Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas!

My daughter's first Christmas...magical, breathtaking, emotional. More than once I found myself giving my head a shake, the emotion would billow inside me, and my eyes would well with tears. What a special day, and what a difference to be able to celebrate Christmas with a child, my child. It totally changes one's perspective. I love it.

My parents joined us for breakfast in the morning so they could witness Keira's first stocking experience as well as see her reaction to a couple of the intentionally "not wrapped" gifts under the tree. Later in the day, after her nap, we joined my brother's family at my parents' house for supper and family gifts. What fun we had with a four year old, an almost two year old (Keira), and a four month old. Would you believe we have yet to open gifts under our own tree? I found it was simply too much to do all at once so have been spreading the gifts out and letting Keira enjoy her new toys and books etc. in stages. She must have been a good little girl this year...she has been a wee bit spoiled. ;-)

Merry Christmas to you and yours! We hope everyone had a joyous holiday season and wish you all the best for 2013.

Yup - her stocking is bigger than she is! We have Oma to thank for that!
By far her favourite toy...a ride on cow I ordered from the UK and had shipped here by a friend. This girl loves her cows!
A table a chairs just her size.
She very methodically opened each and every gift in her stocking and handed Oma the wrapping.

She was absolutely mesmerized by this musical snow globe given to her from my sister-in-laws sister-in-law. Say that quickly ten times! My girl loves anything musical.
Her four year old cousin picked out this hat for her. Keira loved it and kept putting it on and taking it off all evening.

Thank you, Oma and Opa for my cow beanbag chair. It's the perfect place to lounge...especially after a long day!

Friday, December 14, 2012

November 1, 2012

Yes, I'm stepping back in time again!

A year ago on November 1, 2011, I saw my daughter's face for the very first time after an almost seven year wait. A total of seven years because of waiting lists, paperwork and, ultimately, once I had a log in date, major slow downs in China.

November 1, 2011 will forever be embedded in my brain. The week leading up to it was a painful one. I was informed a whole week ahead of time that my referral had arrived at my agency but until it was checked and translated, no information would be shared. Oh, the agony! There were some emails and phone calls and a whole lot of frustration but that's the past. Tuesday November 1 did arrive and with it came the long awaited news that has forever changed my life.

On my way to work that day there was a SPECTACULAR sunrise, simply stunning. It was a big bright orange ball of flaming sun, the largest I had ever seen driving into work. The kind of sunrise that takes your breath away. I wish I had a picture. As I left the main highway I glanced to my left and saw a large, majestic deer running through the cornfield. Really? My heart literally began to pound. Two incredible things. Signs as far as I was concerned. Signs that my waiting was about to come to an end. They (whoever they are) say things come in threes. What do you suppose the third thing would be that day?

I knew deep down it was going to be an amazing day and I was finally going to see my daughter's face. I knew it was going to be awfully difficult to concentrate at work. I knew this was going to be the day and it was. Mid morning I received the call, the call that has changed my life. I had a nine and a half month old daughter waiting for me (although she didn't know it at the time!) in Jiangxi Province, China. If all went according to plan, I'd be traveling there in early January to bring her home. I had to wait another couple of hours for the photos to arrive in my inbox. When they did, the almost seven years of waiting literally melted away. I had a daughter. She was no longer just a dream and a name. She was a little being with an inquisitive expression behind her eyes and I was her mother.

Walking Revisited

As mentioned a couple of posts ago, Keira began walking in August and it has been go, go, go ever since! She has not looked back and will walk at every opportunity she can. She loves to push her stroller or the shopping cart, stopping to explore this and that along the way. She has the toddler run down pat and can climb and slide with the best of them at the playground. She is currently working on mastering the hop. It is absolutely hilarious to watch!

She has such energy and spunk this daughter of mine, and a ton of determination and strong will to go with it. I look at how far she has come in the past eleven months and am in awe of this little being. She makes my days brighter.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Fall Fun!

