Monday, January 26, 2009

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Happy Chinese New Year! 2009 is the year of the Ox.

To celebrate Chinese New Year, we had Chinese food for dinner. When Bill and Michael stopped to pick it up on their way home from speech therapy, the girl behind the counter asked if Michael was from China. Bill told her that he was. She went in the back and came out with a red envelope. We opened it when he got home. There was a dollar bill in it. Children in China receive red envelopes with lucky money to celebrate the new year. We will be saving it for him and putting it in a scrapbook for when he gets older.

The past few couple of weeks have been busy as usual. For about a week, we had to fill out an accident report at school every other day for Michael. He fell and got rug burn on his forehead. They were playing limbo and another kid fell into him which caused him to fall into a book case. He ended up with a huge goose egg on the side of his head. Finally, he ended up with a scratch under his eye. Besides the injuries at school, he has had many bumps and bruises at home from being fearless and one from the cat. Boys will be boys!

Michael is talking up a storm. There are so many new words that we are having a hard time keeping up. The newest phrase is one we are trying to break him of. We are guessing that he learned it at daycare. When he first said it, we laughed because it was to the cat. Now, he says it to people and we are having to tell him that it is not nice. At first, he said, "O away at." That meant "Go away cat." Now, he is telling other people to "o away." It is hard explaining to a 2 year old that even though he is wants someone to leave him alone it is not nice to tell them to go away.

Michael is also growing very fast as most kids do. His feet are extra wide, so there are only a few places that I can find shoes for him. Plus, they are not the cheapest shoes in the world. On Friday, we went to a store that I buy his shoes at. The mall is an outdoor mall. Since it was a nice evening, we decided to walk around. Michael was in his stroller when we were approached by the elderly mall security guard. Michael had waved and said hi to him, so he talked to Michael. He said hi and told him how cute he was. He proceeded to ask Michael where he got his looks from, his mommy or his daddy. He then said bye and we all went on our way. It was funny because he never looked at us and didn't realize what he had asked. We get a lot of looks and are noticed for our differences. It was nice because he just saw us as another family out for a stroll around the mall.

Here are a couple of pictures:

Trying to fill Baba's shoes

One of his boo-boos

Doing what he loves
Eating and laughing
(see the bandage on his cheek)

Saturday, January 10, 2009


It is really hard to believe that Michael has been with us for 6 months this coming Wednesday. He is such a happy boy. He loves to do things to make us all laugh. He wants to call Gamma and Papa everyday whether we use the phone or the webcam. He enjoys playing with his cousin Joseph. For now, he likes to help pick up his toys and put away his dirty clothes. He can't wait to take his bath and brush his teeth in the evenings. He loves to give hugs and kisses. He is just the sweetest little boy.

Also, He has made so much progress and has really grown. He has gained 7 lbs and grown 5 inches since we brought him home. He has wowed us and all of the doctors/therapists with his progress. 6 months ago this little boy was living in an orphanage and had never heard a word of English. In no time, he bonded with the two of us which amazed everyone. Also, he understands almost everything that we tell him. He has adjusted to life with us and going to daycare during the week beautifully. He also is eating all table food now. He LOVES to eat.

Over the past two weeks Michael has started saying new words and phrases almost daily. The words are not all perfect or exact, but we can tell what he is saying. Here are the things that he can say right now..... Mama (first word), Baba, hi, hike, hey, bye bye, yea, yay, Papa, Gamma, moo, milk, Manny (he loves the cartoon Handy Manny), home (which is our favorite word), up, out, eat, help, Elmo, baby, ow, woah, hat, ball, hair, car, Erica (one of his teachers), uhoh, more, hi Mama, hi Baba, more milk, uhoh Mama (his first phrase), and come here (he wiggles his finger at you when he says this one). I may be missing some, but we are trying to keep up as much as we can.

He has been through so much and is so resilient. There are days that I look at him and think about how much he has been through in 2 1/2 years and how he has handled it. It is just amazing. He is one of my heroes.

Below are 3 pictures. The first was taken on July 14th. This was the day we got to hold Michael for the first time. The second is from one of his Christmas pictures. The third is from Christmas day.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy New Year!

We had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. On Christmas Day, we woke up and Santa had visited. He brought a lot of toys for Michael and filled all of our stockings with goodies. Michael got really good at ripping the paper off the presents. After the last present, he was giving us the sign for "more." Fortunately, there for one more big present waiting for him outside. We bundled him up and found a yellow Hummer outside our door with a big red bow on it. It has a working radio. he loves driving it and listening to his music.

After opening presents and getting ready, we headed to Bill's family get together. We enjoyed spending time with his family, eating, and chasing Michael around. He has so much energy! Afterwards, we came home and made sure we were packed for our early morning.

The day after Christmas we woke up at 3 a.m. (UGH!) We got ready and made sure our luggage, the car seat and stroller were all by the door. Bill's aunt Anne and his cousins Maggie and Kelly picked us up just before 4 a.m. We headed to the airport where we boarded a plane to Boston. Gamma and Papa met us at the airport. After gathering our luggage, we headed to New Hampshire. We had a big breakfast and then went to the "Shire house" in Rye. We had our second Christmas there. Michael enjoyed pulling bows and name tags off the gifts the most.

We had a great time visiting with Gamma and Papa. While we were there, we enjoyed a heat wave in the 50s that melted the 2 feet of snow they had received the weekend before. We did get to sled before that round of snow melted. Michael did not care for that one bit. We took a trip to Maine where we saw the Bush residence in Kennebunkport. We also went to the HUGE L.L. Bean store and the Cabela's in Maine. That Tuesday we headed to Boston and retrieved Aunt Carrie and Patrick from the airport. From the airport, we went to the New England Aquarium. I think everyone in New England had the same idea. After the aquarium, we had a nice dinner at a restaurant that looks like a ship. I can't remember the name right now. On Wednesday, we were able to enjoy trekking out in the pouring snow and blistering wind. We got 10" of snow that day and night and had wind chill factors of -20. Yep that is right! Negative 20!

New Years Eve was fun. We were able to enjoy our family tradition of having a bunch of tasty munchies and just staying in. It would have been to cold to be out anyway. On New Years Day, we played in the new snow and on Jan. 2nd Bill, Michael, and I flew home.

Now that we are home, we are trying to get back in our routine of going back to work and daycare. It has been a challenge after being on vacation for two weeks.

Enjoy the pictures. Check back in a few days. I should have another update up soon.

After Santa Visited Our House

Opening Presents

Hmmm... how does this thing work?

Cruisin' Along in My Automobile

Dancing to the Music

Riding on the Scooter from Grandpa

Michael & Grandpa

4 Generations of Halls

(Michael, Grandpa, Baba, & Nana)

Papa Pulling Michael on the Sled

Michael Trying to Defy Gravity

Sledding... he did not care for it

Baba Sledding

Gamma Sledding

Kite Boarder.... BRRRRRRR!!!!

Surfer! Can you say crazy!?!?

It might have been 20 degrees out.

The Bush Residence

Kennebunkport, Maine

Silly Face

New England Aquarium

(I love the reflection)

Waving at the Fishies



New Snow

Down the Driveway

Mama Making a Snow Angel

"I can't put my arms down!"

Snow Wrestling

(Carrie & Patrick)

Professional Taste Tester

Playing with Baba

Michael & Papa

Christmas Decor

Prepping for New Year's Eve