Saturday, November 24, 2007

Rich rich so rich.....

I'm sitting here in the study on a beautiful Saturday-after-TGiving afternoon. My girls are in their nursery chattering and singing away (not napping but oh well), Ed's out back working on our new screen porch addition with John helping him, the girls and I met Col and her girls for a downtown museum-hopping morning, I have a glass of wine, there is Christmas music wafting through the house, Ed and I have a date tonight, the house is a mess and laundry is piled-up and it's not bothering me even one whit...and all is so so very good. And, I've been traveling a lot (yes, a lot) this past year to all sorts of Third World countries in South America and Africa and Asia and well, jeez-a-reez.....we are rich. Rich beyond belief on so many fronts. You know the feeling you get when you're just blown away by your riches and fortunes and just plain ol' good luck....? Well, that's me right now.....

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Twenty-Seven Months

Dear Liang-Liang and Can-Can,

You will be twenty-seven months next week and we just celebrated our first anniversary of your Gotcha Day earlier this month on November 6th. Oh, you are both doing so well indeed and so happy, healthy....and just rockin-n-rolling. Even though I have been travelling quite a lot these last two months for work, I still feel like we've had the best times together in the evenings and especially on the weekends. Your Dad and I aren't stressed these days, we're really feeling like we're in the groove, you two seem to be thriving on all fronts and we're just plain ol' having a blast. Boy-oh-boy, we've waited a long (long long long did-I-say long) time for this time in our life......I have to say I enjoy the "now" better than the "then" but I'd do it all over again in a skinny-nano-minute if that's what it took to get the two of you....Ahh, here's a fond and empathetic thought to all the other families out there waiting for their babies...Keep thinkin' the good thoughts, guys. It will happen.

You're both shooting-up in height...not so much in weight but definitely in height. Where your height is really showing up is when I hold you and your legs wrap more around my waist and..cutest thing....when you ride on your School Bus and trikes. Neither of you can still really pedal the trikes yet (still a bit too short) but I bet you both will be Springtime. Still in 12-month pants, still 22 pounds (yikes-tiny!!) and in 18-month shirts.

Biggest milestone is your's so cute. Nicki, you're more inclined to try out the long sentences but Sammi, you're the one that just sings-sings-sings all the time. In fact, as I'm sitting down here in my big comfy chair writing this letter, I hear both of you up in the nursery. Nicki, you are chatting away and Sammi, you are singing a silly song.... :)

The other thing I've noticed these last two months is the growing empathy you both have for each other. Sammi, you are most especially prone to run to Nicki the second she sounds the peals-of-distress and you busily with great dedication bring her her towels (ie blankie), toys, baby doll, etc....and you cutely pat her head or back....It's very nice and I'm quite proud of you. Nicki, you're beginning to do likewise....At dinner, you are especially attuned to knowing if Sammi wants some of your food (she's a faster eater than you....) and if she does, you gladly hand it over, sling it over, throw it over to her. Your intent is admirable; your delivery needs some working-on.

So, you two, we're getting ready for the holidays. Yay!! Your Dad and I are so excited! We're going to the Cartiers for T'Giving Day Brunch, we're spending the rest of T'Giving Day with the Schmitz and then we'll spend the rest of the weekend putting up Christmas decorations. Wait til you see the train set Ed will put up for you. We bought this very elaborate Lionel set years ago (maybe 5 yrs ago....!) in prep for you two (although I suspect it's just as much for Ed as for you....). And, we'll be hosting a gigantic Christmas Party this year on the Dec 15th. Oh, I love hosting parties....I'm off to buy your TGiving and Christmas outfits today while you are at school and I am going to SPLURGE SPLURGE on the cutest of cute outfits.

So, my two little twinkies, as our good friend Rony says, time to get moving and get you two monkeys up and about. I'm feeling the need for a giggle-fest just right about now....

