Thursday, November 11, 2010

Panda Girl

For Halloween I wanted to find Violet a ladybug costume. After searching the second-hand stores with no luck, Tori found one at Walmart. It was more than I had wanted to pay, but did look cute. Then that very night I saw a panda bear costume at Value Village. We thought it might be a little big on Violet for this year but bought it for another time.
When we got home we tried both costumes on Violet. I realized that the ladybug would require turtleneck leggings and definitely a hat for our cold Canadian climate. (Yes, after some wonderfully warm days it SNOWED on Halloween.)

We thought the ladybug costume was very cute. Don't you just love the 'tude that Violet was sporting?!? She really seemed to love the costume. I think part of the reason was because it felt like a dance costume to her. (Tori had taken dance last year and performed "Hot Hot Hot" at the dance showcase with her class. Since then, Violet always says, "Hot Hot" when she feels like dancing!) So I knew that she thought it was a dancing outfit when she exclaimed "Hot Hot" after she looked in the mirror.

Then we tried the Panda costume on.


...what a cutie!

So...after much consideration I returned the ladybug costume and decided to go with the Panda for this year. Violet was a little upset when I carried the ladybug dress out to the van. "My Hot Hot!" she complained. (It almost made me take it back upstairs. Almost.) But I think it was a good choice. She made an adorable Panda Bear.

At the last minute...literally...Tori changed her costume idea so that she could be a tiger. I was wrapping black electrical tape around her rapid speed so we could head out the door.

Even I got in on the fun and had an elephant mask on. We agreed that my "ears" were small enough to pass as an Asian elephant.
So for Halloween we were all animals from Asia.

Some times great ideas come together at the last minute!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Family Photo Shoot with Aunt Joni

Violet's Photo Shoot with Aunt Joni

Well, I've been asked if I ever update my blog and my answer has been - "Not yet". So here it goes.

Violet is doing tremendously well. She is speaking English great. Well, as great as a two-year old. Now that she is stringing a few words together it takes a bit more effort to understand everything. The first that I noticed her say several words together was when we were getting ready to leave the house - probably back in June. Tori can downstairs with a new pair of shoes on. Violet looked down at Tori's feet and said, "Oh, Tori. Nice shoes." Ah, a girl after my own heart!
When we first came home from China we noticed that Violet had a tendency to hit when she was upset. We were thankful that it didn't take long to teach her not to do that. The last week or so I've noticed that now when she is upset she hits herself. I'm trying to teach her that hitting is wrong - no matter who gets hit! Of course, she also will slap her herself on the face for amusement, too! She'll do it to try to get people to laugh. What a girl!
Violet is a go-getter, that's for sure. I haven't really noticed anything that she's afraid of. She meets all new things with such exuberance. I love it. Grampie and Grammie now have a spring-horse at their house. They had bought it for their oldest grandchild - who is now 17. Violet gets on that horse and really bounces!

Violet is also a great little swimmer. We bought a swimsuit that has a life-jacket built right in. The first few times in the pool, she'd hold on to your hands, but she didn't cling. Now she gets around like a pro! I highly recommend the swimsuit/life jacket to other parents. The only negative thing is that it is a little tricky to get off when it is wet. For a while it took two of us to undress her - one to pick her up and the other to pull off the swimsuit. I can do it now by myself, but Violet will still say, "Help me." when I start to take it off her. (That's what I had said before when I wanted someone to pick her up for me.)

Violet had all of her blood work completed. That was an episode. I used emla patches to make the blood work easier on her and it ended up making it harder. I guess she has tiny veins to begin with and the emla patches shrunk the veins even more. Well, at least it is over and done with now.

Violet received her permanent residency card the first week of July. We had to take pictures of her and Charlie together because they were both dressed in their Canada hats! Cute cousins.

Currently we're in the process of having her name legally changed - apparently it needs to be done before we can apply for citizenship in her Canadian name. Thankfully, it was not too expensive to do, but it was a bit of a run-around. Once we have her name change paperwork we'll be applying for Canadian citizenship for her. We've already got the forms - just need to get her pictures done for it. So it will be sent in right away.

Since it has been so many months since my last update, I really could go on and on with stories. But they say a picture is worth a thousand words. So I'll just post pictures for you to enjoy.

