We all share the same moon no matter where we are in the world!

Dec 28, 2010

Merry Christmas

Taylor looking beautiful and Kendy, not so sure of Santa yet!

When Kendy smiles she crinkles her nose and closes her eyes and gives a sweet little noise like haa.

We had such a fun Christmas with Taylor and Kendy this year. Taylor loved opening her presents and Kendy's too. Kendy loved any box, paper, or bow that was on the floor. She has since grown to love her new toys and books. Taylor was very excited and happy with her presents too. She hasn't stopped singing with her new microphone or checking out each book and she couldn't' wait to wear her new outfit from Lindsey & Joe.
We shared Christmas eve at home doing last minute wrapping (Kip & Tay) and enjoyed a nice meal as a family. Taylor opened her one gift...guess what, new jammies! She loved them and was pretty excited to wear them to bed. We put out the plate of cookies with a glass of milk and carrots too. Christmas day lunch was spent over at a friend's house, and unfortunately Kip stayed home with Kendy who was doing a lot of crying after her too short nap. I know she was missing me but she needed to finish her nap so Kip took her for a car ride to do the trick.
Christmas morning Taylor crept up to me in bed and said, "Mommy, I peeked and you should see what Santa brought me!" I love the excitement and joy she shares with me over just about anything, but especially Santa. She is an open and honest little girl full of life and love. I videotaped her coming down the stairs and then we opened our stockings. We always have cinnamon rolls to start and then once gifts are opened we have a big breakfast. I miss being with all my family and wish we could celebrate together every year. Keeping traditions alive from my family and Kip's is how we plan to give Taylor and Kendy their own family traditions to hopefully carry on with their kids. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Christmas Chaos by the fire!
Taylor and Sydney posing for pictures!

Dec 19, 2010

Our Christmas Card

Family Wall Noir Christmas 5x7 folded card
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May the good things of life be yours in abundance, not only at this season, but throughout the coming year.
Merry Christmas,
Love Kip, Terry, Taylor & Kendal

Dec 17, 2010

Here Comes Santa Claus

Taylor and Kendy met with Santa and Taylor did beautifully. Kendy...cried. I took her off his lap and let her stand near him while Tay stayed on Santa's lap. Kendy stopped crying and just spied him with her little eye. So cute. Thank you Patty for the adorable holiday outfits for my girls.
This year Taylor received a letter from Santa and Rudolph letting her know she was on the "Nice List". She was so excited; it even came with a certificate. Her Wish list is very short and she included a gift suggestion for her little sister too. I love her generosity.

Tay's classroom holiday party was a hit with the kids. Lots of crafts and yummy sweets to go around. We made a felt mouse with a candy cane tail that is now hanging on our Christmas tree. We have a few plans to see friends over the holiday break and just relax at home. We are excited to watch the kids open their Christmas presents and play together. HO Ho Ho to a Merry Christmas!

Dec 12, 2010

Taylor Happenings

Taylor is doing great in school. She has good friends and lots of fun classmates. She loves taekwondo and recently passed her green belt test. She is very excited. Last night at her school's after-school performance event Taylor was chosen to perform one of the demonstration forms all by herself in front of the crowd of parents and students. It is not that she is shy, but she is more of an introvert but still enjoys performing. She loves to dance and sing and wants to be in Hollywood. I am not sure she really knows what that means, but she does ask a lot of questions about Hollywood and what it would be like to live there. I tell her we will have to ask cousins Mandy and David. I hope to get her guitar lessons. Tay loves Taylor Swift and is learning the songs from her Christmas album. Taylor loves to read books to us, Kendy and anyone who will listen. I am so happy she enjoys reading and I hope this is the beginning of a life-long love.
Taytay is learning how to be a big sister with the help of her little sister! Sharing mommy time is sometimes difficult but we are trying to give the girls, especially Taylor one-on-one time each day. We both need our time together and bedtime is important for us to do the rituals together-wash, floss, brush, etc.

Dec 10, 2010

All Tangled at 7

Taylor is 3'10" and weighs 53.5 lbs and is turning 7 today!

Allison, Isabella, Sydney, Maile, Taylor, Jaida & Michelle

We began the birthday celebrations by hosting a movie date with some of her good friends. The girls saw Tangled in 3-D and then ate cake and ice cream. Today her 1st grade class shared dessert, and then we went to dinner as a family to her favorite restaurant, Sweet Tomatoes, followed by her school's event. All in all it was a fun week and I hope Taylor had a wonderful time as well. She loves all her gifts and cards; thank you all for sharing in her birthday joy! We love you. I love you Taytay forever, mommy

