Monday, October 29, 2007

2nd Birthday (cake and presents)



Here are some more pictures from AnnaClaire's big 2 year old birthday!! I still have to upload Dad's camera and post those. Enjoy!!

Birthday pics (zoo)



Sorry to keep you waiting! I would've posted one or two pictures on Saturday, but since I can't post pictures, I have to do slideshows and I was just not in the mood to make slideshows. But here's some pictures from the zoo... pictures from presents and cake coming soon :)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Happy Birthday, AnnaClaire!

So the Bu had a great birthday. I'm not going to go into huge detail as I am exhausted. It's been a great day and I think Miss AnnaClaire knew it was her special day. It was a great one, too. We had a blast at the zoo and saw all kinds of animals, rode the merry go round, and just had a great time. We came home and AC had a huge stash of presents to open. She got all kinds of great things. She was so cute opening them. She would concentrate so hard and work so hard and make sure all the wrapping paper was off before she looked at the present. She got a little clock thing (Mom and Dad), a doll (Mom and Dad), a ladybug piggy bank (our next door neighbors), an iron (me), an ironing board (Grandma), a stroller for her dolly (Grandma), a little dog with a dog carrier (Sara Beth's sweet family), lots of books (aunts and uncles, neighbors, Ellie's family), stuffed animals (neighbors), princess goodies (Ellie's family), ABC cookie cutters (Grandma), a little happy birthday cake toy thing (Mom and Dad), lots of cards, and a balloon. And then.. she finally got her beloved tricycle (Mom and Dad). That's the last thing she opened and you should've seen her face light up when she saw it. She loves all her presents so much. You should have seen her after she opened each and every one. She just looked at it and played with it and then would go open another. Every present she got was a hit. The doll is not her favorite but she loves pushing her around in the stroller. Her little ironing board and iron is a huge hit as well. She's so cute ironing. It's from PB and it is so cute and real looking! She loved ironing washcloths after she opened that! She is so cute pushing around her stroller, too. It's the cutest stroller, also from PB. Of course she rode her trike all around the house. All her presents are just so cute. She is in love with her clock, she kept going to it. She loved it. Every single thing she got she just loved!!! I was amazed at how much concentration she put into opening each present and how excited she looked when she opened it. We did cake after presents. AnnaClaire's cake was so pretty! It wasn't the color scheme we wanted, but it was still pretty and extra yummy! She loved blowing out the candles and was so clean eating her cake. Her favorite part of the cake was the little flowers on it. It was such a great birthday. And the whole family was together for once, which was nice. I have tons and tons of pictures (about 400-500 to be exact) but I'll save those and more about our day for another day. But it was a great birthday and AnnaClaire now responds after being asked how old she is, "TWOOOOOOO!"

Friday, October 26, 2007

Ahmost Two!

If you ask AnnaClaire how old she is, she excitedly responds in the cutest voice, "Ahmost two!" But not for long.... because tomorrow our sweet Bu will be TWO!! I can't believe it! Where has time gone? How is it almost the 27th already? I remember celebrating the Bu's 1st birthday last year... without her. It was so hard. And now here we are so close to her second birthday! The fireplace is filled with presents. Lots of people have sent/brought over treats for her. Tomorrow is going to be such fun. We are planning on going to the zoo! Drew came home from college today and Grandma is here, so it will be fun. I can't believe my sweetie is almost 2 though. Wow. She's growing up so fast!

I still have lots of pictures to add but I still can't add them so I'm going to need to do slideshows. After the birthday celebration, I'll try to get to that :)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Just a note of thanks

First of all, thank you so much for all the many comments you have left. I have enjoyed reading each one. We are doing okay. It's still so surreal. Saturday was by far the hardest day. I barely slept on Friday night and all Saturday I just kept thinking about how Maggie wasn't there. It's like I would drop a goldfish on the floor and right away thing, "Oh, Maggie will get it!" But no... I had to pick it up and throw it away... because there is no Maggie to get it. We also always had to shut our door to our garage. We could never leave it open or Maggie would escape. So naturally, everytime we go outside we close it. But now there's no need to close it. It's just the little things like that that our just really hard. We have had amazing friends during this time. In fact one of our neighbors came over yesterday with the cutest little stuffed animal dog that looks just like Maggie, for AnnaClaire. AnnaClaire loves her little dog. Speaking of AnnaClaire, she is doing okay. It is really, really hard because she just doesn't understand the whole thing. She knows Maggie's not here, but it's hard to know what to tell her. We don't want to tell her she was sick or she went byebye, because we are scared that if we tell her that, she might think when she's sick or goes byebye that she's never coming back. Mom ended up telling her that Maggie isn't with us anymore... that she she is in "Doggie Heaven." It's especially sad to be because AnnaClaire has started going to where Maggie's bed was and says, "Uh oh Maggie!" Then she runs over to where her food bowl was and says with the saddest look on her face, "Maggie." On Saturday she went out to look for her and started saying, "Maggie! Cookie!" It was the saddest thing. It's just extremely hard. It's going to take some time. I know plenty of people who have lost pets, but I don't think you realize how hard it is until you actually go through it. On Saturday night, I was babysitting and the girl goes, "So, do you have any pets?" I responded, "Ye........ no.. No, I don't." I was in tears as I answered that question. I have to catch myself. It's hard. I've even called AnnaClaire "Maggie" a few times. It's going to take some major getting used to. But we'll get through it. Like I said we've had the sweetest friends who've brought over things and cards for us. Another one of our friends put their 10 year old cat to sleep today so we have talked with them a lot and gone through our sadness. But yep.. we're hanging in there. Thanks again for all the comments. I so appreciate them!!

Yesterday we headed to Greensboro and got to meet up with Allison, one of the chatty sisters I was telling you about! It was great fun! They wre having a reunion and they invited us to go as well. There were lots of sweet little Chinese girls running around the yard as we enjoyed a nice picnic outside. I have lots of good pictures and stories to share from that that I'll post later. As for now I need to get some more homework done!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

We love our Maggie!


(I have many, many pictures of Maggie, but most of them aren't on this computer. This is my favorite though... enjoy!)

It is with tears falling that I tell you about our sweet Maggie. Last night a very sad thing happened in our house. Our precious Maggie was put to sleep at about 1am today. She had been fine... we never would have guessed she was doing to go so soon. She hadn't really been acting herself lately... not as loud, not really wanting bones, etc. She had also started having accidents inside. Despite this, we didn't think anything about it. Last night Dad went to let her out before he went to bed. She was laying on her bed and no matter how Dad coaxed her, she wouldn't move. Finally she got up and slowly made her way outside, down the stairs, and went to the bathroom. Dad realized she had had another accident inside so while she was out, Dad cleaned it up. About 5 minutes later, he called her in. She didn't come. He coaxed her with treats and started getting worried she had gotten under the gate. He grabbed the flashlight and went in the yard searching for her, when he found her laying in the grass. She still wouldn't move, so he carried her back in the house. At this point he knew something was up and got me and Mom up. He and Mom decided to take her to the emergency vet place, and I stroked her, kissed her, and loved on her... in case I was never going to see her again. I was really worried but I did think, "well maybe it's something they can fix." I mean, we had never experienced any of this and definitely thought she was just not feeling well. I went back upstairs as they left and fell asleep. Around 1:30 or 2, Mom and Dad came in my room and broke the news. They had got there and Maggie's breathing had gotten heavier. They said she looked pitiful as they went in. Right away, they were brought to a room at the vet and were soon informed that Maggie had internal bleeding and tumors. They said they could xray to see how much the cancer had spread, but that they thought it was all throughout her liver and spleen. Devasted by the news, the doctor kept talking. They said they could do chemo or perform surgery, but it would -at best- give our sweet dog only 3 months left of life. He said the best option was to put her to sleep then and there. He told Mom and Dad that she most likely has had the tumors for 6 months. We never even knew. She seemed so active, happy, healthy... we never would've guessed she had cancer. Anyway, Will was at a friend's house, so they tried calling him and the doctor sadly said that Maggie probably couldn't even make it that long. Besides, Will didn't have his phone with him. As Mom, Dad, and Maggie went back to another room, Maggie quickly was put to sleep and with a very peaceful look on her face, she left her pain. It's a very sad day in our family. We have had Maggie for almost 8 years and she would be 8 next month. Although she seems really young, springer spaniels lifespan is 8-10 years so it was normal. I guess we were just expecting more of 10 years... not a month short of 8. It is so weird that she's not here. It's weird that I'm watching football on the sofa and she's not on my feet, keeping them warm. It's weird not to hear her barking everytime someone walks by. It's weird not to hear her collar jingling throughout the house. It's all just weird. Mom and Dad walked into the vet with our sweet dog. 40 minutes later, they walked out without her. Of course AnnaClaire doesn't understand whatsoever. This morning, she started calling, "Maggie, Maggie!" And when Maggie didn't come, she ran to the door and said, "Maggie! Cookie!" (She must've thought Maggie had run out the door and was trying to get her back with a cookie.) I feel so bad. She has no idea that her Maggie is gone forever... Mom told AC that Maggie isn't here anymore... that she went to Doggie Heaven. It makes me so sad. I'm glad that AnnaClaire kissed Maggie goodnight last night (as she always does) because her favorite doggie is not here now... The whole thing is just strange... I keep having to remind myself she's not here. She was perfectly fine! Last weekend we bought her more food and bones... she was fine. We never would've guessed she would be gone a week later. I miss my Maggie pup so much it's not even funny. We are really glad we brought her to the vet though, because the dr said she definitely would have died. I can't imagine walking downstairs to find my precious pup dead on the rug. And then we never would've known why... So anyway, if you could just be thinking and praying for us during this time, that would be great. It's really hard to love something you love...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

