Friday, July 26, 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013


A few years back I wrote about my dad telling me that Stevie Wonder had written his classic "Isn't She Lovely" about me.  I still recall the feeling of sitting in the backseat of our family Pinto, hearing that song come on and having my dad say, "Here's Lori's song!"

A few weeks ago I was snuggled up with Nathan, and I was showing him this post from our very first trip to Haiti where I had documented all the things I loved about our Little Man and all the things I have loved about him since the very first time I met him.

At the end of that post, is this paragraph:  "Our last night in Haiti, as he was putting Nathan to bed, Daddy broke down and said, "Daddy's going to miss you something terrible, Little Man.  You are definitely someone special."

As I read that, Nathan's eyes got wide and he said, "Will you tell me that again?"

I read it to him again.

He said, "Mama, is that true?"

I told him it was.

He said, "Are you sure?"

I said, "Yes, it is.  Do you want to go ask Dad if it's true?"

He said, 'Yes, but you have to come with me!"

We went down the hall to where Brent was.  Nathan was half-bent over behind me, and I could see his face frozen into that look he gets when he's trying to prevent his smile from bursting out.

Brent said, 'What's going on?" (because Nathan's posture was so weird) and I said, "Nathan would like to know if something's true."

Nathan said, "You say it, Mama."

Brent looked more puzzled.

"I was just reading on the blog about our first trip to Haiti and how that first night in Haiti, as you were putting him to bed, you started to cry and you said...", I said, mentally willing him to remember.

Realization dawned in Brent's eyes and he said, '... I'm going to miss you something terrible, Little Man.  You're definitely someone special."

Nathan leaped from behind me clear into Brent's arms and squeezed his neck so tight.

And as tears welled up in our eyes, I recognized the look on Nathan's face and a flood of emotion washed over me as I remembered what it felt like to be a little person in a big person's world and to know, for a brief moment, that the adults in your life thought you were special.

If only I could bottle that feeling for him.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

Do You?

Sophia's English is improving every day.

Last month, Nathan was in the citychildren's parade.  It was over 100 degrees and miserable, but we made it.

Afterward we went for an ice cream cone.  I think it was the first time that Sophia had a cone - I had to show her that she could eat it.
"Mmm", she said, "Dat Dood! I dad dood.  Do you dat dood?"  ("That's good!  I think that's good.  Do you think that's good?") 

Since then she asks "Do you..." quite often.  It's kind of adorable.

Oh, and Nate thought "dat dood", too.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

This Is My View

This is often my view.

Miss S likes to sit on my lap and play with my hair.  
Isn't that a sweet face?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Because Every Creature Needs Love

The other night when I arrived home from work, Nathan met me at the door saying he had a "surprise" for me.  He carefully led me down the stairs and into the basement.  

Tada!  A snake!

Nathan and Brent caught a garter snake in the yard.  Nathan was so excited!  

That first night, Nate and Mama went on a grasshopper hunt, trying to find what we thought the snake would eat.

 We caught a few of the right size and put them in the box with the snake and sat back to watched what happened.

When one of the grasshoppers started crawling on the snake, Nathan said, "And now he's saying, 'Ooh, baby!  Grasshoppers!'"

The snake didn't budge.  We watched for a few minutes and when it became apparent that the snake didn't care about the grasshoppers, Nathan exclaimed, "Mama!  The snake is not going to keep the GRASSHOPPERS as pets, is he??"

The next day, he was so excited to show me that he'd put a branch in with the snake.
When I looked in the box, I said, "Nate, what's with the shoelace?"

"Ssh!" he exclaimed.  "I want him to think it's a girl snake!"

We discovered that garter snakes aren't insectivores - they eat worms and other meat.  Nate and Brent did some digging and once Nathan was reminded that worms are kind of.... moist... that was it.  Deal-breaker for him.  He didn't want to have to dig up worms to feed the snake, so he let it go.

Surprisingly, the snake didn't take the shoelace with it on its next adventure...

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Other milestones

Just reading back through notes to friends and remembered that Sophia was home 4 weeks before she dared get out of bed in the morning.

I'm not sure how things worked at the orphanage, but the flatness of the back of her head and the scarring on her wrist tells me she was tied down on her back in her crib - we've read many accounts of this happening in Chinese orphanages in rural areas due to lack of help on the overnight shift.  The way she is very flexible at her waist, but her back moves as one unit reiterates that.  I think she could reach her toes, but not lift her head the way she was restrained.

