Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Update in Pictures

These last few weeks have been quite busy to say the least. I thought for sure once the holidays were over things would settle down. Not so much. This past Friday our Nanjing group met for our monthly play date. We also celebrated Elsa and Clara's 2nd birthdays which are in January. The play date started out a bit different this time. We have been working with a local reporter who has met with us and is writing a story on the support group that we started for ourselves as well as our girls. We first met with her in December where she just met with the moms. Last Friday she came to my house for the play date and brought a photographer. We are so excited to get our story out and more importantly advocate for all the SN children left behind. The reporter called yesterday to let me know that the story is going to run in the Sunday paper. Once I know when it runs, I will put up the link.

Little Miss Clara

Clara~ Birthday Girl

Elsa ~ Birthday Girl

Mylee enjoying the cupcake she helped make


Mylee, Clara, Elsa, Ava, and Millie enjoying the party

Mylee helping decorate the cupcakes~they were quite colorful

Mylee during therapy

For those of you who continue to ask, I finally have an update on Mylee's progress. The first of January I took her back to her doctor at Riley. Unfortunately, Mylee has not made much progress since November. In other words, even though she has made some progress, her measurements have not changed since November. So, after evaluating Mylee again, her doctor has suggested that we go ahead with surgery. She will go in on February 18 to have both heel cord tendons cut as well as the main muscle in her left knee. She will spend only one night in the hospital and will come home with full leg casts. She will be in the casts for about 6 weeks, and once they are removed, she will start intensive therapy.
Please keep Mylee in your prayers as she goes through this. As much as we tried to avoid surgery, at this time it is the only option left. Mylee is such a trooper that I am sure she will get through this just fine. She continues to amaze me at how well she is able to adapt to everything that has been done to her in the 8 months she has been a part of our family. It is just a testament of the resilience these kids have.
On a lighter not, after much deliberation, Matt and I have decided to send her to pre-school twice a week. Because she ages out of First Steps in February when she turns 3, sending her to a "Special Needs" preschool is our next option. Not only will she be in an educational environment, she will also continue to get the physical therapy to strengthen her muscles.

Blake, Emma, Gabe, and Mylee sledding

Enjoy the pictures, I will be back once I get my math caught up (UGHHHH)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese Calendar. It is a 15 day celebration. The Chinese year 4707 begins on Jan. 26, 2009.

Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest. In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year.

An Obstinate Year
Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality. Those born in ox years tend to be painters, engineers, and architects. They are stable, fearless, obstinate, hard-working and friendly.

Fireworks and Family Feasts
At Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper, and give children "lucky money" in red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck. The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in a similar ancient custom. Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten evil spirits.

The Lantern Festival
In China, the New Year is a time of family reunion. Family members gather at each other's homes for visits and shared meals, most significantly a feast on New Year's Eve. In the United States, however, many early Chinese immigrants arrived without their families, and found a sense of community through neighborhood associations instead. Today, many Chinese-American neighborhood associations host banquets and other New Year events.
The lantern festival is held on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. Some of the lanterns may be works of art, painted with birds, animals, flowers, zodiac signs, and scenes from legend and history. People hang glowing lanterns in temples, and carry lanterns to an evening parade under the light of the full moon.
In many areas the highlight of the lantern festival is the dragon dance. The dragon—which might stretch a hundred feet long—is typically made of silk, paper, and bamboo. Traditionally the dragon is held aloft by young men who dance as they guide the colorful beast through the streets. In the United States, where the New Year is celebrated with a shortened schedule, the dragon dance always takes place on a weekend. In addition, many Chinese-American communities have added American parade elements such as marching bands and floats.
I tried to get some good pictures of Mylee in her Chinese dress, but these are the best I could come up with. I am hoping to get all the kids in their Chinese garb this evening and take a picture of them. If not tonight, then sometime this week for sure. For now, these will have to do.

Gung Hay Fat Choy

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Prayers Needed

I just recently started following this blog and was in shock when I realized that their house had burned down. Luckily EVERYONE is okay and made it out safely. This is an amazing family in in desperate need of our prayers.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

So I fully intended on posting over Christmas break, but I simply never got around to it. I really enjoyed having the kids home from school and having a break from school myself. I took the break to clean out closets, toy boxes, and try to get everything else organized. For the most part it was successful. Every time I got on to update the blog, something else came up, or one of the kids wanted to play a game, or with a new toy. So, about a week into their break, I decided I was going to take a "blogger" break as well.

Now that everything in back to a normal routine, I figured it would be a good time to get back updating.

Christmas was great this year. It was such a joy to watch the kids on Christmas morning, and see everything through Mylee's eyes. She was so much fun to watch. Every time she opened something she really studied it. Or, if it was any type of clothing, she would lay it out on the floor for all to see. Overall, everyone had a great time, and as usual the kids got way too much stuff (the reason I had to re-organize and clean out).

I have added a slideshow of pictures from Christmas this time rather than taking the time to upload each picture. I hope you enjoy it.

I added a slideshow of pictures from Christmas to share with everyone. Enjoy! And I will be back later this week with more updates.