Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Happy Birthday!

It's my dad's birthday today.

Amazingly, he's as active (or more active) than most men 30 years younger. He's incredibly healthy and energic for 60-something!

I hope I got that gene!

This picture was taken last December as he played football with the kids at the park.


(The card's in the mail)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

New Header!

So, what do you think of my new blog header? I was tired of the old, boring one. The picture was a couple of years old and Mei Lin was missing. Besides, I was getting blog-envy because a lot of my blogger friends were updating with new, beautiful headers.

So...since Matt's out on summer break I begged him to create a new one. I love it! Thanks, Matt!

Gymnastics, Corn, and Special Finds

Miyah's first day at gymnastics....

Sharing corn....

Miyah and Mei Lin's train

Miyah's finds: rock and daddy and daughter fireflies

Miyah found a rock for her fish's bowl and two fire flies on her walk last night. After we caught the first firefly, she said, "The little girl (firefly) is doing her chores and needs her daddy to help her. Can you find her daddy?" So we had to find another firefly before we went inside.

Monday, May 28, 2007

2 Down, 2 To Go (Years of High School, that is)!

Matt's done with his Sophmore year! It amazes me how quickly time is flying by. He's already half-way through high school!!

Matt receiving his blessing

Dr. G speaking to the students and families

Friday we attended the "Night of Blessing" at Matt's school. Each year Dr. G gives each of the students in upper division a "blessing" which involves selecting a historical figure that the student most emulates. The school studied Modernity this year, so all of the awards/blessings given were historical figures of that era.

Matt received the James K. Polk blessing. According to Dr. G, our 11th president was known for standing up and doing what was right in the face of adversity (at least that's all I caught as I was being distracted at the moment...imagine that with a 1 and 3 year old at my ankles!).

The interesting part is that my husband's family is related to James Polk! Of course Dr. G didn't know that, but it gave me goosebumps when Pat reminded me of that fact!

I LOVE Matt's school and feel extremely blessed that he is able to sit under the tutelage of Dr. G as well as all the other great teachers. Dr. G prays for each student everyday and is passionate about discipling and training a generation of great Godly thinkers and world changers (though he would state his mission more eloquently than that!).

Matt got the job!! He'll be working at Best Buy soon. He's so excited! He loves computers and all other media or pretty much anything plugged into the wall. I'm so proud of him for getting the first job he interviewed for. He said that humanities essay questions helped him respond to the interviewer. Wow! He's admitting there is some good to those essays!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Parties, Projects, Visitors, Banquets, Rehearsals, Recitals, Finals, Doctor Appointments, and Lots of Pool-time!

Mei Lin went to her first birthday party a few weeks ago. It was Isabella's third birthday and Miyah and Mei Lin were both invited. The girls had a lot of fun celebrating with Bella.

Then Nana and Bumpa (Pat's parents) came for a visit. This was the first time Mei Lin met them and she warmed up to them quickly. She was saying "Bumpa" by the time they left. We had a great time, only I don't know if we were the best hosts....we seemed to be running to one place or another several times a day.
That week...
Megan had some reporting to do for her tutorial's newspaper (on the school play), some final exams to prepare for, ballet, and piano.

Matt had football each night, a sports banquet, and was trying to finish up his 40-hour project. His 40-hour project was presented last week and it turned out great! He made the Wright Flyer out of balsa wood and paper (see pictures).

Mei Lin had two doctor appointments; one at the international adoption clinic and the other with the allergist. The IA doctor gave her a clean bill of health, though we still haven't seen the pediatric cardiologist to know the exact condition of her heart yet. The doctor heard a murmur, but since she's so healthy she didn't seem concerned. She's 20.5 lbs (12th percentile) and 31 in (whopping 58th percentile- on the American charts!). The specimens we collected showed negative for parasites (sorry, TMI) and all her bloodwork and TB test came back negative. We took her to the allergist because she still had hives all over her. They tested her for food allergies and they all came back negative so they put her on Zyrtec to alleviate the itching and hives. The hives are pretty much gone with the meds, but she still has tiny little misquito-bite size red bumps that don't seem to bother her. She's also apparently allergic to disposable diapers. She was tearing her skin apart especially around the waist band. The doctor said anything but cotton would probably irritate what appears to be eczema. Soooo...she is now wearing cloth diapers! I almost died at the thought, but let me tell you cloth diapers aren't like our moms used. They are quite easy and come in a lot of fun styles. I'm sorta getting into it, actually. I'm just now trying to find some that aren't so bulky. Here's a picture of Mei Lin in her cute little China plum blossom print from Blue Penguin.
You've gotta admit that's cute! Thankfully the diaper irritation is gone and her skin is rash-free!

