So it's Christmas eve and hubs decides to ring his parents to wish them a jolly one. The line rings endlessly...no answering machine, no explanations. Hubs tries again a couple of hours later. Same results. Now hubs grumbles to me that his parents must be traveling for the holidays and have failed to turn on their answering machine to catch any well-wishers. So the next day rolls around and hubs tries again. What do you know? He gets the same results. Hubs gives it a couple more tries throughout that day and then gives up completely. This morning, feeling a little miffed, hubs dials again. This time getting Vovo Joe Joe immediately on the other end. In rapid-fire Portuguese, I hear hubs speaking with his dad. Turns out Vovo Joe Joe plugged both phone lines into his modem not knowing that incoming calls would not be detected even though outgoing calls would functioned normally. So in the course of a few days, my in-laws, who have been in their condo all along, have missed several important holiday calls and, I'm not kidding here, even the funeral of a relative. Hubs, the IT geek that he is, was, needless to say, most incensed with this technical glitch executed by his internet-loving father. Now hubs makes it a point to instruct Gi on the proper way to address her paternal grandfather...Vovo Doe Doe.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Oh, what a wonderful two days we've had with Faith and her mommy and daddy. You see, Faith and Gi are Hubei sisters...different orphanage but same province. By the end of the first day, the two cuties had warmed up to each other and were sharing not only toys but lots of laughs together. Gi gladly gave up her room and bed for the L family knowing that she would be able to sleep in the same room with her parents for a couple of nights. Being able to engage in leisurely adult conversations with Mama Judy and Papa John after the girls went to sleep was an added bonus for hubs and I. We truly treasure the time we spent with the L family and look forward to our next get-together. Thank you for the great company, laughs and scrumptious meals...oh and the minty chocolate delights also (hehehe).
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Ladies and Gentlemen (drum roll, please)!
We got potty time again!!! After a hiatus of a couple of months, Gi surprised us with an actual production of #1 tonight. Hubs and I wiggled and jiggled and praised Munch until our voices were hoarse. Then we showered her with M&Ms until her lips became one with the colors of the sweet morsels. Hoping to get more M&Ms, Munch plopped herself back down on her potty after we emptied her bowl out and announced that she was going to make poo poo. Well, after two story books and lots of patience, we called it a night sans poop. But we are encouraged, indeed. Oh I hope this trend continues...is there a potty fairy out there somewhere?
Friday, December 19, 2008
Gi's preschool had a little cookie decorating holiday party for the parents and the kids. Gi put frosting, sprinkles and M&Ms on her cookie. She ended up only eating the M&Ms and a teenie bite of her cookie. Afterwards, all the little ones had a book exchange. Munch received a great book on numbers. Now Munch will be off for about two weeks before returning to school in January. Big thank you to Ms. Deborah and Ms. Karen for their wonderful gifts---a Christmas book and a tee shirt with Gi's pictures on it.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Ok, hubs, if you're reading this, big smooches to you on this latest strategy you've come up with. Miss Sassy-Pants aka Munch aka Gi has been showing considerable disdain for her stroller lately. Hubs and I, armed with what could best be described as adequate parenting know-how, have resorted to negotiations with Munch whenever we enter a large mall or areas that require a substantial amount of walking. Gi must cooperatively sit in her stroller for 15 minutes after which she may walk for 15 minutes with her aging parents. And not unlike the Middle East crisis, sometimes the most well-intentioned negotiations break down with both sides making new demands and jockeying for more power. Well, this break-down happened not too long ago at Home Depot. Upon returning to the spot where hubs was monitoring Munch (stroller free), I hear him, with a hint of desperation in his voice, telling Gi that the OWNER of the store, Mr. Home Depot, was going to come out to dismiss us from the premises if she continued to run around and talk at the top of her lungs. What I witnessed was nothing short of a miracle...Gi immediately toned down her toddler antics, grabbed hubs' leg and vehemently insisted that Mr. Home Depot need not be dragged into this family drama. Like ravenous sharks picking up on the scent of fresh blood, hubs and I both filed this very unexpected but successful strategy into the rollerdex of our feeble, tired minds. Since then, Munch has had the opportunity to assure her mommy and daddy that Mr. JCPenney, Mr. Target, Mr. Dillards and Mr. Mall was not necessary in showing her the ways of a cooperative toddler. The list goes on and, of course, it does not work for the length of an entire outing. Ohhhh Munch will catch on eventually and will call us to the floor on this one but in the meantime we're quite enjoying the results.