Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Is there a light?

Could it be? Is there a light at the end of this long, dark, cold tunnel? Is spring in the air at last?
It isn't warm. But, it has made it above FREEZING for the past several days. And, we had two playdates this week! This is a miracle for us. All winter we have been making plans with friends only to have them cancel due to illness or uncooperative weather conditions. We have been a bit bored and lonely just the two of us, at times. I mean, we know how to have a good time, but we do run out of stuff to do in this house! (And, I think my kid gets sick of my mug )
Anyhoo, today we met my friend and her daughter at the mall. We went to "Children's Place" first and I bought some fun spring clothes for Lil. She kept picking this pink fluffy skirt off the rack and walking up to the front of the store with it, and when I would call for her to come back by me she'd say, "I gonna buy dis!" When I told her she couldn't cuz she had no money she reluctantly put it back. (But, this scene played out about 4 times). She really wanted this "ballaweena tostume". My friend's daughter stayed in her stroller for the majority of our jaunt around the mall. Lily lasted all of 10 minutes. Oh well, what can ya do? Chasing her around is the only exercise I get these days. At the end of our visit my girlfriend let her daughter get out and stretch her legs -- we let them chase each other around for awhile. They were having a blast! Screeching and squeaking and wearing themselves out. (They may have been annoying one of the workers at a nearby shop, as she came over to tell us that the mall DOES have a play area for kids) ... thank you, but no. I managed to get a couple pictures of the cuties together when they started to wind down. I knew when Lily laid down on the nasty floor that it was time for us to go. She took a 2 1/2 hour nap today. Woo hoo!
The pictures aren't meant to be an advertisement for that store -- that is just where the girls sat their bottoms. Oh, Lily did notice the mannequins in the window dressed in nothing but bras and panties. "Wook momma! boobies!" Lovely, eh? Must've learned that one from daddy.

Well, tomorrow is the first of March and things can only get better. Lily and I are ready to get outside and play.

Monday, February 26, 2007

To pee? Or not to pee?

Yes, THAT is the question! Lily is just gonna put her head down and give it some thought. This could take awhile!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Gimme a T!

OK, I decided to play along with Donna (over at Double Happiness) and list ten things that I love. Two catches, they all have to start with the letter T (that was my assigned letter) and they need a descriptive picture. This wasn't easy for me, nothing came to mind right away with that letter, so I had to really use my imagination at times. Now, I don't know how to neatly organize the pictures to go along with my list. I am not (yet) that compter savvy. So, you can view my pictures and see my list below them. GIMME A T!

1. Tigers. Well, one in particular. Hubby was born the year of the tiger and I love that guy.
2. Talking with friends. I can TALK!
3. Thunderstorms. As long as I'm inside looking out. I think they are so beautiful, and I love the sound of thunder.
4. Travel-mates. The wonderful people we traveled to China with. Love 'em all!
5. Tiger lilies. I love flowers --especially lilies...hmmm, wonder why!?
6. Tagalongs. It is Girl Scout cookie time, and I have been eating more than my share of them!
7. Tanning. (Not the fake n bake way). Out on the beach in the real sun.
8. Tunes. I love music, and I love to sing.
9. Tennessee. I've been there once, and it was amazing. I can't wait to go back in July for our Ping-Jiang reunion. How great it will be to see all the girls together again.
10. Tiny toes. SOOOOO cute.

That's all folks. If you wanna play along too, just leave Donna a comment and she will e-mail a letter to you. Let me know if you play so I can check you out!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Favorite Photo Friday -- Flashback

I can't believe it is Flashback time again! Seems like just yesterday...

