February 19, 2007

After the pinky Valentine, now comes the biggest holiday for all Chinese, the Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year. At least for all Chinese in China, they get a long stretch of days off (5 days, 10 days?), 24/7 parties, red envelops for kids and seniors, fire crackers, fire works, and lots and lots of sin food.

Not for me though. In America, we do not get any days off. Nor do I mind. I cannot think of any way to celebrate either other than call home and say: "Hello, Happy New Year!" Or "Xin Nian Hao" Or "Gong Xi Fa Cai". Even that was not easy. For a whole two days, all circuits route to China are congested.

Maybe some special foods to celebrate. As cakes for birthday, turkeys for thansgiving? But what is the special food for the Chinese New Year? I cannot even say. oh, maybe the spicy and saucy SiChuan sausages my mom dutifully made every year. Or the very spicy, colorful "Keshui Chicken". And yes, dumplings. So we had dumplings.

Gong Xi Fa Cai. Wish you a very prosperious year of pig.

(And I will have a piggy baby for sure).

Gong Xi Fa Cai

Posted by Xun  |  2 comments

After the pinky Valentine, now comes the biggest holiday for all Chinese, the Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year. At least for all Chinese in China, they get a long stretch of days off (5 days, 10 days?), 24/7 parties, red envelops for kids and seniors, fire crackers, fire works, and lots and lots of sin food.

Not for me though. In America, we do not get any days off. Nor do I mind. I cannot think of any way to celebrate either other than call home and say: "Hello, Happy New Year!" Or "Xin Nian Hao" Or "Gong Xi Fa Cai". Even that was not easy. For a whole two days, all circuits route to China are congested.

Maybe some special foods to celebrate. As cakes for birthday, turkeys for thansgiving? But what is the special food for the Chinese New Year? I cannot even say. oh, maybe the spicy and saucy SiChuan sausages my mom dutifully made every year. Or the very spicy, colorful "Keshui Chicken". And yes, dumplings. So we had dumplings.

Gong Xi Fa Cai. Wish you a very prosperious year of pig.

(And I will have a piggy baby for sure).

Monday, February 19, 2007
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February 15, 2007

Everyday, I take Emma to school around 8 am, then pick her up around 6 pm. Say goodbye to her in the morning, to her teachers in the afternoon. Everyday, there is a slip of paper telling me what she eats, how long she sleeps. Almost everyday Emma proudly and excitedly brings home some "art work" stuffed in envelops. She almost always seems happy.

So time goes.

However when I really think, I find I have no clue what Emma does everyday at school (Isn't this the same with everyone else? When I was little, I was greatly puzzled by what my mom did at work).

My fault! Never been chatty, I seldom chat with her teacher about her daily progress/behavior. Occasionally I ask, they always smile and say "Good!" (I guess teachers would never say a bad thing about your child). Always hurry for home, I rarely pay much attention to their daily activities posted on the white board outside of their classroom.

Anyway, finally I decided to learn, at least for a few days. Taking a shortcut, I took some pictures of the daily activity board. Here they are:

Daily Activities; 2/9/2007

Daily Activities; 2/8/2007

Daily Activities; 2/7/2007


Daily Activities; 2/6/2007


So what do Emma and other kids (called adventurers) do everyday? Other than about 2 hours' nap time, 1 to 1.5 hour meal time and snack time, 0.5 hour's gym time or physical time, 1 to 2 hour circle time (dancing and singing and stories and reading). They almost always do:
"Art" (all kinds of stickers, all shapes of brushes, and all sorts of gooey gooey paints)
Free play (trains, corn mills, blocks, ...)
Some thematic group time, mostly seasonal, winter about snow, spring about trees, summer about fruits, fall about fallen leaves; this month they focus on families;

...

All nice and cute.

But I somehow wish there is more. Somehow more intellectually stimulating.
school

What does Emma do everyday?

Posted by Xun  |  3 comments

Everyday, I take Emma to school around 8 am, then pick her up around 6 pm. Say goodbye to her in the morning, to her teachers in the afternoon. Everyday, there is a slip of paper telling me what she eats, how long she sleeps. Almost everyday Emma proudly and excitedly brings home some "art work" stuffed in envelops. She almost always seems happy.

So time goes.

However when I really think, I find I have no clue what Emma does everyday at school (Isn't this the same with everyone else? When I was little, I was greatly puzzled by what my mom did at work).

My fault! Never been chatty, I seldom chat with her teacher about her daily progress/behavior. Occasionally I ask, they always smile and say "Good!" (I guess teachers would never say a bad thing about your child). Always hurry for home, I rarely pay much attention to their daily activities posted on the white board outside of their classroom.

Anyway, finally I decided to learn, at least for a few days. Taking a shortcut, I took some pictures of the daily activity board. Here they are:

Daily Activities; 2/9/2007

Daily Activities; 2/8/2007

Daily Activities; 2/7/2007


Daily Activities; 2/6/2007


So what do Emma and other kids (called adventurers) do everyday? Other than about 2 hours' nap time, 1 to 1.5 hour meal time and snack time, 0.5 hour's gym time or physical time, 1 to 2 hour circle time (dancing and singing and stories and reading). They almost always do:
"Art" (all kinds of stickers, all shapes of brushes, and all sorts of gooey gooey paints)
Free play (trains, corn mills, blocks, ...)
Some thematic group time, mostly seasonal, winter about snow, spring about trees, summer about fruits, fall about fallen leaves; this month they focus on families;

...

All nice and cute.

But I somehow wish there is more. Somehow more intellectually stimulating.

Thursday, February 15, 2007
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February 12, 2007

Sometimes Emma and I talk about how to take care of the new baby, her sister who is due to come out in early May. Some little plans have trickled out from the conversations:

1. Sleep with the baby and hug her (so Emma herself does not have to sleep on the top level of a double bed.)
2. Using bottles to feed the baby. Breastfeeding is not conceivable for her, so she definitely will use cow milk. Soy milk is fine too.
3. Change diapers for the baby.
4. Save a big honey melon for the baby.
5. Teach the baby to use a tiny baby spoon.
6. She promised to Share her toys with the baby.

She also has promised a lot of other things. I was so amused at the moment, but I forgot soon after.

It is fun to talk about the baby now. But I will be holding my breath to see if she would become a little jealousy-driven monster after the baby is born. One-child policy does have some rationales.
plan

A plan to take care of a new baby

Posted by Xun  |  No comments

Sometimes Emma and I talk about how to take care of the new baby, her sister who is due to come out in early May. Some little plans have trickled out from the conversations:

1. Sleep with the baby and hug her (so Emma herself does not have to sleep on the top level of a double bed.)
2. Using bottles to feed the baby. Breastfeeding is not conceivable for her, so she definitely will use cow milk. Soy milk is fine too.
3. Change diapers for the baby.
4. Save a big honey melon for the baby.
5. Teach the baby to use a tiny baby spoon.
6. She promised to Share her toys with the baby.

She also has promised a lot of other things. I was so amused at the moment, but I forgot soon after.

It is fun to talk about the baby now. But I will be holding my breath to see if she would become a little jealousy-driven monster after the baby is born. One-child policy does have some rationales.

Monday, February 12, 2007
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February 09, 2007


I sometimes saw commerials about the Blue Man Group, in which blue sparkles splash away like fireworks raining from sky. I sometimes saw the Blue Man Group featured in a big bus ads and was very intrigued by the deep blue color of their faces and hands. In my memory, they are strange blue men blue from head to toe, inside out.

So when I learned that they would give a live performance at the Children's museum I was very excited. Emma was intrigued and excited too because of me. So on Friday afternoon, we rushed to see the Blue Man's Group.

What a rush! After a long congestion in traffic, Leo almost raced the car to the Children's museum.

Still, we missed the live performance. Still, when we got there, there were a sea of people engulfing the three Blue Blue men, who stayed for those hungry for their pictures. So I shouldered Emma and painstakingly inched toward them.

They were so blue! Their faces are deep shinning blue, and their hands are blue too. I guessed they were coated with a layer of blue paint. However, they were dressed in black (neck-high T-shirt) rather than blue. So they were not totally blue as I thought.