Love, love, love,

P.S. Note sure I ever said this to you but....Truly one of the reasons I always dreamed for girls and dreamed for twin-girls (and knew it was meant to be...) was because of girly giggles. I simply love to giggle, have always loved doing it, am personally good (no, great) at it and wanted more girl-giggles in my life. You two are expert at it and I'm just so glad because it is a very important thing to have in your life. May we continue to hone our giggles for the next 50 years! :)

Love love love again,

Monday, November 12, 2007

To Ed -- the ROCK who rocks!!

Well, I knew the last two months at work would be tough...and it has been....but it's been okay and I'm almost through with the "big-push". For those that remember, I've been totally absorbed in implementing a new global system at work....and I've been on-the-road practically non-stop for about 8 weeks....Been across Europe numerous times, been down to South America, and been all over the US implementing and training and troubleshooting. But now I have just two more easy-peasy US-based trips to go and the light is at the end-of-the-tunnel. Hip Hip Hooray. It's not been so gosh-awful, either, because of one and only one reason which would be...Ed. This post is so dedicated to Ed. He's come a long-way, baby, in just a mere 12 months. He held down the fort pretty-much solo, he kept everyone happy and healthy, he is a constant non-stop positive force as I travel to all sorts of crazy places and he is, well....he's the Rock. The girls are, the girls are GREAT.

We've all kinda turned the corner in the last few months and on top of me being so mostly gone, Ed's kept the positive momentum not only going but darn-right thriving. Folks, this is a manly-man kinda "guy-who-grew-up-in-steel-town-Pittsburgh" Polish fella who didn't have the slightest idea how to change a diaper or deal with a tantrum or sing a lullaby or convince a toddler (um, two toddlers...) to eat healthily and play nice...he didn't have a KA-LUE. And now, he's just all over it......all of it...especially the lullabys and the toddler-chat. I heard him chatting with them just tonight as he was giving them a bath--he just keeps the cutest running commentary going and doesn't even blink at it.....Ed--YOU SO ROCK, sweetheart.

So, enough said.....just take a look at these pictures 'cause it says it all. Nicki is the one leaned-back in so much laughter....honestly, how does it get better than this? A knock-out husband and twin daugthers that are overbrimming with giggles....

Here's to you, Ed! THANKS!!! :)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

25 Months Old -- Newsletter

Dear little Liang-Liang and Can-Can,

I'm going to try this monthly newsletter out. I've watched Heather at do this now for a couple of years and I see what a treasure it is. Heather writes her typical blog, but then she posts a monthly newsletter to her daughter who is now around 3.5 yrs old, I think. I struggled a bit with whether I do two letters (one for each of you each month) and decided on one letter with little vingnettes in the letter about both of you. We'll see how it goes.

This week are you 25 months old. You each weigh exactly 22 pounds and you are each 31 and 1/8 inches tall. You're wearing 18 month shirts but mostly 12 month pants and skirts because you are so tiny and you have such slim hips (okay, yep, you have no-butt behinds!).

You both have become much more physically daring this month. You two love the big slide at the park, you love going really fast down the hill on your trikes (esp. when I irresponsibly run in front of you and let you go by yourself) and you're both beginning to love to really bounce around hard on the beds. Yes, Sammy, you took a big 'ol spill last weekend off the bed, but you got right back up and right back into it.

Nicki, you seem a bit calmer and more confident this month. You're more content (on most days...not all) to let Sammi have more of the "Mommy-holding" time...although it's true that you both really do seem to swap back and forth on that one. Nicki, you're a bit more content to sit still and read through your books and figure out how something works.

Sammi, you are all "out there" every minute every second. Though you are both into this, you especially really seem to enjoy stooping down and inspecting every single rock, acorn, blade of grass, crack in the sidewalk etc. We call you our little "naturalist".

Ah, so....neither of you are really putting too many words together yet. Your vocabulary is still quite limited and so of course I am in the "worrying a bit" mode. I fully appreciate you've had a bit of a tough start....Cantonese orphanage for first 15 months and then the whole "twins are more delayed in talking" thing going on but still....I'm fretting a bit. We're reading and talking and repeating all the time....all the things we should be doing....

