26 Feb 2009

Bad Attitude.

Tonight was Lily's weekly riding lesson and she was, as always, really looking forward to it. We arrived at the farm a few minutes early and we waited for her instructor to show up. As soon as Frenchie appeared things got underway and before I knew it the horses were saddled up and Lily was off. She had only been gone for a minute when Latin Fire turned around and bolted for the barn with Lily on his back. Lily was giggling like a fool and Frenchie was yelling instructions to her. Lily managed to get things back under her control and she headed back to the paddock.

No sooner was she back in the driving seat, so to speak, Latin Fire took off again. This time he headed to the tarmac and put on one hell of a show with my little girl, my 42 lb wimp on his back. She was unfazed and listened carefully to what Frenchie was telling her and yet again she bought him back to the paddock. Now if any of you have known me for my entire life you will know that this is why I gave up on horses...they do not listen. When they pull this crap it really unnerves me and I get off. The last time it happened to me I never got on one again!

After a few more minutes of drama Frenchie literally screamed for Lily to, "come here" and she took her off of him. She then altered the stirrups, mounted and whipped that bad boy into shape, not literally. After she had shown him who was boss she let Lily get back on but not before she asked me if she was in trouble. I explained that she was not at all in trouble but Latin Fire was. I then explained that Frenchie was showing him who was the boss and that was what she needed to do when she got back on. A few seconds later I could hear Lily telling him something about: behaviour, I'm the boss, you will do what I want, and not tolerating his badness (her word). I smiled and watched my little Schnoog take her heels and give him one mean kick followed by a yank on the reins, that I swear would have removed my head and off they went. Lily rides Paso Finos and they ride with their heads held very high and she was making sure he was looking at the sky. She was in control and she was loving it. I have to say I was really proud of her cos she was giving 100%. I was worried cos Latin Fire was pissed off and Lily doesn't have that much experience but she did it.

She did it for a few more minutes and then off he went again. He didn't get to far cos Lily reined him in but again he started a song and dance and for the first time I really thought she was about to hit the deck. She was struggling to stay on and listen to Frenchie at the same time. Frenchie is like the horse whisperer and takes no crap from them at all so she went up and gave him a whack which of course made him rear and kick even more. Now I wanted to close my eyes but I couldn't cos at the same time I wanted to see how Lily was doing. Her face was in a grimace, she was fighting like the dickens to stay in that saddle and she did it. She turned Mr. Cranky pants about and got him back in the paddock. I have to tell you I was one proud mama.

At this point I can no longer tell if Frenchie is cross with just the horse or with Lily as well. Rosie and I sat glued to our seats and listened as Frenchie shouted instructions to the uppity horse and it's little rider. Finally the lesson came to an end and Lily and a very relieved Latin Fire headed for the barn, much faster than usual. Rosie and I headed over and as Frenchie helped Lily get off she gave her a huge hug. As Lily gathered her folder and took off her hat and gloves and headed for the office for her homework assignment Frenchie came over and said that she was amazed by Lily today and that she did what most adults can never manage, she got Latin Fire under her control and returned him to the paddock each time.

This was supposed to have been a testing day for Lily and had things gone well she would have graduated to the next level. She didn't. It was through no fault of her own but because Latin Fire had a different set of ideas. Lily left tonight with a full understanding of how well she did and a certificate of achievement.

When Lily came up to me she showed me her hands, they were white. She was holding the reins so tight she had blisters. After her bath I gave her a massage and her thighs were so tight she asked me why and I told her from squeezing to stay in the saddle, She replied, I didn't, was I meant to? Oy vey that doesn't make me feel any better knowing that she was just perched on the top, Oh Well.

Yes, I am proud of her and I told her so myself. My parents said it wasn't good to tell your kids things like that cos they might get a big head. Frankly, she deserves a big head this time, but she doesn't have one. To her it was just another day in the saddle another fun day riding a horse. I lost a few heart beats that I will never ever get back again but kidlets do that to you all the time.

