Thursday, December 8, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Of course, Willow pattern comes in blue, red, and green. But I think that blue and white wins.
|The Willow Legend: http://www.thepotteries.org/patterns/willow.html|
There was once a Mandarin who had a beautiful daughter, Koong-se. He employed a secretary, Chang who, while he was attending to his master's accounts, fell in love with Koong-se, much to the anger of the Mandarin, who regarded the secretary as unworthy of his daughter.
|The secretary was banished and a fence constructed around the gardens of the Mandarin's estate so that Chang could not see his daughter and Koong-se could only walk in the gardens and to the water's edge.|
One day a shell fitted with sails containing a poem, and a bead which Koong-se had given to Chang, floated to the water's edge. Koong-se knew that her lover was not far away.
|She was soon dismayed to learn that she had been betrothed to Ta-jin, a noble warrior Duke. She was full of despair when it was announced that her future husband, the noble Duke, was arriving, bearing a gift of jewels to celebrate his betrothal.|
|However, after the banquet, borrowing the robes of a servant, Chang passed through the guests unseen and came to Koong-se's room. They embraced and vowed to run away together. The Mandarin, the Duke, the guests, and all the servants had drunk so much wine that the couple almost got away without detection, but Koong-se's father saw her at the last minute and gave chase across the bridge.|
|The couple escaped and stayed with the maid that Koong-se's father had dismissed for conspiring with the lovers. Koong-se had given the casket of jewels to Chang and the Mandarin, who was also a magistrate, swore that he would use the jewels as a pretext to execute Chang when he caught him.|
|One night the Mandarin's spies reported that a man was hiding in a house by the river and the Mandarin's guards raided the house. But Chang had jumped into the ragging torrent and Koong-se thought that he had drowned.|
Some days later the guards returned to search the house again. While Koong-se's maid talked to them, Chang came by boat to the window and took Koong-se away to safety.
|They settled on a distant island, and over the years Chang became famous for his writings. This was to prove his undoing. The Mandarin heard about him and sent guards to destroy him. Chang was put to the sword and Koong-se set fire to the house while she was still inside.|
|Thus they both perished and the gods, touched by their love, immortalised them as two doves, eternally flying together in the sky.|
I love the pretty hat box that this set of twenty comes in.
There are also table linens available in Willow pattern, and apparently, this dress.
Maybe wall paper?
Maybe not this Christmas, because she needs a stroller more than china, but this is in her future. I promise.
Recently, I've noticed that's getting to big for her toys (bouncy chair, play mat, swing). She's either literally too big, or just 'over it'. It's no longer entertaining to lay on one's back and swat at toys. The other day, I sat her next to her basket of toys and she went wild. Now it's one of her favorite things to do; rifle through the toys and practice picking them up--of course everything must go into her mouth for a taste test.
She heard the shutter sound on my camera and turned around to see what was happening.
Yesterday, she noticed Adam had a band-aid on one of his fingers (he hurt it at school early that day while cutting out paper snow flakes. lol). I think she is very observant to notice little details like that. She was trying to figure out what it was.
Another new fascination is this cloth book. It was given to us at her first baby shower, but she hasn't ever played with it. It's Chinese, so some of the illustrations are interesting, but Willow loves the interactive features.
It captures her attention for a good ten minutes at a time--which is remarkable since her attention span is very limited. I like that it's cloth and she can't bang herself in the head/mouth while trying to eat it. It makes sounds, has removable pieces, and some different textures.
3. What country is your baby from? (which is usually followed by, why doesn't she look white?)
Friday, November 25, 2011
This was Willow's first Thanksgiving--but since she didn't really get to eat any of the food, it was just a normal day for her.
When dad came in from an errand, he dropped his hat on her head. She didn't really know what to think about it--so shocking!
What is this cold thing on my head?
Willow had been sitting in the kitchen while I started getting the corn souffle ready.
Making my own corn souffle.
Watching Winnie the Pooh with her dad while I was cooking in the kitchen. This is the scene where Winnie the Pooh sings, "I'm short fat and proud of that"...we sing this song to Willow all the time because it's fitting of her current state as well.
Adam had to work a half day on Thanksgiving Day--all the teachers have been working hard to continue the re-accreditation process for our school. Thursday felt like three days for me. Day 1, I was at home taking care of Willow and our ayi came over to help. Day 2, Adam came home and we gave Willow a bath and prepared for the water to be shut off again (we were given advance notice this time). I baked a little and we watched a few tv shows. Day 3, I finished cooking, Willow watched Winnie the Pooh with Adam, and we went to our friends' house for dinner (where about 15 of our friends were gathered). We brought cheesy biscuits, corn souffle, red velvet cake, and white chocolate raspberry cheesecake to share. Here we are sitting with our friends, ready to start eating all the delicious food!
After dinner, people played games and ate dessert...see all the desserts?
But throughout the evening, there was a shadow over our heads because we were missing one very important person. Our hosts' daughter had had a long seizure that morning and so was spending Thanksgiving day at the pediatric intensive care unit in a Chinese hospital near our apartment complex. This is the second time she has experienced a seizure like this so the doctors are trying to figure out what the underlying cause might be. She is still at the hospital today, undergoing many kinds of tests. She is only 1.5 years old and I feel so deeply for her parents. I can't imagine going through this with Willow! They are hoping she will be released soon. Right now, her parents can't even be in the same room as her, which just breaks my heart. Please be lifting up the whole situation right now. You can read more about it here.
On the way back home, we were carrying so many dishes and had a little mishap when we reached the gate of our complex. Whoops...there went the cheesecake. I couldn't stand the thought of throwing away almost half of a cheesecake, especially when I love cheesecake so much. So we googled the possible disadvantages of accidentally ingesting tiny pieces of ceramic...should we risk it?
Thursday, November 24, 2011
I have the habit of planning out our meals every week so that we know what to purchase at the stores/markets and to eliminate waste of those things that we buy. Also--it helps me not stress out about what I should make for dinner if I've already thought about it...and it forces me to stay out of those cooking ruts I've mentioned before. So, I can switch out the little tabs under the magnets with different menu items--and I can write ingredients I need for the week on my shopping list...yes.
This year, I am thankful for so much--here's what comes to mind without any effort. There's even more, I'm sure, if I were to really think back on this whole year...So, so, so much.
-Willow; she adds so much joy to my day, I can't imagine how we lived without her!
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Today, I discovered that Willow is too big for her 6 month sized dress, was too big for her 6 month sized pants (causing a nasty explosion up the back)--which resulted in learning that her nine month clothing fits just right. What the heck?! She's growing so quickly, and I'm starting to run out of clothes for her. It's a good thing we'll be in America soon to pick up the rest of her clothes we didn't bring in the summer because she's going to need them before we know it. She's almost twenty weeks old, and I can hardly believe it!
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Willow is now on her fifth month of life, having completed four months in this world. She is more precious than ever to us and is learning so much every day. I have decided that I love this stage of life. Here are some wonderful reasons why my four month old baby is the best: