Saturday, January 31, 2009

A vist from Steve, Sandi, Molly and Ming

We have had the most wonderful 3 days with this precious family. Steve and Sandi have a bio daughter Molly who is 8.5 and almost a year ago their son Ming was placed in their arms in China. Ebony has had an absolute ball with the children and her and Ming got on so well (she already got on extra well with Molly!) - they played so beautifully together. I can't believe how blessed we are with the people we have met through the adoption journey.

It was SOOOOO hot - but I really made the effort to show them around. We took a walk up to Fainter Falls because I though it would be cooler - tee hee! It was still 32 there and it's half way to Falls Creek. We were all exhausted after that walk but decided to go on to Falls Creek. Had a bite to eat there and it was really hot even there - the locals said it was one of the hotter days they have experienced too. Felt hot at 28 degrees, but the shock was worse when we got back down to Mt Beauty!

We visited our friends pool a couple of times - but we were a bit restricted with what we could do. Anyway - we had a wonderful time and that's what matters!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Down by the riverside

We've had some awesome nights down at the river this summer. It's been WAY too hot to consider going during the day - but the evenings have been beautiful. I just pack a picnic dinner and down we head. We've found a great spot where the water is shallow and clear and Ebony can play while we sit and relax..perfect!

Thought I'd share some photo's with you....

Monday, January 26, 2009

Australia Day and Chinese New Year all wrapped up in one

Well I woke this morning and wished I had put some more thought into today. I don't know how often Australia Day and Chinese New Year are celebrated on the same day but I would guess it's not often.
Of course you can't buy anything here in Mt Beauty.
So - I had to make do.
I decided that Eb should wear a Cheongsam....with a little map of Australia tucked into her hair. She looked gorgeous.
The morning celebration was down in the Mt Beauty township and many, many people were there. This was where Ebony officially became an Aussie citizen last year. I tried to get her face painted - but that didn't work until the 3rd attempt! The first was painting on her legs - then just a few flowers on her face and then finally she allowed Kim to do a full butterfly on her face. yeah! She loved it. She also had a few Aussie tattoo's. We had a great fun morning and enjoyed a lovely BBQ breakfast.

Later that day we headed back over to Bright. There is a small town called Harrietville between Bright and Mt Hotham (closer to Bright) and it has what they call the 'Dredge Hole' which is a big hole in the earth caused by some type of mining I think. It has now been beautified and filled with water and is the local swimming hole. We had a great swim in there - it was another very hot day.

From there we went to Wandiligong which is just out of Bright. I found out there was a Chinese Bridge there - so we finally found it and took some beautiful photo's. Dwayne, Susan and Sarah joined us again so the photo's are of Ebony and Sarah. We leant Sarah a Cheongsam. The bridge was very interesting and I'm glad we know about it now.

Next we headed off to the Bright Chinese restaurant for dinner. Sadly they didn't actually celebrate CNY - but they treated Ebony like royality - it was a really, really lovely evening.

Finally we headed to the park (in the dark) for a walk and a short play because the night was so beautiful. What a special day it was. We really enjoyed it.

Celebrations at Mt Beauty

Checking out the face painting at home

The three of us on the Chinese Bridge at Wandiligong

Eb and Sarah enjoying it too...

It's such a beautiful bridge!

On the way back from walking to the bridge we stopped at a fallen tree for some photo's

Then it was out to Bright Chinese for dinner

...and a swing in the dark

and a last photo on a log before we headed home...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

More fun in Bright

I really am trying to make the most of summer while it's here (and boy has it been here!) We've already done so much this month - and there's still plenty to do.

Bright has the 'Bonjour Bright' Festival on this weekend so we headed across there this afternoon with our friends Dwayne and Susan and their 4.5yo Sarah. Sarah and Eb get on quite well. A couple of the ex-Hooley Dooley's were playing and I was delighted to see Ebony up dancing (the only one amongst the crowd I could see) when I was inside getting a cool drink. She just loves music! By the time I got back to her though she was sitting in Susan's lap obviously a bit overwhelmed - not sure what happened! Anyway we still had fun and when it was over we took the girls to the toddler pool again and they had quite a bit of fun! After that we bought Fish and Chips and sat down by the river and enjoyed them with a glass or two of wine. It was such a beautiful evening and lovely setting. The girls stripped off to their knickers and played in the river until it was time to head back home.

Wanting to be 'one of the girls'!

She made it up there!

Two gorgeous girls having fun down by the river..

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

First ever Ice-cream in a cone....and a fun day at Bright

Yep - I know. She's been terribly deprived - but I've just looked after her teeth as best I can. However there are times when fun is called for over common sense.
This was one of those days! Today Eb turns 3 and 5 months...sounds like a good reason to celebrate! Graham had to go over to Bright to quote some Solar Hot Water Services and Ebony and I took in the shops while he quoted. He took more time than he planned (!) so we ended up sitting down to an ice-cream. Ebony LOVED it! she thought it was the BEST treat! It was a bit cold at first and took time for her to settle into that but the sweet flavour soon won her over! It was such good fun watching her!

