Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Last Christmas day, we traveled to Maoming to visit Regan's orphanage. This was part of the countryside in Maoming.
The orphanage lobby, notice the Christmas tree!
More scenery , it was beautiful country side, just what you would expect in China.
When we got back to the hotel room we were greeted by a Chinese Santa who was giving out little gifts. We then went to our room to eat peanut butter and crackers. It has been a long, emotional day.
We rode more trains!
We went on Sunday to ride the Jingle Bell Express. It was a blast! It is a train ride that lasted 1 1/2 hours driving from downtown Ft. Myers to North Ft. Myers. We have ridden this train 4 times before and every time we have such fun. This year was especially nice to have Yunnie with us. I had forgotten how much the train sways back and forth! Regan had that apprehensive look on her face when the train pulled into the station, but once she got on she loved it! They had it all decorated for Christmas and during the ride you play games, sing, dance, and listen to a reading of The Polar Express. The game the kids had the most fun playing was Train volleyball. The entire car was hyped up and I got beaned in the head a couple of times with the ball! Regan also liked when we traveled over the Caloosahatchee River and all the boaters waved at us. We also saw Santa fishing from a kayak!
Last Christmas, we woke up at 5AM to board a bus at 6AM to start the 4 hour drive to the city of Maoming to visit Regan's orphanage, the Maonan Social Welfare Institute. It was an emotional day filled with sights I will never forget. Please remember all the children living in orphanages who have not found their forever families.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
We started by having dinner at one of the Chinese restaurants. Konnor always wants to go, but he goes to his mommy's on Friday nights (the night we used to go) and so we switched it to every other Saturday or so...we treat ourselves to dinner out. Konnor always chooses Chinese, although I don't know why because he always gets pizza! We had a new waitress and she stayed around for a long time wanting to know about Regan. Then she kept telling me how lucky Regan was. I kept insisting I was the lucky one, but she was just as persistent that it was Regan who was lucky. She then said that I could have adopted her (we are about the same age!) and I said I would have!!!
After dinner, we went to the Calusa Nature center to see the planetarium show. We first stopped off to see Santa and this time I made my mom hold Regan so that I could get some pictures. Regan knew the score the second time around and wasn't having anything to do with the big, jolly guy in the red suit. Santa was a hoot! He was the funniest Santa I have ever seen. He was doing all sorts of things to make kids laugh. He was great!
We then went to the mall to get Konnor ice cream. We feel like we have kind of not really pumped up Christmas this year and he is such a good cousin to Regan, I told him I would treat him to ice cream. It didn't hurt that I got a scoop of my all time favorite: chocolate peanut butter! By this time it is obscenely past the kids' bedtime, but the mall was about to close and there was no one on the train and I wanted to let Regan ride the train. It is her first Christmas in the US of A and you have to ride the mall train!
It was the longest train ride in history, I am sure. I'm going to have to check with Guinness, but I'm pretty sure it must be up there in the top ten! There was no one on and so I thought it was perfect timing, because I wasn't sure Regan would like it and this way, I could have the train stopped if I had to and not disrupt a bunch of kids riding. She wasn't sure about the ride, but held onto Konnor tightly and they went around 4 times and some kids were lined up to get on. I was pleased they had gotten such a long ride! I thought Regan and Konnor were done and so I stood at the gate to help unload Regan. Nope.....not done! The train conductor just leaves them on and loads up the other kids. They then went around about 25 more times, I'm not kidding! The conductor was counting the till and writing in his books, and basically doing the entire night's worth of accounting. He kept checking his watch and when the mall closed, he promptly stopped the train, got the kids off and closed up shop. I guess he just didn't want to load up another set of kids. All total, the ride last more than 20 minutes, going around and around and around and around and around some more. My mom and I were in hysterics it was so funny. There it is: the conductor absolutely not caring how long the kids are hostage, the kids go from sitting nicely to absolutely bouncing off the walls in the train. There were limbs hanging out and kids laying on the floor, and faces pressed up to the glass. Too, too funny! It absolutely topped off the night!
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Still grinning like an idiot.
Little did I know, but I needed to appreciate this moment very, very, very much because for the next 11 months, Regan going to sleep and sleeping peacefully would not happen very often! My first glimpse of her "aren't I clever smirk"!
I had to take the required picture in her "gotcha" clothes! She still fits (wish I could say the same for the clothes I wore that day!!!)