My parents stopped through on their way home from my sister's to see Megan in her ballet and modern performance. Her studio put on Sleeping Beauty and it looked very professional. Both performances were beautiful and Megan did great! My parents, Miyah, and I went to Friday's performance and Pat and Matt went to Saturday's performance so we didn't have to find a sitter for Mei Lin. You can read from her perspective on her blog if you wish. She LOVES, LOVES, LOVES dance (in case you can't tell from her blog entry)!

This was the first time my dad met Mei Lin and really the first time for my mom to spend time with her. She loved them both and immediately began saying "Papa". She's saying quite a few words and signing many as well. When Pat called today she wanted the phone so I told her to say, "hi daddy" and she did as plain as day. Everyday I'm writing down new words that she's saying, though some of the words she's only mimicking and isn't using as part of her daily vocabulary. She regularly says dog (and ruff ruff), mama, daddy, Matt, Megan, Miyah (not very clearly), bath, ball, Bumpa, Papa, hot, one (and holds finger up), no-no-no (pointing to all the outlet covers), poo-poo, hi, and a couple of times she's said banana, more, all done, and water. She also does a lot of animal sounds...she loves animals! I'm amazed at what she's picked up in 1 1/2 months.

Miyah's been saying a lot of cute things lately, too (and some embarrassing things as my dad will gladly tell you!). Today she was outside swinging while Mei Lin was in the sandbox and she said, "Thanks for getting Mei Lin, Mommy". I got teary. She really, really does just love her little sister. I'm so grateful to God for a great start to their relationship. They still have their moments, believe me, but they're just sweet to one another. Later today she said, "Thanks for my whole life". I'm not exactly sure what that means, but it warmed my heart that she was trying to express such broad gratitude. She has such a sweet spirit.

Please pray for Matt tomorrow; he has a job interview! The price of gas has driven him to look for work. This is the place he's wanted to work the most, so I hope he gets it! Then Friday he has two finals and he's done with school for the year. Megan is already done (thank God!)

Which reminds me, Pat just went back to work this week, which was perfect timing because most of the kids big end-of-the-year events are over with including Megan's tutorial. It was great having him home to be the chauffeur, launderer, and sometimes cook! He's been an amazing help to me and I dreaded having him go back to work. It's been okay though. I mean, I love him, but I think we'd all agree that the whole dynamic changes when your husband is home for a while. It's good to be back in the groove of things. That was over 7 weeks we had together!

Many of you are probably wondering how Mei Lin is doing with Pat gone. She's perfectly fine! She really got over that whole daddy-obsession/mommy-rejection thing not too long after we got home, though it's been gradual and I would say is resolved by now. She now smiles when she sees me in the morning instead of thunking back down in her crib with a whine. You know the movie "50 First Dates" where Lucy couldn't remember her boyfriend each morning and he'd have to earn her trust and love every single day from scratch? That's how it was with Mei Lin for the first couple of weeks. She'd warm up to me, but by the next day or after a nap, she'd act like I was the enemy and I'd have to earn her trust all over again. Thank God those days are behind us.

Anyway, here are the swimming photos.....

If there's one thing you could learn about me from this post, I'm sure it'd be that I take too many pictures! And maybe that I'm long-winded...Sorry!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day Tribute

Here's a Mother's Day tribute to four mothers; each of whom have made a great impact on my life, though I've never met two of them.

I am blessed with an amazing mother. Anyone who knows her will tell you that she's one of the most self-sacrificing, helpful people you'll ever meet. Growing up, my sisters and I were taught by her example and SHOWN how to live instead of just being told. My mother has strong opinions on issues and she'll voice those opinions; but when it comes to living a Godly life, she models it with grace and humility. Thanks, Mom, for your servant's heart and for being the most loving mother a child could have! Happy Mother's Day!! I love you!

