Introducing Emily Grace Mei Venn

Saturday, December 1, 2007

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Our 8 month Anniversary!!

December 2nd makes our 8 month Anniversary and is also Emily Grace's 21st month birthday. We are so grateful for our sweet angel. Emily Grace makes us smile every day. She has such a personality and is so intelligent that I am stunned almost daily by something she says or does. Emily loves music and her new thing is to do her rendition of "ballet" each time she hears a classical piece of music. It is too cute. Also, she loves to sing along with songs. She knows some of the words and she makes up the rest. It is too funny. She also loves to clap and say "yay" at the end of everything that she loves. She is a big fan jigsaw puzzles, word flash cards (both English and Chinese) and books...a Teacher's dream ha ha.


We had an amazing Thanksgiving this year. We are so incredibly grateful to have spent this holiday with our daughter, Emily Grace. In fact, I couldn't even make it through the "Thanksgiving grace" without crying tears of joy for our amazing lil' asian angel. We are so blessed. Emily Grace is everything that we ever wanted and more.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Before I post one more post with pictures...would someone please tell how to correct our problem with
Once upon a time our pics were just posted and remained posted, now sometimes they are there and sometimes they are small or black and one has to click the "x" button to get them to appear. Any suggestions as to how I can correct this issue? Does anyone know a better uploading site?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Chinese Lessons for Emily

It is nice to post that Emily has been cooperating very well with wearing her eye patch each day. Also, recently Emily has begun to take Chinese language classes. I read some where that a baby begins to lose his/her first language after having been separated from it for 6 months or longer. After having Emily for 6 months, I discovered that we had a Chinese language teacher living in our neighborhood. After having discussed private lessons with her, she came to visit Emily. I found out that Emily still remembered Chinese. She responded to simple commands and could say some Chinese words and phrases. I also discovered that what I thought was baby babble turned out to be Chinese. Early on, when I would play music, Emily would say a word that I thought was babble, but found it interesting that she would frequently say it each time. I learned that she was saying the Chinese word for "dance." On the day of Emily's first lesson, the teacher told Emily good-bye in Chinese and Emily responed a full sentence. She said "see you next week." The teacher was surprised and so was I. I have a ton of other examples. I learn more and more about Emily Grace every day. :-) The Chinese lessons have been fun and we both are learning a lot. Oh yeah, we are still interviewing Nannies. Ughhhh. Wish us luck!!!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

So Much To Tell!!

Yes, we have been out of cyber touch for a while. A lot has happened. We have had to change nannies, we have had to begin therapy on Emily's eye, not to mention Halloween and birthday parties. Yes, we had to begin therapy on Emily's left eye. About two months ago, we noticed that Emily's left eye would occassionally turn outward while the right one remained focused. This usually only occurred when she was tired. We took her to a Ped. eye doc (what a haneous experience!!!) Emily couldn't understand why so many people were in her face touching her eyes and such. She became so upset that she had to be restrained and they had to use metal bicep things to pry her eyes open. I had never heard her scream quite like that....not even on "gotcha day." I cried along with her. When it was over, we were told that she had stribismus (sp?) (Apparently, she has been seeing double for some time now) It ruins her depth perception. I had noticed that she would begin to step up on a step before she actually came close enough to it. Now, she has to wear a patch over her good eye for an hour each day. I feared that she wouldn't cooperate based on her eye exam, so I explained it to her like I really believed I could convince her to cooperate. Something must have worked because she wears it each day without fuss. Phew!!! What a relief!! If all goes well, this therapy should correct the issue. Our nanny, Jeannie, had to say good-bye last week. We appreciated all that she did for Emily and for us. We have been running around interviewing new ones and checking out "in-home" daycares and such. It has been a trying time. In addition to that we went to Maisie Shanahan's 2nd birthday party. She is also from China. It was a nice party. We also experienced Emily's first Halloween. She did very well. She had never had candy prior to that night, but some how she knew it was edible. She was more excited about giving it out to the other children then to actually knock on doors to seek it out for herself. Her costume was cute, but we had to add a t-shirt to keep her from getting too cold.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Part 2 of yesterday's update

Going along with yesterday's post, here are a few pics from Emily Grace's debut at the Family Reunion.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Update from the last month

Wow! What a severly busy time for us. Emily was 13 months old when we finally met her. This means that we missed her first birthday. Every baby should have a "first birthday." We recently had a belated first birthday party for Emily (just imediate family, since her 2nd birthday is in 6 months) I cooked and cooked....mental note: I will have her second birthday catered. Cooking=Work!! We traveled up north for a family reunion and Emily Grace's debut. We participated in a highschool "toga football game" with my students. Emily wore her first toga as we cheered in Latin for the Mustangs. She just looked at us like we were crazy. We visited the Apple orchard and apple festival in Elijay with my parents. (Didn't feel like fall, it was about 90') On that day, Emily tried apple cider for the first time. She looked up rubbed her belly and said "mmmm..goood" We had never heard her say that before. It was too cute. Now, she says it all the time for foods that she likes. We bought Emily a Leap Frog alphabet fridge phonics for her faux birthday and she loves it. She will say words and will tell you the beginning letter. Ie: Rain and rain begins with "R" I was stunned the first time, now we play word games. Right now, I am having a hard time updating because Emily wants to have a "tea party" again. I have had a lot of imaginary tea lately. :-)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Sixth Month Anniversary!! Tempus Fugit