Anyhoo, last week I honored my sister, Jody, and this week I am paying tribute to my cousin Michelle. She has always been more like a sister than anything else. We lived close, so the three of us spent all of our time together growing up. Went on all our vacations together, spent every holiday together, had sleepovers, etc. Michelle didn't have any siblings, so it was all about the three of us! Actually, when I mentioned last week that I may have been less than perfect to my little sis in the beginning...I had a partner in crime... and her name is Michelle! We, being the older and wiser(NOT) of the threesome, used to play some awful tricks on poor Jody. I remember being in Traverse City (our annual summer vacation spot), laying by the pool and telling Jody to go retrieve our "whatevers" from the room because we had forgotten them. When sweet Jody would ask "why me?" we would cleverly reply, "because you're the fastest runner. " Satisfied with that logic, she would run back up to our hotel room to get our stuff and return only to see that we has DISAPPEARED! Ha Ha! Hilarious, weren't we? I cringe just thinking about it now, because it was so cruel, but we thought we were the funniest gals around! All this to say, Michelle and I have always done A LOT of one thing, and that is laugh. We have both had our share of bumps along this road of life, but together we always manage to laugh about something or another until we're about ready to pee our pants. She, unfortunately, lives far away now. (In beautiful, sunny Florida!) So, we don't spend all of our time together anymore. We have to settle for weekly phone calls and vacations (which we still take together). But, one thing has NOT changed...when we are together, we are gonna be laughing. Side-splitting, tear spilling, hurts so good LAUGHING.
It is so nice to have someone like her in my life. She is my family, and a true friend, and a blast to be with. She is also someone whom I respect and admire for her ambition, work ethic, and dedication. She is a terrific mom (of 2 wonderful kids), and a very successful career woman.
Lily also knows and loves her Aunt Michelle. We bring her name up in conversation on a regular basis, and they "chat" on the phone quite frequently. I believe Lily already understands (in her own way) that those near and dear to one's heart don't necessarily live near to one's home.
We love you, Michelle, and miss you like crazy!!!!
I also want to give a shout out to her son Harrison today. It is his 6th birthday...
Happy Birthday, Big guy! Wish we were there to celebrate with you, but we'll party next time we're all together in June!

This one's for Stef!

I just had to do this for my good friend Stef, over at Never Too Many, cuz she had a great day! Her paperwork prayer was answered (for adoption #2), so Lily and I were celebrating over here!
YAY!!!!!!!! We are doing the "Happy Dance" for you guys tonight. Woo hoo!!!!!!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Can't seem to get enough coffee!

I am a serious coffee lover over here, and lately I just can't seem to get enough of the stuff. I don't know if it is because I am so cold all of the time, or I am so TIRED of spending such a ridiculous amount of time indoors (avoiding freezing my tail off), or if spending my days with an extremely energetic toddler has just taken its toll. But, I want coffee ALL OF THE TIME! I am actually wishing I had a nice, steamy cup in front of me right now and it is going on midnight. So, I will refrain. I go to bed thinking about the cup I will enjoy in the morning. I make a pot for Jay and I when he gets home from work in the evening, and it is (sometimes) a real highlight of my day. It has to have flavored creamer, and lots of it, so I have switched to FAT FREE french vanilla(I haven't been getting much exercise lately). Jay is a huge fan of the coconut cream. Truth be told, I love them all.
Lily loves "toffee" too. She is satisfied with a sip...unlike her addicted momma. She is much more interested in making it. She gets the coffee out of the fridge, retrieves the filter, counts the scoops, pushes the button, etc. Loves it. Every evening it is the same: "Lily help momma make da toffee!" And , when she is in the mood, she will ask for her own cup, and she will join us for a cup of joe. Good to the last drop!
See, Becky, if only we lived closer...we could have so much fun together! We could drink soooo much coffee!!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Random cuteness

I am devoting this post to random cuteness that emerges from my daughter on a daily basis. There will be no rhyme or reason to it, but I hope you find it entertaining. I sure do. This kid cracks me up!!!
- Her imagination is amazing. She, as of late, has been looking in our warm mist humidifier at her fishies. Yes, apparently it is an aquarium in her mind and in it swim her pet fishies. One of them even has a name...Ned.
- Since momma is a meanie and rarely takes her outside to play, she has been making "carpet angels" in the house. It seems to make her happy, so it is a win-win.
- She keeps me on my toes! Last week she tried to ride her tricycle down the stairs. I heard a thump, thump, thumpity, thump...then her tricycle landed upside-down at the stoop, followed by Lily (head first). She cried for a nano-second and said that her mouth hurt, but was completely unharmed. (Thank the Lord)
- She thinks it is hilarious to call me "Aunt Nikki" and hubby "Uncle Jay", but when we give her a nasty look she will quickly change her story and say "Logan and Braden call me Aunt Nikki and Uncle Jay"..."I momma...I daddy".
Hey! We waited a long time for these important titles. Got it, kid?
- Is extremely amused with her bodily functions. Loves to announce loudly when she hiccups, burps or passes gas. Although she has recently added a new one to the bunch..."passing poop". Not sure if that is for more serious gas, or if she is just keeping it interesting.
- Loves to imitate everything we do. She "rocks out" to daddy's horrible music and even knows some of the lyrics to his songs. She has been heard singing "White and nerdy" on more than one occasion. (Oh boy!)
Her imitation of me looks more like this: One hand on her hip, the other hand pointing a finger (tsk tsk)..."You stay wite hewe momma. I be wite back. WITE NOW!"
HMMMMMM...I don't do THAT!
I think she is just the funniest, most beautiful, and most interesting girl on the planet. She is my little pal and we have so much fun together. Hope you enjoyed a sneak peek into some of the cuteness that happens around here.
To be continued, I am sure...