The other mother shaped the life of the most important person in my life, my husband. My mother-in-law has an incredibly generous, caring heart. She loves her children and grandchildren so much. She's always knitting something for someone. Recently she's taken up knitting blankets, mittens, hats, etc., for the children in orphanages in China and buys clothing for them. No doubt hundreds of children in China are kept warm because of her love. I'm so grateful for that love that she shows to my children and she's shown throughout my husband's life. Happy Mother's Day, Nancy! We love you!

The other two mothers have given me the best gift a mother can have...the love of a child. These are my daughter's birthmothers and I can't help but think of them on this Mother's Day. I am so thankful to them for giving my daughters life. I pray for these birthparents and ask that God would give them peace and assurance that their daughters are loved deeply and unconditionally.

Here's a wonderful poem....

Mother's Day

One day a year,
The inevitable card, a dinner.
Mediocre chocolates in a box
elaborate enough to satisfy
a three-year-old's discerning taste.

Every day is mother's day
The hands stretched up for a hug,
pizza smeared kisses,
the soft warm weight
tucked in to my arms
trustingly surrendered
to sleep.
Even the tired tantrums.

I am a mother
every second of the day.
My daughter is stitched
into every fiber of my life.
I love her with an intensity
that took me by surprise.
Surpassed only by the fear
of losing her.

But she has another mother,
The woman in the mirror,
The shadow, who comes
and goes through invisible doors.

You first felt her stir, roll
and kick inside you.
The contraction that announced
her impending arrival,
heard the first cry, touched
the downy fuzz on her head,

And left her.

And I grapple with this,
As she will sooner than I wish.

Without you, I would not be a mother.
Your loss and hers is my gain.
I honor you by loving her
shiny black hair, rosebud mouth,
She is made of you,
how could I not?

How could I understand
That a few days after her birth,
in the deep of winter,
she was left outside.
When she cries in fear or anger,
"I'm cold,"
I am seized with a rage
as icy and unforgiving
as that January night.
When she tells me the life story
of our formerly feral cat
is the same as hers,
I want to weep,
that I can't change it
or make it go away.

Can I say I would never do the same?
Judge not…..

Perhaps it was the desperation
of a mother
who throws her children
from a burning building.
Hoping and praying
that someone will catch them.
That they will be safe.
Perhaps, perhaps,
I will never know.

Do you miss her,
wonder at what might have been,
where is she now?

Our daughter is dancing, far away,
dressed in a Cinderella blue gown.
Serving tea to a stuffed turtle,
singing songs of her own invention.
You will never hear her voice.
She will never see your face.

She is neither you or me.
She is the third way,
already crafting her own story.
You gave her life,
I give her a future.

Happy Mother's Day.

by Jennifer Wilson-Pines

And a quote I love from our adoption agency's card...
"Becoming a mother makes you a mother of all children. From now on each wounded, abandoned, frightened child is yours. You live in the suffering mother of every race and creed and weep with them." - Charlotte Gray

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers reading this!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A Poem and Website to Share

I saw this poem on a website and I love it! It conveys my feelings so well.
( -check it out)

Some would gather money
along the path of life.
Some would gather roses and
rest from worldly strife.

But I would gather children
from among the thorns of sin.
I would seek a little child with
a big and toothless grin.

For money cannot enter in
the land of endless day,
And roses that are gathered
soon wilt along the way.

But oh, the laughing children
as I cross the sunset sea,
And the gates swing wide to Heaven.
I can take them in with me!

-Author Unknown

The "Grant Me a Chance" organization provides grants for families adopting special needs and older children. If you're interested in adopting, but are concerned about the finances, there are numerous organizations that will help. Drop me a note with your email address in the comments and I'd be more than happy to find a list of those organizations to send to you. If God has laid adoption on your heart, don't let anything so little as money stop you. You will be beyond blessed....eternally blessed!

Or, if you aren't called to adoption but take the call to "look after orphans in their distress" (James 1:27) seriously, and would like to give to one of these organizations who help give children homes, I'd love to help you find a place to make a donation, as well.

Or help an adopting family you know. Help them fundraiser or ask them what their needs are. China adoptions cost over $20,000 and many families aren't adopting because they have an extra $20,000 lying around that they don't know what to do with. Many are adopting out of sacrifice and a love for children. Every little bit helps!

We can all "take them in with us!" one way or another, as the poem says.

God bless!

