Saturday, March 29, 2008

Quiet Week ...

Not much to share this week ... Cadence is back to her regular sleeping routine (1-2 hour nap and a full nights sleep ... yay!!!). We went to the Rainforest Cafe on Tuesday and sat right under the elephants. I'm not sure elephants are Cadence's favourite animal anymore! They were pretty loud and she was a little frightened ... we'll go for the gorilla next time. The weather is starting to improve so we've been able to get outside a bit which Cadence loves. No daycare this week ... that will make next week INTERESTING to say the least! Cadence has been crying the minute I am out of arm's reach ...

In other news, my hockey team is on a winning streak ... well, we've won the last two games ... for us, it's a streak! And I had the most fabulous treatment today ... a salt polish ... highly recommend it! Still trying to make a decision on the flooring ... have some hardwood samples now too and need to decide which way to go ... Help!

Just a few photos for you today:



Wednesday, March 26, 2008

How to Get Your Toddler to Sleep ....

After 20 minutes of this activity ... bedtime was a breeze!!! Maybe Cadence needs a sista!!!

Admired from Afar ...

We thought the ducks were hilarious ... the girls thought otherwise!

Easter at Baba's ...

First things first:

Cadence opening a present from Baba.

Cheers to my cousin Olivia.

Singing 'Itsy Bitsy Spider'.

'Don't even THINK about touching my tart!'

Not too sure about what was in the bag.

We had a great drive up north (thanks Didi!) ... it definitely helps to break the trip up into two segments. Cadence quickly adjusted to her new environment and took to Baba right away! She enjoyed time with her aunties and cousins to the point of exhaustion ... yay!!!! Mommy and Daddy even got to have another dinner out ... as a couple ... thank you Baba and Chacha!
Cadence learned new words this weekend too... manners at that ... thank you and please!!! Mistaking the table cloth for a parachute was a whole other matter mind you ... but the girls definitely had fun and it was a joy for us to watch them giggle away! I will post some videos of the girls in action later today ... stay tuned!
As resilient as Cadence was, I think we may have pushed her limits just a bit. On the way home she had a complete meltdown when we stopped for lunch ... nothing would console her. Once she was back in the car though ... all was good! I even found her quite clingy yesterday and having crying fits if I left the room for a moment. I realize that there must be some fear in her with regard to abandonement ... she has not forgotten that is for sure. So today we are spending quality time together and she is getting the reassurance she needs that she is HOME! I fear the return to daycare next week ...... I fear the gains we have made are lost ... hopefully it won't take long to get it back.
Well, off to catch up on laundry, bills and ... I just might get dressed!!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

This Week in Review ...

Here are some photos from this past week (before the Easter weekend). Check out Cadence's exceptional pencil grip in her
colouring shot. Sean does not win ANY photography awards for the picture of Cadence and I ... this is why there are so few shots of the two of us! As for the Easter hat ... a fashion faux pas according to our little diva!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

No Coat!

Well ... today was the first time in about 6 weeks that Cadence actually took her coat off at her daycare provider's!!! For the past two days, she has made it 2 hours instead of one, is interacting with the toys and children AND doesn't cry when I pick her up ... drop off, another story, but it only lasts a few minutes! In other news, today was her last session of Busy Bees and I just can't believe the growth ... she did all of the actions to every song right in the middle of the circle ... she didn't even notice whether I was there or not ... it is bittersweet let me tell you! I am proud of her, but sad that she is becoming so independent and such a little lady!
Right now, however, she is driving me CRAZY!!!!! I am trying to pack the car and leave the house in a semi tidy state, but she is pulling things out left, right and centre. Everytime I get one thing done, there are two or more NEW tasks to deal with ... argh!!!
So ... I think it's time to resort to a 'nack' in the high chair!
Happy Easter everyone!!!! We're on our way north ... photos when we get back ......

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Perspective ....