Monday, February 19, 2007

Lily knows her opposites...well, sort-of

As I have mentioned before, one of my favorite things to do with Lily is read. Actually, I love watching her "read". She is an amazing little sponge and I am completely blown away by her. She has memorized several books now and has her own little versions of how they are told. One of these books is called "Opposites" by Sandra Boynton...she is an amazing author. Anyway, I tried to get Lily on video doing her version of the book. She does one of two things when I try and tape her:
1. She gets sassy, shakes her head, and runs away.
2. She gets extremely silly, and hams it up.
She did the latter of the 2 for this particular video...I hope you can understand a bit of it. Her verbage still requires some translation at this point.
(About the "old like Booma"...sorry mom!)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Favorite Photo Friday -- Flashback

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Well, it is flashback time again! My sister Jody is on the hot seat today. As you can see -- I couldn't pick just one picture of us. Well, I suppose I could have, but I didn't want to. It is hard for me to put into words how I feel about my little sister...I feel too much. Those of you who know me well, know how crazy I am about this girl. She is my family, she is my dearest friend, she is just IT for me, man! Ninety-five percent of my memories include her. Even some of the times she wasn't physically there with me she was still a part of it somehow. Our trip to China is a perfect example of that. She didn't go with us to get Lily, but she was my LIFELINE while I was there...I lived for our phone calls. That first night there we weren't able to get a call through and I just remember sobbing. I was scared and overwhelmed, and I needed my sister! She is the sane one, the calm one, the level-headed sweet voice of reason -- the kind of friend a person could spend their whole life searching for. (And she was GIVEN to me... Thanks God).
Now, of course, we didn't start off as best friends. I didn't originally see her for the special gift that she is. So, I may have treated her less than wonderfully in the beginning. But, she has forgiven me for the sins of my youth. Family is forever, right!?
We have shared all the BIG moments in life. We have cried on each other's shoulders when relationships ended (I did the majority of crying in that area). We mourned the death of our grandma together. I stood by her side the day she said "I do" to the love of her life, and three years later she did the same for me. I was in the delivery room when she gave birth to all three of her beautiful children. She kept me from drowning in the sea of infertility, and celebrated with us when we decided to expand our family through adoption. Then she was waiting at the airport with open arms to welcome us home with our new daughter (and her first niece).
Life is full surprises, good and bad. I am thankful that I have my sister to go through this life makes the hard times a little easier to handle, and the good times even sweeter! (Thank you, Jody. I love you!!!)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Bad momma! (Good daddy!)

I have decided that I am not a good winter momma. Lily and I spend A LOT of time indoors during these ice cold months, and I am NOT one of those creative, artsy-fartsy types who has all sorts of fun activities lined up. (I truly wish I was!) We color, we play hide n seek, we read, and today we cleaned. Sounds like a blast, doesn't it? Lily kept looking out the window at all the snow and asking to go out and lay in it. (Yes, lay in it)
I kept nicely saying, "No sweetie, wait till your daddy gets home. Now, get the duster and help mommy. We have a lot of work to do here, and you missed a spot."

I did allow for a lunch break, and we also took time to make some Valentine's cards for daddy. Lily is a huge fan of "Beewentimes Day" mom gave her a bag full of goodies. Candy hearts, chocolates, red heart suckers, and Dora stickers. Everything that makes her heart skip a beat!

Anyway, daddy FINALLY returned home from a hard day's work and I said "Hi honey, put on your snow pants and take your daughter outside to play." To which he replied, "OK dear...let's go Lil!"I had to take some pictures of them outside playing in the dark.
They looked so hilarious! But, Lily had a blast and I had a warm bath ready for her when she came in. (It was the least I could do). See, Bad Momma! Good daddy!!!!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Winds of Change

