We’re leaving tomorrow for our mission trip (well, with two days in CA visiting old friends first) to Taiwan, so I finally got myself together to pack tonight. Usually, I would pack tomorrow morning, but someone has to drop Brownie off to PetSmart Hotel and I have to another errand in the morning.
One medium size suitcase, one daffle bag, and my carry-on for Maddy and my stuff. Good parts of the luggage are Maddy’s diapers and wipes. We are excited about the trip… although there are still some unknowns and uncertainties…. and my ’smart’ hubby assigned me to teach the oldest teens there, who are most likely two heads taller than me.
And of course, there is Maddy’s adjustment to jet-lag, heat, and people who don’t speak English on regular basis. I do trust that God will protect her from all harms and that it will be a fruitful trip for her as well.
She’s been a faithful ‘VBS-Construction Zone’ fan for a few weeks now. When we’re in daddy’s car, we have to listen to the “Jesu song” (Just like Jesus) over and over and over non-stop. This morning she insisted that daddy wear the VBS T-shirt (a bright blue T-shirt with a huge orange barrel in the front). When Joe secretly changed to a regular shirt before we went out, she threw a big tantrum… very upset that daddy changed out of the VBS T-shirt she picked out for him.
Daddy says Maddy has very good memory… that would be my genes :). Daddy made me ‘review’ with him on all the kids’ names of our friends in CA. I was thinking “You can’t be serious!” It hasn’t even been a year.
Baby girl can run wild during water play like the rest of the boys…
She can tumble, jump and flip like the rest of them…
She plays rough and holds her own despite that she’s the only girl in class…
Yet she is not quite a boy during the “body art time” (One of the things I love about Primrose is how they allow the kids to be ‘kids’ with creative learning activites) It was a day to review ‘blue’.
While other boys made big and messy drawings (some ended up with blue hairs and blue faces), my little girl frowned at the whole thing. She didn’t want to get her hands dirty. This is a picture taken after Ms K and Ms L encouraged her MANDY times to use both hands to paint. Everyone got a big kick out of it.. Apparently Maddy was glad when it was time to wash up.
Ever since Maddy was allowed to press the bottons on the elevator this past weekend, she has then discovered many others:
1) One afternoon she climbed into our spa tub, pressed the button and started the whirlpool. First it was the nervous and worried “mommy, mommy”, but it quickly turned into “heh heh.. heh heh.. Maddy did it” after I turned it off.
2) Dropping by SouthPoint to pick up a backpack for our Taiwan trip tonight.. Maddy was curious to try out the door opener for the disabled. She was totally fasinated and ran back and forth to ‘help’ opening the door for others.
So I believe I’ve discovered the culprit for Maddy’s latest “I-can’t-do-anything-by-myself” behavior:
There was a cut that looks like a broken blister on the bottom of her foot!!
She must have cut herself when she walk barefooted on the grass field at Navy Pier on Sat. She had ran onto the pavement a few times before I decided that we needed to put her shoes back on.
That would explain why she let out the screams when I made her stand up while I folded her stroller, and why she insisted on being carried all day Sunday.
She did not turn into this high-maintainence, dependent, and overly sensitive child after all! The whining came with the owie and it shall leave with it… It’s the best owie I found on Maddy.
I showed it to her; put some medicine after bath… she peeked under her foot and giggled as if she realized what is bothering her. I think my baby girl is on her way back to her normal happy and independent self!
New things Maddy discovered during our Chicago trip:
1) There are more shows than Jo-Jo Circus/Wiggles on TV
2) She likes Chinese dry plums
3) She enjoys this new magnetic zoo game mommy got her. She gets to decide where Mickey, Mini and all the rest of Disney characters should go in the zoo… then we get to take everything out and do it over and over. It was a big help on the plane
4) She really loves auntie Betty. Some people ‘click’ well instantly, and did Maddy and Auntie Betty. Auntie Betty gets Maddy’s ’special’ smiles!
5) She learned to press the buttons for elevators, and she says “Ding-Dong” and waits for it.
