Sunday, July 12, 2009

Leah is getting to where she loves to go swimming all the time. Leah just started to go down the slide and jumping off the diving board.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

It is time to get you caught up since we last blog. One of the first gifts that we gave Leah was her very own bike. She is now trying to keep up with her brother and sister. The one thing she had a hard time with was getting use to riding with a helmet. On Easter it was raining so we had our family Easter egg hunt with her cousins inside Aunt Angie house.

Leah has become Daddy little helper taking the tree branches to the street for trash pick. She also loves to water the flowers with Kim, play with her Barbies, babies and chase after the poor cat. At first he had nothing to do with her, but now he has the patience of a saint. She has definitely learned how to boss the dogs around too.

The school year went by so fast for Leah she has made a lot of new friends her first two months in school. She had a great time a the end of the school year party. She just finished up a month of summer school to help her catch up with her reading and math. She still has some catching up to do but in another 3-4 months she should be caught up. Our neighbor will be working with her for the remainder of the summer on her reading.

One of Daddy favorites things to do is fish, fish, fish. Leah's is swim, swim swim. After three different types of floaties we have finally found one that she stays afloat in. She for a while would only go in the pool if she had on three floatation devices. I don't think she trusted just one. Now armed with pink googles she is becoming a regular waterbaby. She doesn't understand that when it is 103 outside that we do not go to the pool after lunch. We have been amazed at the lack of fear, for she is jumping off full force from the side of the pool and keeps asking when seh will get to go down the slide.We were surprised that nothing has seemed to phase her too much. Now the fireworks last night for the fourth were a little tense at first but with the aid of ear plugs and Aunt Angie's lap she made it through the night. She even warmed up to touching a real fish after Daddy and Uncle Perry kept showing her their catches.

To her friends and family in China she is doing well and amazes us each day. She even reads the Chinese fortune cookies for us and laughs at us when we try to say the Chinese words first.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

On Monday afternoon, Leah took a tour of her new school and even got to sit with her new Kindergarten class for a few minutes while each one of her new classmates were able to introduce themselves and say one thing special about them. Leah was quiet through the whole introductions but did not seem to be scared or upset about the fact that the next day she was to attend for the whole day. The best smile appeared though when she walked in and surprised James' 3rd grade class - she was all smiles when big brother got to introduce her to not only his class but another class since they were in Mrs. Simon's room doing joint work. Once we got home she was all chatty about the visit.

So we kept our fingers crossed for this morning, and it went off with only one hitch. We found out that Leah can be a very, very slow eater of breakfast. Good thing we had already planned on taking her in the car, for she would have missed the bus for sure. When Jeff and her got to school, and the bell rang Leah took the hands of two of her new classmates and walked with a bounce in her step toward Mrs. Moody's class. We had many eyes on her throughout the day and received only good reports, one even reported she laughed at something and the whole class caught onto her contagious laughter. James did big brother and made sure she got on the right bus for the ride home. Jeff and I made sure we were home early to be there when she got off the bus. When the doors opened at our stop, all we could hear was Leah's giggling and then she broke into the biggest smile when she saw us. She definitely had a great day and all our prayers were answered. Her only complaint was her backpack was "too big" so we found an even smaller one of Hannah's that is on wheels, her comment was "better". Leah proudly showed us her two new folders and two new reading books. Then commented that she wanted to ride the bus in the morning too with "Gee, Gee", so I guess the bus it is. Hopefully tomorrow she will move a bit faster in the morning or we are going to have to change wake up time to 30 minutes earlier!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

We apologize for the time lapse between this and the last post, but between a non-stop last day in Guangzhou, late night flights to Beijing, and what seemed like a forever time with three flights back to the states we are finally awake and coherent enough to write a few words.

Our last days in Guangzhou were spent shopping, shopping, shopping - Jeff even found a way to spend the last yuans in the Beijing Airport since we could not exchange them. You will find pictures of both Leah and James in their Chinese outfits along with Leah , Reese and Madeline, the two darling other children that were in our adoption group on famous White Swan red couch. Before we left Guangzhou we found a great Italian resturant and tried to introduce Leah to Pizza - well that was a big Buha (No in Chinese) but the spaghetti bolagense was a great success. On our trip back while we were in Minneapolis Airport we introduced Leah to Tortilla chips and salsa - well we hate to report to all our Texas friends. It looks like there will be some time gap between acquiring a liking to chips and queso. Now we were successful at our favorite Mexican resturant in Allen to introducing flour tortillas and honey, that she liked.

James and Leah have found a new way to bound. Unfortunately it is at 2 am in the morning when both of them have been waking up since returning to the states. They then konk out from 9 am until noon. This morning at 2am I was awoken to Leah saying "Oh my gosh" to everything that was happening during her and James' illegal playtime. Pray for us tonight for James is returning to school tomorrow and needs his sleep so he will not fall asleep in class on Monday. Leah will hopefully be introduced to her new kindergarten class tomorrow too.

Today Hannah, I, Grandma and Leah went shopping for Easter dress and new school clothes. Leah was all smiles through the whole outing. She truly enjoyed picking out and trying on new clothes. She also was very agreeable to getting "no's" when she would keep showing us flashy rhinestone jeans that she wanted. Then she impressed me when trying on sandles to go with her new dress, after a brief walk around the store, she came up to me and pointed to her foot and said "too tight". Finally a child that thinks of comfort before cuteness!

The introduction to the dogs and cat have actually went better than expected. The only thing Leah still hasn't quite got the hang of is how to escape the big swishing tails and licking tongues, but at the sametime loves to play fetch with them. As for Link the cat, he has finally decided that after 36 hours, the new smell is staying and he just need to get use to it and stop hissing at her. Hopefully in a few more days Leah will actually get to pet him.

