Friday, May 30, 2008

Songs in the Key of Life.....

Overheard from the backseat:

EFP: Mommy what's that?

M: It's a pond with a fountain!

EFP: A pond with a fountain? Are there duckies?

M: Yes, there probably are some ducks.

EFP: Mommy what's that?

M: It's another pond with a fountain.

EFP: Oh My God! That IS another pond with a fountain all right!
*I unintentionally left this part out earlier - so this is the rest of the conversation

M: Did you hear this at school? From your teacher or a friend? Who says Oh My God, EFP?
EFP: I do Mommy
M: EFP, do you know who God is?
EFP: Yes
M: Who is God?
EFP: Daddy (I can assure you having been married to him lo these 10 years - he most certainly is not.... but it is nice that she thinks so.)

Same Backseat - different kid!

EBB: Mama?

M: Yes, EBB

EBB: Mama, EBB So Happy!

Overheard in the kitchen:

EFP: Mommy, chocoate pudding makes me so happy!

From "elsewhere" in the house at around 7:00 AM EST:

EFP: Let me see if I got dis. If I put my pee pee in the potty I get a chocolate? Poopy I get 2?
M: Yup! That is right!!
EFP: I needa go pee pee now!
M: Yea! Let's go!

5 minutes later 7:05 AM EST

EFP: Mommy, if I needa go pee pee again - do I get anudder chocolate?
M: Yes
EFP: I needa go again

5 minutes later 7:10 AM EST

EFP: I needa go again

5 minutes later 7:15 AM EST

EFP: I needa go again

Seriously - she has figured out how to buck the system for chocolate!

Heard in the bedroom:

M: It is night-night time EFP...
EFP: I not go night-night tonight
M: Oh, no night-night at all?
EFP: No. I not.
M: You are not sleepy?
EFP: Yes, I sleepy. But I not go night-night!!
M: Can you tell me why you don't want to go to bed?
EFP: Yes. It not fun. I needa play and do pee pee for chocolate.

A few minutes later, same bedroom:

EBB: Night Night Mama
M: Night Night EBB! Love You!
EBB: Love YOU Mama! EBB love family and Mama!
M: (brushing tears aside) I love you EBB and I am glad you are my family!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Earthquake in China

As you may be seeing there are terrible reports coming out of the southern southwest of China - recent reports say the death toll could be over 25K before the week is out. Specifically around an area in Sichuan province - where our friend (and the mother of the other two cutest children mentioned here) resides in Chengdu. A terrible 7.9 earthquake has struck leveling buildings, crumbling roads and leaving many people homeless, hungry and searching through the rubble for loved ones. Especially hard hit were several schools in the region.

It happens that we have been tuned into NPR Chengdu Diary since we have a fondness for the area and NPR so we heard about the quake rather quickly and worried. Thankfully our friend and her children are safe and sound. (Really thankful) But so many are not. You can't imagine what having this connection to a place so far away can mean. While we were waiting for the Emperor - there was that terrible snowstorm and so many children in Southern China (where the Empress originated) were cold and hungry - orphanages unprepared for winter storms in relatively warm climates. We knew our child was in a place that had probably enough blankets but might still suffer due to food shortages or lack of reliable transport for heating materials. We worried and wondered. We were united with our son and so know he was okay during that time... but as is the case in Adoption we left a little piece of ourselves behind when we boarded the plane to take our son home. Just as we left a little piece of ourselves in Jiangxi when we brought home the Empress... we can never really stop thinking about where our children came from - some days we might wish we could. Most days, we are so thankful and others... well, we just happen to be parents of children born in China.

We felt our hearts break for the parents who waited for news that the orphanage where their child waited was ok and had all it needed. Sadly many did not - and as usual the China Adoption community somehow managed to fund an Emergency Spring Storm Fund through Half the Sky called Little Mouse (in honor of the Year of the Rat being welcomed at the time of the storms) and Half the Sky has already established a Children's Relief Fund to help with the earthquake.

I can imagine how waiting parents all over the world are yearning for news... whether in China and waiting to hear that precious children are safe or half a world away waiting to hear that precious (recently referred or previously matched) children are safe. Mothers and Fathers are the same everywhere. We worry about our children - when something like this happens we rush to hug our loved ones, say thanks that they are safe and happy... but for some (too many) this will not be the case. I mourn for those children... perhaps only-children of parents who have now lost their most precious child. I mourn especially for the parents... for all the people, the world is mourning and many many many are reaching out to give aid.

China Daily News: for updates on rescue and status updates

XinHua News: news and updates, links to in-China donation sites

American Red Cross: Updates and donate specifically to China Earthquake Fund

Our Chinese Daughters Foundation: another fund to donate to relief efforts in China

Mercy Corps: Also establish a network of orgs on the ground in China to provide relief

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Great Wolfs & Wagons

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream truck rides!

Yummy! Fish! On a Bagel - how'd they know?

Yummy! Grits with sausage gravy - well - it's not congee but it will do!

Story-time central - the animals sang and the kids sat rapt!

The kids loved the talking moose and Native American maiden - the story after wasn't bad either.

This is just ONE area where the water did everything but cook lunch!

This is a wave pool with fountains and everything!
Sometimes the water did surprising things - Even EBB enjoyed himself!

We had a great weekend in PA at the Great Wolf Lodge with some great buddies from our local FCC and it was a blast! Of water... and fun! The kids could not have had a better time... I would recommend this place to anyone with kids who like water. We spent Saturday all wet - all day! From about 10:30 am till about 6 pm the kids did not take a break! No naps, no lunch (luckily we had a very hearty breakfast) and not dry for more than a few seconds! I must say the set up is amazing - there is no reason to go anywhere or do anything else once you have entered the wet-zone, though when the kids are bigger there are other activities they can participate in - magic quest, cub club etc. But the water park - had so many different areas.. you do need to pay close attention though because there are some surprising things that happen every so often and word to the wise - every single noise has a meaning.. so stay aware or risk getting a soaking!!

After we returned from our little sojourn into the PA mountains the weather was so amazing - that DH took the children for a evening wagon ride - I admit I look forward to this little excursion (yes, I admit, I like the peace of having all three of my kids out of the house for a few minutes!) and so the three of them went around the complex in the wagon. Here are my adorable babies mugging for the camera!

Empress Fussy Pants

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Emperor Big Brother

Lilypie Next Birthday Ticker