Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pearl's Forever Family Day

Two years ago today, Pete and I brought Chloe, at 2.5 yrs old, and Daisy (a former exchange daughter from Beijing) with us into a small conference room at the orphanage in Chengdu China. This was the nicest building I could imagine in which an orphanage would be housed, which is probably why they allowed foreign visitors on the premises.

Not even a minute had passed when the orphanage staff brought in a tiny little girl, clutching a photo album, wearing a sheepish grin. Without hesitation, she walked right up to Pete and said "Baba", then she looked at me and said "Mama", and then she turned to face Chloe and said "MeiMei". I was pretty shocked at how brave and smart this little 3 year old child was. She looked so thin that I didn't recognize her from her referral photos.

The only time she cried was when we went to get in the van to leave. I think she was expecting us to come live with her. She had proudly shown us around her orphanage to see her teacher, her classmates, and her bed. The tears were short-lived and we have been on an adventure with this sweet little girl ever since, now our daughter forever.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pearl at Mom's Work

Today after Kindergarten, Dad had to go to the doctor's office, so he decided to drop Pearl off at work with Mom. Mom works at City Hall and Chloe and Pearl love to come by and visit all the co-workers, many of whom have secret toys and treats stashed away in their offices.

Pearl worked quietly all afternoon while Mom worked on her AutoCad drawings for the new Animal Shelter. Chloe is still in daycare until next year, but she still gets chances to visit the office from time to time.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Backyard Visitor

Well, this little guy may seem like a very common visitor, but here in dry heat country, he seems a little unusual. I am thinking that we must be overwatering our lawn. At least it made for some great entertainment for Chloe and Pearl.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Flutterby Dress

Jill over at Mission to Macie tagged me and I almost forgot to respond, so here goes.

Chloe is modeling another new dress made by Mom. I have been trying to find a pattern for a "knot dress" for awhile now and haven't seen one I liked, so I decided to design my own. It took a few mistakes and redos, but the final result is exactly as I imagined it. Chloe loves it so much she doesn't want to take it off.

The print is from designer Tula Pink, who manages to take seemingly traditional patterns and incorporates bits of nature. The main fabric has cute little bugs based upon bumblebees and the coordinating geometric pattern has little butterflies, adding a touch of fun and whimsy. Matching fabric hairbows complete the look.

Look What My Kindergartener Can Do

I realize I have already posted about my daughter's Lego creations, but this time it's Pearl's turn. I had no idea that she could accomplish such a detailed and time-consuming project without any help or input from Mom or Dad. What have they been teaching her that first week of Kindergarten?

Chloe came running into Mom's sewing room and said, "Mom. Quick! You have to come look at what Pearl is making!" I thought this was just the average request I get 10 times a day, but I decided to get up anyway and followed Chloe into the next room. Sitting on the floor was Pearl, determined and intent on building the cute little house she was admiring in a picture. She was recreating it piece by piece.

Monday, August 18, 2008

It's Official-We Have a Kindergartener

After two long years of rigorous preschool, Pearl is now in Kindergarten. Pearl's school is just a few years old and this is the first year that the Kindergarten classes will go a full day. Shown in the pictures with Pearl are two friends from daycare and her cousin Faith, who were all returning to school for another year.

Mom and Dad went to class with Pearl for the first day to go through orientation. There are 18 kids in her class, 2 are semi-familiar faces (at least the parents are).

It appears that there are about 3 kids in Pearl's class that don't speak English (we live in a community with a large migrant population) and the teacher doesn't speak Spanish, so that should be interesting. There are four other Kindergarten classes at this school, and I suspect there is a much larger percentage of Spanish-speaking children in those other classrooms.

After some playing, the children were asked to sit with their parents through the orientation. Pearl kept slouching (falling out of the chair-slouching) and shifting and yawning. I hope it gets better. The other kids seemed to be paying more attention than Pearl, or at least they weren't overtly bored. Here's to a great year!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I've Got A Secret

Betty Chu has been a close friend and competitor of mine for many years. We quit competing about 8 years ago, but Betty continues to dominate the field of showing rabbits, and particularly, English Angora rabbits. Pete and I eventually moved on to raise a family of the human variety, while Betty and her husband Albert continue to raise their bunny family.

