Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree

On Monday I decided to take down our Christmas decorations a bit earlier than usual. The next evening we needed a Christmas tree fix so we headed to downtown DC on a beautiful balmy night to see the National Christmas Tree. Tootle was most impressed by the trains that ran around the base of the tree. Doodle liked the individual trees for each state and snapping pictures. They both liked the yule log and the Starbucks hot chocolate that I bought to keep their hands and tummies warm. The highlight of the evening may have been the musical poles that we found as we strolled back to the car (a note sounds when you touch a pole). If it were up to the girls, they would have stayed there making music for hours.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Catching Up

We've been visiting relatives in Pennsylvania (and everyone but me got to try out new suitcases). Now we're home getting the house back in order. I have to sneak into work for a few hours on Tuesday but otherwise I'll be home with the girls all week. Both girls got flip video cameras and digital cameras for Christmas, and they've been busy producing a planned web show (inspired by i Carley, I'm sure). The girls also got a few Wii and Nintendo DS games, so they're playing games when they're not in production. And for those few moments when they can relax, fuzzy butterfly chairs from Nana. It's a wonderful life.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ten Years

On December 13, 1998, I became a mom in the hallway of the Lakeside Hotel in Fuzhou, Fujian, when I held Long Fuzhong in my arms for the first time. Although she had been sobbing in her caretaker's arms only a minute earlier, she calmly looked me in the eye and appraised me. With that look, I knew that all would be well. As we became acquainted over the next few days, Doodle began to show me parts of her personality that are still much in evidence today: her joy, her musicality, her humor. I was told that the translation of Fuzhong is "blessing to all." Doodle lives up to that name everyday. I'm shocked that 10 years have passed so rapidly. I want to slow down time so that the next 10 don't go by as rapidly. Today as we marked this momentous day, we took time to enjoy the little things: decorating the Christmas tree, shopping for a few presents, riding bikes, baking brownies, and having dinner at a favorite restaurant. Happy Forever Family Day, Doodle. I'm so proud of the young woman you are becoming, but I still don't want you to grow up too fast.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Eight Favorite Things Tag

Beverly at Motherhood and Other Ramblings tagged me for an 8 things meme:

8 Favorite TV Shows:
  • Grey's Anatomy
  • Top Chef
  • The Amazing Race
  • Project Runway
  • 60 Minutes
  • Suite Life of Zack and Cody (my list ends at the first 5, but I end up watching the last 3 a lot)
  • Wizards of Waverly Place
  • Cory in the House

8 Things I Look Forward To:

  • Celebrating 10 years with Doodle tomorrow
  • All the leaves being off the oak tree next door so I can stop raking (they all come into our yard)
  • Taking a week off work over the holidays
  • Sleep
  • Playing Blockus with the girls
  • Cleaning out the garage so I can park my car in it again
  • Watching the wonder of the kids' faces when they come down the stairs on Christmas morning
  • First snow of the season
8 Things On My Wish List:
  • GPS
  • Camera lens
  • A less stress free life for Doodle
  • Magic weight loss
  • Fewer sinus infections for Tootle
  • More developed youth program at church
  • Lower bills
  • Winning lottery ticket (I'm part of a group of 8 coworkers who play Powerball; our highest winnings in over a year: $7)
8 Things I Did Yesterday:
  • Worked through lunch and spent most of the day in meetings
  • Sent e-mail to Tootle's teacher about a gingerbread house situation
  • Moved things around in the living room to make way for the Christmas tree
  • Delivered dinner to a friend who just had surgery
  • Ordered a present for Nana online
  • Told Doodle how proud I am of how well she is handling stress this week
  • Made final arrangements for a friend of Doodle's to sleep over tonight (it's midnight and they're still awake)
  • Starting working on getting our Christmas card out
8 Favorite Restaurants:
  • Meiwah
  • Foong Lin
  • Oriental East (dim sum)
  • Macaroni Grill
  • Olive Garden
  • Cosi
  • Baja Fresh
  • California Pizza Kitchen

I need to make sure two 10 year olds are in bed so I'm going to skip tagging 8 others. If you're reading this and want to play along, please do.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ted E. Bear

This week Tootle came home from school with a tote bag stuffed full with a teddy bear, a book, and a journal. Ted E. Bear is visiting us for the week and Tootle is charged with writing about his adventures in the journal. Thus far, Ted has helped Tootle light our Christmas count down candle, read with Tootle, and enjoyed Doodle's winter concert (more on that later). We have big plans for Ted for the rest of the week, including securing his help in decorating the Christmas tree.
The book in the bag, I'll Read to You, You Read to Me, is based on a clever concept. The book is made up of a series of two page short stories with purple text on the left, red text on the right, and blue text in the middle. The child reads the text on one side and the parent reads the words on the other side, with both reading the text in the middle. Tootle and I are having a blast reading the stories; thus far our favorite is about a snowman.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Facebook, or Brave New World

I joined Facebook early this year to help Love without Boundaries win $50,000 in the Facebook Challenge. LWB signed up more than 7,000 people and collected the grand prize. And now I had a Facebook page sitting there, empty and friendless. I started to get e-mails from real-life friends who wanted to "friend me" but I didn't really have the time to understand it all so I ignored the requests that trickled in. Last week I spent an afternoon with some nonprofit association colleagues discussing the future of publications (a bleak future for someone who loves the printed word where everything is free and online) and learned that several of their employers had set up Facebook accounts as placeholders for future use as their members become younger and more tech savvy. The very next day I got a friend request from one of my employer's members (a guy who is in his 50s), so I decided that it was time to take action. I accepted the friend requests that had piled up and started to send out requests to friends and colleagues. I uploaded a picture of the girls, spruced up my profile, and started exchanging messages with former coworkers whom I've lost touch with. And now I'm stuck. I haven't had the time to figure out how I post news items and I'm not sure if the Wall is the same thing. Plus, I'm unsure about how to deal with the mix of friends and work-related people/customers. I don't want to link to my blog there because I'm not sure if I want my current coworkers and customers to know about it in case I ever want to vent about them. Is there a Facebook for Dummies? Has anyone figured this all out?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Dear Santa

Tootle's letter to the jolly guy in red, written on the postcard that we picked up at Macy's.