Wednesday, December 23, 2009

China Art

Finally got around to putting up some of the art we bought in China!
Love it! Wish we got more of it! :-)

Thanks to Yuan who helped us pick it out and get it for such great
prices! :-) (Sorry if I spelt your name wrong!)

Dance Party!

I'm just gonna let the video do the talk'n today! :-)


video

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ping, meet Santa!


Daughter #1: Daddy DADDY DADDY!!! Can I get my picture taken with Santa!
Wife: Sure! We can go this weekend and you can sit on his lap and get your picture taken with him!
Me: Huh?
Daughter #1: And DADDY, can Ping come and meet Santa too?!
Wife: Absolutely! Ping will love it!
Me: Wha?!
Wife: Alright! Everyone go get in the van! We're going to go see Santa!
Me: Whats going on?

If you've been stuck here reading some of my older (and by older I mean, maybe yesterday) posts, you may have noticed that Ping didn't really do all that well with me at the beginning... middle... or as of yet... I think its something about the big hairy white male thats a bit of a problem for her.

So yea, I was a little worried about taking this cute adorable terrified Chinese girl to not only go meet yet another hairy bushy burly white man. I could see this ending very poorly. I mean, the similarities between me and Santa are staggering. Both white males. Both could stand to loose a few pounds. Both have long hair. Beards... I'm far more rough and rugged... but still, I think the similarities are there that Ping is gonna FREAK out when she meets Santa.

Me: Uh, do you really think that its such a great idea to try to get Ping on Santas lap? I mean, she didn't really like me... and its cuz I was hairy...
Wife: Oh, its too late to stop! The wheels have been set in motion and there is no going back now.

We walk into the mall. Normally, a refuge of peace and tranquility... for the women. For us men, its more like walking into a battle field. Between the feel of Christmas shopping, and preparing for the potential break down as we toss our poor helpless daughter into the arms of a stranger, my mind starts to wander (as it is prone to do). As I walk up the stairs of the mall entrance, I feel like Mel Gibson in BraveHeart - my face painted blue and wearing a kilt, I was ready to do what I had set out to do.

With steeled determination we set forth though the mall! Fighting through throngs of people helplessly falling victim to the sales on the left and the right, I kept my focus singular and straight. There was a smoldering passion ignited inside of my inner most being. The type of passion which can only be ignited by loosing something so precious and dear that all other distractions in life pale in comparison. Even the voices of loved ones fall on deaf ears!

Son #1: Dad! Slow down! The others can't keep up!
Me: AYE LADDIE!!! And 'ev GIT TA KEEP GOIN'!
Son #1: What?!
Me: Don'cha see it laddie! Look! Ov' der! The Jolly Red guy! Das wh're we git ta get ta!
Son #1: Mom... Dad's doing that weird thing again!
Wife: He thinks he's Mel Gibson from BraveHeart again.
Son #1: Again?! I thought the therapist took care of that.
Wife: Oh just deal with it.
Son #1: Fine. *siiiigh* Wallace! E can't a take the hill alone! E've got ta wait for tha oth'rs!
Me: What?! Are dey with us, or not! Are ye men! Are ye FREE men!
Son #2: *finally catches up* Hey, oh, hey... oh... Why is Dad painting his face blue? Oh.
Son #1: Yea.
Son #2: Can I go wait in the van?
Wife: No, you can not. We've got to get Ping and her sister to Santa.
Me: 'Er be the dirty 'brits! They be 'round us all! Look at 'em. Milling about, as if they own our lands!
Wife: Those are just the other shoppers love.
Me: Do ye not know that this be our lands!
Wife: Boys, I'm gonna go wait over there... you guys stay with Mel and the girls. Try to steer your father towards Santa.

We finally did get to Santa, and after quite a wait, and a few fights along the way, the girls got their picture taken with Santa.

And that's great. What was awesome was that Ping was totally fine with Santa!

Yup.

Just fine.

No crying.

Even though he was a male... you know... like me. Albeit without a blue painted face... and far less rough and rugged.

