Thursday, December 27, 2007

Season's Greetings

The Elmo car was a big hit. In typical Wynn fashion, she drove it around for a while, honked the horn a bit, and then started looking underneath it to figure out how it works. We glanced over, and there she was - on the floor like an auto mechanic about to change the oil. She is perpetually fascinated with how things go together - and how to take them apart.

We love that Wynn and Grandpa have the same fashion sense. Christmas Eve was a celebration of plaid this year.

Wynn's gift from Grandma Barb was a homemade Curious George quilt and pillow. Wynn loves them both and started playing "snuggle" with them as soon as we got home. She still enjoys watching George on TV but has discovered Clifford and Sesame Street as well.

Here's Wynn and Grandma Marilyn figuring the classic Sit and Spin. She doesn't quite have the upper body coordination to spin herself around yet, but, based on the look on her face when we spin her, she's motivated to learn. It has a switch on the bottom to turn the music off. Guess how long it took her to flip the thing over and find the switch?

What Minnesota winter would be complete without a ride in a sled? Baba and Wynn took it out for a spin around the yard during our lovely Christmas Day snowfall. We need to find a small hill for her to ride down because pulling that sled gets to be tough work.

The time off from work has given us a chance to not only relax around the house together; we have also been busy taking care of more adoption paperwork and such. We had our six-month meeting with our social worker last week. All went well, and Wynn willingly agreed to accompany Baba to the bathroom after she dropped an extremely stinky load in her diaper during the interview. :-)

The day after Christmas was spent in the waiting room at the Social Security Administration offices; after ninety minutes of waiting, our number was finally called so we could have our three minutes at the window. Wynn was great during the LONG wait; she stayed on Baba's lap, was sufficiently amused by opening and closing the zippers on our jackets, and got to watch a baby drinking out of a bottle, which she found FASCINATING.

Today we took care of applying for a US passport for Wynn and getting ourselves fingerprinted (for the THIRD time) for yet another background check - this time because Minnesota changed its process and is making *everyone* who completed an adoption this year get screened again - even though we have already been screened by the state and, obviously, passed.

Now we have another week of vacation to relax and enjoy the snow.

- Ann

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

That's Wynn Too

In case you're sick of all the cute, smiling pictures of our daughter, here's one they took of her at daycare.

They swear she was cheerful and fun while the other kids were getting their pictures taken, but as soon as the camera turned to her, she put on this face. All their cajoling could not get her to crack a smile. We hope this answers any questions you may have about taking her to have her picture taken with Santa this year.

We love how delightfully grumpy she looks, but we have no idea whose mittens she's wearing.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Snowsuit Model

As we were out walking in the snow today, Scott and I were commenting on the fact that it was only about six months ago when our family walk was in the sticky heat of Renmin Park in Nanning. Half a year ago and half a world away...

Saturday, December 1, 2007


Wynn got her first look at real Minnesota snow today. She's been in cold weather denial lately - refusing to put on her coat when we leave daycare. Today as she pulled her bare hands into her coat sleeves at the Christmas tree lot, I got a glimmer of hope that she just might figure out this protect yourself against the cold thing we do here.

Her First Reaction to Standing in the Snow

Showing Off Her Footprints

Her Friends in Guangxi Wouldn't Believe This

Warming Up Over Dinner with Baba

Notice that our Christmas tree is safely sequestered on the three-season porch. She can see it through the glass, but she can't touch it. I miss having the house smell like fresh tree, but not having to pick up broken ornaments makes it all worthwhile.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

November Happenings

Thought we'd bring you up to date on some of the events and milestones of the last month.

Wynn didn't know WHAT to make of Halloween. She went to the Zoo Boo at Como Park dressed as a leopard. As we passed all the volunteers dressed up in costumes, she looked at them with a rather skeptical expression on her face. Who are all these people and why are they dressed so weird? Only at the very end of the event did she show any interest in a costumed character - Darth Vader. She sat straight up in her stroller when she saw him.

The cold she caught at daycare progressed into a full-blown sinus infection. Never ran a fever. Never complained. Lots of gooey sneezes and coughing, though. It was time to go to the doctor when the green slime started oozing out her eyes. Ten days of antibiotics pretty well cleared things up; although, she's started coughing again ... Fingers crossed it's just a cold this time.

She has made the leap to being able to put her LEGO's together; she used to just take them apart and hand them to us for the construction part of the game. She's spent the better part of the past week sitting on the floor putting together LEGO's to her heart's content. She's also getting better at holding a crayon and drawing on paper. We know she's been working on that at daycare - mostly while the other kids are taking a nap.

