Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer in Hong Kong

Summer is Hong Kong is hot. Sticky. Rainy. Quiet. And filled with bugs.

This evening, our helper opened the kitchen door and in seconds, our kitchen was filled with giant mosquitoes. Really fast ones, too - and I have to believe that if they are fast, they are also hungry.

A shame, really, because I'd love to tell the girls "go outside and play." Which would be the same as saying "go jump in that pond of Piranhas, they won't hurt you, see they're friendly, they're smiling...."

This Summer - time for that matter - seems to be speeding up for me. Already we are nearly through July. How did that happen? So here are the updates...

- Chase -

Chasie-Boo has been in charge of learning how to read, write - as well as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Shhhh, don't tell her, but she is going to be WAY smarter than me next year. I actually do very little, except answer occasional questions and throw worksheets in her direction when she is looking bored. She is also doing extremely well in Mandarin. I looked at her vocabulary list and thought "how did she get this far already?" Darn, I have a lot of catch-up!

As for sports, Chase loves her swimming, tennis and gymnastics. Today she told me tennis was her favorite and that she was sad other kids could hit the ball and she couldn't, so I told her we would practice every day this week and she would be better by next week. (fingers crossed!)

Overall Chase is such an eager and inquisitive girl she is an absolute pleasure to spend every waking moment with... that is, of course, until she turns into a limp noodle on the floor and complains when there is nothing to do. I am finding that she can be an absolute clown in front of her peers, she loves to make her friends laugh.

She also misses Denver. At least the idea of Denver. Terribly. With small, heaving sobs, she'll tell me she misses her friends, her school. I keep telling her we will try to find a way to go back, and then explain how every time we go back to America we need to visit our family (conveniently located on three different Coasts) and how that doesn't leave much time to visit other areas. But she is insistent. She needs to go back to Denver.

She is so sweet, so sensitive, so lovely. Oh my Chase girl, I love you so!!!

- Mads -
Oh Madsie-Loo, where do I start? Such a big girl. No more diapers. Hasn't worn one in a long time. Doesn't wear them to bed. How did you grow up so fast?

Now we're working on bedtime. On how to put yourself to sleep, instead of having your mom cuddled next to you. Talking her into it, night after night - no really Mads, you can do it! Not quite there yet - will have to introduce the bed time fairy soon if things don't change.

Mads is taking Mandarin, Soccer, Tennis and Ballet. Her Mandarin is great. She's a pro at soccer. She's a natural at tennis and she loves, loves loves to twirl in ballet. Being a little sister can be hard work, but I have to say it does amazing things when it comes to skill development. All that time trying to keep up with Chase has paid off.

Mads is also learning how to "be sad," how to get her way, how to make other people laugh, and how to get through the day without a nap. Just the other day, she was really sad about something (I don't recall) and she went and sat by herself, with her head low between her shoulders. I went over to comfort her and she turned around and put her head in between her arms. (SO SAD). So I started blowing raspberries on her back. And she started giggling. And that was that.... but it was work to turn her around.

And of course, if her big sister does or says anything... anything at all... Mads will, for the most part, agree. And throw a fuss on her big sister's behalf.

The girls play together quite well. For about 15 minutes. And then I've got to change it up to keep them from squabbling, which usually ends up with Chase putting her head on Mads (like our dog, Taggart, used to do to her), and Madoc will just make a little fist (no idea where she learned this) and whack her big sister. You get the picture. So it's all about running them until they drop. Until they are too tired to fight each other. Until they happily fall into bed at the end of a very busy day.

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