Sharing birthday cupcakes with classmates

Dec 9, 2010


Tonight I took a bath after the girls and Kendy stood next to the tub and kept her hand reached out to touch my arm and kind of made a little sound like a "hum". When I rinsed my hair over my head with a pitcher of water she started to cry and looked so worried for me. It was really sweet and cute.
She loves playing in her crib with Taylor! It is the funniest thing to watch. She throws herself down and then gets up laughing. Of course, she knows we are all laughing too so it is even funnier.
Taylor has recently joined AWANA (a religious program) and goes on Wednesday evenings with a bunch of school friends. She really enjoys the gathering and the learning. I enjoy the Terry time, especially if Kendy is home with Kip and I can go have a cup of coffee with friends while the kids go to their meeting.
Kip's new job has him traveling to Chicago...4 blocks from his parent's house. He stays with his folks which they love and he enjoys getting time to see them too. Hopefully we will all get out to Chicago soon to see all the family. Kip's brother is home now and walking either with a crutch or a prosthetic on his lower leg. We can't wait for Auntie Peg to meet Kendy and see Taytay too.
Kip has been working on the sign for "more" with Kendy and she gets it. She will use it when she wants more of something and definitely does not use it when she sees something on her plate that she does not want. Chocolate cake = more. Applesauce = No. I was feeding her a french fry and a vegetable mixture. She did not want the veggies anymore; she wanted the fry. I put the fry in my left hand and the spoon with veggies in my right and put them both up to her face. She kept her eyes on the veggies while turning her head and opening her mouth for the fry. I slipped in the veggies and then followed up with a fry. Funny girl!

Dec 6, 2010

New Tooth and Other Exciting Things

We have a new tooth! Kendy has her 5th upper tooth and more are showing signs of poking through her gums. She is liking the cats more and more and doesn't freak when they come up to her. They love her of course! Kendy can stand herself up and walk around holding onto something. She really loves the wood floors over carpeting. We think this is because the orphanage had floors in all the pictures.

Kendy went pee pee on the potty today! I am going to try and make the effort to sit her on the potty and see how it goes....she is playing right next to me and obviously, I missed the afternoon poop! We sat again after lunch but in the middle of pulling her pants down with one hand and pulling her diaper off with the other all the while holding on to her over the potty seat, she went pee pee. Got a little wet on her leg, my hand, and the diaper, but most went into the potty. I count that as a success. She knew what the plan was, but just like the cheerio still stuck to the back of her hand, she at least is trying.
Bath time last night was also a success. Kendy sat in the tub with Taytay and played with the alphabet letters that stick to the wall. I yelled for daddy to get the camera...that also explains how I came to catch a picture of Kendy sitting on the potty this morning when she went pee pee in the potty.
We put our Christmas tree up and Taylor put her Princess ornaments on the tree while we all played around her. She and Kendy are really getting along and are so cute together. They even can take baths together now! Tay also likes to get into the crib and play with Kendy. I love my girls so much and can't wait to see and learn more about their budding relationship.
Kendy is eating all sorts of food now, most from the spoon. Occasionally she will only use my finger. She can finally pick up a cheerio with her fingers and hit her mouth about 80% of the time. I add applesauce, yogurt, bananas, rice cereal to her bottle, along with her vitamins....yummy! Kendy starts her day at 6:30-7:00 gets a bottle, then breakfast, she takes a short nap around 10-11 am, then lunch at noon followed by a bottle, an afternoon nap 1:30-3:00 and then dinner 5-6 pm and bedtime 9 pm. She typically wakes up around 2:30 am and then falls back to sleep with a gentle pat. If she is standing up and her crying is louder than a whimper, I will pick her up and hold her for a few seconds and lay her back down. If I gently lay my hand on her back she falls right back to sleep. Such a lovey with her hugs!
I am having so much more fun with her now that she is eating solid foods and sleeping on a regular schedule. I am also willing to share in the tasks with Kip and friends, so I can have a little down time or Taytay time. I needed to do everything with Taylor and she also didn't sleep through the night, so I was tired and running on empty with Taylor in the beginning. Now I am pretty awake and have lost 10 pounds. 10 more and I can fit my wedding dress. Now wouldn't that be a surprise one afternoon with Kip at home!

Nov 28, 2010

Kendy is 16 Months Today

Today is Kendy's 16 month Birthday!

Grandma Greta made Kendy a night-time coverall out of pink fleece so when she kicks her blankets off she will still be warm. It is so cute. Kendy is becoming her own self more and more each day. Her face lights up when she is playing peek-a-boo or giving a high five. Still trying to walk and stand up on her own. Kendy loves music! She will start to dance and rock to the beat. So cute! Tonight she was fussing because I was sitting with Taylor reading a book, Tangled. I put her in Kip's lap and she settled down. Eventually she fell asleep in his lap and I took her up to bed. It was the first night that I was able to spend time with Taylor until she fell asleep. Kendy is showing her jealousy when ever Taylor sits with me. This was something we did talk about before going to China.
Grandma Greta & Grandpa Bob are leaving in the morning. Makes me sad, but they need to get home to their daily things. Grandpa Bob delivers Meals on Wheels on Fridays and Peggy is home alone. I know they miss their cats too. Grandma Greta gave Taylor the book Heidi and they have been reading a few chapters each night. There are a few scary parts, but we talk about it each night in bed. Taylor is truly enjoying the book and Grandma reading it with her. After one particular upsetting chapter (Heidi is taken from her home with her Grandpa) I asked Taylor how she was feeling about the book. She said she really liked it and Heidi because she stood up for herself. She and I will finish the book this week.
Grandpa Bob always finds a project to work on with Kip. this time it was the leak under my kitchen sink. The floor board had rotted and it was just gross. It is still leaking, but the board is new and waterproof now. Grandpa Bob enjoyed feeding Kendy whenever she would let him. She is not using a spoon anymore, only wants my finger. I was able to brush her teeth without a struggle! Grandpa said he was going to look for a spoon that looks like a finger! My girls are so blessed to have such wonderful grandparents on both sides of the family. We can't wait to share Kendy with G'ma & G'pa Kropp. (picture by Natalie)

Nov 27, 2010

One Week and Counting

Wow! What a difference a week makes. Adjustment and ??? is constant. I will not let her cry herself to sleep when she is standing up and just getting all worked up. At night she has small little outbursts but. she stays down and soothes herself. But last night she was back to double checking if I was still there...yes, I'm here little one. One touch on her back and she was good.It just took about 100 little touches. At 6 am she woke up and I gave her to daddy who was coming to check on us. Kendy and daddy went back to sleep in our bed and I went for coffee with grandpa.
This morning she is all smiles and giggles! She is eating and walking with help in her squeaky shoes. She loves playing with the house that Taylor had when she was little. It is set up in my family room. We have the square of play set up right on the carpet. She just finished lunch with Grandpa Bob when just yesterday she would look at him and give that face that says, stay away from me. Grandma Greta is her new friend. Kendy still prefers me to change her (yeah poop!) and put her down for nap and bedtime. We have the house child-proofed finally. Gates are up, blind ropes are up, blockades to the kitchen and stairs are up, and she was up almost all night last night! Me too!
The funniest thing happened...Kip and Grandpa Bob went Black Friday shopping with Taylor's Wish List to Santa. In he walked with the item for Kendy that Taylor picked out from SANTA. Off Kip went to get something else from SANTA. Can't ruin the magic yet!
Actually the funniest thing was Kip going shopping on Black Friday!! After years of harassing me I am all over this one.
It is 60 and sunny. We are going out to find some fabric with Grandma Greta today. She is making a one piece suit that Kendy can wear to bed or out to keep her warm if her blanket falls off. We are in love with this little gal! XOX

Nov 26, 2010

The Red Couch Photos

The red couch photos taken in the lobby of the White Swan hotel have become very special for adopting families and CCAI. It is the final step unofficially to the adoption process in China. It is also the first of many family photos! The 12 families with their daughters all from Lianjiang are pictured along with six other families that traveled with us, but their child came from another orphanage. We hope to keep in touch with all the families that now make up Kendy's red thread.

Nov 25, 2010


Happy Thanksgiving! I have to admit this year took on a whole new meaning for everyone at my home this year. We had such a good day that my mother in law even commented that she was going to rethink Thanksgiving! It is not one of her favorite holidays having spent most in the kitchen separated from the family and guests. I hope they can come every year while they are able. For me it was adding beautiful Kendy to our family after such a long wait. Never did we even consider giving up. Kip and I both felt we had a child waiting for us and we would go get her. Also I am thankful for my lovely Taylor and her beautiful spirit. She will be a wonderful big sister as she is a daughter. I am thankful for a healthy and happy family. Kip is truly thankful for the safe journey to China,and for the addition of yet another beautiful female into the family. Taylor is most thankful for friends and family and kittens and our house. Kendy is probably most thankful for good food. She ate turkey dinner and all the fixings like a pro! She ate mashed cauliflower, turkey, potatoes with a titch of gravy and then some cherry pie ala mode. We were all thankful to see her eating. Grandma & Grandpa Altman both are thankful for our two beautiful girls who came from half way around the world to become part of our family, that Charlie is getting better, that Peg is spending the day with neighbors, and that they are able to share things like reading books with their grand kids.
To quote Kip, "We begin the holiday season in good health and send good wishes for those family members who are in our hearts but not at our table" Amen.

Nov 18, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home!
We are home now after flying from Guangzhou to Hong Kong to LAX, with a 6 hour layover, and then off to Denver arriving 8 pm on Thursday. The 15 hour flight home was uneventful except for the 8-legged baby we brought with us! I was still recovering from the flu, so Kip was Dad-in-charge for most of the flights. He was awesome with the girls. When he needed a break, he would hand me Kendy and I would lay her in my arms and she would fall asleep. He had the octopus while I had the lamb! She was a good baby on the plane and Taylor was great too. She is a seasoned traveler so this was just another fun trip. We spent our time in LA with Auntie Sherry and cousin Mandy and her baby Halen. I will admit it was fun showing off my girls! Taylor was so happy to see them and spend some time with them too.
Arriving at DIA was so special. We were met by Grandma Greta and friends Pam with Sydney & Miah and Natalie & Don with Isabella & Elliana. Taylor's classmates had made her a Welcome Back poster and they all signed her messages. So sweet! We were all in tears introducing the newest granddaughter and friend to the group. Thank you Sherry, Mandy and my Denver family for making our homecoming so special

Beautiful Grandma Greta

My First ride in a car seat!