New things Mommy learned during the past weekend:
1) Co-sleeping really sucks! Now I speak from personal experience. Sure it was cute when we cuddled and played silly games Maddy made up such as poking mommy’s eyes, but the cons totally outweight the pros. First of all, it took a LONG time (more than half hour to be exact) before Maddy finally decided to settle down (and after my threats to leave the room); then there was the kicking and slapping in the middle of the night. I did not sleep well, and Maddy did not sleep well.
2) After spending 24-4 with Maddy, the child totally ‘regressed’. My independent, social little girl turned into this dependent, shy child…. She ‘needed’ to sit on mommy’s lap to eat; she ‘needed’ to go with mommy when mommy got up to get food in the buffet; she ‘needed’ to be held everywhere we went; she ‘needed’ to hide when someone said hi to her; she ‘needed’ to cry when I actually needed two hands to fold up her stroller, even though it was less than 5 seconds of leaving her standing right next to me.
How does she manage to turn into a child with ’serious issues’ in just one weekend, I have no idea. Part of me feels a little guilty for being the adult responsible for her regression. I turned my “pleasant mommy’s girl” into a “I-can’t-do-anything-by-myself mommy’s girl”!
We’re happy to be home though.
Maddy got up twice wanting to be held. After I held her for a minute or two she pointed to her crib and wanted to go back in.
Daddy said she was clingy when he dropped her off at school… whined for two minutes and ‘return to normal’.
With a little luck, I should be picking up my “good” baby girl this afternoon from school.
Uncle Andy graduated from North Western University with a Biomedical Engineering degree this past weekend! Maddy and I went ourselves to meet up with the rest of the Changs since daddy was doing VBS with church all week long including the weekends.
We attended the first ceremony(school-wide) on Friday night for a short time. Maddy was good all day until the program started.. then she got fussy so we had to leave.
In the spirit of checking out how she deals with time-zone/schedule changes and it was uncle Andy’s day after all, we went out to dinner at 9:00pm after the graduation ceromony.
Then I realized how time has changed! The restaurants were full of college students and their relatives.. There were lots of laughters and conversations. The night has just begun for them. I remember how I used to think that people with kids were so ‘rigid and boring’, who always rushed home shortly after the sun sets. Here I was, turning into one of them… It was only 9:30pm and I wished I was back in the hotel room.
Maddy was totally over exhausted by the time we finally got back to the hotel at 11pm (which is midnight east coast time). She woke up periodically crying during the night.. we both were so tired we actually missed the second ceromony on Sat morning (the more important one where they read out each graduate’s name) to rest up…It was so sad. We came all the way here and didn’t really go to the graduation.
On the bright side, we had a great trip to the famous Navy Pier Sat afternoon. The place reminded me of Pier 39 and Santa Cruz in California. The weather was gorgeous, and Maddy enjoyed the water fountains, choo choo ride, and the Merry-go-around!
Congraduations, uncle Andy!! and best wishes to your new job and the new stage of your life!
I dropped Maddy off at Primrose this morning since daddy is at church early helping with VBS all week.
I totally forgot that Thursday is MusicKare day for her class. A gentleman came in with his guitar shortly after we arrived.
He sat down and started singing and asked all the kids to sit down around him. Maddy girl, although just went back to school after recovering from her cold, sat down in the first row and listened to him with such focus.
One of my biggest joy… is watching my girl enjoying her day!
Somtimes it is so much more obvious how blessed we are when things are not going well:
Maddy had a week of running nose (but no other problems) and finally came down with a fever this Monday. I sent out an email to my group saying I needed to work-from-home Monday afternoon.
… sent out another WFH for Tuesday morning and IMed my manager to cancel a meeting in the morning and requested to move it to the afternoon. My manager, blessed his heart, told me it’s ok if I needed to work-from-home all day and asked why I was here when I did come in in the afternoon.
An old co-worker in CA IMed me about how his family is thinking about re-locate since they just had twins and started to feel all the pressure that comes with living in the bay area, and I told him the whole 9-yard of what I think about living here (pros and cons).
The BIGGEST difference I feel about people in CA and NC is the whole attitude on work and family. Although I used to visit Maddy at the Cisco Daycare everyday while in CA, it was never a ‘thing’ I broadcasted to everyone. I quietly left work, and I quietly came back to work. When a co-worker (specially a woman) sent out an email about ‘work-from-home’, you heard people making negative remarks.