After that we walked down to the river and walked around and played in the park then I found a toddler swimming pool (with river water in it) and decided I should just strip her off and let her play - well that made it an even more special day for my water baby. A good outing was had by all!

Yum, Yum!!!

Some fun running in the playground

The toddler pool beside the river at Bright

Monday, January 19, 2009

A bit more letting go

I know - it probably sounds totally stupid - but letting go of these has been quite hard!

It's not easy getting soft soled shoes - especially in size 8 - but my dear friend Sandi handed these to me. She had kept them for her little daughter to be adopted from China also....until she got a boy! I loved them from the moment I set eyes on them - but sadly they didn't last Eb's feet long. Here I was trying to get her little feet in them until Graham finally said to me 'you can't continue to let her wear those shoes!' - point taken. I know it's not good for her - but gosh I loved them. The colour was perfect and so was the style. Bye bye again to something beautiful!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Big girl bed...

Well it has now happened. It was nothing short of easy for Eb - she took to it so well I couldn't believe it! I, on the other hand, am trying to come to terms with this enormous change.

Some Mum's probably wonder what the fuss is all about - but when this child is possibly your one and only AND you've waited such a long time AND the first 16 months and 5 days of her life were spent in another Country - I think I have very good reason to be......sad.

This was only the first night....and I have no idea what tomorrow morning is going to look like - but she was sleeping so beautifully and so peacefully. I'll keep you up to date on what happens from here....

Before sleep

During sleep...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Oh No.....

I'm just not ready for this - not for ONE single moment.
Time has sweet little baby has to move out of her beautiful cot - the one she has slept in every night (we've been home) since we arrived home....other than the odd night in with us.
My heart just isn't at all ready - I feel so, SO sad. BUT it has to happen - she's ready...even if I'm not.
I chose the I didn't have to think about it for too long.
Here are the photo's I took as a sort of 'bye bye cot'. boo hoo.............

Last moments awake in her cot....

Her room as it looks now....

with special lights I bought her

then I snuck in for an asleep photo.....aww my hearts was breaking just a bit....

sleep beautifully my darling little baby girl....tomorrow you sleep as a big girl

Family outing

Poor Graham has been so busy since we returned - his apprentice has hurt his arm and could be off for some time. Anyway - it was time for a family outing and we decided to head up to the newly opened 'Fainter Falls' walking track. It's only 1000m and not too challenging.. for us .... a bit more for our darling girl - but she did so incredibly well! Asked to be picked up a couple of times, but when we said no she basically took it in her stride (other than one tear session). It was quite a hot day and there isn't much shade on the track so we all got hot. The last 200 metres are quite rocky and more difficult - but she did the lot and we really did have a fun time.

A view of some of the track

Mummy stopping to wipe away some tears...

Fainter Falls - on the way up to Falls Creek

Eb and Daddy in front of the Falls

Then Mummy and Eb

Traversing the more difficult part...with Eb jumping and loving it!

Water please, please Mummy!

Some of the views on the way back - fires had gone through here in 2006 just before we left to go to China and get Ebony.

Daddy and Eb on the way back

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A photo I want to revisit

I look at this photo and I feel a kind of melancholy little girl is growing up so quickly. I sat quietly before I took this photo and thought about how she was feeling. She obviously wanted to go and play with the other children..but didn't quite have the confidence. She was a bit in awe and probably feeling a bit uncertain. I had to grab the camera because of the feelings that welled up inside me. I know another journey of letting go is fast approaching as I look at this photo and another journey I'm not ready for yet. My sweetheart is growing and starting to realize what is out there in the big wide world. I'm glad I'm aware of these 'lasts'. I can only hang onto the moment I'm living in - I can't hang onto the future...or the past.

Mummy loves you sweetheart and I hope I'm here for the many years to come when you feel a bit uncertain like you look in this photo.

A visit with family on the way home

I had to have an MRI on my neck on Sunday - so we left Inverloch on Saturday and spent the Sat and Sun nights with my sister and her family. It was a lovely stay - the first time we've stayed with them since we moved away. My niece Renee (11) had just got a new puppy 2 days before we arrived - her name is Millie and Ebony was a bit fascinated and not at all scared really. It was lovely to see her with Millie although I don't think Millie was quite ready for Eb!

My sister Di read to Eb and played with her which was so lovely and of course Renee played with her as well. Eb also got another Christmas present....a gorgeous scooter! She'll have LOTS of fun with that! We had to have our car serviced on the Monday and had planned to head home about 11am - but that sure wasn't to be! We finally left Melbourne at about 6.30PM (after the car being delayed) and then had to go to Alexandra on the way home to fix some taps at Graham's Mum and Dad's and have dinner with them. Needless to say we finally arrived home at 12.15AM on Tuesday morning. Eb fell asleep about 30mins before we got home - she sure hung in there. The photo of her asleep on her change table is taken when we lifted her from the car to the change table to get her ready for bed - she was more exhausted than I have ever seen her! The next one is the next morning where she's happy to be home and back with her toys!

Eb and Millie the dog

Aunty Di reading a book with Eb

Renee and Eb having fun together

The look of joy when Eb got her new scooter...

Totally exhausted and asleep on her change table

The next morning .....home to her Christmas toys!