Friday, August 31, 2007

Walking on Sunshine

Just had to include a video of Sojo walking to get the cats.

Walkabout


Man alive, I can hardly believe it but this chica is cruising all over the place with the fingerwalking. She's taking huge steps and is dragging us all over the house (I see backaches in the future for her not-so-terribly-young parents!). Last night, she actually walked me into her room and plopped down on her playmat. Crawling is still more of a drag, but it seems she might just bypass that and go directly to a full run.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Getting the Hang of It



Sojo is ready for little pieces of solid food now (even though I am a bit of a choking paranoid mom since she has not a tooth in her head!), and so we're introducing bits of cheese and toast and tofu is next on the menu. She currently loves to be fed by our fingers and looks a bit like a baby bird with her open mouth and bobbing head that comes to our finger looking for food. We are trying to encourage her to pick up the food and feed herself, but she seems to get distracted along the way and winds up hiding the food in her iron grasp instead (note the left hand clenching some food item). Since she is new at this, it will take some practice, but we caught her on film the other night actually getting some food in her mouth for the first time. Yippee!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Weekend Getaway

On Saturday, we had a beginning of the school year bbq at the campus we worked at for 4 years, so our family decided to take advantage of the long ride to the other side of the river by staying in the hotel at the apartment compound we used to live in. It was just a short 24 hour getaway, but it felt wonderful. A nice hotel room, a pool and the sandy "beach" for Sojo to play in, plus the chance to visit with friends and have a leisurely breakfast. Felt almost like a quick trip to Thailand!

Mind you, the amount of luggage involved in a "quick trip" is still mind-boggling to us.


Getting ready for the pool...
Long day

Just had the sweetest evening with Sojo tonight. Ever since we started "tough love," there has been crying every night for about 5 minutes (the whole "three nights and it's over" thing I read about is not happening in this house!), and we hate it but know that we can't go backwards. Plus, getting sleep is so nice! Tonight, while I was feeding her a bottle after playing for a while, all of a sudden she yanked the bottle out of her mouth, turned her body into me and into a full-on snuggle and fell instantly asleep. The snuggling is a rarity with her, so it makes it extra special when she does it. Even better is that she fell asleep without any heartbreaking crying!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Getting So Strong


We've just about hit the 3 month mark as a family, and Sojo is getting so much bigger and stronger. Crawling has not been something of interest to her, but yesterday we saw some real scooting instead of rolling back and forth to get to her little plastic duck that is her favorite toy. She's also able to hold herself up in her crib and stands on the couch and holds onto the back of it. She can even take little wobbly steps when she is holding our fingers, and we are amazed at how well she is doing.
Pooltime
Her crazy hair is tons of fun in the bathtub

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Lovin' The Pool

Finally we have internet at home, so blog updates should be more frequent!

Sojo is loving this great floatie tube where she fits right inside and can kick and splash her way around the pool. We're taking advantage of the hot weather and getting her in the pool every other day (would be every day but her ezcema is finally better and we don't want to make it come back). Her frenetic splashing makes us howl, and we've got a fish on our hands. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Music Girl


Dale brought home a keyboard the other night, and we have found a new fun thing for Sojo to do. Personally, I think he's subliminally trying to influence her to choose an instrument other than guitar so she can be in the family band.

Which brings me to an interesting tidbit of information...A little known fact outside of the China adoption world is that the adoption workers in China take the matching of child to parent very seriously. As prospective adoptive parents, we had to submit a photo page with our paperwork that had pictures of us doing the things we like to do as well as close-up photos of our features. They take these pictures (our had us playing music) and try to find a child that not only matches you physically (sounds strange, I know, but after a while, you do start to seem similarities) but also with your interests. We were told that Sojo loved to dance in her walker to music, and this girl is a music lover for sure. Whenever Dale gets out the guitar, she goes nuts and has a penchant for rock music. She also does what we call the "sitting dance" where she grooves right where she is at to whatever music she hears.

Thank you, China, for choosing Sojo for us. She fits like a glove in our family and is a perfect match.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Pics

This is just to make up for having crummy internet access and the lack of photos for the family.

Chillin' in my new shades. Thanks, Rachel!

Sojo really only likes board books that she can bang on, but we gave it a shot with a story the other night. Not quite ready...

I love this look of hers.

