Thursday, January 31, 2008

Then the rest of January....

It was one of those months - so much seemed to happen. After Australia day we had a few visits to our friends pool at 'Dreamers' Mountain Accommodation (absolutely beautiful accommodation for those of you interested) - and their pool is spectacular too and Ebony loves it...as does her mummy!
Here's some photo's of Eb enjoying her time there.....with the ring she was quite safe on her own in the water...but Mummy was never far away :)



Then it was Eb's friend 'Autumn-Grace's' 4th birthday. It was the first birthday Eb had been invited to (other than her 5 Suixi buddies) and she had so much fun as you'll see.....(and YES I did make the little yummy cups and saucers :)



And then on the last day of January - Eb's Suixi buddy Meiya from Benalla came for the day - so it was a very busy end to January - but a lovely note to end it on......

Saturday, January 26, 2008

...then the rest of Australia Day

Spent with friends at Howlong. We had a wonderful day and wished we could have stayed the whole weekend with them...but it wasn't to be - so we made the most of the afternoon and evening as you'll see :)

Ebony got to try things she'd never even even 'seen' before and it was nothing short of a delight to sit back and enjoy.....

Ebby cruisin...




On the big Motor Bike with Nathan.....may not look safe to some, but was perfectly safe




We got the guys to drop us upstream in the Murray River and the girls...including Eb....floated down on Lilo, tubes...for 1/2 an hour - it was fantastic fun and as you can see Eb loved it!




Then it was the Quad bike....with a helmet




... and without




....no! she didn't 'swing' on her own - but she did have a few goes with others and again she just had a ball!


It was such a great fun day...our little adventurer slept all the way home. Thanks to the Schroder family for giving us yet another great day.

The newsest little Aussie

Yep! our girl officially became an Aussie on 26th January, 2008......the day the Nation celebrates 'Australia Day'....how fitting! and something I've dreamed of for a long time.

When I contacted our local council to see if Ebony would be able to join in I wasn't sure what the reaction would be. Children from China don't need to be involved in a 'Citizenship' ceremony because the moment their application is approved they automatically become an Australian - however I really wanted the ceremony .... especially for Ebony and for one of the many special moments in her life that we HAVE been able to celebrate. Thankfully the Alpine Shire Council were wonderful and were quite excited to have Ebony join in the celebration.

I wasn't at all sure what to dress Eb in - I had even thought about her Chinese Cheongsam - but, after much deliberation I contacted my friend Leanne whose daughter Gabriella (the first child I ever really got to follow the adoption of...before and after the event) who celebrated the same special event on the same day a year earlier. Gabriella wore the most beautiful dress so I asked Leanne if I could borrow it and thankfully she said yes! It arrived a few days before and fitted Ebony beautifully (as you'll see!).

It was a magnificent morning in Mt. Beauty - glorious sunshine and many, many people in town turned up at the park next to our local swimming pool to welcome the newest Aussies. Eb was the only little one...the other 5 were adults. The Mayor was nothing short of outstanding in his handling of Ebony's situation. He made me feel she was the most important person of the whole day - he was totally delightful and if I'd known it would all go the way it did I would have had it videoed to - but I honestly thought it would just be the handing over of the paperwork. Well I was in for a lovely surprise when she was treated in such a special manner. The Mayor left Ebony until last and then he said that - as important as the others were and not to put them down in any way - he saved the best and most important to last. He handed her the certificate and a gorgeous Kangaroo (she'd been given a Kookaburra by a special little friend Sarah and a Koala by the local Tawonga South newsagency owners) and she also received a beautiful medallion. It was a truly special day - Eb even thrilled everyone (including me) when she happily gave the Mayor a kiss on the cheek!

Enjoy these priceless photo's.....






our gorgeous girl and her closest 'friend' Autumn-Grace (4)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

January

So much seemed to happen in the month of January...and I'm having SO much trouble with my internet running out of ... I don't know how you say it but at about 1/2 way through the month I'm being slowed right down. Not even sure I'll be able to do photo's .... but I'll give it a try!