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Just thought I share some pictures of Gi from a photo session we had at home recently. Some of the pictures were used for our family holiday card. Munch was surprisingly cooperative and unusually hammy. Of course, out of the 50 some odd pictures I took that day, only a handful was usable. Both sets of grandparents received a set including my grandmother in Macau. Happy holidays to all our family and friends from near and far.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Let's just say this was not the Santa photo that we were hoping for. Believe it or not this was the best one out of the four that were taken at Gi's preschool winter fest. Gi, again, did not want anything to do with Santa. So we were trying to amuse her and pose at the same time. Obviously, we failed miserably. A couple of seconds after this shot was taken, Gi broke into full fledge tears and wails. But other then this momentary setback, we all had a wonderful time. Munch went on most of the toddler rides but avoided the bounce houses. Go figure, Miss Daredevil does not care for bounce houses. She even frolicked in "snow" and ate her share of junky carnival foods. Hubs stuck to sodas and chicken wings while I sample a plateful of Haitian foods...yummy! Then it was off to dinner at Po Po's house. Afterwards we joined the Hawkins and Vans at a local parade where Munch got to hang with her BFFs, Sammy and Brea.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Try as we might, we just can't get Munch to eat much animal protein...and Thanksgiving is no exception. Po Po makes theee most delectable turkey ever! The lucky bird sits in a delicious Chinese marinade for about a day and then is roasted to perfection by Po Po. There is no dry turkey meat when Po Po does Thanksgiving as my good friend, Jessica, will attest to. Alas, even with such expert preparation Gi can not be enticed to gobble up gastronomic portions of turkey. Instead, my little Munch goes for the wing. Can you believe it...the skinny crispy wing??!! Gi gnawed, chomped and chewed until the thing fell apart. Then with greasy fingers outstretched, she sweetly told the adults that she was "ahhh dun" and asked for assistance in coming down from her booster seat. Luckily, Auntie Jessie, who gobbled down three helpings of turkey finished around the same time as Gi. With very little prompting, Munch attached herself to Auntie Jessie while the rest of us continued to savor Po Po's yummy bird. Thanksgiving for us was great as usual. Thank you, Auntie Jessie, for the wonderful pies and to Po Po for always making the T-bird with lots of love and attention...the end result being so spectacular as usual. And we can't wait to celebrate another Thanksgiving with Gi.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Gosh, I feel old! Coming out of our local library this morning, I am stopped by the security guard who works there. I'm thinking two things...either he is going to help me carry my two huge bags of books or he is suspicious of why I am leaving with sooo many books and dvds. Turns out it is neither. The security guard, who addressed me as Ms. Chang (my maiden name) happens to be a former student of mine from back-in-the-day. We pleasantly chit-chat for a while about his career and schooling. Come to find out he is twenty-eight already! I can't believe some of my former students are nearing thirty! And my Munch is only two. Oh boy, my mind and body better last long enough to see my little Munch turn thirty. Time sure flies.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Gi's preschool class had their annual Thanksgiving luncheon today. Poor hubs had to work but I was able to attend. I was glad to meet some of the parents and actually put some faces to names. Finally found out who little Aubrey was...she is the name that Munch consistently mentions when I ask her about her classroom friends. Turns out little Aubrey loves to help Gi out. After a yummy lunch, Ms. Deborah allowed the parents to go outside to the playground with our little ones. I got to see what equipment Gi gravitated most to...swing, sandbox and bouncing ball. On our way home, Gi quickly fell asleep from a very full morning of activities. I had a lovely time with Munch. Big thanks to Ms. Deborah and Ms. Karen.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Oh boy, I don't often have a stretch of time where I can sit down and write about Gi's cognitive and physical progress. We just recently had a parent conference with her preschool teacher. Ms. Deborah has set some goals for her like mastering all of her targeted colors and shapes, asking more questions in class and being able to hop on one foot. So we have been reinforcing these skills at home via arts and crafts, books, dvds and other types of activities. I'm not sure how well we can tackle the task of having her hop on one foot...maybe Munch just needs to mature physically in order to do that. Anyway, I'm not too worried about that aspect. I figure she will get it when she gets it. Otherwise Munch is doing well in most areas of development especially where music, singing and dancing are involved...this is according to Ms. Deborah. She is also talking up a storm although you wouldn't know it if you put her in an unfamiliar environment. Her vocabulary is taking off! She frequently uses three-word sentences to express her needs and wants. And has the attitude to go with it too. Hubs and I have a nickname for her---BB22 (BB being ba_ _ buster, 22 being her weight at the current time). I know...it's not the most endearing name for our Munch but she really