Thursday, March 31, 2011

100 Years

If I live to be 100 Kami will be 75, Meghan 72, Lily 54, Meilynn and Emma 52, and Jilliana 50.

Mike's Grandma just celebrated 100 years.  100 years seems so long and it seems so short.  When we decided to adopt we figured out how old we would be when Emma graduated from High School.  I will be 65 and Mike will be 63.  When I was 25, 63 seemed like my life would be over.  I had very young parents growing up so I had nothing to base that on.  Now 65 doesn't seem so old.

At Mike's Grandma's birthday we heard how she was born before TV and that sliced bread was invented the year she was born.  Mike and I already remember back to days gone by.  We remember watching black and white TV.  We remember only having one TV set with at most 10 channels to watch.  We remember playing outside on our street until our parents called us in.  We remember maybe one scheduled activity.  We learned how to solve problems and get along without adults supervising our every move.  We played Kick ball, and Donkey, and "Three Flies Your Out". (Mike remembers that it is called "Three Flies your Up") so we have a bit of disagreement there.  We played Dodge Ball, and freeze tag, and hide and seek.  In fact Mike and I actually met in a water balloon fight on our street.  (That is a story for another day) We did not have scheduled activity every hour of the day

Mike's Grandma believes in hard work. She lived through the Depression.   She worked as a Nurse most of her life while taking care of Mike's Mom and her brother and sister.  She is still spunky today.   I love Mike's Grandma.  She has always treated me like one of the kids.  Today she cannot hear or see as well and at times she forgets, but she is smart and on top of things, and she always asks about my daughters.  She is a woman that I admire and respect.
Mike with his Grandma
Meilynn at Grandma's Pre-party
Grandma with one of her Grand Daughters

 I Love This One

 Mike's Dad and Kate
My Beautiful Daughters!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

First Road Trip

 We took our very first road trip to see Great Grandma Nall in Arizona for her 100th birthday.  Here Jilliana is wearing her headphones and watching the tv.  I cannot say it was the best road trip.  We had to hit the side of the road once for a "Chinese Style" bathroom stop as well as a couple of other stops.

We stayed in a Hotel near big sister Meghan and brother in law Nicks apartment.  We were excited to see them again.  Meghan went with us to China and we were anxious for Jilliana to see her again.  They took us to "The Farm" which is an organic hamburger stand in Gilbert.  The food was good and the company even better.

 The next morning, having a banana before going for a bagel.
 One of Jilliana's favorite words.  After bagels, we decided to go miniature golf.  We were looking for an indoor one since it was so warm.  We found just the perfect one for our little group.  We did not need to be at Mike's Uncles until 2:00 so we were looking for something the girls would enjoy.
 We found this cute, very small, indoor place.  We were, for the most part, the only ones there.
 Mike showing Jilliana how to do it.
 Our very photogenic, Meilynn
 Meghan and Lily
 Meghan, Lily, and Meilynn
 Kami and Emma
 Jilliana checking out the wild animals

 Meghan and Mike playing around
 Almost all of us
 Dad and all of his girls!
 Having fun

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Jilliana singing and dolls

Disneyland and Jilliana's Dr. Appointment

Since our International Dr. is not far from Disneyland, we have begun a tradition of going to Disneyland after the appointment.

Jilliana was great at the Dr. and only cried a little when she got her immunizations.   The good news is that the standard of giving all new immunizations to children adopted from China has changed.  Before we repeated all immunizations not knowing if they were really given or if they had been stored properly.  But, the Dr.'s have found out that if the child comes with a detailed immunization record, then the immunizations do not need repeated.  Also, when we adopted Lily last year, the law stated that she had to get re-immunized while in China.  So she received 7 shots before leaving China.  Jilliana only had to have the tb test before leaving.  We gave her two of the shots that she had not had and will follow up at our Pediatrician for the one we did not get.  Also, we will need to get blood work and the urine and stool samples done.

Jilliana was weighed and measured.  She is in the 10 percent range for height and the 5 percent for weight.   This is much better than our other children have been.  She weighs 27 pounds and she is 36 1/8 inch tall.

