Monday, December 21, 2009

Magical Mystery Tour

Rachel got up yesterday and decided she wanted to help decorate the big tree with Mommy. She searched through the ornament box till she found the ones she liked, and she then found the perfect place to put them!
We still have TONS of ornaments left to put up, but we're getting there!
After working on the tree for a while, it was time to head over to Centennial Park to celebrate Baby J & Arora's birthdays! We had lots of fun playing on the playground at the park! Rachel sure does LOVE to slide!

Oh, and it's not that she was going so fast, but by the time she reached the bottom of the slide, the static electricity built up so much that all her hair was standing up on her head! It was SO funny!

We had lots of fun on the playground until a bunch of "big kids" came and that was our cue to leave! Oh, and by the way... it was the first time we ever went to a toddler's birthday party and had the cops called on us! Oh yeah, it was a priceless moment! Apparently, another group had reserved the pavillion and rather than come talk to ANY of us, they opted to call FMPD to "handle" us. As it turns out, we were using 3 tables, they were only using 2, and there were still like 5 or 6 more tables that were empty! So once the police spoke to them, they decided "they were ok with us being there" as long as we didn't have any more guests show up! TOO FUNNY!!!
After we came home from the birthday party, we had a light dinner and then it was time for playing some more! (We sure love Sunday's when Daddy is home and we get to be a family all day!) So Rachel wanted to play on her little slide & swing set that we keep on the Lanai, but it was really starting to get chilly out... so I asked if she wanted to wear her hat! She LOVES it and even wanted to try on the mittens too! She never really got to use these last year when I bought them, but since they stretch out far enough to fit ME, well, I knew it would work out well!
Anyway, she liked them so much that today at nap time, she actually asked to wear them again, only this time to BED!!
I snapped this picture after about an hour... I guess she had to take off the mitten in order to suck her thumb!
Tonight, she will be spending some time with Mimi, while I take Aunt Margie to hear my friend Chris perform at the Naples Philharmonic! The show is called "Classical Mystery Tour" and it's a fabulous event. I am really excited to get to see this show again. Chris and the rest of the group are great, and what could be better than the Beatles music performed with an Orchestra!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Horse with No Name

What an awesome day we had today. Thanks to Aunt Margie who told us about going to a local horse stable to spend the day riding & playing games, Rachel had her first ever experience riding a horse (ok, it was a pony, but hey, at her size, what's the difference, right?). They even had Santa ride up on horseback! (According to Arora, Margie's granddaughter, it was even the REAL Santa because he knew she liked Cats!). Santa gave each of the kids a gift bag to take home.
Oh MAN... she LOVED LOVED LOVED it. So much, that when her turn was over, she had a total meltdown because she had to get off the horse! Lucky for her, there was a really short line for the little pony, so she got to ride 4 times! I see riding lessons in this little peanut's future! Just like her Momma... she LOVES riding horseback! I am SO glad. We had so much fun, especially with Aunt Margie & Arora too! Arora really loved riding horses too! She actually rode all 3 horses! She was GREAT!

Oh, and besides all the horses, they also had a dog there by the name of Zeus... this dog was about that same size as the PONY Rachel was riding! I stood up next to him and felt like a midget! (ok, stop laughing... I know, I know... I AM a midget... but this was a freakin DOG for goodness sake! I SHOULD be taller than a DOG!!!)
After we were done riding, we all had lunch, and then it was time for the games. Rachel wasn't terribly interested in the games. She wanted to feed & pet all the horses that were wandering around the farm. She DID have fun running into the middle of the corral while the bigger kids were running the races. So she turned it into a bit of an obstacle course!
Another good thing about today was the temperature FINALLY went down! When we first arrived at the stables, it was about 66° according to the thermometer in the car. Naturally, it warmed up considerably before we left for home, but it was just a perfect day, weather and all!

By the time we got back to my house, Arora & Rachel were happy to play quietly with Rachel's art set. Good thing, since Margie & I were ready for a NAP!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Chanukah Song Pt 1

Today was a good day... Margie came over early, and helped me out. We had a big project for today. We spent today making cookies. Lots of cookies... but we still have lots more to make! This was my first time ever making cookies with cookie cutters... ok, stop laughing! First I had to make my traditional Pizzelle's. I make these every year and give them as gifts to special friends! :-)
So while Rachel was napping, Margie and I made Pizzelle's together. This is a project I didn't want to let Rach help with, since the cookies have to be made with a hot iron. NOT the kind of thing I think she is ready for just yet!

