Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lia Kate's Gotcha Day Movie

Finally, here is Lia Kate's Gotcha Day movie! It took a while to get uploaded ... so without further ado ... here it is:

Lia Kate's Gotcha Day from on Vimeo.

A few comments ...
* I chose not to upload at the highest quality to make the process faster, so it probably will not look good if you try to expand to full screen.

* Thanks to Brandon Blanch for all the great Gotcha Day photos. They are truly treasures!

* You may notice in the movie that our airplane seats aren't exactly of the "economy" variety. It is only because two wonderful, generous women decided to help us book our flights and in the process, and before we knew it, they booked us business class seats and paid for them. It was an amazing gift.

* If we look distracted or unemotional on the actual Gotcha Day ... it is only because the scene is pure chaos! There are babies screaming in the background, people speaking loudly in Chinese to each other, and people talking to us non-stop. Things happen so fast in that room, it is surreal.

* Those of you in the adoption world may have seen a similar Gotcha Day video. Yes, a few things in my video come straight from hers. This was my first iMovie project and I didn't know what I was doing. And ultimately couldn't think of a better way to do it. So, if she ever runs across this, I hope she believes that imitation is the highest form of flattery.

* The movie is kind of long! When I wanted to cut chunks out, I had to remind myself that I was doing this for Lia Kate. And she and Britton both love to watch the movie in its entirety.

* And, lastly, watching this video makes me want to jump on a plane and go adopt all over again!

Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lia Kate's 100th Day!

Updated: The video is done, but I underestimated how long it would take to finalize and upload to a sharing site. It is a large file. I am working on it!

Today marks Lia Kate's 100th day of being in our family! In China and other Asian countries, a baby's 100th day of life is celebrated. Likewise, we are celebrating Lia Kate's first 100 days of being in our family. In honor of today, I will be posting Lia Kate's Gotcha Day video tonight. I am working fast and furiously to get it finished. So, unless something catastrophic happens, her video will be posted later tonight. Be sure to check back in ...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fun at the Park

Fun at the park tonight with Cousin Will...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

At Long Last ... A Britton Update

Britton is now 26 months old! And boy, the times ... they are a-changin'. I did not post much about him over the last couple of months, but we had fun celebrating his 2nd birthday and also his Gotcha Day on February 15. Britton's Gotcha Day was the day we brought him home from the hospital. We waited six long weeks to bring him home, so it is definitely a day we celebrate around here. We realized when we adopted Lia Kate in December that we were adding to a long string of holiday and celebration days ... starting with Lia Kate's Gotcha Day (Dec. 21), then Christmas, then our anniversary (Dec. 30), then Britton's Birthday (Jan. 8), then Britton's Gotcha Day (Feb. 15). Lots of gifts ... lots of celebrating.

Anyway, back to Britton. He is as busy and active as ever, but lately, he has really become a funny little guy who laughs a lot and revels in one-on-one time with his parents (after Lia Kate goes to bed). He has become a lot more cuddly and affectionate, which we are loving, of course. He loves to read, ride his cars/trucks around the house, spin around fast on his Bounce & Spin Zebra, and watch Jack's Big Music Show and the Wonderpets. He is still a fabulous sleeper and is still in his crib. He has a big boy bed waiting for him but we are going to keep him in his crib until he decides to start climbing out.

The biggest question we get these days about him is how he gets along with his new sister. He has definitely had some hard days, but is doing really well with all the change. He's had some aggression, but overall he seems to really enjoy having a little partner in crime around here. We feel bad for him because most kiddos who get a new sibling get to warm up to a new baby, and over time the baby becomes mobile and gets into their stuff. For Britton, we just brought home a very active and mobile toddler who was immediately into his space, all of his toys, etc. Overall, he has done well, but it has definitely made him grow up. We have seen him mature and even seen improvement in his speech since she joined us.

Britton recently had his 2-year-old check-up at the pediatrician and he got an excellent report. He is now:
Height: 35 inches, 50%
Weight: 25 pounds, 10%
Still on the small-ish side. So I was surprised to find out that he is on track to be anywhere from 5'10" to 6" at full height. We shall see if they got that one right ...

We also went to what *may* be our last appointment with the pediatric neurologist. He came in the room, looked at his chart, looked at Britton and said "well, he's a miracle child." He has no concerns about Britton's development. Not even with Britton's speech delay. He told us that cognitive development was a better marker for what is really going on and since Britton's cognition/understanding is perfectly age-appropriate, there are no concerns. Given that Britton's brain is still somewhat of a mystery, we asked what we could expect down the road for Britton as far as academic performance, and he and our pediatrician both said that we have every reason to believe Britton will do fine in school given how well he is doing now. He said cognitive development is the best indicator for IQ down the road ... there are certainly no guarantees here, but we were very encouraged by their assessment of Britton. The neurologist also said that we were always welcome to come back to see him if we had any concerns but there was no need for him to keep checking in on Britton ... so we are discharged. Wow ... the end of a long chapter of our lives.

So, the only issue we continue to work on is Britton's speech delay. It is a fairly minor delay according to his test scores, but it is still very frustrating when he is trying to communicate something to you and we have no clue what he is trying to say. Britton has around 75 words and a few phrases like "i love you." But most kids his age can talk circles around him. And though Britton talks all the time at home, I don't understand most of it. Since Lia Kate has joined our family and has started learning words, his recognizable vocabulary has really increased. Who knew it would take a little Chinese girl to spur him on? Anyway, Britton will continue to do speech therapy a couple times a month through Early Intervention. We are so thankful for this service and the great therapists we work with!

Many of you who have been reading here since Britton was born. Thank you for praying for him and following his story. To this day, we can't believe our little boy went through all he did at birth and is this happy, healthy, spunky little guy we get to love day in and out. We are so thankful for his health and so, so optimistic for his future.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Things To Come

So, I've been a wee bit busy lately. These two active kiddos are giving me a run for my money. I haven't exactly had a lot of time to blog, however, I have a lot of things to blog about. I thought I'd write to tell you about the posts that will be coming ... soon I hope.

* A Britton update -- he's had a few recent doctor's appointments and is doing lots of fun, new things.

* A Lia Kate update -- she is exploding with personality these days and is so smart and funny and adorable. Can't wait to share the latest on her.

* Videos of Britton and Lia Kate "singing" the Itsy Bitsy Spider and Twinkle, Twinkle.

* Lia Kate's Gotcha Day movie! I am using iMovie to make a video of our footage and pictures from China. I can't wait to finish it. It's been so fun to document our trip this way. Can't wait to share.

* Also, planning to change this blog up a bit. I will close out Lia Kate's adoption blog and will just be posting on this blog soon. I am thinking about renaming this blog and maybe taking our name out of the URL address, but I haven't made a decision yet.

Now, telling you this will make me *have* to follow through. That's the plan at least.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Girly Girl

Lia Kate is becoming a little girly girl. She loves to carry "purses" on her arms. Anytime she sees something with handles she slips her arm through it and hoists it on her shoulder and carries it around. No one taught her to do this (though she sees me do it every day). This is one of the first significant differences I have seen between raising a girl and raising a boy. Britton would never do this! It is cute to see her toddling around with a "purse" on her shoulder.