Sunday, February 17, 2008

Keep On Driving

If you pull up to our place on the cul-de-sac...just keep on driving. Do not pass go and do not collect $200. That is unless you would like a free transmission of the grossest and yukiest case of whatever form of bad chest cold/flu/headache/stuffy nose/fever/chills plus full frontal green oozing snot you've ever had the pleasure of meeting.

I was icky sick all week while the Muffin Man traveled for business. I've said it before but it is a special kind of hurt reserved for those adults who are sick and still have loads of childcare responsibilities. I'm calling the Sesame Street people to personally thank them for babysitting my kids this week. Where can I buy stock? If it wasn't for my dear friend who fed me and my kids this week while calling each day to make sure I wasn't slamming my head into the brick siding for congestion relief, well, I'm not sure what I would have done. Then, as luck would have it the Muffin Man rolled back into town with it. And, we all know how the average man does with the flu. We are no exception over here. My God, you'd think he's had some dread disease diagnosis. Everyday he's taken to shopping for the best vitamin drink or nasal spray with 8813% B12. I'm not exaggerating, the one he brought home this afternoon has 8813% of the daily recommended value of vitamin B12. It took everything I had not to tell him you just use the 100% and pee out the rest, Sparky. Oh no, I simply nodded and said "Yes dear, I'm sure that energy drink will completely cure you by 8pm tonight."

Everyone must get better by Wednesday morning. End of story. We have a date with the Mouse. You know the big Mouse who lives in Orlando? We are riding his coat tails down to Orlando while he works business.

Of course all Ava cares about is the darn pool at the resort. Magic Kingdom within striking distance and all she is concerned with is if she is tall enough to slide the water slide at the resort. Consequently, I did not go overboard buying park tickets this year. She can slide all she wants and I will sit in that hot tub sipping something overly fruity preferrably with an umbrella in it.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I said Cheeeese

Liv just pointed to the camera on my desk and shouted Cheese Cheese Cheese. I scoffed and told her I would get dinner in a minute.

Then it dawned on me. She's saying Cheese AND pointing to the camera. She gets it that you say Cheese when you have your picture taken.
This is new for us. She hasn't done much verbal association so far. Very exciting. Probably only for me, but exciting nonetheless.

What is a mama to do? Comply and take the darn picture. Is that the best Cheeser you've seen in a while or what? It took Ava about 3 seconds to rip herself away from her room to get in on the action.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Gong Xi Fa Cai

Happy New Year Everyone. The year of the rat. 2008

Ava asked if we could get a rat to celebrate since we don't have pets anymore.
That would be a resounding Bu. Mandarin for No. We have a strict no rodent policy in this house. Rules are rules, mixing of cultures provides for no exceptions.

Livi is celebrating by carrying lucky coins in her overall pockets today. She seems to be guarding them with pitbull"like" instincts. She is also celebrating with several Bu's of her own.
For example, she yells No No No at the top of her lungs when anyone tries to help her with her coat, zippers, snaps, window blinds, light switches, and garage door openers or shoes of any kind. It is the emphatic type of screeching No, No, No, that is sometimes reserved for people who have savant tendencies , which is a little disturbing at the least.

She will then throw herself on the floor screaming when you tell her she has to hurry up or she will miss the family bus ride to where ever we happen to be going. This results in making us permanently 20 minutes late for just about everything.

I'm celebrating in denial that I can't go anywhere without a full frontal diplomatic intervention with a two year old about the importance of socks in February in the midwest. "La La La, I can't hear you." I'm holled (is that a word?) up back in the sewing room which I've decided now should be called the studio...since it sounds more pretentious and official sewing my little guts out just because...for some weird reason it seems to bring me peace.

If you are the crafty type or simply love handbags the way I do feel free to see the new pic'ies at Pink Evita. Is it annoying that I continuously shamelessly plug these fabric bits on the blog? If it is you can tell me. I'm that type of girl.

Here it is. A very happy Gong Xi Fa Cai to you and your family. May the new year bring peace and happiness, health and prosperity to your family. May it also bring you children in your life that can be reasoned with.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Being Chinese, but not....

I'm trying something new at Chinese school on Sundays. Tai Chi. It is by and part to get me up and off the "white table". What is the "white table"? At school most of the white adoptive parents drop off their kids and then head on down to the cafeteria and congregate around one or two tables and chat. Some tell orphanage or travel stories, some talk about schools, some knit, some read. The Chinese parents do pretty much the same but at other tables by themselves. I'm not sure what they talk about. Probably the same things minus the orphanage visit stories. This is not a racial comment or anything on my part...just an observation. I suspect it is a human nature thing...if you are a bear you hang with the bears and don't really make too many owl friends. If you are a bear...bear stuff is comforting and familiar and easy. Owl stuff is weird, and they eat strange stuff, and they have wings. Bears know nothing of wings.

One of the things I want most out of Chinese school is to experience Chinese American culture. This is the selfish part...I find other cultures and other people fascinating. For my kids, I simply don't want them feeling like they have never met an owl when they leave my den. How awful to look like an owl in the big wide open forest but only know bear stuff. It's weird. And I fear someone will have to call the therapist to the animal kingdom if we ignore our obvious differences. But then I am one to be known who worries about being the root of my children's future therapy.

The tai chi practice is an attempt to step away from the bear den and climb a tree to learn how to sit like and owl. I know this analogy sounds rather contrite and simplistic. But the concept of stepping away from the "white bear" table is not. It is not simple and it is not easy. As a side note I am getting a little bit of a physical workout while practicing tai chi each week. More than my usual weekly round of blog reading and sewing can offer a growing girl's butt. The bad news is that I am clearly the big white girl with no obvious rhythm or sense of stage presence in the back row. Thank God for small favors when I tell you that there are no mirrors since the practice takes place in a high school cafeteria. I might have to quit if there were mirrors.

And yet even though I cannot move gracefully and I cannot seem to remember even 4 of the 24 basic movements I love Tai Chi. I love watching my neighbor smoothly swoop down while his hand holds an imaginary ball. I am mesmerized by the old lady in the front row who wears hard soled street shoes and never topples over while raising her left foot high into the air.
When I am doing it...or lacklusterly thumping along...I feel like I am one of them. The music is starting to feel familiar in the same way Dave Brubek's jazz feels familiar to me. Take Five was played in my house as a little girl. I know I am not one of them but for that short period of time the whole bit about Chinese school doesn't feel so "owlish" to me.

Last week us serene folks on the Tai Chi side of the cafeteria were drowned out by the loud rukus of the beating drums and wild dancing dragon and 3 lions. They were practicing for the up coming Chinese New Year show. I couldn't concentrate at all with all the noise and energy. This made me especially daft with my Tai Chi. But just as I was about to be annoyed at the interruption of the loud music...I looked over at the huge dragon shaking his head and that felt familiar too. It's CNY time of course the dragon would be practicing. Of course the tiny beautiful ladies performing ballet would be tip toeing around each other enpointe. And I relaxed.

I have no idea how long I will keep at the Tai Chi practice. I have no idea whether it is giving me or Ava anything remotely like window access to her home culture. But at least I can say we tried a few steps out of the comfy den.