Saturday, December 26, 2009

.....and now comes the freezing rain....

Yesterday was a great day of gifts, excellent food at Grandma and Grandpa's, and time with family. Clarissa thoroughly enjoyed her first Christmas.

Now let's rewind a couple of days. The 23rd was Uncle Don's birthday. He, and Grandma and Grandpa came over for dinner to celebrate....and Grandma even brought dinner which was wonderful.

Don got a small gift.

Then came Christmas Eve. Everyone came over again after church and we had snacks and we gathered around the tree and opened gifts. A finely decorated tree it is too.

Oh and how about the bell that we bought in China at the cloisonne factory....

On Christmas morning it was Clarissa's turn to open gifts....and she did a great job of ripping the paper off.

Then it was off to Grandma and Grandpa's for dinner. Clarissa enjoyed spending time with them, Uncle Don, Great Grandma, and Uncle Richard and Aunt France.

Now it's Boxing Day and we are getting a pile of freezing rain....a great day to stay home.

Friday, December 25, 2009

HO HO HO!!!!! Merry Christmas!!!!!

Carolyn, Clarissa, and I wish everyone a very, very Merry Christmas! It is Clarissa's first Christmas, and what a great one! She is eatin' it all up. Ripping gifts open, and having a grand ole time.

We also celebrated Uncle Don's birthday on the 23rd...Clarissa is very happy that he was able to come to town for his birthday and the holidays.

I will write more later, we are getting ready to go to Grandma and Grandpa's for Christmas dinner....and we're already running late.

You: So Rob, if you are already running late...what the heck are you doing posting???

Me: I am waiting for access to the shower, and can't do much else. K?????

(Thanks for the inspiration for that one Adrian)

More to see how much turkey I can eat and still get up afterwards!!!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Grandpa's Birthday, walkin' all over, first time playing in the snow, and snoozin'....

Another busy week in Clarissaville. Let's see now....what has gone on.....well firstly we celebrated Grandpa's birthday.

As you can see he's still got it...all the candles out the first shot....errrrr.....not all as in "ALLLLLLLLLL"...just all. Soooooooo how 'bout those Sens???? (he says in attempt to change the subject).

Clarissa's walking skills increase each day. Her confidence is growing and she is really getting around.

She getting around so quickly that it's tough to get a picture that's not blurry. "She's faster than the capture speed of a digital camera, she's taller that the railings on her crib, she can turn a clean room into a disaster zone in the blink of an eye, she's SUPERCLARISSA!!!!!"

But Daddy I didn't make any mess....look how cute and innocent I look....

I took Clarissa out for her first experience in the snow today!!!!! She didn't quite know what to make of it...but she didn't freak out. I think that she had fun. It was snowing at the time and she was watching it come down with a "where the heck is that coming from???" look on her face.

I've been thinking quite a bit about a comment that was made on my favourite bl.....errrr....Adrian's (or should I say Ping's) site (you didn't think that I was going to use the B word did you? Check back to my first post.). Anyhow, it was kind of a suggestion that A&R (but I owned it as applying to all of us adoptive parents) need to and as the children grow older...the loss that is involved in our adoptions and not just focus on the positives. My initial reaction was "how could someone think that we would ever forget the loss?" From my comments: I don't think that it is possible for any of us who have made the trip to China to forget the circle of impact, gains and losses, that are involved. Most times that I look at my beautiful little girl along with my thoughts of how lucky my wife and I, and her all are to be together as a true family...I also am very aware that she has a birth Mother out there somewhere. I have extreme gratitude to this person who, through God's plan, brought this special little girl....our us. I really can't say what her birth Mother is feeling, but I don't pretend for a minute that she has not experienced loss. I have no doubt that her choice was not an easy one....quite likely not "her choice". We have been home for 3 months today...I can not even fathom for a moment the thought of Clarissa not being with us. In fact, I refuse to go there.

I am also acutely aware that Clarissa has experienced more loss at a year old than many people in adulthood have. I see it in the fear in her eyes every time she realizes that she doesn't know where Mommy and Daddy are. However, the joy and happiness that I see in her when she is with us surpasses that a million times over.

