Saturday, June 9, 2012

Quick Update!

We have been blown away by how quickly time is going by- Brooke seems like she has been home with us forever and is becoming more and more fun every day. The most special part has been watching her and Erica's relationship develop- they are truly becoming best friends and do almost EVERYTHING together. Erica has taught Brooke the art of secret-telling, and last night at dinner, the littles spent the entire evening whispering made-up words in each others ears and giggling uncontrollably.

Meredith with the littles!
Erica and Brooke on Brooke's first merry-go-round ride! Please note Brooke's tiara headband- quite the princess, already!

She was too excited :)
We are gearing up to make a quick 2-day beach trip to South Padre Island! Brooke LOVES the pool and being outside, so we hope that she will love the beach as well! We are excited for a little getaway, and of course, for some fun soaking up the sun down at SPI! Larry's family will all be down there, so Brooke will have a few days with her grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins!

Coley is so sweet to read books to Brooke when she wakes up in the morning!

Allison...teaching Brooke how to make all kinds of faces.

Brooke doing the "duck lips" shot already- oh my. 

She's got a lot of cheek to chub :) 
We had a VERY special treat this week....Karen, the director of New Day Foster Home, was in town! This is the foster home where Brooke lived for almost 2 years, and where Meredith worked last summer! Karen's daughters happen to live in Tulsa, and her daughter was getting married! We had the chance to have them over for dessert and just get together to talk for a little while. It was so special to get see her, while also a little bit strange to be over on this side of the world together!!

What a wonderful lady!!

Please keep Brooke in your prayers- Thursday morning at 9 AM she is going in for her heart cath. This will determine when she will be able to have surgery, which we are praying is SOONER rather than LATER!!! Please pray that she remains healthy until Thursday so she will be able to have the cath done, as well as for a successful procedure! The cath is to test the pressures in her lungs to determine the safety of her being able to have surgery. We are praying for LOW levels of pressure! Thank you all for your prayers and support!
A morning of chalk- what could be better?

Only Erica sits in the complete splits to draw with chalk...
Brooke is so beautiful- she is such a blessing to our family!!! 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Time Just Goes Flying By....

Wow. We have been home from China with Brooke for just over 2 weeks, but it feels like she has been with our family forever. She has fallen into her place as the youngest princess of the clan, and hasn't looked back. We just love her to death, and can't remember what life was like before she came. The joy she has brought to our household is unbelievable- she has the MOST precious giggle.

She loves, loves, loves her mama and baba- giving BIG hugs and kisses so freely. She has quickly learned that Baba is ALWAYS good for a sno-cone or ice cream run...and has him wrapped around her chubby little finger. She has picked up this cute little slurping sound/hand motion that she does after meal times, meaning....LET'S GO GET A SNO-CONE!!!! She will grab Baba's hand and say "Guo lai!!! Wo men qu!" (Come here!!! Let's go!) Baba, of course, is more than happy to comply. :) She communicates really well in Chinese, and is cracking us up with her mix of Chinglish that she uses. Her favorite is "Wo yao qu OUTSIDE!!!" (I want to go OUTSIDE!!).

SnoCones! A family favorite :)

Brooke ALWAYS tries to steal someone else's snocone too! :)
She also loves all of her siblings- she and Erica have started playing really well together. Brooke loves babies- and playing "mama". Erica plays alongside her and its so sweet to watch the two of them get along. They also LOVE to have dance parties, especially with big sisters!! Brooke has taken to calling Cole "Cuckoo", because we will sometimes refer to him as "Coley- Cuckoo" is too precious to hear her yell down the hallway for "Cuckoo!". Allison has become "Alla" to yet another precious little sibling, and Brooke says her name so cute! She also continues to call Meredith "Ayi", which means "auntie" in Chinese. This is what she called Meredith all last summer at New Day, and also the other two times when Meredith went to visit her. It's too precious, as she really does remember Meredith caring for her there- she LOVES to look at the photos of the two of them together at New Day. She will point to herself and say "Cai Wei" (her Chinese name), and then point to Meredith and say "ayi"...or sometimes "Mei" if she decides she wants to say her name that day :).  She also will talk to Meredith in Chinese- realizing that Mei is the ONLY one who can understand what she is saying! Ha! The best is when she runs to Mei and tells her to "Tell Mama I fill in the blank" :) Her English though is really incredible. She is already beginning to communicate a large amount in English after only being home 2 weeks, though we are really, really hoping she will be able to keep a little bit of her Chinese!!

