My niece joined the family on July 12th, 2010. This special young lady's mother is my younger sister, which in classic Chinese culture makes me her Jiu Jiu (舅舅) -- thus the title of this blog. Here I intend to semi-regularly post reflections, thoughts, stories, and assorted whathaveyous pertaining to our trip to China, adoption in general, and (mostly) watching my niece grow up. Since the web is a very public place, I will attempt to maintain my family's privacy while telling the story... but I invite you to follow the blog and come along for the adventure!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


One of the surest signs that AJ's China Baby is progressing through toddlerhood and really becoming a little girl is the slow but sure disappearance of many unique words she used (some for a very short time, some for the better part of a year).  The process is a little bittersweet for us grownups; we mourn the loss of some really cute bits of very personal communication abandoned in favor of more correct English while simultaneously feeling pride (and maybe some relief?) at the increasing speed with which the Pipsqueak groks the English language and moves forward in her own life journey.

I'm not making fun of my niece; I just want to share some of her unique vocabulary that I (and the rest of the family) think is cute.  (Dude, you do realize that at some point Miri will read this post when she's older and will be sorely tempted to whack you upside your head with a 2x4, don't you...?)

In any case, without further ado, here's an alphabetized list of some common Pipsqueakisms as presented by the Pipsqueak herself:

Ana Ana = One of the princesses I really like, the one who was turned into a frog but finally turned back into herself again. [Note from Brian: This is the name that the Pipsqueak settled on for Tiana, the princess in Disney's "The Princess and the Frog"]

bandee = This is the thing that Mommy sticks on me to cover my boo-boos and keep them clean while they heal.

bang = This is the tool that Uncle Brian used to hit some nails into a piece of wood. It made a loud noise but Mommy told me it would so I wasn't scared, and it was interesting to see the nails get shorter each time he hit them...

Bigan = This was my Jiu Jiu's name before I learned to call him "Brian" or "Uncle Brian" (but after I spent months calling him a bunch of things that he says sounded suspiciously like badly mangled pronunciations of "Sheboygan").

Booty Booty = This is one of my favorite princesses, the one who went to sleep after pricking her finger and had to be rescued by a handsome prince. I really like her pretty gowns!  [Note from Brian: As you've probably guessed, most of us refer to this princess as "Sleeping Beauty"]

brulala = That funny thing Grandma insists on unfolding & holding over my head when it's raining, no matter how lightly and no matter how much I want to jump around in all that fun water falling from the sky.

buboos = I really like these, whether I'm making them with soapy water or with that funny slippery water that comes in plastic bottles. Sometimes I try to catch them but I really just like to watch them float through the air. I wonder how they do that...?

chakik (or chatik)= I like to put this on my lips, it helps keep them smooth and feeling good. I especially like it when Cousin E shares hers with me (it's usually cherry flavored).

chokit = This is my most favorite food. I'm beginning to call it "chocolate" like the rest of my family, but why bother with that extra syllable...?

ellegater = This is a big box, kind of like a little room, that we get into in different places when we want to go up or down without using the stairs. I like standing in the corner, even if there aren't any strangers riding up and down with us. I'm not sure I like the music that's usually playing from the ceiling, though...

frigitater = The big metal box in the kitchen with a door on the front that has cold food on the inside and lots of magnets holding my artwork on the outside.

Gick = One of my favorite cousins. I can't figure out why everyone else calls him "Nick" instead...

happy cake = I usually just call it "cake" now, but this is that really yummy food that we get to eat at parties after we blow out the candles. (Now if I could just figure out why everyone gets so agitated when I taste the candles...!)

I welcome = How I'd reply when someone said "thank you" until I realized when Grandma or Mommy said, "now say you're welcome," they really meant "now say the phrase, 'you're welcome'!"

jamas = I wear these when I go to bed. Right now my favorites have ladybugs on them.

need up! = Why should I waste time saying the entire phrase, "I want you to pick me up" or "I want to you to cuddle me" when I get all the desired results with just these two words?

Pigutt and Eeyow = These are two of Pooh's best friends. I like them almost as much as I like Pooh himself.

pyooter = These are the machines everyone in my family seems to use all the time, especially my Jiu Jiu. I like his best; it has lots of woggle and Mickey videos on it... but why does he always get so anxious when I start randomly pressing keys, or hitting the screen? (I used to play a lot with Grandpa's, but for some reason it doesn't work so well now that I've poured a cup of orange juice into it... I wonder why...?)

screwter = This is the special tool that Uncle Brian used to turn all the screws that hold together my toy kitchen, and to attach all those silly gates that keep me from falling down the stairs in my house, and to attach all those latches to the kitchen cabinet doors that I figured out how to open anyway...

Sezme = That really fun place on TV where Big Bird and all his friends live... especially Abby, my favorite!

shoop = That wet food that comes in a bowl that all the grownups insist on eating with a spoon even though fingers and slurping work just fine. Really, they do!

weasel = When I'm over at their house, sometimes Grandpa sets this up and Grandma hangs paper on it for me to draw and scribble on. I don't know why she always giggles when I ask for it...?

woggle = My favorite performing group. My family calls them "The Wiggles" so I'm beginning to do the same, but I know this is their real name...!

= = = = =

In closing, since I don't want to seem unfair, I present one of the more common AJisms that we seem to be hearing more of as time goes by:

nonononokaaay = For when what she's trying to stop the Pipsqueak from doing gets done anyway, usually while she's in the middle of telling the Pipsqueak to not do it...!

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