Sunday, January 31, 2010


Collin had his first official homework assignment this weekend, and what did we do? We waited until Sunday to do it. Yes, his mom is a teacher. We completed it Sunday afternoon and didn't wait until Sunday night, at least!

The theme for the past two weeks at preschool has been The Five Senses, so our (eh, um, I mean Collin's) homework was to fill in two sentences and draw pictures of each. The first was: "I use my eyes to see _______________." Which Collin's answer was Dora, Thomas, and Diego. He colored a picture of Thomas and then we cut it out and taped it to the paper. He then drew stick people to represent Dora and Diego and added an extra touch by "drawing" a purple backpack for Dora, and an orange Rescue Pack for Diego.

On the second sheet, we had to fill in the sentence "I use my tongue to taste ___________ which are ______________." Collin's answer was: "I use my tongue to taste oranges which are sweet." In the picture, he is coloring his oranges that he drew. I set an orange in front of him as a model. I guess you could call it "still art".

Collin continues to make progress by leaps and bounds with his English language learning. We hear new words on a daily basis and could not be more proud of him. He has such a happy spirit!
What Collin is doing now: Playing Thomas games with Daddy on his computer.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Want a laugh?

One of my very favorite blogs is My Chinese Dream on my blog list. I came across this blog last summer and have followed ever since. Alison is a young, single mom to Mali (pronounced Mollie) whom she adopted from China, and she is hillarious. She is a teacher and very much in love with music.

She has some very funny posts (one of my most recent favorites is This Is It) and lots of adorable video of her daughter (including her Gotcha Day!). She and her daughter are struggling with RAD (reactive attachment disorder) and she talks a lot about Mali's RAD therapy. As an adoptive mom, it is very interesting.

If you want a laugh, check out her blog. You won't be disappointed!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"I hepoo, mommy" & praying hands

Tonight Collin wanted to help mommy wash the dishes. "I hepoo, mommy", he said. Usually the process would be more drawn out when a 3 year old "helps" wash the dishes, but not with Collin. This kid knew what he was doing..washed each piece precisely and did not get a drop of water anywhere out of the sink! He loves to help and is very good at household chores (not that I make him do any chores, he volunteers). He loves to sweep the floor using a dustpan and brush and he does a good job of it. We are fortunate to have some pictures of his younger years spent with his foster family. In one of the pictures he could not be more than two years old, and he is holding a broom and a dustpan. This may be something taught to him at a very young age, or maybe cleaning is just an interest to him. In true Chandler Bing style I ask myself, "could he BE more perfect"?

He also likes to help me take the laundry basket up the steps, separate the laundry to be folded, and put his socks and underwear in the proper drawer. I figure, why stop him now? If he gets into the routine of doing these things, maybe they will "stick", and when he is older it won't be such a big deal when mom asks him to put his laundry away.

A couple of nights ago when I was putting Collin to bed, I told him that we were going to start saying a bedtime prayer each night. Right away he said, "we have to do prayer hands, mommy, like this", and he put his hands together in a prayer fashion as he has been shown at preschool. Then he said, "Mrs. Brianne show me that". MS. Brianne is Collin's preschool teacher at the same Catholic school where I teach 6th grade departmental Science. It was so cute, especially at the end of our prayer when I began to say "In the name of the Father, and of the Son.." and Collin made the Sign of the Cross. It wasn't exactly correct but I was proud of the attempt. He has learned so much in such a short time!

Tonight at supper, Collin examined the food on his plate before starting to eat. I didn't say a word about what was on it. All of a sudden he says "I don't eat this SALAD". I have no idea where he picked up the word salad, but he was correct, there was salad on his plate! I tried, but could only get him to eat the "crunchies", as he calls them. We call them croutons.

This little boy from literally half a world away continues to learn and grow and amaze us each and every day. Life is great!

What Collin is doing now: taking "pictures" of his choo-choos with an old film camera that still flashes..he arranges the trains, takes a picture, then rearranges the trains and takes another picture.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Puzzle Time

We have SEVERAL items stashed away from Collin's welcome home shower and Christmas that we are slowly getting out. Last night, much to Collin's delight, I broke out the Kai Lan floor puzzle he received at the shower in October.

We put the puzzle together on the dining room floor and he was giving me a Chinese vocabulary lesson after we put the puzzle together. I got out the video camera and got him on video speaking the Chinese names for some of the items on the puzzle. I thought this would be cool for him to see when he is older and has no recollection of the language whatsoever.

