Saturday, December 15, 2007

Piano recital 2007



Stef had her 3rd piano recital today and did an amazing job. If this works right you should be able to enjoy the video for yourself.... video I've also included a few pictures. Stefanie is growing out her bangs and I was so impressed with my new found hairdresser skills that i had to take a picture. Jena's hair continues to 'do itself'. She wakes up with her hair looking terrific. Stefanie and I require a little more effort!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Friday, December 07, 2007

in the west ot texas...








... in a town called El Paso we met up with friends and family! Everyone survived our first plane flight since 'the Big One' which included a 5 hour layover in Houston. the girls were troopers and kept busy with their new leapster games and the DVD player. It was our first chance to meet some new cousins, Judah, Jordan and Jackson and get reaquainted with some old cousins, Jacob, Joey and Mia. With all those cousins Stef and jena both had plenty on friends to play with.
The whole gang drove up to the mountains of New Mexico where we were able to meet up with one of our China travel families. it wasn't the same as if we had everyonew together but it was still wonderful to see how much Claire (and Hannah!) had grown. It didn't seem that jena remembered Claire but she was happy to play with her.
we had a really nice experience while we were there- My cousin Rachel has 4 kids, Jacob and Joey are biological and Jordan and Judah are domestically adopted and are african american so, you can imagine that when my girls and her kids were all together we attracted alot of attention. Add Hannah and Claire to the mix and we were a real attraction! One morning the 14 of us went out for breakfast. My Uncle went to pay the bill, only to be told it had already been taken care of. On older couple sitting at the table next to ours had paid our bill and told the waitress to tell us that the "sight of our family put a smile on their face" We were all touched by the random act of kindness.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

HAPPY THANKSGIVING


I think the picture says it all....

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

so I've been a little busy....


I know, I know, Halloween, birthday, and no blog update. It's been crazy busy around here and it didn't help that i was actually expected to show up and work! Anyway, here's what has been going on-

Oct 30th: big news at our house as our new cousin, Baby Rafael is finally born. the girls have yet to meet him, as we are waiting for a window where everyone is cough/cold free. At the rate we are going I am hoping they get to see hime before his first birthday.

Halloween- I've posted a picture of Jena in her Dora costume. After assembling the perfect Hannah Montana costume for Stef she had an emotional breakdown and decided she was unable to trick or treat. she put her PJs on and sat on the sofa while Jena and I gave out the candies. it reminded me of when you read about how lindsy lohan or britny spears were admitted for 'emotion exhaustion'. After an hour of crying and a rest onthe sofa she was all recovered by bedtime. jena, meanwhile, had fun giving out the candies. the highlight of the night was when jena's OT therapist (from soon after was came home) happened to be trickertreating in our neighborhood. We hadn't seen her since Feb and, when she came to our door ans saw jena and myself she introduced herself and said "i was the therapist for your other daughter"--no I told her, not my OTHER daughter, THIS daughter! She thought jena was Stef-- she couldn't believe how great she looked.

Nov 7: we welcomed Baby Cameron, born to my friends lenny and linda. Stef's comment- ANOTHER boy!

Nov 15th- the big birthday. in the middle of my service week, everyone has been sick all week- Stef temp 103, jena on abx and nebulizers--won't stop us from partying! amah and zayde brought uncle harold and Jan over for dinner and our friend Judy brought an amazing Dora cake. jena was in her glory. i was so busy i never took and pictures!

now- NOv 28th we all head to el paso to visit family and we even have a special treat and get to see one of jena's Anhui sisters in New Mexico. i will bring the camera and hope to have some great pictures of the two of them together.
well- that's all for now - happy thanksgiving to everyone!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

look Ma--no training wheels!




A big milestone at our house! We took Stefanies training wheels off on sunday and away she went. She took right off and by then end of the hour she was stopping, starting and turning on her own. Jena decided she was ready for two wheeler as well and hopped right on the "little bike". She peddles around great but usually stops by running into the curb. Depending on her speed this is often enough to bump her off the bike.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fall Fun






