believe my little Callie is 4. She is finally big enough to fit into 2T clothes. She is tiny but tough. She's like Mighty Mouse.

She and Carys dressed in hula outfits. We had Ham Hawaiian style, fruit kabobs, flip flop cookies, and cupcakes. The girls did hula dances and played Limbo. It was a fun evening for all of us.
Callie with Cade being silly
Callie had a little trouble getting her four candles blown out
Am I cute or what?!
Flip flop cookies
Ready for present opening
Apparently Carys does not yet understand that at a birthday party only the person whose birthday it is gets presents
The Zhu Zhu pet was a big hit. All the kids love it.

Happy Birthday Callie!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

One Year

We celebrated Carys's first family day a couple weeks ago.
December 29th was our one year anniversary of walking into that cold bleak office in the civil affairs bureau in Hangzhou China. My very very first impression of her was that something was really wrong with her and they hadn't told us. LOL!! Come to find out she had pneumonia and was feverish and drugged up on about 5 kinds of Chinese cough medicine! Poor thing. No wonder she was so out of it!! And it didn't help that at some point in China she had knocked out a front tooth. It made her seem extra goofy. Haha!
She is such a different kid from then. She was so quiet and shy. She also couldn't run or jump or climb stairs. When we got home we found out she had a pretty large hole in her heart that they conveniently forgot to tell us about. She had spent most of the time very tired. No wonder so many pictures we had of her in the orphanage were of her laying in the floor!!
See the baby laying in the floor in the background. Yep. That's Carys.
We also had to take care of some other gross stuff she brought home. Giardia (stomach parasite), pin worms, and Molluscom (bumps from the wart family). One year later we have almost gotten rid of the molluscum that she gave to Callie.

Last February we had her heart repaired. Luckily they were able to go up through a vein in her leg to plug it. We have one follow up in about a month and then that is it. They said she will be no different from any other kid. Well, heart wise anyway. ;) After her surgery her energy level shot up.

Carys had her first experiences at church. She loves her Sunday school class and singing church songs. Especially "Jesus Loves Me". She is a girly girl and loves wearing dresses to church. She wants her hair to be longer so she can wear "ponies" in her hair like Callie. It's getting there.
We celebrated her third birthday last March.
She is such a big girl we thought she was maybe older than they said but we did a bone age xray that said she was right about three. So her birthday of March 14 is fairly accurate give or take some either way. She was found on March 14 2007 so the orphanage gave her the birth date of March 14 2006. I kind of hate that they made her birth date the same day she was abandoned. We don't know where she was that first year of life. She was healthy and well fed when found so I think they took good care of her. She was abandoned inside a hospital in the children's hospital section. I can't help but wondering if they realized the hole in her heart was not going to close on it own and they could not afford to have it repaired. There is no health care in China. We will never know but it's what I would like to believe. More than anything I wish they knew she is happy and healthy and loved.

Crays celebrated her first Easter with us. I made the cutest dresses for her and Callie. She loved visiting the Easter bunny and getting lots of candy in her Easter basket.
She spent the summer learning to run in the yard, jump on the trampoline, navigate stairs, and swim in the pool. She went on her first trip to Memphis to visit grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. We are so happy she was able to meet her Great Grandma J before she passed away a couple months later.
Getting dirty in the backyard

Preschool started this fall and she loves loves loves it! She and Callie are in the same class.
Ready for the open house at school.
First day of school.

Halloween was another first. she was so excited with her candy corn princess costume. She didn't understand trick or treating at first but once she realized they were giving out candy she was all game!!
First Thanksgiving rolled along. Lots of food so our girl was as happy as can be. The girl loves to eat!!
Her first Christmas was a blast. She learned to sing lots of Christmas songs. She loved telling everyone what Santa says (although she wasn't too sure about visiting him at the mall). Presents of course were a big hit.
Carys (with paint on her face) loving some presents.

Last year we spent New Years in China. This year might not have been as spectacular as seeing fireworks over West Lake in Hangzhou but it was so nice to have us all here together this year!

I can't believe how much Carys has changed over the past year. She has gotten so much stronger!! She is still a bit behind with gross motor skills but I think one more summer of running and jumping outside and she will be pretty much caught up. She also gets physical therapy twice a week and goes to preschool, gymnastics, and swim class which help a ton.
Callie and Carys having some gymnastics fun.

