Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia Holiday Visit

A friend invited us to Columbia for a holiday party last Saturday night which gave us a great excuse to get back to the Riverbanks Zoo.  We went a few months ago and were extremely impressed.  Before that, I had been in high school on a field trip and that zoo was in a state of disrepair.  I remember the animals all looked so pitiful and the cages being miserably inadequate.  I left that zoo in high school wanting to free all of the animals.  The zoo has obviously undergone a true renovation and is greatly improved!giraffe.JPG

My favorite part of the zoo are the giraffes.  When we approached the giraffe’s area, the zookeeper was feeding one of them and we bought some carrots to help out.  I held Graham up and he bravely fed the giraffe quite a few carrots.  I was shocked.  The giraffe is an enormous animal and for such a little guy to take on such a big job seemed very brave at the time.  That was definitely the zoo highlight of the day for me.  Graham also fearlessly let lorikeets land on his hand which his own mother is somewhat jittery about.  He did a great job!lorikeet.JPG

Later on, Graham got to break out his Santa suit for the party and was a hit as usual.  That boy makes a fine Santa with those rosy cheeks and big dimples.  santagraham.JPG


Santa Claus

I had no idea how often I would use Santa Claus as a discipline method until I became a mother.  After only writing that one line I find myself realizing that Graham may grow to fear Santa Claus.  For example, when we went out to eat the other night, Graham starting misbehaving.  I think he was banging his fork or maybe not eating.  Anyway, Michael and I said that the elves were watching and that if Graham wasn’t good at the table, that he wouldn’t get his presents.  He listened and changed his behavior quickly.  It worked, but is that the best method?  I guess at the age of 2, you have to take what you can get.   Michael and I seem to have backed off of the Santa Claus and the Elves bit in the last few days, but we were hitting it hard for a while there.  Graham was going through a little whiny spurt which he goes through periodically and those elves were peering through the windows of our house so much we should have called the police!  It’s no wonder after watching “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” on television, Graham did not ask to sleep with an elf afterwards, he asked to sleep with the abominable snowman!

This season with a 2 year old though is fabulous and magical.  I am loving reliving all of the joy of believing again.  I was driving Michael a little crazy because I kept finding places where Santa was going to be that we could take Graham.   I guess I was overdoing it, but I just can’t help it!  It is so thrilling to see his eyes light up at the sight of Santa or Christmas lights or parades.  Besides, it won’t be long before this magic will fade from him and he’ll have to wait until he has his own kids to feel this again with.

On another totally different note, he peed on the potty for the first time tonight- Go Graham!  Carousel Ride

New Referrals

Families with dossiers logged in before September 8th just got their referrals from China.  Everyone was really hoping more of September would be done by now, so this was pretty disappointing!  I’m still hoping we get a referral by March, but that is starting to look impossible.  I never would have thought we still wouldn’t have a baby by now when we first began this process.  

On another note, Beijing has recently begun enforcing a one dog policy in China as well which has meant loads of dogs abandoned into the streets.    Police have been seen capturing and beating these dogs to death.  Just lovely!



As you can see from my lack of posts, the Holidays have been busy so far!  What an exciting time for a 2 year old though.  Graham is thrilled with the emergence of Santa’s, reindeers, and lights.   Michael has done an amazing job this year in putting up lights and we have borrowed some animated reindeers from Michael’s parents to add to the decor as well.  There is a multitude of Christmas color in our yard! 

Thanksgiving was wonderful as well.  We had dinner at Michael’s sister’s house.  In digging out all of our Christmas goodies for decorating, I came across a Santa Suit I bought for Graham last year at an after Chrismtas sale.  Graham decided to wear it to Thanksgiving dinner.  We thought he would get hot and want to take it off.  Apparently he quite enjoyed being Santa for the day because he kept it on forever.thanksgiving.JPG