Okay, this is going to be long, but I figured it was worth posting the list here. We haven't used any of the grants, so I can't give personal input, but know of people who have used several of them.
I hope this helps someone! We DID use Pat's company's adoption benefit of $5,000 in adoption expense reimbursements so check with your employer on benefits. There's a list below of some companies that have adoption benefits (the list is several years old).
ALSO, there is a (something like) $11,000 tax CREDIT for international adoption for families with an income under something like $150,000 annually (not sure exactly). You may want to check that out, as well. My point is that if you want to adopt but have always heard how expensive it is, don't let that be an obstacle.

Please leave a comment if you have an organization to add!

Americans Adopting Orphans Each quarter the Board of Advisors will meet to recommend that individual families receive grants to help them with their adoption.
Americans Adopting Orphans12345 Lake City Way NE #2001Seattle, WA 98125Home Office Phone: (206) 52-4-KIDS (5437)FAX: (206) 527-2001 or....
Americans Adopting Orphans9909 Manchester Road #369St. Louis, MO 63122-1927Branch Office Phone: (314)
*Americans Adopting Orphans Low Interest Loans- Qualified client families of Americans Adopting Orphans will be able to apply for relatively low interest adoption loans through Watermark Credit Union. The loans are available in several forms including personal loans, secured loans, home equity loans, and VISA lines of credit from which families may make cash advances. Qualifying for loans from credit unions is normally easier than from banks and the interest rates are usually better than those of banks. Just another way Americans Adopting Orphans helps make adoptions more affordable for families. Call us for more information or visit their website and click on Financial Assistance on the left side table.

Child Adoption Funds. Our mission is to allow adoptive couples and individuals to establish a personalized 501(C)3 Foundation, which can be used to raise the funds necessary to pay for the cost of their International adoption on a tax-deductible basis.

Child Welfare League Of America Foundation offers adoption resources and advocacy for prospective adoptive families.

China Care FoundationFinancial Aid for Adopting Families: Many adopting families cannot afford the $16-20,000 cost of adoption. China Care is trying to alleviate this burden through loans and grants. They are especially interested in helping families who are adopting special need children. Many mildly disabled children, such as cleft lip and clubfoot, can be made healthy through surgery and lead completely normal lives in American families, thus providing satisfaction for the adopting family and being saved from an institutionalized life.In order to encourage the adoption and care for orphans from China, the China Care Foundations:**Provides financial aid in the form of grants or loans for the adoption and/or medical treatment of orphans. Many families can afford to take wonderful care of their children, but cannot afford the one-time cost of adoption.
www.chinacare.orgContact Information: China Care Foundation
P.O. Box 607
Westport, CT 06881
Tel: 203.861.6395Fax: 203.618.0470

Christian Adoption Resources Inc
Prospective adoptive couples may apply for a grant after they have an approved home-assessment by a licensed adoption agency. Their adoption agency/attorney must provide a letter of recommendation.
Christian Adoption Resources Inc30 Harmony Hall Dr.
Carlisle, PA 17013 Email:

Grant Me a Chance at Grants for special needs and older child adoptions.

The Nikita Fund Adoption grants given to children need homes and born with Down syndrome.To Apply For Grant:Grants of $500. given. Prospective parent(s) should send a written request along with a photo of the child and verification of the pending adoption from the adoption agency. Include also a receipt of money spent towards the adoption.Visit the Internet site for more details.Contact:

Feng LiLi
(Request Application) Meet quarterly or on demand, when necessary to review applications. Feng LiLi 180 Laurel Avenue Forest, IL 60045 (847) 482-0500

Gift of Adoption Fund Applicants must have a completed and approved home study by a qualified Agency or Professional licensed in the state in which they reside before they can apply for a grant.2. Financial Need - Applicants are evaluated based on their income, assets, liabilities, earning potential and other financial resource opportunities.3.Hardship - Preference will be given to those applicants who are experiencing extraordinary hardship. Examples would include medical special needs on the part of the child and/or situational hardship on the part of the parents or the child.
Grants are awarded to ALL prospective parents. Singles as well. Grant amounts vary between $2,000-$5,000 and applicants are reviewed and grants awarded monthly. You are allowed to apply for a grant up to 3x's.
Telephone: 262-268-1386 or 877-905-ADOP (2367)FAX: 262-268-1387Gift of Adoption Fund
101 East Pier Street, 1st FloorPort Washington, WI 53074E-mail:
Offering Grants and Loans Call (209) 572-4539 for more information God's Grace Adoption MinistryP.O. Box 4Modesto, CA 95353