It is hard to believe that the day that we were blessed with Emily Grace was 6 months ago today. In some ways it seems longer and in other ways, just like yesterday. She has progressed and grown so very much in 6 months that it is like we clearly have a different daughter. She has grown so much and is so independent that it is clear that we no longer have a baby but a little girl. I am thrilled and saddened all at once. She is everything that we had ever dreamed and more. We are so blessed and we thank God everyday. She may have been born in China but this little girl was definitely meant to be ours. She fits with our famiy so well, she might as well share our genes. We are so in love...can you tell? :-) Her five new teeth have pretty much sprung and her newest favorite thing to say is "NO." She replaced her most recent word which was "Yellow." She must love the color or the sound of the word or both...she runs around spotting everything that is yellow and points it out while yelling the most sourthern form of the word.."Yallo" ..I love it. She also tells David and me "I love you" often. I melt each and every kidding. Here are few pics of Emily on "Gotcha Day" and some pics taken recently. What a big difference!!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

STRESS...Who needs it??!!

Well, I have been out of touch this week. Our family had a terrible scare. David was in the ER this week for Chest pain that radiated into his left arm. His left hand even began to go numb and he was beginning to black out. He had a BP of 170/96 and an extremely high pulse rate. I was notified at school at 11:30 am and I was in my car by 11:32 am. They were sure he was having a heart attack?!?! What?!?! David is far too young, too healthy and in-shape for that one. He doesn't nor has he ever smoked and there isn't any heart issues in his family!! Turns out that his very stressfull job and the one hour commute to work and one hour commute home in terrible Atlanta traffic was the culprate. He rarely complains. He is one to keep it all inside. He did appear to have inflamation of the lungs (a condition that is clearly brought on by stress and mimics the symptoms of a heart attack) He still has pain....It will go away with time, but he is fine. Do you know that I couldn't even get him to stay home from work? It all becomes clear as to why this happened to him. So I have spent this week trying to make his life more pleasant when he is at home. So glad to have him when he is home :-) Oh how I love my David!!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

September 11 Comment/Reality

I am a high school Latin Teacher. On September 11, I went into work thinking as many of us were, where I was when the tragedy occurred? I remembered that I was teaching in a Latin I class. We were about to have a quiz. So on 9/11/2007, I, absent mindedly, asked the students where they were when it happened.....Most of my students commented on how they didn't remember it happening!!! what!!??!! They don't remember??!!?? They proceeded to tell me how they knew what it meant, but that they didn't recall the event. My seniors were in the 6th grade (They could recall a bit), but my sophomores were in the 4th grade and my freshmen, well they were in the third grade....OMG... I AM SO OLD!!!! They began to tell me how their parents (rightly so) kept them from the horror of this event...That isn't my issue is that they DON'T REMEMBER!!! It shocks me that I actually have students who truly DO NOT REMEMBER SEPTEMBER 11th 2001. Where did the time go? It feels like yesterday. I still feel the pain from that day!! May we never forget!!!

Sunday, September 9, 2007


Emily Grace went to her first Braves game today!! We had a great time, although I think Emily was more interested in her "Cracker Jacks" than anything else!! It was a lovely day and we had fantastic seats in the shade, which is important in Hot 'Lanta.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Our Amazing Emily Grace

On September 2nd, Emily Grace became 18 months old and it was also the the 5th month anniversary from the date we held her for the first time. Wow!! Tempus Fugit!! Apparently, someone must have mentioned to Emily that baby girls really begin talking at 18 months old. She litterally woke up Sunday morning and began talking away. In fact, she has pretty much replaced all of her baby signs with words. I was completely floored, stunned, or whatever. My mouth fell open and hit the floor. Some of her words are a bit difficult to catch unless you are mommy or daddy, I guess...but I clearly know what she is saying. I am proud and sad all at the same time...just like the day she began to walk. Also, I checked her mouth today, and she is also currently cutting 4 molars and an eye tooth. SLOW DOWN!!! Look at this sweet picture...she still looks like such a baby here and not a fast growing toddler.
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Friday, August 31, 2007

Back to work :-(

A lot has transpired since I blogged last. I am a Latin teacher and school started back on August 6th. I had to hire a nanny for Emily and prepare emotionally to go back to work and to leave her. I think that she has acclimated better than I have. I have probably cried more than she for sure. I haven't worked since mid March. I have a nice situation though, I work across the street from our neighborhood and I don't have to be at work until 10am and Emily's nanny cares for her here. All seemed well in the beginning, but when school started I ended up with a really bad cold. I even missed the first Friday of school with the students. Eventuallly, David and Emily both had it as well. We were all sick and have been trying to drudge along with our daily obligations while recuperating. I have fallen behind on so much that being on the computer for anything other than updating grades has fallen to the bottom of priority list for sure. Oh yeah, during that whole issue, David and I had our wedding anniversary. We tried to celebrate, but even dinner out wore us out. We were ready for bed far too early :-(
In the mean time, I took the UGA cheerleader pics and posted them....the only energy I actually had. I do have some of Emily as a princess. She was so enamored with my earings that we had to get her a pair. These incidentally came with a princess crown. Take a look at our princess.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Gearing up for Georgia Football!!