And even though he had facial hair... she was fine. I mean, its not like I didn't have facial hair which terrified her... but hey, no thats great. I'm really happy that she just climbed up on his lap and smiled for the camera.

Oh, and he had long hair too. Yea, like me. But I could see where my hair would be scary, whereas Santas hair wasn't.

Yup.

I'm so happy that Ping just climbed up on a total strangers lap and cuddled in for a picture.

*siiiigh* :-)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Daddy Stay

Today is Robertas birthday... right about now, shes sitting at Montanas with some friends, probably getting a phone call from some friends who couldn't make it to Ottawa, and hopefully having a great time.

I on the other hand, have been here with the "Screaming Wonder!" Yes, I think Ping has found her new super powers!

Oh the poor child cried for Mama for what seemed like forever. This sad little Ma ma whimper, or a full fledged blood curdling Ma ma scream.

We made it through, and I'm glad that she is attaching so well with her Mother. Wish she felt better about being left with the big scary guy... but then again, considering how rough and rugged I am, I could understand her fear and trepidation.

I'm just waiting for the day still where she says "Daddy stay!", instead of "Mommy stay!". Or really, right about now, I'd settle for just "Daddy stay in the other room and I'll stop screaming". :-)

Below is another one of my songs about staying...

video

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Love The Way...

So, watching my new daughter for the past couple of weeks, I've noticed some very cute behaviors.

For instance, she would watch me from a distance, but pretend to not be watching me. But what I did, she did.
Or if her sister crawled up on my lap, she would crawl up on Ge Ge's lap.
I noticed the 'eyes' she would give me, as if to say "Daaaaaad, you're embarassing me!"
Or the way she wakes up at 2am, crawls into our bed, will snuggle in with me (presumably to keep warm since I'm "Warm and fuzzy") only to get out of bed the moment I wake up and smile at her... that sends her running! :-)

I started playing around on the guitar just having some fun, and the result was the following video. Really, just a collection of observations I've noted put quickly to some music.

Really, it was just audio... but I donno how to upload audio to blogger yet, so I added some pictures. Then after I added some pictures, I decided to try to sync it to music... and well... its 2:51am now...

So here, enjoy... I doubt you will be able to understand the lyrics since I'm mumbling and trying to play a "muted" guitar sound as to not wake everyone up... at 2:52am now.

video

Uh, so lyrics (since you probably won't be able to pick them out):

Love the way, you furrow your brow
As if I couldn't love you some how.
I love the way, you twirl your hair
When you're a little, unsure of yourself.

So let me hold you, while your sleeping.
Kiss you one time, before I wake up, and find out
That you are gone.

Love the way, you say my name
When you don't think, I'm listening to you.
I love the way, you smile at me
When I'm acting, a little crazy.

So hold me one time, while I'm sleeping.
Kiss me one time, before I wake up, and find out
That you are gone.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's only Ketchup!?



This weekend, I took Ping to Wendy's for the 1st time with the other Children...

Me: Here you all go... eat up!
Ping: 什么是这.
Me: That, oh, thats Ketchup.
Ping: ca tee shup.
Me: Yup.
Ping: Ohhhhh... 我的爸爸是蠢人.
Me: You eat it.
Me: No, not drink... eat.
Ping: 一个大蠢人.
Me: No, put it down! Look, take a french fry, put it in the ketchup, and eat it.
Me: No, don't just lick the Katchup off!
Me: No, don't lick the inside of the ketchup cup!
Me: No, don't dunk your finger in there and lick it!
Ping: 妈妈正确.
Me: Yeargh!

There she sat, totally enthralled with the Ketchup! I guess maybe she had never had it before... I didn't see alot of ketchup in China.

She started off OK, dipping her french frys in it, like her siblings... but it quickly devolved into her trying to sip the ketchup out of the little ketchup holder! It was so cute.

When she finally did get to the end, she started squeezing the little container trying to get every last ounce out. I reached over, took the licked clean ketchup cup from her and returned briefly with a new full cup.

