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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

18 Months Old

Our sweet Jenny is now a year and a half old!

Her development amazes us each day.  She lets us know when she is hungry, wanting milk,  and when she is finished doing something. She'll tell us when she'd like to be picked up or put down, too.  She can "feed" her animals, put her toys and books away, understands hot and cold, is able to say I Love You in Sign and knows the appropriate time to use it.  She can communicate "milk" in Chinese, English and Sign!  She brushes her teeth--somewhat, she chews on the toothbrush a lot (Loves that minty fresh flavor!)--she scribbles with crayons, but makes sure she has her coloring mat in place first! She's good at using please and thank you and so many other incredible things!

I love that she is full of curiosity.  She recently discovered these tiny magnet "men" we have, and loves to discover all of the things around the house that they stick to!

She participated in her first Hanukkah Blessings and lighting of the menorah, and she received her first Hanukkah gifts from Zayde, too!

Friday Jenny Mei enjoyed latkes with her cousin and aunts and uncle.  Saturday she spent the day with her New Jersey cousins, aunt and uncles, then came home for her first Christmas Eve feast with Mommy, Daddy and Grandmommy!  Sunday Jenny Mei spent the morning (all morning!) ripping open all of her Christmas presents from under the tree! The wrapping paper was a hit as were the many gifts from friends and family! We had a festive and fun day with new traditions and old, like celebrating a Jewish Christmas by having Chinese food for dinner, although this year we went Thai instead!  Tante Sheilah joined us as usual!

There's nothing like the holidays with children!  Their excitement and joy brings out the kid in all of us!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Four Months

Four months ago today we met Jenny.  She was a scared, snot nosed, itching, crying, not yet crawling, little girl with crazy spiky hair and an independent streak as wide as the South China Sea.  Six years of waiting and repeated visits to various police precincts to get fingerprinted (Fingerprints don't change, but apparently they expire.) culminated in us meeting our daughter for the first time, our Journey to Jenny ending, and transitioning to our Journey with Jenny.

Today she is a happy, walking & occasionally whining, talking, dancing, little dynamo, with a keen sense of humor who is learning and growing so fast it makes my head spin!!  I leave for work in the morning, and I come home to her spouting new words.  We, well mostly Kay really, taught, and continue to teach her, sign language, and it has really helped her communicate.  As she learns words to go with her signs, she uses them both together.  And when she uses words and is understood, she laughs with glee!! 

Just last week, for the first time, I received the greeting all Daddys want.  Jenny running towards me, squealing, arms extended upward to welcome me home!!  Awesome!!! 

I also made the mistake some time back of teaching her the old "extend an object towards someone who wants it, wait for them to reach, then pull it back" trick.  She got the joke almost immediately.  And she now uses it every chance she gets.  On me.  And it works every time.  It is worth the humiliation of being shown no respect by a toddler, just to see her smile and hear her laugh!!

It has been a fantastic four months, with Jenny meeting many friends and relatives, and seemingly enjoying all of the new people, and them surely enjoying her.  And we cannot wait for what tomorrow brings!

And the outpouring of interest from so many people has been fantastic!!  What is really amazing to us is all of you that have followed the blog.  It is really fun getting notes from people, both known and new to us, who mention that they have followed our journey via this.  Getting feedback is great in that it motivates us to write more often, so thank you all for letting us know.

Happy holidays!!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Toddler Time

Life has changed drastically!  We now have a toddler in the house!

She is still a bit uneasy, but that doesn't stop her!  She looks a little like Frankenstein with her arms  out straight in front of her for balance.  When she sees another wee person in the park, she does her best Frankenstein impression by wobbling up to them, arms stretched and making some loud sound out of her mouth--the wee person usually clings on to the caretaker in fright!  If I put  some work boots on her, paint her face green and attach some bolts to her head, we are ready for Halloween!!

She rarely crawls anymore, on occasion if she is tired.  She is in to everything, of course!  So we may not procrastinate any longer--the cabinets, doors, and other child-proofing things must be done!!  Our adult friendly apartment will soon change--all remnants of adult, child-free living will
cease to exist.  Wine bottles, pictures, knick-knacks, candles, treasures...all out of sight.  What was once a lovely home will soon become Kidville--empty cardboard boxes to play with, stuffed animals everywhere, paper towel tubes as musical instruments, plastic toys in every corner, children's books chewed and drooled on, things that rattle, toot and whirl, tupperware containers to open and close, old magazines to tear up, cabinets that even adults can't open, padding on every corner of the apartment, outlets covered, toilet seats locked, plants given away....
Dan has joked about emptying a room, putting padding floor-to-ceiling and calling it a day!  Dare I say institution?!!

She has a new toy--a shopping cart!  She may not "go shopping" without her purse, though, which is too cute!
She takes the cart all over the apartment and "shops" for things to put in it!

Jenny Mei enjoyed her first Rosh Hashana with family!  We had a delicious meal and a lot of fun playing with her Zayde, aunt, uncle and cousins!

Zayde had some quality bonding time with the princess. He even read some books with her. She has a new favorite...

I spend my time these days chasing after Jenny Mei, cleaning up the food she has flung onto the floor, singing songs sometimes 5 or 6 times in a row, talking in a higher pitch than I prefer, showering with a stroller parked next to the tub (with a baby strapped in it!), and drinking whole milk!  Life has definitely changed.