After cookie baking was over, it was time for Rachel & I to light our candles for the first night of Chanukah. Before she was even born, Margie bought this Menorah for her from Disney. She has her very own Mickey & Minnie Menorah! WooHOO!
I wanted to make Latkes with her, but after a day of cookies and flour all over my kitchen & dining area, I decided Latkes could wait! Maybe Sunday... that's when our little princess will be getting a really cool Chanukkah present... a swing set! Ok, so I posted on freecycle that I was looking for one. For the first time (I've posted this request a half dozen times over the past year) I finally got a response! Someone relatively close by actually replied that we could have the set that is in his yard! We are SO excited about this. Its not a huge set, and it's not the prettiest or anything... it needs some painting & cleaning up... but for now, this will make an AWESOME gift for her... especially after we saw just how much she loved playing on the set up at the park! I have a feeling she is going to be a very happy little girl!

All in all, I think we had an awesome day. I am SO glad she is now in bed. Because there is not a square inch of my entire body that doesn't hurt right now! LOL... I'm thinking it's going to be a relatively early night.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Eight Days a Week

Ok, so I have been a total slacker here... I didn't even post about Rachel's birthday party! At least I got the first round of pictures up.. There just never seems to be enough time to get it all done! ok, I feel better now. LOL..
So these are some random things for the week...
Let's start with our biggest milestone for the week... Today, Rachel started drinking out of a "Big Girl" cup instead of her sippy cup! Woohoo!!! FINALLY... she'd been "practicing" with the cup I give her to play with in the tub... (yeah, I know... YUCK... drinking bath water?.. but she never actually DRANK it.. )

I've been working with her on this for a little while, because she kept trying to drink from the BACK of the cup! Well, needless to say, we are very happy at the prospect of losing the sippy cup!

Last night, we went shopping with Aunt Margie. We had a terrific time but we were ALL in agony when it was over... well at least Margie & I were. Rachel, on the other hand, was ready to start playing just as soon as we got home!
She got some really awesome new toys for her birthday. You can see here how she LOVES her new Dora couch! and it folds out to a little bed too! She likes it better as a couch and she lounges (kinda looks like her Mama! LOL)
One of her other favorites is the car her daddy & I bought her... She is constantly climbing in and just sitting there to watch tv! So I joke that she's turned our living room into a drive in theatre! Looks like we scored good for our choice of presents!
Now the real fun is going to begin...
First of all, today we are going to make cookies.... at least we are going to START to make cookies. Every year I make Pizzelle's to give out as gifts (Thank you Aunt Gloria for sharing the awesome recipe!). This year is no exception... BUT... we are also going to have our first attempt at making cookies with cookie cutters! I ordered some interesting ones from Amazon and they finally arrived. So we are going to have Chanukkah shaped cookies, and then we may even make an attempt at Gingerbread Men! WOOHOO... yes, that will be an entirely different post, since I hope to get LOTS of pictures of us covered in flour!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

(You Say it's Your) Birthday

Wednesday was our little angel's 2nd birthday! WOW... I still can't believe it! She's really 2 years old? ALREADY???

We are having a Big birthday party for her on Sunday, so we just did a little something at home for her birthday. My parents came over and later Margie came too... Daddy had to work but we made sure to take lots of pictures so he could share in the fun too!
I decided to just bake some cupcakes, which she REALLY enjoyed! And believe it or not, this was the first time I have made cupcakes! I think I am in for a lot of firsts now that we have this little princess around! As soon as I put the cupcakes down, she was ready to blow out the candles... but they weren't even LIT! and she sure has a good set of lungs on her because she DID blow them out... from across the table! WOOHOO!!!
She will be getting her BIG present from Mommy & Daddy on Sunday, but for today, I gave her something she's always asking for... Backpack from "Dora theExplorer"... I think the pictures say it perfectly!"Backpack". She ended up asking me to put it on her, so she walked around with it on for the rest of the night!
We gave her a couple of other little things tonight too, like the book "Where is Baby's Birthday Cake" by Karen Katz... she really loves her books, with the lift up flaps. (We are SO glad she is so into books!)
She will be getting a terrific present from her Auntie Marla too! We will go pick out her new table & chairs with the gift her Auntie sent... WOOHOO!!! She will finally have a place of her own to sit and read or draw!
She also got some beautiful clothes from her Nana & Papa, and a terrific package from Daddy's cousins, her Aunt Mary & Aunt Sue! They sent her an Abby Cadabby purse set, a dress, and an ADORABLE PJ's set Thank you Aunt Mary & Aunt Sue!
What a cool birthday! And we are looking forward to the BIG party on Sunday!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Alice's Restaurant