But, having said that....the things you DO say are so sweet to hear....You both whisper "bye-bye" to everything. Bye-Bye swingset. Bye-Bye acorns. Bye-Bye stroller. Bye-Bye to me and your Dad at night....Just so cute. And, you do say and sign please, thanks, mommy, daddy, help, more, milk, food, moon, stars, cat, dog, love, baby, hug, etc.....About 25 or so words. And, for sure with no doubt, you both understand 99.999 percent of everything we say....So, my official fretting won't go into high-gear for another 3 months...

Ah, I do know what your favorite word is these days....No surprise 'cause you're is NO!....Would you like to read a book? NO! (as you crawl in my lap...). Would you like a cup of milk? NO! (as you reach for your sippy). Would you like some pudding? NO! (as you gobble the pudding up). Ed and I have to bite our's funny and we almost say it with you in unisom!

And, Sammi, you're not into the NO! thing yet (but I know it's coming). You are actually into being the sweetest thing possible. (so this must be the calm before the second storm....). You want to "help-Mama" every single second. You put trash in the trashcan, you help me wipe down the floor, your favorite thing is to help me put away the groceries, you help me load and unload the washer and dryer and it goes on and on....It's so sweet. You're also so much more prone these days to be the one that finds Nicki's towel, that gives Nicki your last Cheerio or goldfish....Just in general, you are in a very giving mood this last month. It's sweet.

We've started Fall this month and I've bought the cutest long sleeved shirts and pants for you to wear...And, we're heading out to our favorite mountain cabin up at Nantahala later this month. Yippee....falltime in NC is simply awesome. Oh, yeah, and we're going to a pumpkin patch tomorrow to pick-out pumpkins, have a hay ride, see the goats and chickens, and all sorts of fun.....

Love you both so very much,

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It's so two are so little

I mean it looks big to me...what must it look like to you?!!. It lords over all of the rest of the playground.....with its gyrating and swirling and dipping and do-ing. The Big Slide. The Big One. And that's exactly what both of you wanted. I woulda been happy with one of the little side "job-bee slides"....the tee-nine-eee ones that spill over the bottom of the playground extravaganza jungle. But nope....once you both made it up that first pair of stairs and then bounded over to the second stairs (gaining confidence...gaining confidence.....) then ran across the cat-walk....then jumped all over the third had a choice. Do ya go low and head for the "baby" slides or are ya gonna aim high and head for the Big Kahuna? (Like when I snowski, do you take the Blue Diamond down or do you go for the the Black Diamond....?) You both (pretty much exactly same timing...) looked at that last set of stairs....looked at each other....looked back at the stairs and well, that's "all she wrote"....(sidebar note: they never looked at me...nah, they didn't need me...) You both fought each other to get to the top, you plopped your little "no-butt" behinds down and there you went.....sliding-all-the-way-down....So...then...then...because I was going solo that day sans Ed, I managed to effectively clone myself to get coverage to be at the top of the slide when you started down and then at the bottom of the slide to greet you. And....that I did....Must of been quite the show on the playground but who cares?!!

Then, of course, you both immediately signed and half-spoke to me very very insistently..."a'gin...a'gin"....We did it again...16 times again, that is. (whoo-hoo)

I was so inordinately phenomenally amazed and proud of you two monkeys that I forced all of us to go back later that evening (with Ed this time) so we could take pictures of your prowesses....

Hugs to all,

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Soothing Balm

It's a salve, isn't it, having children...For me they are a balm to the crazy world around's world that has crazy expectations, incomprehensible greed and just downright ridiculous priorities. When I'm feeling out-of-balance and taking things entirely too seriously, I take some Pilates breaths and stretches and I dive into my daughters' world...and then everything just seems to set itself right again. And I realize once again how staggeringly jaw-dropping, spine-chilling (yes, now I have goosebumps down my arm...)lucky (um...double-lucky) that I am to have these two amazing little souls in our lives.