Here are just some of the things that happened in our lives ....

This first one is one I just love of my 'cool chick'!




and then the 'athletic chick'!




Are you horrified by the steepness of this slide and a little girl on her own????It's every bit as steep as it looks AND that's the 2nd tier....I was horrified, but there is a certain daddy that was confident she'd be ok! I put a stop to it 'cause one wrong move and it wouldn't be a pretty outcome.




Then it's daddy's girl....




We had friends come to visit and we managed to get some stunning photo's in the process....



I love this one.....these PJ's fitted Eb when we were in China....look at them now! this is definitely the last wear :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

and the five winners are......

It wasn't that hard really. There are a number of precious people whose lives I follow thanks to their blogs - people who have enriched my journey through life through their honesty - their humour or just their personality which shines through....so who are my nominees.......

Chelley - for being an amazing person. One I never met but who has loved and supported me through the lead up to adopting my precious girl. Chelley even had a gorgeous Tea Set here waiting for Ebony very soon after I brought her home. A gift Ebony loves and I treasure simply because of the kind hearted person who sent it. Good on you Chel!

Vicki - my batch buddy. Vicki and I traveled to China together and picked up our beautiful daughters on the same day. Her daughter Camille is 3 days older than my Ebony and although they are chalk and cheese I hope that the future will bring a wonderful friendship for them both. Special in a similar way to how Vicki is to me.

Susan - because she also has shared this adoption journey with me - even though she lives such a long way away (some where in the United States!). Susan and I became friends because of really horrible circumstances when her Log In Date was included in referrals but she didn't get her referral until the next month. It was so awful for me here, let along for Susan and her family. Susan is an amazing woman and she took it in stride as best she could and stayed positive until that call finally came!

Cindy - who probably won't be able to respond because her and her family of 1 husband and 3 sons leave for China in just under 2 weeks to pick up their new daughter Jade .... and I remember only too well how busy this time is! I only recently met Cindy (via email) and I think she's very, very special. I'll be joyfully following her journey to Jade.

Kitta - I met Kitta by email before we left to pick up Ebony. Her daughter "Elisabet" is 8 days older than Ebony and comes from the same Orphanage in Suixi, Guangdong and we both picked up our girls on the same day. Kitta is in Iceland and her website is mostly in her language, but there is a section on the left that is an English version and I love seeing the photo's anyway!. Kitta and I actually got to 'hug' each other at the White Swan but unfortunately didn't connect again until we were back in our own Countries. I love the way Kitta loves her daughter - her and I are very similar.

Rules:

1. Awarded parties must nominate five people who have not received the award.

2. The blogs that receive the award must serve some purpose.

3. In their post about the award they need to link back to this entry.

4. Awarded parties must post the award banner on their site. The banner must remain linked to this site.

So - I've done it and I loved doing it. I really hope no-one minds me putting their links on my page......please let me know if you do! You are all very special people and it was a real pleasure to dwell on each of your journey's and write about YOU! Thank you for the privilege of allowing me a glimpse into your world.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Oh where oh where has my little girl gone?

I measured Ebony today and got a huge shock. She's now grown 13cm since she was placed in our arms and she's put on 2.4kg. Wow! Unbelievably she still fits into some 1's, but she's mostly in 2's. Boy does she like her food! Especially, grapes (balls- she's very cute when she tries to say grape), cheese, yoghurt (wawa!!), apples - any pasta - anything sweet! Doesn't like strawberries, watermelon or any furry fruit and is off banana's at the moment. Still loves things like olives/unusual cheeses/just about any dip you can put in her mouth!

She now has ALL her baby teeth (not sure when the molars happened - but they're there!)

So much is changing and I would love to be able to put the brakes on....but I simply can't.

I went in to check her last night before I went to bed (which I always do) and she woke very upset (but still a long way from the sleep terrors she was experiencing) and we both commented on how 'long' she is and how she just doesn't fit in my arms the way she did once. Goodbye baby girl.

