Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Our Little Dalian Pearl

Month 10

Hard to believe we are 2 months away from Chase's first birthday. Time has absolutely flown by, but I guess that's what all the parents say.

There is something so utterly magical about watching a baby grow in the first year. I count my blessings that I have been able to be with Chase the entire time.

At this point she is babbling non-stop. Ma-ma, Da-da, Nei-Nei, Pa-Pa. She is scooting around everywhere. She loves pulling up and walking along besides furniture. She is adventurous and like to head off exploring on her own. I pretend not to notice and then follow her on my hands and knees, at which point she "floors it" and speeds off into either our bedroom or her own, giggling the entire way. Encouraging me to chase her. How appropriate her name is.

She is eating almost everything now (except the obvious like strawberries, honey, egg white, chocolate). She loves fruit. Kiwi, mango, papaya and bananas are staples.

She loves her musical instruments. She loves her little soccer and basketball. She loves pulling things off of shelves; making chaos out of order. How interesting that I love the exact opposite.

She continues to be a people-person. She loves to engage people. Make them smile and laugh. She will go after the person in the room who is the coldest and work them until she gets a smile. Being the center of attention (all the time, and not just at home) has ensured that she is strong, independent and self-confident.

She is good with other kids, too. Although she still tends to scare them because she is so outgoing. (I guess it runs in the family - today I made a little kid cry in Gymboree music class - because I'm white. Yep, I left feeling terrible. Chase, on the otherhand, continues to be totally oblivious to the fact that there is any difference between her and the other children).

She is such a blessing. Such a joy. Such a wonder.

Chase, darling, we love you so much and we are so fortunate to have you in our lives.

You've GOT To Be Kidding Me

So I've had the littlest (okay, not so little) pain in my front tooth for the past two days. I have been in complete denial, as it is, after all, my FRONT tooth and I am living in CHINA. Well, I finally found a dentist today (THANK GOODNESS she speaks English). She informed me that YES, I need a ROOT CANAL on my FRONT TOOTH.

I had a number of translators weigh in to ensure she really meant root canal. This then, would be my second since I had Chase. Apparently some women who get pregnant suffer greatly in the dental department both during and after pregnancy because the baby takes what would otherwise go toward keeping teeth strong and healthy. Some women actually lose teeth (note to self for next time 'round).

Anyway, I went to this dentist lady, who was very nice and very reassuring that everything would be okay. Meanwhile I am close to hysterics. What? Another root canal? Are you sure?

Luckily, my contact at Gymboree (LOVE HER) knew a German woman who used to be a dentist, who actually lives in my complex/compound. I visited her this afternoon. She confirmed the diagnosis. But she also told me she visited the dentist already and was quite happy to see all of the equipment they are using is top-of-the-line. I told her about how they took x-rays (three people standing in the same room - me with the vest, them with nothing). She said it was okay, because the technology is so good. You actually get exposed to more x-rays when you fly (sorry Chase! I think you're going by train from here on out) and that is why all those flight attendants are having infertility problems (I didn't know it was a problem).

Anyway, she went on to tell me that if I wait, my front tooth may turn black, whereas if I do it now, before it really starts to hurt, I can keep my front tooth white. Hmmm. Much to think about. Because it really doesn't hurt "that bad" or "that often." But a black front tooth is not exactly something to look forward to, ya know?

So the German lady said she would come with me (THANK YOU!) and oversee it (hold my hand). Of course this all corresponds exactly with Brian's Grand Opening, so he needs to be elsewhere. Strangely enough, the tooth that needs the work is the same tooth that is giving Chase a real problem. Her left front tooth has yet to emerge, yet her right is growing up a storm.

On to other things…

You Pung, my helper ran to the grocery for me today while I was at Gymboree (I had asked her to buy Tofu and Spinach). When she came back, she told my Gymboree contact that I should NOT eat them together. I asked my language teacher about it and she said that the Chinese believe that when certain foods are eaten together, they create a poison – tofu and spinach being one of these combinations. Hmmm, good to know. Another one is crab and persimmon (rather an unlikely combination if you ask me).

Funny that. Jamie Oliver never mentioned this in his cook books!