Saturday, February 25, 2012


Being mathematicians and teachers, Larry and I feel strongly that education is important.  We also think that it is important to study a subject you enjoy, yet also makes you employable. 
The picture is not about this entry.
It is Abigail jumping up and landing on her butt.

Abigail has a definite creative side.  She makes up games, is great at imaginary play, tells stories, creates "art" with great flourish and likes making things with her hands.  She certainly has picked up other concepts quickly too, such as identifying letters, colors, and shapes.  Abigail likes to be read to and also to "read" to herself.  

But we have been holding our breath because she hadn't shown any interest or ability in counting.  I could put before her 2 cookies and 3 cookies and ask "Abigail, do you want 1,2 cookies or do you want 1,2,3 cookies?"  And she would say "TWO" while taking the pile of 3 and count them 1, 2, 1.

For months, she counted 1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2...  My dad tried to assure me that this just meant she understood binary and would be a good computer scientist.  But then I discovered that when counting things with her, if I provided the 3, she got past it and could count all the way up to 12 or 13.  

She had a 3 block!

So Larry and I worked with her diligently to get past her 3 block.  Everything that could be counted was counted.  She could analyze two piles of things and determine which had more, but she couldn't quantify it if it went beyond 3.  

But finally, this week Abigail began counting past her 3 block without help.  She even showed us that she can count to 19!

Suffice it to say, Larry and I are immensely relieved that Abigail has shown an interest in numbers and how they represent quantities of "stuff".  

(All jest aside, though, we do worry for her.  She is smart.  But she is also hard working.  She is a Chinese kid with 2 mathematical parents.  If she ends up being very talented in math, no one will give her credit for her hard work; they will just assume her success is due to her genetics or her environment.  If she is not good at math, people might say "What is wrong with you?  You are Chinese and can't do math?  Your parents are math teachers and you can't do math?"  I know that she is going to be judged by people based on how she looks.  We all are judged and, if we are being honest, we all judge others based on superficial things.  I just wish I could protect Abigail from that.  But for now, I can work with her and teach her and show her how to be proud of herself.  Just like I am so proud of her for getting past her 3 block and counting to 19!)

Friday, February 24, 2012

424 Days

Abigail was 424 days old when we met her. 
424 days without parents to take care of her every day.

Today is the 424th day she has been in our lives. 
She has now been in a family as long as she was an orphan.

Tomorrow she will begin to widen the gap between these two periods of her life.

This is a very big deal!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunday Snapshot

Reading the paper with Yinski
Making cookies with Grandma 
Staying dry in Baba's rain coat

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Snapshot: Abigail's Shower Time

She has outgrown her crib, her pigtails ("barrettes only, thank you"), and her bath ("um, shower please") all in a matter of months!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wordless Wednesday (almost) - the Dollhouse

This Wednesday comes with a few words.  A student of Larry and me, who is also one of our Academic Quiz Bowl Team members has a mother who is very crafty- the good kind of crafty.  She made a dollhouse for Abigail, with some help from her engineering-minded sons.  There are so many items for Abigail to play with and move around and use in imagination play.  Most of the items and furniture in the house are handmade or cleverly re-purposed things, and it is a very personal house, with Abigail's picture throughout.  It is a wonderful gift.