Well! You should have SEEN the look on her face!

Its like I cured CANCER or something!

Her face lit up!
Her hands started clapping!
She started giggling and bouncing in her seat!

She consumed that little cup of Ketchup and held it up: Ee ger? (one more?) Ee ger baba?! Hai yow ma!

You should have see her each time I returned with a new cup of ketchup that she was SO excited! It was like there was a magical fountain that just kept giver her ketchup, and it was beyond her wildest dreams!

Ketchup a side (get it?! I pulled a Nat!), it really was just a reminder of how her thinking and past experiences effect her every day.

It probably never occurred to her that she could ask for "more ketchup".
Maybe there never was "more" where she came from.
It's this mind set of scarcity that she still has to work though, and move into a mind set of abundance.

There will be an abundance of love, hugs, kisses... ... of encouragement, and prayer, hope and grace.

I don't care if we never have an abundance of ketchup, but I do want her to learn that there will always be an abundance of love and room for her in our family.

If the abundance of ketchup was an eye opener to her... whats the rest going to look like to her?

Monday, December 14, 2009

But Baba, I'm not tired...

There were some communication issues which were easier to work out
than others.

For instance, Pee pee dances ARE universal, you can always tell when a
child is tired (it's whenever they say "No I'm not"), so on and so
forth...

Then there are some things which are not quite so universal.

This weekend Ping wasn't feeling the best, and Sunday we had a bit of
a melt down. Nothing serious, but its amazing how the most simple of
things can be very difficult when you can not communicate.

As best as we can tell, Ping has a bit of a cold... coughing and
stuffy nose... so Sunday when she had a melt down, it was probably
over nothing more serious than "I'm not feeling well". Yet, it was
also the 1st time where we were not able to understand WHY she was
crying.

Was she scared? Hungry? Tired? Or just not feeling darn...

Again, I'm pretty sure it wasn't coffee related because I couldn't
understand what she was saying.

And driving to the store today in the car, she started crying because
she kicked her boot off. And although I was able to tell her I
understood what she was saying and being able to ask her to just wait
a bit and I would fix it, she still just decided to cry... I think
the lack of communication is starting to wear on her a bit.

I guess its just time to do our best to catch things before they
happen and try our best to make sure that she dosn't have to get
fustrated trying to communicate.

... aaaaand, shes gone.



Wife:
I have to go out Saturday.
Me: Really? Where... how long?
Wife: Everywhere and for the whole day.
Me: What? Why?
Wife: Because I've had a very cute little 4 year old hanging off me every day all day and I need a break!
Me: Oh. I see.
Wife: I deserve a break!
Me: I didn't say you didn't.
Wife: It dosn't make me a bad Mom.
Me: I didn't say it did.
Wife: Thats right it dosnt!
Me: I know.
Wife: And you should be damned glad when I come home!
Me: Oh yes, I'll be very happy. You are my little sunshine of hope and love.
Wife: And I'm leaving you the kids.
Me: How many?
Wife: All 4.
Me: All 4 kids.
Wife: Yup.
Me: With me.
Wife: Yup.
Me: You know Ping is gonna have issues with that.
Wife: Yup.
Me: Buuuut, you don't care since you are going out all day.
Wife: Yup.
Me: Greeeat.
Wife: But don't worry, I'll sneak out! She won't know I'm gone.
Me: Our child is smarter than a rock, she will notice you're gone after a bit.
Wife: Our boys would not have noticed.
Me: Our boys at that age were too busy finding new and interesting ways to launch stuff with a trebuchet.
Wife: Okay, I'm gone.

... 30 seconds later ...

Ping: Ma ma?
Me: Uhhhh... I'm the ma ma!
Ping: Bu yow!

... insert crying 4 year old for about 2 hours here ...

Me: You done?
Ping: Fine. If you're still here after that... I guess I'll let you take care of me.
Me: Great! Here, let me pick you up.
Ping: Bu YOW!