Here it is again! Her little smile!!
Warning: Sappy, dramatic posting from an emotional mommy ;)
One year ago today, I was given the most precious gift anyone can ever receive. In my arms was placed a red-faced, sweaty, slight odorous ;), bug bitten, but oh so beautiful and miraculous gift. I met my daughter, Regan NanZiYun. I have been thinking back more and more as this anniversary approached. Part of me rejoices for this day and yet the happiness is a little tainted because the coming months would bring such horror. I can't think of one without the other. December 19th, 2006 was the most amazing day of my life, but I think the day I will truly celebrate is the day my daughter was given to me again...the day she graduated from the hospital.
But, enough of the melodrama....only happy thoughts today! I remember the moment Yunnie was placed in my arms and I felt the weight of her and it became real. I began crying like a baby. She was smiling from the first moment and was thriving in the attention (it would all hit the fan a few days later !!!). I look at her now and think how blessed I am that I was chosen to be her mommy. She is such a funny, loving, active little girl with such a spunky personality! I can't even begin to describe how much I love my little girl, but it is the most amazing feeling.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
We took Regan and Konnor to sit on Santa's lap at the Calusa Nature Center. We are probably going to go back so that we can get more pictures. We have a year long membership, so we might as well! We also didn't have time to see the Planetarium show and that is a must! Regan started crying as soon as I put her in Santa's lap. They did get very clever though and they had me hold her and then Santa walked up behind us-Regan didn't even know he was there which was the whole point! It was a smart move, but since we did this little maneuver after she lap sat, she wasn't too happy regardless of what was going on!
Konnor has been so worried about Regan. He keeps saying that he wants to go back and talk to Santa about Regan's behavior because he is worried she might be on his "naughty list" and he wants to tell Santa she can't help it since she is so little. Too cute!
Regan loved the nature walk and all of the lights. It really was beautiful and she is really getting into the spirit of Christmas. She is absolutely fascinated with snowmen and squeals and yells for the "nomen". Unfortunately, the inflatable kind is all she is going to see here in SW Florida! She thinks our local Publix is he best place ever and gets so excited to walk in and see the produce section all decorated.
Sunday night, we headed down to Four Freedoms Park to watch the Holiday Boat-a-long. The kids both loved all the boats that paraded around Bimini Bay all decorated for Christmas. After the boat parade, we watched the Movie in the Park. The feature film was the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
All in all, it was a great weekend!
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Our trip to Islands of Adventure was a blast! My mom and I were free because employees of Florida public school systems got vouchers to get in free. Konnor's ticket was only $40. It was a great opportunity! Regan hated all the rides, especially the Carousel (Cara-Seuss-al)! I am surprised she hated it so much given that she is such a daredevil! Konnor loved alot of the rides including the Flying Unicorn rollercoaster and the Flying Pteranadons. My mom absolutely loved the Spider Man Ride. I got to ride Dueling Dragon's once, but didn't get to riding the Hulk. Bummer! It was okay though, I had more fun hanging out with the kids instead of waiting in line for the roller coasters. Regan's favorite part was climbing on the rope playground. This is where her daredevil side came out! It was rowdy with a bunch of older kids climbing and jumping about. I thought Regan would be nervous, but she loved it! She also loved the slide on Popeye's boat. She could have stayed there all day! She was so cute while we were waiting for my mom and Konnor to get off of Spiderman......it was dark and they were playing rock music really loud and she was just a boogie'n. She loves to dance!
Sunday, December 09, 2007
On Saturday, we participated in the Cape Coral Park's and Rec Bike Hike. It was a blast! It was Konnor's first time being able to ride his bike a significant distance without training wheels. I have to admit that we had been a bit lax in taking the time to have him practice riding his bike without training wheels and so he just learned how to ride on two wheels. He wanted to ride his bike to school in the mornings and I had told him he couldn't ride a bike with training wheels to kindergarten. He then pestered me to teach him to ride without training wheels so he could ride to school. A couple of months ago I took off the training wheels and he learned after a couple of afternoons of practice to ride without them. His big reward was to ride his bike to school a couple of days a week (with Yunnie and I walking beside him) and we signed up for the bike hike. The bike hike started at Cape Coral Yacht Club and we rode to Four Freedom's park where there was a finish line, water, and decorations for the bikes. We hung out for 45 minutes or so and then they closed off the roads again and we rode back to the Yacht Club. It was alot of fun!!