Sunday, October 31, 2010

Indian Maharani Princess

My pictures of Pearl seemed to come out nicer than my pictures of Chloe. They were standing side by side, and yet somehow Pearl came out tack sharp and Chloe was fuzzy. My aperture was at 4.5, so I thought it should be OK.

Anyway, I have been posting more Chloe pictures lately, so today I will focus on Pearl. She really loved her costume and I didn't realize how much work it would take to place all those crystals on her face.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Preview

Chloe and Pearl were in the local Halloween parade tonight. There was also a costume contest. Pearl won second prize for her Indian Maharani Princess and Chloe won third prize as a leopard. When it was time to walk past the judges, Chloe hid her face and looked the other way. I think if she wasn't so shy, she might have done better. I don't know who won 1st prize, but there were two adorable buckaneers in front of us and I have a suspicion that they might have won.

Tomorrow for Halloween, I am not sure if I will put on as much make-up and jewels on the girls as I did tonight. It took me over an hour to get their faces ready. At least, we won't be stressing about how it looks.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Getting Ready for Halloween

Someone's safe this Thanksgiving.

Cinnamon the Bear really enjoys his Halloween pumpkin.

I must really be on a roll this weekend. I haven't quite fit in everything on my to-do list, but at least I kept up with the blogging!

Today I took Chloe and Pearl to our local zoo. It's sort of a refuge for California native wild animals who are either injured or unable to be returned to the wild. I didn't even know porcupines were natives of California. Since it was "Boo at the Zoo" day, lots of little kids were running around in their Halloween costumes. There were also lots of games and entertainment for the children.

After we came home from the zoo, I needed to practice on Chloe's make-up for Halloween. She will be dressed as a leopard and her costume is totally darling (IMO). I really wanted to paint her face to match, but I was uncomfortable with my face-painting skills. I tried it a few weeks ago and while it wasn't totally awful, it wasn't very good either. I could still improve upon a few things, but I think today's effort was good enough to pass.

Justin Bieber Mania

My husband Pete decided that he wanted to make a very special impression upon our exchange daughter Effy. Apparently, she is one of the many teen girls who is totally smitten with crooning heartthrob Justin Bieber. With that in mind, Pete purchased tickets and a VIP package for Effy to go to a Justin Bieber concert TODAY. They will be sitting in the third row. He is such a good dad that he is planning to go with her, so I will have the whole day to myself and Chloe and Pearl. I haven't decided what we will be doing today, but I know there will be some work on the girls' Halloween costumes. I think this year may even be more exciting than last year. Chloe will be a leopard and I will get a chance to perfect my face-painting skills. My first attempt a few weeks ago wasn't that good, but we are going to do another practice run today before the real date comes next weekend. Pearl's costume is way too big, so I will have to break out the sewing machine and make some adjustments. She also needs some more accessories, so we may have to go shopping!

If we have any time left over, the girls want to go to our local zoo. They have two new baby mountain lions in their collection that I have really been wanting to get a peek at before they grow up.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Mystery Spot

Elena stands in the door frame of the crooked shack.

Arranged in order from shortest to tallest, 5'-3" to 5'-11"
Arranged in order from tallest to shortest, however this time, they appear to be the same height, or even reversed.

I took a mid-week road trip to Santa Cruz for the day. While there, Elena and I stopped by the famous "Mystery Spot". The Mystery Spot is a location in the redwood forest where laws of physics are supposedly defied and distorted. Balls seem to roll uphill, people's height seems to change and a pendulum seems to rotate the wrong direction. While the effects and observations are based mostly upon visual illusions, it's still quite fascinating to take the tour in this Escher-esque place. Once inside the crooked cabin, I became extremely dizzy.

As it turns out, even the dizziness can be explained by the brain's difficulty in trying to match up what the eyes see with what the body feels. It's definitely a fun experience. Now back to the real world.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Chloe's Cast Comes Off

Exactly 6 weeks to the day that Chloe broke her arm, it was time to have her cast removed. We had been counting down the days ever since we were within 2 weeks of the scheduled date. I think we were both a little fearful that the x-rays might suggest that we would have to wait longer, but once in the office, they didn't even take the x-rays until after the cast was removed.

Chloe had been bouncing around all day in anticipation of the event. She was even bubbly in the doctor's office. That is, until the cast came off. It only took a few moments for Woody to come in with his trusty saw and cut that cast wide open. We were thrilled to see it removed. What a strange sensation it was for Chloe. The nurse noticed almost immediately that Chloe's entire demeanor changed. She became somber and a little fearful. Her arm was feeling numb and she was afraid to move it. We noticed that the layers of skin underneath were built up and peeling. I was warned not to let her scratch for fear of tearing her sensitive skin.

It's been over a week now that Chloe has had her cast off. She is still favoring the arm and it does hurt from time to time, but she is almost back to normal and her skin looks great. She still writes with both hands and I am hoping that she will enjoy being ambidextrous. It is so nice to have this chapter behind us!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Sweet Pea Reunion

It's been a long time since I have blogged. My free time has dwindled and it seems like there are a lot of other activities pulling at my attention. I am going to try and play a little catch-up here and hit some of the recent highlights.

First of all, I must explain what a Sweet Pea is. A little over 6 years ago, there were a group of soon-to-be parents turning in there paperwork to the Chinese government in the hopes of being matched with a child. Since the wait would be months and many of these parents were first-time parents, they formed a group to share the wait and plan for their new lives. We became friends online, but somehow, 6 years later, many of us remained in touch.

Now we have all been matched with our children and have settled into our changed lives. However, some of us still manage to get together in real life to see how our families have developed and grown. It's hard because we are scattered all over the US, but there are quite a few of us on the West coast and even a greater concentration in the Northwest. That's the primary reason, we opted to miss a couple days of school and work and bring Chloe and Pearl to Seattle Washington.

Another reason we traveled to Seattle was to visit our previous exchange student, Chris. Chris is now a junior at the University of Washington majoring in computer science. It was so wonderful to visit with her and take a tour of her beautiful campus.