... more crying ...

Me: Here, have a Snickers bar.

... some time later ...

Wife: I'm home!
Me: Grrrreat.
Wife: How was everything? And why is the washer in the front yard?
Me: Grreeeeat... don't ask.
Wife: I just did.
Me: Here, take kids.
Wife: Are you kidding!? I'm exhausted from all the Christmas shopping!
Me: Really? Yea... you must be tired.
Wife: What are you making for super?
Me: Me? Oh gosh, I donno... I was thinking something along the lines of you take the crying children, with a little dash of whats left of my sanity on the side.
Wife: Mmmmm, how about Pizza? I'm gonna go sit down... call me when the pizza is ready.
Me: Right.
Ping: Ma ma?
Me: Oh yea, Ma ma's upstairs.
Ping: Oh, ma ma sleeping? (she really HAS figured this sentence out in english... its used alot lately)
Me: Yes Ping, Ma ma sleeping. C'mon, help me make some pizza.
Ping: Bu YOW!

Actually it wasn't that Bad. Ping noticed Ma Ma was gone, kind of got sad for about 10 minutes, then was fine. She played with me all day, and for the rest of the weekend, Ba ba was the new toy! :-)

We even went out for Cheesecake the other day together.

I don't think she liked Cheesecake. She didn't really eat any.
So I had to eat all the Cheesecake myself...

... I think we are going to go out for Cheesecake alot! :-)

Simple Chinese Meals



Jenny (my co-worker who met us in Beijing) just passed on a couple very traditional and simple Chinese meals.

Rice Soup
1 Cup of Rice
10 Cups of water
Put it in the slow cooker over night
Its "like" congee, but a soup.
Can be had for breakfast as well.
Add some dried veg/fruit as a side dish with it.

Eggs quasi-Quiche
A couple of eggs in a little water
Mix it together (ala scrambled eggs)
Microwave until cooked
It should be like a quiche, but without any meet or vegs
Add a little soya-sauce on top when served

Egg Soup #1
Crack some eggs to a couple cups of boiling water
The eggs will stay somewhat together if the water is really boiling well.
Eat as a soup
If there are 5 people, use 5 eggs.

Egg Soup #2
Boil some water
Whisk some eggs together
While stirring the water, slowly add the eggs.
If water is boiling and eggs are stirred in slowly, they should form "noodle" like shapes.

I donno, those seem simple enough that even I might be able to make 'em!
When I asked about making Congee, she said, "Oh, that's too hard for you". :-)
Of course, I now HAVE to learn to make Congee and bring her some.

Thanks Jenny!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Pagent!

Church today - typical manger type scene to make all the parents oogle
over thier children and how cute they are...

So yea, we had two little angels today. ;-) Aren't they cute!?

Oh so cute!

... not as cute as little sheppard girls... but still... pretty cute.

(Oh, those are patches of exema(?) on her cheek and chin, we've got some cream)

Kisses for Daddy!

Ahhhh, who am I kidding... She was puckering up for Mom.
Once I came in and tried to get a kiss, the lips were quickly put away. :-)

What is this stuff?!

Hmmmm, that is this?! This white stuff falling from the sky?!
Ohhhh! Its Pretty!
Can I eat it?!
Mmmmm... yummy...
Oh, look! Flavoured white stuff!
Its a pretty Yellow!!!

Ping meet snow.
I though that Ping would not like snow... what do I know tho.
She loves it!
Every day once we're done eating, she drags me out to the boots and
coats and starts getting herself dressed for playing outside while
yelling at me to come play outside with her.

Its pretty cute.

But I thought, hey, if we're gonna be outside... she might as well
help out iwth cleaning the car. :-)

Big Sister Time!

Well Daughter #1 loves being a Big Sister!

There are times where she finds it hard to "share" her mommy and
daddy, but thankfully those are few and far between.

She loves being able to show Ping new things, and help her where/when
ever she can.