She loves doing up the seatbelt in her highchair. I have to (patiently) wait before I put her bib on while she does it up herself and I can leave her in the high chair after she's finished eating so she can just 'play' do up and undo the the seat belt! She loves doing it.

She is singing along beautifully to her playschool CD in the car (thanks so much to the wonderful Vicki and Camille) - it's so cute to listen to. She finishes most sentences and any of the louder or dominant words too. She gets excited when playschool comes on and if the wiggles come on - but she really doesn't watch very much TV at this stage.

She's become a very funny little parrot - copying many things we say. She also follows what I say as we pray before each meal. That also is the cutest! Words - words - words they are coming hard and fast and it's gorgeous to listen to.

She still calls herself Ebby - but she's moved (or is moving) from Mama to Mummy and from Dada to Daddy. I'm very sad about that one. I'm just not ready - I love Mama - it has a gentle ring to my ears. I must say though that she will be watching TV or playing and I'll be out of sight and all of a sudden I'll start hearing "Mummy, Mummy, Mummy" as she makes her way around the house looking for me. Oh how my heart melts - words I've physically longed for all these years.

I'm having to watch her 'getting her own way' now - she knows how to turn on the tears or throw a bit of a wobbly if she doesn't get her own way. Daddy doesn't help because he lets her do things I simply don't let her...then Mama becomes the ogre! We've had a few discussions about that one let me tell you :)

In the 13 months we've had her I've barely been apart from her - she's like part of me. Now I hear many saying it's not healthy - but up here I haven't had a lot of choice. I don't have family or friends I've known for years I can call on easily. So, we just spend lots of time 'hanging out' together and luckily we seem to enjoy each others company :)

When someone walks away she now says 'see ya' - sounds so cute but reminds me that I'm probably not teaching her the best English!

Eb is still having her morning bottle (first thing) and has even been asking for a bottle after her afternoon sleep more often than not - tried a cup but she wouldn't have a bar of it. Seems to be more since we had family visit over Christmas. Maybe just a little unsettled (personally I don't mind at all - it's great attaching to be snuggling in while she's drinking).

She loves going out in the car and is very social! - and as soon as she sees the baby bag or hears keys she runs for the door to the garage!

She spends literally hours in her cot just singing or making sounds. She doesn't seem to go to sleep for almost an hour after we put her there (7.30 - 8pm) but she's not unhappy at least. When she wakes she often does the same thing - how blessed am I???? She's awake around 7.30am but depends on what time she actually falls asleep. She's still sleeping a minimum of 2 hours and recently has gone back to 3 probably because it's cooler. I think she sleeps much better when she's rugged up a bit. 3 hours probably explains why she's awake so long in her cot before she goes to sleep at night!

Says "uh oh' when something happens....and 'homa' when we're heading home. She's also come to recognize that Dada going to work is exactly that...work (but sounds more like wok).

Absolutely loves the word 'two' and will hold up her thumb and forefinger - usually at the right time. She's just learning to say the other numbers now.
Her comprehension blows me away. Recently I said something about 'push' and all of a sudden she's there pushing against the wall - I couldn't believe it....it could only be playschool teaching her that one!

Eb is doing really well in water - especially now she's been given a 'ring' that goes around her tummy. She absolutely loves it and is even more confident. Still won't jump from the side into my arms - but she's getting close.
She loves music and will stop as soon as there is any around anywhere - tv, car, shopping centre - anywhere. She's calls it 'mumic'. She also wants it on as soon as we get in the car! My how life has changed :)
She plays so well on her own but also loves to pull either of us in to play. Either way she's happy although probably still prefers us to be involved.

Will mimic reading a book by saying a whole lot of gobbly gook as she turns the pages.

