Monday, September 27, 2010

Painting... A Story in Pictures

A few years ago I gave the Ladybug a paintbrush and asked her to start painting. What she created was both simple and beautiful, something that we all cherish dearly. The Ladybug was 26-months old at the time, and there are a couple things I remember from that event:
1. The Ladybug concentrated very hard to make sure all of her paints were perfect
2. She found great joy in painting her toe nails (already a "girly" girl)

This evening I thought it was time to give the Butterfly, now 17 months old, a paintbrush to see what she would do. I figured that I would see some differences between the two girls and how they painted. What I didn't count on was some of the similarities. Below is our journey, in photos, as the Butterfly tried her hand and painting.

We started by putting some paint on her hand and making hand prints. She was quite fascinated with the paint.

The Butterfly then tried painting her fingernails.

(I am thoroughly impressed with how she holds the paintbrush at such a young age... yup, proud mommy!)

It was now time for a silly face.

Then, time to scratch her eye... with her painted hand.

Which lead to...

... a crying Butterfly.

So, mommy washed her face and we started again.

She even tried painting with her little hand.

Eventually she decided to get back to painting the paper.

But in the end, she found her favorite canvas to be her adorable tummy.

Just look at that concentration!

Yup, I think we have another artist in the family.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

Today is the Mid Autumn Moon Festival, an important holiday to people in China and numerous other Asian countries. The following is from wikipedia:

The Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which is in September or early October in the Gregorian calendar. It is a date that parallels the autumnal equinox of the solar calendar, when the moon is supposedly at its fullest and roundest. The traditional food of this festival is the mooncake, of which there are many different varieties.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the few most important holidays in the Chinese calendar, the others being Chinese New Year and Winter Solstice, and is a legal holiday in several countries. Farmers celebrate the end of the summer harvesting season on this date. Traditionally on this day, Chinese family members and friends will gather to admire the bright mid-autumn harvest moon, and eat moon cakes and pomelos under the moon together.

Some of our homemade lanterns blowing in the breeze

We chose to celebrate the evening by making paper lanterns and homemade mooncakes filled with our own special bean paste... raspberry jam! After enjoying a few cookies mooncakes, we said some prayers for the Ladybug's and Butterfly's birth parents, as well as the Ladybug's foster mother and brother.

I took some photos to remember our first Mid-Autumn Moon Festival as a family of four. Enjoy!

Our mooncakes... made with lots of heart!

The Butterfly enjoying the mooncakes

The Butterfly playing with her new lantern (notice all of the crumbs!)

Our two beautiful Guizhou girls

The Ladybug excited for the festival

Daddy stealing a kiss from the Butterfly

Mommy enjoying some special time with two silly girls

The Butterfly playing with her lantern


Monday, September 20, 2010

Nana is on TV!!!

"My Nana is on TV!!!"

That is what the Ladybug said just a couple of weeks ago when she saw the new promo for this season's Dancing With the Stars. Apparently, her Nana F. is Florence Henderson (wow, I never knew!).

Nana F.


Nana F.


Nana F.

Hmmmm, I can kinda see it. So, I am thoroughly looking forward to watching this season and seeing my mom (and the Bug's and Butterfly's Nana F.) on the show. I am all smiles... and full of giggles.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Ahhhhh, to be young again. Those were the days!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Ballerina Bug

With so many updates on the Baby Butterfly lately, some of you may be thinking that the Ladybug has taken a back seat in this family. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Bug is doing amazingly well as a big sister, and has handled the adjustment from being an only child to having to share time with her parents really well. Honestly, I am very impressed with how well she has handled the adjustment of going from being the constant center of attention to having to share the spotlight. Thumbs up little girl, I am very proud of you!