And I wouldn't change a thing!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Oh No, Not Cantaloupe!

I was so happy to see that my beautiful daughter had no food issues! In China she ate everything we gave her...peas, carrots, pork buns, eggs, watermelon, oatmeal, shrimp, potatoes, cheerios, sweet potato...everything!

Now that we are home she has had similar eating habits.  We try something new every day or so, and she definitely has some likes and dislikes.  She likes ham.  She dislikes peaches.  She likes turkey, but dislikes turkey  meatballs.  Her favorite food, however, is cantaloupe!  She eats it by the handful!  She always wants more, more, MORE!
Last night proved to be a whole new Jenny Mei.  Nothing was adequate for her dinner.  Little Miss Manners decided to throw all that was put in front of her on the floor.  All the foods that she likes--tossed to the floor.  Even the beloved cantaloupe!

Now what?!
Has my daughter turned into a picky eater?  Is she just being a toddler? What can I feed her if even her favorites do not pass?  Am I supposed to offer more choices? No pasta, peas, carrots, chicken or cantaloupe?!  These are staples--Yikes!

One food she has recently discovered is the apple!

Jenny Mei had a visitor today who brought her a new toy--a little purse!  Jenny Mei loves it!  She immediately put it on her arm and swung it about like it was a Chanel bag filled with real treasures!!  We played with the cell phone, the compact and the coin purse all evening! Thank you to Aunt Beverly!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Wheels on the Bus

go round and round, round and round, round and round....
I never knew I could have so much fun making up verses to this silly *and monotonous)) kids' song!
Well, at least until she's old enough to understand what I've been adding...!!

Tomorrow will be 3 weeks with our daughter!  She continues to amaze us!  She is very energetic and already into everything!  She pulls herself up, can walk with help or by pulling herself along the couch, feeds herself and eats many new foods like spinach and broccoli, loves to dance and sing, and enjoys walks in her stroller!  Bath time is her favorite time of day.  She cannot get enough of playing in the tub with her tub toys!  And she loves to get wrapped up in her fluffy bunny towel!

Jenny Mei now has a Pack & Play yard.  Well, more like a prison to her.  We hope it becomes a quiet place for her to play at those certain times when we are tending to something else in the room--like reading the directions for setting up her booster seat.  Honestly, the directions were confusing--and embarrassing to admit!!  Both of us were needed to decipher it...!  We plopped her in the pay yard for a few minutes.  JMei was not happy about that.  Not at all.  We'll keep trying.

The 5th tooth has erupted!!  This means that everything, EVERYTHING, goes into Jmei's mouth!  I believe we have 17 more teeth to go...

I'm sure I could think about a song for that!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Home Sweet Home

It is really unbelievable.  We're home, finally.
I can't help but ask myself, "Is this real or am I dreaming?"  The long wait is over, and I am a mom.  We are a family.  One happy family!

The adventure in China was memorable on so many levels.  I mean, we went to the Great Wall!  And the Forbidden City!  We experienced so many wonderful cultural things on our visit.  AND WE GOT A BABY!!  Our beautiful star!

That being said, I am so glad to be home!  Dan compares our visit to the Bachelorette/Bachelor shows--being in China with our daughter was not real life!  Now that we are home, reality sets in, routines begin, and our bonds strengthen.

The trip back to the states was pretty intense  Thank goodness I booked us on a on-stop flight!!  The people around us did not seem to mind JMei's occasional squeals--they were mostly squeals of excitement.  I think they were just happy that she was not acting like the two boys across from us that terrorized everyone around them, especially the people sitting in front of them.  The backs of their seats were used as kick boards...for hours!!  And the screeching was non-stop!!
Back to JMei...she was definitely squirmy!  She was up and active.  Dan walked with her up and down the aisle, up and down, up and down...!  The extra seat was worth every penny!  We were able to make a place for her to sleep, play...and eat!  7 bottles, some Cheerios, some Chinese wan wan snacks and watermelon!
Once landed, the immigration processing took no time at all.  We were through with that, customs and baggage claim in under an hour and on our way home.
Her Aunt S. made her this special onesie--and I packed it especially for her return home!  It reads, "Yankee Doodle Baby"--perfect for her immediate US citizenship once she landed in the US!

JMei had her first visitors yesterday on her first full day in NYC!  She had a wonderful time playing, singing and walking with her new friends, Auntie Jo-Jo and Auntie AP!  Actually, I am not sure who had more fun, the grown-ups or baby!  I think she wore them out!!

She is getting adjusted to life here and the time zone. She had me up at 3 am on her first night back...and didn't go to bed until 1 am last night.  i thought for sure she'd be tuckered out after all the fun she had...boy, was I mistaken!!

We've nicknamed her "Jackpot" for right now. We really feel as though we hit it with her!  She is so engaging, so social, so talkative, and so happy!  I feel like the wealthiest person on Earth!!  She is an absolute treasure!

And so it life as a parent is just beginning.  I look forward to all the diaper changing, snot wiping, drool catching, and sleepless is just the greatest time ever!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Long day of International travel, airports, airline food, screaming babies (mostly not ours), delays for some of our stuff, but in the end...