May 31, 2005

Because of memorial day, we had a three-day weekend. The thought of the time I have at hand makes me exhale in relief. Still Emma sometimes worried that I went to work. She looked around and
cried "Mommy ban-ban (Mommy went to work)..." (I am worried if she could handle the coming year that she has to live without me. I am also worried if she indeed has adapted her life in China, will she forget about me? Will she lose the attachment she has now for me?)

We had a three beautiful day, bright sunshine, tender breeze, lush greens everywhere, perfect for out walking, sightseeing, picture taking, swing and slide. So glad we do not have to be prisoners of winter.

We went out. We did not do much. The first day we went out shopping. Mom and dad and Emma are leaving. So we hunted for something to buy so they would not return empty-handed. It was disappointing since we could not find anything worth taking home. What does America produce except the universal Hamburger? The second day we went out to do laundry, then drove around to get Emma DVDs and books. On the third day, mom, dad and I stayed home in the afternoon while Emma took her long lap, in the morning we took her out to the little park by the lake. We met a little Chinese baby, adopted by an American couple. Emma did not show much interest. My mom and I observed that when Emma was with little babies or younger toddlers, she seemed to be quiet. In the evening, we played in the beach
...

Three day weekend

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Because of memorial day, we had a three-day weekend. The thought of the time I have at hand makes me exhale in relief. Still Emma sometimes worried that I went to work. She looked around and
cried "Mommy ban-ban (Mommy went to work)..." (I am worried if she could handle the coming year that she has to live without me. I am also worried if she indeed has adapted her life in China, will she forget about me? Will she lose the attachment she has now for me?)

We had a three beautiful day, bright sunshine, tender breeze, lush greens everywhere, perfect for out walking, sightseeing, picture taking, swing and slide. So glad we do not have to be prisoners of winter.

We went out. We did not do much. The first day we went out shopping. Mom and dad and Emma are leaving. So we hunted for something to buy so they would not return empty-handed. It was disappointing since we could not find anything worth taking home. What does America produce except the universal Hamburger? The second day we went out to do laundry, then drove around to get Emma DVDs and books. On the third day, mom, dad and I stayed home in the afternoon while Emma took her long lap, in the morning we took her out to the little park by the lake. We met a little Chinese baby, adopted by an American couple. Emma did not show much interest. My mom and I observed that when Emma was with little babies or younger toddlers, she seemed to be quiet. In the evening, we played in the beach
...

Tuesday, May 31, 2005
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May 29, 2005

Emma in a hammockEmma loves to draw. Sometimes we teach her to draw a circle. We say "Emma, let's draw a sun". Then she draws a circle, not very round, and most of the times her circles do not close. We say "Emma let's add sun rays". She then draws long long wavy lines across her circles while mumbling "sun rays. sun rays". I think her interest in reading is somewhat fading, but for the past few months, she has kept drawing something everyday. I am glad.

Draw a big sun

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Emma in a hammockEmma loves to draw. Sometimes we teach her to draw a circle. We say "Emma, let's draw a sun". Then she draws a circle, not very round, and most of the times her circles do not close. We say "Emma let's add sun rays". She then draws long long wavy lines across her circles while mumbling "sun rays. sun rays". I think her interest in reading is somewhat fading, but for the past few months, she has kept drawing something everyday. I am glad.

Sunday, May 29, 2005
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May 23, 2005

I have been avoid TV for Emma's sake. When Emma was about 3 months old, I heard from radio (NPR) that children who are exposed to TV too early too much would most likely develop ADHD and kids younger than 3 are not supposed to have any TV at all. I was startled and then dutifully followed the advice. Along the way, somehow sometimes neighbors and colleagues dismisses the TV-no-good point. They think TV has its educational value and they give me examples. They sounded also reasonable, but I kept my long-held view that TV is mostly trash and tends to be overstimulating therefore harmful to babies (think of the bombardment of sounds and visuals). Video games are also considered even more harmful, too intense and stimulating.

However recently there came out a book titled "Every bad is good for you", then there are favorable reviews in Time and "The New Yorker" offering serious arguments that popular cultures actually have smarted us up instead of dumbing us down. Video games are so intelligent, complex, compelling that gamers actually benefit from them. Similarly TV plots are so multithreaded, insightful and sharp (talking about good TV only, like the Simpsons), Children actually can learn social skills ...

I do not know. Should I allow Emma or even encourage her to watch TV and play games?

TV or not?

