Monday, July 27, 2009


Kenzie finally got the other tooth out. Now I have some awesome pics of her without teeth in front. I told her that although it looks cute on a little girl to not have teeth in front, it looks really bad on an older woman. She just gave me a look that told me she couldn't understand how that could happen.

I can see the teeth as they are poking through the gums. (As you can tell, it doesn't take much to entertain me.) But in another light - she's growing up so fast - it won't be long I'll be watching her go to the prom.

I think I'm going to cry now.

Scary, isn't it!!!

Can you see the excitement in her face! She could hardly contain herself.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

There appears to be something missing.

Lost two teeth in two days. And she has two more loose teeth to come out soon, too: the middle top tooth and the one on the other side of the upper gap.

She won't be eating corn on the cob for awhile.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Picnic fun

Last Saturday was our adoption agency's annual picnic. I was shocked to see how few people went to the picnic... there was so much space and hardly anyone there. In year's past you'd be sighing a sigh of relief just to find a parking place at the park, let alone close to the shelter where they would have the lunch served for the country your child was from. But I have to give Kudos to our agency - they kept it all about the kids and put on a really nice picnic anyway. It was Jia's first time going, and Kenzie's third.

I took my Canon Rebel XTi this time, as well as the point and shoot cameras. However, the Rebel gave me some great shots. I won't post any pics of other people's kids, but I can post the one's I loved of mine. The nice thing about a DSLR is the depth one can get from a photo when shooting with a telephoto lens.

Interesting that we met a couple who had adopted a child from Jia's orphanage as well. Jia and the little girl said they remembered each other - or as the child put it - she remembered they were in nursery together. Amazing, since the child was adopted about 1 year ago, about 4-5 months prior to Jia's adoption.

But miracles happen every day. I have two angels to prove it.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Comparison pictures

I had had a request from a reader to show the before and after pics I had done when we had gone to a local beach. I've finally gotten around to getting this done.

So... here are the before and after pics. It helps a lot when you use a high megapixel camera that takes decent shots. These were taken with a 12 mp Sony DSC-T90. Nice little camera for a point and shoot. Also, all pics have been resized to make uploading a little easier - at full size, and on dial-up, it would have taken most of the night to get this done.


The woman's rear just didn't belong on top of my kid's head.



This was the original shot I worked with.
When I cropped the picture, part of Kenzie's
butt and her right leg were in the picture.


No butt or leg... and only what I wanted to see.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Both are held back in swimming

As outlined previously, Kenzie was held back to do session one again in swim lessons.

We made the decision to hold Jia back as well. The main reason is that she doesn't listen to the instructors. They tell the kids to be quiet and listen, she is off dunking herself and yelling for me to look. They tell the kids to hang on to the wall, she is trying to go out to deep water behind the instructors' backs. She is not listening to them, and the higher the level, the more dangerous the lesson will be if she doesn't pay attention to them.

It's the same thing she does at home. I'll tell her not to do something or to do something, and its as if I never opened my mouth. The walls have better hearing than Jia. (BTW - her hearing has been checked and it's perfect - there's no problem with it. The problem lies in her willingness to respond to authority.) There's a part of Jia that I think doesn't care - she's still not getting it when it comes to this family stuff... I think there are times when she thinks this is just another place for her to stay until her next move.

When I told Jia that because she wasn't paying attention to her instructors and that was the reason she was being held back, she bawled and screamed for a half hour "I wanna go to level 2!" over and over. I had told her previously that she had to listen to her instructors - and now she has to deal with the consequences of not doing what we've told her.

Another issue we are currently dealing with: Lying.

And she knows she's not telling the truth. She automatically says, "It wasn't me" when something is discovered and we find that there is something wrong or damaged. Now, I know Kenzie really well - and Kenzie is very careful with her things and with the household. Once Kenzie marked up a wall accidentally with a painted peg, and we talked with her about not doing that and not marking up the walls. This was when she was 2 years old. She's never done it since. But since Jia's been home, we've found places where there are marks (large ones) and we know that Kenzie didn't do it. Jia finally confessed to Roy, but that was after a lot of prodding. Not sure how to handle this. I'm sure that the immediate denial was so she wouldn't be punished in the orphanage... but she has to learn this isn't the orphanage and there aren't another couple hundred kids to blame around her... so it's pretty easy to figure out who did what.

One of these days, the actions vs inactions = consequences equation is going to finally hit home and she'll make the connection. But until then, it's going to be a very bumpy ride.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Moving on in swim lessons

It appears from the pictures below that Jia will be moving on to the next level of swim lessons.

Kenzie, on the other hand, is a typical little princess - not wanting to get her hair wet. At least for now. I've told her that if she takes more swim lessons, she will repeat the class she just took, and Jia is going to move on to the next level. She agrees she needs to just get her head under water... but will she?

Jia shows off her stuff by dunking her head under water... Kenzie shows her stuff by laying back and acting non-plussed over all the hype.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Swim lessons

The girls are taking swim lessons, and one of them is taking to it as a natural. I'll let you guess which one.

The two pics below show the kids "practicing" rescuing someone who can't swim well.

I think the only reason Kenzie is going to the lessons is so she can flirt with the guy who is helping teach swimming.

As you can see, Jia is having a great time. It was cool this day, but Jia's not feeling it. I was afraid that Kenzie was going to start to turn blue.

Kenzie won't put her face in the water. Period. She said if she had swim goggles, she would. Or if the sun was out, she would. I wonder how many excuses she can come up with before she has to admit she just doesn't want to.

For Jia, it's all about the fun. For Kenzie, it's all about the older boys.