We had a fun Halloween. Three costumes for Katrine and one each for Glenn and I…and WAY to much left over candy(guess that I should have listened to Glenn and not bought that second bag of chocolate bars). The fun started on Thursday when “The Christmas Fairy” appeared in her Kindergarten class to enjoy the festivities. The next day “The Ladybug Fairy” enjoyed some fun at Daycare. Yesterday morning, “The Snowflake Fairy” appeared at skating where she actually won a little teddy bear for her costume.(More importantly, she actually bent her knees while skating!)
Then we went to the zoo where Glenn and “The Christmas Fairy” took part in a costume parade. I missed it because I had managed to lock the keys in the trunk of the car and had to wait for CAA. She was tickled because they gave each of the children in costume a little stuffed toy at the end of the parade. Then they had a musician perform who was wonderful. He handed out insturments to all of the kids and had then play along. One of the songs that he sang was Down By The Bay, which just happens to be her favourite song at the moment. He let her come up to the microphone and she belted it out as proud as can be. It was too cute.
Trick or treating got off to a rocky start because she was “afraid to go to the strangers houses” but then she saw the candy and we were off and running. Now the question is, what do we do with all of the candy? Can one little girl eat all of the haul? I suppose that we will see.
I will finish by answering the oft asked question: No. There is no news from China. Yes. We are still waiting. And no. We don’t know when our referral will come. Rest assured that we will pass on any news as soon as we have some. Enjoy the photos.
Katrine skated at her first competition this past Saturday. She did really well. Followed all of the instructions. Did everything she was asked. She was happy to be out there but thrilled with her new pink costume with the “pretty” skirt. She came in second in her group which was nice. She is already asking if she can do another(little does she know that we have signed her up for one in April at the suggestion of her coach). I hope to have the video soon.
Okay, I am going to try and get us caught up with this post.
The highlight of March was our annual visit to the Wye Marsh Sweetwater Festival in Victoria Harbour. Katrine just loves seeing my dad making maple sirop. This year we were joined by my brother and his kids so it was extra special for Katrine because she also got to play with her cousins. My dad got the bright idea of getting a cardboard box out of his garage and letting the kids use it to slide down the huge snowbank beside the driveway…until it split open. I guess that all good things must come to an end.
The highlight of April was Katrine’s 4th birthday. This year her party was on her actual birthday which was kind of neat. The party had a Backyardigans theme. She had a blast playing pin the tie on Pablo and using a Backyardigans playdough set. I think that aside from the cake(which was based on her favourite surfing episode) she loved the pinata best. Glenn set it up so that instead of whacking it, the kids could just pull strings to open it. The first time they pulled it and the string broke but it didn’t open. Then Glenn held it and it opened up. What a frenzy! We got her a new purple bike which she is delighted with. She has since announced that she wants to learn to ride without training wheels so you will probably hear about that in a future post.
May was Mother’s Day, Glenn’s birthday and renewing our paperwork with the Ministry for our second adoption(which is moving along at a snail’s pace!). If things continue to move at this rate, Elspeth will not be home until late 2010 or even into 2011. We are keeping our fingers crossed. Thank you to everyone for your continued support. There are days when it is really difficult to be patient. Katrine has taken to drawing family pictures with three people and then a fourth way off to the side because her Meimei is still far away in China. I guess somethings just don’t turn out as you plan.
June has been a bit of a sunnier month. Katrine had her first Highland competition. We thought that she might get overwhelmed and cry or really mess up but she was all business on stage. She walked on, bowed(totally serious face), did 15 of the 16 pas de basques, bowed, walked off calmly before breaking into a huge smile. She was ever so proud of herself. Well, when they did the prizes we were surprised too. We knew that she would get a ribbon simply for being there BUT she also won a sixth!! She left the stage with a medal as well. She wanted to know when her next competition would be and when she would be old enough to win a trophy. I also dance(yes, I know it is amazing that I still can). I managed to double sprain an ankle but somehow won a 7th out of 21 dancers for one dance. Now that was a shock.