After a fight with the insurance company Carys got her new myoelectric prosthetic arm. Still pondering how I feel about the arm (or the "open/close" as Carys calls it). She is so functional without it. They tell us that she needs to learn to use it now so she can decide when she is older if she would like to use it or not. Most people born with upper extremity limb differences choose not to use a prosthetic. I understand now seeing how the thing mostly gets in her way at this point. It has been a huge pain in my arse that's for sure. It was great a first but the prosthetic guy made a new "experimental" socket that supposedly can be made to open up as she grows. Great concept but in practice has not worked as desired. The thing has been in the shop more than on her arm. Extremely irritating. We just got it back again and it fits better but now she can get it of herself. Which means 30 mins into wearing it she takes it off and hides it. Little stinker. So time will tell how things go with that. I think she will want it for some things like riding her bike and stuff. Guess we'll see.
Along with physical therapy she gets occupational therapy twice a week. They work on her fine motor skills and work on using her prosthetic (when it is not being fixed). She has a speech delay. Not sure how much is due to being a real delay, an institutional delay, or a delay caused by switching languages. Or all three. She understands everything we say but when she talks she adds all this babble in between the words. Makes her come off as being pretty clueless when in fact she is quite bright. So she gets speech twice a week too. So that is services 6 times a week for 30 minutes each, on top of everything else we have going on. Luckily it is free through the state and they come to the house, but yes it is a pain. My hopes are that she will graduate from PT after the summer and speech by a year from now. She will get OT for a very long time due to her limb difference. Looking forward to this summer though as services are through the school district and do not run in the summer. I think it will be good for all of us not to be tied down to her therapy schedule.

She is a sweet sweet girl. She never had any trouble attaching to us. She loves to snuggle and get and give hugs and kisses. She came up to me the other day and and hugged and kissed me and told me "I wub you". Talk about melt your heart! She is really good natured unless she thinks she's been wronged. Like if one of the other kids takes her toy or something. And then oh my! The drama!! LOL She is also big on tattling. The other kids don't get away with much when she is around! She has come out of her shell and is so social and loves playing with her siblings and other kids. She fits so nicely with our family. I just can't imagine life without her. It has been a beautiful year with her and we are so blessed!

Happy family day anniversary Carys sweetie!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Heard around the house this week....

"Get that knife out of your nose RIGHT NOW!"

"I did put my pants on. I turned them into invisible pants."

"When I eat Lucky Charms my pee smells like Lucky Charms."

"Who farted?" (Heard at least 22 times)

"What smells?" (Goes along with the above)

"Hi. My name is Bob!" (Kyan said this one)

"I'm not Kyan. I'm Marfin Lufer King"

"Get your hand out of your underwear." "But look, there's a hole to put my hand in." "Oh well how convenient for you. Now get your hand out of you pants!"

"Super nubby power!"

"Zoe you are the bestest dog ever. OW! Zoe you are the worstest dog ever!"

"I said I was sorry in my head so it wouldn't wake her up!" (After Kyan stomped on a sleeping Callie)

"Kyan if I catch you writing on the furniture again you are going to be in BIG trouble." "How do you know it was me?" "Because you wrote your name!!"

"I don't want to be bootiful. I want to be AWSOME!!"

"It my birfday today." "No it's not your birthday yet. Your birthday isn't until January 27th." (Heard daily since December 1st)

"Dad. I think I'm going to bawf." Followed by immediate barfing.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

And a few more

Silly kids
Getting ready for Christmas dinner
And Callie took this picture of Zoe that is too cute. All the craziness going on and she is just sitting there with her back to everyone staring at nothing. Silly dog.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Chistmas Joy

One of my fave pics from Christmas of all 5 kids.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Awwwww....Kyan is so sweet!

When he is sleeping anyway. ;)

Monday, January 04, 2010

The Teensy Tiny Puzzle

We'll one of my New Years resolutions is to blog more. We'll see how long that lasts. Today's post is a pic of Quinn trying to work the tiniest puzzle ever. It even came with tweezers to pick up the pieces. We worked the outside and then were half blind so we set it aside for later. I kept worrying I was going to sneeze and blow all the pieces away.