Waiting for the Dr.
The nurse taking her temp, perfectly normal.  98.6
Dr. Mink trying to see in her ears.  Her ear canals are very small and they had some wax so the Dr. couldn't see if the structures were all intact.  The Dr. decided it would be better not to push looking since she is scheduled for her cleft team appointment in April and there were no immediate concerns.  We have noticed that Jilliana is very sensitive in the ear area.  We don't know if that is just the way they are or if it was from the trauma she experienced with the exams given to her last May.  So we will wait until April to get a better look.  We still know that Jilliana can hear.  We still don't know how much.  I still think that if I had not been told that she had hearing loss I would not be even looking in that direction.  It is still too early for us to tell.  I have noticed that when she repeats a word she seems unable to say the word exactly.  We don't know if that is due to just being here 4 weeks or if it is because she is three, or if she has a speech problem or a hearing problem.  Again, I am looking for something to be wrong and would never have suspected if we had not been told this was the reason for her disruption.  We think she is off the charts smart.  She hears a tune once and can be heard singing it later.  The other day she heard a tune on the ipad with Mike "This Old Man" and then she ran and found the Fisher Price little bus that plays the same tune but with different words.

We only went to lunch and on two rides as it was very busy due to Spring Break.  I guess you can tell the new tune that Jilliana cannot quit singing.

It's A Small World
She loved it

Her first beignet in New Orleans Square, I should have got a picture.  It was shaped like Mickey!

Some of Jilliana's new words:
Toilet Paper
Baby Bottle
Jilliana (She refers to herself as both Ji Hong and Jilliana)  We love the way she says her name.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Busy is the word!

I am so sorry about posting!  We have been very busy as I am sure all of you are.  We are doing great!  Jilliana continues to amaze us.  I have many pictures to post and so many posts that I wrote in my head, but when I lay down with Jilliana at night to put her to sleep, this Mommy falls asleep.  And by the time I wake up and realize I am sleeping with a foot in my mouth and a lamb making whale sounds under my head, I am too tired to go downstairs again and post.  But I am committed to keeping this going for my daughters, so that they will have an account of some part of their lives.  God continues to bless our family in so many ways and I continue to learn the lessons that he wants to teach me from my daughters.

 Jilliana loves playing dolls.  I bought her an asian baby doll at Christmas from FAO Schwartz but she prefers Emma's American Doll Bitty Baby.  Emma has been really good about sharing it with her.  She loves the eyes and how they open and close.  She loves to fix the hair on the snap dolls.  She can put a "tippy tail" (as rubber bands are called at our house) in.  She takes good care of the baby and loves to give it a baby bottle.

Which reminds me.   One night I was laying Jilliana down for bed and she had Emma's baby.  She had found this pretend doll bottle and started giving it to the baby.  She then took her finger and pointed to her mouth.  It hit me then that she was asking for a bottle.  When we went to get Jilliana we were talking to the guide before we got her and she said that Jilliana would probably take a bottle.   I looked at Mike and he looked at me and we both said, "At three?"  She said that she probably took one at night.  I did not bring any bottle stuff at all.  But then we forgot about that when the Director from the orphanage did not say anything about Jilliana taking a bottle.  So when she pointed at her mouth this conversation came back to me.

The next day I found an old bottle of Emma's and I thought I would see if Jilliana would take it.  I just put a little water in it and at nap time I sat down with her and pulled out the bottle.  She got the biggest smile on her face and just cuddled into my lap and took the bottle like she had been taking one all the time.  I know that many would not even do this for a three year old, but the extra bonding that giving a bottle to her will allow will far outweigh any negatives.

So that day I went out and bought three new bottles.  That night I gave her one with just a little milk and she just laid in my arms and played with the bottle.  She wanted me to hold it for her and the way she acted was as if I had been giving her a bottle since birth.  I only plan to give it to her at night and in fact it  has not been every night due to us being away.  But those moments are priceless and I know so fleeting. I will take them and enjoy them as much as she will and at the same time I hope to build a stronger bond.  

 Meilynn and Jilliana playing together
 So cute!
 Emma trying out a ballet class.  We have been trying to decide what activities the girls want to take.  With four we need to limit it to one class plus I need to sign them up for swimming.  This was a trial class.
 Lily in the pink leggings and Meilynn in the pink.

 Stretching  Emma and Meilynn
 Meilynn getting help
 We had our Church directory pictures taken.  We decided to have the girls wear their Chinese Dresses.  We had to wake Jilliana up from her nap so not so happy.
 The sign of a busy family.  We got to the pictures and discovered that Jilliana had on two right shoes.  Apparently I had saved these from Emma and Meilynn, but I saved two right shoes and gave the two left ones to the Goodwill.
 Doll time
I love this little face!