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by Lori Ann

14 m/o smile

Big smiles,

14 m/o mischiefBig silliness.

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by Lori Ann

I know, I know. It’s been over a year since I was pregnant. Even though I enjoyed updating MamaWit with stories and photos of my pregnancy for the first 7 months, I didn’t post again until Tigger was 2 months old! So…:

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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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by Lori Ann

happy baby, shattered lens filter

This year has been especially full. I don’t want to say “busy,” which conveys hurrying from activity to activity. It hasn’t been that way at all; simply, full. Each day, each moment, mattering: maturing into the mother, wife, and neighbor I believe God has called me to be. Knowing I’m far from having “arrived.” But thoroughly enjoying the journey.

I also don’t want to apologize for writing so infrequently. I’ve noticed so many bloggers who write about parenting and family write a “I’m so sorry” post after neglecting their blog for awhile, even though they were taking care of the needs of that family! (I’ve done this myself) I know the intention is to be kind to readers, but it comes across to me as prioritizing the blog about family over the family itself… and I don’t want to be like that. I do want to check in, say hello, and promise I’m still pursuing God and mothering. To the fullest!

Where are your journeys taking you this year?

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

IMG_4962Enjoying her pajama bag gift from Baba

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by Lori Ann

Our family does not “do” Santa.

Holiday decorations

That’s kind of a strange phrase, and I know it means different things to different people, but here’s my take on the truth about Santa: he was (probably) a real person, and he followed Jesus (we think), but he is no longer alive on earth, and so he does not pass out gifts today.

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Little Red Riding Hood Baby

Halloween in China?… It doesn’t exist.

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by Lori Ann

Tigger @ Park w/ Flower

We enjoyed a family day Saturday in a newly-opened park near our town. It was a cool, not-quite-rainy day, perfect for finding solace in mostly undisturbed nature — something hard to come by in China!

I didn’t let Tigger pick the flower, but we did let her crawl around in this open field to enjoy being immersed in the out of doors, wiggling her toes in the dirt and grass.

She also enjoyed eating the cucumber out of my picnic lunch!

Sandwich Picnic

How’d you enjoy your weekend?

by Lori Ann

doofus pumpkin - Halloween 2010
Creative Commons License photo credit: John DeMarco

Hi all! Our November topic is Halloween. If you’ve forgotten, the idea behind ATo2M (A Tale of Two Mamas) is for us each — two different people raising two different families and living on two different continents in the context of two different cultures — to answer the same questions asked by all of you. So start asking! What do you want to know about parenting in China, parenting 3 in 3 years, or anything else about us and our families?

Since this is the first one, here’re some ideas to get your brain churning:

“Are you okay with your kids dressing as witches?”
“What did they dress up as this year?”
“Handmade or store-bought?”
“What do your neighbors think of Halloween?”
“Is Halloween commonly celebrated, and what does it look like?”

Ask away!

I should be in bed right now, but I don’t think I’ll be sleeping tonight. Not well, anyway.

As my husband and I were talking, sirens went screaming down our street and stopped just down the block.

“I hope everything’s okay,” I thought. Then, more sirens. And more. And more. We stepped outside to find, half a block away, three fire engines, several police cars, and an ambulance. There didn’t appear to be a fire, not a blazing one at least, so the quantity of emergency vehicles startled me a bit. I walked down the street a bit to see if any of our neighbors knew what was going on, but no one did. As I talked to the girl across the street, a fellow came walking up and passed us quickly, never even glancing at the commotion. He walked through the church parking lot, which is next door to my house, and disappeared after telling another curious onlooker that he was “cutting through to the other road.”

“Weird,” I thought. “There’s no way to get through there. Just trees and thorns and that creek…it drops straight off after that!” Immediately after, a lady came up from where the chaos was and reported what had happened. Apparently, a string of arsons had occurred in the area, and this looked to be the latest. Someone had used gasoline as an accelerant and set the water heater of a house on fire!

Three things ran through my mind before I could blink:

1.) According to a neighbor, a few nights ago someone was poking around the outside of my house with a flashlight at midnight.

2.) My cellar door doesn’t lock. Not well, anyway. The access door to the house is sturdy, but to get into the cellar (and the water heater!) from the outside of the house wouldn’t take anything.

3.) As soon as that guy realizes he can’t get through those trees, he’ll turn around and see my open cellar door.

My brave husband checked the cellar, and all was clear, but I’m still rattled. If someone were to light our water heater, I don’t think I’d notice til it was too late! Because of its location and design of the house, I think the smoke would escape up the stairwell and out the back door rather than into the house. I’m afraid that the heater would explode before I smelled the smoke! I guess tomorrow’s itennerary will include a trip to the store to pick up a few smoke detectors for the cellar stairwell and downstairs!

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