Sunday, March 29, 2009

Happy Birthday!

First of all, don't be hatin' on the groovy couch, paneling, ect. It was the early 70's. In the picture are Lori's Dad and Mom and her of course. I think she is about 2 or 3 in this picture. Lori turned 38 this week, so we all got together on Sunday to celebrate. We went to church and then came home and had a great lunch that Lori's mom brought over (vegetable, turkey lasagna) and grilled peaches with rasberry sauce that Brandon made. There was also a strawberry cake. Needless to say we are sugared out. There was a lot of visiting and napping going on today as well. Tomorrow is Norah's first Dr.s appointment. We are hoping for a swift referral to the audiologist for some much needed hearing aids and begining speech therapy.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Our first full week Home.

I don’t know how business travelers do it that have to go back and forth from China to the U.S. We didn’t have that much of a problem going from the U.S. to China and adjusting to their time zone. We hit the ground running in China and were able to adjust quickly.
Coming back has been a different story. The difference in time and lack of sleep because Norah has a nightmare or thinks it is time to play not sleep, has had us wiped out for awhile.
We are starting to turn the corner now though. I can see progress everyday in both Norah and Lori and I.
Like I said we have only been home a week and I am not sure if Norah understands this is her home or just another hotel that we stay at traveling around like nomads. It my take some time for her to comprehend that this is where we all live permenatley. She recognizes the house when we pull up in the driveway and we do the sign from home before we head that way and when we pull up to reinforce it. She likes the house with the backyard to play in, the swing and the park within walking distance from the house. Still I wonder what is going through her head some times. We have had Norah 19 days now and moved to a different place every five days or so. After we have been home awhile she will start to understand the permanence of home.
She is still really attached to Lori, to the point if Norah could figure out how to hobble Lori I think she would. I have managed to move up on Norah’s totem pole of Love and Affection by constantly taking care of her, feeding her, playing with her, and Norah and I take trips out on purpose to have one on one time together.
It was raining the last two days so the play equipment at the park was wet, so I though we would go to McDonalds to see about playing inside on their play equipment. That was a bust there were kids there twice her size that had gone feral like wild animals. I had a flash back of the children of the corn movie and we quickly left to see about some calmer setting. We settled on feeding the ducks at the park. It all seems to be working and with time I will share the coveted spot with Lori at the head of the pole, believe me Lori won’t mind sharing.
Norah is make headway with her sign lanwage too and seems to relish in the fact that she can now ask for specific things she desires with hand gesters and we understand and give her more milk or a banana or that we can tell her she needs to go put her shoes by the door and at night I can tell her it is bath time and she goes into the bathroom to get ready for bath time. Some things are still lost in translation, like just now she saw me writing this post and caught a glimpse of herself on here and pointed to the photo and pointed to her room, and I would sign just a minute and she immediately would start pulling on my arm and pointed to her room, and I again told her just a minute. Then it dawned on me, she saw herself playing with the playdough in the picture and thinks it is in her room. So I got up and showed her the playdough in the pantry. She gave me the big raised eyebrow smile and the sign for yes!
I love this child, she has been through so much in her short life and is still ready to jive up a smile and giggle that makes your day. Now I must go and make a multi colored dinosaur.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

We are alive (barely) and loving life with Norah.

This is the smiling face that brightens up our days.

Norah and I walked to the park today. It was such a pretty day and she had a lot of fun, but the girl is fearless. I followed her around and she would just walk right off the play equipment. If I wasn’t right there to grab her she would come to the ledge of a five foot drop and just put her foot out like there was ground under her feet. With me watching over her she stayed safe but only because I played on the equipment with her.

Nana and Popi came over to spend some time playing with there new Granddaughter.

We even got in a little weeding in the garden. Norah loves being outside, the onions and garlic are coming in great. It is time to plant my next wave of onions.

The first full day home I got down the swing we had put up for Norah and set it up. We ended up swinging and playing outside until dark.

Apparently Norah didn’t get the memo that we are now in a different time zone and 2:00 PM is now 2:00AM and we are suppose to be sleeping not playing, oh well it will get better.
And on a side note Brandon is doing really great in school. He stepped up to the challenge and really showed us what a responsible young adult he can be while we were on our trip. He also made a great effort to win over Norah and is totally smitten with her. We are very proud of him.

Norah and I took a trip over to UCA to see our Annie. She had gotten Norah a pop-up book for a welcome home gift. Annie reached for Norah and at first Norah wasn’t going for it but I had Annie ride in the back seat of the truck with Norah on the way to lunch. Norah warmed up to her quickly. By the time we took Annie to Wal-Mart to pickup some things she needed to survive the spring break Norah would let Annie hold her for some goodbye pictures before we headed home. Have fun this week Miss Annie you are doing great in School.
Popup book from Annie.

It has been hard to get things back in order since we came home but we are starting to get a handle on it.We both are still feeling the jet lag badly, hopefully getting in the sunlight will help. I haven’t even had the time to post lately, hopefully I can get to feeling better and post more often. I most say that the two people from our local FCC-CA “Families with Children from China” have brought us dinners and it has been a welcome site. Thanks to both Kim and Kammy. Both dinners were yummy and we have enough left overs to feed us for the rest of the week. Without you guys we would probably be living off of oatmeal, oranges, bananas, and what ever take out would deliver.

Friday, March 20, 2009


After something like 27 hours of flying we are home. We flew from Guangzhou to Beijing, Beijing to Newark, Newark to Little Rock and got home last night at 11:30P.M. Let me tell you Lori and I are tired, we can’t sleep on planes very well. Norah slept really well. We all smelled like goats and were dried out like raisins from the long flight.
Brandon got in some good playing time with Norah while Lori and I unpacked and took turns showering. Norah always had one of us around at her beck and call, she was content to play with her big brother as long as she could come down the hall every once in a while to see we were still here. She took to Brandon right away. He seems to have that affect on little kids, they just LOVE him. I just got up so I haven’t even had time to look around the house to see what needs to be done. Will post more later after I wake up a little. We went to bed last night at 3.
P.S. Our bed is so soft.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Last Day in Guangzhou

Playing in the White Swan playroom.

Sharing (sort of) with our new friend Lelia.

Norah went and got this towel out of the bathroom when she saw one of the window washers drop their cleaning rag.

Window washers.

She found this VERY entertaining as did her Mom and Dad.

Walking around the island. The weather here has been just like back home during early summer. A little humid but beautiful.

One of the locals tending his roof top garden.

The island (Shamain Island)is a hot spot for wedding photos. One of our guides told us that there are two great moments/events in a persons life: wedding and death.

Norah with her baby doll from a shop that is part of The Good Rock, an organization that does charity work for China's children.

This artist paints all his pictures with his fingers. He uses his fingertips, nails and palms to make the paintings. We told him we would put his picture on the internet and make him famous.

One of the many statues on the island.

City lights at night from the railing at our hotel.

Yes, she has three plates of food in front of her AND she picks stuff off of ours too.

Norah riding the bus to one of the many appointments we had to keep.

We went to the Guangzhou Zoo today. We saw many animals including the wild Pomerainian (sp?) dogs.


This one was in the petting zoo along with a cow, and a dalmation.

Ahhhh! The panda in China. Our guide told us this was a "one panda zoo".

Norah was very impressed with the giraffes.

This poor panda is known as the "Lesser Panda". I wonder if he/she has a complex because of that.

Ocean World at the zoo.

Skippy the Mud Skipper (Three thousand useless, imaginative points for those that know what show that's from)