Ok, I know... I always title each post with a song title that relates to it. Well, for me, no song signifies Thanksgiving more than Alice's Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie. There is no way that I can get through a single Thanksgiving Day without hearing that song AT LEAST one complete time! So... that being said...
It is now 2am... I've been awake for about 40 hours... ouch! Right now, I'm waiting for my pumpkin soup to cook a little longer, then I'll let it cool down, and then it will be time for BED! Earlier tonite, I had some help from my favorite munchkin. Rachel "helped" Mommy by being my best taste tester! I made my sweet potato casserole and she insisted on licking the spoon! Fine by me! I needed someone to tell me if it was good and she responded with a resounding "YAY Mommy!" Woohoo!! I scored with my kid!

In a few hours, I will have a house full. My parents, our good friends Margie & Charlie & their grandson Baby J, a some family friends. Not a huge crowd... 11 adults, 2 toddlers... but it is always a high stress high fun day. Tommy thinks I'm nuts with all my paranoia. I want the house clean despite the fact that our kitchen will be in full gear until the last guest arrives. I want the family room clean despite the fact that we will have a couple of toddlers running around trying to keep out of trouble. Oh, and then there is the fact that we have to keep the dog & the kids from wiping out the Xmas Village that Tommy took a week to put up! So we will have a lot happening here... and we couldn't be happier about it.

I will post pictures after everyone goes home... but more than anything else, I wanted to be sure to post this today...

Thanksgiving 2009... Today I am thankful... I am thankful for my parents still being here and able to share this wonderful day... I am thankful for our friends, who we love being around... I am thankful for my hubby... who puts up with my hysteria & insanity whenever we are having company... And I guess more than anything else in the world, today I am thankful for my beautiful, sweet, happy, huggable, lovable, precious little girl... Rachel MeiLi, you made your mommy's life complete and I will be thankful forever that you are a part of my heart...
Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Thanksgiving Day Continued....
Thanksgiving Day was great! Everyone loved the food, the dog was exceptionally well behaved, we only had one broken champagne flute (and that was actually before the guests arrived) and the kids had a great time... well, for the most part! LOL...

Not going to ramble on now... it's almost 4am, and I'm just too tired... I guess it was a lousy idea to make a pot of coffee at 9pm to go with our desserts... hmmm...
Anyway, here are the photo highlights of the day!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts

On Saturday, I decided to take the night off from work so we could enjoy a family night. It started with a terrific gathering for dinner with some other local families who have adopted from China. We went with our friends Lorie & John with their girls, and Trish was there with her 3 cuties (so sorry Ted wasn't able to join us!). There were 2 other families there as well and it was terrific meeting them with their fabulous kids too!

I am SO glad we finally made it to one of these get togethers! This was so much fun and I know we will be doing it again sometime soon... and I need to say a very special thanks to Will, who was awesome at entertaining ALL the girls! He was an absolute DOLL.
After dinner, we headed to the annual Cape Coral Coconut Festival! It's like a big state fair, with carnival rides, games, tons of food vendors, and live concerts every night... oh and a fantastic fireworks display too! First we met up with Margie & Charlie. They were there with their granddaughter Arora, and daughter Vanessa, who is having another baby next week! They didn't really need to do little kiddy rides, since Arora can handle a little more than Rach, so we left them to go to the little kid rides. We again met up with Lorie & John, along with their girls Amelia & Kaylie. We had a fantastic time taking the kids on the rides. Rachel's favorite was the bumble bee! She went on that one twice! Once with me and later with her daddy! Actually she went with her daddy on all the rides. He ended up buying a wrist band that gave him unlimited rides... we still had to buy extra tickets for Rach, but I wasn't really up for doing too many rides anyway. Maybe next year! After going on the rides, we got back together with our friends Margie & Charlie! We didn't get to spend too much time with them but at least we got to see them! After all the rides (and the obligitory Funnel Cake) it was time to head to the stage area to watch Molly Hatchett! very cool... we got there kinda late into the concert, but we got to see a few good songs. Rach really rocked out and was dancing all over the place. She sure did have a good time! Oh, and while the fireworks were going off... every other one she would just look up and say "Wow" "WOW"... lol... they were really cool.
Then it was time for home... just as we suspected, we put her in the car and didn't even make it out of the parking lot when our little rocker was out like a light! Tommy brought her in and put her straight to bed... I wasn't far behind! I don't think I lasted 10 minutes on the couch before I was out cold! But boy, we sure did have a great night! Hope to have more of those soon!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Colour by Numbers