does give us a run for our money. She can be a real charmer too especially after being put in time-out. Gi continues to take Kindermusik with Ms. Carol Anne. Munch adores that class. And we frequent the local library for storytime when it is in session. Munch is now more at ease with Po Po and Gon Gon babysitting her. She does not have a complete meltdown like she used to. Although I have to admit that she still rules the roost when Po Po and Gon Gon are alone with her. Yes, my mom still follows Gi around the house trying to feed her lunch and my dad lets the rascal throw my mom's onions and tomatoes around when we are at their house for our weekly family dinner. Funny how I don't remember my parents tolerating such behavior when my sister and I were young...hmmm. Gi's latest fascination is in clothes that have a flare or ruffle at the bottom. She categorizes all these types of clothing as princess attire. When she puts on these clothes she raises her arms over her head and does a few consecutive twirls, dizzies herself and falls onto the floor laughing. She continues to be a grazer rather then a three-solid-meal-a-day gal when it comes to eating. Gapes (Gi talk for grapes) are still her all-time favorite fruit although she will gladly eat other types of fruit also. I have finally broken down and have now started giving her chocolate milk to increase her full-fat milk intake. The girl loooves this stuff! When it comes to animal protein intake, Munch is still lukewarm. Hubs and I have tried everything...made from scratch stuff, chicken nuggets, fish sticks and patties, turkey and beef hotdogs, deli meats...and the list goes on. I have stepped up her cheese intake and tofu consumption due to her lack of interest in animal protein. And we continue to give her rice and pasta dishes. Potty training is going slowly. Lately, Munch has not shown much interest in using the potty. I suspect that one of the reasons is that we no longer give her an M&M just for sitting on the potty. Now she has to actually produce something to earn the coveted chocolate morsel. This girl is no dummy...she caught on that she could put her munchkin behind on the potty for a nano second and still get an M&M. So hubs and I had to tweak the rules a little...to step up the training so to say. Well, I think that's all the time I have. Munch has woken up from her all too short nap (only an hour lately). To the vovos in Brazil---we look forward to your visit in the summer. To my hubs---thank you for going to work everyday affording me an opportunity to witness Gi's amazing development on a daily basis. Life is good and in these tough economic times I am very thankful to still be an up-close-and-personal spectator in Gi's life.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Gi had a field day running along the paths in the garden picking up pebbles, leaves and sticks.
posing with Daddy in one of the beautifully landscaped gardens
posing with Daddy in one of the beautifully landscaped gardens
Today we went to the Morikami Park for a reading event sponsored by the PBC Library System. We signed the Munch up for her very own library card and even got to tour the bookmobile. Then we strolled through the beautiful Japanese garden making a couple of pit stops for arts and crafts. We even got to meet Dewey the book owl. That's not all...Munch got a free book and a Dewey owl stuffed animal which she held onto throughout our adventure there. Best of all, we got to see some of the Mei Meis and their mommies and daddies.
Friday, November 07, 2008
Yesterday, my Munch actually made poo in the potty for the first time. In the midst of watching Barney, she tells me that she has poo and wants to use the potty. Well, I know better having had Gi give me several false alarms since we started this whole toilet training process. We run into her bathroom where Gi quickly undos her diaper. I find that there is already a mega load in her diaper thanks to a gluttonous consumption of papaya on Gi's part. Munch insists on sitting on the potty nonetheless. I oblige her thinking this will be a good practice run. With several mini grunts on her part, Munch surprises me with a small amount of poo in the yellow bowl. Wow, wow, wow! I literally jump for joy. We high five each other, dance around and sing at the top of our lungs. Then Gi soberly reminds me that I owe her some M&Ms. I happily give her three which must have set some plan in motion in Gi's mind. She sits on the potty two more times, each time generating some results! In her quest for more M&Ms (she had gotten nine so far for her three successful tries), she insists on sitting for more sessions. I gently tell her that we will try again in a couple of hours. She reluctantly cooperates. No more breakthroughs for the rest of the day but what an exciting day nonetheless.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
We are so glad to have spent a lovely afternoon helping Sammy celebrate her third birthday today. Sammy was radiant in her most festive party dress...let's just say it had her favorite color (pink) and lots of fun polka dots. Gi had a blast seeing all her little buddies and doing all the gymnastics activities with her daddy. Many thanks to the Hawkins for including us on this very special day. Happy happy birthday, Sammy, and a big wooshee gaga to you!!!
Gi as Hawiian girl last year...her bangs had finally started growing back a little from the butcher job that Mommy gave her in September.
