one year ago today

29 06 2009

we met Kajsa. I was going to blog about it this morning, but I started crying, and couldn’t even type. Tears of joy, of course. They’ve come and gone all day. Poor Kajsa probably has no clue why we keep kissing her today, and hugging her, and telling her how much joy she brings us.

Here are two pictures from one year ago:



the little girl who stopped by today

11 03 2009

It must be the jeans. Something about Kajsa today made me feel as though she had grown up into a little girl, instead of the toddler. dsc_0803I’m not in denial of the fact that the terrible twos could be just around the corner. It just seemed, today, that Kajsa had grown up a bit more. It could be that she was talking more, listening more (and less, at times), followed commands, actually tried to say “pleeeez” instead of only signing it…


or, it might be the jeans.

Just so you know,

I did not stage the photo of Kajsa reading to Abby. (yes, that’s Abby’s nose under the book Kajsa’s reading.)

Several times today she brought a book out of the toy area, and I asked her if she wanted to read a book.

Each time she pointed to where Abby was.


And she plopped herself down in front of Abby,

and began turning pages. So dang cute.

The book she is reading to Abby is “Hush”, a Thai lullaby book that her cousin Bennett gave her. It has different animals in it, and of course, we make the animal



The photo of Kajsa with her hand on her nose is her making the elephant noise and motion.

Kajsa loves her moose rocker now.

She used to be a bit afraid of it, and needed help getting up on it. Now she climbs on it by herself, and even gets moving a bit. And she loves posing for the camera–

what a surprise! Actually, she loves posing for the camera–when she feels like it. Sometimes she does not want to smile or pose for the camera! But today was a good camera day.

when the social worker visits…

31 01 2009

social-worker-visitKajsa plays. And makes a mess of things. And thoroughly enjoys herself. And fortunately the social worker wasn’t phased by Kajsa’s urge to move furniture and mess up the otherwise clean living room.

Moments like these

31 01 2009


I’d forgotten about the ballet dress-up outfit that Kajsa’s cousins Maddie and Erin had handed down to her. This past summer when they gave it to us, I thought it would be eons before Kajsa would fit into it. So I hung it in one of our downstairs closets. Then the other day it caught my eye. “She has grown qutie a bit lately” I though, “I’d better take it out for sometime soon…. when I have time to try it on her and let her play.”

When I brought the outfit upstairs, Kajsa pointed to it, and wanted to put it on. She touched the toule skirt, moving it in her hands a bit. Her eyes widened. She tapped bending-down1her chest, which can mean various things, but this time seemed to mean, “I want this on.” She did the sign for “more” and said her “moh”… which not only means, “More”, but “I want this.” And she pointed to the dress and said, “Dah”… her phrase for just about everything, it seems: “What is that?”, “coffee”… “there’s Abby”…”Please read me a book”, etc.. Frequently it also means, with a pointed finger, “I want this” or “that”.

Why not? Did I have time? Not really…Yes, I was home with Kajsa all day, but I also had a to-do list the size of Montana. But did I have time to not play with Kajsa either? No.

So, we put the ballet outfit on her. She loved it. This time her “dah”, combined with her dance1pointing towards the mirror meant “Show me what I look like with this cool thing on.” I lifted her up to the mirror. She grinned… smiled, then laughed. She rubbed her hands back and forth on the velvety top part of the dress, intrigued by the sequins as well. And she tapped the toule skirt, laughing at how it bounced a bit.

I set her down, and said, “Follow me.” I danced into the dining room, through the kitchen, and into the living room. Kajsa toddled after me, laughing at my ridiculous dancing. I put on some music…. and walked into the living room, and put on some music. And we danced. And danced. And laughed. And danced. And I twirled around to show her how it’s done. Kind of.  And she twirled around. Kind of. We danced through the dining room, living room, kitchen.. Kajsa occasionally pausing to press a button on some musical toy to hear more music. And it was pure joy. For me, at least. Watching her laughing so much, dancing in her adorable way, loving the ballet outfit. Impressed with herself.


Moments like these I never want to forget.


“Re-entry” non-blogging

7 01 2009


just posting photos… Re-entry, ugh. We normally try to schedule in a day after returning from a trip, to adjust…. to unpack in an organized manner. To gather our thoughts before heading back to work, to the world of daily life with all its… reality. But this time we didn’t have that chance, so we’re still catching our breath. You all probably are, too. Re-entry. Ick. Ugh. I think I need a month-long re-entry cushion. Ha ha.

Anyhow, enjoy the pictures. One is at home in Madison…. the rest are in Vermont.






for a recent photo of Kajsa,

29 10 2008

go to Steve’s blog.

I simply can’t keep up. I can’t keep up with all the photos I’m taking… or the thoughts I want to blog… or the stories about Kajsa I want to write about… or my emotions over Entropy moving back to Alaska after two years with us… or how great it was to be at Covenant Harbor for the Central Conference Ministers’ Retreat… or how fun it was to share Kajsa with colleagues at the Retreat… or how meaningful it was to have colleagues publicly thank God for the answer to prayer that Kajsa is… or did I mention how much we miss Entropy?… or the house… or how great the speakers were at Retreat… or organizing thoughts in my mind not to mention as they come out of my mouth, lately… or… anything else, quite frankly.

I don’t mean to complain, or say, “Woe is me… my life is so much busier than anybody else’s.” Not at all. I think much of the world feels overwhelmed and behind and tired and etc… I’m merely stating the obvious reality of my life right now.

