Category Grandma Barbara

The Christmas that Keeps Giving…

Some of our Christmas gifts that were sent from back home have been stuck in Chinese customs.  Now that we are back in the PRC, we are able to provide the necessary documentation to get the gifts out to us.  Today we have a very special one arrive from Andy’s parents.  We’ve wanted a Pendleton blanket for years and this is just so darn special.  We let the girls open it up and as soon as Maddie saw the blanket, she started screaming “Oregon! Oregon! Oregon! Oregon!”  She recognized the pattern and knows that it’s from home.  That’s my girl!

Thanks for the presents all – we love them! :)

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The Birthday Song

Grandma Barbara’s birthday was in November so the girls and I tried to record a birthday song…  I know this is a bit late and it’s raw footage but better late than never.  And it’s cute!  Listen below…

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So Long Summer…

This summer vacation flew by so fast – Maddie blinked and it was gone.  There were so many highlights which is great, but Maddie has found herself wanting more and more of the highlights.  Gee, life is hard.  Everything is so good and we just want more of it!  It was a year ago that we moved into our new condo and Maddie sat there singing a song at her reflection in the tv.  Now she sits and ponders…  in her words, she loves America better than Shanghai.  Why?  Because, in her words, she gets to love her grandmas and grandpas and brothers and cousins and, and, and.  She gets it.  She really gets it.

For this reason it was really, really difficult to leave home this year...

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I’m a ballerina girl…

Maddie and ElenaWhen you come home for the holidays and you have a little girl, it’s almost a necessity to go see The Nutcracker! Maddie is such a ballerina girl as I’m pretty sure that she dreams of spinning on her toes in her dreams. This day was exceptional all around because it was “girls day out” all for the sake of ballet. Grandma Dotty, Grandma Barbara, Aunt Susan and Elena joined us for a lunch on the river before heading to see The Nutcraker. Maddie was so excited to give the purple crystal necklace to Elena for the event… she had been holding onto it for weeks in Shanghai!

I was so impressed with how Maddie was acting during the entire performance. I thought for sure that she may lose interest, but she was engaged and tried to follow the story most of the time...

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Maddie Became a Baby

There will be four years between Maddie and Amelia. I like the age difference because Maddie is her own person with her own life with her own memories. She’s old enough to remember Amelia coming home for the very first time. As “the day” approaches, Maddie is becoming a bit more…. baby-like. At the beginning of the pregnancy, Maddie was convinced that SHE was never a baby. Pics we would show her from her first year of life were of “somebody else” and the the ultrasound picture we have framed of her was NOT of Maddie.

Every once in awhile though…. she wants to be the baby. It started with her sliding out of bed in the mornings and actually crawling into our room. When we set the crib up, she had to show us that she really did fit and that she could sleep in the crib...

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Maddie’s Busy Day At the Races!

The peanut had to wake up early, but she made it to the ultrasound appointment with us and as soon as she saw Amelia’s pictures on the screen, she immediately woke up! I’m so glad that she is going with us to all of these appointments. She’s excited – I can tell because she’s wanting to give up some of her securities in order to share them with her new sister. SHE actually said to me yesterday, “mommy, maybe baby Amelia should take my blanket. I think she’ll like my blanket.” That is HUGE!

Maddie spent the rest of the day with her Grandma Barbara and cousins Ethan and Elena. She loves her cousins and just kind of claims them as her own. She’s not shy and she looks up to every single one of them for different reasons...

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Take Maddie Out to the Ball Game!

Things that Maddie likes at baseball games….

1. wearing sunscreen, glasses and a hat
2. eating snowcones
3. eating pretzels
4. eating licorice
5. running the bases after the game with her cousin Kayana
6. reading books with her cousin Elena
7. notice that baseball is NOT on this list

It’s the most perfect thing to do on a warm Sunday afternoon and you can’t beat the $8.00 general admission tickets. Baseball, even if it’s triple A, is Americana at it’s finest! We spent the afternoon with Grandma, Grandpa, Larry, Kim, Alexis, Kayana, Susan, Doug, Elena, and Ethan...

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A Beautiful Oregon Day!

Today we jumped on the MAX train in Hillsboro and made our way down to the Rose City and the Portland Saturday Market. It’s a great place to find cool things by local artists. Today we found a bracelet for Maddie where the artist resized it just for her. Amazingly, she wore it all day long and it was torture getting it off her wrist at bedtime. We also found some great flannels for both Maddie and Amelia for when we come home at Christmas time. I do think that Maddie’s most special find was the balloon man. I’m still amazed that she has conversations with people she doesn’t know, but the though of getting a flower balloon hat definitely got rid of all inhibitions!!!

When we left the Saturday Market, we made our way to Dan and Louis Oyster Bar...

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It’s All About Connections….


It seems as if it’s THE buzz phrase in international education these days. Expat children are growing us a Third Culture Kids. We saw this when we lived in Saudi Arabia for four years. Most of our kids were from Pakistan and India, yet they attended an American curriculum school and talked like they were from the Midwest or California. They didn’t belong in their “home” countries, yet they didn’t belong in America… they belonged in a third culture which seemed very ambiguous.

Maddie’s dad an I are always talking about how we are choosing to raise Maddie. We want her to grow up internationally to have first hand contact with other cultures on a daily basis, yet we recognize the value of what we grew up with...

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Chinese Fun Day!

Chinese Fun Day!

I have to giggle a bit because at Maddie’s school, they plan days focused around all things China. I think the parents expect this too. Sometimes I just want to say, OPEN UP YOUR DOOR, but a lot of expats surprisingly aren’t comfortable really getting in there.

Admittedly, we are about 50/50 when it comes to experiencing the China around us. It’s not because of desire though – it’s because of time! When Maddie’s Grandma Barbara and Grandpa Earl visit us in China, they remind us quickly what it’s all about. We’ll head off to school and they’ll head off to the most excellent adventures around Shanghai. Oh The Places You’ll Go!!! (A most excellent post by Maddie’s Grandma! – Go to Friday, May 11 on her blog!)

Maddie has a great day at Chinese Fun Day! Though I think sh...

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