Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Our First Christmas at Home has been Magical

We have been enjoying our very very simple season with G'ma and G'pa and it has been so perfect. Quiet and magical with AnnaLeisa's innocence at this time of year. We have been skating and on horse drawn wagon rides; we have sat with Santa and watched string quartets play carols and we have opened our first stocking on Christmas morn. All AnnaLeisa could say was "came, Santa came" with total incredulity; she was in magic and miracle. So we are happy in our little home. Quiet in the snow with little movement to Malls and the like. Seems it should be a tradition to just keep it simple. Quiet and very restful. Thanks to G'ma and G'pa for those delicious lie -ins in the morning.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Look at You!

Daily you take me to new depths and this week we have returned to China and your roots far sooner than I imagined. We have read some books from the library that depict little girls and their journey from orphanages in China. You want to look at them regularly and you have me read them over and over; especially the sections with pictures of nannies looking after all the babies in their cribs. You take your doll and cuddle her saying you are her nanny. And we look at all our photos from China; your nannies and when you and I met. You can point to a map and tell me where your home was and you say it with such pride. I had no idea how soon we would be chatting about your roots and your journey. I love that you are engaged so much and with such true enthusiasm towards your homeland; we will visit again AnnaLeisa.

And tonight I giggle at your emerging imagination as you drag your computer keyboard around the house by the cord as it is now a dog. You give clear commands to "sit" and to "tum". You are now asleep with the keyboard lying beside you - where all pets should be.

And you also spoke your first 4 word sentence much to G'pa's delight. "Tuming, Papa, soon, happy".

Yes... you are my dearest ..... dear dear girl. Sleep well.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

One Year Together!

One year! A whole year! I am so amazed at how much has happened for us both. We are such a little unit (+ the dogs) and our little bond is now a big bubble. AnnaLeisa amazes me in her joy and her natural tendency to be happy. From a frightened little girl she has emerged as a very assertive (two year old) who has a sense of humour and also a heart which naturally leans to compassion. I cherish our times cuddling and navigating the world.

I continue to be humbled by my role in her life and the patterning and blueprinting I establish on an organic level. The last year has been one of immense insight and I thank everyone who has helped us along the way! From gifts we play with, wear, or dance to; to time spent making memories, to feedback that has helped us grow - we have only benefited.

Work is going well, AnnaLeisa grabs every moment at daycare and we come home early to be together during the afternoon.

We finish our final report with our Social Worker tomorrow and with that memo a note of gratitude will go to China. It is only deep gratitude that I know when I drop into my chest and ponder my life and how it has changed and been enriched by my girl AnnaLeisa. To the deepest part of myself and to China - Thank you.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Uncle Gary Came to Visit!

And we had a great time just hanging and playing and all that goes along with being family. Gary has three teenage boys so he is great at entertaining and being with the little ones. I think he misses it actually. Until we came downstairs and woke him at unearthly hours! He did enjoy being with a little girl though as you can see it may be his first time holding a doll? Can't quite get over the look of surprise on his face. And what about the little swimmer. Gary's boys are competitive swimmers in Nova Scotia so this is a shot of AnnaLeisa proudly wearing Gary's swim goggles. She looks sooo funny being one of the family. Your cousins will be suitably proud dear girl. Now if only you weren't so afraid of the water.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Noah is our little friend who often comes to play with AnnaLeisa. As you can see they are good mates and in looks quite opposite. AnnaLeisa often speaks of Noah and comments regularly on his Momma who is now almost 9 months pregant. She somehow knew she had a baby inside and wants it to "wake". She often touches little baby in the belly in a quiet and reverent way so as to be very touching. Come by when you can Noah ... we love to have you play with us! Here they are watching and cuddling to Thomas the Tank; AnnaLeisa's favorite as we drive by trains daily and she chants "Choo Choo".

Friday, September 28, 2007

Our New Do!

Gosh we have fun at Daycare! I arrived to take AnnaLeisa home and imagine my surprise when I saw that back of her head in this wild do! They said it matched her personality. I agree... they actually mentioned that she can be so happy you can see every cell is popping. Here she is at home counting her fingers as we have it now scripted in terms of her day. One is Daycare, then Bye, Play Play Play, Back (me) and then Home. She has me recite this quite frequently and you can see here she is palming a plum instead of one of her precious finds - stones. And of course her thumb.