Well done, you little wimp you rode like a champion. When it comes to having attitude you really do win, hooves down.

25 Feb 2009

Park Fun.

This afternoon we toddled off to the park for our Wednesday get together and the girls had fun as always. It was sort of chilly , for us anyway, so they were zooming about and generally having silly times. Lily is a monkey, she always has been. She climbs, hangs, swings and generally goes ape, pun intended.
Rosie no longer finds all the people intimidating and gets quite giddy at the thought of meeting Auntie Jen and Ebby and Julia. As we drive towards the park she sits in her car seat announcing who she will see and then says chips because someone always brings chips and she loves them.

My monkey...smiling as always.

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Rosie loves this ride and today she would perch herself on top of it and eat her pretzels, no chips today, and when she ran out she would hell, "more" and someone, usually myself or Auntie Jen would deliver her next lot.

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Julia had a birthday this week so her mum bought cupcakes for the kids to decorate. This was Rosies finished project, a butterfly. Lily helped her.

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Singing happy birthday. As you can see Rosie is very focused on the candle. Shge loves singing happy birthday and does so at least once a day and always finishes the song by blowing.

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It is hard to tell from the photos but Lily has curly hair. She wanted me to curl it for her so I did and of course a certain little girl said "me too" when she saw what was happening so Rosie had to rollers in her hair too. That was hiliarious!

22 Feb 2009

A Confession

Ever since Miss Lily came home Jacob and I have only been out by ourselves twice. Yes, you read that correctly, twice, in five and a half years. One night my friend watched Lily so that we could attend her first ever parent night at school, we were gone for 40 minutes. She survived, we survived. We have been saying for years that we need to find someone to babysit but this is Miami and other than our close friends who are busy with their own kids we just can't find anyone we feel comfortable with. One time years back my sister came to visit and Jakey and I hightailed it out of the house for a dinner date.

My friend Jakie has been bugging me lately to let her babysit. I feel like it is an imposition as she is divorced with 2 girls and is always so busy. Her girls are teenagers. Well the other day we decided to have a garage sale as we seem to have accumulated way to much stuff, I come from a family of accumulators and it doesn't sit well with me. I detest stuff, it bothers me and I have never been one for keeping stuff. Every few months I have a good sort out and send it off to charity but this time I decided to try and have a garage sale and yesterday was the day so hubs had to be home with me. We had this light bulb moment when we realised that it was a Saturday and would be a perfect night for a date.

I wasted no time calling Jakie. I saw smoke cos I dialled that number so fast. She said yes. OMG we were going on a date. We were so excited. Following a day of haggling with cheap people who were buying our junk we fed the kids, bathed them got ourselves all gussied up and hightailed it out the front door with nary a glance over our shoulders. We were free.

We had such a great time and my hubby even opened the car door for me. He used to always do that but with the addition of little people it has gone by the wayside and I didn't even notice and when he walked to my side of the car last night I thought he wanted me to drive so I turned around to go to the drivers door until I realised what he was doing. We had dinner in a grown up restaurant with grown up food and drinks. No bibs were involved, no drool, no sticky fingers tugging at my sleeve. We finished our sentences, we laughed uninterrupted and then we walked around outside laughing and chatting. Of course there had to be catch and it was my migraine that I was trying so damned hard to ignore but after a couple of hours that searing pain just couldn't be ignored for one more second so I asked if we could go home.

It was still a really fabulous evening and it is going to happen again soon. Lily had a blast, she was still up when we got home but what can I say, it was a first for her and she was having so much fun. Rosie slept right through everything which was the plan. Jakie and Lucy, thank you so much. You have no idea what it was like to be out by ourselves. We love our kidlets to bits but we love each other too and being alone was fabulous.

As for garage sales: you can keep 'em. Yes, we made lots of pennies and it was a success but dealing with all those people is just yucky.

