Wednesday, December 31, 2008

cousins are here!

The cousins from North Carolina are here. Isaac and Maxwell have spent most of their time recording a CD called "Awesomeness," and Evie and Xiaoyue have spent time tea-partying and hugging. Riley has told me stories that are hilarious. He's got some fiction writerly genes, I think. Quite the imagination, that boy. We also celebrated Nanny's birthday at a great Chinese restaurant, where the Fujian, China waitress wanted to know where we learned to work the chopsticks so well. Much more tact and polite than the Target cashier who said, pointing to Xiaoyue, "Is she domestic or foreign." I said (or wait, in hindsight....I'm too darn nice not to say what I wish I'd said), "I'm assuming you mean adoption, because she's not a beer or a bottle of wine."

Monday, December 29, 2008

It seems to be our tradition to do a little spring hopping after Christmas each year. This year we went to Otter Springs, near Gainesville. Still, haven't found anything as great as Salt Springs. Here's the boys and Phee enjoying a picnic after a cold dip in the water. Seventy-two degree water, clear as glass to the bottom. Year round. Definitely the best thing about North Florida.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Welcome Baby Nikki!

Congrats Beth and family!
Phoebe and I were able to visit sweet baby Nicole this week. Wow, and we thought you were a little thing Yue Yue!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cold (for us, anyway)

i just had to see what that bow would look like....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Crazy North Florida climate

from 88 degrees to 40 -- a week's worth of clothing in St. Augustine....

and it looks like now we've settled into the cold dampness....

Sunday, November 9, 2008

To the Birthday Girl!

Here's Xiaoyue enjoying a little Hunan cuisine her dad cooked up for her birthday dinner. I caught Ike's virus and so we had to postpone the festivities until the next day, but I crept down to take a shot of this spicy dinner celebration! What a drag being that sick. Above left, reading with Papa (my dad) and Gramma (Craig's mom), the next day when had a fun dinner complete with cupcakes.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Big Bro has an awful middle school stomach virus, so Xiaoyue and I trick-or-treated on his behalf, visited with neighbors and enjoyed the (thank god) cool, blustery evening. All Saint's Day tomorrow and one little pumpkin girl turns ONE.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Yue Yue is at the Florida International University Writers Conference this week at Hutchinson Island (with her mother in tow, of course). She met my favorite poet, Denise Duhamel. Here she is with Denise and Cindy, her new BFF. On the right, she's with Cindy's son, Tristan. The little moon is thinking of working on a collection of poems herself. Or, maybe her memoirs. And, miraculously at the reading tonight, she sat through three of the four poems that Denise read.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

tiki baby

We met up with our dear friends Marcie and Pat and Sophie from Maryland at Disney this weekend. As almost-native Floridians we are, Craig and I know that it is not the most intelligent thing to take a baby to the parks. So, Craig stayed behind and hung out at the Carribean themed resort swimming and cruising the grounds while Isaac and I did Magic Kingdom duty. Then, we all met up at O'hana for dinner at the Polynesian Resort. Next: Yue Yue goes to her first writers conference.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

check out these new floors

Craig has been working to finish the baby's room, primarily the termite-eaten floors. I'm not joking when I say that there were spots where you might just fall through to the living room below. It's Florida, afterall. But they're looking good as new now.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


When we first met Yue Yue she loved plastic cups. We had a trunkload of soft blankies and stuffed animals, but she had no interest in them. In the last week, however, she's taken a shine to the blanket/animal heads (the only way i can describe them, and what a great invention -- stuffed animal and blanket all in one -- they didn't have these when Isaac was born) that she was given as gifts. They're satin on one side, fleece on the other and have a rabbit, bear or puppy head in the center.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

blustery day

Someone was a little testy today and it wasn't me. I'm judging from the drooling and fussing and elevated temperature that it may be teething. So, we popped a few Hylands teething tablets, braved the darn mosquitoes (What is the point, I ask, in a mosquito control district and what in the world are they doing over there at that office because has anyone seen the bites on this baby girl's little face????) for a change of venue and went outside to enjoy the incredible windy day before the rains hit. The smiley pictures even cracked up Yue Yue.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

forward motion

Below: Xiao Yue on our first
day as a family. She's still wearing
the outfit and little red
shoes from the orphanage.

At home, playing with some
very cool camera accessory.

Below, sharing secrets with big bro.

I've been wanting to post a six-week since we've been home update for a while, but it's now turned into a seven and a half week update. Yue Yue is eleven months old now, as of Oct. 1.When we met this little girl, she was able to sit up, but was pretty unstable, flopping forward and backwards. She liked to stand with help, but as for crawling, she could flex into an almost crawling position but cried as her arms weren't that strong and she was pretty uncomfortable.

Then about a month ago, she was able to crawl backwards.....and then lo and behold.......two weekends ago, she just began to cruise all over the place, and as if she'd been doing it forever. A few weeks before the crawling, there was clapping and waving and itsy bitsy spider hand movements. She reaches into the sky when you ask, "Xiao Yue where is the wind?" Yesterday on our walk, a carload of little old ladies passed by and she instinctively waved to them (or reached out to the wind) and boy did they get a kick out of that.

In China, Yue Yue could say, "Maaamaa, Baaabaa (for dad) and gradually made the transition to Dada. She is working extremely hard on her word for Kitty -- something like Kitt tat -- and because of that we have discovered our neighborhood has hundreds of those creatures, just coming out of the woodwork when we walk down the street calling Kitty.....She also calls dogs, kitties as well. We'll work on that one later.

Most of all, Yue Yue's personality has blossomed and it's difficult to look at some of the first pictures we took of her in Changsha, knowing how confused and sad she was.