Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tet 3.0

Soon after Phoebe came home from Vietnam, we were invited to our first NYC Tet celebration. Diana and 9-month old Liana (who had been back from the very same place Phoebe had lived for about 5 months) welcomed us over to their place. Both my parents and Diana's parents were there happy to celebrate with their new grand children. We ordered in Vietnamese food and dined in style. Two years later, Diana has a new little girl, Julia, 14 months old and full of smiles. She came home with Diana just 3 weeks ago from Kyrgystan, in the former Soviet Union, and she is a pure delight. For this year's Tet Celebration (it is the Year of the Tiger) we added two more Moms and three more girls to our party. Phoebe and I hosted Carol and Sammie, Elly, Margaret & Celia and Diana and her two daughters. Grandma Lynn and Jonfer also stopped by to say hello and share in the fun. The fare was bagels and lox this time and good fun was had by all.

Phoebe is at an age where we are starting to talk more about where she was born and how we became a family. We have a new colorful map on the wall and she can point out where Vietnam is and is likely to tell you, "I lived there." I get to show her where I lived in India and Australia and London too. When new people come to our home, she asks them to show her where they were born. Living in NYC, it seems everyone is from somewhere else. It's fun for her to see that everyone has an original story to tell. For some reason, the picture of Big Ben is her current favorite. We line up the chairs and the bunnies and all get on the bus (or the train or the car) for a trip to London. Maybe we'll get there together someday. That would be wonderful. Until then, we are happy in our little home, having friends over, looking at the map of the world and dreaming of all the place we will go.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Off to Fla-la-la

A week in Florida would never be my ideal vacation, but with my Parents now ensconced there for the winter- off we went! (Phoebe said: "We're going to Fla-la-la!") I can't remember the last time I went to the Sunshine State. My Grandparents lived in the Fort Lauderdale area when I was younger. My friend Carol and I were routinely sent down there during Spring Break over Passover. Our days were filled with cards and bingo and trips to the pool. My parents Florida did not involve Bingo. We were so happy to be together, we didn't care that the weather barely got above 50 degrees. We were bundled up much of the time, but we still managed to get to Del Ray Beach, have a dip in the community pool, and take a trip up to See Alana and Keith in Jupiter. Phoebe was thrilled to be back with Grammy Mika, Grampy Bob and Bromley. The house they are renting was spacious and open. We visited Devy and her singing Lobster. and even had a quick visit with Ruth Weiser (aka Sha-mommy). It may not have been warm, but it was warmer than our freezing winter in NYC. We'll take it. A little time with the ones we love is always worth the trip.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Phee & Bun go to school

It's not exactly school. It's not even pre-school. But twice a week for the past 3 weeks, Phoebe has started a separation program at Kidville called KVU- Kidville University. Like many of the classes she has taken in the past 2 years, it is filled with fun activities like art and books and music. There's 45 minutes in the gym at the end of each class where Phoebe (and Bun) get to jump on the trampoline, hang on the bars and play hide and seek (Phoebe calls it Hide & Peek) with her lovely teachers; Jess, Carmen, Sonia and Cyrene. The class is made up of 12 two-year-olds. Some have been doing the separation thing for awhile and say good bye to their grown-up with ease. Others are new to this drop-off game and there are tears. Sometimes lots of tears.

The first week, I stayed for class on both Monday and Wednesday. It was wonderful to see how well Phoebe does in new environments. She's amazingly adaptable. The second week, I left after the first hour. Phoebe was not happy to see me go. I wasn't too thrilled to be leaving her in tears. I was able to hang out in the hallway and peek in to see how she was doing. Eventually, she calmed down. Perhaps that moment was harder on me than it was on her. In the third week, I tried to leave after just a little while. Again, tears and lots of clinging on to her ever-present Bun, always a comfort in hard times. But this week, Phoebe was ready. Over the weekend we talked a lot about "School" and how she goes by her "Self" and Mommy does errands. She would say out loud, "Mommy will meet me in gym." She was processing it all, getting ready for the Monday morning drop off. Today, on the way to class she told me she might "cry a little." The she said "Bun might cry a little." I told her she could comfort Bun so she wouldn't be sad and I'd meet them both at gym. The hand-off was seamless. Neither Phoebe or Bun cried this time and Mommy is happily ensconced in Starbucks across the street with time to update my blog. My little girl is growing up, taking one little step at a time towards the life that awaits her.