Friday, May 27, 2011

Party Time

We held Cecily's actual party on Sunday, the 22nd, and we couldn't have been blessed with a more perfect day if we'd ordered it up. It was sunny, comfortable, and perfect for enjoying a backyard barbeque. It was a more relaxing birthday party than we've had for quite a while. Cecily loved her dollhouse toys, barbie, puzzles, and tea set. I had planned on doing a cute 2nd birthday theme ordered online, but I procrastinated too long and had to go with Minnie Mouse (it was the only thing she recognized at the party store). All in all it turned out fine, though. Cecily enjoyed her day with all of us and cousin Oriana, Aunt Jennifer, Nana, and Papa (with the possible exception of the gift-opening, which made her kind of crazy - I don't know where that came out of).

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cecily Turns 2

Wow, just wow. I can't believe my baby girl is two! That girl is such a spitfire. She's so different from any of my other girls, with her brown hair with a curl to the ends, and her mischevious brown eyes. She's a daredevil extraordinaire and her favorite word is icky. She loves to eat and play on the playground. She'll go toe-to-toe with any of her siblings, especially her big brother Colin, but she's till a bit shy around strangers. We love you, CC!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tiger Mother

Now, I don't consider myself any thing close to a Chinese mother. I don't have enough dedication and persistence for that. I also, even more importantly, don't have kids who are in that cultural mindset. I think If I forced my kids to practice for two to three hours a day I'd have a pretty serious mutiny on my hands. But all the same, I very much enjoyed reading Amy Chua's book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. It talks about some differences between Western and Chinese cultures and parenting in particular. Because it is mostly framed through piano and violin lessons and I'm in the thick of three kids taking piano and violin (soon to be four) it was especially relevant for me. This is one of my favorite quotes from the book "All these Western parents with the same party line about what's good for children and what's not--I'm not sure they're making choices at all. They just do what everyone else does. They're not questioning anything either, which is what Westerners are supposed to be so good at doing. They just keep repeating things like 'You have to give your children the freedom to pursue their passion' when it's obvious that the 'passion' is just going to turn out to be Facebook for ten hours". Scarily spot-on, I'd say.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Keepin' On

That's where I'm at right now. Treading water. I'm hoping it's just end-of-the-school-year madness. It's so busy and there are so many obligations right now that I'm on the verge of losing it. The list is never ending: Elle's pictures, Cecily's birthday party, Colin's birthday party, Hero's 6th grade graduation, piano recital, violin recital, talent show, my Chicago trip, figure-skating competition, and so on and so forth. That is, of course, in addition to all the regular stuff. See, this is why I'm not blogging much - I come off as incredibly whiney. My life isn't bad. I've got healthy kids, a roof over my head, and plenty of food. Everything I complain about is minor. But, you know, you live in your own little bubble, and those things take on some magnitude. Tomorrow is a big day - Cecily turns 2! So here's a few of her last pictures as a 1 year old (sniff sniff).