Monday, June 30, 2008

Thank you Secret Pal

It's time to thank my secret pal once again. Yay - I'm so glad I signed up for this exchange. It's been a lot of fun.

This month I received a nice cozy baby blanket - it's so, so soft. Our baby stuff has been pretty pink lately around here with Samara being the youngest and so I love it that this blanket is blue - it's so boy! I also got a sippy cup in the package which is great. Since this will be our fourth child, he will get a lot of hand-me-downs - especially things like blankets and sippy cups. It's fun to receive some new things so that not everything will be used. I have a feeling he'll appreciate a sippy cup without chew marks on the lid! :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Falling Apart

I turned 34 on Saturday and now that I've officially entered my mid 30's, look what happened:

I know you're wondering how it happened and I can't really answer that. I just woke up one morning and it started to hurt. It got progressively worse until after about a week it was so painful, I could barely use the hand. I went in to see the doctor who twisted and turned my hand every which way and nothing hurt until she moved my thumb away from the hand. Aha! That's where the pain was coming from – the bottom of my thumb. So she said it must be a repetitive strain injury of the abductor tendon in my thumb. She was trying to figure out something I do to repetitively use that tendon and the only thing she could come up with is picking up Samara all the time. So that's what we're going with. We're blaming it on Samara. She gets blamed for the majority of things around here and 99.9% of the time it really is her. :) So we'll just add this one to the list too. When I came out of the doctor's office and was telling Mike about it, Samara came up to me with her arms extended saying "up". Seriously, how can I resist the cuteness? I just have to now use my forearm instead of my hand to pick her up on the left side.

Oh, and just to make sure that it's just a repetitive strain injury and not something going on with the bone in there, I had an x-ray done yesterday. The reason I mention this is because it's a cool story. I went in to the x-ray department at 8:30 am to make sure I would be the first one there and wouldn't have to wait very long. Sure enough I was the first and only one there and so I got called in right away. The x-ray technician happened to notice my jade necklace that I wear all the time and commented on it asking if I had gotten it in Beijing. When I said yes, she told me that she had also been to Beijing. I went out on a limb and asked her if she happened to be there for adoption and she said yes. So the more we talked about it, we came to discover that we were in China at the exact same time last year adopting our daughters. We were even in the same province and better yet, stayed in the exact same city! She received her daughter on January 31 and we got Samara on February 1 (different orphanages). Her and her husband also have biological children. How coincidental is that??? I actually ended up being in the x-ray room for almost an hour because we were talking and talking and talking. Isn’t that cool?

(By the way, this is nothing compared to Mike's injury. He tore the medial collateral ligament in his knee last week. He's been on crutches and the whole works so hopefully that gets better soon too!)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Clean Teeth

After our kite flying on Sunday afternoon, we all went inside for a cold drink and bathroom break. I guess Samara lingered a little longer than the rest of us in the bathroom, because when she came out, she was chewing on this:

It's Grandma's toothbrush!!!

Oh man. I know it's really disgusting but I can't stop laughing about it. She was so proud of herself and looked right at my mom and said "teeth"! In other words: Look Grandma - my teeth are all clean!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Kite Flying

This past Easter the kids got new kites from Grandma and Grandpa C. So since then, we've been waiting for the perfect day to fly them. Today was the day (maybe not perfect but good enough). The wind wasn't super strong but strong enough to get those kites up there with a bit of effort. Let's just say we all had our exercise running around at Grandma Z's house.

Here's Austin flying his kite. His little legs were going as fast as they could and he was so excited when it got wind underneath and flew high in the air.

See how red his cheeks are from all that hard running?

Victoria felt quite frustrated at the beginning but once she got the hang of it, she also had her kite flying really high.

Aren't they beautiful (and large) kites?

Samara also joined in the fun running up and down the field with her legs just going as fast as they could. At one point she even got her little kite flying up in the air behind her. Unfortunately I didn't catch it on camera so here she is running with her kite dragging behind her on the grass. She had a ton of fun and loved seeing the kites high up in the air.

Thanks for the great kites Grandma and Grandpa!

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Last summer Victoria decided she wanted to play violin. This came as a bit of a shock to us as we had just assumed she would play piano (since we own one and where to practice wouldn't be an issue). But when the idea of violin came up, we had to give it some thought. Since it was totally her idea and she seemed quite eager, we thought we better at least let her try it out rather than discourage the idea. So after doing a bit of research and talking to a violin teacher, we set it up and in September she began her lessons. It's been very convenient as she can have the lessons right at her school and we are even able to rent a violin from her teacher (as opposed to spending the money on purchasing one - just in case she change her mind).

If you know anything about the violin, you'll know that it's quite a challenging instrument to learn. It takes weeks just to master how to hold it correctly and so you don't actually get to play on it for quite a while. But Victoria was pretty determined and stuck with it. Once she had the holding down pat, she was so excited to begin playing and has learned songs such as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Jesus Loves Me, Old MacDonald had a Farm, etc. It's been a lot of fun and she's really enjoyed learning it. Finding time and energy to practice hasn't always been easy but she's done really well.

Last night Victoria had her very first violin recital. When her teacher first started mentioning the recital, Victoria was not keen at all on the idea. We talked about it quite a bit over the last few weeks and practiced the song she would play. We told her that she could stay on the floor by the piano to play instead of going up onto the raised platform. She often told us that she wasn't going to play. Her teacher was okay with that but really wanted Victoria to at least come to the recital to see what it was all about so that perhaps next year she'd be comfortable enough to play. Once in a while she would show some excitement about the upcoming recital but we really didn't think she would play.

Well, she surprised us last night. Her name was on the program and when it was her turn, she strolled right up the stairs to the raised platform, did her opening bow, played her song, did her closing bow and sat back down. She then looked right over at us and smiled from ear to ear. Needless to say, we were beaming too!

Way to go Victoria! Mommy and Daddy are really proud of you!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Sleeping Beauties . . . and the handsome prince

A few years ago when Victoria found out that we check on her at night before we go to bed, she was really bothered by this. We would tell her that we'd cover her up and sometimes she would talk a little bit to us and she couldn't stand it that she didn't remember this in the morning. Well now she finds it kind of funny. She always asks questions about what she did the night before when we checked on her and if she said anything and now she asks what she looks like when she's sleeping. So I told her I would take a picture of her sleeping. I couldn't resist taking a picture of Samara and Austin too. They look so peaceful (and innocent) when they're sleeping.

Here they are:

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Hey Miss Catherine? Would you be able to come to Dundas every week to teach me how to play this thing? I promise I'll comb my hair and wipe my breakfast crumbs off the bench! Please?

My mommy says I have to be more gentle when I play my music but I think it sounds great. I really am a natural - even first thing in the morning.