Helping Kids Cope: Jennifer at – for TN residence mainly

HIS KIDS TOO His Kids, Too!PMB # 180, 3491 Thomasville Rd.Tallahassee, FL
Contact: Mrs. Teresa Fillmon-Founder/DirectorA Christian nonprofit international humanitarian aide organization that provides aide to orphans and widows in several countries - primary focus is Ukraine, Russia, and Albania. For parent(s) adopting international children, His Kids Too! provides an adoption grant of up to $2,000 for one child, and up to $4,000 for 2 children. Grants are paid directly to the agency or facilitation service (for independent adoptions, grants approved on a case-by-case basis.) His Kids Too! has a goal of helping as many people as possible to adopt international children, but cannot possibly help everyone. His Kids Too! reserves the right to deny any application for any reason stated or not.

I. C.A.R.E. Fund: Melita Brooks, PO Box 2575, Lindale, TX 75771, tel. 903-881-2575 – For TX residence mainly

International Adoption Assistance Foundation, Inc
6420 Tokeneak TrailMobile, AL 36695 - 2940Contact: Donald L. Parker or Linda J. Bushy - DirectorsPhone: (334) 633-4300
Lalka Foundation(610) 694-9211

The Lalka Foundation offers grants and assistance to parents who would like to fundraise through a tax-deductible entity for the purpose of saving funds toward adoption.
International Care, Inc.: Website: (downloadable application is available). PO Box 19020, Baltimore, MD 21284, tel. 800-513-9896

Shaohannah's Hope:, call toll-free at (800) 784-5361 or check their web at

Siblings Adoption Agency Adoption offers grants for qualified families toward international adoption. Grants are as follows: $2000 per one child, $4000 for 2 children. Please send us a letter explaining why is it a hardship for you. Your request will be given a closest consideration and you will be notified about our decision shortly.

The TMG Foundation: Andy Lehman at

Wide Smiles Resources and information on adopting children with cleft-lip/pallets
Wide Smiles
P.O. Box 5153Stockton, CA 95205-0153
Phone: 209-942-2812Fax: 209-464-1497

Military Adoption Reimbursement Program
Military non-recurring subsidy program is a one-time subsidy program for full-time military personnel.Adopting couples or singles can receive up to $2.000. reimbursement on adoption expenses for one child or a maximum amount of $5,000. for siblings or two children whether adopting a healthy infant, a waiting child, or a child from abroad. Travel costs, foreign or domestic, are not covered. Reimbursement is made ONLY after the adoption is finalized and only if the adoption was done through a state adoption agency or a non-profit private agency. Fees that can be reimbursed include adoption fees; placement fees, including fees for birth parent counseling; legal fees and court costs; and medical expenses, including hospital expenses of the biological mother and her newborn infant. Eligible personnel should complete DD Form 2673 (Reimbursement For Adoption Expense).See Defense Finances and Accounting Service Instruction 1341
Help With Expenses - Military Subsidies More info on Military Non-recurring Subsidy Adoption Exchange Association at (303) 333-0845

A book to help with finances: You Can Afford Adoption by Heaton and Hunt (Available at

Below are companies which may reimburse part of adoption expenses. They all begin to run together....sorry, that's the way they pasted and it got tedious putting commas between them. Check your employer for adoption benefits. They may not be listed here. We did use Pat's company's adoption benefit (AstraZeneca) and received a $5,000 reimbursement on expenses after the completion of the adoption!

