Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Here are some pictures from our Christmas season:

Christmas Eve:
Christmas Day:
And lastly, a reading of "The Night Before Christmas" by Caitlin (with a little help from Mama!): Merry Christmas, everyone!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Two years a family!

Today we celebrated Caitlin's second "Gotcha Day." I can't believe two years have passed already- how time flies! She has become such a part of my life that I honestly can't imagine life without her. It seems she's always been here! I am so thankful for these past two years, and I look forward to a lifetime of more memories!

Caitlin was very excited about her special day today, but unfortunately she has been fighting a nasty cold and is not feeling well (though from the pictures from today it may seem otherwise). She and I are visiting with family in New Jersey, and I had planned to take her for a tour of the Statue of Liberty today, but we settled for spending some time at Liberty Park instead- where Caitlin could play while enjoying amazing views of the Statue, Ellis Island, and NYC:

Posing with Lady Liberty behind her:
Across from the new World Trade Center buildings:
Goofing around in front of Ellis Island:
Tonight we had a mini-party with some of our family. Caitlin wanted pizza and cake, so that's just what she got! I let her pick out a cake this afternoon from the grocery store which we enjoyed after a yummy dinner at a local Italian restaurant:
Waiting patiently for her grandfather to cut her cake:
Demolishing her slice:
She likes it!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Happy half-birthday, Caitlin!

Caitlin turned 3-1/2 today! We did nothing to celebrate, but I thought I'd take this opportunity to update this long-neglected blog...

Caitlin is quickly growing from a "baby" to a beautiful little girl! She is smart as a whip, and amazes everyone she meets or talks to. She is also becoming very loving, compassionate, and sensitive. Caitlin is one of the bravest kids I know; she faces challenges without a flinch, and she does not let anything get in her way! She is wild and constantly keeps me on my toes, but I love the challenge!

Caitlin had another procedure back in June including an endoscopy to try to get to the bottom of the ongoing stomach issues that she has had since the day we met her, and her plastic surgeon also came to work on her lip scar while she was under anesthesia. Her scar is healing very nicely, BTW!

 Here are some milestones Caitlin has reached:

  • She has been taking ballet since May, and can now name and demonstrate several basic ballet steps, including 1st position, 2nd position, plie, passe, and arabesque. 
  • Caitlin loves school, and is very popular with her peers! Every time I pick her up all the kids erupt into shouts of "Bye Caitlin Mei!" (There are 2 Caitlin's in her class, so Caitlin goes by "Caitlin Mei" at school).
  • She can count to 100 (or more; sometimes she just keeps going!).
  • She is learning to tell time on a digital clock, and on a "handed" clock to the hour and half-hour.
  • She can read and spell her entire name (even our last name, which is a doozie!), as well as "Mama," "Lala," "Stop," and "No."
  • She can write her whole name if following dots, and is learning to write letters without the dots as well.
  • She can recognise, by name, several planets, and describe them (Earth = "Our planet;" Venus = "the hot hot hot! planet;" Mars = "the red planet;" Jupiter = "the BIG planet;" Neptune = "the blue planet;" and Pluto = "the teeny, tiny, far away planet." (Don't get me started on how Pluto is not considered a planet anymore!)
  • She is learning several different languages; Caitlin knows a few words and phrases in Mandarin, Italian, and Slovak, and is learning the colors and days of the week, as well as several conversational phrases, in Spanish.
  • She knows the words to more songs than I can count, and also knows 6 prayers (including the "Our Father"/Lord's Prayer).
  • She knows that she's a human (not a mermaid- BIG Ariel fan!), and will tell you that humans, animals, and most fish have bones; slugs, snails, and jellyfish do not.
  • She can locate California and China on a map or globe.
  • She knows our flag, and that we live in the United States. She knows that she was born in China, and that her Mama and Daddy went on a big 747 airplane to bring her home. She will also tell you that her cousin, Cora, was born in Japan. (My brother was stationed there).
  • Caitlin is also learning to swim (without floatation devices).
She is such a blessing, and we are all so very proud of her!

Here are some pictures from the past 6 months:

Easter Sunday:
Our trip to Hong Kong (Caitlin and I flew out in May
to meet up with Paul while on deployment):
Caitlin's first walk-a-thon (May):
Caitlin's first baseball game (June)
Caitlin's 4th surgery (in June):
Caitlin's preschool "graduation" (the day after her surgery):
Paul's homecoming (June 22nd):
4th of July:
Our trip to Vegas (in July):
Hoover Dam:
(Standing with one foot in Nevada and one in Arizona):
Practicing ballet:
Beach time last week:
Caitlin's new "big girl" bike (which she just got last weekend):
Caitlin and Lala; still best of friends!
And finally, a few pictures from today
of the "Half-birthday Girl":