Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat

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I think she deserves a whole BAG of candy. Its just a shame she can't eat it yet. Aw well, her parents will just have to give her all the help we can.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Beijing - land of construction

This is the view looking directly out from our 20+ floor window.

It is most startling in the middle of the night when you can just sort of 'sense' it hovering outside. That's right - these guys work around the clock.

Sometimes I am sort of tempted to open the window and try to lasso it as it zooms past. Need a lasso though.

Neck and Neck (or is that head to head?)

Sophia and Tovina got together for another play date today. You may remember their first play date when our little 10lb Tovina looked like a giant. Considering that old picture, its amazing how similar in size the two of them are now.
I tried to tell Tovina that she needed to start packing away the milk if she wanted to stay ahead in this race. Her response seemed to indicate that she was not prepared to take me seriously.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Dinner is served

As I think we mentioned before, we have a new ayi who helps take care of Tovina as well as cooking and cleaning. She speaks and reads some English which is very nice. The other week we gave her a recipe for a lemon chicken dish that looked mighty nice in the book. Now, when we say book, we are actually referring to a lovely coffee table book extraordinaire with over the top recipes and pictures, you know, the kind you look at and say, 'well sure they can do it for the book because they have crazy capable people and trick photography.'

So we buy the appropriate ingredients and then show the recipe to Zhao ayi, asking her if she has ever heard of this recipe and might be able to make it. The dish itself is not so unusual, this lovely book just happens to be the only reference we have that we can show her.

Sure she says, no problem. And hour later our dinner arrived on the table as a perfect replica of the picture in the book.We were most impressed.
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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Monday, October 22, 2007

Thumb, Fingers - dou keyi (its all good)

Recently Tovina has started to earnestly try to suck her thumb. Prior to this, she enjoyed earnestly sucking our thumbs which pretty much prevented us from participating in any other activity as well as often involving placing the rest of one's hand over her face in order to properly angle the thumb to maximize its soothing effect.

Last night she was searching pretty hard and while she couldn't quite get to her thumb she did find 3 of her fingers. Then she lost one and only had 2 - those darn things are so slippery after you suck on them for a few minutes.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

That's us he's talking about!

ImageThief is a friend of ours and we were at his 40th birthday dinner last week. In fact, we gave him the bag with the M&Ms, white rabbits, and peanut butter that he talks about in his blog.

Here is Imagethief, his wife, and Mari.
And here is Bob (who was visiting from the states) with Tovina. And finally, here is Michael with his little girl.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Home Alone

This month, my MBA class started on Wednesday. Also this month Michael is back at work. So what does this mean? Tovina and Zhao ayi are all alone for 3 very long days. Zhao ayi shows up at our apartment at 7am and doesn't leave until around 7pm. On weeks that I don't have class, Ms Zhao comes over 3 times for about 4 hours a day and cooks and cleans. We didn't expect much yesterday since she had full time Tovina care but I guess Tovina took a fair number of naps because the apartment looked great and dinner was on the table.

And all of this for less than US$220 a month.
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Monday, October 15, 2007

Bye bye Mari

It was time for my mei mei to return home so Tovina said goodbye to her auntie M today. Unsurprisingly Tovina was able to handle the separation much better than her mother - and this is allowing for the fact that Tovina cried much of the way to and from the airport.

(We are told that some kids like riding in cars but we do not have much faith in such crazy stories. Though sometimes, if we are very, very, very lucky, Tovina will eventually fall asleep during a car ride.)
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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Is she old enough to be washed?

There is a Chinese custom that new babies and mothers should not bathe the first 30 days after the baby is born. The Chinese women I know have all brought up this custom when we talk about how young Tovina was the first time I took her out of the house. (Another forbidden item.) However, when asked, they have also all admitted that they did not follow that particular bathing custom. They do point out how it was probably much less healthy to bathe a generation ago when the house was not well heated the water supply less controlled.

While it is not her favorite activity, we have been bathing Tovina. Here she is sporting her freshly toweled look.
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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Embassy babies (updated)

Last year the American Embassy in Beijing had 21 babies born to embassy families. This is the most of any US embassy in the world. Tovina was the last one of the group. Today, most of the kids that are still at post and under 1 year of age got together.

Blogger keeps deleting one of multiple images from posts. So strange. Luckily I know the (not very secret) secret of re-posting.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Visitors from State College

I really like conferences that bring friends into Beijing. Here is Phyllis entertaining the wee one before all of us went gallivanting off around town. This included a some local shopping, a vegetarian Budist lunch and a stop at Bodhi for a massage of course .

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Furniture shopping

Today Michael and I place orders for a whole bunch of handmade furniture. We've been meaning to do if for quite some time and today we finally did the deed. There are a lot of furniture makers around Beijing so picking a shop is time comsuming. We had tried this shop once before and bought the peice to the left which is a modified version of some other peices on their showroom floor. We are pretty excited to see how everything else turns out!

And since it has been a few days since our last picture - here is a bonus show of Tovina all dressed up for the cold weather.
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Saturday, October 06, 2007

What's in a name?

Today we are finally getting around to sharing the meaning behind our little one's name. Tovina is a mix of the Hebrew name Tivona which means nature lover and Tov which means good. So she is our good little nature lover.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Slinging the baby

We just received a baby sling which is especially good for a sleepy Tovina as she likes to be held tightly when falling asleep. Mari has become something of an expert of sling wearing. The tricky part is trying to prevent Tovina from burying her head so far into the sling that it almost disappears.

The instructions recommend that you practice with a doll before trying it on an actual living baby. We don't have many dolls around, but we did find something on which to practice.
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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Tiny hands

Baby's hands are very tiny (news flash!), but this particular baby's hands also look like star fish. See how they taper at the ends?
Of course, these hands also have dimples where each of the knuckles should be so really, anything goes.
Also of notes are the fingernails.

We've been told to stop making her dig for gold at night. Really though, how does she get dirt under her fingernails?
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Monday, October 01, 2007

Auntie in the house!

This is Cara's sister Mari for those of you who have not met her. Oh, and the other one is Tovina.
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