Monday, August 17, 2009


We spent last weekend with Jason, Jen and Addison - our extended "China Family". Little Addison was Ella's orphanage "sister", and our families really enjoyed each others' company during our trip to China. We each had a free weekend, and decided to drive across our respective states and meet at a hotel. The setting was quite beautiful, along the Mississippi River, with cliffs and rolling hills everywhere. Unfortunately it rained the entire time we were there! So we didn't get to take advantage of the beautiful outdoors as much as we would have liked. Yup, being stuck in a hotel was definately reminiscent of our 2 weeks in China!

The girls were wonderful. Ella greeted Addison as she does other babies: a hug and either a kiss or on her way to a bite (I don't wait long enough to find out!). I don't think the girls remembered each other in case you are wondering. It was amazing to see how much each of them has grown in the 5 months we've been home: Addison has grown 4 inches, but not a lot of weight; Ella has grown 3 inches and 3 lbs.

Considering both girls had almost the same background for their first months of life, I would have thought they'd have very similar traits. But they are truly their own persons, and couldn't be further from opposite in many ways: one girl loves to look at books, the other only to eat them; one girl is wary of strangers, the other is a social butterfly; one is loud with random noises, the other is quiet but can definately communicate her wants; one girl is always on the move to destinations unknown, while the other contemplates her route with quiet determination.

There were some similarities between the two though: the girls are awesome eaters, both in quantity and variety; both have very laid-back personalities and are able to go along with any situation as long as Mom & Dad are there with them; and both are as cute as two girls can be!!!

It was wonderful being able to visit with our dear friends and see how the girls are progressing. We have plans to get together in the fall and then again for Chinese New Year. I can't wait...I wish we lived closer to each other!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

5 Months Home

We brought Ella home 5 months ago today. It feels like she's been part of our family for years. We've been quite busy this summer, thus the lapse in posts here on our blog for 2 months! Ian has been busy with tee-ball, golf lessons, and now has started soccer. He is growing like a weed this summer and I'm betting that none of his jeans will fit him when school starts again!

Ella is also growing. As of last week's pediatrician appointment, she was 24 lbs 10 oz, and 31.25 inches tall. She just turned 20 months old. She is almost running when she's in a hurry to get someplace (the dog food and water dish are always favorites). Ella loves to swing. Any given day, you will probably find us out on our home swingset.

Every weekend, we head to the family cottage. Ella took a few weekends to get used to the idea of spending time at another place, but now she is so comfortable that she is just at ease at the cottage as she is at home. She is starting to understand that wherever we go, we always come back home. That has taken about 4 months for her to understand. She still gets excited when we pull into our driveway at home...jumping up and down in her car seat and giggling.

As you can see by this picture, Ella is just at home at the cottage swing. So much so that Bill and my brother rigged a pully system so we don't have to stand there and push her - we just sit on the big swing and and pull the rope and like magic, Ella is swinging too!!! Yes, it is the lazy way out, but it frees up a hand for the necessary weekend beverage, and hey, all are happy and that's all that matters!

I have to give credit to my sister-in-law for most of the pictures. She has camera in hand as much as I have Ella in my arms. It's been quite an adjustment for us having to watch someone so closely again. The other day I heard Ella babbling away and after looking all over the house...finally found her at the top of the stairs! She was so proud of herself, and I didn't even know she could climb one stair as she'd shown no interest in the stairs up until then. Needless to say, the baby gate is always closed now!

I hope you enjoy the great pictures below. And stay tuned...this weekend we are meeting with one of Ella's "China sisters" in La Crosse for a couple of days. It will be wonderful to see our friends again and have our families together! I'll make sure to post pictures soon...