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I have been avoid TV for Emma's sake. When Emma was about 3 months old, I heard from radio (NPR) that children who are exposed to TV too early too much would most likely develop ADHD and kids younger than 3 are not supposed to have any TV at all. I was startled and then dutifully followed the advice. Along the way, somehow sometimes neighbors and colleagues dismisses the TV-no-good point. They think TV has its educational value and they give me examples. They sounded also reasonable, but I kept my long-held view that TV is mostly trash and tends to be overstimulating therefore harmful to babies (think of the bombardment of sounds and visuals). Video games are also considered even more harmful, too intense and stimulating.

However recently there came out a book titled "Every bad is good for you", then there are favorable reviews in Time and "The New Yorker" offering serious arguments that popular cultures actually have smarted us up instead of dumbing us down. Video games are so intelligent, complex, compelling that gamers actually benefit from them. Similarly TV plots are so multithreaded, insightful and sharp (talking about good TV only, like the Simpsons), Children actually can learn social skills ...

I do not know. Should I allow Emma or even encourage her to watch TV and play games?

Monday, May 23, 2005
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May 13, 2005

Emma goes not sleep every night around 10pm (aren't babies supposed to sleep early and get up early?) She sleeps in our bed with Leo and Me (another habit that is so not-good).

A little after 9 pm, we give Emma a bottle of milk. Generally she takes the milk, climbs up to bed, and drinks it all. Then she looks around and sees that there is still light in the living room, where my mom and dad are still busy with something. She quickly gets off bed, goes to the living room and plays various things. We would have to cajole her back to bed with a book or two. Her favorite bed book is a giant book about Peter Rabbit and other animals, like mice, squirrel. She always refers to the book as "mice with cookies". So when she gets back to bed, we starts reading, or she simply quickly turns pages, or she plays peek-a-boo. Then later she would think about her bears, bunnies, babies, she would get off bed again to fetch them. Back with an armful of stuff animals (it often takes her two or three trips), she gently place them in bed, cover them up, or ask me to take care of them, then probably around 10, we turn off the lights and Emma finally falls into sleep.

How Emma goes to sleep every night?

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Emma goes not sleep every night around 10pm (aren't babies supposed to sleep early and get up early?) She sleeps in our bed with Leo and Me (another habit that is so not-good).

A little after 9 pm, we give Emma a bottle of milk. Generally she takes the milk, climbs up to bed, and drinks it all. Then she looks around and sees that there is still light in the living room, where my mom and dad are still busy with something. She quickly gets off bed, goes to the living room and plays various things. We would have to cajole her back to bed with a book or two. Her favorite bed book is a giant book about Peter Rabbit and other animals, like mice, squirrel. She always refers to the book as "mice with cookies". So when she gets back to bed, we starts reading, or she simply quickly turns pages, or she plays peek-a-boo. Then later she would think about her bears, bunnies, babies, she would get off bed again to fetch them. Back with an armful of stuff animals (it often takes her two or three trips), she gently place them in bed, cover them up, or ask me to take care of them, then probably around 10, we turn off the lights and Emma finally falls into sleep.

Friday, May 13, 2005
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May 10, 2005

Saturday evening, we took Emma to Mary Beth's party (MB looks thinner and pale, tall and elegant). Looking at her stylish and comfortable apartment, I felt bad about my own stripped-outedly less-than-simple apartment. Leo and I simply do not have the enthusiasm or guts to decorate the rooms. We simply do not know how.

Emma felt right at home. She found her little corner where MB kept toys, books, two bottles of playdough and various other things for her and played right away. Somehow she seemed that she had forgotten about Emily, she had some sort of puzzled look when she looked at MB too. As more and more people came and started crowding the place, she walked her way here and there through the crowds, stuffing candies and cookies into her mouth. Later she found a big friend Derby(?), a little girl with blonde hair. So interested by her, she watched her for a long time, later as she got a little more familiar, she laughed and pointed at Derby and kept saying: "baby, how cute!" Her highest form of approval.

MB's birthday party

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Saturday evening, we took Emma to Mary Beth's party (MB looks thinner and pale, tall and elegant). Looking at her stylish and comfortable apartment, I felt bad about my own stripped-outedly less-than-simple apartment. Leo and I simply do not have the enthusiasm or guts to decorate the rooms. We simply do not know how.

Emma felt right at home. She found her little corner where MB kept toys, books, two bottles of playdough and various other things for her and played right away. Somehow she seemed that she had forgotten about Emily, she had some sort of puzzled look when she looked at MB too. As more and more people came and started crowding the place, she walked her way here and there through the crowds, stuffing candies and cookies into her mouth. Later she found a big friend Derby(?), a little girl with blonde hair. So interested by her, she watched her for a long time, later as she got a little more familiar, she laughed and pointed at Derby and kept saying: "baby, how cute!" Her highest form of approval.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005
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May 04, 2005

We have 5 people, 3 generation in the same house/apartment, under the same roof. Each generation has different focus. All of us use computers every day, for Leo and I that was an old die-hard habit, even though I found it less and less interesting. For my parents and Emma, it was a source of forever curiosity. My parents, especially my mom, always asks all kinds of questions, like how you put music there? how you get TV programs out from a computer? What is a floppy disk? How you open a word document? How can I use web browser? Emma's does not ask these intelligent questions, she goes directly into actions. She punches our computers, sometimes dislocating one or two keys out of the keyboard. Leo and I spend quite some time on the computer, reading news and aimlessly serfing. My parents love to read news about China, especially this chairman of chinese national party from Taiwain. Emma loves music, she is always facinated by the pshychodelic kind of varing images generated by Windows Media Player while playing music. I love music too, but I do not know if these kind of images are good for babies.

Computer and Us

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We have 5 people, 3 generation in the same house/apartment, under the same roof. Each generation has different focus. All of us use computers every day, for Leo and I that was an old die-hard habit, even though I found it less and less interesting. For my parents and Emma, it was a source of forever curiosity. My parents, especially my mom, always asks all kinds of questions, like how you put music there? how you get TV programs out from a computer? What is a floppy disk? How you open a word document? How can I use web browser? Emma's does not ask these intelligent questions, she goes directly into actions. She punches our computers, sometimes dislocating one or two keys out of the keyboard. Leo and I spend quite some time on the computer, reading news and aimlessly serfing. My parents love to read news about China, especially this chairman of chinese national party from Taiwain. Emma loves music, she is always facinated by the pshychodelic kind of varing images generated by Windows Media Player while playing music. I love music too, but I do not know if these kind of images are good for babies.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005
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May 02, 2005

Saturday we drove south to MSI. We also made a detour to the univseristy of chicago on our way. The rain unexpectedly started falling, then we only sat in the car while I showed my parents (and Emma) the places once I frequented (in often shifted admirations and doubts). Grass (and trees) was greener on this side of chicago. UC was so beautiful and serene and classy. MSI was an eye-opener, even though I have been there before a couple of times, I felt everything was still so different and exciting. I loved the drawing robots and house-building twin robots. And Emma? She loved cows and phones scattered everywhere. She never failed to pick up a phone and seriously listen to it.

Sunday we went to visit Liu Jin's family at UIC. There we, three generations, 3 babies (age 1, 1.5 and 2), 8 adults, crowded together and chatted. My parents and theirs were talking about visas and taking all these little babies back to China. Emma and Leo played, occasionally together. Leo was the active and predominant one, he raced and jumped from room to room, he offered his skills in reciting poems and reading alphabets, Emma was the gentle, quiet and shy little darling girl. Unlike at home, where she was the center of attention, where she talks a lot and does a million things, here she just quietly watching, tentatively played the varous toys of Leo's. I marvelled at little leo's ruthless energy, but my heart went out to my little Emma.
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Saturday we drove south to MSI. We also made a detour to the univseristy of chicago on our way. The rain unexpectedly started falling, then we only sat in the car while I showed my parents (and Emma) the places once I frequented (in often shifted admirations and doubts). Grass (and trees) was greener on this side of chicago. UC was so beautiful and serene and classy. MSI was an eye-opener, even though I have been there before a couple of times, I felt everything was still so different and exciting. I loved the drawing robots and house-building twin robots. And Emma? She loved cows and phones scattered everywhere. She never failed to pick up a phone and seriously listen to it.

Sunday we went to visit Liu Jin's family at UIC. There we, three generations, 3 babies (age 1, 1.5 and 2), 8 adults, crowded together and chatted. My parents and theirs were talking about visas and taking all these little babies back to China. Emma and Leo played, occasionally together. Leo was the active and predominant one, he raced and jumped from room to room, he offered his skills in reciting poems and reading alphabets, Emma was the gentle, quiet and shy little darling girl. Unlike at home, where she was the center of attention, where she talks a lot and does a million things, here she just quietly watching, tentatively played the varous toys of Leo's. I marvelled at little leo's ruthless energy, but my heart went out to my little Emma.

Monday, May 02, 2005
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