Sunday, February 27, 2011

Redirect: Death Rituals in Taiwan

Here is an interesting post on burial practices in Taiwan at American Family.

I wanted to know a little more, and found this great National Geographic video on second burials.

"Take my pitch-ure!"

"Take my pitch-ure!"

Where are you, spring?

Where are you, spring?

Friday, February 25, 2011

chocolate egg rolls

Hannah and Daddy went to the store to get their food stockpile before last night's snowstorm. Hannah requested this purchase, a box of "chocolate egg rolls." How I love this kid!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

three year old check-up

Yesterday Hannah had her three year old check-up. She has always been very tearful when she has a doctor's appointment. I talked to her a lot this week about going to the doctor. We practiced saying her doctor's name and picked out some artwork on the refrigerator to bring to give to her. I talked about how Hannah was going to be measured to see how big she is, and that the doctor would look in her ears and in her eyes and listen to her back and tummy. Great plan, right? I thought so, and was looking forward to seeing how this would go over.

Well, she froze up and got clingy as soon as we got to the office. Hannah cried and refused to stand next to a growth chart and step on the scale. Watching Mommy do it and being offered the reward of a sticker didn't work. Our pediatrician did a great job in showing the "flashlight" on her otoscope and let Hannah press her finger to it. She even looked into the ears on Hannah's Woody tattoo to show that it wouldn't hurt. Sigh. Lots of screaming and tears, as usual.

At 37 months Hannah is 34.5 inches tall and weighs 22 pounds 12 ounces. Hannah was deemed on target developmentally and had no speech or motor delays. This is just what a family that has graduated from First Steps early intervention wants to hear! Yay!

We talked a lot about how Hannah is very reserved in new social situations, and often takes a half an hour to warm up to a new environment. She's not fearful of the environment, but takes some time to feel comfortable enough to talk and participate. In the opinion our pediatrician, there's nothing wrong with that. It's just Hannah's little personality. She talks about enjoying her social situations like story time at the library and toddler classes by requesting, "I go back," even if she didn't talk every much during the experience.

Bringing the pediatrician one of her works of art was a great way to get Hannah to open up and start talking during the appointment. She gave the doctor a Chinese New Year sticker scene with lanterns, dragons, golden coins, and lion dancers and told the doctor about what was on the paper.

The pediatrician plotted this year's growth on an American chart and decided to keep using her adjusted age. Hannah's still hanging out below the 10th percentile for height and we're still way off the chart for weight, but Hannah's following her own little curve down there that's just right for her.

When I went home I got out my scans of a Taiwanese growth chart to see how plots of Hannah's two and three year old measurements compare between the charts. On the Taiwanese chart she's just barely off the chart for weight. Very interesting to see how much these plots differentiate between the two charts.

Figure 1: US growth chart for girls. Black plots are age adjusted. Blue plots from two and three year old appointments are not age adjusted for prematurity.

Hannah's growth - Feb 2011

Figure 2: Taiwanese height chart for girls. Black plots are age adjusted for prematurity and blue plots are at the actual age.


Figure 3: Taiwanese weight chart for girls. Black plots are age adjusted for prematurity and blue plots are at the actual age.


When we were walking out of the building after Hannah's appointment, Hannah was walking on her own holding my hand. All on her own she said, "I scared." I stopped and got down on her level. "You were scared at the doctor's office?" "Yes." "Are you scared now?" "No. All done."

I had a check-up for myself that afternoon. "Hannah, do you want to go to Mommy's doctor appointment today with Mommy? Mommy is going to be measured, too. It's not for Hannah, it's for Mommy." "Yes, I go too!" Hannah went with me with me to my checkup and was well behaved for a three year old entertaining herself with an iphone. When I was on the exam table and the physician's assistant was listening to my lungs and looking in my ears, Hannah asked over and over "What are you doing?" I think it was a good experience for her to see that Mommy has to do this too, it doesn't hurt, and I wasn't scared.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Chinese New Year 2011 (2 of 3)

A little back blogging, mostly for myself as I don't want to forget these special events. Our second CNY party was with a group of very local adoptive families. All of the other families have little ones, all girls, from China. I love getting together with other adoptive families, but the very local ties are especially important... as these are the people we see at the grocery store and at school. I think it's really healthy for our families to get to know each other.


Kevin's mother once again had the honor of distributing the red envelopes to the children, as she was the eldest of the group. She just beams getting to talk to all of the little kids.

cnyparty2group_web (censored for privacy)

The girls were all so cute. I censored their faces as I don't want to offend any local friends. Hannah really enjoyed playing with the oldest kids. They played with a balloon hitting it into the air over and over while Hannah shrieked with laughter.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

a new twist to the book of Genesis

During story time tonight, Hannah informed me that Adam and Eve were mermaids. Hmmmm... I don't remember mermaids mentioned anywhere in Genesis. Learned something new tonight!

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Valentine from Hannah Claire


Happy Valentine's Day from my girl that knows exactly what she wants!

my valentine 2


my valentine - color

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Highlight of Valentine's Day 2011

Our adoption home study for child #2 is in my hands. Kevin will be shipping one original off to USCIS and two originals to our placement agency along with our corrected dossier documents. {Mama and Dada forgot to sign our passport copies first time around!} Feels freeing to have this mountain of work out of our hands!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"I need chocolate."