After stewing on it a bit, as Clarissa's Dad I still feel exactly the same way. However, I have heard the comments about how much of a better life she has, and will have now that she is part of our family...which is absolutely true in my opinion, but at the same time at only a year old her life has seen massive upheaval more than once. Her world has been turned upside down. I mean we are great, but still. There is loss. And somewhere out there, a thirteen hour plane ride away, is a woman who carried our little girl for 9 months and gave her up on the day that she was born. We are very, very thankful to God for bringing her to us, and we could not be happier.....but there is loss.

Hmmmmm I guess still have quite a bit to say....I'd better start posting more often. I'm exhausted. Sort of like how Clarissa was today at lunchtime. This was right...and I really mean "right" after taking her last mouthful of butternut squash. I had to check to make sure that she swallowed it. All that playing in the snow I guess.....

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Let me introduce myself....

My name is Rob. I'm Clarissa's Daddy! It's been so long....thought that I'd better remind you. And you are?????

What has gone on around here over the last two weeks??????? Well for starters I have realized that time fllllllllllllies when you have a one year old running around. I have also realized that finding a few moments to post an update is quite a challenge.

The big news????? Well a certain little girl has been walking up a storm the last few days! Each day her ventures of strolling without holding on to anything get longer. Today she put around 15 steps in a row together. The look of determination on her face as she gets ready to set off in priceless.

Other big news??? Clarissa saw snow for the first time. It was quite funny as we went through our morning routine...down to the kitchen, uncover the bird, over to the patio door blinds, open them up, and.......WOW!!!!! What the heck is the white stuff all over the backyard?????

Other big news??? Uncle Don is officially coming home for Christmas....his plane ticket is booked. Clarissa will be very happy about that.

Speaking of that Clarissa is home we will have to deck out the house in Christmas decorations.....bahhh humbug!!!! :-)

Actually I can't wait buy a tree and get it all lit up and decorated for her to see. I may even buy one more than a day or two before Christmas....and it may stay up beyond the 26th......baahhhhhh humbug!!!!! :-)

We're hoping to get to the FOI Christmas party tomorrow night. It is great fun, and hopefully some of our China trip friends will be there. We'll see how things go around her tomorrow.

We were glad to see that Adrian and Roberta, and son#1 made it home safely with their adorable new family member Ping!! Sooooooooo Adrian and son#1 made it to the top of the left side of the wall huh????? Ahhhhhh I knew you could do it. Errrrrrrr.....did I mention that when I made the trek it was raining??? Just sayin'.....

I will get more up here soon.....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Needles, choppers, new toys, first time away from Mommy and Daddy, and long nights.

It's been a...well...long week for our family...but let's not go there.

Clarissa has spent the week playing with her new birthday toys!!! (and lovin' it!!!)

She even helped Daddy put some of them together.

She also spent time admiring her birthday cards.

She also discovered that all kinds of things can be "toys". For example, a bag of sugar is a great rattle, tupperware is a great drum.

She has more teeth coming in!!!

She also spent almost 2 hours at home alone with Grandma while Mommy and Daddy were out. They played, they walked, she slept...all was good. This was a first and she did very well.

She has been putting multiple steps together without holding on to anything. Before we know it she will be running. OH OH!!!!

She has also been doing lots and lots of singing, and talking...although nobody except for Clarissa understands exactly what she's saying.

She also had three needles this week. Two at the doctor's office....she set a new record for volume of screaming...poor girl was not a happy camper at all. Then we took her to get her first H1N1 went really, really well...hardly any crying at all. Hopefully it will be that smooth in three weeks when we return for part two.

We are also still holding on to hope that she will eventually sleep regularly through the night. Ok...we are really hoping that eventually WE will get to sleep regularly through the night, but that involves HER sleeping through the night. She's pretty good with the whole playing at 4am thing.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

....Happy birthday dear Clarissa. Happy birthday to you!!!!

Yep, today was....errrrrr still is I suppose, but she is in Snoozeville.....Clarissa's first birthday. Our beautiful little girl is now one!!! Thanks so much to everyone who sent birthday wishes to her.
She had a great and eventful birthday...even though she is dealing with a nasty little chest cold. She started it nice and early too, up at 4:30am ("yaahhhhh" says Mommy and Daddy). After playing for hours before most people are up, she was a tv star. We had sent in her picture to the local tv station and they announced her birthday on the air.