Oh wait... hold on... Daughter #1 is fighting with Ping over a sippy
cup... *siiigh*
... oh... now they are fighting over a head band...

I guess I have to go...

Hunting a Christmas Tree

So this weekend we headed out to hunt a Christmas tree!

Ping had a great time running through the trees with the other kids,
looking at the trees and trying to pick the "perfect one".

Oddly enough, with 4 children and a wife, there is never ONE perfect tree.

See, in my head the day went like this...

It was a bright and sunny Sunday afternoon, the birds are singing, the
snow is light and fluffy beneith out feet. We head out in the cool
crisp air, me with my trusty axe in hand with a gaggle of children
trundling along behind me. We walk though the rows of prisinte balsam
woods, pine and spruce trees as we talk about our hopes and dreams of
Christmas. One of the little ones sees a rabbit off in the distance,
and all gather around while he eats a carrot out of my hand (don't ask
why I have a carrot while looking for a tree). Another sees a rare
snipe perched high in the tree.
The finally up in the distance, after passing by hundreds of trees, we
see our tree.
Tall and straight the beautiful balsam tree stands stark green against
the bright blue sky. A light layer of snow fills the branches which
seem to sing as the cool winter air gently blows through the boughs.
With one mighty swing of my trusty axe, our beloved tree is felled and
snugly tied to the roof of our van.
We all climb back into the van, giggling and laughing with delight as
we drive home to decorate our new Christmas tree.

... now... what it was like...

It was a rushed Sunday morning as we tried to make the 9am service.
The mom was yelling at the 11 year old to get out of bed for the 42nd
time. The 9 year old was getting changed yet again, because they
spilt on themselves during what sadly passed as a breakfast. 'Round
about 5 minutes to 9, it was apparent that we would miss the 1st
service, and just catch the 2nd at 11:15. However, the Mom had a
different idea. With one mad push and dash, we assemble our rag tag
group of rabbel into a sembelance of decenticy and pile into the van.
30 some odd minutes later we are 20 minutes late for church and
sitting in our pews.
Church barely ends before we whisk the children out as quickly as we
can. It then dawns on us that we haven't really figured out where to
get a chirstmas tree... luckly, we pass a tree farm on our way home
and pick one up.
Instead of the rabbits and other furry woodland creatures, we had a
couple of french-Canadians gruffly toss a peice of lumber up onto the
roof of our van and tie it down before taking our money and sending us
on our way.

... Still... that was better than last year. :-)

The kids had a great time picking out the tree and decorating it.

Grandpa (Ye Ye) Says Goodbye!

Well, Grandpa came and dropped off the extra kids a couple weeks ago,
I guess I'm still trying to get caught up in my blogging. :-)

When Gandpa came, Ping was a little quiet at first, not quite knowing
what to think.

But once the other kids began crawling and climbing all over Grandpa,
the pattern was set.

With all the picutres we have of her cusins, aunts and uncles around
the house, Ping keeps look at them asking who they are, and can't wait
to meet them...

... or so I think.

I mean, she COULD be pointing at them saying the all look like freaks
and never ever ever wants to meet them... but I'm pretty sure its an
excited point and look. :-)

Now, if you can excuse me, I have to go stop her from setting all the
pictures on fire... <kidding>

... more thoughts on Loss...

Okay, one last post on Loss...

Continuing with the God-ly view of Adoption and Redemptive Love, some things are easier to see than others.

If a person was saved by Gods Redemptive Love who was living a life of a junkie strung out on many different addictions, it would seem easier to look at that person being "saved" by Gods grace and assume that they are "happier" because of Gods grace.

But if you were to look at someone saved who was a wealthy business man who seemed to have everything going well for him, would it still be easy to assume that he is "happier" than before Gods grace got a hold of him?

... I probably should have thought about this more before posting, so sorry if its a little disjointed...

To look at the businessman, maybe he gets called into a life of Preisthood... gives up his six figure salary, sells his big house and moves into a tiny little house thats falling apart and ekes out a meager existence as a Pastor of a small church... would he still be happy with Gods grace and redemptive love?