yesterday



Here's some pictures from yesterday. When AC picked me up from school, my friend Leah came out to see her. When we drove awah AnnaClaire goes, "Bubye Leah!" all the way home and then today when I got in the car, AnnaClaire goes, "Bubye Leah!" It was so cute! On the way home we always count all the school buses we see. She loves counting school buses! So anyway, here are some pictures from yesterday. I have a couple from today but they are on my dad's camera which I need to upload still so I'll probably add those tomorrow.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

We love fall!!!!!!!!



We have been having the nicest fall weather lately. It's great! We had a great weekend, too. Yeseterday AnnaClaire went with Mom to an open house thing and got some new bows from Sara Beth Bows! I had some friends over in the afternoon and AnnaClaire was definitely a hit. She loves seeing all my friends! Today after Church we went to Pei Wei. it was so good. On the way home AC was trying to sleep but she couldn't keep from smiling because we were tring to keep her awake. It was so funny. First she was trying so hard and then all of a sudden she broke out into the biggest grin. When we got home I went to take some pictures of her in her dress outside and she noticed Tilly (our neighbor's dog) outside. They were out, too, so we talked to them a bit. AnnaClaire loves them so much. She calls the mom "Missie Utt" it's so sweet. "Missie Utt" swang with AnnaClaire for a bit and then we went back home and the Bu took a nice almost 4 hour nap. We greatly enjoyed watching the panthers win... even with their 3rd string QB, while she slept and then went to see the amamals. That was a big hit as always. We ran some other errands and came home. It was a great day as usual... Here's some pictures of the Bu I promised. Isn't she a sweetie? The first ones are when it was still really hot so she's still in a summer dress. We were playing peekaboo behind my computer. So sweet. The rest are just some other shots. One of my favorites is the one of her in the green scarecrow dress (which she wore today!) sitting in the yard. I love that one. It's my "about me" picture thing if you want to see it bigger.
I love fall so much!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My Little Bu... It's been 10 months now!



(there's just one picture, but I can't post it so I had to put it in a slideshow..)
I can't believe that it has been an entire 10 MONTHS since we got our AnnaClaire Chenhui. Time has flown so fast and I can't believe here we are in October... celebrating 10 months with our little Bu Bear. Every day I fall more in love with her and I cannot imagine not having her in my life. 10 months... wow.

AnnaClaire, I love you so much. I am so glad you are MY sister. I am amazed that it has been 10 months since we got you. Where has time gone? You have become so smart. Today I got in the car after school and Mom said, "Show Sissy how you count!" and all of a sudden you counted to TEN! TEN! You are so smart! We got home and I was getting a snack. You wanted a snack, too! So I asked you what you wanted and you clearly said "Amamal crackers!" You then asked "wawa pease!" You are the sweetest thing every and I love you so much. Oh sweet girl, 10 months ago you saw us and screamed. You screamed and screamed. You screamed your lungs out... it's no wonder you don't cry anymore... you used all your tears on that day, 10 months ago. But sweetie, I can't imagine it any other way. I love you just the way you are. I love the way you entered our lives, too. Even if you did scream your way to us, that's how God wanted it to happen. Anyway.. 10 months ago you screamed at the site of us, of me. Today, you stood right in front of the doorway to the laundry room so that I wouldn't leave you. You are so full of love and joy. I love you so much. Thank you for 10 months of kisses, hugs, and love. 10 months of joy and happiness in my life. 10 months of you... I love you Bu!
Love, Sissy