Loves her "Ayi"- her Mei. 

And she loves her Alla too!
She has clearly mastered the English word "Nooooo!!!". Last summer, her classic phrase was "Bu yao", which means I don't want it!! (especially if someone tried to pick her up that she wasn't too fond of) :) While she still uses Bu YAO time and again, she has really taken up a funny way of saying "No". She will say it fairly normally the first time, but if she feels her "no" is being ignored or unheard....she repeats her "no" with GUSTO, using a pointing finger and an extraordinarily long and low growl of a "Nooooooooo"- as she points her finger disapprovingly at you. Now, we really shouldn't think this is funny...and encourage her as much as we do. But ya'll. It is TOO FUNNY. She cracks us up with it, and so it is repeated for laughs over and over :) She also has picked a "smile" tell her to smile for the camera, and she whips this winner out. Every.Time. Oh my. I mean, come on honey!! Couldn't it be a LITTLE bit less of a grimace?! Ah well. :) We'll just have to capture the unposed, REAL smiles!!

That smile. Oh my. 
Little Cai Wei is blowing us AWAY with how much she is learning, and so quickly. She can sing almost every single English nursery rhyme- her favorites being the ABC song, Bingo, and Row Row Row Your Boat. She knows motions to so many of the songs as well...she and Erica have a BLAST singing together to all of the songs. Her newest favorite game is running into Meredith and Allison's room in the morning- climbing and snuggling in their bed with them. Erica usually joins as well, and it turns into quite the party :) She also had her first tumble after climbing around like a monkey for the past 2 weeks! She slid right of a chair and hit her little chin! She has QUITE the bruise, thanks to the blood thinners that she is on for her heart! Thankful it was just a little bruise...but what a little monkey!

Morning snuggle time! As Baba said...this is WAY too many tax returns in one bed :) Brooke really does love it and gets SO excited to snuggle with the big girls- she was not a fan of Dad taking pictures in the dark room though :)
Grandma and Grandpa had the chance to come down to visit for a few weeks! Grandma has been quite the hit- teaching Erica how to knit and just having fun the grandkids! Brooke loved "beeping" Grandpa's big nose...just like all the grandkids before her! She fits right in! It's been such a blessing to have them here to meet their 24th grandchild!!!

The whole fam with Grandma and Grandpa!! That's a LOT of people! Ha. 

Grandma teaching Erica how to knit!

Sweet Brooke with her Grandpa!

Our SIX kiddos with the grandparents!

Meredith with her precious baby sisters!

And Mama with ALMOST all of her girls...sad that Allison had to run off to work! 

Grandma with baby girl!

Precious girls who love, love, love to match!
Overall, Brooke's transition to our family has been incredible. We are so thankful to God for the blessing He has given us- Brooke is the most beautiful addition to our family. We love her dearly and are so, so thankful for each and every day with her. We covet your prayers for her heart and for her health- she had a chest xray on Friday, and tomorrow (Monday) she will go in for an echocardiogram, as well as for an appointment with her pediatric cardiologist. We are hopefully that this echo will help us determine her heart cath date as well as her surgery date! We are praying that her surgery will be able to occur SOON, and that the doctors are confident about the results that they see from the xrays, echo, and heart cath. Please be praying that her medications will have been working, that her lung pressures continue to stay at low enough levels for surgery to be possible, and for her blood oxygen levels to stay high!! We are SO thankful for the support we have been shown by you all, and for the prayers for our sweet Brooke. We will update with more specific requests for her heart as we find out more details from the cardiologists and surgeon! We are thankful that we have a Great Physician on our side!!! Thanks SO much for your prayers!

Loves T@rget. Loves shopping. Loves her big sis. LOVES marshmallows. We are blessed. :)