Wynn has decided that pumpkin pie is the best, but is also fond of pecan and blueberry. Basically, she'll eat anything with whipped cream on it. Though she still loves the McD's chocolate shake, she has been thinking Arby's lately. (She also loves organic mac & cheese from Trader Joe's and is strangely enthusiastic about spinach.)

Our thoughts on Thanksgiving this year were about the joy Wynn has brought into our lives. We are, of course, occasionally exhausted, but watching her grow and learn is rewarding beyond anything we could have imagined. We are also truly thankful for her foster mother in Qinzhou. She so obviously loved and cared for Wynn, and we will always be grateful for the role she played in bringing our daughter to us.

Checking out the Fall Garden with Grandma Marilyn

Bundled up Against the November Cold

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Every Picture Tells a Story

Wynn's favorite thing about her doll bed is that she is small enough to fit in it too - usually on top of her baby doll. Sometimes she moves the doll out of the way first, picking her up by the hair and thunking her on to the floor.

No one eats ice cream alone at our house anymore.

Along with wanting to pick up every leaf in the yard by hand, she also wants to pick up all the sticks. Most of the time she stacks them under her picnic table, but on this day she was helping Baba out, so the sticks ended up in the fire pit.

Welcome to the snot factory. Wynn caught her very first genuine American cold. We're sure that her coming down with the crud the same week she started daycare is purely coincidental. Who ever heard of a child getting sick at daycare?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Doing Just Fine

We realize we haven't posted for quite some time. Here are some new pictures so you can check out how our girl is growing.

She loves the leaves and desperately wants to pick them up one by one and put them in a pile under her picnic table. We can't wait to see how she reacts when Scott gets out the rake.

Her obsessions with all things Curious George has expanded to include monkeys of all kinds. She picked out a monkey hat and mitten set at Target today, and Grandma bought her a pair of leather slippers with monkey faces on them.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Her Old Self

Wynn had her follow-up appointment with the surgeon on Tuesday, and all is well. She has healed very well and got to jump straight into a "no dietary restrictions" lifestyle. We had anticipated that she'd need to be on mushy-but-not-quite-solid foods for awhile, but the doctor said she can have it all.

After I fed her a graham cracker or two Tuesday evening, she got this look on her face that said Hey! You're feeding me FOOD again! Then the begging started. She pointed for more graham crackers. She pointed for goldfish. She got progressively happier as each snack she asked for was given. Within an hour, she'd turned back into her old self. She was rolling on the floor, giggling, and kicking her feet in the air. Suddenly, she understood the concept of "giving five" and handed out five with great generosity to Scott and I. (She gave Ranger five too - but on the nose, which he wasn't too happy about.)

While we managed to maintain her weight through the hard times of the liquid diet, our girl still wants to grow. She's packing away the food - after what I'd describe as a lumberjack's breakfast yesterday, she pretty much passed out in her bed for over three hours. With a full tummy, she could finally sleep soundly.

We feel like we have our daughter back again - cheerful and funny (with moments of toddler stubbornness thrown in to keep us from getting too complacent).


Saturday, September 15, 2007

New Skills

Hiking at the Nature Center with Baba

Lookin' Cute in Footie Pajamas

Flipping Through Curious George, Of Course

Wynn's recovery has been going smoothly ... for the most part. We had a couple crabby days at first; she hated that she wasn't allowed to feed herself, figured out how to ditch the no-no sleeves in her sleep, and had an upset stomach from the antibiotics. It was during these trying times that Scott and I discovered why footie pajamas were invented: They make your child look so darn cute, you can almost forget the stress of taking care of them.

There were times those first few days home when Wynn was only happy when she was either a) asleep or b) being held. She'd insist that she was hungry but not allow me to set her down for even a second to make her some food. She's settled down about that now, but I'd say she's still more clingy than she was before surgery.

We're already noticing that she's making new sounds. :-) She suddenly came out with a "Gamma" when my mom arrived one morning, and this morning she tried to say Ranger's name for the first time. (It came out "Rahrah", but at least she's trying.) Sometimes she'll sit in her carseat or the stroller and seem to be practicing making new sounds. She'll repeat vocalizations over and over again; it's as if she's trying out her new mouth to see how it works.

