Sunday, August 27, 2006


Halloween Preview!

She's gonna be gorgeous!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Her boyfriend

I was talking on the phone today to my mom and she asked me..."Does Lydia really hold hands and hug this little boy or are you making that up?" Like I would traumatize my hubby on purpose...oh yeah, I would...but that's not the point, the point is, there really is a Dalton and they really do love each other. They hug, they hold hands, they kiss and they look out for each other bigtime. Dalton was gone when Lydia was bitten, he had been gone sick for a few days...and when he returned, Lydia felt more at ease. Ironically, so did I. Not that I want my little girl to be the princess in the tower type who needs someone to protect her, I want her to take care of herself...but it's always good when you've got friends to watch your back!

Please forgive the quality of the picture, it's a photo of a photo.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

It's much better to be the chewer than it is to be the chewie.

Especially when you're chewing on doughnuts!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Someday's being a mommy is really tough

A little boy bit Lydia's face. Tore a chunk right out of her cheek. Not huge, but big enough...about the size of a pencil eraser. The doctor said as long as it doesn't get infected it shouldn't scar, but we have to keep a close watch on it as bites from humans are more dangerous than bites from animals.

I wanted to cry and scream when I saw her. She had blood all over her shirt and her face was swollen until about an hour ago. But I had to keep calm cause she's already freaked out because a little boy knocked her over and pinned her down simply because she had a cookie (it was hers) and he tried to take it from her when his was gone and she wouldn't give hers up.

The daycare is freaking out big time. They say they've never had anything like this happen, and while I believe them their repeated apologies don't make her face any better.

Russell is mad, I'm upset...and Lydia, well she's tough little girl who keeps pointing to her face and saying boo boo over and over and insists we put bandaids all over her body, but who won't let another child near her.

Me, I'm a mess.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Harry Potter, eat your heart out!!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Look what I can do!!

So for the last few weeks Lydia has been telling us when it's time to change her diaper. A big deal as she was the child who would sit in her own poo for hours if we let her. But even more recently (the last few days) Lydia has been telling us when she's about to use her Russell and I decided to break out the potty we had got her for her birthday early. And tonight when she told us she was about to use the potty we put her on the potty and about 60 seconds later VIOLA' our first real potty! I'm not saying she's potty trained...but it's the first step into a whole new world of independance for our girl. It's strange how emotional and joy stirring something as simple and mundane a little urine in a plastic pot can make you feel: a lot of happy, a little of sad and a whole bunch of proud.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The$64,000 Question

What was Lydia doing last night as she slept to get her sleeper looking like this in the morning??

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The colour of her skin

When we were in China, almost a year ago, it was evident Lydia looked different than many other Chinese. Most of these differences are subtle to our western eye, but evident to many of the people we met in China. While we were in Guangzhou one woman working at the pearl market even excitedly pointed to Lydia and repeated over and over "Guangxi Baby" as she called over her coworker to look at Lydia as we passed.

While we know Lydia is from a Chinese ethnic minority, we haven't really thought much about it since China. We did some research before we left for China, but parenthood has been overwhelming and we've not done much more exploring about the Zhuang since coming home.

Recently though we went to the Nashville zoo and while there we ran into a large group who adopted about a year before we did from different agencies who shared a common DTC and formed a support group. The children all had darker skin and hair than Lydia. They all had that familiar Han look and they all commented on how different Lydia looked and how pale she was. It reminded me that not only is my daughter Chinese, my daughter is Zhuang and how important it is she know about their sub-culture. So, while we continue to research and embrace China in general Russell and I are now on a Zhuang quest of sorts. We are looking for information about the Zhuang to share with Lydia. We feel it's important she know who she is so she can love herself as much as we love her.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Clowning around with Playdough

Well, at least she isn't eating it. :-)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

What going to "Build a Bear" is really worth!

Raven haired wig...$5.50

"Authentic" Disney Princess dress...$15

Monkey that you stuff yourself...$22

Baby comes home only to play with the box...PRICELESS

Monday, August 07, 2006

Build a Bear

Build a Bear isn't just where you build a toy, you build a friend. Here is Lydia's first Build a Bear experience. She was excited at first, but by the end, the noise was getting to her. We picked a monkey friend, since Lydia was born in the year of the monkey and dressed it in Snow White clothes as they were the most colourful and Lydia's favourite!

Lydia pushed the peddle (with a little help) herself to stuff her Build A Bear monkey.

Here she is handing the associate who was assisting in the building the heart she picked out for her monkey.

Once your new friend is built, you give them a bath.

After you dress your friend you give them a name. When I asked Lydia what she wanted to name her, she signed Wiggles (her favourite TV show) so Wiggles was named!

Lydia with Daddy and Wiggles

Farewell My Concubine

A Partial Film Review by James Berardinelli

Farewell My Concubine spans fifty-three years, presenting the lives of two men against the historical backdrop of a country in upheaval. Initially banned in China but shown to international acclaim, Chen Kaige's film is one of the year's true masterpieces. Deserving of its award at Cannes and of its prominent position in 1993's New York Film Festival, Farewell My Concubine is a motion picture experience that few will soon forget after leaving the theater.

In 1924 Beijing, the youthful Douzi and Shitou are brought together under the thumb of the strict master of a small acting troupe. It quickly becomes apparent that these are the most talented of the master's pupils, and he pushes them harder than his other students. Thirteen years later, their suffering has paid off. Douzi, now going by the name of Chen Dieyi (Leslie Cheung), and Shitou, called Duan Xiaolou (Zhang Fengyi), are major opera stars, and their production, "Farewell My Concubine" is nationally known. The two are inseparable, until the woman Juxian (Gong Li) comes between them.

Russell and I just recently saw this film and it was incredibly good. While "not for everybody" this film sets interesting characters into historical and cultural context in 20th century China. A must see for anyone who is interested in learning more about Chinese culture!

More Zoo Pictures

Merecats are fascinating animals. They have complex social structures. Some leaders others, guards, babsitters and construction/maintanance...this merecat was a guard.

Red Panda's like this one Lydia's watching are indigenous to China.

Us at the unseen world where they feature fish, reptiles, insects, amphibians and small birds.

One of the larger lizards at the unseen world.

Daddy and Lydia watching her favourite, the alligators.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


The zebras are one of my favourites, and apparently one of Lydia's too!

It looked like Lydia was trying to get to the Zebras for a ride!

The alligators were her favourite!

Here she is trying to hug the alligators!

Since Lydia's birthday is so close to adoption day we've opted to celebrate July 28th (our referral day) as family day. Last weekend we planned to have a big trip to Nashville to the zoo etc. to celebrate, but unfortunately the brakes on the car didn't cooperate and we had to postpone. So this weekend we had our belated family day celebration. After work on Friday we packed up and made off for Nashville. We pretty much got up with the animals and were one of the first ones to visit. My allergies went nuts--but it was worth every second as Lydia loved seeing all the animals. Her favourite by far was the alligators. She thought they were facsinating and we had to drag her away. She didn't like the unseen world though--not sure why. The animals didn't bother her, but the space did--so much to mine and Russell's disappointment we got out of there pretty fast. (Russ and I use to have tarantulas. I just love spiders and arachnids!)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Daddy's Little Helper