She's still not really keen on books although I think the problem is that she doesn't want us to have our hands on the pages and that makes it hard to read! So I'm persisting and she's starting to enjoy them. However her favorite would the the Fisher Price flap book of all the farm animals which teaches numbers, animals, colours, shapes etc and it doesn't have words. Really at this stage she loves very, very basic books. She keeps bringing me 'Harry the dirty dog' (pressie from her Suixi buddy Camille) and we do read it and she absolutely loves it, but she keeps pushing through the pages before the story is over. I have to become more creative with my storytelling and I'm fast learning!

She loves the Happy Birthday song 'happa birday' - very cute. She definitely doesn't like me being on the computer! She LOVES going to the park...including the BIG slide (which freaks me out). She loves having her bath out on the deck in her 'clam shell'.

This is becoming an epic post...but I just remembered that she's now at the stage where if I ask her to put her washing in the laundry...she does it and puts it in the right place AND if I ask her to put something in the rubbish bin - she does! Once again I was shocked the first time it happened and thought it was just luck until the second time she did it - although I must admit the first time I asked her to put her night nappy in the bin and didn't watch it didn't end up there and took me ages to find (in the draw above!).

She does still wear cloth nappies (yes...I know!) except for night time and when we go out for longer periods.

Well, I know there is SO much more - but wanted to do an update - as much for a record as anything.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Blogging with a purpose


What a privilege - I've been honoured with an award for having a blog that has a purpose. How special is that! - thanks so much to Cristina (and thanks for your help with how to follow through!).
Now I'm off to find 5 unique people in my blogging world to nominate and give the honour to as well. I'll be back soon!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Tagged!

Well - I've been tagged once before and never got to respond due to my silly internet connection....this time I will (no offence please Chel - if you tag me again I promise I'll follow through!). Thanks to Cristina I now have to work out what to do! Here goes...

I have to link the person who sent this to you (done!) and leave a comment on their blog so their readers can visit yours. Post the rules on your blog. Share 7 strange/weird facts about yourself. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, linking their blog. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. So here's my seven strange/weird facts:

1. I've wanted to have children since I was able to hold them.....and that's VERY young - yet it took until my late 40's to finally have that dream become a reality...and certainly not in the way I expected.

2. My Dad is a world champion.....lawn bowler. He has a silver medal from the Commonwealth Games that were held in Edmonton, Canada and he holds an Order of Australia Medal for his commitment to bowling.

3. My Mum was a very accomplished gymnast who opted to get engaged/married to Dad rather than further what was a blossoming future in sport. Mind you it's probably a very good thing - her back is in terrible shape, probably as a result.

4. I'm one of 4 children, but the only one who has any desire to travel/live in the Country/dine out/enjoy craft...the list goes on. I'd think I was the postman's if it weren't for my looking similar to and having the mannerisms of my parents!

5. I have a saying 'the older you get the further away old age gets' - now I feel I'm living it because here I am approaching 50! and I still have long hair - once I looked at older people (people my age now) with long hair and thought it looked totally wrong (but then maybe it does an no-one's telling me!).

6. Gosh this is hard!.......I really like people....and yet I really dislike talking on the phone....Oh! and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE scrapbooking :)

7. I've lived in more placed that I care to think about. I'm nomadic I think! Originally it started because Dad worked for the Bank of New South Wales (in Victoria - all my 'homes' have been in the State of Victoria) and we had 7 moves before I was 15! Then I continued on. Where I'm living now is #20 since I left home! Even I can't believe that - but it's true. I don't easily put down roots and even though we've built this magnificent home - it's the views that keep me at the moment....not the home. That's just who I am I guess :)

Now for 7 people to tag! that will be hard too.

1. Susan

2. Rachel

3. Katie

4. Mary

5. Fliss

6. Heather

7. Cindy

Thursday, January 03, 2008

How's this for a grown up little girl.....

....and yes - the reason the camera moves is because I'm trying to control my laughing!!! Towards the end is the funnier bit by the way. (and Chel - it's doesn't show much but that's your beautiful tea set she's playing with and absolutely loves!)

video