So, thanks, Steve, for posting the photo, so I don’t have upload one right now!


22 10 2008

the Ling doll

16 07 2008

Back in June, women from church threw a baby shower for me (and Kajsa, in absentia.) It was so fun, meaningful, and Kajsa received some gorgeous gifts. I can’t remember if I blogged about this or not. If not, I should have. The generosity, the gifts, the love and outpouring of support moved me to tears.

Anyhow, one of the gifts Kajsa received was a “Ling Doll”, from Ann-Britt, Phil, Kristina, Anna and Brita. It’s a doll who speaks English and Chinese. When you press one of her hands, Ling speaks a phrase in English, then says the same phrase in Chinese. It’s fun. I am learning some phrases.

On Saturday when we had lots of visitors, including some of Kajsa’s cousins, we played with the Ling Doll. It was so funny to watch Kajsa. She didn’t know quite what to think. She was in the middle of laughing, soaking in the attention from everyone… then Kristina (cousin Kristina) squeezed Ling’s hand, and Ling spoke.. Kajsa nearly got whiplash, turning her neck so quickly to stare at the doll to see what she was saying. This repeated for quite some time, making us all–including Kajsa–laugh a ton.

She’s very fun.

Sleep is still not under control. I’d attribute it all to jet lag, time differences, etc… except that before we left China, Kajsa’s sleep patterns were changing–in other words, it’s hard to get her to sleep. Even though she’s exhausted, almost asleep, etc… she fights it. But we have progress.

Food: Kajsa loves to eat. She still loves her lotus buns, noodles, eggs and cheerios.. But now her menu has expanded to include Easy Mac ‘n Cheese, applesauce, pears, mashed potatoes, and instant grits. I haven’t weighed her, but am convinced she’s gaining weight. She’s no longer the teeny little peanut we first held two-and-a-half weeks ago. (Broder, she’s getting chubbier!)

We went to the Shorewood pool with Sandie & family the other day, and Kajsa loved it. She loves swimming. She loves people, even though she still hesitates to leave Jim and me. She adores the dogs, and last night when we tried to feed her some cooked diced carrots, she put each bite in her mouth, then let it slip out of her mouth into her hand–and promptly turned around to feed it to the dogs.

I love it. I love her. I love being home, though I miss China, and all the friends we made there. But it’s good to be home.

about Hong Kong

14 07 2008

I loved it. I had no idea Hong Kong was so beautiful. I’m sure I’ve been told this news many times, but didn’t remember.

I loved it, and want to return. Great hotel. Except we had no internet, since we decided the approximately $25/day was too much. Awesome Black Sesame Sundae at McDonalds. (Yes, Black Sesame Sundae.) Kajsa and I shared two. The McDonald’s was in the mall attached to our hotel. So was the cafe that we sat in to have a latte. Really good latte. We sat in velvet red chairs, watching the traffic go by under us. Pretty cool. Fun to take the subway. Hot and sweaty, but fantastic to walk around part of Hong Kong, observing, photographing, exploring… and fun to take the Sky Ferry at night.

Loved Hong Kong.

Home, Lotus Buns, Adapting

14 07 2008

We arrived home safely, though a couple hours late, on Friday night, 9 pm. It’s amazing we made it home when we did, because we almost missed two flights. We made both connecting flights (San Fran-Chicago/Chicago-Madison) thanks to both those flights being delayed. Close calls!

Once we were on the flights, things went mostly well. People were so patient and happy for us and Kajsa, and eager to hear about her. Sleep was an issue at times. Fortunately there was an empty galley behind us on the long flight. We used that frequently. And Cheerios and noodles were our friends on the whole trip.

We are still exhausted, but loving being with Kajsa. And family. And friends. And the dogs… Abby was here when we got home on Friday, Entropy came “home” today, for a bit, until he moves to Alaska. 😦 Can’t talk about that right now.

Jim’s parents and Karen, Dave, and Laura met us at the Madison airport. What a fun welcoming party! The Hinz clan had made signs…adorable. Kajsa, by this point, was used to being the center of attention from the moment we entered the Hong Kong airport. So she loved this “crowd”, watching her, talking to her, taking pictures of her.. and she happily obliged them by waving, smiling, laughing.. even through her pure exhaustion!

We came home to a fully-stocked fridge and pantry, thanks to good friends and family. Joan and Dan had stocked up on some essentials, Jen & Roy, Sandie & Co., and Chenrui had stocked us with plenty of essentials, and Karen and Dave and Laura brought some essentials to the airport as well: lotus buns!

Joan and Dan had lotus buns specially ordered for Kajsa (from a bakery in MN); Chenrui had made steamed buns; and the Hinz’ brought us two packs of frozen lotus buns! This baby has been well-stocked, and very happy with the continual supply of her favorite food so far.

She is also thrilled with the endless audience she has had. Family and friends have been here much of yesterday and today, and it has been both helpful and fun. Kajsa hams it up, sings, waves, eats lotus buns, laughs, plays… and overall loves people.

And, also important, she and the dogs are getting along well now. Friday night was iffy. She was quite afraid of Abby, but now she loves to pet her, look for her, and treats Entropy the same way.

All in all, things are going well. We’re needing a bit more sleep, as Kajsa’s sleep patterns are still not great. But, hopefully that will change. Hopefully.