We've had many chats about pregnant women and I've talked to Lilah about how she was in her China Mother's belly and that she was born in China.
There have been lots of babies born in the past nine months: Baby Luke, Baby Zachy, Baby Oliver, Baby Jade and Baby Juliana. All babies that we see and talk about on a fairly regular basis and three of them go to the same Church as us.
So when I went upstairs this morning and found her in her bedroom with Baby Boy (he's a stuffed lamb that she's recently taken an interest in and named 'Baby Boy') pushed up the front of her t-shirt, I should not have been in the least bit surprised. She said to me "I'm having a baby", and 3 seconds later she said "I'm still having a baby" and 3 seconds after that she said "I'm STILL having a baby". It was very cute role play! And so that went on for a while.
Then she asked me to put Baby Boy up my shirt and right after I did it, she asked me to put her up my shirt. I gently told her I couldn't because she was too big and she wasn't a tiny baby anymore. She said to me, "Lilah wasn't in Mama's tummy".
I had no idea she was listening, never mind understanding.
I held her tight, because I had no idea just how much I would hurt for her (or myself), that she will probably never know who her birth Mother is. On the one hand I know nothing of her birth Mother or her circumstances, but on the other hand I know that she carried her daughter for (probably) 9 months and went through the pain of delivery. And I DO know that she chose life for her daughter and I am so very thankful for that. In fact, I didn't fully realize just how thankful I was, until today. Thank you so much for giving our sweet baby girl the gift of life.
Does anyone else get this Kraft 'What's Cooking' magazine? It's free and it's mailed out every quarter. The recipes in it are always so simple and well, the pictures just make me want to try every recipe in there. So since we have 'potluck and ministry' at our Church this evening, I decided to make these yummy looking cupcakes. They are made using angel cake, I've never thought to do that before, it sure was a great idea and I arrived home with an empty plate tonight, all 16 were gone in a flash. I think the kiddies enjoyed them!
The recipe is here. Although I should mention, I just put fresh whipped cream on top of them.
I baked them while Lilah was napping and I was in the middle of decorating them when she woke up. Colin went up to get her out of the crib and when she was half way down the stairs she saw what I was doing! She peeked thorough the stair rails, got these huge eyes and said: "Those for me. Those for Yiya Dacie (Lilah Gracie)!"
She decorated one for herself and yum'd and mmm'd the whole time while eating it!
Also, while we were driving to Church she was chattering away as usual. After a while she announced, "We're going to eat cupcakes at the party". We laughed and I reminded her that we were actually going to Church!
She isn't always a little angel, even though you or I might think she is!
I don't know what's going on with Lilah at the moment. She was never a tantrum thrower and I can count on one hand how many times she's been mad. Sure she shows us 'attitude' when she's scolded...that's what she calls it! But this past few days it's been different. She cries at the silliest things imaginable, then a few minutes later she's all happy happy.
I know she's working on her top two 'second molars'. One of them is about a quarter way through the gum, but she assures me they aren't hurting her. And believe me, she lets me know if anything is painful. Like myself, her pain threshold is pretty low!
When you parent a child who has an unknown story for those first 18 months of her life, you do tend to over think things, second guess yourself, wonder deep down if there's something else going on in her little mind. Something I can't figure out. Something she can't express. Maybe some part of her history.
She's smart, she doesn't forget easy. I have no doubt in my mind that she still remembers some aspects of China. When I show her this picture of the SWI staff holding her, she always asks me, "Where's Mama & Baba?".
It's hard work, it sometimes makes me worry my head off, but I guess that's all part of parenting. And the rewards are pretty huge!
Lilah wasn't quite so sure what all the pomp and circumstance was about today. I opened the mail this afternoon to find her Certificate of Canadian Citizenship.
'Welcome to the Canadian Family', ...Miss Lilah Grace Xiao Tong!
She did enjoy celebrating with an ice-lolly we found in the freezer! And a quick call to Baba sealed the deal on a celebratory supper out at Mekong tonight!
