Monday, January 28, 2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013

So, Mom got us these new glasses...

and we love 'em!

Taipei Zoo

"Xian, looks it's a zebra," claimed Krista.
"ma," came the tentative response.

"Zebra," Krista repeated.
"ma," Xian again countered.

"MA!" Xian was now a bit agitated. This was no zebra. It was a..

"Ma," Krista agreed. Xian nodded her head in approval. Ma is the word for a horse in Chinese and Xian was setting Mom straight.

We spent a few hours touring the zoo. For a whopping 60 NTD (equivalent to $2), the zoo is great trip. It was our first trip and we didn't get through the the entire place. Starting with a few pink flamingos, the girls were primed and excited to see some animals.

The signs indicated that the Giant Panda was a special exhibition. Wow! Giant indeed.

The smell announced the location of the camels and the girls loved seeing them.

Eventually, we wound our way through the Taiwan foliage to get to Krista's favorite - the giraffes!

Cruising through the zoo...

At the end, we managed to sneak out a couple of critters.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Hello Kitty Birthday!

Happy Birthday Sage! She's the one with the birthday that sidled up to winter celebrations. The plus - she will likely be on a great trip when the hour of her birthday strikes. The minus - a delayed party. This year was no problem. She rocked it

Big thanks to Mamie-O and Ole Far for helping to get our house looking a bit more Hello Kitty-esque.

Sage loved her cake and showed her true self as she shoveled cake, head dived for icing and sent high fives out to the crowd.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Inside the stocking

As a gift, one of our students gave us a super-sized Santa stocking. We started to dig into it...

Whoa! What did we find?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bottles be gone

Farewell Avent. Farewell Tommy Tippee. We have appreciated your services but our girls are growing up.

Just a few days ago the bottle sterilizer decided to stop working and we followed up by getting rid of the girls' bottles. Rumor has it that this is a good time to kick the bottle addiction and there may even be some link between ear infections (our dreaded nemesis) and drinking from the bottle. At this point, we are willing to try anything for the girls to get over the constant ear infections. On a related note, today was Sage's last day of heavy duty  antibiotics. Woohoo!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Fuzzy PJ time

One of our students gifted XO and Sage with some fuzzy animal suits as pjs. They giggled as we put them into the outfits and then rolled around on each other. A few fuzzy photos of the fun...

Monday, January 14, 2013

Walking girl

Words, Words and More Words!

As promised, we are beginning to see less and less developmental differences between XO and Sage. The three month gap becomes smaller day by day. Both girls are walking, running and twirling their way across rooms. Both girls are very vocal in their likes and dislikes. Both girls have their favorite lovey that brings unending comfort and joy. XO began talking a few months ago with a “Mei-Mei” (younger sister in Chinese) and quickly followed it up with a Mei-Mei Lai (Sister come). This of course is always accompanied with her sign for come. 

Over the last month, XO has added, oo for shoe, dog, mom, dad and. . .the best of the best...binkie. It would appear as if all of XO’s words surround those things that are nearest and dearest to her heart. The signs she knows also surround things she wants or thinks she needs. Other than that, Xian is content with her limited vocabulary. (With that said, we are unsure all of what she says as she is tackling more than one language and our Chinese is limited).

Sage has entered into the world of speaking. However, Sage’s world does not revolve around connections she’s made with people or items around the house. Sage’s world is one of movement and noise. She pinballs from place to place and touches everything and anything her little hands can get ahold of. So it was no surprise to us when she violently waved her hand and yelled, “BYE BYE!” At first we thought it was a coincidence, but over the weekend, she has proven that “bye-bye”, a wave of the hand, quickly followed by a huge cheesy grin and a hearty clapping of the hands, has definitely entered into her new repertoire.

The girls...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Teaching Team

We're a package deal. I wrote a bit about our job-hunt experiences over the past few months on my "teacher blog". Check it out if you're inclined...

Friday, January 4, 2013

Beijing in the fall!

It has been an exciting roller coaster ride over the last few months but we are extremely happy about the result --> we will be moving to Beijing for the next school year! Our new school will be the International School of Beijing. It's a perfect fit for us both professionally as the school is simply amazing and personally as the girls will be able to continue learning Chinese. More later but for now - Yay!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy Birthday Sage!

A year ago, we raced off to the hospital for the birth of this amazing little girl. Since then, we've watched her grow from the itsy bitsy peanut she was to a full time walker. The happy screams that nicknamed her the pterodactyl are well known throughout our hotel here in Bangkok and can likely be heard clear back in Taichung. Sage is a ball of energy constantly ping ponging from one end of a room to another. She has an innate desire to figure out how things work and quickly will turn knobs on and off, can access any bag in a matter of sheer seconds, and with gumby like hands can stretch much more than her height to reach even the top most points. At a whopping 7.7 kilograms, she is hardly a blip on the radar but her huge personality more than makes up for her small stature.

With a mouthful of sharp, jagged teeth, Sage is a force to be reckoned with. Once something enters into her mouth, she does not distinguish between edible or not. Sage's chompers clamp down and woe behold if your fingers comes between her pearly whites. With 10 teeth newly budding, Sage's trap is becoming quite the arsenal.

Big sister is one to look up to and Sage spends a lot of time watching Xian and mimicking her. Xian's unique sign language has been adopted by Sage and Sage often is found trying to hug, kiss, or snuggle XO-much to XO's chagrin.

Happy Birthday Sage. We love you!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Gibbons and Waterfalls to end the year

The sounds in the distance resembled police sirens. It seemed strange that lots of sirens would be approaching us as we hiked in a national forest. Returning from the girls' first waterfall (they get quite heavy on the trail)

the sirens began. After the initial puzzlement, we realized that the sounds were actually the songs of gibbons. At the trail head, a Gibbon Rehabilitation Project has been installed to rescue gibbons and help introduce them to the wild. These animals are often kept as pets and used in the tourist trade. With a normal bedtime in the early afternoon hours, stimulants are given to them to keep them awake and active. Other gibbons have physical deformities that hinder them from being successful in the wild so they will stay at the project.