Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year - 2014.  The year of the horse

Last year we had a Chinese New Year Party, but this year we are quieter.  We will be having plenty of yummy Chinese food, and we bought our traditional Chinese New Year Book, and we share traditions from Cainan's heritage.

Here is a picture of Cainan when we was adopted in China.  How much he has changed.

He is pre-surgery in this picture.  He didn't have his cleft lip and palate repaired until he came home to America.  And in this picture Mat has balanced him against the wall.  Even at 14 months, he hadn't even learned to crawl, let alone walk.

He had a hard start.  A very hard start.  You would be blown away by how far he has come.

China to us is a special place.  We would not have our Cainan without China's adoption program.  And as sad as we are for Cainan and all the children who are left on park benches because they cannot be cared for by their birth families, we wouldn't be a complete family without our boy.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

New Glasses

A few weeks ago, Arlington started complaining of headaches and that the words were blurry when she tried to read.  So I thought it was time.  She is almost 11, and Mat and I both had glasses around this age, so I wasn't surprised that it might mean glasses for her.

Last week, we went to the eye doctor, and sure enough - she needs glasses for reading.  Simple fix - doesn't have to wear them all the time, but she was excited.  She spent about 30 minutes trying on every.flipping.pair.of.frames and finally chose purple - her favorite color.

She looks really cute in them, and she thinks she hit the lottery.  They came in today, and we went to pick them up.  Tomorrow will be her first day wearing them at school, so we will see how it goes.

Monday, January 27, 2014


I am happy to report that my favorite lady is home from the hospital and starting her road to recovery.

It indeed is cancer.  She indeed has a fight ahead of her.  But she will come through this kicking and screaming - I know it.  I have never met anyone as strong as she is, so I know she will fight.

She went home with a lot of care.  Nursing, aides, physical therapy, occupational therapy, meals being delivered.......she is well cared for so that my mom, aunt, and grandfather can breathe a little easier.

One day at a time.  That is all they can do.  I am looking forward to going to Pennsylvania in February so that I can see her for myself and give her a pep talk.

In the mean time, the kids and I decided to send her a care package of some of her favorite goodies.  The woman loves coconut snowballs (so.gross), so we ordered those, got her some meals from Tastefully simple, some dark chocolate, some red hots candy.  We threw in some PEople magazines and some pictures the kids drew, and are getting ready to send it off.

If you read my blog, please say a prayer for continued healing.  Her job on this earth is not done.  And if you know her well, give her a call, or send her some love - she would sure appreciate it.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Okay - I can't even use the excuse that January has been busy - I just have really nothing exciting to blog about.  But I do want to blog today about my grandma
(she is the one in the middle of this group - standing to my right)

My grandma Bonnie has been a rock in our family for 88 years.  She is the person we all strive to be like.  There is no one like her in the world - hands down.

Around Thanksgiving, she started having pain in her back.  Not sure what she did - because the woman never complains - she went in to the doctor.  Found out that she broke a vertebrae in her back.  And it wasn't her first break.  She had evidence of old small breaks that had happened over the years that just healed on her own.

To say she is stoic would be an understatement.

For almost two months, she has been in a lot of pain.  Just not herself.  She didn't feel like doing much, and really was limited due to pain in her back.  Even with a brace and pain medication, she just couldn't get herself feeling better.  Plus she was going crazy with boredom.

About 2 weeks ago, my parents and my cousin who is a nurse were visiting her and just felt she didn't look well.  When I talked to her on the phone - she didn't sound right.  She sounded like she couldn't catch her breath and sounded weak.  My mom said her color wasn't good, and she wanted to nap during the day, which she never did.

So - they encouraged her to go to the doctor to get checked out.  He ran blood tests and her tests were out of wack.  So he admitted her to the hospital to try and figure out what was going on with her.

HEre we are almost two weeks later, and our matriarch is still in the hospital.  We have found out that she has a cancer called multiple myeloma.  We were completely shocked.  Like I said - never sick.  She also had a lot of fluid in her lungs -which explained why she was short of breath.  She had that drained, she had a port placed to give her chemo, and has gotten a lot of fluid, blood, treatment.  She is feeling and sounded more like herself and she is ready to get out of there.

We do not know what the future will hold for her.  The cancer is in an advanced stage, but treatable.  It is not a curable cancer.  She will get chemo twice a week for a long.....long...time.

Please say a prayer for her and for my grandfather.  He is a mess about this whole thing.  They are going to get a lot of support when they go home, but it might be a very long time before she is back to being like her old self.  And in all honesty - that may never happen.

This is her new reality.  But she is a fighter.  And she still has work to do - like teach me to cook.  So we expect her to be around for a very long time.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Olympic Skaters

This past Thursday, Arlington and I had the chance to go with her girl scout troop to see the Olympic hopefuls do their final skating trials before heading to Sochi for the Olympics.  We were so excited for this outing.  We love watching the ice skating during the Olympics.

We also had a chance to see Michelle Kwan inducted into the World Hall of Fame for skating.  She is the most decorated skater in the world.  It was cool to see her up close.

Boston was lucky to host these championships - especially at this final level, and we were excited to see such amazing talent.  Enjoy the pictures!

Arlington and her friend "K" getting ready for the show:
 Getting ready for the show:

 the opening show:
 The judges tables:
 What we saw was the ladies short program:

 This girl was from Massachusetts:

 This girl was from Pittsburgh, PA:

 Some of the girls in Arlington's troop:
 Michelle Kwan!!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New Year

I was going to make a New Year's Resolution to blog more, and it is now Jan. 8th and I have not done it yet.  Bad me.  I am going to take more pictures this year - so I will vow to blog more.

In the mean time - Here is a catch up post of all the things we have done since Christmas.  Enjoy!

Our blow up Snowman waving hello to our visitors:

Cainan built about 20 lego sets
Finley made some new art pieces from all her new art supplies:
Cainan got a hair cut:

Some of Cainan's finished legos:

We had round three - the final round - of Christmas:

Cainan ate some pudding pie:

The kids stayed up late for New Year's eve:
Arlington set up a nail salon while we waited to ring in the new year:

WE had a feast on New Year's Day while my parents were visiting:

 Mat and Arlington attempted to make Twinkie's with a new Twinkie maker.....not so easy:
Finley participated in crazy hair day at school: