Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy Birthday Jia Jia!!!

Rylee has now learned the Happy Birthday song and has been singing it to her sister all day! Happy Birthday Hanna, we love you so much!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Christmas morning started with the most beautiful sunrise. I peeked in at the girls and they were still sleeping, so I headed to the kitchen to start the coffee and Cinnamon rolls. Before I could even get the rolls started I heard soft footsteps on the stairs. Hanna came first with Rylee trailing behind her. They spotted the presents and Rylee said "OOOOOOOOHHH Bopen bopen??? (open) They quick woke up Daddy so they could get started!
The girls had so much fun with Rylee copying everything that Hanna said at first. It wasn't long before Rylee would open a present with "WOOOOW dis awesome!!!" (socks) or "OOOOH COOL!!! (books) It was so very adorable and we all enjoyed every minute of it.

Rylee's favorite gifts were her baby doll stuff and everything that Hanna got! Hanna's favorites were her horse barn, tack and karaoke machine! The day was spent playing with their new toys, singing and dancing. When I tucked the girls in for the night Hanna said "Mom, do you know what the best thing about Christmas was?" I asked her what it was. She said "It was having a sister to share it with!". I am so proud of her for opening her heart to her new sister and trying so hard to be a good sister for Rylee! I am so very grateful to spend this Christmas with my beautiful girls and my fabulous husband...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Early Intervention Screening

We had the early intervention screening this week and Rylee blew them away! I was not sure if she would just grunt at them or if she would cooperate. Usually she is very quiet around people that she doesn't know and most times she will just grunt at them instead of communicate. She did great! She passed the vision and hearing, in fact she had the nurse laughing with the faces she made during the hearing test. She wouldn't say if she was hearing the sound, but there was no doubt when she was hearing it because of the faces she would make - you would have thought they were blasting her with a fog horn!

She repeated everything they said and laughed out loud at them several times. She built a tower with the blocks, sorted them by color and counted them in English. She remembered some body parts (she mixed up hair and hand and mouth and foot) and tried really hard to understand them. When it was time to leave she went around and hugged each of them and said "Bye Bye". So, there will be no early intervention services for her :)

English words and sentences she has learned and uses at 6 weeks home:

Dis one!
Mama go bye bye, Baba, Gigi, Xiao Bao?
Scrumpy (Scrappy)
Mama do
UP pup pup pup! (wants to be carried)
Whata (water)
Scuse you Xiao Bao
Bless you
Love you (sometimes she mixes these up and says "love you" when someone sneezes)
Bata (bath)
Hip Perry (for Hip Hop Harry - her favorite show)
Jingle Bells
Pleasa (please)
Tank You
Washy washy hands
Brush teetha
Xiao Bao do it!
Mama be careful Xiao Bao
Mama utt ooh!
Mama good job (when I give her something to eat that she likes)
Mama Xiao Bao good job!
Mamamamamamamamammamamamamamamamamamamamamamaaaaaa! (pretty much all the time)
Xiao Bao good girl
Xiao Bao girl, not boy NOOOOOOOO!
One, two, three, four.. sixa, sweven, eighta!
Oh my gootness (as in "look how much dirt came from the Kitchen floor!)
Baba home!
trow way (throw away)
Bub buy, Hello, Bub buy (for goodby on the phone)
How You?

Things we have learned about her in the first 8 weeks:

Loves to laugh, dance and scream!
Thinks we should think it is funny when she hits herself - we don't, but she just keeps trying.
Enjoys brushing her teeth
Only drinks water
Does a perfect imitation of a crying baby - WHAAAAAAA WHAAAAAA WHAAAAAAAAAAA!
Mushes her food with her tongue instead of chewing
Has a tremendous set of lungs
Has great rhythm
Does a perfect somersault
Gives great hugs
Stores stuff under her pillow and in the pillow cases
Loves to play in the water (tub)
Likes to take a shower
She is very stubborn!
Likes to pretend she is a puppy
Learns quickly
Has a great sense of humor
Adores her sister
Likes horses
Thinks everything should be tasted, but has learned to ask first.
Likes to climb - especially on Mama or Baba!
Reverts to a penguin walk when she is out of her comfort zone
Has a happy personality
Likes to do art and craft projects
Loves babies
Loves to snuggle
Like to be entertaining
Is loved beyond words!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sorry for the delay...

but posting after the girls go to bed has been a little bit harder since we got home! Anyway I managed to capture this face and wanted to share it. This (below) is Rylee's disgusted look that she gives us after we tell her no about something she thinks she should be able to do which always comes after a few clucks of her tongue! I tell her that she cannot cluck and scowl at Mommy, but it really is just so darn cute!

It is amazing that I haven't squished Rylee yet! I have started calling her stealth baby because she can move so quietly! She is directly behind me or almost under me at almost all times. I might think that I have moved from the counter to the trash can without her following (because I didn't hear anything) but sure enough I am continuously having to jump over her or around her. She can sneak downstairs at night and end up beside my bed without making any audible sounds to be picked up by a very sound sensitive baby monitor that is placed right beside her bed! And yes - when I come close to stepping on her she clucks at me!!!