Yes, once again it's been awhile. I have a wee bit of an excuse...I'm having difficulties with blogger, it's google actually. Suddenly, I haven't been able to log into blogger. I get an odd admin message stating that my "IT administrator is managing my accounts and that blogger hasn't been activated". WHAT?!? Where on earth did this come from? There is no IT administrator, never has been. Anyway - I'm still having problems. For some reason I was able to get in today using a different computer....go figure. The other night I couldn't access blogger no matter what I tried.

Pics are limited as most are on another computer and I'm too lazy to put them on a memory stick right at this moment. I know however, that some of you check in or get notified by email you go! Keira enjoying the Fall weather and leaves. These were taken back in October at age 21 months. My how she has changed!!! She, as you can tell from the photos, continues to be quite the character. She is not only walking, walking walking, she is running. She natters constantly and has a vocabulary of approximately 50 words with new words popping up daily. She is bright, full of energy, and has a ton of spunk! She is also very good at pushing the boundaries and constantly has me on my toes! She plays hard, eats well, sleeps soundly, and loves big. She is an absolute blessing. People say I light up when I see her. It's not hard to see why. I'm happy to say she lights up when she sees me lucky am I to be this little girl's mommy?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Back Peddling - Learning to Walk

On August 15th, just three days before turning 19 months old, Keira took her first solo steps. From the traditional crawl which started on Mother's Day in May, to pulling herself up on furniture in June, to walking behind walkers and with hands in July, suddenly she was taking three or four steps on her own. Exactly a month later, on September 15th, she figured out how to get up from the floor to her feet rather than using an anchor of a chair, a table, or Mom's legs. She has been a'motoring ever since.

Just recently she has been borderline know the run I mean. The typical toddler run with the giggle attached where they think they're running REALLY fast but really they aren't. Meanwhile, because they're giggling so much, everything else, balance, stability etc. goes out the window and inevitably Keira will end up in a heap on the floor, hopefully laughing and not crying! Right now as long as all is well, I offer a up a "kaboom" and make light of it so she gets back up and keeps going. She's very much like the Energizer Bunny!

For now enjoy some early "learning to walk" pics. I bought some second hand walking wings. They were terrific. They helped Keira with her balance and gave her the feeling of independence. Plus I wasn't tugging on her little arms and pulling them out of their sockets. ;-) She loved feeling as though she was walking on her own. I promise to post some more recent pics soon. These pictures were taken in August approximately a week prior to her starting to walk on her own. Since then it's been go, go, go! She hasn't looked back!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Beach

What would summer be without a trip to the beach? Oma and I loaded the cousins into the car in early August and off we went. The girls absolutely loved it. The day was picture perfect for sun, sand, water and a picnic lunch. It was Keira's first beach experience. Two of her favourite past times - a GIANT sandbox and water - rolled into one. What's not to love? The summer has gone by way too fast. We are definitely going to have to make an effort to get to the beach more often in the future. It was my kind of day. The girls thought so too!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Summer Time and the Living is Easy...

I love the summer. It's as simple as that. I love the weather. I love the clothes (or lack thereof). I love the food. I love the activities. Does it get any better? We've had a great summer so far. It's been easy and relaxing. Swimming lessons, bike rides, splash pads, sandboxes, paddling pools, walks, spending time with friends. Nothing fancy....just being. I love it. That's the way it should be! Our only glitch was multiple A/C difficulties resulting in just shy of four weeks of no A/C. Not really a great summer for that, but we managed. Luckily we had a one week stretch during the breakdown period where the weather was more reasonable, plus for the most part the evenings did cool off somewhat....somewhat. It's back up and running and was covered under warrantee, whew! All is good. We're enjoying this season. For Keira it's the season of learning to walk. It's great she can be barefoot and in lightweight clothing or in the water or in the sand. Lot's of fun! She is loving this season too!