Now, I have been using chopsticks well since I was about 16...so do the math and well I think you get my point. So when our guide said "no worry baby eats with western fork and spoon" I was proved wrong---very quickly. "With chopsticks I can shovel great amounts of food in my mouth at one time. With fork, I have to stab one at a time...." We gave meimei a fork and spoon and she immediately tossed them aside for my chopsticks and proceeded to eat like a champ. Boy this is a girl that likes to eat her food. Cleft palates are NO stop to this girl. Not only did she have no problem eating every noodle and vegetable in sight...she also had no problems with drinking from straws or having anything come back out her you know what....nose. Oh and by the way...one of the things I did to assure her that there would always been food around, was to give her this little pink purse type necklace that I filled with Cheerios. She had access to them at all times while we were in China. Yes it was over kill but it worked. Once we got home I just showed her the pantry with the WHOLE box and we had a very happy little girl.
And once again...why just wear pajamas when you can layer ones jammies with their day clothes. The more the better. Uhhhh in case you are wondering...nothing has changed in the past two years in this regard.
In China (aside from governmental influences) it is not uncommon to find some Chinese that believe in a little bit of Buddhism, a pinch of Taoism, a sprinkling of Confuciusism, a tad of Islam and a dash of Christianity.
According to our dear Chinese Nanny "if little bit of belief good then many beliefs much better" More beliefs = more better...hummmmm sounds logical and good to me. After all, I've always been in the camp of if little bit of cheesecake is good than eating half of it is better right?
Photos of an outing with Mei Mei wearing one of my favorite dresses of Noleys. Getting blessed by a Buddhist Monk. We can all use some extra blessings in life. And the last photo of what would be soon know as our budding fashionista...why wear just pajamas when you can wear your pajamas and a dress at the same time?
I have one yahoo who will remain anonymous who does not like to brush HIS teeth everyday. I decided after trying several approaches to stoop to the lowest form of motivation I could find...the fear factor. I found this loverly li'l video on youtube about rotten teeth. Watch it if you dare...or share it with your loved ones. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH-AaQK4UxI&feature=PlayList&p=A49315979258FA7B&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=10 So what how does my yahoo say after watching the video twice... "nice catchy tune mom, thanks for sharing" arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
I must say the feeling is surreal...you arrive in a foreign country...they ask you to complete some paperwork (Okay so a LOT of paperwork)...you take some oaths and then they hand over to you one of the most precious child you have ever seen. The feeling the day left me with was like I was getting away with something and that at any moment someone was going to come out of somewhere and say...uhhhh sorry you cannot have her...we made a mistake---give her back.
The day after gotcha is the official adoption day when she became ours and boy was she a happy girl. In adoption you prepare for the worst (which included two pounds of M&M's - just incase I had to resort in two weeks of bribes to come near us), and you pray for the best. We could have not been more blessed...we had no tears...no fears...no signs of regret or sadness. Just one happy girl who loved to laugh and tease us and taunt us. As long as we fed her...she would have followed us anywhere. The M&M's you ask? Well she did not like chocolate or candy or ice cream. Just veggies and lots of them (little did we know what within 30 days of being home with the other yahoos that she would get corrupted into the world of chocolate and all things sweet) We knew within the first 24 hours she was going to fit into our family just fine.
Yep. That's right. Today at the water park I look around and what do I see? My Noley sitting under a tree. When I asked her what she was doing, she simply replied "I'm meditating...in the shade" "what does it look like I'm doing?" Enough said.
I strongly believe that it is my job to prepare my yahoos for leaving the nest when they graduate from school. It is my desire and goal that they go away to college and choose a professional career path. But and this is a LARGE BUTT in my case, that they not choose the college professional route, I am glad that they will at least have a future in working the circus circuit.
Tonight while having dinner a al fresco out by the pool, Noley amused the dinner crowd with a nighttime performance of her snake charming talents. Mind you these are talents that she amassed on her own so we are quite proud of her accomplishments. I am posting photos of the family snake charmer ... soon to be performing at a circus near you. FYI... no snakes were injured during her performance.
uhhhh ... dat be the cats tail.... as Noley scales the outdoor fireplace to pet the darn cat... from where we were sitting on the patio, it looked like a cobra taunting Noley. I about split a gut laughing.
Well. We have no real photos from Gotcha day because our camera jammed. We do have a bad video that I have yet to figure out how to upload to youtube. But I do have photos from Gotcha day post the hand off of Fu. We loaded the bus to head off to the Lottery Hotel. Yes we were going to be meeting our little girl with the Chinese name of Fu Dong meaning "lucky and prosperous heading east" and yep meeting her for the first time at the lottery hotel...we did win the lotto.
