Saturday, October 22, 2011

School is Out!

...for me!

mini's so darling...

A box is sitting on Willow's bedroom floor, filled with her summery outfits--cute little garments that are sized 0-3 months. Little bits of lace, embroidery, and crocheted details. Frills and ribbons, rick-rack and ruffles. Little girls clothes are the sweetest. It's so sad to pack these outfits away. I've been dreading the job--and although she has plenty of cute clothes that fit her right now, it's a little sad packing away her clothes. She'll never wear them again--that's a good thing--but she's growing up so fast! Some babies seem to take a longer time to jump sizes in onsies and diapers, but for whatever reason Willow has been growing a lot lately. She's probably past fifteen pounds now, and my back can attest to the butterball effect. Her double chin keeps growing, and now it's practically touching her rib cage! I'm so happy she's growing up, developing and learning so normally--but looking at her little outfits, I'm reminded that she used to be just a seven and a half pound little person (with a lot more hair on her head)! I can hardly believe that she used to wear these tiny little clothes and that they used to be BIG on her! Now she's wearing 6 month clothing and I can't believe it!

The first three and a half months have just flown by. I'm so excited for the stage that she is in right now (sleeping longer at night, etc.), she's not a newborn anymore and that's a good thing. There are so many joys attached to having a three month old. She's sleeping well, eating well, playing well. She laughs and smiles and recognizes her mom and dad....but I just can't get over how fast she's growing. Soon she'll be six months old...and then that's just half way to hitting the one year mark! I'm dedicated to cherishing all the moments, the good and the challenging. I should say "challenging" because there really aren't any 'bad' moments yet. We've been so blessed, and except for this little cold she's had the past few days, she's had great health. I'm so thankful for the little, chubby person she is. I love watching her personality broaden with each week that passes. She's always been a mover, but now she's just spastic. She wants to twist and arch and scrunch and scoot as much as possible. It doesn't matter if she's sitting in your lap or the bouncy chair, or lying on the floor--she's trying to get places. I'm just hoping that it's a bit longer before she starts that mobile stage....oof....Not ready for that yet!

Adam just found out that he has a paper due for his graduate I'm a little stressed out for him as he searches for sources and starts writing his paragraphs. I'm also really relieved that I don't have to be writing a paper right now. I love being a student, I love assignments and tedious homework...but I think I need a break from academics and I'm enjoying every minute of it! No planning, no preparing, no grading, no homework, no researching....yes! I didn't think that I would enjoy it this much, but I do! Who knows, maybe someday I will be a student again, but for right now, I'm enjoying a fairly academic-free existence. Adam, however, is very diligent about his homework. I'm proud with how well he seems to be keeping up with all his responsibilities--and he rarely seems stressed about how much he works.

It seems like a lot of my friends in America that have kids are taking pictures of their children with pumpkins. That seems the thing to do, in light of Fall festivities. But, no pumpkins here. If Willow would wake up from her nap before the sun goes down, I wanted to take her out for my Chinese version of this photo trend. Guess which vegetable she'll be posing's not pumpkin.

It seems like the minute the leaves change color here, they start to fall to the ground. Fortunately, there are lots of trees in our apartment complex that have turned to yellows and reds. I feel like a lot of the trees in Shenyang just stay green all winter long. Fall feels different in Shenyang for lots of reasons. If I were in America now, I bet I'd be drinking hot cider, going to the apple orchard, raking leaves, and smelling bonfire smoke. Maybe there'd be harvest parties or tricker-treaters. There'd be lots of holiday decorations out for Halloween and Thanksgiving, and people would be getting ready to raid the stores for Christmas gifts. I feel like Fall in Shenyang is much simpler--and it would just pass by if you didn't take the time to notice it. It's just a different flavor here and I'm learning to appreciate how Autumn is celebrated on this side of the world. Different kinds of veggies are set out on the curb to dry, people are airing their winter blankets and coats, the sweet potatoes smell great from the street food vendors, and there were a lot of moon cakes being sold during the Festival time.

So, the days are just slipping by. I feel like every week flies past, which is strange because they used to go by so slowly. They felt heavy. I like being a mom! Every day is full and nonstop, but having just one baby is a little easier than taking care of a couple handful of kids. I'm trying to work on "Little Women" every day too. It was hard the last two years because I felt like I was trying to do two full time jobs simultaneously. I thought it was going to be so much easier this year because I wouldn't be teaching anymore. Today, it struck me...I'm still trying to do two full time jobs simultaneously. Whoops. :)

Can I just say, I'm really excited about the costume possibilities for "Little Women".

This week I read a book called, "The Help" and loved it! Thanks to my mother-in-law for sending it for my birthday! I think I read the whole thing in three days, which is quite a feat with Willow around. Too bad I don't live near a great library, because I think reading might become one of my hobbies again. Willow and I have also been fighting off colds for the past few days. She has been sleeping a little more during the day because of her cold...and not sleeping as well at night because of her stuffy nose. Every day is different around here. I can pretty much count on Willow acting differently every day when it comes to her sleep patterns.

Everything is going well around here. And if I haven't said it enough already--I'm loving the fact that I get to stay home with Willow. This is the first time in my life since I entered kindergarten that I haven't had to be in school. Yay!


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