She has also figured out that she can drink from a cup, which comes in handy with her being on a liquid diet for two weeks. Liquids used to come out her nose when she tried to drink, but now she's got the moves down and LOVES it. Yoplait makes drinkable yogurt for kids, and she grabs one of those little bottles every now and then and gulps it down. Today she drank an entire carton of chocolate milk at IKEA. Yes, drinking from a cup is such a simple thing, but it really does make us beam with joy to see her do something she couldn't do before.

I've gotten quite good at making liquid meals for her. Some of the stuff she'll drink turns my stomach (chicken, peas, and macaroni pureed with chicken broth - served cold. Ugh.) Here's the recipe for her absolute favorite, which is tasty enough for us to drink too...

Mix the follwing ingredients in the blender:
a dollop of canned pumpkin
about 2 T. of pasteurized egg stuff
a splash of milk
one graham cracker
cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves
It's especially good if you warm it up in the microwave and put a little whipped cream on top. Yummy!


Saturday, September 8, 2007

Home Again :-)

The pictures show Wynn the day of surgery - not at all happy - and right before they took out the IV and sent her on her way - tired, but so much more content.

Wynn was discharged from the hospital around 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon. She'd made a big leap in her recovery in the afternoon - eventually, she was parading around the nurses' station in her diaper, pulling a toy stroller and baby doll behind her. The nurses coming on duty for the afternoon all said, "Well, she seems to be feeling a lot better." We had to carry her back to her room when she started insisting on going into the rooms of neighboring patients.

She slept pretty well last night - mostly just flopping around like a penguin because of her no-no sleeves. She slept most of the night on the air mattress, using one or both of us as pillows the majority of the time.

She put up quite the struggle about not being able to feed herself her cereal this morning, but after she watched Scott make a show of feeding me my bowl of Cheerios (not our normal procedure, by the way), she decided that it was okay for him to feed her too.

I made a trip to the grocery store to find easily mushable food; for the next few weeks her diet will consist of nothing thicker than mashed potatoes. We worked so hard to get her to gain all that "good" weight since we got home from China; we really don't want her losing any of it now that she's on this liquid diet. (Fortunately, milkshakes are not only allowed but encouraged by her doctor.)

The pain seems to have subsided substantially; she had plain old infant Tylenol at 7 o'clock this morning and hasn't shown any indication of pain since.

We're all so happy that she's bouncing back so quickly ... and that we're not eating hospital cafeteria food anymore.


Friday, September 7, 2007

Breaking News!

Just got off the phone with Ann ... Wynn did eat a serving of sherbet for lunch and it has stayed down -- she is playful and laughing -- the nurses have gotten Tylenol into her without using the IV line and not orally (trying to keep a clean blog here) -- and papers are being written up with the assumption that she will be coming home later tonight!

The lounge chair that transforms into a single bed was actually OK for sleeping on (kudos to Gillette), but I'd just as soon get the inflatable mattress out and set it up next to Wynn's bed here at home. Looks like that's what will happen. :)


A long night, indeed

I stayed in the hospital room with Wynn overnight, and yes, both of us are completely wiped out. Our little pumpkin just could not stay asleep - while I could tell she was getting better about the pain in her mouth and throat as the night went on, that only meant more blood and saliva was getting into her tummy and giving her discomfort there. And, as Ann mentioned, many soggy diapers. So I would say we were up every 45 minutes or so. (A hospital is a strange place at 4 AM...)

It wasn't until about 6:30 this morning that she really achieved a deep sleep state. I went down and got some breakfast - looking like heck, but they're used to it.

She was up by 7:30. We played a little bit of "Where's Wynn?", watched some Chinese animation I'd brought along (she actually paid attention for about 15 minutes), and had a bit of Jello they'd brought up for her and some yogurt from my breakfast. She was initially uncertain about eating (shake of the head "no") but once she had a bite of gelatin, she really got pleasure from eating again. Seeing her *want* to eat more brought a few tears to my eyes, of exhaustion and joy.

She fell asleep until about 9:00. The duty nurse and I got her up and disconnected her sensors and IV line, and took off her no-no sleeves, so that I could take her for a little stroll around the floor. We also tried to give her an oral dose of Tylenol -- getting her on semi-solid foods and being able to take oral pain meds are our necessary goals to reach before she can be discharged -- but then she barfed up everything she'd swallowed that morning, all over me.

While that was disappointing, it wasn't entirely unexpected -- there was a lot of blood and saliva in her stomach, and toddlers seem to have a tough time handling that. The silver linings to the incident are: 1) she is not having much trouble with swallowing anymore, and 2) getting the accumulated gunk out of her tummy may actually help her keep food down the next time we try giving her something. (And I'd packed extra clothes. Bonus -- it all washed out!)