Isn't this a great shot of Sammi below? She's really getting into following me around and puttering in the yard, pulling weeds, saying "hi" to all our plants and trees and shrubs (yes, I really do that....), and just being my little helper. I caught her here pulling little weeds along our stone borders...She'll put the weeds in the little bin at the back of her trike.

And then here's Nicki in pink.....


Sunday, September 9, 2007

Calling on children's books on adopting Chinese twins

I've got some of the requisite children's books describing...(and catered to children)....the China adoption process incuding "Love you Like Crazy Cakes",
Finding Joy", "When you were Born in China", "Shooey and Dot" and a couple more books (great Mr. Rodgers one), but I'm really looking for a book of similar genre about adopting twins from China. Anyone know of a book such as this? I've searched the Internet, but I'm not the best web "miner".
The reason I'm really getting keen for a book like I'm describing above is because Sammi and Nicki are showing emotions all over the map when we read these books. On one hand, they are fascinated....They are especially riveted over the pages where it shows rows and cribs with 2-3 babies in each crib. It just stops them in their tracks. But then, all of the sudden, I see them get anxious and stressed....When I close the book and go on to the next activity, they invariably want to go back to the adoption books.
So, anyone out there have any recommendations for books on adopting Chinese (or other) twins?

Thanks and Hugs,

Saturday, September 1, 2007

TwinsFest in Richmond!

We never stopped talking, we never stopped laughing...we never stopped finishing each other's was kinda like an insta-mind-meld.....Such great fun, Rony.....and these pics prove it!! Who else would jump in a pool in a dress (and look so great!!) mere hours after meeting someone in person!

Rony, you so rock! :)

(um, also...I *knew just knew* you were gonna jump in....)

And, yes, it is true. In addition to Rony, Ed is the other rock star. It was everything Rony said plus more....he came with me and girls just to play chauffeur, babysitter, great all-'round guy, waiter, lifeguard, first-aid man, cleaner-upper...and he was (he typically is....) pretty frickin' amazing.

What is it with children and running-madly-down-long hallways....Oh my gosh that was so much fun...I was laughing so hard I could barely breathe...Ok, I admit it...I did kinda start it all off...I did kinda push them to run at first but then they really really! got the hang of it.... Too fun...even when that ol grump-head poked his grumpy ol' grumpy self out of his room to grump at us...whatever....)
Mai, it was truly a total delight meeting you. You are awesome and sweet and beautiful....just a real pleasure having you there...thanks for everything!! picture to prove we DID go to the Park...just only stayed for 36.5 minutes.....! :)
Cindy :)

Lots of Yays

--Yay, I'm blogging again. Got a bit of a work reprieve 'til Monday.Yay, we have a 3-day weekend.
--Yay, our girls turned 2 years old last week...big yay!
--Yay, we have no real plans (just some cook-outs) this weekend so I can catch-up on blogging...!
--Yay, my digital SLR just came back from repair and I am with-camera again.
--Oh yay. Life is good this nice Saturday morning. I have just about a millions things to talk about....think I'll even do multiple posts this weekend. Oh, yay!! :)
They are crazy about their wagon (birthday present). We now do our daily mail runs in it. They climb in the wagon in the garage, I pull them up the long driveway to our mailbox, dole out the mail/flyers, take a spin around the cul-de-sac, maybe stop over and see their friends along the way.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Will Be Back Very Soon...

Hi Friends,

Just a quick note letting everyone know (thanks for all your kind emails!!) that we're all doing just fine. I am completely subsumed by work these days as we're in the process of deploying a huge global system....Don't give up on me and my blog and please keep checking back here every so often...

Hugs to all,

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Whirlwind Weekend Wedding

Dear Karen and Pete,
Thank you for bestowing on us the honor of having our daughters be the flower girls in your wedding. Wow, what an incredible weekend! Thanks for your love and your humor and your patience with our two little 23-month year olds. Thanks for laughing at the stories Ed and I told at your Rehearsal Dinner party (ha-ha, like you really had a choice there! :)....). Thanks for your gifts and your generosity. It was a classy and beautiful and magical weekend and we are so thrilled to have been a part of it.

