An End of Year Update

I feel like I need to write a year in review post, but this won’t be it.  Instead I’ll share how we’ve been these past few months.  Since my last post all those months ago, we celebrated Chickadee’s first birthday.  Then she and I flew to Chicago to celebrate one of my sister’s birthdays.  We’ve also travelled to West Virginia a few times to see family and friends.  We’ve been able to pick up where we left off with our adoption support group after a long hiatus. We hired our first babysitter so we could go to a meeting… to talk about our kids.

Speaking of…  :-)

Chickadee is cutting her teeth out of order.  She’s got most of her incisors and molars.  That’s it.  I’m not sure where the rest of her teeth are.  Finally, at nearly fifteen months, she is a-walkin’.  She remains a very picky eater, preferring spicy curry, spinach, and lamb.  The pungent the better?  Since those items don’t frequent our weekly menu, all she prefers to eat still is applesauce and yoghurt so I asked the doctor if I needed to supplement her diet with vitamins. He wasn’t worried about her so we’ll keep encouraging her to eat our “bland” foods.  This girl is strange.  She is still vehemently opinionated and refuses to nap.  Oh, and she fell into a brick fireplace so the family Christmas photo isn’t going to happen this year.

Wren continues to be the most active little girl ever.  A friend lent us her copy of the movie Frozen, and much to our amazement Wren sat all the way through it.  So, of course, we bought our own copy which comes in handy for doing her hair.  (Seriously, we only own like 20 movies, of which most are trilogies, so this first Disney purchase was a big deal.)  She understands a lot and is communicating better with words.  She’s fiercely independent and quick at learning new skills since she wants to do everything herself.  She can to count to thirty with you, and she’s able to recognize most of the letters.  She’s a daredevil who loves to do “gymnastics” with daddy.  She also likes to recreate the ballet moves we’ve watched together on YouTube.   I think the time has come for us to enroll her in some kind of program.  (Do you have any suggestions?  If so, please leave them in the comments.)

I’ve been doing okay.  In addition to caring for my little girls, here are the two reasons I haven’t been posting much lately:

1.  Church stuff.  We’ve been working with our church to start a new church-wide ministry which launches in a few weeks.  We’ve had to do a lot of research and polling, a lot of prayer and study, and documentation and consequent training.  This has eaten up a huge chunk of time, and we are quite glad to serve this way.

2.  Knitting stuff.  I challenged myself to knit myself a sweater this year, and I did!  Not to mention all of the other knitted items I’ve made this year (this will be perfect material for a yearly recap post).

On another note: notified me this weekend that I’ve been blogging with them for five years.  This blog started off as a way to share my travel adventures with family and has turned into a public family journal.  I think that it’s about time for another shift, and I’ve been bouncing around a few ideas in my head since I don’t think you want to read about how potty training has(n’t) been going so well.  I’ve never been a good writer, but I have enjoyed these writing sessions as a creative outlet so I don’t want to stop altogether.  Well, this is all I can write for now, it’s time for some juice and pretzels.  If I don’t make it back by next week, I wish each one of you a very Merry Christmas!

Quick Update on the Girls

Chickadee is napping! And Wren has decided we are done playing our matching game, so I figure I can write a quick post about them.

First, the baby is eleven months old. She is just learning to stand unassisted which means walking is a ways off still. She is a parrot. She likes to say mama and dada and doggy and cat. I think she even calls out for her sissy by name, but this fact has not been independently verified by a non-biased party. She also said cup the other day. I’m cautious to say these are real words because she only says them when prompted.

Next, the toddler. Wren has an imagination, that one, and a sense of humor. She is a blast to play with. Today, she started to correctly identify colors today IN A YARN STORE of all places. I couldn’t be more proud.
Lastly, she has discovered the usefulness of pockets. I hope I catch her treasures before they end up in the washing machine.

We keep busy between playdates at the park, kids concerts, and trips to the zoo. Its been a great summer.


Happy Cake Day!

My sister Ling Ling and I are twelve years plus one day apart in age. And because we live where we do, we actually get to share our birthdays for one hour. Today is her birthday, and tomorrow is mine. But when the clock strikes midnight, and I officially age
one year, it is still her birthday because she lives one time zone behind me.

I know you read this blog, dear sister, but that you may not get to it later. I hope you had some yummy cake, because according to my two girls, that is what birthdays are all about.


Summer Craft Round-Up (Part 1): Sew This, Knit That

I have been a busy bee these past few weeks.  It all started when little Chickadee was under quarantine.  Not only were we staying home, but she was taking solid naps.  Wren has always been a good napper, so I took advantage of the situation and set up shop in the basement.

First, I took out this unfinished quilt and finally attached the binding.  It was one of those stories where you wonder why you let it sit unfinished for half a year when it took one afternoon to complete it.




It is not perfect, but it is the second quilt of this size I have ever made, and it is d-o-n-e!

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Then, feeling bad about having neglected my needles, I was determined to finish yet another project.  My mother had sent some bamboo yarn my way.  It was not enough for me to make a sweater that I’ve been dreaming about, at least not one in my size!  So I did some arithmetic and scaled it down many sizes.  It will fit a 3-6 month old baby.