Well, Munch is now a Halloween veteran. This is her second year donning on a costume for the sake of gathering as much candy as humanely possible for a two year old. This year, I took the road more frequently traveled by parents-in-the-know...having your child wear a ready made costume instead of a homemade get-up. Gi was expremely happy for it was one of her "princess" dresses (many thanks to the Hawkins). Even though she was wearing a 1950s poodle skirt/dress, Munch insisted that it was a princess gown. You see, my Gi classifies any attire that flares out at the bottom as princess clothing...you'd be wasting your breath if you tried to convince her otherwise. In fact, while parading around in Daddy's old t-shirt today, she announced that she was a princess. I just nodded enthusiastically in agreement...I mean the old faded t-shirt did flare out a bit at the bottom of her tiny feet. So after cooperatively walking with me to the first three to four houses, it dawns on Gi that an abundance of candy could still be gotten while resting comfortably in Mommy's arms which is where she stayed for the rest of her trick-or-treat quest. Luckily, Mommy, for once, is way ahead of the Munch. We made a pact...once her basket is filled with candy, it would be time to head home. Well, needless to say, I gave Gi a very cute but compact basket.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Oh boy, Gi has been holy terror these last few days and today was turning out to be no exception. Can't really blame her though...my poor Munch has been sick with one thing or another ever since starting preschool back in September. Beginning last Friday, she ran a fever for about three days and is now on her last few days of antibiotics. So given the scenario I was just praying to get through the week with my wits about me. Anyway, late this afternoon, I was folding laundry while Gi was whining by my feet and looking up at me with a sorrowful face accented by a very crusty nose and a scratched right cheek (courtesy of a classmate). "Mama, Mama, Ma____ma, Ma___ma, MAMA, MAMA" was the mantra of the day followed by no other words or requests. I look down at my miserable baby and suggest that she watch the program on tv, finish her puzzle on the coffee table or go to her room to rest for a while. Of course my dissatisfied Munch wants to do neither of these activities. Instead she starts to take off her pants gingerly as if her size 9 mos "capris" were made of tissue paper that would rip at any given moment. Then she starts to work on her diaper. I momentarily panick thinking that she may have an ugly surprise in there for me. You see, my Munch has a habit of indiscriminately flinging her diaper into outerspace on those occasions that she manages to take it off by herself. I was in no mood to clean up flying poo in my living room. No, not today, please. So when "Mama potty" reached my tired ears, I hurriedly dropped all laundry and happily ushered by number one daughter into the bathroom where her potty has been spending some very lonely days. I joyfully give her an M&M just for sitting on the potty. Gi gladly plops down, mangles one of my magazines and proceeds to put her hand on her tush repeatedly as if wiping herself clean. Like a good mom, I take my rightful place on the toilet seat cover waiting for her to finish her practice run. Gi has done this several times before without ever producing anything. After several minutes of me staring at her with an encouraging smile on my face and her bouncing up and down on the potty, Gi motions that she wants to take the potty to the living room. I am not diametrically opposed to this idea as I know I can try to finish folding my laundry that has been piled high on my sofa for the last few days. While Gi is playing muscial potty by herself, I start to put some of the laundry away. With great excitement, Munch runs after me with her potty wobbling in her hands. She tells me to look in the yellow bowl. Holy canoli! "Is that pee pee?" I ask a beaming Gi. Affirmative. As if my two year old toddler could somehow trick me, I sniff the bowl just to be certain that it is urine. Yup, my Munch just made pee pee for the first time in the potty! She gobbles the additional M&Ms I give her for her excellent effort. I proudly tell her that the pee pee is staying put in the bowl so Daddy could savor the sight also. Munch agrees and confidently tells me that she is ready for her diaper. Later on I make several suggestions for Gi to try the potty again. No go. I guess one major breakthrough per day is enough for my little Munch. Tomorrow is a brand new day and Mommy will certainly keep trying.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
right after having her face painted like a butterfly
Gi is attempting to show me her skull "tattoo" and say cheese at the same time.
Gi is attempting to show me her skull "tattoo" and say cheese at the same time.
Gi in the process of getting her "tattoo" sprayed on
both girls searching for the panther
waving to Mommy
Papa Todd with both cheerleading beauties
Munch checking out some of her treats
We started our Halloween festivities today by going to our local zoo for a little fun. Munch was a little under the weather but had a good time nonetheless. She and BFF, Brea, dressed as FSU cheerleader twins. We did our usual tour of the zoo in addition to rounding up some treats and goodies for the girls. When 11:30 rolled around, both girls were tired and ready for a midday snooze. Tomorrow, we may go to a fall festival hosted by Gi's preschool/church. All this and it isn't even Halloween yet!
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