Saturday, August 30, 2008

Friends from the old country

Two weeks ago, we got together with some of the families who traveled to China with us. Here's a group shot of the Ba babies:

From the left: Leanna, Bella, Ting Ting, Dani, Chloe, Shelbi and Tabitha.

Eight of our 11 families attended the picnic, but one had to leave before we could manage to corral all the kids. Why do you suppose it was so hard to get seven almost-3-year-olds to sit down together for a photo?

Oh, yeah.

Once we lined them up and stepped out of the way, though, the paparazzi (and mamarazzi) had a field day. You should have seen it -- all the little ones sitting in a line with cameras flashing at them constantly as parents waved their hands and shouted out individual names. I was standing to the side watching it and found myself starting to feel sorry for Brittney Spears.

But I got over that.

Afterward, someone suggested a game of Ring Around the Rosie. I loved these shots:

Every time they would fall down, several little voices would exclaim "again!"

And once the little girls started playing together, the big brothers and sisters got into the act.

Here's Bella attacking Dani's brother, Matt. And a certain someone is right on her heels.

Dani's sister Alexa was getting it from all sides (Ting Ting, Bella, Shelbi). Looks like Leanna was thinking of grabbing her right arm, too.

It was a beautiful day with great food and even better company. We can hardly wait for the next one.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Coming up for air

Yes, we're still alive. It's been busy, though.

In the month and four days since my last post, we have taken a trip out of town with all three kids, hosted a picnic for our China travel buddies and taken one child to two different urgent care centers in two states for two different reasons in the span of 10 days (by the way, that girl knows how to work an urgent care waiting room, let me tell you). Lance has been in budget hell at his job (just when he thinks he's done, he gets another time-sucking assignment). I saw dozens of colleagues lose their jobs two Fridays in a row at my workplace, and a new management team has been announced. I'm still employed there, but I lost many treasured colleagues and friends, and even as the dust settles around us we're trying to figure out how to get things done with only half the people (in my office) that we had a few months ago. Now that our friends have departed, it's a quiet and somewhat lonesome place, at least right now. And the hours are rough.

I tell you these things not to make excuses but to try to explain why it's been difficult to find the time, energy or proper attitude to post here. But be ready to be bombarded. I have several funny stories, and Lance has many wonderful photos from our trip to Nashville and the picnic that he's started editing, so you'll see them soon.

In the meantime, we appreciate your patience and understanding. And here's a story to tide you over.

A few weeks ago, Ting Ting discovered a pair of slippers in her closet that look like ladybugs. She put them on her feet and, delighted, went to show her Daddy.
"Oh, look at you!" he said. "You have ladybugs on your feet!"
He looked closer as she pranced around.
"They even have eyes," he said, noticing the fake eyes in the very front of the slippers, the part covering Ting Ting's tiny toes. "What are they looking at?"
"Snakes," responded Ting Ting without even hesitating.