I also got to see her standing by herself and taking some steps solo, without holding on to anything. Carolyn has seen it a few times this week....while I was at WORK!!!!...but it was the first for me. It was priceless. She will be running around soon. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?????? I'm having trouble keeping up with her as it is :-)

We were going to go to Grandma and Grandpa's place to celebrate, but since she is sick they (along with Great Grandma and Uncle Don) brought cake (not just cake, but seven layer birthday cake...can't really adequately describe really have to try it to understand...if I was willing to part with even a piece of it I'd ask you to come try it, but forget it...Carolyn will be lucky if she gets any of the leftover cake....I know what I'm having for breakfast's hoping that I'm not having breakfast at 4:30am tomorrow!!! Now where was I???? Oh ya....) and dinner over to our place and we had a fantastic celebration. Clarissa was a wee bit grumpy at times because she wasn't feeling great.....she didn't even eat her cupcake!!!! Maybe she just doesn't like pink he he he

I know....I'm probably going to get in trouble for posting the "crying on her birthday" picture....but what can I say, I still think she's cute!!

Then it was time to open gifts!!!!

We ended with a little guitar playing by Uncle Don......he's a rockstar!!!

A couple more days til Adrian and Roberta head to China!!!!!! We are soooooo pumped for you! FOI will take very, very good care of you. We can't wait to follow your journey.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloweeeeeeeeen cuteness...

Well now presenting the cutest kangaroo....

She didn't make it long enough to see any of the kids come to the door, but she did get to have some fun on her first Halloween. She even tried her first Tootsie Pop....ummmmm let's not tell Mommy about that one.....just a couple of licks, then Daddy to over and made his way through to the tootsie roll centre...tried to count the licks but a certain little girl kept distracting me...and Clarissa wasn't helping either. Where is that owl when I need him????

Carolyn and I had the annual pumpkin carving contest...ok I'm the only one who considers it a contest.....pretty good though because that way I always win.
This years entries.....errrrr....ok "entry" and Carolyn's too. (can you guess which one is which????)

We had quite a few kids, but luckily we didn't have to dig in to the "stuff that we like and put aside" stash of candy....woo hoo!!!!

Clarissa has a bit of a cough today...but so far it doesn't seem like anything to worry too much about. We are going to lay low walk for Clarissa today.
We are just going to hang out at home and watch the last F1 race of the season. Hard to believe it's the last race already!!!!

Next Saturday is the big day!!!! Birthday number one for our wonderful little girl!!! Since she can't eat cake yet I guess that Daddy will have to have an extra piece for her.....


Thursday, October 29, 2009

I know, I's been a whole week again...

It has been a very busy week in Clarissaville. Sunday was her Christening. It was a long day, but she was a trooper through it all. She was such a well behaved little girl!!! It was great to spend the afternoon with some very special people.

She even let her Godmother Kim hold her during the Christening....for a few minutes. It was kind of funny. She was doing great as we stood at the front of the church and she was in Kim's arms. She looked very, very cute....and quite comfortable. Then as I watched her, I saw her look over at Carolyn and I...and I could almost hear her think to herself "Hey, there's Mommy. Hey, there's Daddy......ummmmmmmm wait a sec, if Mommy is there.....and Daddy is there......and I'm here.......then who is holding me?????? WAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! Back to Daddy she went.

Now, this of course has nothing to do with was the first time anyone except for Mommy and Daddy had held her. It's a good sign that our cocooning is working and that a strong bond and trust are developing between Clarissa and Mommy and Daddy. She's just not ready to take the next step yet....but she will eventually.

Each and every day is so incredible with her. We are so very lucky. Without a doubt she was meant for us. She does so many things that make me smile. I just wish that I had more time with her each day. Weekends have become so valuable and important.

Let's finish with Clarissa and Daddy at the end of the day of her Christening.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Has it really been another whole week?????

Well aren't I delinquent?!?!?!?! I really am aiming to do better than one post per week. Things have just been a bit nuts. I'll do better...really I will. Life.

So where are we at in Clarissaville???? Well, it is 3 days away from Clarissa's Christening. We are very much looking forward to it. Clarissa says that she is too. It will set a new record for the number of people that we have had in our home at one time. Should be fun.