Dear Kelsey and Jessie,
Thank you so much for helping us take care of and chase and play and manage our twirling, swirling, cream-puffy-looking wild-and-wacky toddler twins. Wow, what a great time we had with you two and how very (very!) impressed we are with what a terrific job you did. It's not so easy taking care of our girls and keeping them happy and clean and entertained and clean and did I already say "clean" and ready for their big part. You two rock!

So, now for some terrific pictures. I haven't yet loaded the pics from the rehearsal dinner, but here are some great wedding day scenes....
Bride and Groom, Karen and Pete:

Karen really did look beautiful....

Just inserting in a pic of me and, I mean, um....yep, this is Nicki...right, Ed?. As you can tell, we never EVER dress them alike so when they had on the exact same flower girl dress all day long and the one single different freckle that Sammi has wasn't so visible..then things just get kinda crazy..... (although, honestly, I'm really sure that this is Nicki....)

Jeannette and George....(what a beautiful couple!!)
And the maid of honor, sister Amy and Jeannette

And here's handsome Ed with Amy....
Here's Adam, Karen's brother. Wow, Adam, when did you get to be such a handsome young man? I remember when you were three years old playing on my front porch and peering through our front windows....and I remember (so fondly) when you and Ame used to come knocking on our door looking for the popsicles we always had on hand for you guys......jeez, now look at you!! :)

Next is Julie, George's mom...(sure was great catching-up with Julie....)
Amy, Karen, and Maria...

Sammi and me playing in the church nursery...oh, what a great room that was!

Parting shot of George and Karen in their big dance. George, you did really well and your arm was definitely not too high! (Good job!).
More pics and stories to come in Wedding Part II...I just wanted to get a few pics out before my weekend get-away with Rony and all the twins. (oh gosh, it's just the day after tomorrow, Rony....)
Colleen, I really do have some great shots of Kelsey and Jessie at the wedding and more pics and stories of our fun at the beach.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Misc Stuff

Hi All. Been kinda MIA lately as I have been out-of-town to Europe on a business trip. Just returned yesterday, but now we're all going back out-of-town to a wedding....for which the twins are flower girls...It's gonna be a blast as it is one one of our best friends' daughter who is geting married. I can't wait.

Then.....the next weekend, Rony and I and both our set of twins are headed to King's Dominion Park to hang out for the weekend. Oh goodness, that's gonna be SO fricking' fun.
Finally, Here's just some misc pics....some funny....some pretty darn cute (no bias here, of course!) I have missed everyone....just been on the "consumed by work stuff" lately.......
I swear ! only turned my back for a second....look how quickly chaos reigns....Anyone else have :) It is all child-proof so no worries's just that fact that the insta-chaos happens! :)


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Budding Hikers

Ed and I have been hiking and backpacking since we started dating almost 25 years ago...and we're just crazy about it so we're really motivated to get Sammi and Nicki into trail hiking at the earliest age we can. Yep, we wanna be a motley crew of backpackers! If you ever peeked at our attic..and garage...and closets...and under our'd see our hiking and packing gear bursting out of the seams just everywhere. Call us "REI-is-Us"
So we hit the trails with the girls each Sunday. There's a plethora of really nice hiking trails in our area. Each time we go out, the girls' navigational skills on the uneven trail terrain gets better and better. Last Sunday, they managed to walk almost a mile on their own. (Hey, they're just 21 pounds and way less than 3 ft tall...that's pretty darn good.) They both know how much Ed and I love being out on the trails and they seemed very proud to show off for us .

"Okay, okay,'re right. We'll be stopping by very soon as the girls do need some real hiking boots! Please don't look at their sandals (omg!)"

Last parting shot of Ed and isn't that a proud Papa....!