Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sometimes you Lose, Sometimes you Win!

... re-wind to fathers day ...
Me: Hey, so how was Fathers Day?
Co-Worker (CW): Great. I got some breakfast - waffles, pancakes, eggs, maple syrup and some other stuff.
Me: Really? You only have 1 kid!
CW: Yea, I know.
Me: I got like a bowl of Corn Flakes... with bananas on top. And I've got 4 kids!

I guess its the thought that counts... :-) They were very cute that Fathers Day morning, waking me up waaaaaaay to early to give me my bowl of Corn Flakes. But there were also the hand made cards, and pictures and such. One of the cutest gifts was a picture of Ping in a frame which had puzzle pieces glued all around the edges and the catch phrase "I Love You To Pieces!" on it!

Very cute.

I've gotten one of these frames from all the children who went though the Kindergarten class at the local public school. It was nice to be able to pull the others down from the siblings, and show Ping that they have all given me the same gift. Feels like even after just these past 7 months, there are now "traditions" she can see she is part of.

... last night (the wife and kids have been gone now for over 3 days) ...
Me: So, how is everyone holding up there in Winnipeg?
Wife: Good. Our Dear Daughter #1 (DD1) cried at bed time though, just kept saying "I'm tired. I'm tired". And both the boys are getting over what ever was making them sick as well. I think it was just the travel.
Me: Pings not crying or sick?
Wife: Nope. She hit one of her cousins today tho.
Me: Oh.
Wife: Yea, communication issues. I think she just got too frustrated trying to communicate with the other "little one".
Me: Ahhh, I see. Anyone missing me?
Wife: Ummmm, no. I don't think so.
Me: Really? No one?
Wife: Actually, Ping has been the only one asking "Where my Daddy?"
Me: Ping? Really? Ping. Huh. Go figure.

I guess sometimes we can be winning, even when we think we're loosing.

I'm glad that everyone is having a good time back there in Winnipeg, but I think I'm a little more glad to know that Ping is at least (if not missing me), trying to figure out where I am.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Going to Winnipeg...

Ping: We go grandma grandpa?!
Me: *groggily* huh? What?
Ping: We go! We go Grandma and Grandpa!
Me: It's 4 in the morning! No. Go back to bed!
Ping: No go bed! Go Grandma Grandpa!
Me: Yes, we will go to see Grandma and Grandpa... but not yet.

... 3 minutes later ...

Ping: We go grandma grandpa?!
Me: No, not yet. Go back to bed.
Ping: I no bed. I no tired.
Me: Fine, then go play downstairs...

... 12 minutes later ...

Son #2 (S2): Daddy, is it time to go yet?
Me: What?! NO! Go get to bed!
S2: When do we leave?
Me: Soon. Around 5 or so.
S2: Okay...
Me: *thinking* Is there anyone standing just outside my door waiting to ask when we leave as well?
Dear Daughter #1 (DD1): Do I have to go back to bed too?
Me: Yes! Everyone go back to bed! We are not leaving for another hour! Its 4am!!!

... 1 hour later ...

Me: Alright, everyone in the van. I've got all the bags... we are on our way!

... 10 minutes later ...

Wife: Where are the muffins for the kids to eat for breakfast?
Me: Oh snap!
Wife: And why dosn't our DD1 have a coat?
Me: Uh... did I mention it was 4am when they woke me up?
Wife: Yes, so you should have had LOTS of time to all the stuff together!
Me: Boy, its a good thing I'm cute!
Wife: Not that cute...

... 15 minutes later ...

Me: Alright, its 5:45, you guys have 45 minutes to get checked in... Good luck!
Kids: Bye! Love you!

... 45 minutes later ...

Wife (email): ... problem with the check in line... can't get checked in.
Me (email): Uh-oh. Whats up?
Wife: Don't know. I'll keep you posted.
Me: 'K.

... 20 minutes later ...

Wife: ... missed the flight. Arrive Winnipeg 2 hours late!
Me: What?! Missed? Why?
Wife: Line made us miss the boarding.
Me: So what flight are you on?

... 2 hours later, I get the following picture sent to me ...

With the attached message, simply stating: "Montreal".

So there was my poor wife, dragging our 4 children all across Canada just trying to get them all to Winnipeg! And the kids I'm sure were going CRAZY cuz they just wanted to get to Winnipeg and see thier Grandmas + Grandpas.