The blue men quickly left. Emma was terribly excited and intrigued. Why blue? Is there a purple man? Red man? White man? Yellow man?

We lingered a while, pounding/smashing on all sorts of music engines / pipes and machines. Making blue waves, supposedly.

The Blue Man Group

Posted by Xun  |  No comments


I sometimes saw commerials about the Blue Man Group, in which blue sparkles splash away like fireworks raining from sky. I sometimes saw the Blue Man Group featured in a big bus ads and was very intrigued by the deep blue color of their faces and hands. In my memory, they are strange blue men blue from head to toe, inside out.

So when I learned that they would give a live performance at the Children's museum I was very excited. Emma was intrigued and excited too because of me. So on Friday afternoon, we rushed to see the Blue Man's Group.

What a rush! After a long congestion in traffic, Leo almost raced the car to the Children's museum.

Still, we missed the live performance. Still, when we got there, there were a sea of people engulfing the three Blue Blue men, who stayed for those hungry for their pictures. So I shouldered Emma and painstakingly inched toward them.

They were so blue! Their faces are deep shinning blue, and their hands are blue too. I guessed they were coated with a layer of blue paint. However, they were dressed in black (neck-high T-shirt) rather than blue. So they were not totally blue as I thought.

The blue men quickly left. Emma was terribly excited and intrigued. Why blue? Is there a purple man? Red man? White man? Yellow man?

We lingered a while, pounding/smashing on all sorts of music engines / pipes and machines. Making blue waves, supposedly.

Friday, February 09, 2007
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February 07, 2007

They do "Wheels on the bus go round and round" every time in the class, however, the funny thing with this time was that some kids were more interested in kissing and hugging Emma and running around than anything else.



Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star


Three little monkeys jumping on the bed


I love you, You love me
finger play

More finger plays, even cuter

Posted by Xun  |  No comments

They do "Wheels on the bus go round and round" every time in the class, however, the funny thing with this time was that some kids were more interested in kissing and hugging Emma and running around than anything else.



Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star


Three little monkeys jumping on the bed


I love you, You love me

Wednesday, February 07, 2007
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February 06, 2007

Emma is a special kid. My family in China and my in-law's family are always full of fond memories of her. How articulate she is, how sweet, how smart! (Frankly, I do not think Emma is remarkably smart. She is allright, but her intelligence probably cannot send her to Harvard)

My family always like to tell a story like such: "We tried to teach Emma some poems, but she never seemed to pay attention at all. She just played or did whatever while we were reciting thoese poems. However, a few days later, without any pretext, she started reciting those poems herself. Wow"

That is how Emma learns new things. This happens again and again, with language, with numbers, with computer, with dancing.

When she just went to her preschool, she barely knew one word in English. So she kept her silence, making sounds only when she was singing. Then two months later, she started to talk away in English as other kids. We were all amazed. "Her language just flourished", her teacher said.

So it happened with numbers. In the beginning she seemed so clueless, then suddenly she could count to 10. So with dancing. She sat through the first two dance lessons, unwilling to make a single move. Then she started to dance, so good, so cute.

So observant.

Silence is gold.
silence

Silence is gold

Posted by Xun  |  2 comments

Emma is a special kid. My family in China and my in-law's family are always full of fond memories of her. How articulate she is, how sweet, how smart! (Frankly, I do not think Emma is remarkably smart. She is allright, but her intelligence probably cannot send her to Harvard)

My family always like to tell a story like such: "We tried to teach Emma some poems, but she never seemed to pay attention at all. She just played or did whatever while we were reciting thoese poems. However, a few days later, without any pretext, she started reciting those poems herself. Wow"

That is how Emma learns new things. This happens again and again, with language, with numbers, with computer, with dancing.

When she just went to her preschool, she barely knew one word in English. So she kept her silence, making sounds only when she was singing. Then two months later, she started to talk away in English as other kids. We were all amazed. "Her language just flourished", her teacher said.

So it happened with numbers. In the beginning she seemed so clueless, then suddenly she could count to 10. So with dancing. She sat through the first two dance lessons, unwilling to make a single move. Then she started to dance, so good, so cute.

So observant.

Silence is gold.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007
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