20 Feb 2009

Home For One Year.

One year ago today in a chilly room in Guandong Province we were united with Nan Qi Min. I think we were the last couple to receive our baby and all the other families were doting on their new babies when suddenly we saw her. Her, the little tiny person that we had been so in love with for 2 years. Her, the baby sister, that Lily had longed for. Rosie was about to be in our arms. The emotions that you go through at the very moment are hard to put into words. It is as if your heart is finally being made whole for the first time. We were on cloud nine, and have stayed there actually.

We let Lily approach her first, it was a promise we had made to her and then Jacob touched her next, as he held Lily first when we received her and we wanted to do things the same. By the time I got to touch her the guides were begging us to take her so I carried her out of their arms and that is when the crying started. We all sat down on the floor with her, right there and tried to console her little body but it was no use she was gutted, devastated, scared and alone. Our dream come true was a nightmare for her. We must have spent at least another hour there and she pretty much cried the whole time. Food, drink, soft words, soft toys and kisses just couldn't compare to the feelings of loss and fear that she had. I had to go and interview her care givers and Jacob tried to console her but decided after a few minutes that she might be better off with me. Once she saw her nannies she calmed down a little.

She was so very, very tiny and frail. I really wanted to get her back to the room so that we could really look at her, inspect her, see every inch of her tiny body. I wanted to know if she was all right. She definitely had a good set of lungs but I just wanted to really be able to see her tiny little beautiful body.

She sobbed on and off all afternoon. We fed her and she was eager to eat by that point. Her first bottle didn't go very well but finally she took it and then I tried to undress her. She had a lovely little suit of yellow corduroy on with fake sheepskin cuffs and as I tried to remove it she became inconsolable again but I had to do it. As I removed each layer she grabbed for them and held them close, wailing the whole time. Under her yellow suit were 2 of the saddest looking shirts I have ever seen, both were torn, and badly stained but their purpose was not to look nice but to protect her from the brutally cold temperatures that China suffered from last year. I finally changed her and was so shocked to see such a bony little child underneath all of the layers. If you remember I was a little taken back by her deformed chest and rib cage but mostly I was shocked at how very small and how very white she was. To this day Lily will often say, "do you remember how white Rosie used to be?" I do remember. The Mama in me just wanted to make it all better, I wanted to get her here right then so that we could see our pediatrician and our cardiac team.

That first night she slept like a champ. We woke her to feed her and she didn't cry. We held her and kissed her softly and spoke to her. I layed with her until she went back to sleep. We just couldn't believe she was ours. We finally had 2 girls, each as precious as the other and each belonged to us. This day was extra special cos we had Andie with us. Lily calls her, Cousin Andie, she never just calls her Andie and Rosie calls her Annie.

Rosie, it took you along time to really accept all the changes in your life but you have and now you are a happy little girl. We will always be here for you. If you have questions we will answer them, if we don't know the answers which will be the case quite often we will try everything we can to find them for you. Your sister will understand you and everything that you have gone through. All we can do is console you and always let you ask what it is you need to know. You heart is mended, in more ways than one and you are ready to take life by the horns. You are still our skinny little chicken but you have a big sister always standing ready to protect you when things get to rough or people get to nosey or pushy. We love you little Qi Qi and cannot believe you have been with us for a year. In so many ways it seems much longer but at the same time it feels like just yesterday.

One year ago.

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These are some random shots of her today. I think she has changed rather alot.
Rosie in the car on the way to Chuck-up-Cheese

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During dinner this evening she pulled off this tasty little party trick! That is Mac-n-Cheese up her schnoz

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In the bath tonight. This girl has some serious hair demons.

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Reading together before bed. Lily is reading her The Hungry Caterpillar.

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The only person that could do anything for Rosie tonight was Lily. She was in a huge Lily mood and wanted her to do everything for her. Lily of course, lovingly obliged. It's funny really cos 12 months ago today she pretty much wanted Lily for everything then too. If Lily is around Rosie has more nerve. Rosie needs Lily so that everything is all right in Rosieland.

17 Feb 2009

Rosie's 2 Year Old Check Up

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I was really excited to head off to the pediatrician this morning for Rosie's 2 yr old check up because she has changed so much lately that I just couldn't wait for Barbara to see her. I have been thinking that she has gained some weight because now when I carry her for any length of time I have to shift her to the other side however I have also noticed that she is looking a bit thin through the ribs but I just put that down to the fact that she is getting taller.

At 24 months Rosie is now 32 inches tall which puts her in the 10th percentile for height and she now weighs 21 lbs which puts her on the chart finally. She is in the 3rd percentile for weight...very wimpy! In 3 months she has grown 2 inches and lost 1 lb. The Dr is not at all impressed with the weight loss because she really doesn't have any room to lose any and she has had Rosie on a high fat diet for the past 12 months! Since her heart has been fixed now for 4 months she should be gaining weight quite rapidly. So now we are heading back to the hospital to see a pediatric GI specialist who also specialises in nutrition. The Dr thinks it is one of 2 things, either this is just her or something in her diet is reacting with something else and making her get thinner instead of bigger. We will find out shortly as she has an appointment on March 12th. So much for me thinking she is getting heavier...I must be getting weaker.

I am really bummed about all of this. She eats well but her favourite foods are fruits and veggies. Just so that you know I feed the kid this is what she has consumed today.
Breakfast. one whole weetabix with whole milk and a sprinkle of sugar. Half a tangelo.
Snack. Since she had to have 2 shots at the docs which she hated I let her have some yogo's,
Lunch. 2 vienna sausages, cheese, 5 cheetos (purely cos the weight loss has me freaked out) strawberries and a yogurt.
Snack. grapes
Dinner. noodles, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans and a whole chicken drumstick and a couple of leftover bites from Lily's, followed by an Edys all natural orange popsicle. I then gave her 3 squares of Cadbury chocolate to get her fat!
Add to this vast amount, 2 large cups of milk and a cup of diluted juice and water.
The kid should look like a sumo wrestler.

She is on or ahead of target for all the 2 yr old milestones so all in all she is doing really well.

There is a little imp that lives in Rosie's crib somewhere and he comes out while she is sleeping and messes with her hair...big time. Rosie has typical asian hair, straight as string and currently very fine so please explain to me why she wakes up in the morning looking like this >>>>>

Rosie sporting her morning woozel.

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Her hair is dry when she goes to sleep and her sheets are cotton so what gives with this woozel of hers?

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Perhaps she does headstands and other gynastic feats throughout the night rendering her head a mess and burning excessive amounts of calories!

14 Feb 2009

Happy Valentines Day

I love, LOVE. Strange thing to say but I love the way it makes you feel. Young love, old love any love I just love it.

I asked the girlies first thing this morning if they would be my Valentines and Lily said yes so of course Rosie said yes too. Lily told me she is always my Valentine, and Daddy's too.

We had a fun day, they got lots of gifts mostly from my clients who spoil them so very much. Rosie got a big ball so we took her to the park to play with it and she ran about forever. Lily is loving her new American Girl book and DVD and of course they loved all the edible goodies and seemed to be on a sugar high for most of the day.

I love my girlies, my hubby too.

Ahhh I just love the warm fuzzy feelings that I get.

13 Feb 2009

What's Wrong With This Picture?

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Everyday when Lily sits down to do her homework she is accompanied by her little sister. I have to give Rosie a workbook and she just sits and works away. Today things were different. I think she really wanted to get on top of things.
The photo is a bit fuzzy cos I dare not stop and focus and faff about I just needed to take the photo and get her little monkey bum down.

Today is the one year anniversary of the day we headed to China to bring Rosie home.

