Thursday, December 27, 2012

Post-Xmas Pictures 2012

Visited her grandparents in Burnsville today; on the way back we stopped by the airport to watch airplanes for a while, and she got her picture taken at one of the holiday displays they have there.
And we had lunch at Culver's in West St. Paul, next to Lowe's where we got paint to do our living room over Xmas break.  She's showing off her Oreo ice cream cake she got as part of her kids' meal!  (She needed a little help to finish it.)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Costume Parade!

Every Halloween, Yinghua Academy celebrates the holiday with a "literary character costume parade." Kids may dress up - but need to bring the book with the character they're portraying.

Wynn came as Pippi Longstockings - she fell in love with the character after seeing her in a play at the Children's Theater earlier this year!

Totally digging that NASA spacesuit...

Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Hallo-wynn!

Yesterday we carved some of the pumpkins Wynn grew this summer into spooky jack-o-lanterns!  Orange lights on our front porch and the full moon rising up over the house make for a haunting scene! 
The pumpkin on the right got chewed up somewhat by squirrels, so we incorporated the "scars" into its face for extra scariness!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Swimming - Wynn takes a dive!

Wynn was introduced to diving at her swim lesson yesterday morning!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Book recommendation: Home is a Roof Over a Pig

I recently finished reading an interesting new book, Home is a Roof Over a Pig, by Aminta Arrington.  She's also a blogger, a teacher, and an adoptive parent of a girl from China.

Instead of raising her youngest child through a "normal American life", however, she and her husband and their other two school-age siblings moved to China not long after the adoption.  It's an interesting twist on addressing the desire by adoptive parents to not let a child's birth culture slip away, and pretty gutsy.  The book is a fascinating read - I've posted a full review at -  and do recommend it especially for other families who are in the China adoption track.

Will we eventually move overseas?  Wynn's in a great school, and is getting lots of Chinese acculturation there.  (She doesn't even notice anymore when we're around Chinese families speaking Mandarin in places like IKEA ... it's completely normal to her.  Also, this happens a lot more now that we're living in the city...)  But, Yinghua only goes to 8th grade.  And Ann and I may want to do new things with our careers, too. (And jinkies, we just moved into this new house!) So, not today and not for a while. But it may happen, and this book gives us some insights into what that kind of transition might look like.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cool handmade Asian-pattern dress!

Grandma Barb made this dress for Wynn - it's lined, so perfect for these Fall days. The inspiration is more Korean than Chinese, but we love all East Asian design and fashion, and cute is cute!

She wore this with leggings to last night's Children's Theater play. Later on this winter, she'll put a long-sleeve shirt underneath too - this is a dress that will get a lot of use!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My, how she's grown!

Today we went through the closets to switch out from summer clothes to winter ... lots of Wynn's tops and bottoms that she has been wearing this summer will be much too small come next springtime & those will get donated. She had to try on quite a few clothes today to see what of last year's items still fit. (She doesn't care for doing that...)

There are a few pieces we'll hold on to, of course - this was the pajama jumper she wore in her first year with us!  Wynn's doubled in height in the past five years!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Swimmin' Wynn

Through 2012 Wynn has been taking swimming lessons through the local YMCA and making really nice progress.  It's good exercise, a smart safety skill for living here in the Northland, and helps her learn in a fun way that she can make her body perform gracefully with attention and practice.

For this session there are five kids in her class - she's the youngest and shortest - but already swimming faster than all but one of them.  :)

She's at the transition point now where she really has to think about breathing and arm movement while keeping her face in the water - in a few weeks we hope it'll come automatically for her.

Friday, October 12, 2012

School Photo Day 2

Here's what I sent her to school in for picture day:

Shadow wanted to get in on the action - he always wants to participate in whatever his girl is doing.

School Photo Day

We practiced last night on poses NOT to do:

Monday, September 3, 2012

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Minnesota State Fair - 2012 Visit #3

The Fair has proven to be a mighty good and considerate neighbor during its run, and each time we approach its gates the excitement level only goes up!  We made our third trek there as a family on Saturday (Ann & I had actually gone there the night before, too, to see the Jeremy Messersmith / Dessa / Jayhawks / Semisonic concert...)  and Uncle Paul came along this time too (because he's always good for going on the rides.)

This time we had a later roll-out - walking over about 9:30 am.

Up on Machinery Hill the Mr. Bubble people have a giant bubble pit.  KID MAGNET.

As the kids got out, most of the parents' reactions were of the "oh, you're all dirty" variety.  Really?  Your child is actually the opposite of dirty!
Taking a hydration break

Goofy Gelato Girls
I tried the Fried Snickers Bar ... for $4 it was about what I expected, not magnificent but not unsatisfying. If you want to try it, you should (they have fried Reese's Cups and Milky Way too)

She didn't want to go on the Giant Slide, but the River Raft Ride was OK ... she went with Ann & Paul (I knew my back wouldn't care for it.)  The grownups got pretty drenched but Wynn was sheltered.  The ride actually broke just as they were finishing...
There are actually healthy snacks at the Fair - the peach was deliciously juicy
Most of the people in the DFL booth fell over laughing when she struck this pose with President Obama
Gotta use up those Kidway tickets... getting her ride on with the flying elephants
Getting strapped in to the Kite Flyer ride
Holding on tight but having a blast as she flies around on her tummy

Handling all that Fair swag takes a lot of effort!  Balloon, chicken hat, inflatable unicorn...

We got back home about 1:30 in the afternoon ... by 2:00 we were in the backyard pool:
"Come in, Baba!  (I did...)
 And after that, many naps were taken. Altogether a most awesome day.