The winds of change are a blowin' over here. It all started the other morning when I was getting Lily dressed for the day. I had her purple jogging suit lying on the floor and she took one look at it and said "all done joggin suit" -- "Jeans. Wear jeans. Wear bwoo jeans."
WHAT?????? I am thinking, "Are you kidding me kid? You have been refusing to wear jeans for at least 6 months now!" But, I went back upstairs and rummaged through her drawers to FIND a pair of jeans (most of them are floods now!) And, she has been wearing jeans for the past 3 days.
Last week she said she wanted to take a bath. She splashed around in there until every last drop of water was gone. I guess she is no longer concerned with the hair that might be floating in there, or any little piece of soap or dirt. She, once again, is a fan of baths! (hmmm)
Oh, then there is her "art". Gone are the days where she would sit and peel the paper off of her crayons for HOURS. She has suddenly discovered the true purpose of these little colored sticks and she is coloring up a storm over here. "Mama, wook at me. Cullaween bwoo shirt/cullaween bween pants/cullaween red fishies"...
And, she is EATING! Saying "yes' to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches; inhaling pork roast like you wouldn't believe; trying new things and liking much of it. This is a wonderful change and I am thrilled about it.
So, this little one is keeping me on my toes. She is a smart cookie, uses her mind to form strong opinions...and occasionally she changes her mind. I am just trying to roll with it! We went to Target this morning to look for some jeans, and found some! (She said "no" to the first pair I showed her, but agreed to the second pair, because they have pretty flowers on the waistband).
We also looked at some tennis shoes. I showed her a blue and white pair that I thought were really cute, but she said "I no like the bwoo tennis shoes" and she proceeded to pick out a PINK pair and tell me, "this ones beautiful, momma!" The girl loves her some pink! (And, I'm hoping she doesn't change her mind on this one, cuz I love it too).

Some might call this "high maintenance" behavior, but I enjoy it-for the most part. It is just one (of the many) things that makes Lily...Lily.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Finally warming up!

No, I am not referring to the is still stinkin' cold. No signs of spring here!

I am referring to Lily and her 'inanimate object' friends. Lily has always been the type who takes a good, long while to get to know you before she lets you get too close. She was like that with ME, my mom, my sister, family friends...just about everyone. Well, she has also been like that with her dolls, stuffed animals, and blankies. I practically FORCED her green blanket and doggie on her for the first 3 months we were home and then one day -POOF- she didn't want to go ANYWHERE without them. (still doesn't)

She was sent a beautiful doll from her friend Sophia (thanks again, Stef) and she didn't touch it for several weeks. Didn't even want to look at her. Now, she plays with her like they are old friends. Even named her Kim! (well, Tim -- she can't pronounce her K's ).
Then there is the "Polka Dot Guy" that Jay's grandparents gave her for Christmas. She would kind-of give him the "hairy eyeball" from a distance for awhile. Trying to figure out his story, I suppose. Then, Jay told her that the cute, yet strange, little guy had a name..."Blabla" (no joke)
Well, this changed everything for Lily. She decided that she loves "Bwa Bwa" and is often seen givin' him big squeezes!

Her bear, bunny, and flower blanket rank just after her green blankie and dog. For awhile I had to carry a HUGE beach bag with us wherever we went -- for all of her newfound "friends". I have now explained to her that her stuff will wait for her at home. Thankfully, she is OK with that.

Other than that, she has "baby" -- a beautiful Chinese baby doll that my sister gave her before she was even here with us...she has just now added her to her list of friends.

That about covers her fake friends. She has several real pals now too. Her cousins being her absolute favorites in that category. She asks to see them daily! Luckily, she sees them quite often! She might not warm up right away. She might make ya work for her love and devotion, but I think her friends (fake and real) will agree with me...she is well worth the wait!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Favorite Photo Friday -- Flashback

Last Friday was mom's turn, so yep! today it's all about me and my dad! First of all, I love this picture. I am not one of those people that remembers the little details of their childhood. I remember bits and pieces here and there, and the rest of the story I rely on old pictures to tell. I love this particular picture because of the way my dad is looking at me. As a girl, is their anyone in our lives whose attention and love we desire more than our father's? I think not. Not in my life anyway.
My relationship with my dad is so different than mine with my mom. My mom and I are obvious. We love each other loudly, if you will. We talk on the phone every day, see each other at least twice a week and we basically say whatever we are thinking or feeling and just go with it. Not so with my dad.
Now, my dad is not an emotional guy. Never been one to wear his heart on his sleeve, or be real expressive. More of a "man's man" in that area. But, my dad loves deeply -- I am convinced of this because I feel it. Not because he showers me with words of affection, but because when I need him... HE SHOWS UP. Always has.
In highschool he never missed a game or a track meet. (he was also the loudest guy in the stands). He even danced (on stage) with me when I was in dance club my Senior year..."Come to Papa". Good times -- it is all captured on video! Anyhoo,
After highschool I was busy being a rebellious on my own for the first time. I remember him just showing up at my apartment, out of the blue, because he "hadn't seen me in 2 weeks" and he was wonderin how I was.
Now that I am all grown up ( I use that term loosely), he is still showing up. Last year we had a health scare with Lily. We were back and forth to the doctor's office, trying to figure out what was wrong with our little girl. It lasted about a week, and one night we drove to the emergency room because we didn't know what else to do. It was late. I was terrified and couldn't stop crying. I had no idea what was going to happen with my baby! And, who showed up?? Yup. dad did. I remember feeling overwhelmed by him at that moment. He didn't say anything much...just wanted to check and see how Lily was. But, I just wanted to cry because at that moment I knew how deep his love for me and my little girl runs.
Taking us to lunch on Sunday afternoons; watching Lily on the occasional Friday night so that Jay and I can get out alone; these are just things that my dad does, cuz he is my dad. He is a great man and I love, respect, and admire him for so many reasons, but mostly because he has always been someone I can count on to be there for me, to support me, to love me in his quiet way and I am so thankful that he just keeps showin' up.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

