Thursday, January 31, 2008

Can you help?

Love Without Boundaries is one of my favorite charities. They are involved in helping orphans in China and are currently in the running in a challenge on Facebook. They are so close to winning the $50,000 grand prize but need all the help they can get. Please check them out and see if you can help. $10 is the minimum donation amount that will count towards this contest!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

MAMA Xiao Bao Silly Boy!!!

Rylee and I have been having this ongoing conversation for a few weeks now. She tells me "Mama Xiao Bao boy" and I tell her she is a girl. Mama is a girl, Jia Jia is a girl, Baba is a boy, Scrappy is a boy, Scruffy is a boy and so on... Usually she gives up and just laughs at me, sometimes she will say Xiao Bao is a girl, but I really get the feeling she is just humoring me. So we start this at dinner again the other night and this time she is telling me that she is a silly boy. I go into my correction "speech" blah blah blah... and you could just tell by the look on her face that she is finally thoroughly frustrated with me. "MAMA" she states, "XIAO BAO IS A SILLY BOY", and to prove it to me once and for all, she yanks her shirt up all the way to her neck, pointing and showing me the proof that will FINALLY convince me that she is in fact a boy!

My silly, silly girl! Apparently it was time for a little a little anatomy lesson. We had a little discussion about how we know, and she can know, that she is a girl and you could almost see the "light bulb" go off. She lit up and clapped her hands saying "Xiao Bao is a girl!!!". Today she came down carrying a little bikini top she had found in her dresser. She hands it to me saying "Mama Xiao Bao girl - have this one". So I put it on her, she puts her shirt on over it, smiles proudly at me, points to herself and smugly states - "Xiao Bao's a girl Mama"! Yes, yes, yes baby you are a precious, adorable, lovable girl!

Hanna has just learned to ride her bike, so the girls have been going for lots of bike rides and both of them are doing great. The only problem is that Rylee wants her training wheels off so she can ride like her Jia Jia, but Mama is not ready for that yet!

Speaking of riding... I just have to mention how great Hanna is doing with her riding. She had to switch riding styles when we moved and now she's getting ready for her first show in the Hunter/Jumper discipline. While Mom would like to just stick to the ground work, Hanna has decided that there is a thrill in flying through the air on the back of a horse! I suppose this means that trick riding is in the future for Rylee, since I have a feeling she will have to try to "one up" her Jia Jia - lol!!!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

First Week of Preschool!

We had Rylee's first week at preschool and it went great! But first I just have to tell about our trip to Medieval Times Dinner Show. Hanna really wanted to go for her birthday, so we decided to go ahead and give it a try. While we were sitting there waiting for the show to start Rylee "ooh'd and aaah'd" over the pretty lights, the mist and the fact that we had dishes sitting in front of us but no silverware. Once the show started she was thrilled to see the horses come out and stared wide eyed trying to take everything in. One knight took on another in a fight to the "death" as he fell from his horse, I heard gasps from beside me. I quickly tried to explain that he was okay, that he wasn't really hurt and that they are just playing. She said "okay Mama, it's okay." The next round started with jousting and as the next knight "fell" we all heard "OH NO MAMA, MAMA, IT'S OKAY, HE'S OKAY, HE'S OKAY YESHEE!!!!!!!!". She cheered for our colors, enjoyed eating with her fingers and assured us that each knight that fell was OKAY!!! After the show she went around to all the knights and got them to sign her photograph. The girls both had a blast and gained some great skills at collapsing and dramatic "pass outs", they have been refining these new skills continuously this past week. Even a tap on the shoulder gets the full drawn out collapse accompanied by very convincing grunts and groans!
We also have now experienced the first amusement park rides. Rylee of course was up for any and all rides and loved each of them. Apparently she has no fear of heights or speed and is now doing her best to convince us that she is ready for all the big water slides that can be seen from the car windows. Every time she spots one she yells out "MAMA XIAO BAO LIKE THIS ONE!!!", the hard part is going to be convincing Hanna to go on them with her or Baba!!!
Food update: Breakfast of choice is sheets of seaweed, a big bowl of congee and a side of fruit! However, she has discovered that she does like Johnny Rocket's french fries and strawberry shakes! It's a no go though on the hot dogs, burgers or almost anything that contains meat or vegetables! That is until she went to school! The first day I went to pick her up she was eating her second bowl of vegetable soup - including the carrots which she had basically gagged on when I gave them to her. She also has eaten peanut butter and banana sandwiches, green beans, ravioli, cereal and fish crackers. These are all things that she had asked for seconds on and all things that I had tried with her, but she wouldn't eat them! I think it really helped to see the other kids eating these things and liking them!
Her preschool is at a gymnastics school where she attends the morning session and I pick her up right after lunch. She gets to have gymnastics classes three times per week while at school and so far she really seems to be enjoying it. It is hard to send a child to school that can't tell you how the day went though! They told me that the first day she was really quiet and mostly just watched the other kids. The second day she started interacting with the kids a bit more and on the third day they said she walked in and acted like she had been going there her whole life. It is exactly the same way she approached joining our family. She observed us for a while, tentatively started to join in a bit and then finally decided that yes this is my family and she jumped right in! She sits with the girls and glares at the boys, sometimes she plugs her nose and points at them. Maybe I need to find her some nice boys to play with!

She was so excited to show me what she learned in her gymnastics class that on our way out of the building she said "Mama Mama Xiao Bao this school", kicked her feet up in the air and flipped over trying to land in a back bend, but really was more of a flat out thud right there on the hard tile floor. I quick scooped her up and she looked a little stunned, but then she put her arms right back up to try it again. I carried her the rest of the way out and to the car - she can perfect it at home on the carpet!

She is becoming more and more affectionate, freely giving sweet hugs and kisses. On her third day of preschool when I got there to pick her up, instead of the smile and wave I had gotten the first two days, she jumped up and came running over with a great big grin and yelling "MAMA MAMA" and leaped into my arms hugging and kissing me.