Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year! Welcome 2011!

We rang in the New Year on a junk in Victoria Harbor. It was beautiful, but cold!

The fireworks were lovely, but Hubs and I were surprised that the show was actually quite small and short compared to other displays we've seen. The larger displays are supposed to happen in October, and in February, for Chinese New Year.

New Year Resolutions...
1) Work out!
2) Get organized
3) Sit up straight
4) Balance (everything) better
5) No worries (I can try)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas in Hong Kong

On Christmas eve, Chase wrote the following note to Santa before bed...

And in the morning, she found that reindeer had nibbled at the carrots and Santa had eaten the cupcake!

Chase gave Brian a gift she made for him. It was a banana split made out of paper!

Nana helped Madoc play with her new presents.

And then we went to a fancy Christmas dinner held at a friend's house. It was totally outrageous and very fun. Here is the kids table...

Merry Christmas From Hong Kong!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Madoc!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Madoc! We love you so much. We feel so blessed to have you in our lives. Your gorgeous laugh, brilliant smile, blue sapphire eyes and little pink lips. You have so much attitude, so much determination.

You just learned the word, "mine," a word Chase didn't learn until she turned 4. You've already used that big word several times today. You also recently learned the word CHASE, which is crystal clear and quite impressive. You still like saying "Mommy this," but you now use the word "not" to say no. It is quite funny actually. "Madoc, do you want some milk?" And you will answer, "not."

You are so close to learning how to potty, but we're seeing you become less interested now. I hope we haven't missed our window of opportunity. Your favorite food has to be ketchup, if that could possibly be a food group. You so like to dip things in it. Your other favorite food is fruit (any and all of it - especially tropical fruits) but you're not so keen on stone fruits. You also love yogurt and can eat bowls and bowls of it.

You love baby dolls. I think you have seven now. You always want whatever baby someone else is playing with. I keep thinking you'll settle on one, but you favor a different one each day. You love the baby accessories - stroller, carrier, bathtub, shampoo - so funny and so cute.

On the downside, you recently had another bout with breathing issues - last year you were hospitalized with pneumonia (one of the scariest moments of my life). This year, the pollution here triggered a cough that turned to croup that turned to bronchitis. Luckily we caught it early enough that hospitalization was not needed, but I've spent every night the last week and a half laying next to you, listening to you breath. Giving you breathing treatments at midnight. But you finally look so much better, thank goodness! Let's make this the last time you have breathing issues, it's too stressful for me.

Your big sister has been an amazing big sister to you this year. She has really tried so hard to be sweet to you (sometimes it is hard because you bite her or take her barbies). She gives you hugs even after you pull her hair. She has such a big heart, Madoc, you are so lucky to have her as a big sister (even if she does take things you are playing with or try to "show" you how to do things).

We love you so much. We are so looking forward to watch you grow!

We bought you a dozen white roses and a mango cheesecake to celebrate. You also received a wonderful backpack from our helper, Jojo (you wear it proudly), building blocks and books.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hong Kong Weather

Hong Kong Observatory is really good at giving people weather warnings. Here is one for today...

Cold Weather Warning
The Cold Weather Warning is now in force.Cold weather is
expected in Hong Kong during the overnight period.

People are advised to put on warm clothes and to avoid
adverse health effects due to the cold weather. You must
also ensure adequate indoor ventilation.

If you must go out, please avoid prolonged exposure to
wintry winds.

If you know of elderly persons or persons with chronic
medical conditions staying alone, please call or visit them
occasionally to check if they need any assistance.

Make sure heaters are safe before use, and place them away
from any combustibles. Do not light fires indoors as a means
to keep warm.

Whatever the temperature, please ensure that there is plenty
of fresh air in your room when you are using an old-type gas
water heater.

Dispatched by Hong Kong Observatory at 16:20 HKT on 17.12.2010

Frost Warning
Hong Kong Observatory warns farmers and others concerned
that ground frost is likely to occur early tomorrow morning
on high ground and in the northern part of the New

Dispatched by Hong Kong Observatory at 16:30 HKT on 17.12.2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Gift

Chase gave me a lovely gift today at her Christmas party. It was a heart-shaped key chain with a picture of her hands together (like a prayer), and I thought it was a cute present from her Christian Kindergarten. And then I turned it over and on the back it said, "Please help mummy not to forget things." Oh no!