Yesterday AnnaClaire came to my history class and put on quite the presentation. I told you how we watched China's Lost Girls. Well, my teacher asked if AnnaClaire could come in so we brought AnnaClaire and lots of special things to show my class. It went well and everyone LOVED AnnaClaire. She went around the whole room and gave everyone a pound. Afterwards she hugged everyone goodbye. Everyone just loves her and they all want "an AnnaClaire". How could they not?! Anyway, with all the going through pictures and stuff to find ones to show, I am once again reminded how much our girl has grown. She was SUCH a baby 10 months ago. She was TEENY. She had the cutest little 2 bottom teeth and the biggest smile. She had the shortest hair and the smallest little face. She was a BABY. I can't believe how much she has grown... I love her so much!

Monday, October 08, 2007

China's Lost Girls

Today in history we watched China's Lost Girls! We have been watching lots of videos lately in that class, but I have to say I was surprised when I realized we were watching it. Of course, I had already seen it 20 times, but I thought it was really good because all the 9th graders have that history, so they all saw the movie. I just think it gives everyone a better understanding of how AnnaClaire came to be a part of our family... not that we just "got a baby". I had lots of people ask me about AnnaClaire afterwards. I was just happy because it educated everyone in Chinese adoption and why and how they happen. So that was really cool! I was looking through pictures because everyone wanted to see them and I am once again surprised by how much she has grown!!!

On another note, you must have known there is something different because of all the posting I've been doing. After considering it for awhile now, I decided last week to stop swimming. I was way too busy and I was really stressing over school and such. Besides that, I really just wasn't enjoying it as much. I swam for a total of 7 years and it is such a great sport and I'm really going to miss it, but sometimes you just have to do what feels right. I was simply just too busy. So anyway that's why there has been and will be more updates now :)

Pumpkin picking! (yesterday)



Here's the pictures from pumpkin picking yesterday. I hear it was very fun. As I said there was a lady there who is a professional photographer and she took some pictures and emailed them to us. I labeled those with a little p. This was an event with FCC, which we did end up joining! It sounds like it was lots of fun!

Texas Fight (pictures)



Here's the really cute pictures I was talking about. Isn't she so cute dancing to Texas Fight and trying to hook em? She's such a sweetie! I'm still trying to figure out a way to be able to add pictures, but I've reached some limit so for now slideshows will have to do.

Also, yep there's a new look! Something fallish, finally. I don't have any of the programs to make headers on my computer so that's just something I threw together on PowerPoint. Also I don't really get the chance to take as many pictures of AnnaClaire (although that's probably a good thing... I took maybe a bit too many!) but those are just a few pictures from Fallish things we've done. She does have some really cute fall clothes though... I need to get pictures of her in them! One of my favorites is this adorable brownish floral smocked dresses that has a matching brown bow and adorable brown shoes. She wore it on Friday but I was at school all day at the games, and I only saw her for a little when she came by school, and I didn't have my camera. She has lots of really sweet smocked dresses for the fall!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Texas Fight!

The Bu was so cute yesterday during the Texas game. The game that was televised on ABC was the NC State game which was delayed, so they put the Texas game on. Right when it went on, Texas scored and the fight song started playing. AnnaClaire was dancing and humming along. It was adorable!! We tried to teach her how to hook em, but to ones on her finger was as close as she got. Sadly, Texas lost. After the game, AnnaClaire started kissing Mom's feet. AnnaClaire LOVES getting her feet kissed so she started kissing Moms. Anyway, she kisses them and looks up and says "Yucky feet!" It was really funny. I guess she thought Mom's feet were stinky. Then she went around the room and kissed all our feet. She's the sweetest little thing!

I'm still trying to figure out how to get more space on my blog so i can post pictures. So I'll add them later.

AnnaClaire also went pumpkin picking today with FCC! I didn't go because my youth leader came home from college and took me and my friend out to lunch. AnnaClaire had a great time though and came home with a pumpkin and a pumpkin on her face! One of the ladies there was a professional photographer and she got a few cute pictures of AnnaClaire. One of them is on my new header... the one in the corn! So cute!

