Tuesday, November 29, 2011

four and a half

four... and a half!

Happy HALF birthday to our sweet little Lilah Grace!

Four and a half is a wonderful age! It's a great age for talk talk talking! We can hardly get a word in edgeways around the house and when she isn't talking to us, I know well the teachers and school friends are getting their ears talked off! And then there's always the chattering away to herself while she's playing around the house. I truly enjoy the chatter - it's one of my favourite things about our girl.

When she isn't chattering, she writing writing writing! Making little books - homemade stories of which she is the author and illustrator! I love when she gets on the chair she designated as the "share chair" and reads us her stories. This is being nurtured by her teacher and I adore it. Have I mentioned her teacher is wonderful?

The other thing she loves to do now is play games. This girl is ALL about the RULES!! She has a stack of games now and we basically play one after supper every evening. She got a new one for her half birthday today, called 'Take the Cake" - I picked it up in Chapters/Indigo and it's a lot of fun!

Our girl has always had such a genuine loving heart and being four and a half in no exception. Here's a little snippet of how she is at four and a half:

: If there's anything she has or is wearing and we tell her we really like it, she'll say: "When I'm a teenager I'm going to buy you one of those!"

: When she asks me for something, like on Monday when we were out driving she asked me of she could have a drink when she got home, and I said of course you can have a drink. She replied: "You're SO kind to me Mama!"

: She still tells me that I'm the best Mama at cooking supper in the whole wide world!

: She prays for all her school friends at night now. And one day she said to me: "I love you so much Mama. And I love God too."

I love her so very much too.

Monday, November 28, 2011

santa claus

Well, the big man in red has been in town for a couple of weeks now and we always take the opportunity to go and see him at the least busy time possible! He is the same Santa she had her first picture taken with 2 years ago! I think he looks a lot more realistic than some of them!

Lilah was pretty thrilled to see him, although you wouldn't know from the fake smile that didn't really reach her eyes! Ha! If the lady hadn't said "BIG smile!", she would have smiled just fine, but there you have it. She told Santa that she wanted three things for Christmas: an electric toothbrush, a watch and a Candyland game!

I have a funny feeling we're all ready for Christmas!

santa - 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

how old?

I looked at this photo I took of Lilah this morning, and this is probably just me, but she seems to look 14, instead of 4, with her curly hair.

Speaking of age, she turns 4 and a HALF in two days, and she's very excited about it! I just have no idea where the time goes...wasn't it just yesterday that she was a little toddler, trying to keep her balance? Every day is a gift with this girl, today she told me that she's going to love me for fifty million years! I can't think of anything I'd like more.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

first snow fall of the season

Indeed, it's officially winter. Brrr!

Lilah was completely ecstatic to wake up to a white city this morning! She was already out of bed and peering out the window before I left for work at 6:30am. And according to the email from her teacher, her class had a wonderful time playing in the snow this morning: building forts, making snowmen and shoveling snow. Oh to be 4 years old again!

Then when I picked her up from playgroup at 3pm we came home and spent 2.5 hours outside building a snowman, shoveling snow, making snow castles and we also had a funny snowball fight! When we eventually came into the house she was grinning from ear to ear, and said to me: "You know why my cheeks and eyes hurt? Because you make me smile a lot!"

Oh yeah, I adore her.

first snow fall

Monday, November 21, 2011

first parent/teacher interview

So I had my first parent/teacher interview with Lilah's teacher last Monday evening. Lilah absolutely loves school, she still hasn't come off the 'high' since her first day in September. Her knowledge base, her ability to understand and her memory have grown in a tremendous way this past 3 months and it's getting more and more obvious that this girl is going to go far.

She has an incredible understanding. She sounds out the letters in words now and it is only a matter of time until my little 4 year old is reading. This morning I found her downstairs writing her class friends names down on a page, just by the sound of their names. Unbelievable! She also finds what her teacher calls, 'popcorn words', all over the place, different words that she already knows, like 'it', 'to', 'hello', 'and'...and there's a few more I can't remember right now. She finds them (and points them out to me) in reading books, magazines, her Bible, food packaging, etc. She sits eating her breakfast in the morning, spelling all the letters on the food packaging at the table. She uses bigger words now and different phrases in her sentences and stories, that are sometimes just plain funny!

Like this week I was drawing lines and she said, "Oh, you're making horizontal lines!" Wow. I was amazed that she knew, remembered and completely understood the meaning of that word! Here's a few other things she has said in the past week that have made me grin...