Hours ago, this post may have had a much different, more vulgar flair ... but with time the day improved and I cooled down ... plus, there's nothing like a little perspective!
Don't get me wrong, I am still a little pissy ...

Got in the car this morning to take Cadence to daycare and noticed all my 'stuff' strewn about the interior of the car ... yep, it had
been ransacked and not ALL my stuff was to be accounted for. Obviously, my Maui Jim sunglasses (a personal splurge last summer), DVD player and ALL of Cadence's dvds were gone! It appears all my CD's were present and accounted for (although I'm not sure what was in the car at this point) ... guess the thugs didn't appreciate my ecclectic taste in music! So off I went to report it, called insurance ... big deductible if I make a claim, plus a rate increase for the next 3 years ... can someone tell me why we pay for insurance that we can never really use?????!!!! After that it was off to the mechanic to find out what is wrong with my car ... it's been two hours now and no word ... that makes me nervous! So all and all, NOT a good day ... did I mention it is my birthday today?!
As the day progressed, I found my sunglasses, realized the key to the house was in my car with a big label attached, 'HOUSE' ... so things could have been FAR worse!  And then my lovely daycare provider sent this beautiful flower arrangement .... talk about brightening up my day!

And then, as I do everyday, I checked in on THIS BLOG.  When you really put things into perspective ... I'm a very lucky lady!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Before and After ...

It was almost 4 years ago that Sean and I began the research into adopting a child from China. It was a decision we were not prepared to make lightly, our daughter deserved that ... we spent several months talking about it and although we were sure it was for us, we decided to take the time and make our final decision on one of our trips down south ...
Upon returning, there was no question in our minds that a daughter from China was in our future and so began the long process ... well, at the time we thought the 6-9 month process would indeed be long ... we couldn't have been more wrong! Here is a picture we took in Punta Cana 3 years ago ... when we imagined Cadence would soon enter our lives ...

And here is the same shot ... almost ... 2 YEARS later ...

Yes, Cadence was indeed worth the wait ...
Our trips south ... will NEVER be the same!
Check out some of the photos, videos and commentaries in the following posts ...

Beach Baby!

Hurdles and Hoorahs ...

First things first .... my favourite five from the trip

As you can well imagine, travelling with a toddler can be a little difficult ... let me share some of my hurdles with you ...
1)  Luggage and Carry-ons
Imagine me with 2 suitcases, a large carry on bag, a diaper bag, a heavy, cumbersome but cool stroller, DVD player in a case AND one almost 16 month old ... tricky ... thank goodness for my travelling companions!
2)  The Room
Not the most luxurious, by far.  One king size bed, a concrete floor and a child who 'spins' in her sleep.  After getting no sleep the first night ... I was too stressed Cadence would fall off the bed, despite all the barriers I tried to put up ... a crib became available.
3)  Unsafe Water
At least 3 times a day, I had to run water through the coffee maker to sterilize the sippy cups for milk and 'juice'.
4)  No Fear!
Cadence has absolutely no fear of the water ... pool or ocean ... she is drawn to it.  The life jacket was a battle she won on this trip, but come summer ... it WILL be a rule!
5)  My Brute Strength
So, the humidity caused the door to stick ... I shoved against it with my hip ... a little harder than I realized ... completely shattered the inner door frame ... oops!
6)  All Inclusive
By the third day, most of what I brought no longer fit!
7)  Car Trouble
Back at the airport my car would not start and was losing power on our drive home ... I truly expected we were going to be stranded on the highway.  Did I mention this was at two in the morning?  I was so stressed about it, I got lost trying to get out of the airport ... it was not a great way to end the trip ... BUT, it didn't take away from the hoorahs!

Now for the flip side ...