So Sunday was my Dad's birthday. We kept trying to get Rach to say Happy Birthday Papa, but she wanted nothing to do with that... We dressed her up in a beautiful purple dress her Auntie Marla gave her (in the pictures it looks white, but it was really a pretty lavendar!)
She now likes to do "Cheesey" face as soon as she sees the camera! She LOVES to pose! Maybe she needs an agent? lol...
We went to a really good little Italian restaurant for dinner... unfortunately, I got HORRIBLY sick after a few bites of birthday cake... it was really bad... and I felt so terrible because we were supposed to go back to my parents house after dinner but all I wanted to do was crawl home... I even let Tommy drive!
I literally went straight to bed when we got home. Tommy put Rach into her PJ's and put her to bed for me. I have no idea what set me off, but boy oh boy, was I miserable.
The next morning, I had to get up and drive all the way to Miami to pick up my friend Vicki from the airport. She was my neighbor but her & her hubby decided to retire to Panama! how cool...
Anyway, she was coming into the states to go shopping! LOL... So Rach & I drive across the alley to Miami airport. It really wasn't that bad a trip. Her flight was on time, so we picked her up and headed back home. Once we got into Cape, we were going to go for dinner, but when I went to change Rach, I discovered that she was soaked clear up to her NECK! Couldn't believe she didn't complain even a little! So I cleaned her up and let her drive home! LOL...
She was having so much fun sitting behind the wheel! Anyway, we got take out & headed home. Tuesday I was still feeling pretty lousy... not just my tummy, but then it started to feel like a head cold. Great... well, nobody else got sick, so I know it wasn't the food! Just me... oh well... Stayed home and stayed in bed and by Wednesday I was starting to feel better...
Today was just your average day... except Rach was showing off her skills with numbers! She can count almost to 20, and what totally amazed me was when she started flipping through her "Ten Little Ladybugs" book and no matter what page she landed on, she correctly told me the number that was on that page! So it's not just that she memorized the numbers in order... she really does know what each number is and what it looks like! I am impressed! My beautiful little genius!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

(everyday is) Halloween

We had a great day yesterday. Halloween 2009 was a big hit with our little munchkin! This year, she was dressed as a silly faced pumpkin. And even better, this year Halloween fell on Saturday, so her Daddy got to go with us around the neighborhood!
By the time we got to the 3rd house, Rachel figured out how to say "Trick or Treat!" I was totally shocked, since we hadn't really tried to teach it to her that at all! She just heard us & the other kids saying it as the house doors opened!

It also did not take very long before she figured out exactly what was happening... she was getting candy... LOTS of candy... and she liked it... and it was good! We did not let her have any of the candy yesterday, since we got home so late and she barely touched her dinner... we decided to wait and let her have one piece at each snack time. Anyway, we walked around the immediate neighborhood for a while and then we headed for home. Margie & Charlie & the crew were all coming trick or treating to our neighbrohood, so I wanted to get home and finish cooking. I had started making an experimental dinner that I couldn't wait to try. I made a chicken Marsala but each piece of chicken was layered with fresh spinach, Prosciutto & Mozzarella cheese. Then topped with Marsala sauce with mushrooms... Perfect timing, since Margie & Charlie arrived in time to stay for dinner too! They hung out with us while their kids & grandkids hit all the houses by us. Dinner was a HUGE hit. Tommy was RAVING about it. Now he usually likes my cooking and I don't think he has EVER said anything wasn't good, but this time he was really impressed. Charlie loved it too. (Margie wasn't feeling well). All in all, it was a really terrific day, even though I had to leave and go to work. That part is NEVER good. Oh well...
So today is my Dad's birthday. It's also my friend Z's birthday... well, I'm too far away to celebrate with Z, which kinda stinks... but we are going out for dinner tonite with Dad. I have been working all day with Rach trying to get her to say Happy Birthday Papa... she gets the Happy & the Papa with no problem, but birthday... well that one is a bit trickier... we'll see how she does tonite! I'll try to post pictures before bed!

Our Story

My photo
We are the proud parents of a beautiful little girl. I have not stopped smiling since the moment they placed her in my arms. We adopted her Sept 2008 and it's been nothing but wonderful! She is the best reason to open my eyes every day! Currently living in SW Florida. I've also become a MAJOR Twilight junkie, so now I'm told I'm a TWI-MOM & I LOVE it!

Our Daughter Rachel MeiLi

Our Daughter Rachel MeiLi
Rachel MeiLi

Red Thread Legend

Red Thread Legend
Chinese Red Thread Legend


Jodi's Greatest Hits - Some of my Favorite Tunes