The First Dentist Visit!

Look at these pearly whites! She had her first dentist appointment and the were able to remove the remaining stains that we were unable to get off and she has NO cavities! Pretty amazing for someone that didn't know what to do with a toothbrush! She did so good and laid there while they scraped on her teeth for about 30 minutes. She didn't cry, barley fidgeted and came out smiling - what a trooper!

Christmas Cookie Day and The Making of a Gingerbread House

Rylee was not sure at first what we were doing, but she quickly caught on. She decorated one side of the house and Hanna did the other. Hanna was all about putting the biggest candies on as quickly as possible and Rylee wanted everything perfectly matched and evenly straight on her side. The house came out beautifully and Rylee squealed with delight when she discovered that the icing was edible! It is amazing that any of the candies made it on to the house after she tasted the first one. She does love the American candy!

We put the Christmas tree up and the lights on one night after Rylee was in bed. When she got up in the morning and we came down the stairs - she spotted the tree right away. She had the same reaction as she does to anything new and pretty - her mouth dropped open and she let out a big raspy, delighted "WOOOOOOWA!!!!". She is enjoying seeing the lights on all the houses and the decorations everywhere and she really loves to try to sing Jingle Bells and wants to listen over and over. It is so adorable that I am going to have to try to get it on tape and post it next time! I am sure that experiencing Christmas through her eyes is going to be so much fun!

First Trip to Build-A-Bear

Rylee picked out the brightest, pinkest bear available for her choice. She kept trying to grab the fully stuffed one off the shelf to replace her flat bear. I received many tongue clicks for not letting her have the prestuffed bear and she kept showing me how flat her bear was in comparison. Finally we were in line close enough for her to see someone else stuffing their animal and so she stopped clucking and giving me the disgusted - what kind of Mommy makes their child get a totally flat bear - look!

Once she got her bear stuffed, she thought she had better tell Hanna how it is done. She had so much fun picking out an outfit for her bear. She finally settled on Christmas boy pj's and a High School Musical outfit.

She has named her bear Precious and is taking very good care of her. Precious is obviously very treasured and I couldn't help but think as I watched her that this most likely is the very first thing that she was able to completely pick out, make and claim as her own. Precious has gone everywhere with us and has a complete eat, sleep and play schedule. Rylee clucks at me each day when I again tell her "no, you cannot give Precious a bath..."

How the eating is going...

Rylee is finding more and more things that she likes to eat. She continues to favor the super hot and spicy foods! We have made very little progress - but continue to work on Rylee's eating style. She loudly slurps all her food, smacks her lips, chomps and burps continuously throughout the meal! She look at us like we should be impressed and I told Pat that maybe she is complementing my cooking - lol!!! She will now say "Excuse you Xiao Bao" after she burps or "Mama say excuse me Xiao Bao" and then she laughs. We have been trying to show her to keep her lips closed while she is chewing, so tonight during dinner she would take a bit of food and then grab her lips and hold them closed while she chewed. Then she gives us a look like - "geeesh, these people make me do the weirdest things!". It is so hard to keep a straight face through all of this because she is just so very cute!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Good Days vs. Bad Days

It is really amazing to watch Rylee try to work out what her place here is. She has some really, really good days where she seems so comfortable, happy and affectionate. The best days are usually followed by a really bad day. She seems to be struggling with whether to jump in and accept her new life and family or whether she should hold back, protect herself and just observe. We get longer and longer glimpses of a lovable, affectionate, fun loving girl.

One of the hardest things so far has been for her to learn the concept of sharing. We have really had to work on this because she really felt that if we gave her something to eat say out of a box, then the entire box was hers and had a major tantrum if anyone else had some. If I cooked something she liked, the entire pan should be hers and we all should eat only the things she did not like. She cried inconsolably one day for at least 40 minutes because I gave her some pringles out of a can and then gave Hanna some out of the same can. So last night at dinner we made a big production of sharing all the food at dinner. She tried to gather everything to her side of the table, but we had each type of food only on one plate. She studied us sharing with each other and finally started helping herself to the things that were arranged around the table. By the end of dinner she was happily plucking food off of everyones dishes (with her fingers), but she had to still think very hard about if she would allow anyone to have slices of banana from the bowel that was in front of her. So I am not sure, but we may have just taught her that it is fine to stick her hands in and help herself to everyone else's food whenever she feels like it... We'll see...fortunately we have a few more weeks to work on this before we will be sharing meals with other people :)

Since we have been home Pat and I have been the lucky recipients of elaborate hand made invitations each night for a special dance performance, complete with announcers (pictured above) and newly created dance moves for us to ooh and aah over! Here are some photos from these nightly adventures: