Friday, September 22, 2006


Whenever we tell Jemma to smile for a photo, she makes this funny face. She's so much fun to hang out with now because she understands and responds to everything. Her grandparents, MeeMa and PopPop were here for a week and she had the best time with them. They were smitten with her, of course, and after they left, Jemma kept asking for them. We forgot to take photos of MeeMa and PopPop this time (bad mommy!) but thankfully, Jemma has several pictures of them and everytime she sees them, she exclaims, "MeeMa! PopPop!"

Chinese Fiesta

We invitied five families to gather at our house on Mexican Independence Day for a Chinese Fiesta and a toast to our girls. It was a really fun time with good food and good friends. It's amazing how much they've all changed in a year - we parents have changed, too, but the results on us are not as obvious as they are on our girls. There's Rosie, sister Daisy, Jemma, Sha Sha and Michayla. Missing from the photo are Mitzi and Grace Li Qi (pictured separately.) My folks said it best - it's unbelievable, they are ALL so beautiful!

Crazy for Cupcakes

Jemma is having her very first cupcake ever - can you tell how much she's enjoying it? And look at that gorgeous Rosie, she's navigating that cupcake like a pro. Yum!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


We had our first emergency with Jemma on Sunday night and it was pretty scary. Ya see, Jemma is very physical and loves to climb on everything. We do our best to keep her from climbing on her table and chairs but sometimes, she's just too quick. So she went flying off the table and didn't have time to catch her fall with her hands and landed on her chin and bit her tongue sooooooo hard. Boy, oh boy, we never heard her cry like that - it was high pitched - there's nothing more heartbreaking than hearing your baby in pain. The cut was a quarter of an inch so our doctor told us to take her to the emergency room. Luckily, Jemma loves to suck on ice, so that helped to stop the bleeding. She was so good in the hospital and the doctor was very impressed with how well she took direction. Luckily, Jemma didn't need any stitches and she stopped bleeding within an hour. Wow, we hope to never have to go through that again!

Symphony in the Glen

Symphony in the Glen is a free program devoted to keeping classical music accessible to all. Being Mozart's birthday, the program was all Wolfgang. Also, since Sept. 10 was Grandparents' day in the park, we all sang a very special song dedicated to the Grandparents. Jemma loves to sing and did her best to sing along. The concert was beautiful and Jemma was captivated by the music.

Maestro, Please!

We participated in the conducting clinic for kids prior to the concert. Jemma was the littlest conductor there but that didn't deter her from swinging that stick around. At the end, she received a certificate of completion. Not bad for improvising with a chopstick!

Peanut Butter Jelly Time

Jemma loves her some PBJ! It's a new discovery for us - we were strictly an almond butter family until Jemma snagged a quarter of her friend Almitra's PBJ after class one day. The best thing about PBJ is that you can lick your face for hours after and enjoy the flavors all over again.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

One Year Anniversary!

On September 5, 2005, Jemma Ancui Lawler was placed in our loving arms. This memorable day is known as "Gotcha Day" in the adoption world. So much has happened for us as a family over this year. It's hard to imagine what our life was like before Jemma, she's so thoroughly integrated into our thoughts, our daily activities, our hopes and dreams. And my, how she's changed! She's added ten pounds and 17 inches. She went from sitting to crawling to cruising to walking to running and now climbing and balancing and dancing and singing. Her language has developed very quickly and at 20 months, Jemma has over a hundred words, uses 2 and 3-word sentences and puts together complex concepts like relating objects to thoughts and language. She's funny and understands timing - the key to comedy! She's loving and affectionate and warm and compassionate (she's been very understanding of mommy's recent bunion surgery - even saying "foot hurt" and elevating her leg along side mom's.) Her socialization with adults is easy and relaxed and her interaction with the other children in her daycare and RIE class is healthy - meaning she takes everything away from the other kids and holds tightly on to her objects while other kids steal them from her (all the while saying, "Mine!") The best part about Jemma is that she's so much fun to spend time with and she fills us with this enormous sensation of joy in our hearts - we are so lucky. What a bug!

What a Difference...

...a Year Makes

Then and Now