Wednesday, February 3, 2010


October began with An attending her friend Mollie's 3rd birthday party. An was invited to a birthday party shortly after coming home, but I don't think she really understood what was going on. For Mollie's birthday, however, it all came together and started what has become a near daily ritual. "Momma (or Bo), when An's Happy Birthday to You?" It's in May honey, we tell her. For a while, May was good enough. Then I think she learned the months in school and realized just how far away May was. Now she tells everyone who will listen that An's birthday is May 7th and she will be FIVE. She even tells you whose birthdays are happening before her birthday and is excited that the list is getting shorter.

Mollie's party was at a gymnastics place and An had a great time swinging on the ropes and jumping (or being thrown) into the foam pit. Seeing her swing on the rope brought back memories of one of the pictures we received while waiting for of those that cemented in our minds that this was a tough, make your own fun kind of girl:
Hanging out in Vietnam

Hanging out in the US

Also in early October, we had to figure out how to explain Halloween to An. Hmm, you get dressed up, knock on people's doors and get candy! Thankfully at four, she really wasn't interested in the why - the promise of candy was good enough for her. However, choosing a costume was a chore. So many options: Spiderman, a Jedi Knight, Yoda, a tiger, a ride-on horse. Notice that there is not one "girly" option in there. My efforts to get her into a princess costume or anything remotely feminine were met with a resounding no! It was at this time that she started doing Yoda impersonations. She has his walk down and it is hysterical to watch.

Mid month, we went to a pumpkin farm and corn maze. She did a great job of picking out pumpkins, but her moment in the sun came when she got to ride the pony:

This girl loves horses...actually, she loves the concept of riding on things. Every time a new animal (or ficticious animal) is introduced, the first thing she says is "An going to ride ___ (insert dragon, reindeer, etc.)"

I wish I could upload a video (my program for compressing video's does not like Windows 7 so Blogger won't let me) because one evening, An treated us to what I must believe to be a Vietnamese children's song. After getting ready for bed, she came out of the bathroom and started singing loudly and dancing. She started by patting her head, then her shoulders, then her arms and on down. Words cannot describe how funny it was. The part where she sticks her bottom out and smacks it will be a source of great embarrassment in the future. I am so glad we captured it on video - both for the embarrassment factor and because it is close to the last Vietnamese she has spoken.

Towards the end of the month, I arranged a meeting with some local Vietnamese college students - they had been in the country for about the same amount of time as An and were excited to talk with her. It was very obvious that she understood everything they said to her - they would ask her a question in Vietnamese and she would respond appropriately in English. But there was no way we could get her to speak Vietnamese. We tried bribing her with candy, the promise of playing with a cell phone, but she just wouldn't do it. I am still saddened by's one more loss that she has endured.

Finally...Halloween. I suppose you are wondering what she finally choose? We started with a tiger costume, but it wasn't big enough. Then we found an elephant, but that wouldn't do. Sooo...after searching long and hard (and not being able to find a Spiderman costume - but perhaps I didn't try too hard on that one) An settled on the ride on horse costume. Dad went as a doctor and me...well, I'll take any opportunity to wear leggings, a big, belted shirt, electric blue eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara! After all, I spent formative years in eastern Idaho and if you've seen the girls in Napolean Dynamite - their big hair was nothing compared to ours!