The only other exciting thing that we have been doing is working on our garden. It is doing really well due to all of the rain that we have had. If this keeps up we will get a really nice crop. Especially of potatoes.
That is us up-to-date. I will try to not let it get as far behind again.
At the beginning of February, we celebrated Chinese New Year and the arrival of the year of the Rat. We found a company that makes gluten-free dumpling skins and made sui mai and beef pot sticks from scratch. The sui mai were really quite good, although they looked like simple dumplings and not actual sui mai. We have found a recipe for vegetable dumplings which we will try the next time we feel like standing by a steamer for a while. Anyways, we attending the FCC new years banquet with some friends and had a fabulous time as usual. It is always nice to see Katrine experiencing Chinese culture while also having fun playing with friends. Aside from her friends and ample supplies of Chinese food, Katrine loved the candied fruits (particularly the carrots and winter melon) and hong bao (especially those with chocolate money).
Katrine has a very mean mommy who made her cut out and decorate valentines for her whole class. Mommy wanted to do them in batchs – cut now, decorate later, print names still later. Katrine however felt that it was necessary to do it all at once, so it turned into an hour of solid work. They looked quite cute at the end of it all. She had a great time at daycare and carried her heart full of valentines around the house for the next two weeks.
Katrine took Preschool C swimming this winter. Unfortunately we will be repeating this level because she is still not comfortable floating on her back. It was not a waste though because she is now confident enough to swim underwater for short lenghts.
Another highlight of our month was our trip to Ottawa for Winterlude. We went over the Family Day weekend and had a great time. The ice and snow sculptures were beautiful. It was fun watching Katrine and Glenn ride the huge ice slides. We all had fun skating on the Rideau. Katrine skated with us the first day but on the second we rented a push sled and skated while she rode. Our trip also provided us with the chance to catch-up with some of Katrine’s orphanage sisters which is always welcome.
The high point of our month though, was celebrating Katrine’s third Forever Family Day. Sometimes it is hard to believe that it has been three years since we became a family in Nanning.
This is very exciting to us. It means that we have been declared to be fit for parenthood in China. It brings us a tiny step closer to Elspeth. Yippee!
Katrine and I have been enjoying our summer vacation thus far. We have been busy. Katrine finished her Preschool A swimming lessons the second week of July. She passed which surprised us because she was quite dependent on Glenn when they took the Parent-Tot class this past winter. Anyways, she was delighted with her badge and loves to show it off to everyone who comes into our house. We have enrolled her in one more swim class in August. We have also signed her up for Sportball soccer with a friend of hers. She LOVES it!! It is hilarious watching her chase after the ball like a mad-woman only to freeze when a beautiful(usually a dandelion) catches her eye.
I have also been using my vacation to take her to a variety of playdates and outings. We have been to the ROM to see the dinosaurs, the farm to pick strawberries, the zoo and Science Center. Katrine’s favourite outings have been the playdates, she really is a sociable child, and our visits to the park. Her favourite park is the one with the spider web of rope to climb on, but then again she is a monkey.
This coming week Glenn is off because we are laying laminate floor upstairs in the last three bedrooms. We are planning to go to the Royal Botanical Gardens next weekend as well as the Shriner’s circus. In honour of our 9th wedding anniversary on Wednesday, Katrine is going up to my parents in Victoria Harbour for two days. She is pretty excited about it.
Well now you are up-to-date with the family in Canada so here is some news on Elspeth in China. Our dossier is now in the review room. That means someone is looking at all of our paperwork to ensure that we meet China’s guidelines. Once they are done we move to the next phase….waiting…again. The backlog of dossiers is still quite extensive which means we still have a long time to wait until we will receive our referral. We are helping to make ourselves feel better by painting Elspeth’s room while we wait. Glenn has chosen a lovely pale, sage green paint. I think that once the floor is down in her room and the walls painted we will feel another step closer to her. Maybe I will even begin to unpack the baby stuff and set some of it up. Our wait? We are not expecting a referral until 2009 at the earliest but this is China and things change all the time.
