Solo Trip

February 28, 2007

Tomorrow I will be doing something I haven't done in four years....flying solo (well not literally! there will hopefully be a pilot and a full crew!). For the first time since having children, I will be flying without car seats, stroller, bulky diaper bag, three changes of clothing, cheerios, and nasty stares from fellow travelers. I will able to read something besides Curious George, I will be able to sleep, I will be free to wander the cabin when I want to and not because I have a squirmy toddler...I never thought I would be so excited to fly cross-country, but I am !

That doesn't mean I won't be missing my monkeys because I will. This is the first extended (six days) separation I have ever had from them. My wonderful, kind, generous, loving, saint of a husband has taken time off from work so I can fly to San Diego and spend time with my dear friend Summer and her family. I can't wait to hold Sophie, but I am sure it will also make me miss my babies. And perhaps I will miss them more than they will miss me...I heard Adam already planning all sorts of fabulous outings so they will be busy.

And now I need to pack for my big adventure...novels I have been wanting to read, dark chocolate to replace the cheerios, and fancy hand lotion instead of diaper creme.

The Year of the Golden Pig

Happy New Year! We marked the start of the Chinese New Year by attending a very memorable performance by the Peking Acrobats (currently on tour in the States and not to be missed!) But the big celebration was this past weekend with the local Chinese adoption group.It was quite a grand and surreal event...lots of beautiful Chinese girls of all ages (and a few boys)in stunning Chinese outfits speaking with thick Southern accents! We all had fun, especially during the performances which included a spectatular lion/dragon dance by a local Chinese group.

This is the year of the Golden Pig/Fire Pig. Here's a link with more info May this year be a good and prosperous one for all of us.

Valentine's Day

February 16, 2007

Valentine's Day was very special this year. We had lots to, family, Nana's birthday, and the one year anniversary since Camille joined our family. Hand made Valentine's, lots of chocolate, lots of hugs and kisses, lots of smiles. We are truly a happy family. We hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Nana and Poobah

February 15, 2007

Nana and Poobah are visiting us and it is lots of fun!
With Nana and Poobah around there has been a lot of book reading, creative cooking, soccer playing, kissing,crafting, singing, playing, joke telling, and laughing.

Noah's 4th Birthday

The highlights of Noah's fourth birthday were:

1) Wearing a crown all day at school

2) Hearing Happy Birthday sung to him three times in Hebrew

3) Being the line leader and the class leader for Shabbat

4) Eating doughnuts and challah with his classmates

5) Playing outside with his school buddies, his Dad, his Nana, his Mei-Mei, and his Mama

The not-so-great moments:

1) His Dad, His Nana, and His Mei-Mei got in an accident on their way to his school (another rear-ending at an intersection which means, yes, we will have to replace our bumper for the second time in six months!)

2) Noah got sick on the day after his birthday and his bowling party had to be cancelled

Four Years Ago

February 8, 2007

Four years ago we had no idea we would be the proud parents to such a wonderful, lively, creative, loving, and funny little guy. We knew he was a special baby and named him Noah because he weathered some intense storms during the pregnancy. And he has shown us that he continues to be an adaptable and brave guy. He is a great world traveler with a passport full of more stamps than most adults (Japan, Taiwan, Guam, Korea, Thailand, Myanmar/Burma, Laos). He's handsome and can tell some great knock-knock jokes. He's a master builder who specializes in railroad and neighborhood construction. His favorite foods are shrimp, curry , cottage cheese, and chocolate. He loves riding his trike, playing in the rain, and reading books. Sounds like a personal ad for a four year old...yikes I am not ready to think about him as anything but my sweet monkey boy who still loves to twirl my hair as he falls asleep each night. Happy Fourth Birthday, Noah!

Chair Photos February 2007

February 3, 2007

We had a nice sunny day yesterday so I pulled out our Chinese chair to get some shots of the kids. My plan is to take photos of the kids with the chair as they grow. Some of you may remember we had some family photos taken with the chair last spring (including the one of Camille in Adoptive Families magazine). Unfortunatedly, this round of photos did not go as well. Here are the only two without tears and fussing:

Art Van

Birthdays gone wild

February 2, 2007

Birthday party planning has been on my mind a lot lately. Part of it is due to Noah's upcoming birthday and his daily countdown (not to mention all of the things he plans to do once he's 4 like learning to drive!). And part of it is culture shock. Since returning to the States we have been invited to several birthday parties...which turned out to be more like galas for preschoolers. Seriously obscene events with multiple jumping/bouncy house/cages, hired performers, three tiered cakes, professional fireworks displays, mounds of presents, and thousands of kids (ok I exagerated...but thirty preschoolers feels and sounds like a thousand!). Whatever happened to those parties of my youth...homemade cake, a few balloons (regular blow-them-up-yourself, not fancy helium), family members, and a few friends? We never had any of the now mandatory "goody bags" or the fancy Martha Stewart style party decor. If turning four means a catered yacht club party, what happens when you turn five? and I can only imagine how sickly sweet 16 will be.

Earlier this week Noah brought home his weekly preschool newsletter which included an article on ways to eliminate the stress of party planning. The article sited a website called I visited the site and at first found solace in the fact that I am not alone in my discomfort and judgements (oops there goes my judgemental mama voice again), but the more I read the more disturbed I became. How have we allowed ourselves to get to a point where we need to have on-line support, school newsletters, and specific guidance on how to plan parties that are fun, less stressful, less expensive, and not over indulgent?

I'll be sure to post photos of Noah's four year old gala next week.


Last weekend we had a great reunion with some of our favorite friends and neighbors from Okinawa. It was so much fun to see the kids hug and play together as if they still lived next door. A lot happened...chalk decorating, swinging, cookie eating, mud slinging, sprinkler spraying, bathing, and manatee hunting on the river! What a fun day with Xan, Sydney, Zoe, and Hayden!


Big Night Out

February 1, 2007

Actually make that two big nights out! Last Friday we headed out for our first adult dinner without the kids (hiringa babysitter and going to Home Depot doesn't count, right?) and had a great dinner at a cute little French restaurant in our favorite part of town. And then last night we took Noah out for a special evening of dance...a modern dance performance by Momix It was in a beautiful old theatre downtown. Noah did great and we all had fun. It reminded me of when I was a kid and my parents took us to all sorts of interesting cultural outings. One of my New Year's resolutions was to get out and explore more and I am happy to report we have been doing that...the science museum, parks, art museum, zoo, and the beach. It has made such a difference as we start to learn more about our new community and start to make connections with new friends. Feels like we are finally starting to feel a little more rooted here (at least for the next three years).

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