Picking flowers from the garden - May 2010

Violet's dedication at church - May 30

Vacation in Prince Edward Island June 2010

First Canada Day Celebrations - July 1, 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter Time

Sweet Girl
Tori & Violet with Matching Easter Outfits

We had a beautiful Easter. The weather was fabulous - best Easter weather I can ever remember having in New Brunswick!
We started off the celebrations with a family cook-out on Good Friday. My whole family was there, plus good friends of ours arrived from Quebec just in time for the outing. Violet loved the Easter egg hunt that we had.
On Saturday Roger, Violet and I took 4 girls to town for some shopping. We actually dropped them off at the mall and then we looked for a fridge since ours seems to be on its last legs.
On Sunday we went to church and the girls looked adorable in their matching outfits (Tori's was a skirt and Violet's was a dress). They were a big hit. Then it was Easter "brunch" at the church. Home to Grammie's to say "Goodbye" to the Maltais family. Violet had her first cone of ice cream. We watched as Tori went for a boat ride with DJ and Grampie. Violet looked like she wanted to join them, so Grampie let her in the boat after they had "docked". The small size life jackets are here at our house. We need to take one for our next visit so Violet gets to go for a ride, too, before the flood water recedes.
Sunday night we went to the community Easter concert that my sister was singing in. Violet was very friendly and greeted all her neighbours. Then it was home for another Easter egg hunt. Our girl sure loves chocolate.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Settling In

We all seem to be adjusting okay to home life here.

On Friday we made a quick trip to town - to pick up some groceries and for Roger to take paperwork in for his parental leave. Violet did exceptionally well in the car seat. I'm very happy about that.

We had company stop by Friday evening. My sister, Jolie, and her kids were here for a bit. My nephew, DJ, stayed for the evening. We were eating supper when they arrived and Violet was quite shy. She held her head very low. They waiting in the livingroom while we finished eating. Then my brother, Dave, and his family came. Violet warmed up to DJ and Charlie and got down on the floor playing with them and Tori. My biggest surprise of the night was when Violet gave Aunti Joni a goodbye kiss. It was so sweet!

DJ and Violet had a bath together and there was lots of splashing and lots of laughter. It was so cute when DJ was prompting her to say words and then exclaimed, "I should have brought some M&Ms!" When the girls came back after youth group Violet played shy again by holding her hands over her eyes. She fell asleep on my lap like that.

Then she was awake from midnight to 4 am. Thankfully, she was able to fall back to sleep. Around 2:30 Roger got up to put some wood in the fire, Violet saw the glow of the cell-phone as it was charging on the nightstand. She picked it up and held it to her ear and started jabbering away. When Roger came back up she was sitting on the bed using the nightstand as a table. She had a hand full of business cards and it looked like she was dealing them out. Roger commented, "She looks like a card shark." I told him to just wait, she'd soon call in her bet. And sure enough, she picked up the cellphone and talked away on it.

Saturday was my dad's 70th birthday. We went to their place for a party. Violet was quite quiet to begin with, but then warmed up to everyone. She even fed Aunty Jan raisins. She loved playing with Lindsay, Candice and Grammie with the coloring book and stickers. She fell asleep before we left. She woke up when we put her in the car seat and cried for a bit. Then fell back to sleep. She stayed asleep when we got home and I held her on the couch. My cousin popped in for a quick visit. Violet stayed asleep. She slept through my supper preparations, but we decided we'd better wake her up so her nighttime sleep wouldn't be messed up. That didn't go very well. She cried as I put her in the high chair. I thought she would stop when I held her, but she didn't. I ended up taking her upstairs on the bed (so she wouldn't hurt herself when she thrashed) and she cried (aka - screamed) for at least 45 minutes. I tried holding her, laying her down, rubbing her back...nothing seemed to soothe her. When Roger came up he said, "It almost sounds like she's saying "Pick me up"." So I picked her up again and she stopped crying. She was laying there with her eyes closed and Roger lightly kissed her on the head. She started screaming again. Within a few more minutes she had calmed down enough to sleep. That was around 7:30 pm. It is now quarter to 3 in the morning, and she's still sleeping. I had to get up and get something to eat since I missed supper! Now, I'm heading back to bed to see if I can get back to sleep. Good night, everyone.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Home again is good to be home.

We left the hotel in Beijing at noon on the 25th. Our guide then took us to the Pearl Market. It was similar in fashion to the silk market, only on a much smaller scale. The top floor was "authentic and guaranteed" pearls. Very expensive. There were pictures of presidents and first ladies from around the world that shopped there. The other levels had a variety of goods - jewelry, clothes, purses, electronics, etc. I was able to get a camera battery for my camera and I bought a purple purse Dolce & Gabana (sp?) that I'll probably use as a "trendy" diaper bag.

Then we went to a Chinese pharmacy for a lecture on Chinese medicine. They offered us a free health inspection. I wasn't going to do it, but then when the doctor was commenting on chest pains, back pains, internal body temperature (just by checking the patients' pulse and looking at their tongue) I thought maybe if he checks my pulse and looks at my tongue he can give me a Chinese prescription for ingrown toenails! But, no luck. My diagnosis...I'm overweight. And I bet he really didn't need to look at my tongue or take my pulse to determine that! I opted not to get the pills that they offered. :P

Then it was off to the airport. We arrived quite early, but it was good that we did because it took us a long time to check in.