Thursday night Hannah and I were looking at photos from our playdate with Lora and Allie. Hannah had crawled up into my lap wearing a new swimuit and hand me down pretty gold shoes from Allie. I commented, "Hannah, doesn't Allie look so sweet when she smiles for pictures?" Hannah said, "I wanna take pitchures." Let's go! I grabbed my camera and got set up. Hannah put her hands over her mouth. I took this photo then frowned. "I thought you wanted to smile for pictures." Hannah grinned and replied, "I need chocolate." Ha ha ha ha ha! After a promise of chocolate, I got all kinds of great smiles out of her. What a stinker!


Allie and Hannah's Valentine Playdate

The "sisters" Allie and Hannah got together for a playdate Thursday at Miss Lora and Allie's house. I couldn't believe it. It was -13F when we left the house at 9 AM! Brrr! When we arrived, Allie was already in her princess dress. Hannah gowned up, put on her heels, grabbed her wand, and she was ready play! The girls spent a lot of time running around, putting on lip gloss, and giggling while Lora and I enjoyed some tea and freshly baked Chinese pineapple buns. Yum yum! After lunch the girls made Valentines, played with dolls, and put together two puzzles.














Doesn't Allie have a smile that could light up a room?


During one part of our conversation, Lora and I were talking about how we referred to the girls as Taiwanese American when people asked if our girls are Chinese. Allie looked me right in the eye and said, "I'm Taiwanese American and I can do tricks!" followed by a somersault and some high kicks. I laughed so hard! Love that girl!

Allie gave us great smiles for the camera. On the other hand, my daughter did not. I told Lora that Hannah oftentimes refuses to look at the camera and smile, and will go out of her way to make photos difficult. That is... unless you promise CHOCOLATE. While making Valentines Hannah would not look at Lora and her camera... that is until Lora mentioned the word CHOCOLATE. Like a light switch, Hannah's smile turned on by the promise of one Hershey's chocolate kiss. What a stinker!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"I go peng you."

Hannah used a Chinese word in a sentence today. Around dinner time she told her dada, "I go peng you." Peng you = friend. Kevin figured out pretty quickly that she wanted to go to our local Chinese restaurant for dinner to see our friends and eat lots of noodles, tofu out of hot and sour soup, rice, and broccoli. So proud of our girl! AND... I was happy to find carry out waiting for me when I arrived home from work. Yum!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

YouTube: Best lion dance show ever!

Thanks to Judy for sharing this video! Hannah and I watched it several times this week.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Chinese New Year 2011 (3 of 3)

Saturday night we went to our area's annual Chinese Family and Friends Association Chinese New Year Party. This is one big party in a ballroom. I'm sure there are always over 200 people there. Maybe 300. It's big! Most of the people there are Chinese Americans, Chinese adoptive families, college Chinese language students, and some professors. Here are my previous posts of this party from 2008 and 2010. Looking through old blog posts, we must not have gone in 2009 when we were just home with Hannah. Most likely we didn't think it would be a good idea to have her out and about around so many people at that time.

I saved Hannah's fanciest red dress for this party. We took a few photos before leaving. Promises of chocolate brought our her smiles. First here are the outtakes:


Then we had a few keepers!




Hannah was really excited to watch the little kids sing and dance. Her face lit up the most when the dragon and the lion came out to dance. I took this photo below right after she exclaimed, "I see a dragon!!!"


Right before we left Hannah received her red envelope. She opened it up and held on to the money. Hannah instructed me to put the envelope in my pocket. She explained that "It's my turn to pay with my money." How sweet! She wants to pay for dinner! I had a hard time explaining that we had paid for dinner before the party, and that we didn't need to pay anyone for our dinner like we do in a restaurant.


Kevin took this photo of his mother and Hannah tonight. I wish I would have thought to give them my nice camera before this short was taken. Once again, the promise of a little chocolate brought out Hanna's smiles.


I haven't posted pics from CNY #2 yet. I forgot to take my camera! Hopefully one of the other families will share their photos with me.

fun in the snow

Our last week has gone something like this: Snow snow freezing rain ice ice ice snow snow snow. When it was nice enough for Hannah and the grandmas to venture outside, here's what they've been up to.

Hannah wanted to swing on her swing set with Grandma. That didn't last very long! It's funny to watch her walk on top of the ice glazed snow. The rest of us sink through it.


Florida Grandma made her first snow angel in years. She says it looks more like a "snow potato."

snow potato

We got more fluffy snow on Saturday. Hannah went to Nana and Papa's house to play today while I was at work. Looks like they made snowmen! I like the one with the BMW hat. This must be Papa's snowman.







I bought this snowsuit for Hannah before she came home. I was so worried about keeping her warm in her little car seat when we brought her from tropical weather to the TUNDRA of Indiana. I would have never imagined that she's still fit into it at age three!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

the breakfast standoff


I want her to eat something, anything, for breakfast. She wants to watch Snow White.
I came to the table armed with mail to sort, catalogs to browse, and my iPhone to catch up on Facebook. She came to the table with *this look.* After 40 minutes, 5 bites of bread, two grapes, and two bites of orange, we both win, and then watch Snow White.

Need a funny for the day? Read this, and then read that. :) She's my inspiration!