Here is Emily showing off her new University of Georgia cheerleading outfit...Go DAWGS!!!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Summer Fun with Emily Grace

Here are some cute pics of Emily eating her ice cream. She gets so focused on it ;-) The others are just some cute pics of Emily playing and learning to say "Cheese" for the camera.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

I have been tagged....Five things MeMe

Five things MeMe

I have been tagged by Jennifer at My three sons and a little China girl :

Five things that I was doing 10 years ago.

1. Planning the last details for my wedding and Honeymoon (My anniversary is August 9th,)
2. Having tons of Fun with our new Golden Retriever Puppy, Bailey
3. Making my house a home
4. Planning my first day and year as a Latin teacher (School started later then :)
5. Becoming a Latin Teacher to high school students …Yikes! The first day was a bit scary.

Five of My Favorite Snack Foods:
1. Dark Chocolate
2. Freshly Made chunky Salsa and tortilla chips
3. Fire Roasted Hummus and Pita Chips
4. Fresh Hot French Bread and Dipped in Olive Oil and Spices
5. Strawberries Dipped in Dark Chocolate with a side of Champagne (is that two?:)

Five Songs of which I know all the lyrics:
1. Happy Together…The Turtles (such a happy song)
2. Green Eyes…Coldplay
3. Girls just want to have fun..Cyndi Lauper
4. Here with me…Dido (Really anything by Dido)
5. American Baby….Dave Matthews Band

Five things that I would do with a Million Dollars:
1. Try to usurp the system and adopt another baby from China without the LONG wait ☺
2. Give to the Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital to help those families who definitely needed it.
3. I would definitely go back to Italy and rent a Villa in Tuscany with our family (grandparents, siblings nieces and nephews) for a week. I love Italy!!
4. Buy a new house with decent closet space...or I could just buy less stuff to store Ha
5. I ran out of money already…I need another million :)

Five Bad Habits that I have:
1. Sleeping in my contacts too often
2. Spending too much money on photography and scrapbooking.
3. Not getting enough sleep…. I might miss something Ha ha
4. Not updating my blog often enough.
5. Not cooking real meals enough… I hate to cook and I love to go out to dinner.

Five things that I like to do.
1. Spend time with family and friends
2. Travel to new places
3. Photography
4. Scrapbooking
5. Hiking and just being among nature

Five things I will never wear again:
I can’t make that promise. I love fashion and if it looks good, I
will wear it again. :)

Five people I have tagged: Phil, Julia, Kathy, Georgia and Mick

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Thursday, August 2, 2007

Emily Grace is 17th months old today!! Aug 2nd

Happy 17th months, sweet Emily Grace!! She is so busy and loves to explore. Nothing is safe, I mean nothing Ha Ha. She is so smart...All moms think that about their baby, but it is TRUE for mine :-) I only started her potty training at 16 months because she will lie down in front of me and do the "change my diaper" sign when it truly was time to do so. She can use baby sign language to communicate just about anything to me. It is amazing. She picks them up so fast. She comprehends English really well now and it has only been 4 months. She does whatever I ask her to "Pick up your socks and shoes that you just took off and put them away" and she will. She can put on her own shoes (sometimes it is the wrong foot, but she can do it, though) She is beginning to talk, but still uses her signs more. She does say "cheese." Every time that she signs that she wants to eat. She says "cheese" and then signs "please." Too cute, she doesn't understand that pasta and cheese do not constitute a balanced diet. She may be Chinese but her tummy is definitely Italian. :-)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Emily Grace's New Potty

On July 23rd, Emily tinkled in her potty for the first time!! We were so proud of her and she was pretty proud of herself too. Now that she has associated tinkling with the word "potty" I can't even say the word without her "going" right at the sound of it or even at the sight of it. This of course means that she isn't always "hitting the target" so to speak. That's alright, we will get there...I am still so proud of her. Obviously these pics were taken while she was playing and not trying to tinkle. :-)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Asian Cultural Experience Festival

We went to the Atlanta Asian Cultural Experience Festival. It was very nice, but very HOT!!! There was great food, dancing and shows. We enjoyed our selves very much and Emily Grace looked ever so cute in her native Chinese silks.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Fun With Sunglasses!!

All I wanted to do is get one great picture of Emily wearing her sunglasses! It took forever, but we had fun!! She litterally rips them away from her face as quickly as I can put them on her. She just looks adorable so I had to keep trying! ;-)

Monday, July 9, 2007

What a fun filled week with friends!!

We really enjoyed our visit with our friends: Phil, Julia and Dora. We visited the children's museum, centennial park, Tanglewood minature animal petting zoo and of course watched the fireworks display on the 4th of July. The following are pics from all the events in no particular order. Also, on the 4th of July, another family who went to China along with us came for a visit with their sweet baby. Lizzie. We had a great time and now we are just worn out ;-)