My Ravelry notes are here.

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THEN some leftover squares from the table runner I made back in December were calling my name.  I didn’t know what to do with them, so many evenings you could find me in the basement rearranging the squares.  After reading Modern Log Cabin Quilts, a really great book I checked out from my local library, I found my inspiration.





The greatest part about finishing this project, aside from the finishing of it, was sending it off in the mail.  I really liked it, and I’m pretty glad that it’s going to a good home.  (Happy Belated  10th Wedding Anniversary, Andy and Lindy!)

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And THEN I decided that I was done knitting my nursing shawl.  It wasn’t shaping up the way I wanted it to.  I like the pattern a lot, but the wool/acrylic blend just didn’t drape.  So I knit a few more repeats until it ended on a good colour for symmetry and called it a baby blanket.  The cast-on edges like to curl so I’m contemplating what to do about that.  So technically, this project is not done because I need to … add a detailed edging?  … line the back?  Hopefully, I’ll figure it out soon enough and then I’ll come back with more photos.

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Oh, and Chicka is finally a good napper!  Alas, she’s awake so I’ve got to run.  Until next time.  :)


In their words

Chicka has been waving for a long time now. Only recently has she added “hi” and even “hey” to her warm greeting. Ever since she was a newborn, she has commanded attention.

She is starting to babble a lot. She likes repetition, and she will utter “dada” x 50. She is also keen on repeating the phrase “I did it.”

We stayed home recently from a trip to see family because she spiked a fever. Then she developed a rash. A trip to the doctor’s determined she had a viral infection which was contagious, so we stayed indoors for four more days — an eternity to a toddler and her mother.

Despite her illness, Chicka was determined to check off a few more developmental milestones off her to-do list. Stand unassisted, check. Crawl up steps, check. So, yes, she did do it.

Sometimes I wonder though how often her big sister puts her up to it. For example, if I were to ask, “Who drew on this wall?” who do you think answers “I did it.” Right, not the one who did.

I don’t know how much Wren understands, probably more than she lets on and probably more than I want to admit. The age of complete innocence is definitely going away.

I asked, after spotting lotion and wet paper towels on the carpet, “Who made this mess?”

Wren replied, in her sweetest voice, “Daddy.”

“I don’t think Daddy did this. He is working,” I countered.

“Ohhh.” I can read Wren’s mind, and this is what the “ohhh” meant: “I should have pinned this on Chicka.”

Wren does actual speak in sentences now. She likes to talk about her sister. And every now and then she sparks interest in crossing off a developmental milestone herself. Like this morning, when she said, “I want to go potty now, Mommy.”

That’s a first!

We struck up a conversation easily at the backyard crab fest that a mutual friend hosted, but things got a little awkward when she asked if my girls were twins. She must have confused me, or perhaps one of my daughters, with someone else, because no, they are not.

These two are inseparable. Here I attempted to take their photo before church one Sunday, but I couldn’t get either if them to cooperate.

This one is from a few weeks back. They have very similar hobbies, can’t you see?

Well, as we say all the time around here, never a dull moment!

Should you adopt just because you should?

Last Wednesday, as Wren, Chickadee and I were getting ready to go on a walk around the neighborhood, I got a phone call from the adoption agency.  It was important.  It was the kind of call that makes you stop everything you are doing.

Mama Tee had given birth to a baby boy, and she wanted us to adopt him.

“Hold up!” I am hearing you all say. “Didn’t you just see her?  Did you know she was pregnant?”

Yes, we saw her back in February.  She was wearing a coat indoors which was a little strange.  While I briefly entertained the possibility of her being pregnant, the subject did not come up.  I figured she would tell me if she wanted to, and I left it at that.

Did I secretly wish deep down that she was pregnant and that we could raise him?  Yes.

So why did Okey and I respond no?  It’s complicated.

The reason I’ve struggled with writing this post is that I don’t feel it’s my place to share the details surrounding his birth.  I’m not going to reveal much here because I want to respect him and his family.

Like his sister, he was born early.  No one knew when he would be released from the hospital.  With my two little ones, I knew that I could not make the daily trips (80-miles one-way) to see him.  I felt strongly that he needed his mother to hold him daily, and I could not offer him that.

Okey and I also recognized that our girls have needs and fully deserve our attention.  I’m sure we could have made it work, bringing him into our family, but it would have been a lot of work.  We’re already feeling like a fragile ecosystem.

We spent days asking difficult questions.  We felt like philosophers by the end of the long weekend.

Does blood matter that much?  Should we adopt because it is the right thing to do?  How do we fit three car seats in the SUV?  Will Wren resent us?

We talked it over with our parents and some friends in the adoption world, and I’m so thankful for their support and perspectives.

The tug on my heart to hold him was there, but I didn’t feel a motherly love toward him.  When we got the call about Wren, we knew she was our daughter.  The bond with her was instantaneous.  We just didn’t get that same peace with him.  Maybe it’s because we weren’t looking to expand our family, or maybe it just was not meant to be.