We have been busy busy busy at our house. All the Jewish holidays are past and the girls really enjoyed getting dressed up and going to synagogue. They both looked so adorable that no one even noticed I forgot half my clothes and wore the same outfit every day.
School is going well. we had back to school night already and the teachers think Stefanie is just as wonderful as I do, so we should get along fine! She has already impressed them with her reading and she tell me since she is "zooming ahead" with her reading her 'reading buddy' is the teacher. She has a bunch of new friends and was all set to 'break up' with her old friends. We had a long talk about how old friends can be the best friends. Jena is happy to go to the JCC and, except for a tiny biting problem, has done well. the story on the biting is that both times she was defending herself, once after being poked in the eye and once after being pushed on the slide. Not that it makes biting OK but i am glad to hear she wasn't the agressor. the teachers think as her speech gets stronger she won't feel the need to bite.
We went on a apple and pumpkin picking trip this weekend with friends. Alisa ( the Mommy) and I have been friends since we were 9 and we are both thrilled that our girls are the same ages and love to play together. they live by my parents so we try to get together when the girls are at Amah's house. It was just too cute to watch jena and kate walking around the farm holding hands. Enjoy the pictures!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

UPDATE: the bus came !

After my careful stalking of the bus driver last week, the bus arrived promply at our house on Monday morning. Stef got on without complaint and away she went. The good news about this whole bus fiasco is that the driver now stops right in front of our house so when the weather gets bad Stef (and Mommy and Jena) can even wait inside where it is warm and dry.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Welcome to Kindergarden




I'd love to post a picture of Stefanie getting on the school bus for her first day of kindergarden, however, the bus never came. Yep, we stood on the corner for an hour and no bus. I drove her to school where she told me she just wanted me to take her to her classroom and not even come in. I gave her a kiss, she walked in, sat in the circle and never looked back. The school told me the busses had come 'early' on the first day, so get out there sooner. Day number 2 we were on the corner at 7am- complete with a big sign to flag down our bus and- you guessed it--no bus! That afternoon I stalked the bus driver by going to another stop on the route (Stef doesn't take the bus home becasue she does "aftercare")I caught the driver and found out that she has disregarded the published route and comes down the street from the other direction, which means she hits the other end of our street instead of the corner we stand on. I told her of the mistake and she promises she will be in the right spot on Monday. The good news is Stef is loving school. She already has two new best friends and a boyfriend (but "just one" she told me). She also already came home with a note saying what a good job she did reading. Here are a few pictures of us waiting for the bus on the first and second day. And yes- Jena is eating a bag of Pringles chips for breakfast pringles=potatoes=hash browns, right?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

back from the beach

We are back from our week at the beach in North Carolina. The 9 hour drive was very long and it seemed like we stopped every 5 minutes for a potty break. The girls had a blast at the house with lots of 'big girls'(9,11, and 12) to play with. I felt like I didn't see Stefanie all day. She would peek her head into the room to tell me she was going to the beach with the girls, or was outside with her new best friends making bracelets out of gymp. Jena was terrified of the ocean. She didn't like the way the waters edge can seek up on you while you are playing in the sand and she really didn't like it if I went into the water. I guess she figured it was OK if Stefanie got washed away but she was't willing to lose the Mommy. She did like digging in the sand (at a safe distance from the water)and flying kites. She also like jumping into the pool. She now even goes underwater. If we had another month of summer I think she would bne swimming on her own. I didn't take a single picture (bad mommy!) but have asked our fellow travelers to e-mail me theirs. As soon as i get some I will post pictures.

Monday, August 06, 2007

fun with friends





We are having so much fun this summer I don't want it to be over! It seems like we have friends over every weekend and spend all day playing and swimming. We are all in for a big shock when school starts again.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

has it been a year already?!?!




Has it really been a year since I woke Stefanie from her nap and said "come look at a picture of your sister"? I remember looking at all three referral pictures of jena thinking 'i'd really like to see how her face looks when she smiles' and it seems like once she started smiling she hasn't stopped. She eats everything in sight and we have fattened her up to the 25 percentile. Her little skinny arms and legs are now in almost constant motion, climbing, jumping, and swinging. Last week she started kicking and paddling around the pool while holding on to a noodle. She has turned those terrible tantrums she used to have into a fierce determination to be independent. She refuses to accept that she can't "do it myself!". Thanks to speech therapy she is much chattyier- singing along to songs and jabbering to herself while she plays. Sure, half the time we have no idea what she is saying but at least she is saying something. She gives big strong hugs and sweet little kisses. She has adjusted to daycare, the babysitter and weekends at Amah and Zaydes while Mommy works. She is a party girl- she is silly and she knows it. She is a big flirt, loves any guy who will toss her in the air. She is a daredevil, riding her trike down the hill of our neighbors driveway at breakneck speed, laughing al lthe way.The weekend before last she woke up, went into the bathroom, pulled the stepstool over, put the potty seat on the toilet, took her diaper off and climbed up. She has been in big girl panties ever since. I guess when you're ready, you're ready! In some ways i can't believe a year has past and in other ways it seems like jena has been with us forever. When I think about how close I came to missing out on the chance to adopt again from china i know I am the luckiest mommy in the world.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

now starting for the Philadelphia Flyers....