One of the things that is very important to our family is music. Ask our family and close friends and they will likely tell you the same... we are music fanatics. We listen to all sorts of music depending on the day and our mood. You will often hear music playing in our cars, at home, and in our offices at work. Fortunately, both of the girls LOVE music as well. Though we have only had her for two months, we have already seen the Butterfly grooving to some funky tunes in the car, and wiggling to some fun thumping music at home. But, she is just following in her sister's footprints. The Ladybug is a mover and a groover, shaking and wiggling to any music that she feels has a great beat. In other words, she loves to DANCE!

At the beginning of summer I was talking with some friends who have daughter about the same age as the Ladybug, the girls are great friends. We all thought it would be great if our girls could start taking dance classes this fall. Obviously, with us traveling to China this summer, my looking into classes and checking out different dance studios was put on the back burner. Fortunately, my dear friend called me about a month ago to tell me that she enrolled her daughter for lessons at a local dance studio, and if I was still interested in signing up the Ladybug, there were still a few spots available in the class. I jumped at the idea and got the Bug signed up immediately (of course, after discussing the idea with my dear husband!).

I decided to keep the great news a surprise for the Ladybug until last week when the dance studio had an open house. You should have seen the Bug's eyes as soon as we walked in the door of the studio. She looked at me with great curiosity and asked, "Mom, why are we here?" I told her that we decided to sign her up for dance lesson, and her best friend would also be in her class. Her eyes got really big and huge smile beamed across her face, whereupon she ran over to me, squeezed me tightly and said, "Thanks mom!" On our way home I asked her what she thought of her new activity, and the only word she could muster was, "AWESOME!!!" (Which she repeated so many times on the drive home that I lost count!) I think I am already raising a teenager.

Yesterday was the Ladybug's first dance class. She was so excited to see her friend again, and the two of them walked hand-in-hand into the studio together. My friend and I watched the girls from another room through a one-way mirror (that way the girls wouldn't be too distracted). They were so cute, and honestly they both did a great job for their first dance class (yup... proud mommy speaking!). Following the class, the girls chatted outside, giggled and laughed. Such great friends. The pair are already planning what they will do next week in class together.

I have to say that I am proud, and just so excited for the Ladybug. With so much of the focus recently in the house being on the baby, having something that the Bug can do by herself, for herself is exactly what she needs. I really look forward to the coming months as our little girl blossoms into a beautiful little dancer. Here are some photos of the Ladybug on her first day. She already looks like such a pro (with a little bit of sass thrown in here and there!).

Both girls are thoroughly excited for next week and their second class.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

2 Months!

I cannot believe it, we have had the Baby Butterfly for an entire two months. The time seems to be slipping by so quickly, yet it also seems as though she has been a part of our family forever. Honestly, I cannot believe that it has only been two months.

The Baby Butterfly the day she she was handed to us... a very sad little girl.

The Butterfly today, a silly, giggly, happy little girl!

The Butterfly is growing beautifully. She is becoming more and more comfortable with us as each day passes. She loves both Daddy and I, smiles when either of us walks into the room, and giggles with us when she plays. She is starting to walk, which is a huge accomplishment considering she couldn't even crawl just two months ago. I am in the process of gathering some video of her walking attempts, and will post when I get more footage.

One thing I have noticed lately is that the baby is really starting to take a liking to her big sister. The Ladybug tried from day one to be the awesome big sister that she is, but in the beginning the Butterfly would have nothing to do with her. However, over the last couple weeks, the Butterfly has really started to warm up to her big sis. She seems to enjoy playtime with the Ladybug, and gives great big smiles when she walks into the room. I'm sure, as any siblings do, there will be ups and downs in the future, but I am very happy to see that they are finally on the path to becoming life-long friends.

Something that has really helped the Butterfly be less whiny feel less frustrated is the learning of sign language. She is quickly learning many words, over 20 at this point, and is using them properly and effectively on a daily basis. I am going to make a little video of the baby Bug signing her words to help document her progress. When I get the video I will (again... yes, promises, promises) be sure to post it. In the mean time, I made a little video tonight of her at dinner. She is signing a few words, and then giggling at herself in video monitor. This little clip of her daily life really speaks volumes to how far she has come in such a short amount of time.