Sunday, February 05, 2006

Year of the Dog!

According to the Chinese zodiac, John and I are both rabbits and Jemma is a clever little monkey, but 2006 is the year of the dog. So we had to give our pooches a little pomp and circumstance. Ollie refused to leave the photo shoot until we took a portrait of him - he is the alpha dog after all!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Juggling Act

At the Chinese New Year celebration, we ran into old friends from our trip. Here is Barbara with her two daughters, the only set of twins adopted in our group - boy does she have her hands full! Later that night, Barbara keenly watched the acrobat for some juggling tips.

Crowning Achievement

We welcomed in the Chinese New Year (the year of the dog - dogs rule!) in true Chinese style with 500 other people. This is an annual event sponsored by the FCC (Families with Children From China) and this was our third time participating but our first time with a child. Jemma was in true form that night, socializing with the crowds even though she was sick as a dog - though we didn't know it yet. Even after 5 months we are still the worst parents! Actually, she was cutting two molars so we thought that's all it was. No, turns out two days later we took her to the doctor and she had shingles! Oy, don't ask. We never even knew she had chicken pox! Nonetheless, we had a swell time at the Empress Pavillion, downing ten courses of very good Los Angeles Chinese food. And to top it off, we all got to pose with the beautiful Miss LA Chinatown - looks like mommy is vying for a shot at the crown, too!

Gone Hollywood

Jemma actually appreciates the poweful UVA-blocking qualities of her new Julbo sunglasses. She can't believe that she finally got a pair of her own, she only had to pull ours off our faces about a hundred times until we got the hint. Our only regret is that we didn't buy those Doggles when we had the chance at the Three Dog Bakery.

RIE Not?

During the second week of Jemma's arrival, we began a parent-infant program called RIE where I would observe Jemma playing with other children her age once a week under the guidance of a mentor trained in the RIE principles. What are those principles you might ask? To quote, "RIE's goal is to help raise authentic infants who are: competent, focused, peaceful, involved, cheerful, cooperative, resourceful, initiating, confident, aware, secure, attentive, curious, exploring, interested, and inner-directed. Whew! Sign me up! It's been really fun and Jemma loves every bit of it. Sometimes we get together with two other girls in her group outside of class. Meet Mya and Almitra (Jemma's in the middle.) Two wonderful companions for Jemma - they are all of the things RIE proposes to promote. In the second photo, Mya and Jemma sneak up behind the elusive Ollie.