Two years ago, she was invited to appear on the game show "I've Got A Secret". Her appearance on the show lasted just under seven minutes and can be seen here. Scroll down to the bottom to view the video. I thought you might find this a bit entertaining. We used to show the exact same variety of rabbit.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Famous Quotes

The other day we were sitting at the dining table and Chloe was rubbing her forehead. She exclaimed, "I got a gab on my sorehead", which of course, translates to "I have a scab on my forehead."

Really, I think it was only a small boo boo.

Yesterday, Daddy was bringing the girls in from the swimming pool. He was trying to help them get dressed in the laundry room downstairs. Chloe loudly remarked, "Daddy! Get out! You can't see me naked. Only when we get married. Mo-om!"

She still thinks she's gonna marry Daddy when she grows up. I remember thinking the same thing too when I was her age!

Pearl received her new Kindergarten backpack in the mail yesterday. She was so excited because it is pink and covered in princesses and fairies. Her name is embroidered on the outside and we will be shopping this weekend for lots of goodies to fill it up with. Monday is the BIG DAY!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Little Swiss Miss

This weekend I made another dress for Chloe (well, more for me than her, but she gets to wear it) and it was my most fun project yet. I have had the Mod pink flower fabric for awhile now, but needed something to go with it, so I made another trip to the fabric store and found three great matching fabrics.

I have been viewing for ideas. Etsy is a website similar to Ebay, but all the sellers are artists that create their own products. Some of you reading this may already have an Etsy store of your own. There are some amazing children's clothes at some incredible prices. I noticed that apron fronts seem to be popular now, so I took my basic peasant dress pattern and added an apron to the front. I added pink piping around the edges and embellished it with a fabric yo-yo for some extra detail. Then I made some matching yo-yos for hair clippies.

The only thing that surprised me about this dress is that it looks European. Maybe it's the apron, maybe it's the checked border on the bottom, or maybe it's just my imagination. All she needs is a bandana in her hair and a big Swiss Mug in her hand.

Hot cocoa anyone?

Friday, August 08, 2008

Future Olympian?

Today, 08/08/08 is the beginning of the Olympics in Beijing. Both of our former exchange daughters are from Beijing and are working at the event, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. One of our exchange daughters wrote us and mentioned that for the first time, she was truly proud of her city. We will forever be grateful to China for our two beautiful daughters as we sit here and cheer for our American team.

Chloe's swimming is improving, and she really enjoys spending time in the pool.

Today Dad took Chloe swimming. As usual, Pearl opted out because our swimming pool is just too cold. It's not just her. I won't swim in the pool either unless the temperature is well over 100 degrees. Today was a nice refreshing 95!

Here are some pictures from today.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I Wanna Be an Architect

Spending the week at home with Dad has inspired the girls as they watch him work (his office is in the basement). The girls are starting to notice what Mommy and Daddy do for a living and they are becoming interested.

For two days now, Chloe has been running around the house saying "I wanna be an architect." She and Pearl have been fighting over the Legos lately (and they rarely fight). While I really want Chloe to find her own interest and dreams, it would please me greatly if one day she really did grow up to be an architect. She is constantly showing off her creations.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Warning! Do not click on the picture unless you want a REAL graphic look.

Our daycare provide took the week off to go to the beach. Since work (residential engineering)here is slow, Dad decided to keep the girls home with him for the week and save a few bucks. Today he decided to take Chloe and Pearl to the waterpark and let them have some fun. While playing, Chloe managed to collide with a little boy and bust her two front teeth. It took a couple of minutes before she started crying (and for the blood to start flowing). Fortunately, our Dentist was able to see her right way, still in her swimsuit, and he reassured us that no permanent damage was done. Her baby teeth may still be goners, but for now they are still straight and still attached. We already had an appointment scheduled for early next month to fill a hole, so they will be following up on this too. This is the second time Chloe has damaged these teeth. I hope they manage to hang around for another year or two.

Note: The brown mess on her lips is from chocolate ice cream, because it hurts too much to eat anything else, right?

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Another Weekend at Home

Given the current economy, we are sticking close to home. We had a fabulous Hawaiian vacation in June, and now we are trying to keep our expenses down. We have had a string of great weekends at home, swimming in the pool, playing with each other, eating meals at home and more sewing.

Here are two more items of clothing that I made. I designed Chloe's top myself, but it turned out a bit too short and maybe a bit too snug. Pearl's dress is a bit long and oversized, but I think she pulls it off. It goes nicely with the Madagascar Bandaid, don't you think? Looks like the girls will have plenty of school clothes.