The Greatest Giggle!

I have been hearing so much about people fighting the "Winter Blues" and the "Waiting for Baby" blues and just the "All around feeling poopy" blues, so I posted this video in hopes of bringing a smile to your face.
If this doesn't make you smile...I don't know what will!

Monday, February 5, 2007

Wild n Crazy Weekends -- Part 2

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So, you saw how I spent LAST Saturday -- partying like a fool with 4 of my favorite little cuties on earth. Well, this past Saturday we decided we needed to go see some of our other favorite people. So, Saturday morning we loaded up the car and headed to the west side of the state to see Jay's family. Apparently I don't tear myself away from my computer long enough to catch a weather report these days, because I was completely oblivious to the fact that there was a major snowstorm brewing and we were going to be driving right through it!!!! I spent a good hour of the trip praying that God would just allow us to get there in one piece. Luckily Lily was sound asleep in the backseat, so she missed her momma having a slight meltdown. We were listening to the radio where the announcers were saying things like: "Stay home where it is safe and warm. Only leave the house in extreme emergency. Road conditions are treacherous." (Oh my gosh!!) I MIGHT HAVE ripped Jay a new one for bringing his family in harm's way. But, I am almost positive I apologized once we had made it safely thru the storm.
Once we reached my in-law's house I had almost completely recovered and we ended up having the best visit ever! Lily was sooooo good. She is completely crazy about her Papa and Booma D. And she got to see her Aunt Kristen and her cousins Morgan and Macey which is always a great time. (Uncle Jason, unfortunately, was not home because he is doing us proud over in Iraq. He was missed by us all.)
What started out as a small disaster ended in complete bliss for us all. I got to sit back and relax! Gone are the days where Lily needs me in her sight at all times or she will throw a fit. She was quite content to let everyone else attend to her every need, sweet little princess! It was fun to watch...We have truly come a long way!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Wild n Crazy Weekends!

I am a totally wild n crazy girl and my weekends certainly reflect that. Hubby has started working Saturday nights (for some extra cashola) so last weekend I took Lily over to my sister's house so she and her hubby could get out ALONE for a change. So, I spent my evening with 4 children, and it was a blast. They know how to party! We danced, played game boy, played hide n seek (of course), ate popcorn, and watched a kick-butt movie (Monster's Inc.)...
Not exactly the way I spent my weekends when I was in my 20's, but I am lovin' every minute of it!

Wanna know what I did LAST NIGHT???? Come back tomorrow and see.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Favorite Photo Friday -- Flashback

Some of my blogger friends have been posting pics of when they were just wee ones, and it looked like fun to me, so for awhile my Friday favorites will be from MY childhood.
The circle of life is so I am just a babe with her mom, and now I am the mom with her babe!
This picture is one of many that are in a precious scrapbook that my mom made for me --sorry if the quality isn't the is a picture of the picture in the book. (does that make sense?)
Anyway, I love this photo of my mom. She is so beautiful and so young. We made quite a pair back then, and we have a wonderful relationship that has stood the test of time. She is an outstanding mom and she has taught me so much about what love truly is. She has been there for me UNCONDITIONALLY and I am so grateful to her and the example she has set for me...thanks mom. XOXOXOXO

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Lily goes to the salon!

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Well, I was in desperate need of a trim... so off to the salon I went. I have been getting my hair cut from the same wonderful girl since I was about ten and she is the best... so I decided that Lily should come with me and get her first "official" haircut. I didn't know if she would enjoy it our not, but SHE LOVED IT!!!! She was such a good girl for Jenny and we had a blast. I see Saturdays in our future filled with haircuts, manicures, and pedicures -- ooh, how fun and girlie can you get???