Hey, wow, lookit this -- two posts in just a coupla days! (What better way to avoid finishing the longer posts that would get this poor, neglected blog caught up on January and February...?)
This week, we marked two new milestones in the Pipsqueak's ongoing saga, one expected (but of unknown timing) and one her Mommy has kinda-sorta been hoping for since the first "I hep" so many years ago.
The former is that we might have just left the Era of Velcro Shoes. Miri's never been big on footwear of any kind, but to date it's always been sandals or buckle shoes or Velcro sneakers. Pink velcro sneakers. Dora the Explorer Velcro sneakers. Sofia the First Velcro sneakers. Light-up Velcro sneakers. Disney's "Frozen" Velcro sneakers. Disney's "Frozen" Velcro sneakers that light up with flashing red & blue lights with each step and leave prints in the shape of Olaf.
The latter milestone was a pleasant surprise on Sunday. We were waiting for Cousin E and her SO to come for dinner to help celebrate my birthday (I am not, cannot be, cannot count as high as 57. I'm still only 16, dammit! Aren't I...?) and since AJ had drawn short straw for Weekend Manager duty, Mom & Dad had Miri at their house -- which pretty much guaranteed there would be nearly zero chance to do any cleaning to prepare for said dinner so I was "invited" to come early to keep the Pipsqueak occupied while Mom scrambled to finish cleaning & cooking.
As soon as Mom unlimbered her cranky, heavy, hard-to-maneuver 900 year old upright vacuum I realized there was no way I was going to let her fight with the darn thing. I told Miri that I'd paint watercolor pictures with her in a little bit but first was going to vacuum for Grandma, who then warned Miri the machine was about to start making a lot of loud noise and turned it on.
Now, ever since Miri came home, she's had a serious dislike for the loud noise made by vacuum cleaners. Old, new, upright, canister, big, small, even handhelds -- she dislikes them and usually makes herself scarce while they're running.
Well, my niece sat on the family room couch and watched me start working with the crevice tool. Then she came over and stood beside me while I worked, carefully watching how I maneuvered the hose and vacuum.
And then she insisted that she wanted to do the vacuuming.
Needles to say, AJ was thrilled when I told her, and has high hopes that this big turnaround in Miri's attitude toward vacuuming will help her at home. Stay tuned...!
 Velcro is a registered trademark of Velcro Industries B.V. It's also much easier to type repeatedly than "hook and loop cloth tape fastener" so I figured I'd better include proper attribution here. :-)
 Mom's had canister vacuums, tubular vacuums, rechargeable vacuums, even one of those fancy rides-on-a-sphere vacuums, and none of them has worked nearly as well or been as easy to use as the circa 1950 Electrolux my grandparents brought down from New York forty-some years ago.
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!