Violet was awake for the first three of hours on the flight. I tried to get her to fall asleep, but it wasn't working. So I tried a little trick. I got Roger to come sit beside her while I went to the bathroom. She started crying even before I left and I could hear her the whole time I was gone (not long). But when I came back she snuggled in and fell right to sleep. (The mean part is that I didn't really NEED to use the washroom.) She then slept for the next 7 hours of the flight and was awake for the last two. She didn't really cry at all and was charming the passengers around us.

Then in Toronto we got through Custons and Immigration. We had to rush to make our connecting flight to Fredericton, but we did it. (Not without some hassle at the security check when Roger forgot his briefcase and had to rush back to find it and go through a huge extra security check.)

Violet slept through the take off and most of the flight. She woke up after we got back on the ground. Family was waiting to meet us at the airport and it was SO good to see everyone. Violet was quite quiet.

Then we were on our way home - with a quick stop for supper at McDonalds. Violet likes McDonalds fries.

When we got home we discovered that Violet DOES NOT like our cat. This morning was even worse. Violet SCREAMS if the cat comes near her. But other than that she is settling in well. We were all able to get some sleep last night.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


My grown-up China doll

My baby China doll

Last Update?

I'm thinking that this will be my last blog entry from China. Today we are spending the rest of the day at the hotel - probably a visit to the pool later on. Tomorrow we will check out at noon. Then go to a couple of markets and a Chinese pharmacy for a lecture on Chinese medicine. That will give us something to do to fill the time until we have to be at the airport. Our flight leaves Beijing at 6:50 pm - that would be 7:50 am Atlantic Time. Our flight is scheduled to arrive at the Fredericton airport at 11:59 pm. Roger says that anyone who is interested in being up at midnight and would like to see us arrive home is welcome to come.

This morning we went to the Silk Market here in Beijing. It used to be an open air market, but with the Olympics in 2008 they put it into a building.There were 7 floors...that we know off. The stores were similar in size to what you would see at an exhibition for a booth. They were probably only 7 feet wide by 9 feet deep (some were bigger). And the aisle was quite narrow. We were not able to walk 3 side by side. Roger was pushing Violet in her stroller and I was holding her hand. Tori walked behind me.

Ray gave us some advice before we arrived. He said that there were three prices - the sticker price, the price they would settle for for foreigners and the price they would settle for for Chinese people. He said that whatever price they quoted first to offer 50 to 75% less than that. Never pay more than 50% than what they quote. I remember my days in Africa and bartering. I had loved it. So I was ready to see if I still had the "gift".

My first purchase I was quoted 400 RMB. I paid 40 for it. :D I still had the touch. The trick is to walk away.

As you are walking down the aisles the merchants are calling out to you. Tori said that she prefers shopping at the mall over the silk market.

My favourite quote of the day was when a merchant said to Roger, "I can see that your wife likes a bargain." Oh, baby, if that ain't the truth!

We were able to get some Chinese style clothing for Roger and myself. Tori got a very pretty silk shirt. And we got a few clothing articles for Violet, too. But it wasn't all traditional clothing. There was a lot of brand name clothing - like Columbia jackets. I'm not big on brand names, so I didn't even recognize a lot of them.

Tori was thinking that I should have blinders on.

When we were finished we didn't see Ray and Fiona. So we decided to head back on our own. The thing I was most nervous about was crossing the streets. But, obviously, we made it back!

Thank you everyone for your support on this amazing journey of ours. We are so pleased that we will soon be home with our family complete. We'd appreciate your prayers for a safe journey home and that we'll all be able to rest on the flight. See you soon!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

More Pictures

Peking Duck Meal
In the Long Corridor at the Summer Palace

Someday Mom

As a girl I had a common dream, to be a mom someday.

My baby would have eyes of blue and hair the hue of hay.

But now my dreams have been transformed. New visions fill my head.

Now the tresses that I long to stroke are raven black instead.

And in my dreams those eyes are not so big or blue or round.

Now in my dreams they're almond shape and colored cocoa brown.

And in my dream my arms can stretch across enormous seas.

They reach half-way around the world and hold you close to me.

As you grow in your mother's womb, carefully knit together,

Your also growing in my heart, where you will stay forever.

And in my dreams the moment that your mother says good-bye,

I'll be right there to comfort you and hold you as you cry.

Our features may not look alike; we're different as can be.

But still I know the Father has created you for me.

And though I've not yet seen your face, or held your tiny hands,

And though we're half a world apart in very different lands.

I'll be right there to get you just as soon as God allows.

But til he says the time is right I give to you this vow.

I'll pray for your protection every night on bended knee

for God will hold you in his arms, until you're home with me!