I've come home to get a real shower, catch a few winks, and update all of you. Mama has the fort covered down at Gillette. We have not heard anything yet about if or when Wynn will be discharged; obviously we will have to take that as it comes.

As promised, here are a couple of pictures. --Scott

Wynn in her surgical gown before the operation, looking very much like a little yellow duck...

Being comforted by her mama yesterday afternoon. The no-no sleeves are just Velcroed around the arm, but are rigid enough to keep the elbow from flexing. She of course figured out how to get out of them at about midnight last night.

The Night

She can sleep for about 45 minutes at a time and then wakes up crying.

They've written orders so she can have morphene every two hours now to help control the pain.

She was up vomiting during the night - bloody drainage that she's been swallowing. She hasn't had any food or drink yet. It seems to hurt a LOT when she swallows.

She's on an IV, so she's going through diapers like crazy.

The plan was to take her home today, but that's up in the air at this point.

Wish us luck.


Thursday, September 6, 2007

A Brief Update

We left for the hospital at 6 this morning and just got home. I'm a little tired right now, but I wanted to get an update everyone on the surgery.

Her surgery went well. There were no complications, and she ended up sleeping in our laps pretty much the entire day. She's having some problems with the pain; her palate repair was bigger than what they usually see, so the tissue really had to be stretched - ouch! Before I left tonight, the surgeon gave our nurse the okay to continue giving Wynn morphine through the night to help ease the pain. Hopefully, she'll get some good sleep tonight and will be more herself tomorrow.

During the times when she was awake today she was strong - sitting up by herself, kicking her feet to complain about having her diaper changed, showing some interest in watching Curious George on TV. She HATES the no-no sleeves, which we expected going in. The staff in the recovery room told us, "Wow! She woke up mad. We gave her morphene thinking it was just pain, but she's plain old MAD at those sleeves." Yep. Totally saw that one coming.

I made it through the day without actually crying, but I did well up when:

• I was holding her and started to wonder whether her foster mom had been there to hold her after her lip repair surgery in China.

• We walked into the recovery room, heard her crying and immediately realized that her "voice" had changed. It makes sense that changing the size and shape of her mouth would change her voice, but we hadn't thought of it until we heard her.

• When I got home tonight and didn't have her with me.

We're hopeful that she'll be able to come home tomorrow, but we'll just have to wait and see. We'll post more details and an update (and pictures of her in the much loathed no-no sleeves) later tomorrow.


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Back to Work

It's been a very busy couple of weeks, which explains why we've been remiss in updating the blog. I'm back at work now, so Wynn's spending her days with Grandma; we're so pleased that my mom and Wynn are getting to spend this time together. :-)

We're also happy that Wynn is adjusting so well to having me gone during the day. She waves bye-bye when I leave in the morning and gives me a big hug when I get home. It has been a little tougher on me. We had Open House at school one day last week, so I had to be gone from 7 AM until 8 PM. I didn't fully realize how much I'd missed Wynn until I got home that night as she was getting ready for bed. I went in and held her and thought, "I haven't hugged you all day", and it really made me feel ... I don't know - Sad? Guilty? I don't know if I can put a name to the exact emotion; I just know it was a strong one.

Tomorrow Wynn goes in for surgery, and we're feeling some pretty strong emotions about that too. I'm the one who frets when the dog's at the vet getting his teeth cleaned, so the notion of having her in an operating room is, needless to say, daunting. We have enough history of medical procedures between us to know that she's going to feel discomfort, confusion, frustration, and boredom. Now we just have to figure out how to comfort her through all those things. We are fortunate in that she seems to understand SO MUCH of what we tell her; here's hoping that she can decipher enough of what's going to happen in the next few days for her to understand that this is all being done for her benefit and with love.

We'll update the blog in the next few days to let you now how she's doing. Thanks to all our friends and family for their kind words of support this week. It means a lot to know so many people are out their rooting for Wynn's speedy recovery.

Meanwhile, here are some recent pictures to show what we've been up to. The monkey backpack is fantastic! Its tail is a leash that we hold, so she gets the freedom of walking a bit while we feel safe knowing she's never more than four feet away.

I love the picture on the dock because it's such a "Minnesota kid" picture - late summer lighting, a boat, a lake, a smile.

