Monday, June 25, 2012

Daddy Came Home!

I am so thankful that Adam paid the several hundred kuai so that he could spend two days with us over the weekend. It was so nice to see him again, spend time together, eat yummy food together, and play with Willow together. I was looking forward to this visit so much, especially since my patience with Willow needed a little jump start. We were worried that Willow might have forgotten who Adam was after two weeks--but she remembered immediately. The second he opened the front door, she was running into his arms for a hug. It was so sweet! Adam was able to get lots of play time in with Willow. He helped to give her a bath, and took her to the store. I was able to do a lot of cooking over the weekend--and made 8 different recipes in two days. That's like some sort of personal record, I think. 

These pictures are from Sunday afternoon before Adam had to return to Beijing. He has one more week of classes left; he returns on Friday night and then on Saturday we leave for America! 

You might be tired of all the pictures I take of Willow at this little park. I am projecting this emotion onto you, my readers, because that's how I feel. I am tired of this setting; but it happens to be convenient, close to home, and entertaining for Willow. So, just deal. Compared to any other locations where she could be playing in our immediate area, this is definitely the most ideal....that statement could be depressing, but I'm going to choose thankfulness. I'm thankful for this little playground set....even if I am bored to tears.

At this point, Willow saw a stray cat walking past. She promptly followed the cat. She is getting so fast! I yelled out to Adam, "get her! That cat is going to bite her!" She almost succeeded in getting to the cat before Adam saved her [from herself]. In her dad's protective arms, they continued following the feral cat, until it found a shady spot in the bushes. You can't really tell, but it's just laying in the shade in the background.

Willow is obsessed with cats. Usually, the stray cats around here are pretty scary beasts. They are used to fighting for their lives. Some are very dirty and are constantly foaming at the mouth. Scary. Since they are lethal hunters, and crazed fighters, I don't really feel that Willow is safe in their company. Proportion wise, they are like tigers compared to her.

Adam had to hold Willow back. She would have tried to get even closer to the cat. 

The following pictures could be entitled: 
Willow Getting Bullied at the Playground 

Willow encounters a small boy with a stuffed Minnie Mouse in a tutu. Willow is intrigued by said little boy and his stuffed animal. She gawks, rather awkwardly. Then she babbles off some gibberish. 

She shows the little boy her daddy's hat. He is unimpressed. 

They babble on a little about this and that. 

Willow gets excited about her new 'friend' and starts to flap her arms wildly in his direction. 

To which, he retaliates, and pushes her down on her bottom. Willow was emotionally crushed. Both of the dads, who had been observing the interaction rushed to the scene. I was actually really interested to see that the Chinese father made his son apologize to "Didi" ('little brother---yes, can't go a day without being called a boy. Sorry Willow). It is rare to find this kind of courtesy being taught and encouraged when so many of the adult population disregard what Western cultures would dub "common courtesy". The little boy apologized to his "little brother". Adam hugged Willow until she stopped bawling. 

Then Willow walked over to me, with tears still on her face. 

She watched the little boy leave the playground. She was very interested in watching him depart. 

Willow and I walking home. Adam had the camera for once. I desperately need some new clothes this summer.
Those pants are two or three sizes too big for me. I'm so excited about the prospect of new clothes. 

Willow is such an independent little girl. Enough of this 'hand holding', she exclaims.
She's off to more interesting activities. 

We were sad to see Adam leave, but sent him on his way with chocolate chip banana muffins. As it turned out, he had to sit in the airport for three extra hours because of flight delays due to storms in Beijing. Poor guy! Since my phones are not working, I wasn't able to communicate with him during this time. I'm glad he was able to get on the correct flight (there was some airport chaos going on)---considering everyone speaks Mandarin only.

Now, it's Monday night. Four more days until Adam comes home. Five more days until we leave China to visit our family and friends in America! Lovely.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Puppy Love!

Ok, I'm not the world's biggest animal lover, but there really was too much cuteness going on tonight to resist taking some pictures. After Adam left at 6pm to fly back to Beijing, Willow and I went outside to help the time pass. The last hour before bed is sometimes the longest, and she was sad about her daddy saying goodbye again. Thankfully, who should we see when we went to the park, but Willow's favorite little girl! Emily was playing with our friend Melanie. After a few minutes, two boys showed up with a cardboard box. Inside were two tiny little puppies--only one month old. They were so small and well behaved; I became instantly excited for Willow to see these little critters! 

 We've noticed over the past several weeks that she enjoys animals. The stray cats, occasional dogs, and caged rabbits that are around our complex are extremely interesting to her. She's been known to scream and throw fits if we don't stop to look at the bunnies, and has chased some stray cats too. 

Willow looks so tired in this picture! Almost time for bed time! By the time I had run back home to grab my camera, we had already played outside and interacted with the puppies for a while--so she was getting ready to go back home. 

I can't begin to explain how much cuteness I was feeling in those moments. Cute puppies, and cute little kids. It was just too much for me! The little puppies for waddling around, and Willow was close behind. She was super-interested in them, but didn't attack them (as I feared she might). She doesn't really understand the concept of being gentle, or that eyes/noses/ears/ mouths are sensitive. I didn't want her to hurt some stranger's pets! But she did fine.

Willow kept putting her head to the side as if to say, "Oh, you are so sweet!" That sort of thing just makes my heart melt into a puddle. 

The other puppy is hiding in the box--he was a little smaller and I think he was frightened. His owner's had sent his  tiny body down the slide a few times. 

Willow was brave, and touched the puppy. These are the smallest dogs she's ever seen. I think she understood that they were alive and that they were dogs. She likes to read her board books about dogs. I was worried that she might think they were toys--she definitely has stuffed animals that are larger! Really, these puppies were just Willow's size! Haha!

Trying to pet the dogs again

This picture makes me laugh so hard. Willow had just flopped down on her bottom in startled shock because when she was petting the dogs, one licked her hand. It surprised her so much, she sat down, pulled her arms back in exclamation, and grunted some baby phrase. I wish this picture were a video clip instead! Too funny. 

It made me thing....if we had a puppy, it would be constant entertainment for Willow. Put having animals in apartments is not ideal--and I have my hands full already.'s not an actual thought. 

Home again, home again. Jigidiy jig. Willow is fascinated by her sandals. She was trying to put them on her feet by herself. Her baby-attempts were endearing!