Saturday, January 28, 2012

A new perspective

For me, getting a new perspective often seems to be a daunting task - I must visit somewhere new, intensively read a topic, engage in critical conversations with others... For Xian the world has just opened up. With minimal support she can sit up and has become a huge observer. This is quite the change from laying on her back and staring at the ceiling.

Hanging out at lunch reading her book

Grapefruit bigger than your head

The other morning, I hopped onto the scooter and raced down to the local fruit market before it got too crowded with people. Sitting at his usual stand was an old man that Krista and I bought fruit from often in the fall but had disappeared. He always seems happy to see us and throws in some extra fruit or gives us new fruit to try. Right now, citrus is king. Oranges, kumquats, and pomeloes/grapefruit abound. It is my understanding that grapefruit and pomelo are two different fruit and we have typically had little luck finding tasty pomelo. My parents are visiting and I saw a huge yellow fruit that I purchased to try.

I was pretty sure it was a pomelo but upon cutting it open it was quite juicy instead of the typical dry interior of a pomelo. As we dug it to mondo, fleshy chunks of fruit the consensus was grapefruit.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Girls getting together

Do mommies everywhere love to coordinate the outfits of their lovely children?

A pile-up

              One                      +                     Two                                      =                          Three!

Hey you big girls, let me in!

And then, there were just too many photos to select from...

Happy New Year!

Living in Taiwan provides us with a closer look at the arrival of the Chinese New Year. Last night,rains appeared to keep many inside but we heard some fireworks to usher in the Year of the Dragon. Bunnies are out and dragons are in. Reading a recent New York Times article, Krista related to me how the low-low-low birthrate is expected to hop this year as people hope for strong dragon children.

For us, the Year of the Rabbit was a fantastic one giving us two precious girls. Sage, recently born on January 3, is considered to be a rabbit-tail baby...

Last year for winter break, Krista and I visited Thailand and were in the amazing city of Chiang Mai for December 31. We blogged about our New Year's Eve and the tradition of using lanterns to send up wishes, hopes and dreams for the coming year.

We sent up two lanterns that night

and, to our delight, they came back down.

Sage and Xian

100 days in the home?

We've heard from multiple people that the local culture requires a newborn to stay inside for a minimum of 100 days. Yep, that's over three months! Given that Krista's mom is visiting and the inside of our home - even with the joys of climbing five flights of stairs - can get old after awhile, Krista and Anne decided to break out and go touring a bit while I was slaving away at work.

The destination? A source of wisdom to check out whether or not they were safe in a pre-100 day outing.

Anne handles two babies at once in front of an entrance to the Confucius Temple in Taichung. Would they find an answer to their queries or perplexing riddles without a solution?

I'm not sure what was found as they are keeping secrets, but Sage returned healthy and alert and it seems that they captured a few photos of a peaceful refuge in the midst of Taichung craziness.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

up to catch a breath of air

We are surviving! Sage likes to be held all night while Xian settles for the need to be held all day - so we've got it covered.The last ten days since Sage arrived home seem like a blur and I'm not sure what we would have done if Krista's mom was not here. At the same time, our home is absolutely wonderful. Both girls continue to amaze us endlessly and create laughter amidst tears of tummy aches.

Xian keenly observes Sage as she wonders how this little cute ball of energy with piercing screams will change her life.

and at times, we breathe a sigh of relief as the girls pass out and quiet reigns over the house...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Welcome Sage Lynn McGowan

I was sitting in the hall way of the delivery clinic when the doctor came running by. A quick hello as he passed into the delivery room and then, moments later (around 9:15 pm on the night of January 3, 2012), I heard Sage's cry. Krista, who was present for her birth, came out a few moments later holding this little bundle of joy.

Sage clocked in at 2.8 kg (a bit over 6 pounds) and 48 cm (almost 19 inches). She slept in the hospital for a couple of nights. Already scheduled, grandma (Krista's mom) flew in from Washington. She arrived Wednesday night so we made the rapid round-trip journey to the airport and got home early in the morning on Thursday. A few quick hours later and Krista and her mom left to bring Sage home.

Hello Sage!

January 4, 2012 - Xian is 3 months old!

Clockwise from bottom right (0 - 1 - 2 - 3 months!)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Holding my own bottle

Our little munchkin is almost three months old - wow! it's amazing to think that she has only been with us since October. Each day is a new discovery. I love watching her realize that she can grab hold of something, seeing her nose wrinkle at a new scent (she's not too fond of basil), or trying to move her little body along.

The other night, Krista let Xian drink by herself...

and just in case ya'll think this is trick photography