11 Feb 2009

Our Little Money Maker.

A few months ago Lily participated in a Math-a-thon to raise money for St Jude's Children's Research H0spital. Her school sent home a letter explaining what she would need to do and all about St Jude's. As soon as Lily found out that she could help children in a hospital she wanted to do it because "Mummy, Rosie was in a hospital because of her heart so I know it is important."

So I signed her up and a few weeks later her math book arrived along with her sponsor sheet. Since we have absolutely no family around it was tough asking people to sponsor her as I detest asking friends to do this kind of stuff. Anyway she got a few sponsors and we stretched it out to look like more by adding my father and Jeanne individually and throwing in Uncle Mike for good measure even though he had no clue and each night she would sit down and work on her math book. She finished the whole book and got all the answers correct so we gathered up her money and returned it to school. I don't remember exactly what she made but it was in the region of $150

I forgot all about it as it was eons ago but when I picked her up today she was carrying a large bag and wearing an enormous smile. Once she was dismissed she ran to me and could barely contain her excitement or her pride. She had received a certificate of participation from St Jude, a backpack, a t-shirt, a free pass to 6 flags and a radio. All the kids got a certificate and a t-shirt but she got the extra stuff cos she raised more money. She is very proud of herself and we are very proud of her too.

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Lily, all proud.

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Since Rose saw the camera appear she insisted that we take her photo too.

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10 Feb 2009

In A Nutshell.

  • I have been busy and just haven't really been near the computer. My camera still refuses to upload videos and it is annoying me to the point to desertion. What is a blog post without Lily and Rosie's photos in it?
  • Rosie is now talking in leaps and bounds. Tonight when she saw me set the table she ran into the living room and yelled, "Dinnertime" as clear as a bell.
  • Rosie has a cold. It isn't fazing her in the least but the kid is producing snot by the gallon. We have gone through 2 boxes of tissues.
  • She is aware of her bodily functions and now when she "pops" she says, "Butt talk" and then she makes a raspberry noise. Very delightful and I am sure it was taught to her by her dad!
  • Lily is growing up way to fast. She still makes me giggle on a daily basis. She loves being a big sister but is occasionally a bit too bossy.
  • Lily loves to read. She reads anything and everything. I learnt that you shouldn't take a young reader into the card department at Tar#get cos they can read the cards and not all the cards should be read by a 6 yr old. Oopsie.
  • Sometimes I just cannot believe that I have 2 kids. It makes me smile when I realise it is true.
  • We were planning on moving soon but our house value has sunk to lower than a snakes belly button so it looks as if we might be a bit stuck. Not to worry we like this house but just not Miami. We will move just not quite yet. I don't mind losing a little money to gain alot but this, well this is absurd! I feel like I am on a roller coaster with the move at present.
  • One year ago this week we left for China to bring home Rosie. I read the blog posts from a year ago everyday to see how excited we were. I think Jacob and Lily are sick of my morning Tribune.
  • I suck at Face*book. It's is to "in your face" for me. It would be like going outside on a windy day with no knickers on.....risky.
  • Some fellow bloggers are either in China or very close to heading that way and I just can't wait to see them with their babies in their arms. There is something so very special about Gotcha day.
  • That's it, in a nutshell.

3 Feb 2009

Happy Birthday To Our Little Girl.

Rosie officially turned 2 today. We celebrated her birthday on Sunday so this morning she opened her gifts and cards and got on with her busy day being two.

I was thinking earlier about her birth mother. The usual stuff: I wondered if she felt sad, I wonderered if she recognised the day, I hope that somewhere and somehow she knows that her little girl is loved, safe, very happy and always protected. As I was thinking I realised that 2 years ago today, in a faraway land, a woman gave birth to a child, a girl, that she probably already knew that she she couldn't keep. I wondered if she had a name chosen for her child. I wondered if after delivering her if she held her close and breathed in that tiny little soul and whispered her name into her ear. A name that only she knew. That would have been Rosie's first name, a name to accompany her first breath.

