29 June 2010

One Year Ago Today...

Emilija was physically placed in Lane's arms and this day is known at Gotcha Day.  Emilija was no longer just a picture we had posted on the refrigerator and looked at a thousand times a day.  She was no longer the little girl that played in my dreams.  She was ours and safely in her daddy's arms.

I still can't believe that a year has gone by.  It went by oh so fast.  Emi has changed so much in that year and I still feel like she's always been here.  Her entire life.  I love her smile when she greets me every morning.  I love that when I leave her at home with her daddy she races to the garage door with her sweet little lips puckered to give me a goodbye kiss.  I love when she charges toward me arms wide open in anticipation of a great big hug.  I love her curiosity and love of animals (she has become obsessed with the cat and looks for him all the time).  I love how even though her language hasn't developed she in her own language will tell me a story.  I love her sweet feet that I kiss on every day.  I love how she giggles when I put lotion on her after bathtime (she's so ticklish).  There are so many more things I could say I love about this girl but it would take forever!  What I love most is that she's ours and will be for always.

I am so grateful her birth mother chose life for her even if she could not provide one for her.  I'm so grateful that the Peoples Republic of China allowed us the opportunity to adopt this wonderful and precious little being. 

Happy Gotcha Day, Emilija!

Gotcha Day 2009
Today 2010

26 June 2010

New York City Day 4

This was our second to last full day in NYC and this was one of the hottest and busiest by far.  We got up a little earlier than usual so that we could head back down to Rockefeller Center and have a shot at seeing the Today show cast and the possible chance to be on national TV as the cameras panned the crowd.  I was a little afraid that it was going to be a zoo down there because both Crystal Bower.sox and Lee De.Wyze were going to be on the plaza performing.  It wasn't too bad.  Although there was a line already forming for the Today Show Concert Series Friday performance featuring Justin.Bieber.  I couldn't believe it. 

It was really cool to see them perform.  It was even cooler to get to see one of them up close in person.  Crystal went the other direction to greet the crowd but Lee wandered down to where we were and I got some pretty good photos of him.
This was a picture of Lee performing and me using my nice zoom lens.  
This was not taken using a zoom.  I could reach out and touch him if I wanted to.  He was really nice and humbled that there were so many people there supporting him. 
Unfortunately, we only got a brief glimpse of Meredith.Viera and Ann.Curry.  I think Al was off on assignment and not sure where Matt was.  Maybe he was there.  The bummer is that I didn't get any photos of the Today Show morning crew.  I was hoping.  The good news is that thanks to a group of girlfriends that were there and their sign, we made it on TV.  My mom and Eriks both saw us.  They didn't think it was going to happen.  The bad news is that Lane and I at the last minute the night before decided not to set our DVR via internet to record it so we could watch ourselves if we in fact made it on TV.  Still kicking ourselves for that move.  Oh well.  I guess it means we'll have to go back to NYC and try again!

After the concert was over, the crowd pretty much left because that was the end of any outside activity.  So we then headed to the American Girl flagship store and bought some stuff for Emi's Itty Bitty Baby Doll and then headed to drop it off at the room before going to the subway station and heading down to Battery Park to head out to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

The subway has changed a lot since I last rode it 15 yrs ago.  The subway stations are cleaner and I felt safer.  Granted I'm sure there are areas where that isn't so but I had been in the same places as last time and I wasn't so scared.  It did help that I had a man with me too.

As I said, it was really hot in NYC that day.  I thought I was going to melt.  Once we got to Battery Park we saw a mounted police officer and I just had to be the typical tourist and take a photo.  I also got to pet the horse.  He was really sweet.
Both Liberty Island and Ellis Island were pretty cool places to walk around and thankfully there was shade!  One of the real reasons for heading to Ellis Island was to see if I could dig up family history.  My mom told me that when her family came to the US they came through New York City and possibly through Ellis Island but she wasn't sure since there was no documentation in any of the papers my grandparents held onto.  So my search was on.  The problem I ran into at Ellis was that their archives only documented arrivals up until the 1930's or 40's.  I forgot which.  The staff there pointed me in the direction of the National Archives in the city - which was on the agenda for Friday as it was nearing 5 pm when left Ellis Island.
After the very long and hot afternoon at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island we headed to Star.bucks when we got to dry land.  We needed a cool air conditioned place, some water and a place where we could use WiFi to figure out how we were going to get to dinner.  

We decided to go for Chinese.  I had watched a show on Food.Network called "The Best Thing I Ever Ate..." and featured said Chinese restaurant.  So after several subway trains and a few blocks, we made it.  The trip was well worth it.  Everything we ate hit the spot.  I would like to return when we go back to NYC again.  Here are a few photos of Lane and I at dinner.
By the time we got done with dinner, the sun was starting to set as we walked back to the subway station.  And it was definitely dark by the time we got back to Times Square.  We hung around there for a few minutes but headed back to the room.  We were hot and tired and wanted some time to relax after spending the entire day on our feet. 

