Thursday, January 31, 2008

The wind in her hair (if she had hair)

When you blow air into a newborn's face it turns out they have this uncontrollable reaction of taking a big breath. (I confess we used this reaction occasionally to give us small breaks in Tovina's 1 month old crying jags.) But she has apparently grown out of that stage and now loves having a puff of air in her face as you can see.

We like to think that we are just conditioning her to enjoy convertibles and roller coasters.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Teething is not a winter event

Tovina is teething. Well, at least we think she is. She is chewing on everything in site, drooling constantly, crying in pain with no visible reason, not sleeping well, and at the right age. We have a few teething rings for her, some of which are intended to be kept in the fridge or freezer so as to offer relief to her sore gums. We also have some of that numbing stuff that goes on her gums... and lips and tongue the few times we have tried to apply it.

I had a discussion with our babysitter and some other Chinese people about this recently. They were shocked that I would give a baby anything cold, especially in winter! Practically child abuse. Didn't I realize that after the teether was in the fridge and then given to her, it would make Tovina's mouth and thence her whole little body cold!

Cold is a big deal here and for good reason.

I have been informed that teething is normal process and that in general the people here don't interfere with it. Given time and patience it will take care of itself. Admittedly the cream did not seem to do much good, but she really does love her cold teething rings. Though, given how much Tovina likes to gum everything, maybe she just likes them because, rather than pulling it out of her mouth as we do with so many things she seems to find lying around, we actually encourage her to try to eat cold teething rings.

Shanghai classmates

These are just some shots of my Shanghai classmates during our Saturday night dinner.

If you were very observant you may have noticed that she is being held by someone different in every shot. Popular kid!
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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sophia and Tovina together again

It has been 2 months since the last time these two girls got together and there are some noticable differences.
Now Sophia (a month younger) is slightly bigger so we are lucky she is such a sweet and happy little girl otherwise she might have gotten annoyed when Tovina started sucking on Sophia's arm. By next month we figure Sophia will be doing the same to Tovina!
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Friday, January 25, 2008

We're Home!

It has been almost 3 months since we spent more than 10 days at home and 6 weeks since Tovina and I have had more than 4 days with Michael. It is very nice to be back.

Tonight we celebrated the Sabbath as a family.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Shanghai Accomodations

While in Shanghai, Tovina stays in one of the un-occupied offices in the same area of the building in which my class is taught. Since our last Shanghai class her previous office became occupied so she got moved to the corner office. Now this may seem like a leg up in the world, but the corner office is just at the corner of that row of offices and is on the main hallway and has 2 large class walls so it is pretty much like being in a fish bowl.
Here is Tovina sleeping on the table in her fish bowl. She was sleeping on her blankets on the ground but the construction just down the hall kept waking her up so the babysitter moved her. (And yes the babysitter stays in the room to ensure Tovina does not roll off the table.)

And speaking of the babysitter - here she is!
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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Teething time

Or at least we think Tovina has got some teeth that are trying to make an appearance. Really all we know for sure is that she likes chewing on things. What I like about this video, other than the sound, is that she is still trying to get her thumb in her mouth with the post.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Baby break

I was informed today by one of the ladies that works in the Maryland office where we are taking classes that the work staff has 'baby breaks' during the day where they stop by to play with Tovina. They believe her to be an unusually friendly child and wondered if it was because she is American.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

This month's collage

The big difference you might notice this month is that all of these pictures were taken with Tovina on her belly, not her back.
Oh, and you may notice that she smiles a lot.
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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Shanghai classes

Because I was taking 2 classes this month with only 3 days off in between, Tovina and I decided to stay in Shanghai instead of taking the extra classes back and forth. We were also able to hook up with some friends of ours that moved to Shanghai and we went and stayed with them and their 3 year old son. It was very pleasant and we look forward to seeing them again during a future class.

Last class Tovina became part of my team's final presentation. We were describing how different leaders interact with their teams and the customer's reaction.
At first we showed how the customer was not thrilled with the results.

Then we showed how the other leader and team produced really spectacular results and the customer was thrilled.

Not surprisingly, our presentation was a big hit.
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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Chilly weather

The weather has actually been surprisingly nice here in Shanghai. I've been trying to keep Tovina bundled up but that didn't stop a nice old lady from chastising me this morning and telling me that she was still too cold on her face.
Tovina smiled at her the whole time the lady was telling me how miserable Tovina was. Good baby!
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Friday, January 11, 2008

Tight schedule

With all this traveling, Tovina's sleep schedule is a little off. Luckily she is a good little trooper and takes it all in stride. Here she is performing her morning stretches.
We were lucky this time that the program helped me find a lovely babysitter for her. Last time we had to find someone on our own and it was pretty tricky.

But all is well and once again she is everyone's favorite student.
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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

... and off to Shanghai

Having managed to spend one whole night at home, Tovina and I took off for Shanghai today. We must have done something right because we somehow got bumped up to business class for the 2 hour flight. Here is Tovina resting on the fully reclined seat.

She was impressed with the service and wanted to know why we didn't fly like this back from Hawaii. I told her to not get greedy.
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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Back in China

We have left the warm land of Hawaii and made it back to China.
The plane ride was surprisingly easy - mostly because there were about 8 different people who offered to hold Tovina at any point during the flight so that I could get other things done. Was very helpful! And really, look at that face, who wouldn’t want to hold her?
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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Years!

It turns out there is a Hawaiian tradition to light off firecrackers on new years. This is good practice for the upcoming fire cracker fest during Chinese New Years!

Enjoy friends and have a great new year!
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