A, B-AARP**ABB CE Nuclear Power** Abbott Laboratories, Advanta Corporation**Advocate Health Care**Ag Processing**Aetna Inc.**Aetna Life & Casualty, Air Products & Chemicals, Inc., Allegiance Corporation, Allstate Insurance Company, American Express, American Home Products Corporation, American International Group**American Management Systems**American Ref-fuel Company**Ameritech Corp., Amgen, Inc., Amoco Corp., Applied Communications, Inc., Arthur Anderson LLP**Ashland, Inc., AstraZeneca, AT&T Global Information Services, Avon, A. W. Restaurants, Inc.**Autodesk, Inc., Bank of America**Bank One, Baptist Hospital of Miami, Barnett Banks, Basic American Foods, Baxter Healthcare, Bayfront-St. Anthony's Health Care, BDM International, Inc.BE&K; Engineering and ConstructionBell Atlantic**Bell South Corp.Beneficial Corp.Ben &: Jerry's Homemade, Inc.Berger Brunswig CorporationBest FoodsBlue Cross &: Blue Shield of Mass.Book of the Month Club, Inc.**Booz, Allen & Hamilton, Inc.Borden Inc.**Boston Scientific Corp.**Brentwood Services, Inc.**Bristol-Myers SquibbBuilders Square**Bureau of National Affairs, The.
-C, D-Calvert GroupCampbell Soup CompanyCapitol Cities / ABC, Inc.Cardinal Glennon Children's HospitalCeridian CorporationChase Manhattan Bank, NAThe Chester County HospitalChevron CorporationChildren's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)The Chubb Group of Insurance CompaniesCIGNA Corp.The CIT Group, Inc.Citicorp/CitibankCMP PublicationsCoach LeatherwareColgate-Palmolive CompanyComerica IncorporatedCompaq Computer CorporationComputerWorld, Inc.Conde Nast Publications, Inc.Consolidated Rail Corp.Control Data Systems, Inc.Coopers & LybrandCorestates Financial Corp.Corning IncorporatedCranston Print WorksCrozier-Chester Medical CenterDartmouth CollegeDate General CorporationDDB Needham WorldwideDeere & CompanyDeloitte & ToucheDelta Dental of PennsylvaniaDillon International, Inc.Dispatch Printing CompanyDomino's Pizza, Inc.Donnelly CorporationThe Dow Chemical CompanyThe Dupont Merck Pharmaceutical Company
-E, F, G-Eastman Kodak Co.Eaton CorporationEddie BauerEDSElf Atochem North America, Inc.Eli Lilly PharmaceuticalsErnst & YoungFannie MaeFel-Pro IncorporatedFidelity InvestmentsFirst Chicago CorporationFirst Tennessee BankFirst Union CorporationFlagstar CompaniesFMC CorporationFrankford HospitalFreddie MacThe Gallup OrganizationGannett Company, Inc.General Electric Co.General MillsGenentechGlaxo Wellcome, Inc.Glen Cove School DistrictGorden Flesch CompanyGTech CorporationGTE Telephone OperationsG. T. Water Productions, Inc.
-H, I, J, K, L-
HCA (Hospital Corporation of America)Hallmark Cards, Inc.Hanna AndersonHarris BankHarvard UniversityHasbro, Inc.The Hearst CorporationHewett AssociatesHewlett-PackardHill, Holiday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Inc.Hoechst Celanese CorporationHome Box OfficeHolt International Children's Services, HomeDepot, Household InternationalHughes Aircraft CompanyHunt Manufacturing Co.IBM (International Business Machines Corporation)IntermetricsInternational Brotherhood of TeamstersInternational Game TechnologyITT HartfordJ M Family Enterprises, Inc.John HancockJohn Hopkins UniversityJohnson & JohnsonJohnson InternationalW. K. Kellogg FoundationKemper National Insurance CompaniesKPMG Peat MarwickLancaster Laboratories, Inc.Lincoln National Corp.Little Caesar'sLotus Development Corp.Louisiana Tech University
-M, N, O- Manatee Community CollegeMarquette Electronics, Inc.Marriott InternationalMassMutual (Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.) Mattel, Inc.MBNA America Bank, NAMCA/Universal City StudiosMCR CorporationMentor Graphics CorporationMerrill Lynch & CompanyThe Miami HeraldMicrosoft, Inc.Millipore Corporation3M (Minnesota Mining & ManufacturingMonsanto Co.Morrison & FoesterMotorolaMutual of New YorkNabisco Foods GroupNational Adoption CenterNations BankNeuville Industries, Inc.Newly Weds Foods, Inc.Newport Creamery, Inc.New York Life Insurance CompanyNike, Inc.Northern Trust Corp.Northern States Power CompanyNYNEXOracle CorporationOwens-Corning Fiberglass
-P, Q, R- Pacific BellPacific Gas & ElectricThe Partnership Group, Inc.Patagonia, Inc.Payless Cashways, Inc.Penn Virginia CorporationPennsylvania Crusher Corp.Pfizer, Inc.Phoenix Home Life Mutual Life Insurance CompanyThe Pillsbury CompanyPitney BowesThe PMA GroupPress TelegramPrice WaterhouseThe Principal Financial GroupProctor & GambleProvidence Gas CompanyProvidence HospitalProvidence Journal Co.The Prudential Insurance Company of AmericaQuad/GraphicsRed Wing Shoe CompanyResort Condominiums International, Inc. (RCI)Rhone-Poulec, IncRiverside Methodist Hospital Rockwell InternationalRoger Williams UniversityRohm and Hass CompanyRSLRyder Systems, Inc.
-S, T- The St. Paul CompaniesSt. Petersburg TimesSara Lee CorporationSAS InstituteSchering-Plough CorporationSC Johnson & SonSecurity Benefit GroupServiStar CorporationShipley CompanySilicon GraphicsSimon & ShusterSmith CollegeSmithKline Beecham Pharmaceutical Co.Spiegel, Inc.SprintSouthwest AirlinesStanford UniversityStanley WorksState Farm Insurance Co.**State of ColoradoState of MontanaState of New YorkState of North DakotaState of PennsylvaniaState of South CarolinaState of UtahTandem Computers, Inc.
Target Corp.Tenet Healthcare CorporationTexaco, Inc.Texas InstrumentsTom's of Maine, Inc.Toray Plastics
-U, V, W, X, Y, Z-UnisysUnited States Surgical CorporationUnited Parcel ServiceUnited TechnologiesUniversity of OklahomaUniversity of South CarolinaUniversity of WyomingUpjohn CompanyUS WestThe Vanguard Group, Inc.The Voucher CorporationWarner-Lambert Corp.Watson Wyatt WorldwideWendy's International, Inc.Roy F. Weston, Inc.WeyerhaeuserW. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.Women & Infants HospitalWork/Family Directions, Inc.Wyeth-AyerstXerox Corporation

