Congratulations Michael and Ingrid!

Our friends Michael and Ingrid are in China right now and just met their baby girl yesterday.  Her name is Sadie Tree and she is from Guizhou Province, in the southwestern part of China.  She is so adorable.  Michael and Ingrid just checked in and things seem to be going well.  We are so happy for them and can’t wait to meet her!

Today is also our one year anniversary of the special day that we met Surae for the first time.  She has changed so much!!  Unfortunately, Surae is really sick today and we are at home recuperating.  Yesterday was her birthday too and we spent a good portion of it at the doctor’s office where she even had to get an x- ray.  Good thing she won’t remember this one!

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Happy 2nd Birthday Surae!

Surae’s 2nd Birthday is Monday, so we celebrated with a little party on Saturday.  This also means that on Tuesday, we will have had Surae for a whole year.  We decided to just invite family for her birthday party as Surae is still not too crazy about other people being around.  She is a big time velcro baby with me. 

Surae, unfortunately, did not hold up too well for the party.  She clung to me the whole time and wouldn’t let anyone touch her.  She got really upset about her gifts (again- an apprehension to all things new and unfamiliar) and just kept saying no.  The only gift she seemed to attach to was a stuffed Camel from Pop Pop and Roni and her dress up jewelry. 

I thought she was handling things even worse than anticipated and I finally felt her head and she seemed pretty warm.  She had a runny nose all day, but everyone in my house has a runny nose right now, so I didn’t think too much about it.  Anyway, when I took her temperature it was 103.1. She always seems to run a really high temp when she’s not feeling well. 

We put her to bed early (before even eating her cake) and she stayed asleep for a few hours, but was then up constantly, so I pulled her into bed with me around 9.  She slept pretty well and her fever went right down, but she is a restless sleeper, so I didn’t get much sleep at all.  It was kind of a crazy birthday to say the least.

In other news, my dad and Roni bought Surae this baby doll that moves and coos.  Surae didn’t want anything to do with it, but Graham loves it.  He keeps wanting to feed it and put it to sleep.  It is too funny.  Graham is calling her his new sister.  Ha!!

LEAF Festival 2008

Last weekend, the family headed back to our favorite festival, LEAF in Black Mountain, NC.  The weather was cold, but that didn’t stop us from having a blast.  We arrived on Thursday night and got a great camping spot right on the edge of the woods.  Michael packed the whole house it seemed like which I was a little frustrated with at first, but then so thankful for once we arrived and got set up.  His greatest item he brought that I protested was our fire pit which turned out to be a lifesaver Saturday night.  We really had a great camp set up thanks to Michael!  People walking by even commented on how awesome it was.

Thursday night, we got set up, put the kids to bed, and cooked dinner.  It was a laid back night and so enjoyable.  On Friday, we began exploring the festival in the morning.  Graham played in the sand some, Surae and Michael carved a pumpkin, and I was able to enjoy a much needed afternoon nap. 

 That night we caught my favorite band of the weekend, Vieux Farka Toure, the son of Ali Farka Toure.  He and his band were so moving.  At night, we made a fire and cooked some homemade pizza.  The people camping next to us were actually vendors with a big camper and they even contributed some fresh basil to the pie- Yum!!

On Saturday, we explored the wonderful kids market in the morning which is always one of my favorite things to do at LEAF.  It’s hard to believe that Graham will be able to make his own wares to sell soon if he wants to.  I think he will make an excellent salesman! 

We took it easy during the morning and afternoon: catching music, eating ice cream, and just enjoying the day. 

Late Saturday afternoon, the LEAF Kid’s Parade was held.  It was a visual treat as always and the kids had a blast participating in the parade of puppetry arts.

The musical highlight of Saturday night was definitely Betty Lavette, a soul singer who has been making music since 1962, but was just discovered in 2005!  She was overflowing with emotion and a true joy to watch. 

That night, we froze our butts off.  Man, was it cold!  That fire the next morning was much appreciated.  Graham had fun popping Jiffy Pop and roasting marshmallows though.

Sunday’s highlight was definitely the Shangri La Chinese Acrobats.  We saw a similar show in China, but from farther back in the audience.  This time, we had a front row spot and boy, was it amazing.  I am so glad that LEAF was able to bring that experience to the festival this year.  There is no other place around where one can experience so many cultures in one spot. 

We ended the day with Abigail Washburn and the Sparrow Quartet featuring Bela Fleck.  I always love seeing Bela and this was no exception.  He is one amazing musician and it was the perfect way to end yet another fabulous LEAF experience. 

 

Visit to Atlanta

Last weekend, we took a trip down to Atlanta to hang out with friends and family.  Michael and I left work a little early on Friday and arrived at my brother’s house around 5ish and avoided the major part of work traffic.  Graham was especially excited as Chris had brought out several transformers from his collection for Graham to play with.  Surae warmed up to Chris really well too and loved playing with Ginger and Jack especially.  Friday night was Uncle Chris’s first babysitting experience with Graham and Surae.  Michael and I got Surae in bed and left Graham in the hands of Chris while Michael and I went out to catch a Stereolab show.  Graham was thrilled at the prospect of legos, transformers, and cartoons! 

 

The Stereolab show was a blast and our friends Chris W and Jerry were able to join us.  They played at the Variety Playhouse and I had never seen them before, so it was a really great experience.  At 11:30, Chris texted me to let me know Graham was finally in bed.  Yes, 11:30.  For a boy that normally goes to sleep at 8 at the latest, we knew we were in for some trouble the next day.

On Saturday, Graham and I went to a puppet show at the Center for Puppetry Arts.  They also had a Jim Henson exhibit going on in the museum area that was really cool.  The puppet show was great, but Graham was really tired from being up so late the night before.  After the show, we scooted on over to Chris and Tammy’s house.  We had a great dinner there along with our friends Chuck and Emily as well.  Good, good times and talk!

On Sunday, we met up  at a Dim Sum Restaurant with fellow China travel partners, Christine and Rob and their son and daughter Jeb and Ellie.  Surae and Ellie were both in the Fenyi Orphanage together, so seeing everyone again was so fun.  It’s wild to think that we travelled to get our girls almost a year ago. 

It was a great trip to Atlanta and I look forward to seeing everyone again soon.