Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Found on the Flickr Photostream


This was taken on our flight from Guangzhou to Hong Kong. The kids sat happily together for about ten minutes, before a flight attendant informed us they couldn't sit three across in the row. It was fun while it lasted, though.

I know I've said this before, but let me say it again. Hong Kong is incredible. Landing there over the water was maybe my favorite airplane moment of all time. If you get the opportunity to go, take my advice, and don't pass it up.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

RJ Gets Bangs, and A Gross Oversight

She used her fake-mad expression the whole time, but I'm pretty sure she likes them.


Afterwards she asked me, through pantomime, for a hairbow, and I was struck dumb by my own obliviousness.


All this time waiting for a little girl, and I forgot about hair bows?

So now I need to know, internets, and fast: where do I get some hairbows (and ribbons)?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Little Sheep


In the costume Joel wore in last year's St. John's Christmas pageant (made by their grandmother). Wait 'till she finds out she can be a star or an angel this year if she wants to......

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Little Mommy Blogging for the Road: Bingo, Dim Sum, and You're Annoying Me!


I suppose while I'm here I can share a little more with all of you in the way of details about what RJ's been up to. She's jumping rope, a lot. Which I love--and it's a good thing, as I am often required to share the jumprope for a little tandem jumping action. She's building Lego towers, "camping" in the kitchen in Joel's cowboy tent, and counting down how many days are left in the school week on her fingers.

Oh, and she likes to play Bingo.

Which is not at all surprising, as she is way into counting and spelling in English right now (here she is breaking something down for her paternal grandma, who's visiting from Colorado this week).


Oh, and then there's this. Today we went out for a delicious dim sum lunch with some Chinese friends, and they were able to enlighten us as to the nature of a certain invective she casts upon anyone in the family who crosses her. Ever since we got home, during times of conflict--yes, we do have them--she says something that sounds to us like "fun-ye." At times she has said it with such a look of disdain that I was honestly afraid to find out what it meant. I've had my money on "I hate you," but feared it could have been something even worse. But today I couldn't resist my curiosity, so we asked. Turns out fun-ye means something along the lines of, "You're annoying me!"

Which I thought was just fabulous. I've always said she's a very civilized girl, and this confirms it. The horrible thing she's been shouting at me in times of extreme stress? At what must be the most difficult time in her young life?

"You're annoying me!" So reasonable. So accurate. So fair.

I just love this little girl.

A Week Without Posting?

How did that happen? Of course we are really busy around here, but I don't think that's the only reason.

I never really intended to be a long-term mommy blogger, just chronicling the ups and downs of life with three kids. Which is what this will become if I don't veer off into some of the more interesting personal issues that our specific situation raises. I'm a big fan of women who do this, including this one, and this other one. I think it's very good for mothers who are really struggling, and assume that they are the only ones who have problems, to find out that they most definitely are not.

Which I would be totally up for, except that it would require revealing a lot of details that I'm pretty sure my kids would prefer I keep to myself. So forgive the (temporary?) silence. I'm busy plotting my next move, taking an online course on multimedia journalism, working on the Hometta podcasts, and--oh yeah--raising the three kids.

But don't go away mad, Axis readers. In fact, don't go away at all. I will be back here soon in some form, with cute photos. As soon as she gets out from behind the camera herself and lets me take some.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Joel, Stop It!



...is RJ's new favorite phrase and longest English sentence to date. Yes, they're bickering. Not sharing nicely. Constantly summoning me to settle disputes. But still bunking together in the set of red twin beds in RJ's room. Which is enough to give me confidence that underneath it all, they're still new siblings in love like they were in China.

It may be working in my favor that I decided to go with red and yellow for her room instead of pink; I'm guessing it's more comfortable for Joel than a full-on princess palace.