Now when she's in Gymnastics, they tell us she has great core strength for someone her age  I think it's because she's used those muscles to pull her feet up to her face so often to keep herself entertained when tied on her back.  However when she tries to do a somersault, it's more like a front flip because her back doesn't "roll" the way you'd expect.  She smoothly bends and puts her head on the ground and then her whole spine flops over together, without rolling or curling

Anyway, on the morning that she'd been home 4 weeks, she got out of bed by herself and came in and stood in the doorway and said, "Hi!" and it was a big deal for her because she'd been afraid to get out of bed on her own prior to that.

Monday, July 8, 2013

It Was a Science Experiment....

 Nathan wanted to hear the rain on his umbrella again.  I didn't have rain, but I did have a shower.

 So they danced and played in the water and experimented with the different pitch of the sound as they moved the umbrella closer to the water and further and further away.  I love the little look on his face as he listens to the water in this one.

So much fun playing with sound and water!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Handsome Children

This is Sophia's Cheongsam that the other family brought home for her from China.  She's grown so much that she can wear it now, so put her in it for Sunday.

 Nathan also dressed "to the nines".  He likes to dress like "a Hogwarts student" (from the Lego Wii video game) and wear a shirt, tie and vest.  So both were looking handsome for Church.  (in this picture he's singing and dancing for me on the porch).

Several people kept stoppping Sophia and saying, "You look so pretty!' and Nathan would say, "Hey!  What about me??  Did you look at what I'm wearing??"

Sweet, beautiful kids.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

"My Nae-nin"

Sophia loves Nathan.

She calls him "my Nae-nin".  "Where my Nae-nin go?" is a common question, as she tries to follow after him.

I took today Friday and went to watch them at the gymnastics classes.  Sophia loves her teacher and her class, but she still wanders off to go talk to her Nae-nin and has to be rounded back up.

I can't tell you how many times I've found them playing together outside, with the hose turned on high and Nathan spraying her down and Sophia laughing her head off.  Whatever Nathan wants to do, she's all in.

In that last video I posted (Sophia spinning in front of the fireplace), she says her name as "Zeh-fee-AH".  Her Chinese name is "Zifei" (which she says as "Zeh-fee") and so the first family that adopted her named her "Sophie" because it was close to the original Chinese name.  An old family friend looked over the Chinese paperwork we have and he says her name, Zifei, means "to flutter", and that's very fitting for our happy little bug. Who doesn't feel better while watching a butterfly? And I guess there really isn't a word for "lights up room with her joy", but that's what she does.  She lights up.

So, the night before that video was taken, I was rocking her to sleep and talking to her.  We named her Sophia, but she still calls herself "Zifei", so I asked her if she wanted to be "Sophia" or "Zefei".  Without hesitation, she said she was "Zeh-fee-AH".  So for awhile there, she was adding that "-AH" to everyone's names.   "Daddy" became "Daddy-AH", and "Mama-AH" and "Nae-nin-AH".  It was as if she was trying to explain that she knows we belong together as a family.

In our early days together in our nighttime routine, we've talked a lot about her family and I use her fingers to explain that we have 4 people in our family and I'd pick out "This one is Daddy, and this one is Nathan, etc." She loved that image, and she's "carry" her family around with her on her little hand.  She often stops what she's doing and says, "This one's Nan-nin, and this one's Daddy..." and I've noticed that she always picks the little pinky finger as "Sophia".  She likes being the baby sister.

Thursday, July 4, 2013


Have I told you that I love our fireplace?

We never use it.

I'm so glad we have it.

My children love to watch their reflections in the fireplace and we've captured some awesome moments that way.

Here's Nathan, last Christmas.    Nathan wants to do anything Brent does.  For Christmas, he wanted to be "a Seattle Seahawk" (which is Daddy's favorite NFL team).  So his big gift this last year was his very own NFL uniform.

He unwrapped it and immediately wanted to put it on.  

Then he stood, admiring his reflection in front of the fireplace. 

Seriously, how cute is that.... You can see we weren't even done with presents, but he was so excited to be a Seattle Seahawk.

Miss Sophia, who is a happy, cheerful child, loves to wear pretty dresses and LOVES to watch herself spinning in the fireplace reflection.

Here she is on Easter, loving her new dress.

Every time she gets dressed in the morning, the first thing she does is run down to the fireplace to spin in front of it and giggle at her reflection.

Love my fireplace and the glimpses it gives me into my children's hearts.