Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mommy is an American citizen!

It's a done deal. I became a U.S. citizen yesterday along with 41 other people. I was a little disappointed in the ceremony itself, but I am glad it's done. I think they used to do some reception at the Peabody, but now it's just at the USCIS office. Now that Margaux and I are citizens we should never have to deal with them!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ni Wa Wa - Too cute!

Our guide sang this song to our girls while we were in Nanchang!

Oath for citizenship

First, for your viewing pleasure a Margaux pic: my first attempt at tie-dyeing.
So, tomorrow will be the day that I officially become a U.S. citizen. I'm kind of excited but it really has not hit yet. I took the afternoon off from work and I have to be at USCIS at 2pm. The girls cannot come (no kids under 10 allowed) and Chuck can only come after 3pm. Will let you know how this goes.

Meanwhile, both girls have adjusted to their new schools beautifully. I'm getting all kinds of compliments on Margaux's behavior. I'm told she's very sweet and very well behaved. We're making some progress on the potty training also. Sophie is doing great at Richland. She seems to like her teacher and is starting to make new friends.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Margaux's first haircut

Margaux had her first haircut on Saturday. Her hair was getting long in the back and I really wanted to even it out. I think it turned out really cute and it makes her look like such a big girl!

Sophie also got a trim. Her hair gets really dry after a summer at the pool. The pictures don't do the cut justice since her hair was still wet, but you get the idea.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Article from China Daily

Fewer kids available for adoption by foreigners

By Guan Xiaofeng (China Daily)

Updated: 2008-08-20 08:10

Fewer Chinese children are available for adoption by foreigners because more affluent families at home have started adopting them, the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) said on Tuesday.

"The number of Chinese couples applying to adopt children has risen substantially in recent years," said Wang Suying, a division chief of MCA's social welfare and social affairs department, which oversees adoption.

Related readings:

China considering registration of adoption offers

Adoption applications flood in

Adoption rules well received

China denies adoption prejudice

About 52,500 children were registered for adoption in 2004, with foreigners adopting 12,500 of them, according to MCA figures. But last year, the numbers fell to about 46,000 and 10,000.

"Our policy is in line with the international practice of encouraging adoption by families within the country," Wang said, because that way the kids can grow up in their own culture, which is good for them.

"But that does not mean we have any prejudice against foreign adoptions."

More families in the country are adopting kids because Chinese people's attitude toward adoption has changed, Wang said.

A lot of Chinese used to adopt kids to ensure someone was there to take care of them during their retired life, and hence they preferred boys to girls, she said.

"Now more and more Chinese people are adopting kids simply because they love children and are proud to become foster parents."

Ji Gang, director of domestic adoptions, China Center of Adoption Affairs, said Chinese families' newly acquired affluence too was responsible for the change in attitude.

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences figures show China has 30 million middle-class people, or those who earn between $10,000 and $50,000 a year.

Wang, however, said foreign families are still more willing to adopt disabled children.

US families adopted the highest number of Chinese children, followed by the Spanish.

Since 1992, when China's Adoption Law was implemented, US families have adopted more than 55,000 Chinese kids.

From May 2007, China tightened the rules for foreigners who wanted to adopt Chinese children.

To qualify as an eligible family, couples now need to have a stable marriage, comfortable income, and sound physical and mental health.

According to China's Adoption Law, people who want to adopt children must be more than 30 years old, healthy, childless and with a good and steady income to raise and educate the children.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

As promised - Margaux back to school pic

Friday, August 15, 2008

Great start for Margaux

Back to school went without a hitch for Margaux... She has not cried so far although she was a little clingy today but it was over once she got blankey. Teacher's reports said she had a "terrific day" both Wed. and Thur. She did not eat much on the first day but made up for it the next day. Teacher made a note that she takes her shoes off all the time but is able to put them back on herself (little keds mary-janes). Not sure that I can do much about that. I'm worried that if I put her in tennies with shoelaces she will get very frustrated. I guess I can try.

She did manage to get scratched on her cheek by a kitten on her last day with her sitter! :( which is also the same day I completely ripped a tire on my way back from Sophie's school!

So, overall a great first week for both girls. Sophie's complaining they're not doing enough in school. I'm suspecting it's just because it's the first week.

I do have a Margaux pic that I will post later.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Back to school for Sophie

It's official, Sophie is a second grader! We had to alter our routine and this morning was a little rough. This school has no parking and we had to park on the street about 1/2 mile down and walk with the huge box of supplies and Margaux in the stroller. It was not pretty.

We made it in barely on time (did not count on the long walk, and caught a train). I also started my day pouring spoiled milk in my coffee! Yuck! And there was not enough left for another cup! :( Sophie was pretty happy to go back to school. Luckily she has two friends in her class: one from pre-k and one from last year, so that should make the adjustement easier. The school has a decent size library and a full cafeteria, so we do not have to pack lunch!

Margaux gets her start in preschool (2yr) on Wednesday.

Here's a pic of my new second grader!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Summer is winding down and health news

Tomorrow is the last day of camp for Sophie! Woohoo! School starts on Monday. We had registration on Tuesday and we will meet the teacher on Saturday.

Margaux starts pre-K 2 on Wednesday, so I still have to take her to Collierville through Tuesday.

Sophie is excited to go back to school, but a little apprehensive about going somewhere new. I think she will enjoy it, though, once she gets used to it. It's a bigger school than where she was before and they have a lot of after school activities etc. They also have a cafeteria wich means I won't have to pack her lunch every day.

We're also looking forward to the Olympics with all the China coverage. Our little China angel is doing well. She's making great strides with language and starting to talk more in full sentences. She has very good fien motor skills and has mastered using markers and crayons.

I had my follow up appointment yesterday. My blood work is pretty much inconclusive for PCOS. Both my glucose and insulin levels were normal but according to a ratio calculation they indicate mild insulin intolerance. I have a prescription for metformin and I need to go back in 6 months to check on the ovarian cysts and the fribroids.