On a highnote, we have mailed off Elspeth’s immigration package. Not that there is any rush, but it certainly makes us feel another step closer to her. The wait continues to grow and right now we are predicting that she will join our family, tentatively, in the fall of 2008.
Closer to home, we have all been off for the break. It has been nice to simply have time to spend together. Katrine stayed up at my parents over night on Sunday and did remarkably well. She is already making plans to go back up and sleep in the “big bed” (they let her sleep in a double bed so she was in heaven). What did Glenn and I do? We went out for dinner and worked on Elspeth’s immigration stuff. Oh ya, then we slept in!!!!
We went on smaller outings the rest of the week: to a Backyardigans craft session, to visit family, to the park, to meet Dora. Our biggest trips were to the zoo and the shoe museum. The zoo had various bug displays on for the break. She was fascinated by all of the creapy crawlies. We made sure to steer clear of the bug brittle table though, just in case she decided it looked good. We are all for enriching activities, but we have to draw the line somewhere. The Bata shoe museum was running a pirate program this week. We went with one of my friends from Teacher’s College and her daughter. Katrine had a blast decorating a treasure chest, playing dress-up and icing cookies. Her favourite part was the treasure hunt. She kept talking about how she is going to have one for her birthday(we are having a pirate party for her). Oh ya, she also loves her jolly roger tatto. Aside from her refusal to nap when she obviously needs to, it was fun.
Climbing around burning off steam
Just looking cute
Helping to bake lemon pie
Decorating her pirate booty
Tomorrow it is back to work and daycare for us all. Tuesday she has her first dentist appointment. Wish us luck!
Let me begin by wishing everyone a happy Shrove Tuesday. We don’t actually do anything for Lent but today gives us the excuse to eat pancakes for dinner. This year we actually managed to enlist Katrine to help mix them up before swim class.
This past weekend saw my Nana turn 95 and the arrival of the Year of the Golden Pig, which in our house has also become known as “The Year when Elspeth will likely be born…maybe”. We had dinner in Chinatown on New Year’s Eve with two other families from Katrine’s travel group. We had all gone to see the Chinese New Year children’s symphony at Roy Thompson Hall. It was not quite what we expected and Katrine was not that impressed; probably because she was required to sit still AND quietly. The only part that she truly enjoyed was when a piece was presented on traditional Chinese instruments. Then they had her full attention. The girls really enjoyed seeing each other.
Sunday was a quiet day at home full of tobogganing in the backyard, puzzles, crafts and of course Dora’s Around the World DVD (we must watch it everyday). Then we cooked Chinese food for the three of us before Katrine opened her Hong Bao. Much quieter than last year’s family banquet but more in tune with our lives over the past few months.
Tomorrow is our 2nd Gotchaversary. It is hard to believe that two years ago today we were on the verge of meeting our little fireball. That day was certainly a blessing. Katrine has brought us a lot of laughter and joy. It has been wonderful to see how she has grown and learned these past two years. We will be going out to dinner and skating (weather permitting) to mark the occassion. Then on Saturday, we will be getting together with alot of the families who we traveled with so that the girls can play together and get re-aquainted. We will miss our families out west but we will be thinking about them.
Welcome to the last week of August! That means school starts next week. Sigh!
This past weekend we had the chance to get together with three families in Elspeth’s group at a park in Orillia. It was a beautiful day. The adults chatted and generally got to know a bit about each other while Katrine played with one couple’s children. The highlight of her day though was definetely the train ride around the park. Especially when the train went through the tunnel.
The past two weeks have been pretty exciting for Katrine. We bought her a three-wheel scooter last week (they were on sale). She has been practicing using it inside the house and can get some pretty good speed. Now she just needs some practice steering. When we were up at Heather’s parents, they gave Katrine a small trike with the seat all the way down. Katrine was thrilled. Since then she has been out peddling everyday. She can peddle pretty well but can’t start when fully stopped. She can steer pretty good around corners but gets distracted by the scenery on straightaways.
We received word that our dossier has been logged in! (It was actually logged in shortly after it was sent overseas but you know how long paperwork can take.) That means that our official wait has begun! This is very exciting. It brings us one step closer to Elspeth’s referral.