Monday, March 30, 2009

Kite Flying

kite flying 1
kite flying 2
kite flying 3
kite flying 4
kite flying 6

Sunday was a very windy day! It blew and blew. The power was out in a few places around town. But as the tired ole cliche` goes, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." We decided to put the wind to good use and dug out the kite.

Dad and Pearl had a lot more endurance than Chloe and me. That field was full of stickers and even though the girls put their boots on, the stickers still found their way inside. But the big payoff was flying a beautiful kite in a bright blue sky.

Saturday Picnic in our Back Yard

egg sandwiches
picnic girls blog

This was one of those weekends I had been anticipating for a long time, one with no prior commitments or plans. I had a lot of things I wanted to accomplish and I did a pretty good job of tackling most of them, except for the laundry. Saturday morning, we took the girls to the movies to see "Monsters VS Aliens". Chloe said it was even better than "Kung Fu Panda".

The weather was glorious on Saturday, so that evening we decided to have a our back yard. I made some sandwiches and we got out the blankets and lawn furniture. We sat under our Bradford Pear tree, the largest one I have ever seen, and we soaked up the sun and each other's company. The girls even brought out their table and chairs from their playroom. It really was a very simple moment, but I will treasure it for a long time.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

More About Last Weekend

My brother and his wife came by for a visit this past weekend. My SIL had been promising the girls, especially Pearl, that she would teach them how to make apple pie. That's the first thing they did when they arrived. The rest of the weekend was full of playtime. It was sure nice to see my brother again. There's a lot I would like to write, but this is the girl's blog and I am not going to spoil it with talk of religion or politics or what's really on my mind.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Sad Day

We received this email yesterday from our first agency, CCAI.

Dear CCAI families:

It is with a heavy heart that CCAI must inform you that our beloved Michael Wei Zixiong, CCAI Guangxi In-China Representative, has passed away. He was hospitalized suddenly on Friday, March 20, and he passed away early Monday morning, March 23, of an acute cerebral hemorrhage.

Michael joined CCAI in 2000 and was honored to have served hundreds of CCAI families as they journeyed to meet their children in Guangxi, Yunnan, and Guizhou. He loved his responsibilities as a CCAI rep and was always touched by adoptive families who came to China from such a long way to bring an abandoned Chinese baby into their loving homes. Michael said, “I consider CCAI adoptive families my heroes.”

CCAI has established the Michael Wei Memorial Fund to support his family and in particular, Michael’s eight-year-old son. Should you wish to contribute to this fund, please indicate on your donation the “Michael Wei Memorial Fund.”

We grieve along with you at the untimely loss of our friend Michael. A dedicated adoption professional and loving father, he will be deeply missed.

In sadness,

Chinese Children Adoption International

Michael was our guide in China when we adopted Chloe, but he was so much more than that. Michael knew all about these babies and was a tremendous resource in helping us first-time parents learn how to care for a child. He taught us Chinese lullabies, played with our cranky babies, and made our adoption experience memorable and special. Chloe had a real tough time those first few days with us, but Michael helped tremendously in easing her anxiety. He was younger than we are and his brief connection to our lives will not be forgotten.

Monday, March 23, 2009

An Eventful Weekend

Chris & Chloe
This weekend started early and was chocked full of visitors to our home. First was the arrival of my brother and his wife. They spent a couple of days with us and spent all their time with the girls. Chloe and Pearl are very lucky to have such a doting aunt and uncle. I will post pictures and more discussion of their visit in a future post.

Saturday evening brought the arrival of our long lost daughter (just teasing), Chris and a friend of hers from college, Ashley. Chris was our exchange daughter last year and now she is attending college at the University of Washington. We are thrilled and full of joy to have her home for a few days of spring break. Sometimes you don't realize how much you really miss someone until you get to see them again. I really wish Chris could stay much longer, but I am so happy for her to be able to experience college life here in the U.S. I think we may have more visits to Seattle in the coming years.

Chloe and Pearl were overstimulated the entire weekend. It was just too much excitement. Now I think we are all recovering. I am ready to get back to work and I have a little sewing project I am anxious to get completed.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday Mornings

Chloe in flowers
Wednesday mornings can be a little challenging in our household. That's because Dad has to be the main person to get the girls ready for school. I have a weekly Rotary Club meeting that begins at 6:30 am.

Pete usually turns Pearl's light on by 5:45-6 AM while I am getting ready for the day. Chloe is still zonked out in bed and nothing will get her stirring yet. By the time I am dressed, I usually have 5 minutes left in which I do Pearl's hair and give Chloe a goodbye kiss and snuggle, while she still lays in bed.

Recently, Dad has been bringing Chloe to our local deli after my meeting and I join them there to spend a few minutes before going to work and before he takes Chloe to preschool. Usually there is something amiss about Chloe's appearance. Her hair is tousled and today I notice that she is wearing her sister's shoes, at least a size too large.

There is a lovely mural on the deli wall of a train running through a beautiful meadow. Chloe asks me, "Mama, what are train tracks made of?" I answer, "They are made of steel and wood." To which she exclaims, "You mean them steal 'em?" After a chuckle, I explained to her that steel is a metal that is very strong. I just love how her mind works. She always wonders about how things work and she is a careful observer.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Today we went out in search of wildflowers. We had a tip from a friend on the best place to go, so we packed up the cameras, girls and picnic essentials and headed out. We almost turned the car around before we came upon the perfect field in full bloom........lots of purple, white and orange. There were so many photographers out in the field, it was hard to get a picture without all of them in it. This was clearly the spot to be today.