She cried and cried and was not a happy camper. She was the first of seven to be handed off to new parents. She upset all of the babies round the room. Once we left the hotel and went to the back play park area she stopped crying. She never cried again.
When we went back to our hotel she was a quite as a mouse. No sounds whatsoever. She was frozen like a stone. We would move her to the bed and she just sat there staring into space with a lost look on her face. We stayed in the hotel room for about an hour and then went to the Chinese restaurant in the hotel. She just sat and looked around again with a lost look on her face. And then it happened... The hot spicy green beans arrived on our table. Without a seconds notice she was out of the highchair up on the table stuffing green beans into her mouth as fast as she could. Smiling from ear to ear. Yep that was it...we found our way into her heart with food. We knew she was meant to be a Tomato girl. From that moment on she NEVER stopped talking and laughing. We were in fact very very lucky.
Last year we switched from private school to public school. In my attempt to fill in the public school gaps, I decided invest in Kumon math and reading enrichment program for the yahoos. I knew they would benefit but the degree to which was yet to be determined. That is until last week when we received the results of the kids state test scores. The tests is broken into two main areas read and math with sub categories in each. I about fell out of my chair when I learned that Tobbers (the guy who last summer at 7 yrs old, still could not remember what 2+3 equalled) scored in the 80% in the state (top 20% percent in the state) and scored a perfect 100% score in language arts vocabulary and analysis. Kumon works. It really really works. I am shocked. I know he is a smart guy, but he likes to check out if it is not interesting to him. Math was a dark void in his brain. He moved from being in the 20th percentile to the 80%. He was always good with words but to get a perfect score is simply amazing. Noley also kicked butt with the tests. She tested over 90% in all categories which earned her entrance into the GATE program. She is on the wait list for the 3rd grade class--we are in for sure for 4th grade when they bump class size to 30 kids. We will be keeping our fingers crossed in hopes that there is room in the 3rd grade class for her. We will find out September 5th what teachers the kids get for the upcoming year. When I asked the kids what they attributed their success to they both answered quickly...KUMON. "Kumon made it easier for me" Thank you Kumon. I thank you and my yahoos thank you. If you have ever considered a math or reading enrichment program, I highly recommend www.kumon.com
We have been blessed by our own KC for the past week. She got a four day stint working on the TV show "the mentalist" here in the big Tomato. I have not seen the show but Mr T has and unbeknown to me it actually takes place in the Tomato but is not filmed here. So guess they decided to give the Tomato a try. Here is a shot of KC in front of the capitol.
Now here is what cracks me up. The very first photo taken the morning we arrive is with me wearing a green shirt. The photo is not in focus but clearly represents EXACTLY how I felt at that very moment....FUZZY VERY FUZZY. We had a whirlwind tour of Hong Kong which included our own tour of hitting the streets and walking around like a local or as best as one can be where we were. We stumbled in to small little dive-esk bar and had a blast with everyone just looking at us like we were nuts. Hey the way we figured it we were twice the size of everyone else so what harm really could come of it...that and they served Ice Cold beer. Ooooooh that's right as prospective adoptive parents that's probably best kept to ourselves.... Uuuuuhhhh no, why do you think we are bring the older yahoos this time around....so we can go dive bar seeking that's why... or least so they can :-)
Photos: traditional Sampans that we toured the harbor in...the lit up side of an amusement park - No that is our hotel a la rhinestone cowboy...and Mr T shopping the Hong Kong way. Next photos of Nanning.
These photos arrived in my email. Actually a file of a little girl arrived in my email for Mr T and I to review and see if we wanted to learn more about her. The file gave her limited history and medical information. Dx= Cleft Lip and Palate.
Okay so I could deal with that...but what I could not deal with was that they did not send any photos along with her file. I could not understand why the agency would not send any photos...could her cleft be so awful that she was too bad to even look at? Was she so disfigured that she would frighten us? Did she have five eyes or something?.... Uh nope. A simple phone call in the morning concluded that they forgot to attach the photos. Mystery solved.
These are the images we opened... The first photo (the bottom with her in pink) showed us a scared little helpless girl...the final close up face shot up at the top of this post showed us a little girl who said "lead, follow or step out of the way...no on second thought take that back...just step aside!" Boy was that top photo ever right!
I'm west coast gal married to a midwest guy and share my life with six kids. Oh yes, and a 5 ft rooster and some four legged furry things. We are a multicultural, travel loving, foodie family with a zest for learning, appreciating, finding joy, understanding impermanence and not sweating the small stuff in life.