: After accusing Lilah of possibly telling lies one day, her reply was: "I think God is the only one who knows what I'm talking about. He knows that I'm serious!" I found out later (from Baba) that she was indeed telling the truth!

: Telling me about how fast she had eaten her breakfast one morning: "I eat up my porridge SO fast and it was TOTALLY gone!"

: As I was multi tasking one day and trying to remember what I was going to tell her, she said: "Mmm. Maybe it just popped out of your mind!"

: Talking about her French teacher one day: "She fell a long long long time ago, probably when she was a daughter!"

: Baba was being a bit crazy one night while playing a game with Lilah, she was rather affronted with his behaviour, turned to him and said: "Baba, I think we'll play the game when you're feeling calmer!"

: When I asked Lilah why she was hiding one day, she replied: "I'm hibernating, because I'm an animal...and it isn't Spring time yet."

Anyway, I came away very happy after the parent/teacher interview. Sure there are things that she needs to work on, like sharing and helping out with tidy up time, but other than that things are going great. She is a happy girl, she loves to learn and she absolutely adores her friends. The teacher was telling me how her effort is always 110%. In fact, she told me that Lilah was one of a few children she has ever taught, that can block everything and everyone out and work solo without any interaction. She said it was a sign that she would be a very strong learner. I was glowing when she told me, "You have a very special girl, she is very intelligent!"

I was also told that she adores her reading buddy! All the children from the older grade classes comes to kindergarten class once a week and they read their 'personal buddy' some stories. Lilah's teacher was telling me, out of all the children, Lilah asked for and wanted the little Chinese boy to be her reading buddy. The teacher also told me that they are so so happy together, they sit together laughing and reading stories - she promised me a picture of the two of them together, which I can't wait to see! Speaking of her choice of another Chinese child, we just found out this past week that Lilah seems to be able to tell apart other Chinese children. She was walking to school with Colin one day and they passed by two little girls who were down on the ground playing. Lilah remarked "There's two Chinese girls playing." Colin was taken back a little by her remark and inquired how she knew they were Chinese. Her reply: "Because their faces are Chinese!" One of the things I appreciated during my chat with the teacher is how much the teacher wants to celebrate Lilah's heritage. In fact, her words to me were: "I really want Lilah to lead the class in the Chinese New Year celebrations and I want her to feel well represented in our classroom." I was thrilled to hear her say that. She also went on to tell me she's been on the lookout for a Chinese babydoll for the playhouse - I was only too pleased to be able to help her out in that department!

Lilah is also learning French in school. The French teacher comes into her class for 20 minutes every day and Lilah now has a wide array of French songs at the tip of her tongue! She can also count to 10 in French, say hello, my name is..., how are you?, I'm good, thank you, etc. She told me around Halloween time: "If you hear the word bonbon, it actually means candy!" She is constantly telling Baba that he is a garcon and she and I are filles. There are things that come up in our every day chat that she'll tell me the french word for. Like I called something small one day and she said, "Oh, well, you could just call it petite, that's what it means in French!" She gave me a good laugh one day when I'd bought my new camera and it had two manuals included, French and English. She was peering over my arm with curiosity and I told her one of the manuals was in French and she could throw it in the rubbish because I couldn't read it. She opened the little book, flicked through the first couple of pages and said "Well, I can read this, because I speak French!" Haha! She's had it a while now and I see that she's been higlighting parts of it, which makes me laugh! Good thing she enjoys French, because next year she'll be starting the French Immersion program at school.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


We just came back from a couple of days in Montreal. We always make a little tour there in the Fall to do some shopping and take time to catch our breath, just before Christmas! We don't normally leave it to this late in the season, it must have had something to do with the amazing Fall weather we've been enjoying this year! Anyway, it just happened to be today, bright and early, the Santa Claus parade was parading downtown!

Lilah was completely mesmerized by the whole scene!

Sorry for the lack of photo quality, there were many heads and shoulders in front of me, I should have given the camera to Lilah, she had the best seat in the house...on her Baba's shoulders!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

it's beginning to look...

...a lot like Christmas!

We're heading to N.Ireland on the 15th December, for Christmas. So in light of that, we decorated nice and early this year! Lilah is mostly excited about the Lindt chocolate advent calendar I purchased at Costco. She calls it her "Counting down to Christmas!" and can't wait for December 1st!