Eventually the wife and children did show up in Winnipeg.
And yes, everyone got to meet Ping.
Apparently, its all going well... if not a little chaotic at the beginning.

So I'm stuck hanging out by myself for the next two weeks until they come back.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I got your Back!

(awesome friend, has not talked my wife (his sister) into buying a pool, or deck, or addition to the house)

There are some friends who are awesome.
Some who are closer than close.
Who pick you up when you are down.
Who encourage you to be more than you are.
Who comfort you when you need someone.


Then, there are others who suck.

... rewind a couple of days ...

Wife: You guys are getting a pool!
Friends Wife: Yes, we are thinking about it.
Wife: I think WE should get a pool.
Me: Is that before, or after we build the additional room on the house?
Other Friend: We have a pool.
Wife: You guys have a pool! Look, everyone has a pool but us!
Me: Pools are expensive and take a lot of work.
Other Friend: No, actually, they don't. You just get a salt water filtration system, and they take care of themselves.
Wife: YAY!!!! See! They are easy! So we can get a pool.
Me: Friend, you suck.

... rewind some more...

Friends Wife: So ah, are you guys going to adopt again?
Me: Well, we were just talking about it.
Friends Wife: Ahhhh, good. And you would still 'ave to add a room?
Wife: We would extend the 2nd floor. We have a patio above the garage... but who needs a patio above the garage, we will turn that into another big bed room, or two.
Friend: We added onto our house. Thats a great idea!
Me: Seriously?! C'mon! I understand you having to agree with YOUR wife all the time, but this is MY wife. You don't have to agree with everything she says!
Friend: Ah! I'm sorry man, I'm broken. I'm just too used to agreeing with everything a woman says.
Me: Friend, you suck.

... rewind some more...

Friend: So, how is work?
Wife: *talking to friends wife*
Me: Good man. Good. And you?
Wife: *looks at me angerly*
Friend: Good. New job. Downtown.
Me: Cool. What else you been up to?
Wife: *evil eye*
Friend: Nothing.
Me: Oh, I think I'm making my wife mad. Whats up?
Wife: Do you know what they are doing?
Me: Uh.... no?
Wife: Why don't you ASK your buddy there what he is doing with his wife.
Me: I'd rather not.
Friend: Uh, what are we doing?
Friends Wife: You know, that thing...
Friend: OH right! That.
Wife: Yes, THAT.
Friend: We're taking ballroom dancing... as a couple.
Wife: Yes, BALLROOM dancing! Because he LOVES his wife! Because he is a GOOD husband!
Me: Friend, you suck.

There are somethings that men do right, and some which men do wrong.

One of those things that I've always enjoyed is the whole "No one gets left behind!" mentality of us men. As we rush off to different places in life, love and work, we continually encourage and push each other to strive for greatness.

However, in the last couple of days, I feel as though my fellow men have let me down.

Left me behind enemy lines with nothing but an empty gum wrapper, some dental floss, and a bar of soap and said "Hey, good luck with the wife there buddy!". Worse yet, I think they actually gave the enemy my location, and taped a target to my back.

But I digress...

One of the things we as men DON'T do well though, is actually... talk.

Women, well... they talk... and talk and talk and talk... but not us men.

I can't help but feel that we SHOULD talk though... maybe, just a little more.

You know, to encourage each other to be better husbands, fathers, and role models. If we talked more, maybe we would know our children better, our wifes better, their hopes, dreams and fears.

... but then again, maybe we would just be subjected to 42 hour long sessions of gossip from Coronation Street and The View.

Either way, to my friends who "sucked" this last week, and NOT helped me out, I'm talking to you right now... the next time my wife wants a NEW DECK, PATIO, ROOM, HOUSE, POOL, or WHATEVER ELSE, just say "Thats a bad idea... you should really just listen to your husband!".


Monday, June 21, 2010

It should be me!

... Sunday afternoon while driving to a friends place for a fathers day bar-b-q ...

Wife: What if money wasn't an issue?
Me: Oh sure. If money wasn't an issue, I'd totally want to adopt again!
Wife: Really?!
Me: Yea...
Wife: Hmmmm...
Me: And you know, since we've adopted already, there are ways we could reduce the cost of the adoption. Most of the fees are set, and you can't really change them, but we wouldn't need the PRIDE course again...
Wife: Un-huh...
Me: ... and we wouldn't ALL have to go to China again. Just 1 round way ticket instead of 3.
Wife: Yea, travel was a big part of the cost...
Me: And you know, if only one of us were to travel... it should be...
Wife/Me: Me.

