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!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


The Pipsqueak likes cheese. As in, she really likes cheese. Well, most cheese; some varieties not so much others lots. Her  favorite (at least for the time being) is Monster Cheese. Grandma buys it for her at the supermarket. It's pale yellow inside and its outer edge is orange. The Pipsqueak doesn't quite understand why it's called "Monster" cheese, but Monster Cheese it is... and it is good.

Grandma has the flu. Yes, The Flu, not a cold. She went to the doctor about 3-1/2 weeks ago, and the doctor gave her a Z-pack but all that did was make her feel worse. Grandma then went to an ENT who told her, "You're sick, Hon!" and gave her stronger antibiotics that made her feel better for a couple of days, but then she got even sicker. Finally, Grandma went back to the first doctor, who ran some tests and said, "You have the flu! I'll give you a prescription for Tamiflu even though it probably won't help much at this point, you'll just have to let the disease run its course." When asked why she hadn't tested Grandma for the flu three weeks earlier, the doctor replied, "You didn't really look sick enough." (This one's not so cute, but it's certainly got the Pipsqueak's grownups shaking their heads and grumbling.)

The Pipsqueak doesn't like cold weather. The cold air gives her chopped hands. She needs Mommy to give her some cream to make the chop better.

Because Grandma's sick, Uncle Brian is picking up the Pipsqueak at daycare and driving her aaaalll the way to Mommy at work. Grandma is very worried that this is making the Pipsqueak unhappy, is bothering the Pipsqueak, and is having a negative effect on the Pipsqueak. Meanwhile, the Pipsqueak runs from the door aaaalll the way down the hall to Mommy's office, stopping only to hug some of the Nursing and Dietary staff hello, then grabs Mommy's hand and drags her all over the building to say "hi" to all of Mommy's friends at work, then happily sits in Uncle Brian's office watching Wiggles videos on his laptop until Mommy is able to collect all her stuff and take the Pipsqueak home. Much to the amusement of the staff, Uncle Brian is often heard singing Wiggles tunes to himself the rest of the evening.

The Pipsqueak knows Mommy keeps a few goodies in her file drawer: pretzel sticks, oranges, dried fruit, carrots, celery sticks, granola bars. The Pipsqueak can plainly see the big plastic jar of miniature chocolate bars on the table Mommy uses for meetings. The Pipsqueak will ask, "What can I have, Mommy?" while looking at the jar, and will ask the question again... and again... and again... and again... until Mommy stops offering healthy snacks and says, "You can have one piece of candy."

"Uncle Brian, talk to me about when I was a baby."
"You mean when we were in China?"
"You mean when we went on the airplane?"
"You mean when we saw the pandas?"
"You mean when we went to the medicine and pet markets?"
"You mean when you got to see Grandma and Grandpa for the first time on my computer?"
"You mean when we went on the boat ride?"
"You mean when you peed out the side of your diaper?"
"Ummm... no."
"You mean when you peed all over me and we both had to change our clothing?"

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