Autumn New Moon Festival

We commemorated Autumn New Moon Festival with other families in Chinatown. These are some of the girls after dinner as they played in the restaurant. (AnnaLeisa is in the red outfit) This holiday is the Chinese day for acknowledging ancestors and is particularly poignant for AnnaLeisa and I as we remember her parents and her lineage. It was like a silent prayer of gratitude and honour and also a request for guidance in terms of best allowing AnnaLeisa to know her roots.
The girls are now familiar with each other and have such a nice time together when we do meet. AnnaLeisa has me recite each girls name repeatedly when we drive home.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

I cannot believe we have not posted for so long ! Whoops.... and we are great..... As you can see.
I posted the photo of AnnaLeisa's long hair as we laughed and laughed to see it so long. She has gorgeous hair and I have only cut the bangs thus far and think maybe we may need to reconsider that soon?
In any event I am now back at work. AnnaLeisa is enjoying daycare and is somewhat the class goof or clown already. She knows all her little friends by name and she loves to eat there too. She still cries when I leave but I listen outside of the door and she stops before I count to 5. And she loves loves loves to come home.
I on the otherhand did not consider the aspect that work would now be a factor in my time. Our home is sadly needing cleaning and also the dogs had to adjust to our being away.
But we are well..... and these last two days have been of us not driving the car. Walking the dogs in the ravine. Walking slowly enough for AnnaLeisa to contemplate each stone and to palm them with such tenderness. And to just be together..... I have loved it.
Some of these shots are also in Chinatown of Edmonton. Eating noodles and remembering China from last October.
I love being with AnnaLeisa ... she is genuinely happy and often I hear her singing off by herself or watch her dancing and shaking her little butt to her own beat. I am as happy as I have ever known and now feel confident that our post China adjustment has really occurred.
Now to get an evening of Tango in as I miss my little dance.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The DayCare Dialogues

Although I have few recent photos I wanted to post an entry about our transition to daycare. I must say that the daycare is exceptional and I trust all of the workers have AnnaLeisa's best interests at heart. She is hard not to care for!

And it has been much much more difficult than I imagined. We started with me staying and playing and introducing her to the physical environment and to the new routines. This was all good.... playing with Mom and with many children and new friends around - what could be better? Great! And it was all reasonably ok when I started to leave for short times.

Then I started to leave for longer and managed to stay in coffee shops nearby in case they called and she needed me ( so lucky I could do this). All still reasonably ok...

Then she broke out in total body hives - some as large as 2 inches in diameter. That was when my heart broke and I realized how hard and big all of this was for her!

Her inner stress was now manifesting on her body. I know AnnaLeisa expresses much through her skin but this was the most dramatic it had looked. And ....she was still sleeping, eating and playing so managing quite well on the whole.

Then we returned on Monday for 4 mornings. Her skin healed thanks to a homeopathic remedy. Well..... it was progressively harder for her and for myself as the week progressed. Her four sequential words to describe the process is "daycare", "bye", "back"and "home". I continually reassure her that I come back and I know embodying this will take time for her. She loves coming "home". She is pale and exhausted and also very needy of her Mom. I try to give her as much control and attention as she needs and now we are home for a very very quiet and restful weekend before another week of 4 mornings. This week I must work.

As I explained to another.... I have spent all my time 24/7 "bonding" with my little girl. "Attaching", "Connecting" and "Being there" as much as possible in order to nurture a trusting primary relationship with a little girl who has been institutionalized and therefore somewhat neglected during formative first months. I think on many levels we have succeeded but she is also understandably anxious. Every decision I have made has been with this front and formost in terms of my mothering dear AnnaLeisa. She fills my heart completely - like a bloomed flower with many coloured petals - and then we are asked to separate.

I know it is time and that I have orchestrated my work life so that I am away minimally but it is hard. It is a real physical pain in my chest to leave her alone with others that I must - and do - trust. I find myself breathing deeply as I walk down pedestrian streets I had been longing to wander.

Some of my mother reactions were quite humorous.... like waiting for the cellphone to ring from Daycare if they needed me while I was in a grocery store. They made a loudspeaker announcment - maybe about tomatoes - but my first instinct was they were calling me to come to get AnnaLeisa.

Another when I mistakenly stopped at a redlight beside the little troop as they walked back from the gym. AnnaLeisa staring at my car trying to look at me as I hid behind the wheel with my arm raised and boldly turned left so she would not see me....

Little button sleeps now and has the rash recurring and we only hope the next two weeks improve?

Today she played with her doll saying she was going to "work" and ran off only to come "back". So she is working it out... as I am! And fundamentally it is a good thing. I will only need to leave her for 2 mornings a week when my orientation is over. And she will know I do come "back"... and we go "home".