1)  The Best Roomate
Undoubtedly, Cadence was an amazing little traveller ... she slept well, ate well, okay so it was fries, hotdogs and watermelon everyday, I won't win any parenting awards there ... but she was happy and healthy and it was only 4 days!
2)  The Weather
Yup ... 28 and sunny every day!  What more is there to say about that!
3)  My Travel Companions
Maddie and Martha were awesome, go with the flow, happy travellers too!
4)  All Inclusive
So maybe I gained weight ... must mean I enjoyed the food and drink ... no?!
5)  Great Locations
We had 'reserved' spots for the entire day at both the beach and the pool!
6)  White Sand
Punta Cana has the most amazing beaches ... it was a pleasure to watch Cadence run along the beach, sit and giggle as the waves washed upon her, build and destroy sand 'castles and even manage a good nap oceanside!
7)  Colour
Despite our short stay and my role as a watchful parent, I did manage a fairly good tan ... not my usual, but I think it's a safe one!
8)  The Watch
Martha and I both spied a great looking watch on a beautiful Parisian woman and being the friendly Canadians we are, shared that compliment with her. Much to Martha's dismay ... I ended up with the watch ... it's GORGEOUS!

Truly it was a great few days ... Cadence had a ball, ran free, danced the day and night away and was a good girl!  Would I do it again? ... most likely ... but next time we'll make sure we invite Dadda!  We did miss him ... plus we needed a photographer! 

Where Was Dadda?

We're BACK!!!!!

Cadence and I have returned from our 'adventure' with Martha and Madison.  We had great weather and good times AND the joy on my daughter's face every day was priceless!  More info and fantastic photos to come ....

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sunday, March 9, 2008

On the Road ... again and again!

We just arrived back from a little jaunt up  north where Cadence blossomed into a complete social butterfly.  She was on fire I tell you!  She performed every little 'trick' on command and had her audience totally captivated.  Not only that, she slept well, ate well and as always, was a stellar shopper!  This bodes well for us over the next few weeks ... Cadence and I are off again on Tuesday for a 4 night adventure and then heading north as a family again for the Easter weekend. Yes, we are going to be busy!
My newest challenge ... daylight savings!  The absence of darkness at 7:00 is totally going to throw a wrench into the sleep routine!  Back to square one I presume ...
It is now Monday and I must tell you, Cadence fell asleep at about 7:03, stirred briefly at 9:30 and then again at 3:30 but did not wake until well after 8!  I think the excitement of the weekend caught up with her!

Here are a couple of photos to enjoy while we are away ... no updates until after the March Break I am afraid!
First shot:  Cadence has finally succumbed to peas ... and she LOVES them!
Next two:   Saving up for next year's vacation!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

In House Comedian ...

I am living with a funny girl .... just ask her! Seriously, Cadence has been an absolute hoot over the last couple of days (does the word hoot make me sound old?). She does things she obviously thinks are funny and laughs hysterically at herself ... and wouldn't you know it ... stops the minute I grab for the camera. Of course the fact that I laugh along with her, only reinforces her self image. She has a couple of new words that I recall: apple, eye, wow (is that considered a word?) and is attempting to dress herself now. Yesterday she was riding her little car thing ... backwards ... and couldn't manage to get it to go in the direction she wanted so the little might, got off and picked that thing up and carried it clear across the kitchen! She is determined with a capital D! With any luck, I might capture that on video ... cause I just know you are dying to see that!

Now, for some input ... I'm looking into replacing the milk, juice, goldfish stained carpet in the great room and have some bamboo samples ... they're quite nice! What do you know about bamboo? What colour do you like best in the photos? Eventually I plan to put flooring in the dining room too, which is a separate room ... will it look stupid if I go with different floors or should I just bite the bullet and do both now? Although the dining room is separate, from the entrance you view both rooms ....
Thanks for helping out!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Six Months ... (now with photos!)

It was on this day 6 months ago, that Cadence physically entered our lives in a conference room in Chongqing City.  It was a very calm and surreal event that changed our lives for ever!  
I went back to the September 2nd post to relive 'the moment' and realized how very little I wrote about it.  Given the importance of the day, I owe Cadence the full 'play by play' account.