Three days later Rosie was taken to an orphanage and given a new name. I am not sure how much thought went into her name but it means, quiet or serene prayer. Such a beautiful name, well I think so. Again, a new name for a start to her new life. Qi Min used that name for 11 months.

A few days after Qi Mins 1st birthday she was taken to the Civil Affairs Office in Guandong Province and given a new name to accompany her through the rest of her life. In addition to being Rose she is now also called, daughter, sister, grand daughter, great grand daughter, niece cousin and friend.

Happy Birthday to my little girl, a girl that has worn so many hats in her little short life. This new hat suits you Rosie Posie and I hope that you always wear it with pride and with your head held high.

Being 2 is an adventure. You will grow in leaps and bounds, your words will start to flow and your personality will blossom even more. The things that you found so hard to do before will suddenly become so easy, you will become a little person with opinions and ideas. We can't wait to see you spread your wings more and more.
We love you, so, so much.

1 Feb 2009

Rosie's Birthday

Rosie Posie will turn 2 on Tuesday. We really can't believe that she is two already. In a couple more days she will have been a member of this nutty family for a whole year. Alas, I digress. Chinese custom states that if you cannot celebrate a birthday on the actual day then it must be celebrated before the actual day and NEVER after.

Who are we to mess with tradition? Today we had a little BBQ for the munchkin and invited a few very close friends and we celebrated her day. During her nap Jacob, Lily and I transformed the house into an Elmo land. She had Elmo everywhere including balloons. Her little face lit up when she saw the balloons and then Lily showed everything else and she really went berserk, it was so much fun. Once the guests started to arrive she became alittle bit shy cos she still doesn't do crowds very well but she warmed up and sat and ate her lunch with everyone and enjoyed the fact that Caro and Lucy were fighting over who would feed the next mouthful to her.
I do believe that the Elmo birthday cake was the icing on her day! (God I am corny)At first she just sort of looked at it but once she tasted the icing there was no going back, she was hooked! She enjoyed being sung to and blew out her candles.

She was very confused and every time anybody said, "Happy Birthday Rosie," she would say, "no, Daddy's birthday." Total confusion aside she had a ball. She has shown a big interest in tricycles of late so that is what she got. Her very own pink and purple Radio Fl*yer trike. She was thrilled. Over and over again she kept saying, "rider" which is her word for anything you can ride. Even though we had friends over we had to keep going outside to give her a ride.

I don't have one good photo of her on it but I have a feeling it is going to be a staple part of our day so there will be lots of pic's coming soon. I do however have lots of photos of her and of course video but by now you all know the deal with the new camera and videos....arghhhhhhh.

The birthday girl spots the balloons. BTW, her pretty dress was a gift from Lori, Marc and the Dynamic Duo, when she came home. The hat lasted about a minute :(

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She wasn't being very photogenic...it must be true about being 2 and having a 'tude

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Some of her fans

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More of them

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Rosie's finger heading straight for the cake!

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From the cake to her mouth

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And back to the cake.

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And back to her mouth

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I was trying to slice around the licked bits....it's a good job we were all GOOD friends cos no one seemed to mind and everyone ate the cake.

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Just a little icing on her chin

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Lucy and Caro. Caro took my camera and just kept taking photos. It was really lovely to download them this evening and see loads that I didn't recognise.

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Trying to coax the birthday girl to look at the camera.

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Ebby was tired of ALL the girls so he went outside and got his snorkeling gear on???

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Once she received her trike that is where she held court and wouldn't even get off of it to open her other gifts

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Hidden behind some tissue paper as she sits on the "rider' and opens her gifts.

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Having fun

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My dear friend Jakie and her daughters, and mine too!

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Thank you to all of our friends for making Rosie's day so special. And also for including Lily....she was shocked, me too!


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