And what about the junkie? Although maybe he won't miss the life full of addictions and bad choices, there were undoubtedly people in their past that the loved are cared about and have a deep sense of loss about.

I guess when you stop to consider loss, there is no way to isolate, contain, or describe it. Someone may go from a life of riches to a life of meager existence and feel no loss, while some may come from a messy background and feel substantial loss... and or vice-verse.

So will I ever understand this deep sense of loss that our adopted children will have to deal with?

No. Of course not.

But I do know the One who can help make it better. I know the One who can take someone from rags to riches, or riches to rags, from one place to another, and fulfill all of their needs.

You only have to read the stories of people like Job to understand loss and how God deals with it. And from what I've read, I see God deals with loss in our lives like this: Its not about us. If there is loss, or gain, it is always to bring glory to God.

So has Ping had Loss?
Yes, absolutely!
Do I understand it? No.
Dose God understand it? Yup.
Dose God have a plan? Absolutely.
So what can I do about Pings loss? Just make sure I'm not in Gods way to let God do what God dose.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What, me Jealous?



jeal⋅ous

–adjective
1. feeling resentment against someone because of that person's rivalry, success, or advantages (often fol. by of): He was jealous of his rich brother.
2. characterized by or proceeding from suspicious fears or envious resentment: a jealous rage; jealous intrigues.

Wife: Ping totally spent the whole day crawled up on my lap and cuddling with me.
Me: Really? Ping, come to Baba!
Ping: Bu YOW!!!

Wife: Did Ping keep you awake last night?
Me: Um, no. Cuz after she crawled into bed with you, she kicked me out. Hey baby!
Ping: BU YOW!!!

Wife: You should have seen Ping today... giving me kissing non-stop!
Me: Really? Ping, can Baba have a kiss?
Ping: BU YOW! BU YOW! BU YOW!!!

Its a good thing I'm not jealous.
And maybe a little thick skinned... skinned... not skulled... you can stop laughing Mike/Rob/wife.

Bah, anyway. Our Daugther #1 (or Kid #3) has started requesting a little more attention than normal. Well, maybe not more attention than normal, she has always gotten alot of attention. But if Ping happens to climb up on my lap (presumably because of a mistake, lapse of judgment, maybe she thought I was Ma ma, etc), then Daughter #1 runs over and scampers up my leg as quick as she can and cuddles in.

If Ping is running around with her pants falling off (which happens often... she has no bum), well Daughter #1 pulls her pants down to show her plumbers crack and runs around as well.

I guess I should be happy... at least they are not fighting with each other, but I do see that the older (previously only Princess) is maybe a little worried about *not* being the only Princess anymore.

As someone said, "She [Daughter #1] is being de-throned"... and I don't want that (not that its a bad thing, maybe she should spend less time on the Throne).
But I don't want her to think that either.
I would love it if Daughter #1 can simply realise that there are now 2 thrones, for 2 Princesses. I'm sure this is just normal adjustment stuff. If Ping was brought into the family at a younger age, then Daughter #1 would have had an adjustment period as well, but it would have been more gradual. A 6 month old baby can not compete with a 5 year old in terms of running around 1/2 naked... But our Daughter #1 is now being thrust into a situation where she has to immediately be OK sharing us with a sister who is 4... there was no real gradual integration.

Oh well. It's all good. Ping is still happy. Driving to church on Sunday, she was the only child happy and singing away in the back seat. The oldest was a little too tired to be happy (when did the hormones start kicking in, and why didn't anyone warn me?! Huh, whats that? Oh, you say you gave me a book to read about pre-adolescence? Hm, interesting. I don't remember you giving me the book... oh... its beside the bed on my end table. No way. If it was there I would have see... oh, look. There is how. Never mind), the middle one was a little miffed I think cuz he isn't allowed to play video games on Sunday, and the Daughter #1 was pretty quiet...

It will all work itself out. And really, the ups are out numbering the downs by a HUGE margin.