I sometimes hesitate to do things such as this thinking it may bring back memories, good or bad, of his time living in China, or even of his transition to his new family. He didn't seem affected by it, and had a hard time sleeping only because he had a cough and runny nose. Thanks, Children's Dimetap..Collin finally slept 5 hours in a row (1 a.m. to 6 a.m.)!

What Collin is doing now: organizing his Thomas trains in his Thomas carrying case..while wearing his Thomas undies and Thomas pajamas! I've been telling people we should have NAMED him Thomas (boy would he have been thrilled)!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Haircut..sort of

Collin got a haircut this week and we kept the top a little longer so we could "spike" Collin's hair in the front. He gets a big kick out of mommy "doing his hair" and he likes to get a bit of wax on his hands and rub his fingers through his hair himself. When he is all done, he looks in the mirror at his spikes and says "I cool". We think so too! It's hard to tell in the picture, but it does look really cute on him.

Collin's new word is "well". He likes to use it when he is answering a question, and he draws it out when he says it. "Collin, why didn't you take a nap?" Well, I don't know, mommy." "Collin, why didn't you eat your green beans?" "Well, I don't like those grean beens."

He also has 4 favorite colors now. If you ask him, he will tell you his favorite colors are: green, blue, red, and pink. Guess he doesn't want to discriminate!

What Collin is doing now: taking apart and putting back together his "take apart" Caterpillar dump truck for the 500th time since yesterday

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Collin's Baptism!

What a great day as Collin officially became a member of the Catholic church. He calls it his "Happy Birthday at church" day. Many special family and friends were there to celebrate with Collin, and he looked very handsome wearing his first tie.. which daddy helped him to put on.

Collin was a trooper as water was poured over his head three times. He didn't wiggle once, as I think he was intrigued with it all. After his head was dried off, he couldn't help but focus on a wet spot on his sleeve. He kept saying softly "my shirt wet mommy". It was a very nice ceremony, and Collin is lucky to have 4 special Godparents!

After the baptism, we went back to our house for his party, which he was especially looking forward to. We had lunch and then we cut his cake, which was very yummy, and then Collin opened some very nice cards and presents. He finally got a remote control Percy, something he has wanted and has been asking for, as well as many other special keepsakes, and a start to a very nice savings account.

This is a day we will always remember... enjoy the pictures!


p.s. Hope I don't confuse you by experimenting with different layouts for the blog..wasn't happy with first one.

What Collin is doing now: sitting on daddy's lap and playing Thomas games with him on the computer

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow Day!

We got the call at 5:45 this morning..due to inclement weather there will be no school today..woo-hoo! What that meant for Collin and I was a chance to sleep in, take our time getting breakfast, and then getting ready for some fun in the snow.

I had originally planned to not take Collin out in the snow since he has a cold, but once he saw his papa cleaning off our driveway with his snowplow attached to his 4-wheeler, that was it! Collin could not wait to get out in the powdery white stuff and play with his snowplow (his John Deere tractor loader) and his Tonka dump truck.

I bundled him up in 2 shirts, a sweatshirt, 2 pairs of pants, 3 pairs of socks, and his insulated coveralls. Grandma said he looked like a jockey the way he was walking with all those clothes and his snowboots on.

He got out into the snow and was all about scooping it up and dumping it into his Tonka truck. He did not want anything to do with the sled, and wouldn't sit in it to let me pull him. Aunty Jen brought Chloe over, and mamaw and papa came over, as well as Kiki, to play and take some pictures.

We were only out for about 20 minutes and then everyone went home and I brought Collin inside. Both kids' cheeks were getting pretty red and we were worried they were getting too cold, although I think Collin would have played out there all afternoon had I allowed it. As I was peeling off all of his layers, he was chanting "snow, snow, snow!" and was putting his hands in every last bit of snow he could.

I told him we may go out later, after his nap, but I have to admit that was a little white lie just to get him inside. It's pretty nice and cozy in the house and putting on all of those layers again seems pretty daunting.

Until next time,

What Collin is doing now: playing choo-choos and watching Kai-Lan

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A New Love

I picked these up as a treat for Collin thinking he probably had never had a Gummy Bear. Let me tell was love at first site! The colors, the little bear intriguing to a 3 year old. He was immediately asking for more after he had shoved 3 in his mouth at the same time. He found me in the kitchen after he swallowed the bears and asked for one more. I asked him if he thought he NEEDED one more and he said "Yeah, TWO more mommy. See (holding up his fingers) one, two, THREE." I couldn't help but laugh, and felt bad for him since he has a cold, and let him pick 3 more gummy bears. Strangely enough (and good for mommy and daddy) he loves the yellows and greens!