At 3:00 all of us families met in the lobby to organize the gifts we were presenting to the orphanage and the nannies.  I made a point of interviewing each family prior to meeting their child ... someday, I'll get around to transferring those clips onto my laptop and blog ... we talked about our mental states, our nerves and fears.  At 3:30 we went to the conference room on the 3rd floor to meet with Mike and Julie, our guides, to complete the 'paperworks' prior to the babies' arrival.  As soon as we got there Mike announced that the babies were in the hotel and so naturally, all of us anxious parents got to work quickly on the forms ... we wanted to see our babies ASAP.  Two minutes later Mike again told us the babies were here and then I believe Hoda said it too and before we could realize what was happening, the babies, OUR baby, was in the room!  There was a mad scramble for the cameras and video recorders ... it was mayhem!
Cadence was the third baby ... I remember going over and saying hi and talking to her for a couple of minutes ... she smiled right away ... and I didn't even cry.  Then I asked, "Can I hold her?" ... wasn't sure if I had to finish the paperwork first ... seriously!  The nanny handed her over to me, then clapped his hands, she grunted a bit and he said, "momma" to Cadence and then walked away.  That was it!  That was 'the ceremony'.  Sean and I took turns holding her, taking pictures with her, introducing her to a couple of toys and visiting the other babies.  After about 15 or 20 minutes, Mike and Julie instructed one parent to take the baby back to the room to change and feed her and the other to remain behind and complete the paperwork.  Not surprisingly, I went back to the room.  Miss Cadence was well trained at getting her diaper changed.  The second I slipped her pants off, she lifted up her chunky little legs until the diaper change was complete ... hmmm, my how things have changed in 6 months!  She sucked back her bottle like a trooper and was just a calm, happy, amazing baby ... I couldn't wait for Sean to get back to us so ... I took Cadence back to the conference room to see her daddy.  I was happy not to be the only mommy who had that idea!  The rest is history!!!

Now, six months later we have a bright, engaging, independent, active toddler, who keeps us on our toes.  She is SMART!  The heavy metal bar stool that once prevented Cadence from getting into the 'nack' cupboard no longer works ... she is able to muster up the strength to slide it away and help herself to just about anything in there.  My master of distraction tactics are no longer working either.  Weeks ago, I could redirect her attention towards things I could accept her getting into ... the tupperware, tea towels ... whatever, but she doesn't fall for that anymore and holds her ground ... we are about to enter a very difficult stage I'm afraid!  She also HATES us helping her ... doesn't want us to assist her down the stairs or unzipper her sweatshirts ... she's only 15 months old for goodness sake!  The word 'NO' is about to become the new buzz word in our household and I am afraid ... very afraid!

Please note ... photos will be added tomorrow ... I'm still trying to catch up on sleep!

Here are the before and after shots:

Yes, that is mommy's shoe she is holding ... and notice the mouth ... finally her newest word ... SHOE!!! That's my girl!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Who Survived ?

I am happy to report that all the girls, as well as Sean and Cadence, survived The Girl's Getaway! I have to admit, I was a tad concerned that Cadence would have 'issues' when she got up this morning and I was nowhere to be found, but she handled it all in stride as did Dadda.  They had a great time and everyone ate and slept on schedule (as a matter of fact, Cadence slept in until 8:30!!!  Do you have ANY idea how much I could get done with that extra hour and a half in the morning???? yeesh!) ... way to go Dadda!  Unfortunately for you, the success of this maiden voyage will undoubtedly lead to a few more 'getaways' for mommy ... yahoo!  
As for 'the girls', there are rules and what happens in **********, stays in ***********, so you won't be getting any stories or photos from me!   I will spill one detail though ... if you ever get the chance, do check out Le Scandinave ... it's quite a treat, but .... SHHHH, be very, very quiet ... literally!
Off to catch up on sleep ... night, night!