Friday, December 28, 2007

Flying Home

Flying to Tucson was just short of a nightmare with an active toddler who likes to move stuck in a cramped seat with no room to move. Add somewhat surly attendants who seemed shocked that we didn't know we had to special order a baby meal (other airlines do it automatically and with a smile!) and being assigned seats that weren't near each other, and we were sure we'd never do that again. So, Dale and I gave each other the Christmas present of an upgrade to business class going back to Shanghai. Man alive, did that ever change the flight for us all!! Sojo had an entire play area set up at our feet, and she was so happy and adorable that much of the 13 hour flight was actually enjoyable. She is now using a few words and "AY" is one of them (means "HI"), and she proceeded to say "AY" to anyone who would listen. It sounds like this, "AY...AY...AY...AY" as we are fully into the repetitive phase of life.

Sojo stylin' in her roomy digs

Dale and Tara with a bit of hands-free time filled by wine glasses

Sojo was a huge fan of the seating switch

Monday, December 24, 2007

Cooking With Gong Gong

We are just rolling around in love and family and treasuring every moment of it. Gong Gong (grandpa) and Sojo had a blast making scrambled eggs this morning, and it was a hoot! We're taking a million videos of this trip to share with Sojo when she is older.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Tree Giggles

Sojo's sleep clock is still a bit out-of-whack from the trip, so she winds up waking up once in the middle of the night for a good 90 minutes and is fully awake. The good side of that is that mama and baba are getting lots of sleep in the morning since everyone is anxious to take care of Sojo for us. Last night, we went out to see my brother Matt's gig and returned home around midnight to find Sojo wide awake with her two grandmas (they weren't really wide awake!)-- giggly and downright blissful about the Christmas tree. Her "answer" when I ask if she likes the Christmas tree is her new way of telling that she likes something. Aaagggghhh...

Friday, December 21, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Surrounded by love, sunshine (65 degrees in Arizona--hardly a winter!), a house full of cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents, and great food! We are all in heaven and having a great time in the U.S.

Sojo LOVED the bronze javelinas at the Desert Museum. She kept running back and forth between them and tried to climb on them.

My parents put up a swing in their really cool bird sanctuary. Another big hit with Sojo as this was her first time in a swing.

Cousin Carli was a a sweetie with Sojo, and Sojo always loves little people.

Just chillin' in my posh high chair Popo got me. Mom found tons of deals on and created an awesome play area for Sojo.

Friday, December 14, 2007

We're Coming Home Soon

I get it now. I get why having a kid is the coolest thing on the planet. It gives us the chance to see the world all over again because somewhere along the way we forget that knocking over a tower of blocks is pure joy...

...and a real picture for my mom to add to her Sojo book. This is the first of her first Christmas gifts.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

She Just Gets Funnier

Man, she is a funny kid. Tonight she got her first Christmas present--a pair of animal slippers from a friend. She took to them immediately and wanted them on her feet. Well, they are certainly cute but definitely an orthopedic nightmare because they are uneven and too squishy for her feet, which made walking quite difficult. Sojo didn't care one bit as she staggered around the room strutting her stuff and had a fit whenever we tried to take the slippers off.

We even had to squeeze her pajama footies into them later on (seriously, no easy feat! ha!) and only took them off once she fell asleep. This new toddler stage is mostly humorous to us, and we are taking her little screeching fits as par for the course because she can't tell us what she wants, so of course she'll scream if her meanie parents are hung up on little things like her safety and don't appreciate the funky feel of new squishy slippers on her feet!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

And We Just Bought a New Winter Coat...

Ok, this kid is too funny! Here is Sojo in her new winter coat where her arms don't reach the openings.

Our family is moving back to the tropics at the end of the school year. We've been in Shanghai for almost 5 years now, and we decided it was time to move on to another adventure. Our new home will be sunny Bangkok, Thailand, a country we have loved since the moment we visited in our first year living in China. We actually flew to Bangkok last weekend on a super quick trip to check out the school and the teacher housing. We'll live very close to school, and there are tons and tons of little people Sojo's age to play with. Swimming every day, Sojo brown as a peanut, mangos to Tara's heart's content, Dale playing guitar on the beach--all good things to look forward to. It will be extremely hard to say goodbye to China, and especially to Xiao Liu, but we are taking the coolest memory of our time here out of the country with us: the gorgeous Sojo.

And just in case you forgot what her parents look like, here's Dale and me at our school holiday party. Dale, or GuitarDale, played some cool jazz music for the cocktail part of the evening.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hitting the Bottle

Oh, those dreaded baby books that all seem to say different things and instill guilt in parents everywhere that you aren't doing what you are "supposed" to be doing! The books say that it is time to wean from the bottle at 12 months, and the mere thought sends me spiraling into a panic! That bottle is so many things to us--our early morning snuggle time, our get-ready-for- bed helper, and what she refers to as her "mama." We are attempting to change over to the sippy cup, but she just isn't very interested (or is it us who aren't interested...). Since we are making the extremely long trip back to the US next week, we will need that bottle, as well as fellow passengers will need us to have it! Our plan is to wait until we return from holiday to give it a real try to get off the bottle. Either that or send her off to college with me feeding her by hand and with a bottle as well.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Oh, Darn!

I forgot my camera at our annual school holiday party, so I can't post the cute ones I took this week. Perhaps I left it subconsciously because we need one that is a bit faster to catch Sojo in action. Since my mom gently reminded me I haven't posted in a while, I'll take one from the archives...

Yes, Sojo is totally into opening the cabinet doors. And that black thing you see is a random phone in the cabinet. This morning, as I was ringing my mom on Skype, Sojo heard the ring and went right to the "phone cabinet" to pick it up. Pretty wild tech world that this child knows the telltale Skype ring and will grow up only knowing that you can see people on the phone. As a child, I only dreamed of that as I watched the Jetsons.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

6 Months Already?

Somewhere around 4 months, we think...

7. 5 months on our Family Day

It's hard to believe, but we have been together as a family for just over 6 months now. Sojo has gone from just barely holding her head up at 7. 5 months to walking like a pro six months later, from a bald kid with somewhat bizarre tufts of hair sticking up to a kid with the cutest pigtails around, from not sleeping very much to sleeping a tiny bit more like the books say she "should." Often we forget that we haven't been together her whole life because it feels like she has always been here. And, yes, sometimes we turn to each other and laugh because our former lives are unrecognizable at this point, but Sojo and her grooviness have nestled their way into our new life so nicely. She is simply a joy, and we are so grateful for every bit of her sweetness.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Just Random Cuteness

Maybe we all need a pair of rainbow pants in our closet. I know I had rainbow suspenders back in the Mork and Mindy days, but I'm crossing my fingers someone can bring this style back for grownups! These groovy ones seemed to put a spring in Sojo's step all day, and I just love them (thanks, Popo!)

We recently bought Sojo one of these Touch and Feel books with "real" fur for her to pet, and she is a huge fan. Baba surprised her this weekend with a set of 3 new ones, and they received the very cute "hands in the air, dancing while I'm sitting,whoo-hoo!" approval from Sojo. This happens with food she likes, Baby Einstein characters, and now, it seems, with very good books. The librarian's heart soars...