It was emotional for me. I guess I never really thought about it a lot, but it was. She gave up so much to gain this. It's bittersweet.
I don't remember being emotional at all when Colin and I became Canadian Citizens almost five years ago. Maybe that had to do with the fact that we had to pass a written test. You know, nerves took over when I had to revise for questions like: 'from whom are the métis descended?' or 'who was the first leader of a responsible government in 1849?' or 'when did the canadian charter of rights and freedoms become part of the canadian constitution?'.
Really? Do all Canadians know this stuff?
And more to the point, does she look like someone that cares? Or does she look like she's thinking, "Yum, this is a great lolly! Wish I could be a new Canadian every day"? Oh and she told me that the colour of the lolly was the same as her dress. Did I mention she's astute?
She's got the most beautiful heart. She's kind and gentle and loving.
Yesterday evening she looked at me and softly whispered "Guess what? I love you". Of course in the next breath she asked me for chocolate, but it didn't matter, she melted me. I looked at Colin and said, "She knows how to play me!". She loves to snuggle and at the moment one of her favourite things is to have us cradle her like a baby and rock her while singing: 'Rock-a-by baby, on the tree top'. Those moments are precious.
She's very sensitive and very very cautious.
Her gymnastics instructor recently said; "Lilah will always put her toe in to test the water before jumping in!". It's very true, but I also know even if she did put her toe in, she still wouldn't jump! Sometimes we say she needs a little toughening up. But it's her nature to be a softy and I think it's here to stay, which is just fine, in fact, it's perfect.
She's extremely astute.
Oh my, is she ever. We don't get a thing past our girl. At night while she's lying in her crib and I'm getting ready for bed, she can't see me, but she can hear me. She'll continually question me: "You in the bathroom?", "You putting your jammies on?", "You brushing your teeth?", "You in the bedroom now?". By the time I get into bed I feel like I've been thoroughly interrogated! Have I mentioned what a fabulous lawyer or investigator she'd make?!
She has a great sense of humor and always has a joke or some fun rivalry up her sleeve!
She really does keep us laughing. She'll say things like "I'm going to drink ALL Mama's tea", "Lilah be Baba's girl", "Don't tell Mama we're eating sweeties", and on and on.
She's just adorable and so incredibly sweet. That's our girl!
After playgroup today we stopped by the local shopping mall and Lilah got to see and have her picture taken with the Easter Bunny!
This picture may give you the impression that she didn't want to be on the bunny's knee. Not so, she really did enjoy the bunny experience and she even got herself propped up on his knee and was petting away at his fur before I had signed up and paid for the event. The photographer, on the other hand, was having problems with his flash and kept asking her to 'smile'. It took about 7 or 8 tries before he got the problem figured out and I think her patience was wearing a little thin!
Either way, it's a pretty cute photo! And the proceeds go to the Ottawa Humane Society.
Today we stopped in and had lunch with Baba.
Afterwards we took a little walk to check out the geese. Lilah pulled some dried weeds and chucked them over the fence for them. I have a feeling she thought they'd eat them. But instead they flew to the other side of the (still frozen) pond. Oh well, at least she had fun picking weeds and we didn't break any "DO NOT FEED THE GEESE" rules!
We're still enjoying this early spring weather!
Yesterday Lilah and I made some St Paddy's Day cupcakes.
Colin and I are originally from the North of Ireland, we're not Irish, but we're pretty close, a few miles north of the border close.
Either way, we'll celebrate this holiday, even if we're a few days early and even if it's just for the cupcakes! Because we're ALL about the cupcakes in this house! And it's been far too long since we made cupcakes together, which I think is the real reason we broke down and made them a few days early. That and we needed a project!
Here's our wee leprechaun, with frosting on her lips, proving she's indulged herself already! When she said "Not tell Baba" to me, (regarding eating a cupcake), I thought to myself 'good luck girly - like he won't notice the bright green frosting on your lips'! Heh!