Four years ago today, Tootle completed our family in a civil affairs office in Hangzhou. She loves hearing about how she peed on me during the cab ride back to the hotel. She was so scared; I can't imagine being an almost three year old and being handed over to strangers who look and talk funny. Within an hour, Tootle was laughing and smiling as she blew bubbles and played with her sister. Within 1.5 hours, we were taking a required photo and Tootle didn't want to cooperate at all. Within two hours, we were on a shopping expedition to find new shoes for Tootle (pink sneakers that Tootle didn't want to take off for days). Life hasn't slowed down since then. Tonight, after a busy day of soccer and end of school year activities (Tootle saw Up with her teacher, an honor she won by being one of the highest bidder in the school's silent auction), I picked up Chinese food to celebrate this wonderful occasion. In six days my baby turns 7. It seems like the next time I blink, she'll be 11.
The day of the big race that Doodle and her friends have trained for finally arrived--an overcast, warm, muggy morning. Doing warmups with a little help from friends... The start line. Doodle was in back of about 500 other runners and I wondered if I would see her as she got started.
Aah, there she is...
And she spots her cheering sister...
Nearing the finish line with our neighbor C...
Posing with her medal... A few hours later, Doodle played a tough soccer game. Her team, three of whom had run the 5K, won, 4-3. To say that I'm proud of my girl would be an understatement.
Tootle bridged from Daisies to Brownies this week. She is very excited about being a Brownie and has decided that she will have to eat a lot more brownie desserts this year. While the event was held at a park with a bridge, the ceremony was moved indoors because of rain.
Last week I accompanied Doodle and her fellow 5th graders on an overnight field trip to Williamsburg and Jamestown. I feel like I'm still recovering from it; I've been wiped out all week. I shared a room with Doodle and three of her friends: they got the two double beds and I slept on the chair that folded out into a cot. Fifth graders have a lot of energy as well as a lot of curiosity about our nation's history. It makes for a good combination; I can't wait to go with Tootle in four years.
P.S. The girls are holding hands in the photo at top right because they are headed to hear nighttime ghost stories. They sat through three stories about vampires, cannibals, and pirates clutching each others' hands, but they stayed. A few kids were so terrified that they had to wait outside.
When Tootle wakes up earlier than everyone else on weekends she often quietly reads books. On Saturday she decided to read Family Fun magazine and became fixated on a feature about snowman fruit kabobs. I told her we could make them once we had all the ingredients, and that night she helped me to make them as a festive accompaniment to The Pioneer Woman's yummy Parmesan crusted chicken. Tootle liked her kabob so much that she made another one for breakfast the next morning. This time she substituted bananas for pineapples, giving her creation a tropical more seasonally appropriate feel.
I knew it was only a matter of days before the swine flu virus hit close to home. There are too many people in our area who travel internationally for us to remain insulated. Yesterday afternoon Doodle got a call from one of her friends with the news that a parent in our middle school probably has swine flu. Doodle and her friend who was hanging out at our house freaked out a bit before I reminded them that the sick person was not a student and that they had no reason to be alarmed. I filed this report under rumor until this morning's news included a bulletin that a student at this school was asked to stay home today because his or her father, a World Bank employee, had become sick after returning from Mexico.
Poor Doodle missed school on Tuesday because of her allergy-induced cough. When she returned to school on Wednesday, her teacher actually asked her if she has swine flu. Doodle seemed somewhat better on Wednesday and Thursday, but this morning she woke up with pink eye. A trip to the doctor revealed that she has a contagious eye infection and a sinus infection. Doodle will be on antibiotics and can't be around other people for two days; it's a good thing that her birthday party isn't for a few weeks. I immediately e-mailed her teacher so she wouldn't spend the weekend worrying that one of her students has H1N1. Sigh.
Our soccer program just sent an e-mail indicating that all games are on as scheduled. Yeah, even if Doodle will miss hers. The organization did advise a few precautions, such as keeping kids home who are sick and replacing the post game handshake with a post game cheer or round of applause for the opposition. I hope the sensible approach prevails over mass hysteria.