Monday, July 30, 2007

Height Predictions

I just discovered this nifty tool that lets you predict your child's future height: According to this tool, Doodle is going to be 5 foot, 3.5 inches when she is an adult, and Tootle will be 5 feet, 8 inches tall. If only it could predict what age Tootle will be when she shoots past her sister: I think it will be by the time she is 9 and Doodle is 13.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Question

Doodle asked, "You know how I'll have to do essays in school soon. What does the "S' and the "A" stand for?

It shows how used Doodle is to living in an acronym filled world. Last year she did BCR's, otherwise known as brief constructive responses, everyday, and the annual standardized test has an acronym too.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Artists at Work

When my office moved in May, the office manager decided to throw away a lot of paper rather than move it. I rescued several reams of light blue paper, and the girls have been spending hours this summer honing their drawing skills. Here are some of their masterpieces. Doodle's bear is saying "Adopt me!" I think Tootle was trying to write bunny. Tootle is very proud of her work. Doodle says: "She's pretty good for a 5 year old" and I have to agree.
Two of Doodle's framed works of art hang in my office, and have been widely complimented. I think I'll be able to frame one of Tootle's before too long.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Family FotoFun Friday Challenge: Harry's World

Doodle has only read the first Harry Potter book. She has an aversion to scary or sad stories, and since each Harry Potter book gets increasingly dark, it's probably best that she stopped with the first one, at least for now. If she ever decides to read the series, they will be waiting for her on my bookshelf. I finally got the final book today, at the end of a sun/fun filled weekend. Thus far, I've read the first chapter. Doodle, feeling mischievous, grabbed the book and read the last few pages, so she knows the answer to the question that I don't want to have revealed until I near the end of the book: does Harry live? She hasn't revealed the answer yet, and I don't think she will.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Dream Realized

When we were waiting to bring Tootle home over two years ago, a picture kept forming in my head of my daughters falling asleep together. The girls are terrific at comforting each other, but they have never been able to sleep together, even though they have tried numerous times. Someone kicks the other one or takes up too much room or one is hot and the other cold, and they end up in their separate beds. Tonight two years and nearly two months later, it happened for the first time. albeit in my bed instead of one of theirs. I'll need to move them before I go to bed, but first I will savor the realization of a dream. Sweet dreams girls.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Sounds of Music

Doodle spent the last three weeks at a music day camp, where she got to focus on learning the flute. At Friday's recital she and her fellow flutists performed "Love Me Tender." It's amazing how much you can learn in three weeks. I also heard how much the guitarists, cellists, violinists, pianists, etc., learned, which meant that the recital was 90 minutes long. One hour later came the second performance of the day, with the kids showing off what they accomplished in the camp's musical theater program. I didn't really need to attend the show since Doodle and her friend had been belting out the numbers in the car for the past 10 days, but it was fun to see all the 1st through 6th graders perform. Doodle even taught Tootle to chime in during "Downtown," a song whose lyrics are now ingrained in my brain. Doodle is very enthusiastic about continuing to play the flute so we'll be looking to either rent or buy a flute soon.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Progression of a Portrait

Clare Waterwash, a talented artist who does portraits to benefit Amity's Kids for Hugging Grannies project (, let me know that she has started work on Tootle's portrait, which will match one done of Doodle several years ago. Clare provided a link so that I can follow her progress. She expects to finish the portrait by the end of next week, and I will post an update or two before unveiling the final portrait. Clare, whose graddaughter Ming is adopted from China, is also going to do a portrait of both my daughters. I'm so excited. Doodle's portrait has been banished to a closet since Tootle came home because I didn't want Tootle to feel bad that there wasn't one of her. Soon it will be hanging beside one of her sister.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

My Wemberly

Perhaps I should change Doodle's blog name to Wembely, the name that I gently call her to settle her down when she is being a worrywart. (If you don't have Kevin Henkes' book Wemberly Worried and you have a worrywart, you should have it on your bookshelf).

For the past few weeks, I've been getting to work by 7 a.m. so I can pick Doodle and her friend up from music camp in the afternoon; the other girl's parents are doing the morning drop off. This morning at 8 a.m. my office phone rings and Doodle asks where her camp name tag is. I realized that it was still in my purse; it generally stays at camp but I picked her up early yesterday for a dentist appointment and she didn't de-geek. She immediately began to worry that she would get in trouble and that no one would know who she was (she's been at this camp for 12 days now, and everyone knows her name). She begged me to drive home and bring her the name tag, or else she wouldn't go to camp today. I declined and gave her the reasons why no one would care if her name tag was missing. She begged some more. Again I declined, this time telling her that I bet she is the only kid at this camp who would worry about a missing name tag. This seemed to get through to her, and she changed the subject. I should keep track of the amount of time I spend listening to her worries, both big and inane (like this one); I think the figure would astound me.

Of course, this phone call was somewhat preferable to the one I received on Monday morning to tell me that our 2.5 year old fish died. The two goldfish scooped up at our pool on July 4 live on.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

CCAI Reunion

We were among the 400 or so people at the CCAI Mid Atlantic Reunion on Saturday. Doodle was part of Group 114, and more than 1,000 groups have followed over the past eight-plus years. Kind of mind blowing. Tootle was adopted through another agency, but in some ways I feel that her connection to CCAI is stronger than Doodle's. Tootle spent the first nearly three years of her life in foster care through the Lily Orphan Care Center in Hangzhou, funded by CCAI's charitable arm. CCAI trained Tootle's foster family, and they must have done a terrific job because Tootle was developmentally on track, or even advanced, when she came home. This reunion was my opportunity to thank CCAI's president and founder, Lily Nie (pictured with the girls), for setting up LOCC in Hangzhou. Lily told Tootle that she probably held her when she was a baby because she went to Hangzhou every summer at that time. The reunion also gave Doodle a chance to reconnect with her preschool pal, who we don't see often enough. I got to meet up with a few families with children from Hangzhou, spend time with old friends, and talk with some awesome single moms whom I hadn't met before. If there were an award for laughing the hardest at the puppet show, Tootle would have won it. And a lion dance in July is pretty cool, even if it was 95 degrees and the guys in the costumes must have been drenched.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

A Fishy Fourth

Thanks to our pool's rather inhumane finale of a full day of July 4th activities --the goldfish catch -- we are now the proud owners of two more goldfish, Superstar and Glitter Gill. Tootle, who may yet turn into a fish this summer because she wants to spend every waking hour at the pool, loves the headband her Nana bought her. Meredith Viera also wore this headband on the Today show this morning. Meredith looked ridiculous, but Tootle can pull off the look.

A Picture That Says More Than 1,000 Words

I snapped this picture a few weeks ago when we were at my aunt's house for a family reunion, and it's significance escaped me until I printed some of the photos this week. This picture perfectly captures my daughters' personalities. Tootle is practically jumping out of the picture; she is exuberant and joyful and lives life large. She keeps me entertained, and I marvel at her strength of character and leadership traits. Doodle is more reserved, refined, and cautious. Her smile is the one that makes a teacher, or a mom or a friend, feel better when they are having a bad day. She is generous, and had no problem sharing the swing with her sister when she asked. I'm so grateful that my girls are so different; it makes life so much more interesting.