Saturday, February 26, 2011

Working on the "TO DO" list.

Only 2-weeks to go until Amber and Eddie's wedding day.  There are still some things left to do to get ready, making final preparations (and payments), some projects on the house and property getting ready for guest - oh and a little play time.  The rain and cold has kept us in, they called for snow last night but all we got was rain and sleet. Kevin & Cameron went to Pole Position to get Kevin's birthday races in and to get away from projects and work for a few hours.

Lauren is still continuing to adjust to life here, and of course we are adjusting to her being here.  There are always good days and not so good days, there are some behaviors that are normal for children her age and some that are the product of being in an orphanage for almost 6-years. Yesterday was a not so good day where she got in trouble for breaking other peoples things - today was  good day!  As time goes on and Lauren gets more comfortable knowing she is safe and home with her family forever, and once she learns more communications skills we should see more of what is her normal personality and behaviors.

Here are some photos from Pole Position and some of Hannah and Lauren playing with Mr. & Mrs. Potato  Head.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Another Week Ending

Lauren has now been home with us for 5-weeks.  Each week we have our ups and downs as she learns to live in a family and not in an orphanage, and we all learn to live with her in our lives.  Communication still is the biggest obstacle to overcome, Lauren sometimes gets frustrated and other times just keeps talking like she is sure we understand every word she speaks.

This past week Kevin celebrated his birthday and Amber & Eddie were able to join the rest of us for dinner and a little cheese cake!

Kevin blowing out the candle on
his birthday cheese cake! 

On Friday, Lauren had blood taken for the various test our doctor requested, we still need to collect some other samples early next week (the fun part which we do not need to explain!) : ) She did well until they placed the tourniquet on her arm, then she knew the needle stick was next and started to cry. Kevin held her and kept her arm steady while Lynda held her other hand and kept her comforted. Since she did so well as they drew the blood she was able to go to the store and pick out a new coloring book, she picked her favorite character - Mumpy (Mickey).

Lauren with her "Mumpy" coloring book.

Hannah and Lauren playing together.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

In-N-Out Burger

After church today we stopped for In-N-Out Burgers, we promised Max (Father of Rebecca who traveled with us to China) that we would eat a burger for him, as he used to live in Southern California and enjoyed In-N-Out.

The girls wore matching dresses to church today that the Prior Family gave them, they looked very cute and like sisters!

This one's for you Max - since you could not be here
Cameron finished it for you!

Saying hello to our family in Ohio - the Boothby's! When you
come to visit Disneyland and In-N-Out Burger are on the itinerary.

Cameron enjoying his In-N-Out burger.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

First US Birthday Party

Today Lauren had the opportunity to participate in a birthday party for her new friend Analiese.  For the party the children dressed up and the Prior family was dressed as characters from Alice In Wonderland.

Lauren and Hannah got to dance, play musical chairs, and play with the other children.  We all had a great time and had the opportunity to introduce Lauren to some friends who we have not seen since arriving home.

Girls dressed for the party.

Glen greeting guest as the Rabbit from
Alice In Wonderland.

Analiese, Hannah, and Lauren

One of the party games was to build a house of cards, here are some of the teams working on theirs and a photo of our finished project. We built a portion of the forbidden city and included the picture of Mao in the front.

Dancing at the party:

First Doctor Appointment in US

Lauren had her first appointment with our family doctor yesterday.  Lauren has had plenty of experience with doctors and hospitals in her life, so this visit was no big deal for her. We will be taking her for a full blood panel and screening (including lead), and an ultra-sound of her kidneys and urinary tract.  The only concern our doctor had was with her history of UTI and Kidney infections and the diagnosis of minimal change disease was making sure we have a good look at her kidneys and urinary tract to ensure no reflux is occurring and work to prevent the recurrent infections.

As for Lauren's small size, (she is below the the 5% line on the graph), our doctor is hoping that she will increase in weight and height with better nutrition.  We have witnessed this already as Lauren has gained 3-pounds just in the time we have been home with her.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lauren Adapting to Life Here & More Wedding Preps

Lauren continues to adapt to her new life here with us (and of course we are all adapting to our new life too).  The week started with some grieving on Monday at Breakfast when Lauren did not want to eat anything and refused to use any English words and after about an hour finally broke down and cried.  Following that she was fine the rest of the day.  Yesterday, (Tuesday) Kevin returned to work part-time and following school work Hannah & Lauren showed some great strides in playing with one another.  Normally, Lauren's attention span for any one game/toy is very short and consisted of pulling out some toys playing for 5-minutes and packing it back up. Yesterday, the two girls played with Hannah's doll house for more than an hour, Lauren stayed the whole time and only tried to clean up and put away once they were done playing.

Lauren is also much more comfortable around the dogs, she loves Bear and Nala, (Nala loves the extra attention), it will take a little more time with Mia though as Lauren is still a bit timid around her.

Lynda has been busy making the rest of the flower arrangements and centerpieces for Amber's wedding and reception, only 4-1/2 weeks to go.

A Few Photos of Lauren's first visit to the local ice cream shop last weekend:

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lauren Singing the ABC Song.

During Lauren's school work she has been watching one of the educational videos that has the ABC song, she is starting to pick up some of it, here is her version of the song. The Alphabet book she is using has seen some better days at it has been passed down through all the kids.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Another First for Lauren.

We started today with Amber stopping over to go over some ideas that Lynda had for the floral arrangements at the church and completing the center-pieces for the wedding reception.

Then we headed out to one of the Carr Family's favorite places - can you guess?


Lauren was at times overwhelmed and had the "deer in the headlights look", until she spotted a character she was familiar with and had the chance to meet - "Mumpy Moosh" (her name for Mickey Mouse).

She enjoyed the Monsters Inc ride, the Toy Story ride, and had a great time in the Buzz Lightyear ride even to the point of taking over the laser blaster all on her own. Since she has seen the Toy Story and Monsters Inc videos with us she was somewhat familiar with these characters and seemed to enjoy the rides pointing to the various characters and smiling. 

We think we have a convert and as Cameron says - it is now official she is now a Carr since she has had her Disney initiation.

Mickey aka Mumpy
She was not too sure about Pluto at first
but Hannah took her by the hand to meet him.

No one was around so Mickey joined Pluto
for a group photo with the girls.

Lauren kept blowing kisses to Mickey,
he returned the gesture with a kiss for her.

Look of fear before the carousel started.

Dad had to finally get on the dolphin with her to get her to stay on the ride:

Can you tell this is one of Hannah's favorite rides!
Small World:  Hannah likes it, not too sure about Lauren.