Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hannah's 5 minute chocolate cake

Hannah made this last night and it was quite yummy....especially if you need a chocolate fix baaad.

4 tablespoons flour
4tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips ( optional. Use if you want to make a "lava cake")
small splash of vanilla

Add the dry ingredients to a microwave safe coffee mug and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add chocolate chips and vanilla. Mix again. Put mug in microwave and cook for 3 minutes on high power ( 1,000 watts) The cake will rise over the top of the mug. Allow to cook and tip out onto a plate.

Hannah hopped over to Lisa's blog and made her buttercream frosting less the mint. I had a little bite ( that is all Hannah would give me:) and it wasn't bad.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lake House 2009

The "Princess Mafia"

I admit to stealing the "Princess Mafia" tag from Maia. The picture above was taken from this site. Even when Hannah was little we didn't get sucked in to the D*sney Princess stuff. We went to the PARK when Hannah was in first grade and she was more interested in M*ckey Mouse than the mafia. We did go to the castle for breakfast and all the girls where there except for the girl who is "supposed" to live there! Fine with us, we were more disappointed that M*lan wasn't included in the characters joining us for breakfast.... Apparently she isn't "princess" material. Figures since long before our journey to China began M*lan was the d*sney character Hannah and I liked most!

Lots of girls like to dress up ( Hannah always did and Soph is now starting to enjoy the dress up box) many it is just part of the gig of being a kid. Our dress up box has fancy dresses to pirate hats. Pretending to be a princess or a pirate for that matter is an important part of child play, but I really do have to question the marketing push of the princess mafia. They are everywhere...and lets be honest the marketing is cheesy. Pink sweatsuits with the mafia on the back. There are cuter outfits out there!

I am not anti-princess. I guess I am anti-D*sney Princess. I know that there are better Princess characters out there for our girls to pretend to be and admire.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

More to it than you think.....

Sophie and I recently returned from our girls weekend up at the lake house. Our lives have transitioned from adopting to sorting through all that adoption brings to a family. There were lots of discussions about abandonment, and how we hope to address it with our daughters, in an honest and open way. How we hope to be able to provide a safe environment to "walk that journey with our daughters". Amy with LWB recently posted yet another scenario that parents of children with special needs should consider as they explore the possible scenarios of their child's abandonment.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Calling All Fashionista's!

Check out Miss Vivi Jo
! The girl has mad style!! Her mom,Kim, Vivi jo's "stylist" is having a give away on her blog. Kim will be giving away a custom made dress from this etsy artist. So scoot on over and check out Miss Vivi Jo's fashions and enter to watch me win this cute dress for Sophie:) While you are drooling over the super cuteness of Vivi Jo I should warn you that she has a super cute little brother Max who will just melt your heart! Max is one cute little guy who is also one of Sophie's Datong brothers! Max met his family about a week after we met Sophie. Maybe we will have some more Datong luck and Sophie will win a new dress!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009


I have seen pictures of your daughters closets. You need to go buy this movie. The wait is so insanely long that you shop. Get your friends who have also adopted to chip in and buy this movie to share with each other. You have spent more money on less. Frankly I think adoption agencies need to include it in their " congratulations" you have decided to adopt packets.

I have been watching the documentary Adopted. It is a powerful film that every person no matter where they are in the adoption process should watch. The film makers have also included another DVD that discusses many issues and challenges that families face when adopting. The "we can do better" series begins at what motivates people to adopt. This was a powerful piece, in essence we adopt for selfish reasons. I want a daughter, I want more children,I want to be a mother. We often read about adoption beginning in loss...our children lose their birth families, birth culture etc., but I have never really heard adoption discussed as something selfish. Not necessarily in a negative way, but in a honest way. There is lots for us to talk about in the adoption community that for whatever reason we refuse to face. I isn't as clean and tidy as you thought it would it??

Quote from the movie Adopted " You only got her because she was abandoned...."

Friday, October 9, 2009

When a Name is More than a Name

I am really enjoying my conversations exploring all the adoption stuff that I didn't talk about much during the wait.

Sophie's name is special in many ways. We chose Sophia really just because we liked it. Its a grown up name and Sophie is a cute little girls name. It worked and we all liked. Sophie's middle name is June. June was Chris' grandmothers' name. Hannah has my grandmothers name, Mae. So we have a Hannah Mae, and a Sophia June...Mae and June:) plus our family last name. We kept Sophie's Chinese name. We kept her name because in essence that is all she had when she came to us. Names bind us to our family, our nationality , to our history......I hope that Sophie feels that we were able to provide her with all those things when we chose her name as well as when we decided to keep her Chinese name. I love this book. I think it must sum up how an child who has been adopted must feel about "names".

Here are so more detailed post on how important a name can be for a child who was adopted here and here and here

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Great Find!

There is a whole lotta blogs out there! My husband has bloglines with a ton of travel, expats blogs, and finance blogs. This week a came across a couple of adoption blogs that take a good, sometimes critical look at adoption, adoption parenting etc. The tough stuff that "waiting" blogs tend not to address. These ladies are discussing some important, not often discussed topics. I don't necessarily agree with all the opinions shared, but they sure do get you thinking!

(Update: Fixed my typos. was an early morning post:)

Go visit Malinda

O Solo Mama

They both have tons of links to other blogs and resources. Good stuff

Saturday, October 3, 2009


What to celebrate how to celebrate....these were the some of the things that Chris and I talked about before bringing Sophie home. We decided to integrate the Mid Autumn festival and Chinese New Year in to our family celebrations. We are not going to pretend that we celebrate these festivals accurately but we bring bits and pieces in to our family traditions. So along with hiding Easter Baskets (Chris' family tradition) , leaving out wooden shoes for St.Nicholas (my family tradition) and celebrating Mid Autumn festival and CNY we are a family with lots of celebrations all year long!!

Sophie brought mooncakes and a moon festival book to school today to share with her friends. We made this recipe below and added some powdered sugar for added fun:)

Easy Mooncakes

1. 1 Can Pillsbury "Grand rounds" refrigerated biscuits
2. Strawberry preserves (do not use jelly)
3. 1 egg

Here is what to do:
1. Wash your hands

2. Open and separate biscuits.

3. Working on a floured surface, press the biscuits flat into 3 inch circles, leaving the middle a little thicker then the edges.

4. Put a teaspoon of preserves into the center of each biscuit.

5. Pull the edges up over the filling and squeeze them together to seal. Make sure they're well sealed or the filling will leak out!

6. Roll the biscuits into balls and put them 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet with the crimped side down.

7. Flatten them down gently with your hand until they're about 1/2 inch thick.

8. Beat the egg with one tablespoon water, just until it is mixed. ( I left this off due to a friend in Soph's class having a egg allergy)

9 Brush the mooncakes with the egg mixture.

10. Bake as directed on the package or until golden brown.

11. Put on racks to cool when done.

12. When cooled toss mooncakes in a gallon ziplock bag with some powdered sugar.