Catching up


















Here's quite a few pictures of AnnaClaire from the past month. There are a few from the zoo, the airport museum (which she went to yesterday and was a little scared but liked for the most part), and just some other random around the house ones. I have one more from the airplane museum but I have an error message that I have too many pictures so I'll put it on another post.

Rest of the apple orchard



Here's a slideshow with the rest of the pictures from the apple orchard! Isn't she adorable? Enjoy!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

"Ah Better"






Here are a few pictures I took of the Bu a few minutes ago! Sadly the Texas game isn't televised, but she's still adorable in her outfit, isn't she?! So anyway, on with the sweetest story...

AnnaClaire was playing with her little door toy thing and all of a sudden she said "oww, oww". She looked at me and pointed her little finger and said "oww, oww" again. So I held out my hand and she ran over and I kissed her finger. She looked at me and said, "Ah better!" It was so sweet. I love her so much!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

More thoughts on China- Great Wall



In history we are studying China so I have really been looking at my pictures from China and showing my teacher. I am just amazed every time I get to the pictures from the Great Wall. I cannot even explain this beautiful place. It is extraordinary. The views are gorgeous. You are standing on it and you have the best feeling. It really is so amazing. The stairs are steep... it's a rough climb. But when you reach the top, you know that you are at the top of one of the most amazing landmarks in the world. China is such an amazing place. I cannot wait to go back someday. I am already excited for that time. If you haven't been yet, I cannot even tell you how awesome it is. When you go to the Great Wall, climb to the top.. There's a girl at my school who's leaving tomorrow for China (not for an adoption) and the thing that I told her was to go to the top of the Wall. Yes, it's steep, its tough, you're tired, but it is so worth it.

So I just wanted to post a few of my favorite pictures. I took all of these. My very favorite is the 1st. I think that is my favorite picture I have ever taken.


And then there's the Bu. Here are a few pictures of her playing with her new toaster the other day... she loves it! I can't believe it's been almost 10 months with her!! She is the sweetest thing ever. She is sooooo mannerly. I cannot believe this girl's manners! She always says please. Whenever she wants something, she said "cup please", "bunny please", "book please", etc. It is so sweet. She has the cutest voice. Her favorite word at the moment is "no" though. Everything is "no". And if the answer is really yes, she says "nooooYES". She is so silly!! The one thing people tell us over and over is that she is smart. So true... she is such a smart little thing!!! I love her so much!!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

One of my favorite stories from our trip to China






Above are 5 of my favorite pictures from our flights home... and now for the story. I'm actually thinking I haven't told this one before... but I could be wrong.

We were to leave our hotel at 5 on the 20th of December. So the night of the 19th we were really busy packing and all. We did realize that we had only 7 (I think?) diapers left... We figured this would be enough, but Mom did ask if Dad could do out and buy somemore. The night went on and the diapers were forgotten. So on the 20th we got up and left quickly for the Guangzhou airport. 9 out of 11 families all left that day and we went on the bus to the airport. We even had to eat breakfast in the bus... that's how pushed for time we were. So we get to the airport and quickly get everything checked and go to our gate. We took off soon after and arrived in Beijing. Well. We quickly realized we were down to one diaper. Yep. AnnaClaire had quickly used 6 diapers and was wearing her last one. We had about 45 minutes before our take off time so we searched the entire airport. You would think the Beijing airport that had some diapers... somewhere! But none were to be found. Dad asked lots of different airport people and we soon found out that there was not one store that sold diapers in the entire airport. Now this is when we started freaking out. There is no way AnnaClaire could wear the same diaper for 14+hours. We had all kinds of people offering us all sorts of stuff to replace diapers. We ended up using some of Sarah Beth's pull ups, even. Thankfully there was a very sweet adoptive family on our flight to Newark that had quite a few extra diapers and shared some with us. But even then we went through all of the pull ups and diapers we were lent. Lets just say Miss Bu went to the bathroom quite a few times that day... When we landed in Newark we stood in line after line of security, check in, getting our suitcases situated. Finally we had some time and once again we went searching for diapers. Being in the US again, we were sure to find some somewhere. We went to one of the stores. None. Next store. None. That same sore had another store a few blocks down and so they told us to go there. None. Or so we thought. We looked up and there was a high up shelf and there was our prize... a small thing of Pampers diapers. Whew. So yep, that's our diaper story. Just a recommendation... if you ever have a very limited supply of diapers or anything really, just go on and get more before you leave instead of just assuming you have enough!