24 June 2010

She's C-R-A-Z-Y, But I Love Her Anyway

Emilija is definitely sticking to the stereotypical spiciness of girls from Hunan Province, China.  With Emi, you never know what she's going to do next.  Hence the inspiration for the title of my blog.  There is very rarely a dull moment around here.  I've neglected posting photos of the kiddos.  So this is my update on them but more specifically about Emi because she's done some interesting things lately.

The first recent Emi craziness was nearly 2 weeks ago.  We went to dinner with our dear friend Liz.  That was the night Eriks got sick during dinner and slept in the booth almost the whole time.  The next day we found out he had strep throat.  Upon returning home, Eriks was immediately put to bed.  After Emi got dressed for bed way past her usual bedtime, she became wild!  She ran circles around her room.  Falling down several times on purpose and laughing every time she did.  Of course how could Lane and I not laugh either.  Then she pulled this:
She got into her American.Girl doll bed and tucked herself in for the night.  She thought it was hysterical.  It was funny.  We finally got her to settle down (sort of) and put her in her real bed.

A few days later she found Eriks karate gear and decided to play dress up.  Eriks took a hiatus from karate at the beginning of the year and hadn't done it since then.  Just this week he decided to give it a try again.  But what was amazing about all this was that she knew, without prompting what to do with it all.  She put the vest on, the foot protectors, the headgear and she even knew that the mouthpiece was meant to go in her mouth.  It was really cute and how could I not take photos of her in her martial art glory.  
In recent weeks Eriks has decided he no longer wants to sleep by himself.  Why?  We're not sure.  He doesn't think it's fair the dogs and cat sleep with us in our room.  So we try and encourage the dogs to sleep in his room but it doesn't always work.  And Sydney if he's not sleeping in our room will sleep in Emi's.  He's always been the protector.  Especially of the babies.  As soon as Emi came home from China, he was almost on a constant basis in her room when she was sleeping.  Whether it be at night or at naptime.  He was the same way with Eriks when he was really little.  I love that about this dog and will miss it when he's no longer with us.  The first night Eriks decided he wasn't going to sleep by himself I went into his room to put something away.  This was hours after his bedtime.  I looked into his bed and realized there was no one there.  So a frantic search of the house for our son was on.  This is where we found him:
This has happened several times since then.  He gets put back in his bed because Emi's crib is just not big enough for the both of them.  But it is sweet that he wants to be with his sister and not by himself.

And the last bit of recent craziness came from Emi last night.  We were finishing up coconut creme pie from Father's Day.  Emi decided that it wasn't only delicious, but made for a great facial.  We took out the video camera too.  Hopefully I can get some stuff uploaded and posted here.  I'm behind in video posting.  It was funny watching her smear it on her face and then lick her fingers.  Of course she was promptly given a bath afterward.
 We're just waiting to see what our kids will do next!

23 June 2010

New York City Day 3

No excuse for the absence.  Just laziness.

So back to our wonderful trip.  On our 3rd day in NYC we headed down to Rockefeller Center after the Today show was over.  We were headed to the Top of the Rock for a view of the Manhattan skyline.  Had a bite to eat on our way there.  We chose to do the Top of the Rock for a few reasons.  First, the waits at the Empire State Building are notoriously long to get to the top for a view.  Second, I wanted to take photos of the Empire State Building from the top of somewhere else.  It was really nice!

We walked by Radio City Music Hall on the way there.  Conan O'Brien was doing his comedy tour there but it was sold out.  We had no idea but it would've been fun.  Oh well.  We also had too much other stuff we wanted to do instead.  We wandered around Rockefeller Plaza first.  Checking out where the ice rink is.  During the summer they cover it up and turn it into a cafe area.  Found the Latvian flag among all the flags on the plaza. 

There was absolutely no wait to get to the Top of the Rock and the observation deck was very quiet.  Sweet!  At first I was a little nervous.  I kind of have a fear of heights.  It takes me a few minutes to get over it and get comfortable.  The view was amazing!  We were able to take lots of great shots of the city and the Empire State Building. 

After we were done at Rockefeller Center we strolled over to the theater district.  We had tickets to the 2:30 performance of La Cage Aux Folles starring Kelsey Grammer and Douglas Hodge.  We had lunch at this little French Bistro before the show.  I had an onion tart which was to die for good.  Lane had this gross (in my opinion) club sandwich.  I thought it was gross because some of the toppings I just don't eat.  We hurried through lunch because we actually thought the show was at 2pm.  Should've checked our tickets sitting at the table.  Oh well. 

The show was FABULOUS!!!!  So far out of all the Broadway shows I've seen in my lifetime, it's the BEST!!  I want to see it again so badly.  If anyone is planning a trip to NYC soon this is a MUST SEE show.  If you live in the NYC area, ditto.  Lane and I laughed the whole way through.  I did not want it to end.  After the show we waited outside the theater door to see if any of the performers would come out and sure enough some of them did.  Including Kelsey Grammer.  He is a very, very nice person and I got some photos of him which you will see below. 