We believe, the big purple bed and all the barbies, pet shop pets, and babies that have been pulled out of storage have been well received. James has also successfully introduced his new sister to his favorite, Legos!

Enough for now - must get some sleep myself.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Good Morning - It is Wednesday morning we just finished our breakfast, sorted the clothes to see what we need washed to get us through 3 more days. Hannah and Leah are laying on the floor doing a puzzle and James is glued to the TV. Luckily this time, all the hotels had at least one American movie channel. We have watched so many 5 yr old "B" movies from Doc Holiday to Mummy Returns, and then lets add in The Epic Movie, but we are thankful, it helped make the evenings enjoyable, specially when we added the carpet picnics.

Last night we went to the Italian resturant. When we got there we saw the family from New Jersey that we had met our first day here. You got the feeling by seeing the smiles on their faces the food was pretty close to the real stuff. We ordered the ravioli and spaghetti along with two salads (our cravings for green leafy things got the best of Hannah and I). Well, let me tell you it sure was worth it and brought big smiles to all of the Ayers family. Leah has proven to be such the little eater. We have found out that just like Hannah and James, anything with noodles is a hit, but like James, without cheese is better.

On the way home from the resturant, Jeff was ahead of the kids and I pushing Leah in the stroller. He started singing a silly song and Leah would echo him with "Babba Blue" and "Babba Cuckcoo" and then she would laugh the truest deepest belly laugh I have ever heard. Smiles would erupted on all the locals faces as they passed by us on the street.

For our tour of the day, we went to a beautiful garden park in the city earlier in the day. It was located on the side of one of the biggest hills in the city. When you were in the garden you lost sight of the fact that you were still smack in the middle of a major metropolitan area. It was a combination of gardens at Disney, Cypress Garden and the Dallas Arboretum. The clock on the side of the hill was actually Mickey Mouse and the glass green house building reminded one of something you would see in the states. James got the chance to be a real Chinese drummer and ace photographer since he was manning the camera.

Well we are off to try and find Leah a Chinese outfit for the infamous red couch picture in the White Swan. For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about. There are red velvet couches in the 1st floor lounge area of the hotel. It has become tradition that the children from your adoption group get their pictures taken in traditional Chinese clothing. We have tried to find Leah a dress, but unfortunately her little "Buddha" belly doesn't fit in the slim little girl dresses, so we are going to have to think outside the box.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tonight it is Dad's turn to blog. Today on our walk to the medical offices to complete one last step in the adoption process we were walking along and came upon a park full of people doing their morning exercises. There was even what looked like adult size playground equipment that they were all using to exercise. A little further down the park we also came upon three groups of people doing badminton, hackey sack, and aerobics to music. The aerobics/Ta Che reminded me of when people do the Cha Cha slide. We also came across middle school kids mingling around their school bus, preschool children taking a morning stroll in the park and a group of young men who appeared to be in "ROTC" learning to do marching drills. They were all wearing what appeared to be one size fits all uniforms that were too big for all of them.

After the medical exam, which Leah passed with flying colors - even the eye exam that took much explaining by the technicians but she finally understood that she was suppose to mimic the hands on the eye chart. We were then off on a walking tour of the market streets that are populated by the locals. One could find many unique items there, including things we at times did not want to know what they were because they were store fronts in the medicinal street. We saw things like scorpians, skinned snakes, lizards on a stick and a variety of roots, dried vegetation, seeds etc... Then we came upon more of a trade day area, where one could buy fish, turtles, puppies, kittens, hamsters, chicks, ducklings and a variety of other stuff dealing with animals. Then we moved onto a open walking mall that was much like the one we walked in Nanchang. At the very end we split from the group for the James was not feeling good and we needed a snack to keep the kids going, luckily the ever present golden arches appeared with fries and drinks.

While the kids were doing homework with Kim, Daddy and Leah went out shopping around the hotel. I took my new little girl shopping to teach her how to barter with the shop keepers. She was happy to come away with kissing pigs and a monkey. I believe her smile truly helped me barter them lower, was not quite sure what she was saying to them in Chinese, but it worked.

We finished off the evening eating at a Thai resturant. After studying the pictures, we decided on a pot of noodles and chicken that tasted much like chicken noodle soup. It suprisingly hit the spot. Now the actual Thai noodles we ordered was "1" pepper spice on the menu, but we would say it was more like 2+. Leah liked it though and showed us how to add them to the chicken broth to make them a slight degree less spicy. Next we had coconut shrimp rice and an India chicken pizza, which remineded us of spinach pizza. It was more like a quesidilla though since it was dough on each side and pan fried, but again was a pleasant suprise. When we got the bill we were surprised to find out we were charged for our wet wipe napkins. Oh well, maybe by the time we leave we will have learned all the ins and outs of this unique country.
In closing I would like to thank the staff of very caring people at New Day Foster Home, who loved my new daughter like their own, for she truly understands what family is and is becoming an Ayers through and through. It is hard to wake up each morning without a smile on ones face for she is clearly over joyed with life and begins each morning with the energy of the ever ready bunny. She laughs at the silliest things, for example when we were playing in the play room the other day I accidently hit Leah with the ball in bottom and she immediately said with a big grin, what sounded like "Oh no you didn't" and went for a bigger ball to throw at daddy.

Leah's First plane ride actually went well - she did watch each one though when it took off and she was a little unsure of what was happening. But since everyone else stayed calm she decided it was not as bad as it sounded.

Leah and her friend from New Day foster home-Abigail - she is being adopted this week too. So we met up at the White Swan playroom. At first Abigail was not quite sure what to think about it all, then Leah got her to open up and play. But when it came time to leave she was sad again, Leah told her they may see each other again.