I haven't posted much text in quite a while....mainly pictures of Caroline. I thought I would take a moment to write some random thoughts about Caroline and her growth and development at this point in her life at 3 1/2-years, after being home from China for almost 2 years. I am continually amazed at her awareness of the world around her. She absolutely loves preschool, which she affectionately calls 'Bible Church'....this came about due to the fact that her preschool is housed at our church....she noticed that Vacation Bible School was held at the same place as her preschool, so started calling preschool 'Bible School'.....then she came to the realization that we attended church at the same building as her preschool...hence, she started calling preschool 'Bible Church.' She knows her colors, numbers and letters. She is counting up to about 25. She loves to 'read' books....I'm thinking that she'll ACTUALLY start to read before too long. She has taken tap dancing class for a year and will begin her 2nd year of study next week....she LOVES to dance. Her favorite cartoons are 'Dinosaur Train', 'Sid the Science Kid', and 'Curious George'. She is fascinated with wild animals such as lions and tigers. She is fascinated with race cars. We are STILL trying to conquer potty training, but I know she's close....right now it's 'hit and miss.' I am enrolling her in Suzuki violin class this fall because she keeps talking about the violin, and I don't prompt her. You might think that I talk to her about it because I am a music educator....but she has asked about the violin for several months on her own. Her hair has grown to below her shoulders which makes me so happy....on Gotcha Day her head was shaved....all I could do was dream about what she would look like with long hair. I think that she doesn't like to disappoint me....I will have to watch this characteristic as years go by....I want her to feel free to make mistakes and not be ashamed if she isn't perfect. I'm afraid she'll be a perfectionist like me....which has it ups and downs. Caroline is not afraid to be 'rough and tumble' with the boys, but also enjoys putting on a frilly dress with a bow in her hair...and she is very 'matchy-matchy'.....she always wants her shoes and bow to match her clothes....can't imagine where she gets that. She loves to talk about her 'mei-mei'....her little sister who will be coming from Africa in a few months. I love Caroline more and more every day....and am constantly checking myself to make sure I'm doing my very best for her. I don't want to let her down in any way. Caroline, words cannot possibly express how much I love YOU!
Because we were making a trip to the St. Louis area for a few days, we organized a get-together with some of our September 09 China travel group. It was so good to see them! We wish that we could have had the entire group together. The kids just 'literally' embraced each other, and seemed to genuinely enjoy each other. They are growing up so fast!
I am SO blessed to be a mom. For so many years, I thought that I would never be a mom.....I've never married and have been career-oriented. I have finally found a balance in my life. I still love to be a professor and work with university students.....but my main purpose in life is to be a mom. I could not be more excited for that! Here are some pictures from today's Mother's Day celebration.
Caroline and Mommy at the Hostess House following Mother's Day Brunch
Caroline is growing both physically and socially. She constantly amazes me with her questions and answers. She is very loving and says "I love Mommy" quite often, which melts my heart. She is getting closer to being potty-trained, but that seems to be our biggest hurdle right now. I think that she doesn't want to give up being Mommy's baby. She is such a wonderful gift from God and I am truly blessed.
Caroline's vocabulary keeps expanding on a daily basis. I don't always understand everything that she says, but I would say that I understand 90% of what she ways. She is also very expressive in terms of facial expression and hand gestures.....so cute. There are many times that I wish I had a hidden video cam to get some of this on video. Her favorite phrase right now is "that'll work!" Examples: she eats her mashed potatoes with a 'kiddy' knife..."that'll work!" She helps set the table (I fight the temptation of re-setting the table) and she says, "that'll work!" Her other much-used phrase is "I love it." Examples: taste-testing her breakfast food..."I love it."........putting her blue jeans on...''I love it".........watching her favorite DVD..."I love it." Another one.......she recently went to the movie theater for the first time and saw the movie "Tangled." She calls the movies at the theater a "big DVD" while spreading her arms out to indicate 'big.' The phrase that I use most often these days is 'LIFE IS GOOD!'