... awkward silence ...

Wife: *laughing uncontrollably*
Me: Hey now! Yes, me. We're both great parents! You only beat me by 2 points in the Social Workers Assessment of our parenting skills! And I'm pretty sure thats cuz you cheated, or you get bonus points for being a girl!
Wife: Yes, we both are great parents... but... You?! Really?! YOU?!
Me: Yes, me.
Wife: Why in the WORLD should it be YOU going to China to adopt our 2nd other than the "you really really really like China and want to go back"?!
Me: For many reasons! The only reason for me NOT to go by myself is that our new daughter may reject me.
Wife: Well thats a BIG reason!

... silence ...

Me: Yea, but there is a chance that she could reject you too! There are many children who decide to reject the mother and bond with the father 1st. In fact, I'd say its like a 50/50 chance...
Wife: REALLY?! You! C'mon! Between the two of us, any child would be more scared of you... they SHOULD be more scared of me... but they aren't. Some... big... Yetti...
Me: Well I'd cut my hair and shave.
Wife: *laughing* Oh well, OK then.
Me: Really!
Wife: No.

... thinking ...

Me: Okay, who traveled better?
Wife: *siiiiigh* You.
Me: Right, and who handled the food and culture better?
Wife: You.
Me: Un-huh, and who can speak at least the basics of our new child's language?
Wife: You.
Me: And who had the energy to keep up with all the stuff going on in China?
Wife: You.
Me: And who was in bed crying, wanting to come home, and exhausted?
Wife: Me, but I'd be better the next time!
Me: Riiiiight. Other than the chance of my terrifying our new child, I am the way better choice.
Wife: Yea, but terrifying our child is kind of a big thing. She will be traumatized!

... thinking...

Me: You know... the only reason Ping rejected me is because she had you. She had to choose someone to love, and someone to feel control over. She was simply trying to control her environment as best she could in the midst of massive change.
Wife: Right, the only reason she rejected you is because I was there.
Me: Right!
Wife: So, I'll bring your picture so our new child can reject you that way, and then bond to me.
Me: Ah, so you DO agree that she could reject you!
Wife: Well, she COULD... but she wont.
Me: She might.
Wife: What are you talking about? We're not even adopting (again) yet!

... thinking ...

Me: You know, they've proven that babies can tell their mothers by their scent. The moms don't even have to talk to their baby, just enter the room, and a crying baby will calm down if its their mother.
Wife: Uh-huh...
Me: Before they can see, or hear, or remember your face or voice, they know their mother by their scent.
Wife: Are you still talking?
Me: So, all I have to do is take an article of your clothing, and rub it all over myself the 1st time I see her! Then I will spell like you and I won't scare her!
Wife: You are NOT going by yourself! You can do the homeland visits with our adopted children when they get older...

... thinking ...

Me: It should still be me...

Friday, June 18, 2010

6 Months, and we're still Standing

Has it been 6 months already!? Wow.
Actually, it has been 7 months...
I'm still trying to get caught up on the blogging... *siiiigh*

(picture of Ping being measured when we arrive home)

What I need to do is take a picture of Ping against the wall now. This picture was taken 7 months ago... back when I had long(er) hair. I miss my hair. But I digress...

When we got Pings referral, we marked on the wall her height (as reported in the referral). When we got home after our trip to China, we re-marked her height on the wall. The difference was about 5 months between the two markings, and in that time, Ping had grown... well... maybe 1.5 centimeters. What I need to do, is take a picture of her NOW against the wall - because she has grown more in the last 6 months that our other children have grown in a full year!

It is amazing how quickly they change, and grow... :-)

We recently completed our 6 month evaluation with our Social Worker. The wife was really nervous to go for the evaluation, mostly because our social worker scares her. But she went. She took Ping and (fingers crossed) hoped for a good evaluation.

The evaluation was amazing! Our social worker just stopped talking, and stared at Ping, remarking that she was "amazed" at how well adjusted Ping was already.

That came as a bit of a surprise... because Ping was being a little CRAZY during the evaluation!