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Getting Out of the House

Miyah at the zoo...have you ever seen a sweeter face?

It's hard to believe we've had Mei Lin for a month now and have been home for 3 weeks! It's so fun having the two girls together. It was a little iffy at first with Miyah being a little jealous, but they are both loving each other now. Miyah's like a little mother and dotes on her little sister....sometimes a little too much. If you've ever had two young children you probably know what I mean. A mom gave me some advice on getting Miyah over her jealousy...make her a part of the caretaking and help her feel "ownership" of her new sister instead of an outsider. Because Mei Lin was having troubles bonding to me, I wanted to be the one doing everything for her so she'd build the trust and bond we need. I realized that I needed some balance and her advice really instantly! Miyah's like a different kid now...and she's feeling well again. That makes a huge difference in her attitude.

With Pat off of work (he has 7 weeks of leave - less than 3 left) and everyone getting back to normal, we've been enjoying a few little outings. Megan and I went to see Swan Lake last week. That was nice to get out just the two of us...and her friend. We also went to the little festival our town has every year. Pat and I took the little girls one day and then I took Megan and her friend again the next. Miyah got her face painted like a puppy. You'd think I'd learn...I tried to talk her into the pretty butterflies or princess paint, but she wanted the dog...I hate it when I do that. The dog turned out cute and it's a good thing because we waited in line for 45 minutes and paid for the darn thing!

Ruff, Ruff! Miyah gets her face painted like a doggie at the festival downtown!

Pat and the girls (and the dog) at the festival downtown.

This week we took the little girls to the zoo. Miyah always LOVES the zoo and gets so excited to see the animals so it was fun to see Mei Lin get almost equally as excited. A love for animals is one thing they do have in common. Mei Lin's favorite word is "daw" (dog) and then a muffled "ruff ruff" with her mouth closed. In fact, she was up last night at midnight for some reason....barking in our bed and saying "daw"! That didn't last long. She never wakes up in the night and this night she cried for a long time, hence the bed-sharing thing we rarely do-it's always as a last resort. Anyway, let's hope she sleeps well tonight.

"Where's Matt been?" you ask. He's been working on his 40 hour project. This year he's making a replica of the Wright Bros. flying machine-thingy. We'll post a picture when he's finished.
Riding the carousel at the zoo

Sweet face

I forgot to mention that Mei Lin is doing really well with me (Cindy) now. It's almost a non-issue now. I can feed her a bottle and she will actually put her arms out for me to take her while Pat is holding her! She even fusses a little when I leave the house without her. I know I'm still not completely out of the woods because that bond can easily fluctuate and that foundation of trust is just the beginning. But everything is definitely looking up!