Friday, December 04, 2009

Family day

Three years ago, our little Ting Ting was placed into our arms for the first time. That day was well chronicled, so I won't repeat all the details. But what a ride it's been.

I can't believe she was this tiny

Precious, precious memories.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I know, it's terrible (the posting frequency, not the photos)

True story -- I just tried to log in to post these photos and had to spend five minutes figuring out my password.

Here are fall school pictures of our girls. I'll post more very soon, I promise (the photos on my camera go back to BEFORE our vacation in June).

Lauren, junior year, age 16.

Ting Ting, preschool, age 3 1/2.

Monday, October 19, 2009

. . . and for my prince, Phillip, but would it kill him to do a load of laundry?

Sitting down to dinner, one night last week.

Mama: Ting Ting, do you want to say the prayer?

TT: Mommmmmm, I'm Sleeping Beauty, remember?

Mama: Sorry. Sleeping Beauty, would you like to say the prayer?

TT (falsetto voice): Yes

All bow heads

TT (as SB): Heavenly father, thank you for my castle . . .

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Three years

Yesterday was the third anniversary of our referral day, the day we got the call that we at last had been matched with a daughter. It would be a few weeks before we got her translated file and official referral photos, but we managed to get a copy of her finding ad overnight, and three years ago today we saw her sweet face for the first time.

I get all weepy and nostalgic this time of year as I recall the events that led to us becoming parents to Rachel Shu-Ting. But there is no time for that right now -- someone is asking me for yogurt.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

2009 picnic

I'll post more later, but I had to share this one right away. From left: Chloe, Leanna, Ting Ting and Bella.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wedding video, take 3

I thought I'd better hurry and get Ting Ting to say some of her cutest words for me before she started pronouncing them correctly.

Something tells me, though, that years from now I'll still be wearing a "winsoup" to the beach.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Glad I could help

Every so often, I like to check out the "referring" URLs to get an idea how people find this blog.

Last week someone searched Google for this:

"Will my homeowners insurance cover a hole in a roof caused by a squirrel and causing a leak"

Um . . . . no. Sorry.

See, I TOLD you that was a helpful bit of trivia!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

My head is spinning

The other morning at breakfast, Ting Ting was trying to remember something. She screwed up her face, tapped her cheek with her index finger and said, "hmmmmmmmm."

Still, she couldn't remember. But she made me laugh when she expressed her dismay.

"Mama, I thought all around it until I was dizzy."

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Polka Dot Princess

Again, we're digging through the archives here. One day last spring, Ting Ting was dying to wear this dress she got last summer from Cousin Sam. I helped her get it on, then left to finish dressing myself while she picked out her shoes and socks.

A few minutes later, she came in to show me her accessories. She had picked a pair of shoes I didn't think about immediately, but they were a perfect match because they were brown with a touch of pink, both colors of dots in the dress. She had on pink socks. And she had found a little purse that is white with a pink butterfly.

But the best part? When she chose her "puppet" to take to day care that day, she picked out a dalmatian -- yes, a spotted dog.

The child has much more fashion sense than her mother ever will.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I have to learn to think these things through before I open my mouth. . .

Ting Ting loves for me to tell her stories at night, after we've read some books and turned off the light (yes, I realize she's stalling).

A couple weeks ago, desperate to tell a shorter story than her oft-requested "princess stories" (which, of course, require me to remember every detail of the Disney movies), I offered to tell her about Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

I started telling the story, off the cuff. I had difficulty recalling details, and I couldn't for the life of me remember how it ended -- although I'm sure it was frightening. So I just made up a happy ending.

She loved it. Now she often asks for that story, and I just make up a different ending every time.

The other night I finished with the bears finding Goldilocks and waking her up.

"She sat up in bed, and said, 'oh my goodness! I'm glad you're home,'" I told Ting Ting. "Goldilocks apologized for eating their porridge and breaking Baby Bear's chair, and she said,
'how about I make you a nice big breakfast?'

"So they all went into the kitchen, and Papa Bear and Mama Bear helped Baby Bear fix his chair while Goldilocks made breakfast. Then Goldilocks brought in big platters of bacon and eggs and they all sat down and ate it together!" I finished, triumphantly.

Ting Ting didn't miss a beat.

"Where did Goldilocks sit?" she asked.

(I had been smart enough to realize they needed to fix Baby Bear's seat, but I hadn't realized that that meant they still had only three chairs. Darn that kid.)

"Oh," I said. "They had a little stool in the kitchen, so Goldilocks brought it into the table and sat on that."

"Noooo," said Ting Ting.

Uh oh, I thought.

"I think she should sit in Mama Bear's lap!" Ting Ting said.

Fine with me. I'm just too busy worrying about how we're going to pay for law school.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Family tea

OK, we're rewinding a bit.

Ting Ting and I went to Tennessee to spend Mother's Day weekend with my family. We celebrated with a tea party.

Aunt Kay poured us some "tea."

We had lovely little sandwiches, too.

Pre-tea entertainment was a race between Cousin Chad (in wheelchair)* and Ting Ting (on wild-eyed pony purchased at a yard sale).

