140 posts categorized "Gwen"

August 27, 2009

I hope this means she'll be good at math

Good at math blog

Aside from those first day jitters (and tears), school as been really going well all week long. Each morning, the girls are excited to go to school and they're all smiles when I pick them up in the afternoon.  They're also REALLY tired! 

I thought naps might be phased out but we seem to have renewed interest in them.  When I announce that it's nap time, they trip over one another trying to get to the TV to turn it off.  Then they put themselves in their room and close their door and climb into bed.  An hour later, I wake them up.

Today, I was greeted with an especially interesting sight when I walked into Gwen's room.  She was sound asleep with a calculator tied to her head!  Naturally, I had to grab the camera.   I snapped this photo then crawled into her bed to snuggle her awake and discovered that she had a ruler tied to one foot and a pedometer tied to the other!  Really, I'm not even sure what the heck to make of any of this.   I guess my girl likes numbers!  

July 28, 2009

July 28th

Referral anniversary 4 
July 28th is a special day.   Somewhat bittersweet but mostly sweet.  It was on that date in 2004 that we first saw the beating heart of our tiny baby on the ultrasound machine in our Doctor's office.   It was on that same day that a family in China kissed their 5 week old baby girl goodbye for the last time.  That baby was Gwen and while we were celebrating our new (but brief) pregnancy Gwen's family was in mourning.   A few months later, we submitted our dossier to China and exactly one year later - on July 28 2005 - we got the call.  We had a daughter!  I still get choked up when I think about how it felt to hear her name and her birth date and open the envelope and pull out those small photographs....  it felt like magic. 

I love the shape of Gwen's mouth.  It's small and round and pouty and beautiful.  I'm late posting this because I've been scouring my photo archives for photos that illustrate this particular common expression.  I couldn't find any non-smiling photos of her in 2008 - I guess that was an especially happy year for her!  I really love seeing how much she still looks like her earliest photo.  She was four or five months old in that photo an I sure wish I would have been able to kiss that sweet little baby face back in 2004.  We have no other baby photos of her so that one is extra special.  You can click the image for a larger view.

PS:  Another July 28 blessing to our family is Kelsey.  Happy 21st Birthday, Kelsey!      

July 13, 2009

I always say I'm going to try to write this stuff down

I'm busy sifting through all the stuff we uncovered after moving our home office from one room of our house to another room.  There are piles of things everywhere and it's taking some time to figure out where everything should go.  Meanwhile, the kids aren't supposed to touch any of it and the challenge is proving especially hard for Gwen.

Mommy:  "I see that you're touching some things I asked you not to touch."
Gwenny:  "But it's so pretty and I like it!"
Mommy:  "We had a deal though.  You can play with everything else
              but you must leave this stuff alone.  If you bother it again,
              you'll be punished."
Gwenny:  "PUNCHED!?" (Eyes big as saucers) "
Mommy:  (Doubled over with laughter) "Not PUNCHED, Honey.  PUNISHED!"



July 10, 2009

Delayed Gratification

Since Gwenny turned 5 in Paris without the benefit of a home-baked birthday cake or really any celebration at all other than the fact that she was in PARIS!  I mean, really, shouldn't that be good enough?  Well, maybe if you're turning 15 instead of 5.

So we've been home since Sunday and we're finally past the urge to lapse into a coma at 3:00 PM each day and Gwen's been reminding me of my promise to make her a cake.  She asked for chocolate - with chocolate frosting and I was at a loss for how to make a totally brown cake look 'girly' (Not unlike my dilemma when Michael asked for a strawberry cake with strawberry frosting for his 4th birthday).  I finally decided to go the cupcake route since I had a cupcake 'tree' that displayed the treats in a fancy way.  Fancy = Girly.  Right?

delayed gratification

So that was Gwen's delayed gratification and here's some for you.

A few posts back, I mentioned that we were in Scotland (trying to tolerate the rain and the bagpipes) but I don't think I mentioned that we spent another full day there and the weather cleared and it was insanely beautiful.   Honestly, in the sunshine, even bagpipe music sounds good!