Hope that gives a nice Sojo dose. :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tough Love


This is the hair of a girl who has slept for 10 HOURS a night for the last three nights. She has a bit of the crazy hair to begin with (the sides are longer than the back and she resembles that penguin with the side offshoots!), but this is too funny. After a summer of making a decision to basically cater to her every whim so she would know that when she cried, someone was there to pick her up, we knew it was time to cut off the room service and get down to the business of sleeping through the night. We did the tough love of putting her down and letting her cry until she fell asleep, going in and telling her we loved her while she howled. She cried for about ten minutes before she fell asleep and didn't wake up for 10 hours. It has been since May 28 that we've seen anything close to 10 hours! The great thing is she wakes up before we go to school so we can hang out a bit before catching the bus. So proud of her and so happy that Dale and I get to sleep through the night also.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Teeny Greeny

fun with velcro!


After a summer of disposable diapers, we bit the bullet and made the move to cloth upon our return to Shanghai. At one point before we left for the summer vacation, we actually tried the old-fashioned cloth diapers with pins, and that lasted about three hours and involved being peed on, so we ditched the effort. The ones we bought now are called Kushies, and they are fabulous! Just like a disposable in how they look, they go on the same way and even have a little liner you put in so you don't have to do any of that not-so-fun dunking in the toilet. Just take out the liner and flush away the poop. Lovin' the Kushies and feeling a bit better about my environmental footprint. Little Sojo is also loving the Kushies as she has a newfound obsession with anything velcro. I decided to have her hang out in just her diaper tonight before bed, and she found the velcro and proceeded to pull off the tabs over and over and over again. I couldn't even distract her from her mission enough to get a picture of her face.

Sojo also had a playdate today. Wow--must say it's hard to believe I'm doing playdates. It was good fun, and I realized it's as much for the adults as the kids. Another teaching couple has a boy who is about one year old, and he had a good time sharing his toys with Sojo today while we got to know the parents.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Xiao Liu



One of the advantages to living abroad is the availability of reasonable child care and house help. We were so lucky to have found Xiao Liu (shao leo) from a recommendation of a leaving family, and she will take care of Sojo while we are working. She is simply lovely, and Sojo loves her and is already leaving sloppy kisses on her cheek. Xiao Liu waltzed in last Friday and charmed the pants off us all with her Chinese songs and sweetness. It's cute to watch Sojo listening to the Chinese-- the first day she had a complete look of HUH? when she heard it, but she's already used to it again and does love the higher pitch to the language. What a lucky kid to have be hearing both languages, and I'm afraid she'll surpass us in Chinese at some point in the near future. As hard as I know it will be to leave her tomorrow, I feel better knowing she is with someone so nice and capable.

A few extra pics per request from the grandparents who are going through Sojo withdrawal.

Last days in Seattle

Sojo's paparazzi pic--"Um, please stop making me wear ponytails and taking my picture a million times with them in!"

Monday, August 06, 2007

A New Strategy for Sleep


Only 72 hours left of summer vacation for us, and we are trying to get Sojo on a good sleep routine. Sleeping through the night is not happening often, and the parents are bone tired. My mom was a sweetie and suggested we not let her take so many naps durings the day--she tends to doze off 3 times a day and we go with her on that (perhaps out of jealousy that we are not dozing off whenever we want...), and we thought it was a good idea to try. So, as she started getting sleepy yesterday afternoon around 5, we convinced her that playing with us was more fun than sleeping, and she stayed awake. 7 o'clock rolled around, and she was really tired, and as I went to feed her before she went to sleep, she kept opening her mouth like a bird but her head was falling forward and all over the place. Finally, she couldn't take it anymore and just fell asleep. Hilarious!

If you are thinking that we solved the sleep issue, think again. The little cutie was up twice. Hmmm...will try again tonight. In the meantime, I'm thinking of starting a new trend--tell everyone you know that having bags under your eyes is in this season!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Sleepless in Shanghai


After a relatively stress-free flight home from the US, we are settling back into our new apartment and sweltering in the Shanghai heat and humidity. Sojo is doing great but has decided that it's time to get up now, even though it's only 2:30, and so begins the late-night blogging. The bonus of our new pad is that we just found out that our very favorite breakfast restaurant in Shanghai (Element Fresh for those who know it!) has opened a branch just a short walk from our place. We're headed there in the morning.

Sojo is now often sporting what we call the Chinese pigtails. Girls here wear them sticking straight out, and we love it. She tolerates me putting them in (barely!) and her cuteness factor went off the charts the first time I saw them. I cannot get over how big she is now in comparison to 2 months ago when we picked her up. It's so fun watching all these changes in her.

Well, she's now asleep, so that's our cue to sleep as well.