Friday, March 13, 2009

All Washed Up

After debating about whether to post on this subject, I decided to include it anyway, thus displaying our true lack of parenting skills. My husband got a new blower/vac to help clean up the back yard. He was trying it out and Chloe wanted to help too, so she was skimming the pool. I was inside playing with pictures on my computer (after taking the above shot, of course). Pearl was keeping me company.

They came in the back door to the kitchen and Chloe was soaked from head to toe, shoes and all. Apparently, while Dad was operating the exceedingly loud blower, he had his back turned to Chloe and she had fallen into the deep end of our 55 degree pool. Without any assistance, she swam to the side and pulled herself out without a step ladder. We were really surprised that she wasn't overcome with fear, or the cold water or panic. She remained calm the whole time and saved herself. Dad didn't know anything had happened until Chloe walked up behind him totally drenched. You can bet he won't be turning his back on her again and she won't be cleaning the pool until Summer time.

Thank goodness for those swimming lessons and all those push-ups she does.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Practice Practice Practice


I have been diligently practicing taking pictures every night after work; however, I am struggling with the simplest of challenges, focus. For whatever reason, be it my unsteady hands or a bad camera setting, most of my pictures are not in focus. While it is very frustrating, I was thrilled to see that the best shot I took all evening was also the sharpest shot...yeah.

I really love this picture of Pearl. It shows her sweetness and delicate side. There is a slight dimple just starting to form. You cannot tell that she has had a full day of wildly running around in KG. I didn't even have to run a comb through her hair or wipe her face.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

They're Fighting Over Me

Chloe Chin on Hands
Pearl is my social butterfly. She considers every last child in her KG class to be her friend and she hugs them all. She even knows many of the older kids at school, just from lunch time in the cafeteria. She is always bright, cheerful and bubbly. That's just her nature.

My precious Chloe is another story. She has close friends from daycare that she has known most of her life, but when it come to preschool, she is shy and afraid to make friends. Last year was tough, but this year was a little better. Early on, she made friends with an adorable and rambunctious boy named Dillan. She usually calls him her best friend. More recently she has become friends with a sweet little blonde named Emma. They even had a playdate at Emma's house.

Now she says she has another new friend, Fabian. I don't know who this is. I'll have to go check him out. Two days ago, Chloe came home and said that Dillan and Fabian were fighting over her. I wasn't really sure how to respond...she's only in preschool. I kind of dismissed it and told her she could be friends with both. Then yesterday she came home and said that they were fighting over who could sit next to her in class. I said, "Don't you have two sides? Can't they both sit by you?" She said the teacher had to break it up.

Oh my goodness............It's starting already.

Chloe came up with her own solution. She said that at recess, she will dig holes(?) with Fabian and in class, she will sit next to Dillan.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Learning Photography

I have really been looking forward to this weekend for awhile. The Pixel Fairy Princess, an amazing and talented photographer, came to my home to help me develop my photography skills. After maintaining the girls' blogs for four years, I appreciate the value it has brought our family and intend to keep this going as long as it is continues to be beneficial. Therefore, it is time for me to work on my photography skills to better record our special moments together. I am so thrilled with the new skills I have learned and I cannot wait to practice and improve upon them.

Attached are a handful of pictures that I have been learning with this weekend. My 12 year old neice Miranda agreed to come over and play model for us and she was fantastic. We even managed to sneak in a visit to the Getty Museum.

chloe with flower

Pearl on ground

Chloe on grass

pearl by gate


Getty Gardens

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

George Washington's Teeth

Last night I didn't plan anything for dinner. When I walked in the door at 5 PM, Pearl was eating a sandwich and some goldfish crackers. It was beginning to look like we weren't going to have our traditional dinner at the dining table.

Dad found some leftovers and I made Chloe some ramen noodles per her request. Actually, Chloe did most of the work, pouring the water in the pan, putting in the noodles and stirring. I had a frozen dinner. Chloe and I sat down at the table together and we were having great conversation and companionship. Chloe said "I sure wish the whole family was eating together." I was touched.

A few minutes later, Dad joined us and then he made Pearl some leftovers of chicken and broccoli. It was beginning to feel like real family time.

I am not sure how the conversation got onto the presidents. We talked about several of them. Dad asked Chloe if she knew what colors were in the American flag. She not only named the colors, but went into complete descriptive detail (of the stars and stripes) including the flagpole itself. We started talking about the presidents when Chloe asked me, "Which president never smiled?" I had no idea.

She said, "George Washington. Because he lost his teeth when he was really young." Now my pre-schooler is teaching me things! I looked it up and she was right. I guess that money for pre-school is paying off.


ChloeonBike-5egrets in my pine trees




Yesterday Chloe had a major wipeout on her new bike. Her knees were all skinned up and bruised. That afternoon, Dad went into town and picked up helmets and pads for the girls. Hopefully, that will be the end of skinned knees (at least during bike riding).

Monday, March 02, 2009

A Visit from Cousin Lily


I have been working on developing the pattern for my new Diamond Skirt. One of the challenges of creating a pattern is being able to make it in multiple sizes. I decided to make a small version (size 12-18 months) and I needed a model to try it on, so Cousin Lily agreed to fill the role.

I didn't get very many pictures of the girls this weekend, so I will throw one of the only ones I have in just because. It isn't very good, but it was all I had.

LilySkirt-14 "I am casting my spell on you. You are going to LOVE my skirt.....and ME too!"

LilySkirt-5 "What do they call this thing?"

LilySkirt-10 "Look what I found."

LilySkirt-2 "What bald spot?"

LilySkirt-13Charlie's Angels plus one