We then walked over to Junior's Cheesecakes and had a late afternoon snack of what else?...cheesecake!!!  Lane and I have had Junior's on several occasions.  In the past I have ordered them for desserts.  I figured if I had the cheesecake in my home, I had to have it in the restaurant.  Lane had the raspberry swirl and I had cherry.  They were so yummy and hit the spot.  We actually sat on the patio outside and people watched as we ate our cheesecake.  Once the cheesecake slices had been devoured we walked the approximate 5 blocks back to our hotel.  I had been on my feet all day and needed a bit of reprieve. 

Around 9pm we headed back out to find a bite to eat.  We found a great Irish bar called the Perfect Pint about 1/2 a block from the hotel.  I kind of wanted to go somewhere I could watch the Stanley Cup.  But I also wanted beer.  So it worked out.  I had an amazing dish of Shepherd's Pie.  Lane had some sort of Irish chicken dish which was a bit spicy but not bad.  After a few hours of eating, talking and watching TV we went back to our room to head to bed.  Tomorrow was going to be yet another busy day.

14 June 2010

New York City Day 1 & 2

Lane and I took an adults only trip to New York City 2 weeks ago.  It was HEAVEN!!  We took it easy for most of the trip and didn't run ourselves ragged all over the city.  We'll just have to see other stuff the next time we go back which for me won't be soon enough.  I've always loved NYC.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Broadway.  I could sit in a theater there every single night of the week and not get bored.  There are shows I know I could see over and over again.  Unfortunately, my pocketbook would disagree with that since it is expensive!

So we flew into LaGuardia Monday the 31st of May in the afternoon.  We got to our hotel in Times Square and decided to spend at least an hour unwinding.  We then decided to walk around Times Square and get a bite to eat.  Ended up at  TGIFridays.  Nothing exciting but oh well.  It was food and at that point that's exactly what we needed.

We were out and about in Times Square until about 12:30 am.  We stopped again at around 9:30 to have dinner at the ESPN zone and watch the Chicago Blackhawks game (they won that game - yes!) 

Tuesday morning started out with a trip to the big Toys R Us store in Times Square to get some goodies for the kids.  The nice thing about it was that it was right next door to our hotel.  So after some shopping there Lane ran our purchases back up to our room and we set out again.  This time it was from our hotel down to Macy's at Herald Square.  It was about 10 blocks or so.  This is by far the biggest department store I've been in.  It's 7 stories tall and takes up an entire block.  It literally would have taken me hours and hours to cover every floor.  But I didn't do that.  I looked for shoes and found nothing.  Bummer.  I however did find Emi a very cute Guess outfit for next summer on clearance.  Unfortunately, Macy's was in the process of changing out their windows so the shades were drawn but in May they had cars borrowed from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum on display in the windows and in the stores.  You could see Indy 500 car tires below the shades in the windows and they still had cars parked inside the store.  It was kind of cool since only 2 days before we were at the Speedway watching the race.

After Macy's we found a deli to have lunch and had some great sandwiches.  Thus far, I have never had a bad deli sandwich in NYC.  You can walk into pretty much any deli and get a good sandwich.  So after finding some lunch, we continued on to the Empire State Building.  We went inside the lobby but did not go up to the top.  I had heard that especially in the summer it is extremely busy and crowded and the wait just to go up to the top can be very long.  Lane and I decided that if we wanted a view of NYC from somewhere high above, we were going to go somewhere else for the view.  On the way back to our hotel we stopped at the NYC Public Library.  Lane wanted to stop so he could see the big lions outside.  That was the only reason.  They were cool though so it was worth the stop. 

We got back late in the afternoon and after being out in the heat most of the day, I decided I need to kick my feet up for the night so Lane ran to a pizzeria and grabbed us some slices.  My ankles and feet were severely swollen and I just needed to get off them.  I'll cover day 3 & 4 in my next post!

12 June 2010

Indy 500 and My Birthday - May 30, 2010

We were out of town for about 10 days starting the 28th of May and just returned home a week ago.  I've spent the entire week doing laundry, organizing, cleaning and getting back into the routine.  However, today we took Eriks to urgent care and found out the poor kid has strep throat.  I am hoping our friend's daughter, Briana does not get it since we had a play date with her yesterday.  I'm also hoping Emi nor anyone else gets it.  Only time will tell.

So for my birthday this year, we headed back to the Indy 500 with extended family and friends.  There were 16 of us there total.  It was Lane and my 2nd time at the race and Eriks got to go for the very 1st time this year.  Emi stayed at home with my parents.  We had a great time but it was super hot.  They said it was the hottest Indy 500 race on record with a high of 96 degrees.  My sister-in-law and I actually spent the first 90 minutes or so of the race out of the sun.  I was starting to feel sick I was getting so hot so she and I took off for shaded and slightly cooler pastures until the section we were sitting in was finally covered with shade.  Even with the heat we had a good time.  After we got back to my parents house we had dinner and celebrated with cake.  One of my aunts and uncles as well as a cousin came over while we were at the race.  My cousin who was there is named Emily.  Our daughter, Emilija fell in love with her and couldn't get enough.  It was really cute to see the two of them together.  Emi spent the day in the pool with my family while we were gone and as soon as we got back, Eriks suited up and headed back to the water with Emi and Lane. 

So without further ado, I will post some photos from the race and my birthday.
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