I am still adjusting to being away from my girls all day, and getting pretty much only a short time in the morning (some days), and two hours (if I am lucky) when I get home with my wonderful, incredible little girl. I must say that there really aren't words that adequately describe the feeling of getting home after a long day at work and opening the door to see that huge smile on Clarissa's face. It is just....nope...there aren't words. Mommy smiles at me sometimes too!!!!

We have been slowly introducing new foods to's discovery.....she doesn't like peas...even after watching Daddy take a mouthful (blaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!! I like regular peas....however, sorry Gerber but........

We are also getting close to Clarissa's first birthday!!!!! She has given Daddy a big long list of things that she wants. Some of the things on the list: front row tickets to a Sens game, 5 pounds of smoked meat from Schwartz’s in Montreal, a fridge for the basement to keep barley based beverages (and food) cold, a trade-up from the 42 inch to a 52 inch to watch Sens games with Daddy, PS3 NHL 10....and lots of other stuff.

Should have a whole whack of pictures to post after I still have a pile of China pictures to share....1300 or so.....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Has it really been a week?????

Wow!!!! Times flies. Well now....what has gone on around Clarissaville???? Let's see...
On Friday we...hmmm I was still sick so we didn't really do much of anything on Friday, except for Clarissa who played with Mommy all day while Daddy tried to snooze on the sofa (while watching some golf on tv).
On Saturday I played hockey...errrr...wait...I was still sick so I didn't play hockey. We paid a visit to Grandma, Grandpa, and Great Grandma which we all enjoyed very much. Then we got home and Clarissa played with Mommy while Daddy tried to snooze on the sofa (while watching golf on tv).
On Sunday we had a wonderful family Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma and Grandpa's...errrr....wait...I was still sick so we didn't go anywhere or do much of anything on Sunday, except for Clarissa who played with Mommy all day while Daddy tried to snooze on the sofa (while watching some golf on tv). We did have a wonderful meal however, since Grandma sent Grandpa (all the way across the city) to bring us a turkey dinner that was absolutely spectacular.
On Monday we....hmmmm I was still sick so we didn't really do much of anything on Monday, except for Clarissa who played with Mommy all day while Daddy tried to snooze on the sofa. Oh and of course we had another excellent dinner of leftovers from Sunday's Thanksgiving dinner.
On Tuesday, still sick, but after 6 weeks off I returned to work. It was good to be back at work...I do love my job....but it was torture to be away from my girls for so long. Even though I focus on what I'm doing there is always that little "I wonder what my beautiful girls are doing right now????" in the back of my mind. It is quite funny when Carolyn puts me on speakerphone and I hear Clarissa laugh out loud when I talk to her.
Last night she didn't want to go to bed, but once she fell asleep we didn't hear a thing from her until 6:15am. Perhaps the start of something wonderful??????

She really is priceless. The long wait was absolutely worth every second. She was meant for us!

More China pictures to come....I'm just too lazy...I mean go upstairs to get the memory stick that has the photos on it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Apples, Pumpkins, Storytime, and Go Sens Go!!!

Another busy day in Clarissaville.

Daddy is still sick, but he decided to take his girls to the apple orchard today. We picked up a whack of apples, and a couple of each for Mommy and Daddy to carve. One will be a nice friendly Jack-o-lantern type, and one will be a mean spooky type. Hmmm who will do which I wonder????

Clarissa has taken a liking to apple sauce, so I decided to try and make some instead of paying Gerber. Now I have never made apple sauce, but how hard could it be??? I knew that I wanted it plain with no sugar and no spices....soooooo I peeled, cored, and cut a big pot full of apples. Figuring that apples have a high juice content I only added a bit of water and a squeeze of lemon juice to it and cranked up the heat. After boiling for a while I pulled out the hand blender and my full pot of apples turned into a quarter pot of...if I may say so myself...awesome pure tasting apple sauce that my little Sweetie thoroughly enjoyed at dinner time. Gerber eat your heart out!!!

After dinner Clarissa and her Daddy had storytime as usual, then off to snoozeville she went just in time for the beginning of the Sens first home game of the season. As I type it's 2-2 with 8 minutes left in the third....Sens powerplay right now...Go Sens Go!!!!