I don't remember who won the race, but I know who won points for style.

We taught Ting Ting to drink with her pinkies out.

We finished with some amazing cupcakes.

Had to look at those again.

A good time was had by all.

* P.S.: Chad is having the same surgery on the other foot Friday, so he'll be back in that wheelchair for awhile. Good luck, buddy!

And the answers are: We don't know

Don't leave us guessing, what happened to TingTing's eye? What did she get in it? And how was Lauren's finals? What was making Cyrus sick? Or did I miss something? ---Rambling Mother

Sorry, didn't mean to leave everyone hanging!

We don't know exactly what happened to Ting Ting's eye. My best guess is that she had a mosquito bite around it somewhere. She had the same thing last year, and the doctor gave her antihistamine, and we had to wait just a couple of days. So we did that this year, too. It took a little longer this time, but after swelling up and turning bright red and looking absolutely awful for a few days, it slowly returned to normal.

Lauren's finals are still hanging. She's taking two of them Thursday and the last one next week. She couldn't take them at first because her eye was too sensitive to light, then we went to Florida. Then she went to Arizona with her Mom when we returned, then when she came home she spent another week at her Mom's house. So now the summer is half over, and she's just getting around to it. And, yes, that is driving me crazy.

We don't know what was making Cyrus sick, either, but he's slowly getting better. All we know, really, is that he did not have a blockage, which might have required surgery. We've been trying to keep him quiet, but that's hard when we have a 3-year-old who wants to hug him all the time. He's still reluctant to eat on his own, but we've gotten some liquids into him and even a little food. Keep your fingers crossed . . . by the way, we freaked out about 4 a.m. today when Lauren's dog started throwing up, too. But fortunately, she stopped. Looks like she just got into something that upset her stomach.

The drywall has been repaired and today the ceilings and walls were painted. Now we just need to get the carpet replaced and we'll be done . . . as soon as we get all the furniture back in and everything put away. Whew!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Welcome to our world

OK, I'm not going to spend a lot of time making up excuses for not posting. I'm just going to give you a little glimpse into life at la Casa de Ting Ting the last few weeks.

First of all, Lance lost his job at the end of May. We'd rather he hadn't, but it's sort of a good thing that it happened when it did. The first evening, he was sort of at loose ends -- in a good way, though. He sat down and started flipping through the channels on the TV and I suddenly realized I had not seen him do that in months. Really, months. And he looked sort of . . . well, relieved. I don't think either of us really realized the kind of stress he had been under and the toll it was taking on the whole family. Anyway, he and I were chatting about how weird it was to have him home and relaxing when all of a sudden we heard Lauren call up from downstairs, "Dad, we have a leak!"

Boy, did we. We didn't just have a few bad shingles; we discovered later that we had a huge hole in our roof, courtesy of some raccoons (Helpful bit of trivia: Homeowners' insurance covers damage caused by raccoons, but not "vermin" like squirrels). Before long we found that water had poured into Brandon's bedroom, ruining his ceiling, walls and carpet. Then that water had traveled down into the space below his floor and on into the ceiling below, where it was leaking (actually, pouring) into our family room.

Well, you know what life was like for Lance the next couple of weeks: Calling people for remediation. Talking to insurance adjustors. Getting roofers out to climb up and give us estimates (we had planned to replace the roof this year anyway, but losing one of our jobs was not in those plans). Getting estimates for new carpet. Remembering specific paint colors. Picking out shingle style and color. Picking out gutter colors. Arranging for roofers to come. Arranging for drywall people to come. Figuring out when the carpet can be installed and who should do it.

Brandon's room has been a construction zone for several weeks, but it's nearing an end. Thankfully it was the one bedroom not in daily use, although I'm sure he's tired of sleeping on the couch on weekends.

And that wasn't all, of course. The first week or two Lance was home, Lauren was preparing for finals, and Lance was helping her study geometry, get her projects done, run her around. Then the morning of the last day of finals she injured her cornea and had to go to the ER instead of to school. Except they had to go to school anyway to turn in her part of the final English project. Then they had to pick up medications (and get the drops into her eyes several times a day). Call teachers and counselors about making up exams. Visit the opthamologist several times. Go to the optometrist for new glasses (old ones were, well, old, and she couldn't wear her contacts for several weeks). And now she has to go back to school to take the tests she missed.

In the middle of all that, we took our annual beach vacation (woo hoo!). Most of it was already paid for, so what the heck. We needed the break.

Before and after the beach trip, we had company from out of town. And somewhere in there Lance had to apply for unemployment, get his resume ready, network and post. And he had to catch up on his own medical appointments.

We withdrew Ting Ting from her day care/preschool beginning with our return from Florida. So now Lance and Lauren are running after a 3-year-old all day (and LOVING it, too). And my job hasn't let up, although, frankly, last week, I was glad. Here's what I left each morning:

MONDAY -- guys pulling in the driveway as I'm leaving, wanting to leave stacks of shingles and other supplies. They cart them up to the roof, waking Lauren (Waaaaahhh).

TUESDAY -- guys start hammering on the roof and will be at it all day.