What Collin is doing now: Watching's the one where YeYe is doing Tai Chi. We saw a lot of people doing this exercise in the park. It's interesting to watch.

Blogs Found!

Just wanted to share with you from my Blog List those families that we traveled with to China. It is so cool to see them at home and enjoying everyday life, and seeing how their little ones are growing and adjusting to life with their forever families! Click on the following blogs to check in on Caroline, Elsie, and Lilah:
Adopting,, and quinn' These are 3 very lucky China families with adorable little girls.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Cousins at Christmas

I couldn't help but post these cute pictures of Collin and his cousins at Christmas. All 3 became great playmates as soon as we returned home from China.

Collin is expressing himself and his thoughts in sentences lately, which we are so proud of, and have been looking forward to, since we first met him. I want to smother him with kisses each time he speaks in a sentence because I am so proud of him. Today while picking him up from daycare, I asked him if he got to see his aunty Jen since his cousin Chloe attends the same daycare. He said "No, pawpaw picked Chloe up." My mouth dropped open with excitement..I was so happy to hear that sentence!!!!

What Collin is doing now: Sitting next to me on the couch and playing his Leapster..with at least an arm or a leg touching me at all times, of course!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back to school.

Sweet face, huh? Not so much this morning! World War III broke out when it was time to get up and get ready for school after being home with mommy for two weeks. There were tears when he had to get up, tears when he had to get dressed, tears when he had to sit down and eat breakfast. I even had to force him to go to the bathroom. He was insistent that he DID NOT have to go to the bathroom after sleeping all night and drinking an entire cup of milk before going to bed...ugh!

Such an ordeal when he had to pick something for breakfast. He usually eats mommy's cereal (also known as Lucky Charms)and when asked if he wanted it, he said "Nooooo!" How about a Pop Tart? (Who turns down a Pop Tart?) Again, "Noooo!". Muffin tops? "Noooo!" A resounding "Yes!" was given when I finally resorted to a chocolate pudding cup and got the first smile of the day. After breakfast came brushing teeth..not a favorite of Collin's even with his new Diego spin brush from Santa. At this point we are 10 minutes late getting out the door and Collin's lips are shut tight so that I cannot brush them. What do I resort to? Bribery, of course! So, after having his teeth brushed, Collin got a piece of sugarless gum. What can I say, it was Monday and we were late!

Collin is very much enjoying his new "play room" that had to be made to accommodate all of the toys that we now have as a result of a very nice Christmas. He loves to sit on his couch and take in a Thomas flick. He also enjoys his labeled bins for all of his toys. So nice that my little guy enjoys organization as much as I do..thank goodness!

Something new that Collin said today: "I missed you too, Mommy."

What Collin is doing now: Watching "Thomas", of course!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

"Happy Birthday To You!"

All of a sudden I heard this song coming from the bathtub tonite! Collin sang the entire song all by himself. It amazes me how he picks things up so quickly. Something he also said that cracked me up tonite was when he was sitting at the kitchen counter painting with do-a-dots and he asked Erik a question. Erik did not here him, so Collin said "Daddy no listening to me, mommy!"

The picture is from lunch today. I have always wanted to get a picture of Collin eating noodles and I was finally able to get it. When his noodles are gone, he tilts the bowl and slurps the broth..always good for a laugh.

What Collin is doing now: putting his tractors and trains "to bed" by lining them all up on the floor.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Images from Collin's first Christmas at home

What a wonderful Christmas we had this year! To be able to experience it through Collin's eyes was so special. Collin understood the whole "Santa thing" and even sat on Santa's lap and told him he wanted choo-choos and tractors for Christmas. Santa must have thought Collin was a very good boy because he was very good to him, and he received many choo-choos and tractors. His new favorite color (previously pink) is now GREEN thanks in part to all of the green tractors he now has to play with!

We are very grateful for our little boy and especially for his health as the cardiologist's report came back positive..Collin only has to see him once a year! Also, all of Collin's blood tests came back negative, so no "surprises" there. We have so much to be thankful for this holiday season and so much to look forward to in the new year.

Happy New Year!

Collin attended his first New Year's Eve party last night. He experienced wearing the silly hat and blowing the paper horn at midnight. I am sure he didn't understand exactly why, but the other kids were doing it so "when in Rome". The pictures posted are some of my favorite pictures of Collin in China.