Monday, December 13, 2010

To My Ladies

My dearest little ladies,

I love you both so much. It's true when they say you can't possibly understand a parent's love until you have children of your own. I wish I could tell you. I love, love, love everything about you. I love your laughs, the sparkles in your eyes, your smiles and how you both find joy in so many little things in life (oh I hope you don't lose this as you get older).

Chase, you amaze and impress me every day. Now 4.5 years old, you are such a big girl. Your approach to learning and your open attitude will be sure to take you far. I wish I could challenge you more - I wish your teachers would challenge you more, too. You enjoy word games, puzzles, books, and workbooks for kids twice your age. You are a brilliant star, my dear.

Madoc, you also amaze and impress me every day, in your little two-year-old body. You are still so little, but getting older and smarter every day. Bigger, older, and more determined than ever. You are so beautiful, you know what you want and you go after it. I pity the person who gets between you and your dreams. You love baby dolls and toy cars and airplanes. You find so much happiness in our long walks outside. I am sooo looking forward to watching your personality evolve in the coming years.

My Christmas wish for my girls? That you are able to find joy, peace and happiness in each day of your life. That you make smart decisions, trust yourself and live your dreams. Your Daddy and I love you so much!

Madoc's First "Real" Haircut

Took Mads in for her first "real" hair cut today. Wow! What a big girl!


Just another day at the breakfast table...

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Hong Kong Christmas

Hong Kong takes Christmas decorations to a new level. They decorate entire walls of skyscrapers with blinking, flashing Christmas lights. Our friends invited us out for junk cruise to see the lights - what a gorgeous night!! Christmas costumes were mandatory.

Brian and Chase

Spending time with Daddy is the BEST.

Mads - Almost 2!!

That Line

Madoc was standing at the sink, playing with water as she often does. She didn't have her shirt on, and Chase came up from behind her and started running her finger up and down Madoc's spine. I said, "Chase, what are you doing?" And Chase answered, "that line in Madoc's back is SO beautiful, Mommy."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving in Cebu

After much deliberation (beach holiday vs. city break), we decided to go to a resort in Cebu (Philippines). We agreed to spend this time resting, relaxing, and doing as little as possible (this has proven difficult for us to do in the past). The hard part, of course, is when the kids are so eager to start the day that they wake up at 6 a.m.

I can't say I blamed them - they spent the day swimming, laughing, playing in the sand, swinging on the swings (Mads), at the kids club (Chase), and sleeping when it just became too much to keep their eyes open (7 pm).

And while it sounds good that they went to sleep so early, there is very little one can actually do in a room - that you can't leave - with two sleeping children. Good thing we had a balcony (a definite must for parents who are considering travel with kids).

So the up side - family time, lovely grounds, kids club, very little stress, only four hours door-to-door from home. There was also a fabulous performance, that showcased local music and dancing... and fireworks!

Down side - didn't see anything besides the beach, pool and lovely grounds - embarrassed to say that for the first time, we didn't see local sights (Magellan's Cross - or even Cebu, the oldest city in the Philippines). They didn't have any turkey on Thanksgiving. Oh, and Hub's MOvember mustache. Thank goodness that thing goes away at the end of November - Merry Christmas to me!

Feeding fish in the morning. They came right up to you!


Pool-side girls...

At dusk, everyone in town decided to (1) cook or (2) burn garbage, so a very thick layer of smoke veiled everything for as far as the eye could see. Chase, Mads and I all started coughing every night and no matter how good the ventilation system was, our room smelled of smoke (a definite down side).

Local flowers...

Balcony time...

Mads decided early on that she would (1) not wear a diaper, (2) not wear shoes, and (3) not wear any clothes - for the entire time we were there.

"Why does Mom keep putting this diaper on me?"

Our view of the lovely grounds...

We ate loads of fruit...

Chase actually became a little tired at one point...

And Mads definitely enjoyed her early afternoon naps...

Until Chase tickled her toes (no Chase! Let your sister sleep!)

And I wore a big, crazy hat to try to keep freckles and wrinkles away...

Good times!