It’s a whole new environment here. In fact, very often a different guy in my group sends out a out-of-office email because there is school event, blah blah blah. So often dads work-from-home as well because kids got sick. At least in my group, I think people look ‘down’ on you if you end up staying too late at work.. It’s the whole attitude about “Don’t you have a family you need to spend time with?” Some people in CA tried to schedule a meeting at 5:00pm East Coast time and one co-worker here told them frankly “no, it’s not a good time because I like to eat dinner with my family”. I mean, it would be UNTHINKABLE if you say such a thing in CA.
Then I realized… it is such a ’sacrafice’ for parents to be involved with the lives of their kids in CA. Somehow it seems ‘noble’ and ‘admirable’ when you have a mom who quits her job or a dad who spends extra time with their children. All that is simply a ‘normal’ life for people in the South… kids having two equally involved parents. At least that’s what I see from the guys in my work group… and I wonder, do they know how lucky they are?
So we don’t get to see John Chambers very often; we don’t see Yahoo, Ebay, TiVo down the street; we don’t have heavenly weather all year round; we don’t have street lights and signs; we don’t have all the newest and hottest technologies like the Bay Area… My bestfriend told me the other day that she’s so amazed on how adaptable I am to a new environment (I complained quite a bit to her when we first moved here). The reality is that I am not that adaptable…
It’s just what I found here, is simply priceless!
Joe and I are thinking about having a second child. I would like them (Maddy and our second) to be somewhat close in age. My sister was 4 1/2 years younger than me and we never clicked growing up until both of us are in college. She was always the little annoying kid following me around… I think we would have been closer as kids if we weren’t so far apart age-wise.
Two couples came to hang out with us on Sat night. Both of the families just had their second kids recently. They look so much more tired compared to the last time we hung out together (when they were just pregnant with one toddler)… The nursing (which I consider the worst thing a mother has to do) every 2-3 hours; the cries because the babies do not know how to calm down themselves yet; the countless stuff you lug with you even you’re just a few miles from home; the sleepless nights for the first few months; and there is the firstborn running around needing full attention…
And talking to our beloved neighbor about what an angel Maddy is (she sleeps well now, eats well, adjusts to new environments well, behaves well in school, etc) over the weekend. How if there is justice in this world I will be given a child from ‘hell’ as our second.
What was the reason we wanted another one? Can’t seem to come up with a valid reason to convince myself .. but then again, I really didn’t have a logical reason before having Maddy… except one day I woke up and wanted a baby.
I guess we will find out; if God willing…
Maddy’s first sentence in question form when we played peekaboo in the car:
She covered herself with her bai-bai and said “Where Maddy go?”
I called in and had Maddy join Tumblebus on the trial basis before I actually signed her up.
The place is a little cramped for my taste (can’t blame them, it’s really just a bus), but Maddy absolutely loved it.
She was so attentive during the ‘orientation’, listening to the instructor on all the activities they were going to do. She had no problem bonding with the two teachers from Tumblebus, and her favorite two things were the trampoline and forward flips.
When I told her I was going back to work, she ran to me and gave me a little kiss on the lip and quickly ran back to her tumblings. The Primrose teacher told me later in the afternoon:
Maddy flipped her hair left and right after she got off the class, and she walked back in to Primrose building with ‘pride’, as if she is now a big girl knowing how to do forward flips.
It looks like she’ll be a regular at Tumblebus for the summer. If she really enjoys gymnastics the entire time, we will probably sign her up at the Little Gym in the fall.
We wanted to hang out at the pool last night but it got T-stormed out.. Baby girl ended up modeling for mommy at home and we had such a good time. She would pose for me, ran over to me:
Maddy: See… see
Mommy: Ok.. Look, are you cute?
Maddy: Yea.. all right.. more
This one is the cutest of them all; she was posing and saying “cheese”.
Again we didn’t get to go to the pool tonight as we had hoped, but we made it to the weekly jazz night at Southpoint. The jazz band is informal, but one of the best we’ve heard. They were fun, interactive and the singer was great.
Maddy kept saying more, more when they finished each song. She danced unbashfully in front of the people.. techno style
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