Saturday, February 23, 2008

Busy Saturday

Today we went to two great events. The first was a drop-in on the February session of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Excellence in Public Service Series, a women's political education group that Kari is involved in. Lillian got to meet many of the wonderful women who are on the board of the group and in this year's class.

We didn't get to stay that long, because we also were attending our adoption agency (Holt International Children's Services) family support group's annual February luncheon in honor of Chinese New Year. Lillian got to dress up in her traditional dress again, and again she got to say a big "no" to posing in a group photo with other kids, just like in Guangzhou! It was a fun event and included a dragon dance by the Chinese School of Greater Kansas City, lunch catered by a Chinese restaurant (Kin Lin), and lots of fellowship with other Holt families (mostly with kids adopted from China, but some were families with kids from Korea, India, etc., as well as families still in the waiting process). We'd guess there probably 40 or 50 families in attendance. We think Lillian was the most recent arrival of all the kids there, and one of the youngest as well. The group has monthly gatherings, with the big events being this event and a summer picnic.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Happy New Year

Today is Chinese New Year. It's the Year of the Rat. When we were in China, we saw many preparations for New Year celebrations, most featuring cartoon rats that looked more like Mickey Mouse (big ears, like the ones we saw being installed at Confucius' Temple in Nanjing) than your typical rat.

Nick Jr. debuted a new show today, Ni Hao Kai-lan!, a Dora-like animated show created by a Chinese-American young woman. It's aimed at a preschool audience and features a combination of life lessons (today's theme was what to do when you get angry), Chinese culture and basic Mandarin vocabulary. The New York Times ran a story on the creator, Karen Chau, last year. Ms. Chau says she was influenced by Hello Kitty, and you can tell it in her animation. The first episode is very promising.

We DVR'd it, and Lillian watched it with some interest this afternoon. Nick Jr. is running new episodes several days in a row to kick it off.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Christmas in February

The Stearns family Christmas get-together, postponed by weather in December, was this weekend. Lillian got to meet a whole slew of relatives, including four second cousins under the age of 3 (Koy, Kenzie, Kennedy, and Ian). First cousin Lauren was there too, so that meant the farmhouse in Jewell County hosted six kids all within about 2 1/2 years of each other in age. Add in all the bigger relatives, and it was one full house.

Lillian was shy at first, as she can be, but figured out quickly how fun the day was going to be and decided to join in the games. We were there for about 5 hours, and she and the other kids went pretty much non-stop the entire time. She did a great job on the car ride there and back, which amounted to another 8 hours roundtrip. She slept for about an hour and a half on the first leg, then about another 90 minutes on the way back. The rest of the time she kept herself entertained, particularly by bopping along (and sometimes singing along) with music. She loves a strong beat.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Our little trooper

Lillian has had three visits to the doctor's office since she's been home, all for simple tests and assessments. Unfortunately, at least from her point of view, two of those visits have included a total of four vials of blood drawn, six shots, and one TB skin test. (Our doctor ran bloodwork on her to confirm which immunizations she had received, and as a result Dr. Tran wanted to start from scratch on some of the series.) Yesterday her TB skin test was read as negative, which is good news.
Lillian doesn't mind going to the doctor's office, but once she's back in an exam room she starts to get nervous, especially if anyone tries to roll up her sleeves or tug on her pant leg. She definitely knows what's going on when there's a needle to be seen.
After the visit to the doctor's office, Lillian went to meet some of Kari's coworkers at The University of Kansas Hospital. She had a great time running around the maze of office dividers in Kari's office, and she enjoyed meeting everyone.
Lillian had a good nap on the drive home. She's become a fairly good napper, especially when we can get her to sleep on her folded-out Dora couch. She only slept in the car yesterday (the carseat puts her to sleep within minutes if she's even a little tired), but as the photo illustrates, she can knock out a few Z's indoors in the mid-afternoon too.