Here are some of my favorite photos from our last day in the UK.

Edinburgh Scotland 
Can you believe how beautiful this is?  Seriously, I can't stop looking at it.  I just wish I remembered what the heck it was!Flowers in Edinburgh
Another gorgeous photo of Edinburgh.  This time I crouched down and snapped the photo through a wrought iron fence that protected a bed of beautiful flowers.

Gwen The Defender 
Gwen was allowed to pick a souvenir of the trip and she chose a sword and shield.  No big surprise there!  Here she is "protecting" a spot along the "Royal Mile".  Be sure to click the image so you can see the larger view and appreciate her face and how serious she is about her job.

 Ruins of Abbey behind Holyrood Palace
Gwen and Maddy inside the ruins of the Abbey behind Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh.  It's amazing to be in a place that is this old (it was built in 1128!). 

 Ruins of Abbey behind Holyrood Palace
I love this photo of Andrew and his baby girls.  He looks so good and the Abbey Ruin is so spectacular but Gwen is clearly miserable.  Maddy is only happy because Gwen isn't.  To pretend that our entire trip was all fun and games to them would be a disservice to every parent who has ever traveled with 4 and 5 year olds.    Looking back, it's kinda funny.  As parents, you just soldier through all of this as best you can.  Now I find it remarkable how these gorgeous photos betray the full mood of the moment in which they were taken.

 Ruins of Abbey behind Holyrood Palace
A snapshot back in time - nearly 900 years!

 Garden of holyrood palace
Don't you almost expect a unicorn to walk across this grassy path?  I don't think I've ever seen anything more beautiful and it was a relief to be in the garden of Holyrood Palace because, frankly, the palace is kinda grim.  It's dark and cold and musty and full of things that must have been state of the art several hundred years ago but seem uncomfortable now. 

Interesting how we can judge how royalty lived hundreds of years ago and (by western standards) it seems substandard.  This was especially true of how Emperors lived in the Forbidden City in Beijing but things weren't much more comfortable for Kings and Queens of other countries.    Kinda makes me wonder how the peasants lived back then.

If you're still wanting more, check out our flickr photo set for Edinburgh. All these photos are there and several others too. Best of all, they're full size so you can see every glorious detail!

May 18, 2009

Daddy is not 100!

Yesterday was Daddy's birthday.  We started the day with snuggles and four or five enthusiastic rounds of The Birthday Song.  Then Gwen told us how to make a birthday cake:

  • 5 eggs
  • 4 pounds of sugar
  • 4 pounds of chocolate
  • mix it up
  • bake it in a hot over for three minutes

 Maddy said Daddy was more than 30 but not 100. 

Maddy made daddy a card 
 Maddy made Daddy this pretty birthday drawing.   Then we headed to San Francisco for the day.

super daddy
Daddy demonstrates the super hero pose.

Reflections of San Francisco

This is a cool photo Daddy took of the Jewish contemporary museum and St Patrick's church, reflected in an adjacent window (Mommy did a little bit of post processing, perspective correction, cropping, etc).

shake man

Gwen is understandably skeptical about the extra feet and fingers on the "Shaking Man" but you really have to see the next photo to appreciate how Maddy felt about this bizarre statue...

 shake man Daddy took this photo looking over the shoulder of the statue.  Maddy's expression is priceless!


dancing in bear feet 

We call this photo "Dancing in Bear/Bare Feet"


can you feel the love 

This heart (also in Yerba Buena Gardens) is really pretty.  We wanted Gwen and Maddy to pose sweetly and this is what happened.  Can't you just feel the love?   This was one of many clues that our girls still can't really function without naps (they slept all the way home).

Minor skirmishes aside, this was a really fun day!   For Dinner, we all went out to Krung Thai (Michael met us there).  None of the girls in our family like Thai food but it's a favorite of the guys so it makes the Birthday Dinner list every year.  No worries though - rice is always good!  Happy Birthday, Daddy!  We sure do love you!

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