The best is when she runs to me saying "hockey" and I know she has played happily in the gym with her new little buddies.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

More of the eastern seas and souls

Because we are still betwixt and between in terms of being in Edmonton but still somewhat remaining in the East I wanted to post some more photos. Specifically of Uncle Daryl and Aunt Julie who traveled from the States to come and see AnnaLeisa. It was great to play with them again. To wander through G'ma's and G'pa's house and at every corner meet another family member willing to play and entertain and to love. Whoooo did AnnaLeisa get loved. And it was so wonderful to have us all at home and to revel in that time. What to say about airplanes and travel and opportunity. My littlel girl is certainly well traveled and it brings us so much closer to all we love. Thank you everyone for a wonderful holiday in the East.

Ohhh and there is Colin ...... our China companion who is now lifeguarding with his brother Derek and who are both busy busy busy. They are young men and spent rousing time with AnnaLeisa.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I am 2 - Two!!!! Our first birthday together!

Yes AnnaLeisa is now two..... and it was nice to be here in NS sharing it with those that came to China -family. I made a cake and felt like a mother; and had such a nice time baking it for her. And she had ice cream for the first time. She loved it and of course learned quite quickly how to say it. What a treat in the summer heat of day and to watch her little tongue sway back and forth trying to catch the little drips. Amazing to watch a child's world open and to see the 'in the moment' delight with such simple little things. It means I get to enter that simplicity too and to catch moments that really life is for. I am reminded frequently by other parents to enjoy this time as it passes so quickly and I do hope that I catch all those moments that I can. To really share her years.

More family shots in Nova Scotia

These are some of the family shots and as you can see we are having fun.....! As AnnaLeisa gets older she does remember more of her loved ones. Colin and Derek are lifeguarding at the seaside and we often played at the beaches. Halifax also offers much at the waterfront so we walked and sat at cafes watching boats go by. We also had use of a friend of my brother's cabin near Risser's beach so that we another time of relaxation... no computers, no phones and just good ole books and some pretty rousing games.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Nova Scotia seas

It seems that to capture our time in Nova Scotia we will do a number of entries. Despite poor weather for a significant period of time we did manage to have nice play days at the beaches. Our seas here are wonderfully loud and full and complete with sand dunes, seagulls, big waves and time with sand castles and pails and shovels. AnnaLeisa became braver daily and really showed me how careful and adventurous she is! Her Chinese middle name 'Jin' means careful and cautious. She truly knows her limits and I get to respect them. She now knows how to say 'beach', 'happy' and the most common one these days is 'mine'. She adores her G'ma and G'pa and their home will be quiet when we leave on Tues. I think with the weather in Edmonton we were best here in the cooler temps, and in the basement bedroom, as the heat clearly is hard on AnnaLeisa's sleeping.
We had a wonderful time in the East being together while I was on the end tail of my parental leave. When we return to our little house and dogs we both start work - so to speak. I return to part time and AnnaLeisa has another adjustment as she enters the big world of daycare. It is time but I must say this period of being together has been soooo wonderful. I have always thought the art of parenting is to let go graciously at the right times and I now get to know how hard that can be...... I will miss my little side kick.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Great at home shots.... as she grows and grows.....

We have been so busy with much ... not the least of which is trying to organize childcare for AnnaLeisa. Our time at home is soon ending as I need to start part time work in Aug. I dread to see all of this end and on the other hand it may be good for us both as AnnaLeisa loves to play and is an extrovert at heart. And I will miss her dearly and .... well quite possibly (?) I may enjoy going back to work?
We are planning our time home in Nova Scotia as we are with G'ma and G'pa and all of our family from June 25- July 31. Time in the sea and sand... We have good people staying with the puppies and that is nice.
AnnaLeisa has been getting her bottom molars in and I am learning how difficult that is for little ones. Again sleep is disrupted and she needs her Moma. She loves her dolls and stuffed animals and I have to read books to them also. She also loves to feed, rock and sleep with them too....
she is doing so well and we are having ups and downs and I am learning the art of mothering and how humbling all of that can be at times........
an honor and responsibility and such an amazing relationship to nurture another......
Dear AnnaLeisa I love you so......

Thursday, May 31, 2007

G'ma and G'pa come to town!

My parents flew from Nova Scotia to visit with us for 10 days and it was a delightful time. Dad of course did much for me including staining a very large fence. And we all enjoyed our girl who sang and danced her way deeper into their hearts. For me it was wonderful to have them stay in our home and live our life with us.... and to share my girl with family that live afar. She thrived on so much attention and really is becoming more and more of a little comic goof. The mornings were early, the days hot and the love abundant. It makes a difference that my parents traveled with us to China as the connection includes her land and her history. They met her when I did and are integral in our relationship.

Thanks Mom and Dad.... we love you! So do Kirby and Lola (who were walked more often).