Stef lost another tooth this weekend. Since she was at my parents the PA tooth fairy left money but also left the tooth- so the NJ tooth fairy could leave money and collect the tooth. Seems the tooth fairies have a strong union and strict rules about who gets the tooth. After taking a hockey stick to the face at camp she looks like a professional hockey player!

just sitting on it is soooo boring!


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

my favorite thing about summer camp.....


...it's 7:15 and Stef is sound asleep. She is having a blast at camp, swimming twice a day, boating on the lake and they even made a volcano. She is so tired she has been falling alseep before Jena. Jena is still making progress on the potty training front. There was much excitement last night when, for the first time, she actually told us she needed to go- rather than me just putting her on the potty. Slow but steady!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

the bunk bed is here !



after a very long 8 week wait-- made longer by Stefanie asking everyday if the bunk bed were ready-- they are finally here. The delivery people came at 8:30 this morning so the girls got to watch the men put the beds together before I took them to school. Jena immediatly found out she could hang from the top bunk- oh what fun. Our neighbors came over to check out the bed too. I am happy to report that it is 9pm and both girls are alseep in the new beds

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

fun at the new house




We all LOVE our new house. Stefanie has some new best buddies, Rachel and Carrie who are both 9. The both live on our block so everyday after dinner we go outside and look for friends. Jena is trying her best to keep up with the big girls and always keeps herself in the mix.
We are working on potty training, or, housebreaking. After dinner I put jena on the toilet and she poops. she is still happy as can be to poop in her diaper at school but I figure she is getting the idea. And, it's one less diaper I have to change.
Here are a few pictures of the girls outside being silly.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Big girl in the Big City





Our good friend Judy took us to New York City for the day to celebrate Stef's birthday (a little late) with lunch at the American Girl Doll Cafe. The doll gets her own seat at the table- what could be more fun?! We took the train in, had lunch, did some shopping and alot of walking before having dinner at a great kosher steakhouse and taking the train back home . It was a long day but Stef handled it all like the trooper she is. Here are some photos of the lunch and the ferris wheel ride inside the toys'r' us.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

the new tooth


stefanie's new tooth is coming in very qucikly. we are too late for a picture of the missing tooth- this is the best we could do-

PICTURES!!






can you believe how much everyone grew in 6 weeks since you saw us last? here are some pictures of the house and everyone having fun on the swingset and in the tub.

yipee-- we have a HOME AGAIN!

we moved in friday in the pouring rain. everything went well, expect for the usual frustration with comcast cable. I now have cable tv and internet so life is good. the girls are loving the new place. we have been lucky with good weather and they love playing in the backyard. my new neighbors even brought over a plate of cookies. i will try and get some pictures posted soon-

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

wish I hadn't packed the camera

That loose tooth of Stef's finally fell out last friday. After about a month of wiggling it fell right out at school. She was very excited to spend her five dollars that the tooth fairy left. I wish I had my camera because she looks so grown up with her missing tooth! We had a wonderful passover seder at my parents house. Stefanie was so proud to say 'the four questions' which is the start of the seder, where the youngest child asks 'why is this night differnet from all other nights'There are four different qustions that all ask about different laws of passover. Last year she needed some help but this year she had them all ready to go--did I mention the questions are in Hebrew?? Jena stayed up for the first half of the seders and very much enjoyed the wine. I am thinking we may have a drinker in the making! You can tell everyone had a blast by the fact that it is 6:15 and they are both sound asleep for the night. 23 day until we move in.....

Thursday, March 22, 2007

offically homeless

well- I had settlement today on the house. the place looked great but boy am I exhaused! We are now offically homeless until April 27th. Poor Jena is all confused and is waking up several times at night just to check that someone she knows is still there. I can't blame her, by time this week is over she will have slept in four different houses. Once she gets used to our temp home we will be moving to our new house!
No picture-- camera is packed.....

Sunday, March 11, 2007