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by Lori Ann

skies at dawn

6am. The air seems crisper, the sky meditative. Something about the still quiet seems to enter my body with each breath, helping me think clearer. No distractions, nowhere to go. Just my daughter and I, enjoying a new day together. Tickling, giggling, playing peek-a-boo. Quietly, so as not to wake Baba. Which makes it all the more fun, like a secret between just the two of us.

Tigger’s bedtime has been 7pm since she was 5 days older. As a newborn, she slept (barely interrupted by nursings) until 9am. As she got older, morning wake-up backed up to 8am, 7am. Now 6am.

And I couldn’t be happier.

What’s your morning routine? Is it dreaded or enjoyed?

by Lori Ann

Messy Face

“God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt” — this playground chant was popular when we ate outside on nice spring days, especially if an especially tasty treat fell to the ground. 10+ years later and the chant comes back to mind frequently these days as I realize how futile (and scientifically speaking, harmful) it is to keep Tigger away from every bit of good-old-fashioned dirt.

Unfortunately, the local Grandmas don’t agree, and “dirty” will probably be Tigger’s first word in Chinese.

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by Lori Ann

Village Bedroom

In the local (Yi minority) culture where we live, a married couple who has grown attached to another family’s child can propose a “new name” for that child. If accepted, the married couple becomes the godparents for the child, and there is a special relationship between the birth parents and these godparents. If the child was formerly naughty, it is also hoped that this new name and these new parents will change that, too (our friends joked about this, but I don’t think they took that part seriously).

We were excited and blessed to enter this relationship with close friends of ours who named Tigger, “Snake-Flower Girl” in the minority language. I don’t have any photos of our family — villagers rarely sit still long enough for a photo, which I suppose is true of most traditional farmers! — but here we are enjoying the hospitality of their home. Ah, the simple life!

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by Lori Ann

IMG_5631

Tigger’s always been a very smiley girl (well, a very expressive girl… but her happy times definitely outweigh the emotional lows!), but it seems to just increase as she gets older. And with those teeth? All the more adorable. Here’s a look over March and a few of the smiles it brought!

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Lori Ann

Yi baby headpiece

We’re spending more and more time with our friends in the countryside, which is a ton of fun, lets us devote up to 13 hours a day to immersed language study, and lets Tigger spend most of her time in her favorite place, the great outdoors!

Of course, it also means less time online, which ironically equals less time sharing about what we’re doing (ironic because it makes it look like we aren’t doing anything!). Also ironically, though we’re doing what we love most, we more often forget to pull out the camera; I told my dad a few weeks ago it seems the moments that matter most are the ones I never think to record!

So, though there are only a few, I thought I’d share some village highlights from last month. I haven’t uploaded this month’s yet but will share once I do!

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by Lori Ann

rest

I just woke up to Tigger’s bedtime alarm — you know, the one that is set to 6:45pm to remind us it’s time to BEGIN bedtime. I rolled over, and she was lying on the floor next to me, still steadily breathing despite the sound. I rose to quiet the alarm and she stirred a little but was quieted back into a deep slumber with just a little dream nursing. I know this probably means she’ll wake early (before 7) tomorrow morning, but the same would happen if she woke now and didn’t get to bed for the night til 8:30 or 9, so she might as well continue to rest.

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by Lori Ann

thai food panda

We went out for Thai food and Tigger teethed on her panda from Aunt Suzy. She did eat some real Thai food, too; mostly just the cucumber garnishes but it was still fun! (i did feel bad for the waitresses, she’s not exactly a neat eater hehe!)

You can probably tell we’ve been having quite a busy year here — not much time for writing! I still want to keep everyone updated about Tigger and our life here, so I’ll share some highlights from our recent trip to the Big City (the capital of our province, about 1.5hr away, where we have to go occasionally for filing official paperwork and such).

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by Lori Ann

Spring Festival Strawberries

chocolate-covered strawberries… which holiday?

February brought both 春节 (pronounced “choon-gee-eh,” meaning Spring Festival i.e. Chinese New Year’s) and Valentine’s Day, two holidays that in our house mean lots of food! Can you guess which foods were for which? You may be surprised!

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by Lori Ann

Moving Baby with Boxes

What a month it’s been! I think the last month has been my favorite in a long time, mostly because it’s my favorite age for Tigger so far. With holidays, moving across town, and visiting lots of friends, we’ve had so much to do, rewarding but also so exhausting (thus not being online much to post!). I’ll share some photo highlights with you, just click the “continue reading” link:

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Merry Christmas from Mama, Baba, and Tigger in China!

IMG_4962Enjoying her pajama bag gift from Baba

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