Wife: *knock knock*
Social Worker (SW): Hi, come on in.
Wife: Thanks.
SW: Oh and hello! You must be Ping.
SW: I'm your social worker.
Ping: WHY?
SW: Um, because you need one?
SW: Because this is my house?
SW: Yes, that is ...
Ping: I NO LIKE CAT!!!
SW: *laughs*
SW: Well, come in... lets see how things are going.
Wife: Ping get off the kitchen table.
SW: *still laughing*
Wife: Come Ping, off the table.

I guess the social worker liked seeing that Ping was comfortable with people, and her Mom... or something. I really don't know... but the social worker loved Ping! And loved how she was behaving. Oddly. Because I don't think her Mommy was too happy with her behavior!

But it's all good. The Eval was a success, and now, I just gotta get these forms off to China. :-)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Just call me Coach

Wife: Ping wants to play soccer this year.
Me: Awesome. Sign her up!
Wife: I already did.
Me: Awesome. Thanks.
Wife: They need coaches though.
Me: Oh.
Me: OH! Right! Yes... well, I'll coach!
Wife: Yea, thats a good idea. Ping might have trouble learning soccer and stuff. It would be best if you are there.
Me: Right, just call me "Coach".

Ping is playing soccer this year, and boy, is it fun! Coaching the Under 5 team is great, but, coaching Ping... well, that makes it interesting!

Ping: Ping go soccer?
Me: Yup. Ping is going to soccer.
Ping: And Ping have laoshi (teacher) soccer?
Me: Yup, Daddy will be your laoshi.
Ping: No.
Me: No?
Ping: No, Mrs. K laoshi.
Me: Mrs. K is your school laoshi. Daddy is going to be your soccer laoshi, your Coach!
Ping: mmmm... no.
Me: Yes.
Ping: Ping say "no daddy laoshi". Ping laoshi Mrs. K.
Me: Alright, well... lets wait and see what happens.

We get to the soccer field, and amidst the confusion and chaos, we find our soccer team, and slowly get everything organized...

Me: Alright guys, I'm your coach! You can call me, Coach!
Ping: No.

Me: And are we all here to play SOCCER!
Ping: No laoshi!

Me: And are we going to have FUN?!
Ping: Ping said "no Daddy, no laoshi!" You my Daddy. No Coach!
Me: Yes Ping, I am your Daddy. But I'm also the coach.
Ping: mmmmmm... I don't know...

I just LOVE how matter of fact Ping is in her delivery... just this simple, "but I said No. What don't you understand?".

The practice starts, and I get the kids up and stretching and running and playing...
... and finally, about 1/2 way though the practice Ping started accepting the fact that I was the coach...

Ping: Daddy! Give me hug!
Me: Huh? Hug? Now? No, I can't hug you now. We are playing soccer! Go get the ball!
Ping: But, but, Ping said "yes hug!"
Me: Ok, just a little hug.
Ping: Thank you Daddy!
Me: ... hey, what are you doing? Go get the ball!
Random Kid: I want a hug!
Me: What? No! Go get the ball!

I guess this is all good. Ping is doing well. Shes running, chasing the ball, carrying the ball (put the ball down baby! No hands!), kicking the ball... kicking the other kids... yelling at the other kids... oh...

Me: Ping, here, let go of the ball.
Ping: My ball!
Me: No, it is not your ball. Everyone is trying to get the ball.
Ping: But Ping said "NO". My ball! I no share.
Me: Yes baby, you have to share the ball. Everyone is playing with the ball!
Ping: But I no want to share! I said, "No touch my ball! Ping no Share!" And they KICK my ball! But I said "NO!"
Me: That is how we play soccer though! Everyone tries to kick the ball.
Ping: But I said NO. And I get MAD. I get so mad.

Ping wound up crying, and sitting the rest of the game out... she really did not want to share her ball.

The 2nd week went better. She only cried through the 2nd half of the game.
The 3rd week, well, that was great. She was so proud! "Daddy, I NO cry! They touch my ball, and I said NO, but I no cry!".
The 4th week went really well, where she finally understood that everyone tries to get the ball... and that is OK.

It is SO cute though to see her out there playing with the other kids and trying to get the ball...

... even if she sometimes still gets mad at them for taking her ball. :-)

I made the List!

... almost a year ago...
Co-Worker (CW): Hey, are you coming for lunch today?
Me: Huh? What lunch?
CW: You didn't get the email?
Me: What email?
CW: The one about the lunch? Someone sent and email that we are all going out for Chinese food!
Me: Oh, no. I didn't get the email. Probably because I'm not Chinese.
CW: Okay, let me forward you the email, you can come if you want.