She also really enjoys playing with Mr Nutcracker, and I enjoy listening to her imagination, out loud. Lilah got this nutcracker last year after watching The Nutcracker being performed by the Alberta Ballet. We have our tickets booked for The Nutcracker this year as well! This year the performance will be put on by the Pennsylvania Ballet, so I'm hoping they'll be selling their own special Mr Nutcracker too. It's becoming a very special yearly tradition for us.

the nutcracker the nutcracker

Monday, November 14, 2011

i heart faces - 'autumn splendor'

collecting leaves for school

One of my favourite pictures of my girl from this past Fall.

[ check out more 'autumn splendor' photographs over at i heart faces this week ]

Friday, November 11, 2011

lest we forget

To live in safety, a price has been paid.
To live eternally, a price has been paid.
Thank you.

11.11.11 11.11.11 11.11.11

[ more pictures here ]

Thursday, November 10, 2011

approved by the ministry!

We just got our approval today (for our second adoption) from the Ontario Ministry!

We're so so SO excited! Can't believe they took the full 10 weeks, minus 1 day, to get it all sorted. But that's okay. I'm feeling very at peace with this adoption. I know the Lord did great things when He gave us Lilah, she was so meant to be part of our family. And I know if things had finished a week earlier or a day earlier, we might never have seen her beautiful face. So I know the Lord is in control and I have faith that He will lead us to the child that is meant for our family.

So now our documents for the dossier have to be translated and notarized before they are sent to China. Our agency already has them all in their hands, so we are just waiting - the timeframe is approximately one month. Then the dossier will be sent to China and we'll get a LID (log in date). At that stage we're ready to be matched with a referral! The lady in charge of the waiting children program has said the matching can take anywhere from 1-5 months.

We are beyond excited!

Monday, November 7, 2011

feeding the chickadees

feeding the birds

I've been meaning to do this for years now! Today was 17°C, so it wasn't even a question that we had to get out and about!

After I picked up Lilah from school, we headed to one of the forested trails here in Ottawa and brought along some birdseed to feed the chickadees. I'd been told by a co-worker, many moons ago, that there are certain trails in the city that they will come and sit on your hand while you feed them. What an experience! I've never seen anything like it before, being so close to nature is incredible!

It took a little bit of patience for them to come, but it totally paid off. And Lilah has more patience than anyone else I know, seriously. I think there were about 16 of these little chickadees by the end count, jumping on and off her hand. And she absolutely loved it. I kept refilling her hand with seed and she kept on feeding. I loved how she started singing to them too - such a sweet funny girl.

When I told her what a great job she'd done feeding the little chickadees, she said "I know Mama. It's because I'm a grown up girl now!" Another funny thing she said; when I was explaining something about the trees being bare in winter and that they have no leaves. She nodded her head, turned to me and said "You could just say zero leaves!"

Another thing I should point out, is Lilah's hairband. It seems to be the new trendy thing nowadays. When I bought her the first one, she excitedly exclaimed "OHHHHHH!! Maisie has one like this, I want to wear mine like her!" Now she won't take it off, and yes, she wears it just like Maisie! She is too cool for school! (Oh, and Maisie is a special friend in her kindergarten class.)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

lilahisms galore!

little miss studious

Baba was feeling sick one day and asked who would look after him, Lilah's response was: "Well, I think you're big enough!"

I was trying to squeeze Lilah's foot into her ice skate one day, which requires some extra muscle! While I was huffing and puffing, I felt Lilah patting my head as she said to me: "It's okay Mama, just try your best."

Wearing her pretend glasses and pretending to read a book one day, she looked up and said to me, very matter of factly: "I only need to wear these glasses when I'm reading!" (see picture above)

I had the flu for a few days, my sweet girl would squeeze into bed beside me, rub my arm and say: "I wish I could take it away, Mama. I wish I could make you feel better."

While playing nurse and sticking the thermometer in my mouth one day (she has a real one), it beeped, she took it out, looked at the screen and said: "Oh! It says, dear Jill, feel well soon!"

I was planning on joining Lilah's class as a volunteer one day and happened to be explaining to Lilah (maybe for the second or third time!) that I'd see her later and to tell her teacher that I'd be joining them. In an exasperated voice she said: "Okay! Okay! You don't need to yak on and on about it!"

In Lilah's class there is a little girl named Ila. I overheard her one day saying this: "ila lilah ila lilah ila lilah - they sound the same, but they're not identical!"

Baba is always teasing Lilah that she's his girl and kisses her and then loudly whispers, "Don't tell Mama!" Her reponse to him is usually: "No Baba! I'm not sucking 'round you!"

When I asked if I could help her with her zip one day, her response was: "No thanks. I'm the zipper expert!"