Also: she won't let me take her picture much lately, which has led to something of a drought in the bloggable-photo department. She starts doing something cute, I grab the camera, but not fast enough: I end up with something like this:



For me to get a good photo of her anymore, she has to be having so much fun that she doesn't mind the intrusion. Which happened at our church's annual back-to-school fair yesterday, when she enjoyed--and I mean enjoyed--her first time in a bouncy house-type contraption. Both of my boys have always been lukewarm about them, despite (or because of?) their ubiquity in certain circles we sometimes travel in.

But this one? She was so excited, and suddenly I had a new tolerance for the infernal things. Enlarge the pic if you can for a glimpse at how she's working on writing her name on her nametag.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Siblings In A Box!

An all-time rainy day classic .....

Sunday, September 6, 2009

For It's Texas That We Love Best

Five weeks ago, Rosemary Juen became an American citizen in Newark, New Jersey. Yesterday, she officially became a citizen of the Republic of Texas


I have been waiting for this since before she even joined the family: the first trip to Austin, "the lake," and other essential Texas destinations


And, yes, the first University of Texas football game, for which she was ridiculously--but adorably, I must add--overdressed by her grandmother.

She loved every minute of it (look closely, so you don't miss the pom poms).


We capped things off with a visit to meet her great-grandfather.


Now oftentimes, the things you imagine doing with your kids don't turn out like you'd envisioned them. Reality is so pesky that way. But sometimes it happens--those little fantasies turn out more or less like you'd hoped. And sometimes, you even remember to bring your camera.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Rosemary's First Trip to the Lake House


Later tonight.....Texas Fight!




Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Pleasant Goat and the Big Bad Wolf



Or, the Pleasant Goat and the Bad Bad Wolf

I've heard different stories about what this Chinese cartoon is actually called. But we watched a lot of it while we were there, and brought home two puzzles depicting its characters. One or the other of which RJ and I now work every day after she gets home from school--or, more accurately, after she gets home and eats a big bowl of goldfish crackers.

Luckily I like working puzzles, but I am tiring a little of the goat, pleasant though he may be. I have tried to interest her in other puzzles, but none have struck her fancy lately. Hmm, I bet there are Hello Kitty puzzles out there somewhere, time to go find one.

In the meantime, we have also been doing lots of this: 


Rosemary is thrilled with her new pink scooter, and upon seeing it in its box busted out one of her new English phrases, which she's found lots of use for since learning:

"My turn!"


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Virtually Normal?

One of the things that other adoptive moms told me when we were deliberating whether to take this step was that if we chose to adopt, we would become different. Conspicuous. Shuttled into another category of family than the ones we spend most of our time among. 

And while I suppose this may have happened from the perspectives of others, from here inside our house, it looks to me like things went the other way. There were a lot of things I feared pre-China, a lot of lifestyle changes I imagined, but I didn't include among them this...

(by which I mean cooking proper family dinners)


and this....

(by which I mean engaging in team-type sports in the front yard).


RJ goes out for a pass.


So as you can see, the jump from 2 to 3 kids has somehow provoked a long-slumbering domesticity among the adults around here. Which is nice, so far. But surely we haven't gone totally straight; perhaps the presence of Southern Culture on the Skids playing as the evening's background music shows that we've stayed just weird enough for government work???

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Famous Artists?



Though I have found myself frequently serving as a spokesperson for older child adoption lately, I often question what I'm doing here, in this online forum. There are several good reasons for the existence of this blog: to keep our family and friends up to date, to allow me a regular space to do a little writing, and to encourage adoption, just for starters. 



But will I later regret compromising my family's privacy? I try to be as discreet as I can around these parts, but will the kids, when they're older, object even to the limited information I've shared here? To the photos? Like I said, I try to consider their feelings, and not post anything about them that I wouldn't want posted about myself. 


And being of the generation that came of age post-Facebook, perhaps they will think it's the most natural thing in the world. Then there's the consideration that, if they all become famous artists, the world will be a little richer for this record of their early lives.