See, I work with many people from China. And they are great. A wonderful support. However, I was not on the "email list". Whenever they organize a function, they just keep re-using this email list to invite all the Chinese people... I was not on this list.

... a few months ago...
CW: Hey, we've got another Chinese lunch, did you get the email?
Me: Yes! I actually got the email this time.
CW: Oh! So they added you to the list?
Me: No, someone else added me in the 2nd round of emails. It seems there were a new non-Chinese people on the 2nd round....

I'm getting closer! In a few short months, I had moved from "verbal confirmation", to the "2nd-ary list of Chinese People". I like to think of this list as the people who WANT to be Chinese list. We've got a couple guys who have married a Chinese woman... or Veitnamiese people, who apparently, look Chinese... etc, etc, etc...

... a few weeks ago...
Me: Hey, are YOU coming to the lunch?
CW: What? There's another lunch!
Me: Yes! Check your email! I got the email!
CW: You're on the list!
Me: Well, not quite... SO CLOSE tho... so close. The organizer invited me.
CW: Great! Oh, Sushi!!! Yum!

Closer still! Yup! The Organizer now invited me personally! I can almost taste the victory of being on the list!

... two days ago...
Me: Hey, CW, did you see the latest email?
CW: The one about the Asian Fundraiser?
Me: Yea! I got the email!
CW: So you finally made the list!
Me: YES! Check it there! There I am... right there on the list! I'm so happy!
CW: Well that makes sense... you do have a Chinese daughter.
Me: I gotta go call my wife! Tell her I made the list!

YES! Its only taken over a year, and an adoption... but I FINALLY made the Chinese email List at work!

... yesterday ...
List Organizer (LO): Adrian! I'm so sorry!
Me: Huh? What?
LO: I didn't mean to add you to the list!
Me: You didn't?
LO: No! I'm so sorry. I accidentally added your name. You are not Chinese.
Me: So I... uh... I didn't make the list?
LO: Sorry.
*awkward silence*
Me: Oh. Ok. Um, that's fine. I guess, you know, I'm NOT Chinese after all...

Darn it! So close! SO CLOSE! *siiiiiiigh*

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I'm going to School!

Ping has been attending Jr. Kindergarten for quite a while now. And for the most part, she LOVES it! She enjoys playing with the kids... and making friends... but there are a couple of issues we are still working though.

(waiting for the bus)
One of the issues we deal with from time to time... and to be quite honest, its not like I deal with this. Generally by the time I get home, it has been dealt with, and I just get the "Sports Central Highlight/Plays of the Week" recap. But the issue is that, well, Ping doesn't really know how to "Back down" from a fight... or... an argument... or, well, really anything. You could be trying to give her ice-cream and she might decide to fight you on it, that it is NOT ice cream and will fight... and fight... and fight... oh well.

(still waiting for the bus! So exited!)
So the point of this, is that *sometimes*, she can get into fights/arugments at school. She wore her Pink Cowboy Boots to school a few days ago, and a couple of the other kids (really bad kids, horrible little rug rats) decided that they were NOT boots - that her Pink Cowboy Boots were infact, "sandals". Well! That did NOT go over well with Ping... because she KNEW they were boots!
(... where is the buss Mommy?)
So after having to have the kids separated, and a phone call from the school, we found out what was going on. And yes, Ping did NOT back down from the fight, but yes she was right about the boots, and yes the other kids were deliberately trying to get her angry. Even the other Mom called and apologized for her childs behavior.
(no bus! It forgot me!)
Since then, we've decided that she dosn't have to go EVERY day to school. Sometimes, she comes home too tired... so wound up... too overwhelmed.
So we now only send her most days.
She dosn't like missing school.
But I think this is better for her.

Am I happy that she got into a fight at school? No. Not at all.
But am I happy that she knows to stand up for herself? Yes.
Am I happy that she stands up for what she knows is right? Yes. Absolutely.
I think those traits will serve her well.

However, she still needs to learn when and where to "pick her fights".

But this is still FAR better than 6 months ago... where EVERYTHING was a fight! :-)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

To Say SORRY for Not Blogging Lately...

... I give you a cute video of Ping dancing in Wal-Mart.

Ping decided to start bust'n a move in WalMart. I love the way she mussels out her big brother when he moves in and tries to steal some of the spot light.

NOTE: If the VIDEO IS NOT working, please let me know...(I re-uploaded it, it should work now)