Her expression and body language in the stroller picture just make us laugh; it looks like she's going to run for office on a "Are you sick of those clowns in Washington?" platform.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

State Fair Photos

Today was Wynn's first visit to the Minnesota State Fair. We got there early, brought the good stroller, and left before the crowds got to be too much. Her favorite things were visiting the sheep barn, seeing the prize-winning rabbits, recognizing that those were fish in the DNR pond, and eating mini-doughnuts. She passed out in the car on the way home; she'd seen a LOT and was ready for some rest.

Seeing the Sheep

Taking a Break with Baba

Her First Pronto Pup Ever!

Click on this Picture to See Her "Sugar Lips" from the Doughnuts

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Our 50th Posting

Doesn't seem like we've posted 50 times, but I guess we just have a lot to say...

Wynn's all set to have surgery on September 6th. She'll be having her palate repaired and getting tubes in her ears; they figure if they've got her knocked out once, they might as well do both procedures. When we visited the ENT last week, the audiologist reported that Wynn had a mild loss at the lowest registers; she attributed it to excess fluid behind her eardrums, which the tubes will help. (The toddler-style hearing test involved me sitting in what looked like an old bank vault with Wynn on my lap. When she looked at the speaker the sound was coming from, pictures of Mickey Mouse would light up. It was hard for me to sit still and not "signal" her to turn her head.)

We've read the literature about the surgery and what to expect. We're concerned about how Wynn will take to the "no-no sleeves" she'll have to wear to keep her from bending her elbows - so she can't put her hands or toys in her mouth. She's so stinkin' independent about feeding herself (and even about wiping her face and hands when she's done); we anticipate a bumpy ride while she adjusts to the idea of being fed.

In other news, Wynn has chosen her licensed character to fall in love with: Curious George. She has a book and a stuffed animal that she just adores. The cartoon show was on PBS yesterday, and she sat on my lap for half an hour to watch him. She KNOWS it's him the second he comes on screen; she smiles, laughs, and points at the screen to say, "Look, Mama, that's George!" On yesterday's show George was practicing saying "Surprise!" for a party, so now Wynn is copying him by throwing her arms out to the side and yelling, "Ahhh...!" If I do it, she points at the TV as if to say, "That's where the monkey who says that lives!" At least it's not Barney.

The first picture today shows Wynn in the adorable outfit my mom made for her. When Mom brought the outfit over, she saw that the person Wynn's most cooperative with for dress up is Baba. If I want to change her clothes, it's pretty hit or miss.

The other picture is of an outfit Wynn "created" herself. She found my socks by the hamper, knew they were socks and that they go on your feet, so she pulled them up over her sweat pants and proudly modeled them for us.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Stuff We Love

There's been a lot of trial and error around here in the two months since Gotcha day, and along the way we've discovered some products that are just wonderful. So, with a nod to Oprah's similarly-themed monthly magazine feature, we present Stuff We (and Wynn!) Love:

1. California Baby Shampoo - It takes care of Wynn's dry scalp issues and smells so delicious that I want to use it too. $8.99 a bottle at Target and worth every penny.

2. Honey Maid Graham Crackers - Apparently, they don't have to be shaped like zoo animals or teddy bears for kids to love them. Wynn feeds the other kinds of crackers to the dog, but she eats these square wonders hiding behind an end table to protect her stash from Ranger. I think of them as the Chanel suit of snack crackers: tasteful and simple with clean lines. A classic.

3. Dole Mandarin Oranges - Wynn is incredibly picky about fruit; she has rejected many a melon for not being up to her southern-China (where fresh fruit is abundant all year) tastes. She LOVES this fruit. It comes in big, clear plastic jars and seems to be on sale every other week. She's getting her vitamins, and we're not standing at the cutting board chopping up something we hope she'll approve of.

4. Goofy Spoons - We got these fantastic bent-handled toddler spoons as a gift. Of course, we threw away the packaging and don't know the brand name, but if you see them in the store, buy them! They're not only cool looking; they really work to get her to hold her spoon correctly. A toddler dumping less food in her lap = happy parents.

5. Melissa & Doug Alphabet Stacking and Nesting Boxes - Another gift we received. Wynn adores these and plays with them every day. Scott and I keep finding ourselves talking about her intellectual development as measured by the complexity of tasks she achieves with these boxes - She can "nest" them so quickly now and is working on stacking them. One day I set them in a line on the window sill, and now she puts them up there and points at them, which is her way of telling me to sing the alphabet song. She also likes to play a game where we hide a toy under one of them and shuffle them up for her to guess which one it's hidden under. (We have another similar toy, but those are made of wood and really hurt when Wynn drops them on her (and our!) feet, so these sturdy cardboard ones are a definite improvement.)