WEDNESDAY -- Lauren wakes us up by sharing the news that Cyrus is throwing up . . . Oops, again . . . Oops, there he goes again. Lance and I are running around with cleaning supplies for the carpet and trying to tend to him. Guys are due to estimate materials needed for repairing Brandon's room. Lauren calls up from downstairs, "he just threw up again -- and it's red."

THURSDAY-- Cyrus, who had spent all Wednesday at the vet's office, wakes up and decides to have a bite to eat -- oops. More throwing up. And it's bloody again. Lance prepares to drive him back to the vet. We try to clean the carpets. Guys due to install the gutters. Guys due to deliver materials to repair the damage to Brandon's room. Some family members coming over to bring a cousin to play with Ting Ting.

FRIDAY -- Cyrus had to spend the night at the vet, so he's not vomiting on our rug today, but we're waiting on word on whether he needs surgery (thankfully, no). Guys are coming to repair the drywall. Ting Ting wakes up looking like this:

"I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam."

(Actually, it looked a lot worse in the following days. But don't her bangs look great? Thanks, Aunt Gloria).

I know what you're thinking, and you're absolutely right . . . Every morning I tried to keep the concerned/sad/worried look on my face just long enough to get to the car so I could peel out of the driveway and yell "Yahoooooooo!" all the way to my nice, sedate job.

Oh, and did I mention that I think I broke my toe? Cyrus is better, though. And he's home with us again.

Hmmm, still want pictures, do you? I'll try tomorrow.

. . .

Well, OK, one to tide you over:

Saturday, June 06, 2009

School picture, spring '09

My little baby is in preschool.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

And to think at one time we actually worried that she'd never talk . . .

In the car one morning:

TT: Mommy, do you like bees?

Mom: Ummmm, yes, I like bees . . . Bees make honey.

TT: Well, I like ants. Ants make apples.


At a restaurant where I arrived later than the others, who had already finished their soup. Ting Ting watched as the waitress put a hot bowl in front of me.

TT (eyeing it slyly): Mommy, if you eat all that soup, your tummy will get bigger.

Lauren: Oh, nice.

Mom (quietly, to Lauren): Just wait for it.

TT: Mommy, I share with you, please?


Later, at the same restaurant, addressing the people at the booth behind her

TT: What's your name? I'm 'Ting-a-licious.'


Arriving at preschool one morning . . .

TT: Mommy, this isn't day care, this is Africa!

Mom: Oh? How can you tell we're in Africa?

TT: There's a lion . . . and an ephelunt . . . and some monkeys . . . and a possum!


Ting Ting, Dad and Lauren are goofing around, and Ting Ting is arguing to make her point. Dad holds up his hand, palm facing her.

Dad: Ting Ting, talk to the hand.

TT (holding up her hand the same way, then bending the fingers into her palm like a mouth): Hello, hand! How are you today?


Ting Ting is playing with a magic wand. She spies a second one and hands it to Mom.

TT: Mommy, now we BOTH have magic wands! Let's go find Daddy and make all of his wishes come true!

Something tells me we've already done that, kiddo.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Yes, I DO remember the password to post here -- why do you ask?

I know, I know, it's inexcusable. I'm sorry for disappearing there for awhile. It's been a little busy, not that any of you really care -- I know you just want photos. So I'll just say blah, blah, blah, strep throat . . .

yada, yada, yada, layoffs at work, blah, blah, blah, blah, Cyrus' cousin visited . . .

yada, yada, yada, yada, insane schedule, blah, blah, blah, visited Papa and Lao Lao . . . .

yackity, yackity, yack, big brother's confirmation . . .

blah, blah, blobbity, blah, Ting Ting taking photos of Daddy . . . who was taking photos of her . . .

blah, blah, yada, yada, yada, some friends from the old country came to visit . . .

yackity, yackity, yackity, Memorial Day, yada, yada, yada, visiting with cousins . . .

blah, blah, blah, saw some wildlife, yada, yada, yada, more than one species . . .

yackity, yackity, yackity, blah, blah, pregnancy, yada, yada, yada . . .NO! Not me, her:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Then and then and now -- Easter edition

Easter portraits:

2007 (15 months)



and Easter basket shots:




Monday, April 13, 2009

Wonderful weekend

Oh, the fun of Easter.

Coloring eggs with "Alla."

Going through the Easter basket (with Cyrus' help).

After that it was church, where she greeted dozens of folks and wished them happy Easter. I think the highlight for me was when I caught her waving at the pastors in the middle of the anthem -- and they both waved back.

Then we had Easter dinner at Aunt Gloria's.

That's exactly what I was thinking

Ting Ting, looking at a picture she had just drawn in crayon:

"I don't know what that is, but it sure is pretty"

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Monday, April 06, 2009


We'll just go with the calendar -- forget what's happening outside my window.

Happy Easter, everyone!

If you're wondering about that beautiful matching hat, I dropped it on our way out the door to the photo studio. Yes, I did consider rescheduling the appointment -- why did you ask?

Oh well -- all's well that ends well.

Monday morning