Thursday, March 29, 2012

Gotcha Day #5

Five years ago today in a hot little room in Guangzhou, China, Guan Hai Yan was placed into our waiting arms and she became Molly Michelle HaiYan. Our daughter.IMG_3680

I know it sounds cliché, but it seems like just yesterday that we were trying to figure out how to bathe and diaper our baby, helping her to walk, encouraging her to talk. Showing her what a family was all about. Teaching her to love and accept love.

The past five years have been a journey, with lots of happy moments and our share of struggles. None of which I would trade for the world. (Although I wouldn’t mind if some of the struggles would feel free to move along now!)

Every year on (or around) Gotcha Day, I try to get pictures of Molly with her referral photos so we can see just how much she has grown and changed.

Here’s the head shot.IMG_6748

And the propped up sitting pose.IMG_6755

And finally the laying on the belly pose.IMG_6771

We fell in love with those three photos five years ago, but the real thing is so much better. Molly has added so much to our lives. Things we didn’t even know that we were missing.  So today we celebrate 5 glorious years with our precious baby girl.

Molly wanted to go out to her favorite Chinese restaurant to celebrate her Gotcha Day. In fact, that’s the only restaurant she ever wants to go to. Good thing we all like Chinese!IMG_7319

Sam giving a silly grin while eating a steamed bun. Sam likes him some Chinese food, too!IMG_7320

I think the main reason that Molly likes this restaurant is because of the ice cream bar.IMG_7321

Sam likes ice cream, but he much prefers the cappuccino cake. I’m with Sam on that one. It is to-die-for delicious.IMG_7325

After we got home and had baths, Molly opened up her Gotcha Day gift. We brought home a suitcase full of gifts for Molly when we returned from China. Every year on her Gotcha Day she gets one of those special gifts. She really cherishes them and takes special care of them. She can take you through her room and show you each gift that she has received over the past five years.

Sam and Molly pose before Molly opens her present.IMG_8773

In a act of sisterly love Molly lets Sam open her present. How sweet is that?IMG_8774

What is it, Sis?IMG_8776

Molly opens her sandalwood fan.IMG_8777

Random cute pic of Sam and Molly.IMG_8778

Molly displays her fan. She quickly put it back in the box and put it into her backpack so that she could bring it to school for Show & Share.IMG_8779

On the day we got Molly, she had one little tooth. Today, on her 5th Gotcha Day, that very same tooth is loose and ready to come out.IMG_8783

Here’s the wiggler (look for the arrow in the picture)!IMG_8785

Happy 5th Gotcha Day Molly! We love you forever!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream for….


With our unusually warm weather this spring, our local (and wildly popular) ice cream stand opened up a whole month early. Although we missed opening day, we did make it get our very first ice cream of the season the second day it was open.

Molly got a chocolate and vanilla twist on a cone…the favorite of most kids, I think. Sam got an orange sherbet and vanilla ice cream twist because, well it is my favorite and I wanted to steal samples.IMG_7288

Sam thinks the ice cream is lip-smackin’ delicious.IMG_7291

Molly enjoys her ice cream on a cone. That it after she dropped it on the ground and we had to scrape off the part that got dirt on it. Ugh.IMG_7294

Feeding himself like a big boy.IMG_7296

Sam and Molly give their ice cream two thumbs up!IMG_7301

The other attraction of our ice cream stand is the kiddie rides. After feeding the kids ice cream, it is time to feed the rides all of our quarters.IMG_7305

Molly volunteered to ride with Sam so he wouldn’t be scared, therefore securing herself extra ride time.IMG_7307

Oh yeah, baby. The Clifford ride!IMG_7312

One more ride before we go.IMG_7314

I am sure that this is the first of many, many trips to the ice cream stand this summer. I have my rolls of quarters ready!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

I Like To Ride My Bicycle!

Molly was really ready to ride her two wheeler last year. She had the balance. She had the strength. She had the coordination.

But she didn’t have the height.

Molly’s bike was just a wee bit too big so she couldn’t touch the ground when she sat on the seat. Every time that we tried to take the training wheels off, she would freak. The bike was too tippy and she couldn’t put her feet down and touch terra firma.

This year it’s a different story. She’s bigger. Big enough to touch the ground!

After we got home from Abby’s party (see previous post), Molly asked to get her bike out. Then she asked to have the training wheels removed. And low and behold, look what happened!

On the very first go at it, Molly was up….IMG_8694

and running. Well, riding!IMG_8695

Two problems. She didn’t know how to turn and she didn’t know how to stop. Luckily there was some soft grass to land in.IMG_8696

A quick lesson on turning and stopping and she was back at it.IMG_8697

But she still didn’t get the stopping and turning thing. Oh well, more soft grass for landing.IMG_8698

Eventually she did figured out how to brake and turn her bicycle. Now there was no stopping her!IMG_8699IMG_8700IMG_8701IMG_8702IMG_8703IMG_8704

Sam wanted in on the action, as well. He rode Molly’s old scooter.IMG_8708

He rolled right down the driveway like a champ. On a pink and purple princess scooter.IMG_8706

Dang, if he the cutest thing around!IMG_8710

Molly, we are so proud of you! You are such a big girl now!IMG_8711

And Sam, we promise to man up your world really soon. When you are old enough, you will not be learning to ride a two wheeler on the bike pictured above. Scouts honor.IMG_8715

And for those of you thinking, why didn’t Teri video tape this action packed event? Well I did. I am just too lazy busy to download it and slap it on YouTube. I will try to get this, and a few other videos up in the near future. (Just so you know that means in the next month or two. With two kids near future takes on a whole new meaning.)

Abbydoo Turns Six!

IMG_8650Molly’s sweet little friend Abby recently turned six, so today we headed back to our old hometown to celebrate. Abby had a bowling party and wow, did the kids have fun! Who’da thought?

Molly couldn’t wait to get started. She grabbed her ball and flung it down the lane. IMG_8653

She was a natural. Look at where that ball is heading! Of course it did hit the bumpers once or twice before it hit the pins but she looks pretty good to me.IMG_8655

Sam wanted in on the action so badly and I had to keep telling him that this was a game for the big kids. IMG_8660

Molly offered to help him bowl. This was such a big step for her. She usually wants everything for herself and definitely wants to make sure that she has more than baby brother. So when she made the offer, I let the two of them bowl together. IMG_8665

That’s all it took for Sam. He was hooked. Throwing a ball across the room to knock down pins at the other end. What is not to like? It has all of his favorite things. Balls, action, noise, destruction. Repeat.IMG_8670

Just look how happy he is.IMG_8671

Sam and Molly bowled frame ….IMG_8673

after frame, after frame together.IMG_8674

And in the end Molly ended up with the high score!IMG_8675

Like any good party there was food. IMG_8677


And a little birthday cake.IMG_8681

Look who’s sneaking and peeking at the cake.IMG_8685


A two hour trip back home with two kids coming off of a sugar high. This ought to be fun.IMG_8689

Group shot at the end of the party.IMG_8691We had a blast celebrating your birthday with you Abbydoo! You are such a sweetheart of a girl. Hope you have a great year being six!