6. Sterilite Storage Bowls - Four bowls and lids for $3.99 at Target; they even throw in a free set of measuring cups. Wynn has hours of fun with this super-cheap toy ... putting LEGO's in them, pretending to mix whatever's in the bowl with her spatula, wearing them as hats, etc. Cheap. Easy. Fun. And I can put them through the dishwasher if they get too grimy. Doesn't get much better than that.

7. Dreft Stain Remover - This was recommended by a friend who has four kids, so she knows about stain removal! It comes in a big bottle, is cheaper than the other brands, works beautifully, and smells like baby. Good stuff.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Twirling Elmo of Death

Yes, we are one of the millions of families who have obtained lead-contaminated Fisher-Price toys, in this case, an Elmo lawn sprinkler. (Whomever gave us this, you're a good person and it's not your fault!)

Ann followed up on the recall instructions - there is a multi-page form we need to fill out, then we need to box up Elmo and mail him back to Mattel. At least they are picking up the cost of the postage.

We haven't even had a chance to use him yet ... watering restrictions due to the drought here in Minnesota, you know. We're only permitted to water on even-numbered days, between 6-10 am and 6-10 pm. However, we can fill the kiddie pool any time we like -- that's a permitted use.

Saw a piece on TV tonight where an activist said, "well of course it's from China" with the implication that everything from there is suspect and anyone dealing with the Chinese is likewise guilty of poisoning our children, pets, and air. Folks, it's not as simple as that.

We don't have to look very far to see where decisions to cut corners, scale back inspections, manage to ever-tighter budgets and letting things slide can lead to. I've eaten lunch several times in the past week at a park which overlooks downtown Minneapolis and watched the helicopters circle the 35W bridge collapse. There weren't evil people plotting for this to happen, there weren't evil people at Mattel, and there weren't evil people at the manufacturing facility in Guangdong. Just folks trying to get a job done with what the resources and time they had; a series of tradeoff decisions innocent enough in isolation, but in combination deadly. People must take responsibility to be sure, but I can't imagine our governor or a purchasing manager intending through their actions for anyone to get hurt.

We saw and met all sorts of people in China working their tails off and doing their best to do a good job as they understood it and were trained to do. Reminded us of a place called America. The smog in Beijing was really bad, and it leaks over the Pacific every now and then. But we put those factories there, by our choices of where we shop, what brands to buy, and at what price points.

And I happen to know we have a little Chinese import sleeping in her bed right now who is as pure, and good, and wholesome as any child from any place could be.


Sunday, August 12, 2007


This weekend we went to the Children's Home Society China Reunion, which was lots of fun. Scott and I both commented on how nice it was to be at a gathering filled with families that look like ours and to know that everyone in that room had made their own personal journey through "the process". We saw a few familes we'd seen in China back in June, lots of the CHSFS people we've worked with along the way, Molly - our amazing representative from Guangzhou, and a former student of mine - one of my absolute favorites ever - and her family. We took the long way home, so Wynn got her daily nap while riding in the car, and my parents came over to visit at dinner time. It was a good day.

Recently, a comment that an acquaintance who reads our blog made got me thinking. She said, "You're such a perfect family." I know that she meant that we fit so well together and things do seem to be moving along swimmingly, but I got a little hung up on the word perfect. Scott and I talked a lot before we left for China, and we came up with our mantra as new parents: "Mistakes will be made."

I think our experiences may come across to people as having been relatively easy because we have both approached the adoption process and our first fumbling steps as parents with a sense of humor and the attitude that we're going to try our best not to sweat the small stuff. Sure, there are days when Scott comes home worn out from work and just wants to eat a nice meal and watch "The Daily Show", while I've been taking care of Wynn all day and feel ready to just hand her over and say, "She's all yours, Buddy." Yes, we do get frustrated when Wynn doesn't understand the concept of Saturday and wakes us up at 6 AM. And the stains... a LOT of things have gotten stained since she showed up. We acknowledge the fatigue and frustrations to one another, but we also know that they're so insignificant compared to seeing Wynn smile when she wakes up in the morning, hearing her squeal with delight when she sees a moth flying around in the yard, or trying to keep track of every time she learns something new.

In honor of imperfections everywhere, I present to you our own blooper reel of pictures of Wynn. They may not be perfect pictures, but, when you're working with a toddler, perfection isn't a realistic goal now, is it? :-)