Red Thread

"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle but will never break." ~ Ancient Chinese Beli

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

End of CNY

The Chinese New Year celebrations have come to an end and the girls really had a lot of fun through out the 15 days - especially collecting lacee packets (lucky money), eating lots of long noodles (to ensure longevity), watching dragon and lion dances (to ward off the evil spirits) and dressing up in their traditional dresses.  I have to say that this has been a holiday that we have really enjoyed the last 4 years since living in Hong Kong - but it takes on a much deeper and significant meaning to us now with Lexi in our family.  We found it interesting to realize that Lexi has experienced many firsts with us pertaining to some of the holidays we have celebrated in the last four months - namely Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  But we are absolutely certain that the CNY festivities were something that she was already familiar with as it is such an important holiday for the Chinese.

Lexi visiting Ella in her classroom during "CNY Week" at school

Enjoying savory treats at the CNY fair in Repulse Bay
Going forward I hope to share more frequently and provide more of my thoughts and insights into all that we are experiencing but as of late I have been flat out exhausted.  Chasing after a 2.5 year old all day long and dealing with the emotions of an almost 7 year old little girl who just recently became a sibling (after more then 6.5 years as an only child!) leave me somewhat battered come evening.  And to be honest, I dont have too much time to myself because although Lexi is in bed by 645 and Ella by 730 latest, Lexi is waking for the first of many by 830 pm. :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

CNY in Cebu

Back from Cebu- an island in the Philippines - and so glad to be home!  We love our holidays as much as anyone but this one had so many strikes against it. The weather was cool and rainy when we arrived - and stayed this way up until our last day.  It actually worked in our favor though because we did not really feel up to 'fun in the sun' as we were all sick!  Ella got hit the worst with a violent case of the flu but she was thankfully feeling up to traveling on our day of departure.  And upon our entry back into HK Lexi's resident visa became effective so she is done jumping though all the hurdles and hoops finally!
Despite the set backs over our holiday we did have some quality family time which was very much needed.  At various times Patrick or I would take Lexi out and the other would stay snuggled in the room with Elle. And when E was feeling good we would get out and explore the property a bit.  Some of our very good friends from HK were also there which was nice - and there was lots of CNY activities for the children to enjoy - the Dragon Dance which is a favorite for most children was a bit of a flop for Ella bc it was so loud and with her ear infection she was very sensitive to the banging and clanging.  Lexi, on the other hand, seemed right at home so we assume that it was not her first CNY celebration! :)

"Lucky Money" for the children

Dragon Dance

After the CNY festivities with our HK friend Lynn

Amongst the red lanterns

Beautiful view from our balcony

Papi out for a stroll with his girls

Our curly girly and her toothless grin after loosing another tooth!

Enjoying the surf on our last day

Lexi lost in her thoughts - which always causes us to ponder what those  thoughts may be......

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Gong Xi Fa Cai - Happy New Year!

When thinking of the "New Year", many of us relate to making (and breaking) resolutions, ball droppings, and even Dick Clark.  But Chinese culture raises many a tradition or else you face bad luck.  February 3 marks the 2011 Chinese New Year (CNY) and will continue for the following fifteen days. For 2011, the New Year welcomes in the Year of the Rabbit. 
As with any holiday, the Chinese New Year encompass thousands of years of tradition centered on home, family, friends, and of course food.  Almost every dish holds a meaning to the Chinese characters of fortune, happiness, longevity and prosperity.  As examples, long noodles are served to guarantee a long life. Dumplings (jiao zi) bring promise and wealth for the New Year as their shape is similar to the gold currency used during the Ming Dynasty.  Fruits such as tangerines and oranges are given as gifts, as their names resemble “gold” and “wealth."
For the following fifteen days, each day serves a purpose regarding business, home, relationships, and community. Homes are open for all visitors and tables are kept full of sweet and savory items to be shared.  A “Tray of Togetherness” is often prepared in each residence as an offering to visitors.  It is a box filled with lotus roots (for abundance), lotus seeds (for fertility) as well as an assortment of sweet candies.
Living in Hong Kong the past four years we have been able to experience and enjoy the celebrations surrounding CNY first hand.  Every year Ella performs in her school CNY concert with special song and dance.  This year's show was spectacular!

Ella (back row far left) waiting to begin her Kung Fu performance
Chinese New Year takes on a new meaning to us this year with Lexi Susana Xixiu as a part of our forever family.  Going forward it will be a holiday that we will continue to celebrate in hopes to ensure that Lexi's birth culture will remain a part of her every day life.

We are celebrating CNY in Cebu Philippines this year which is an extra special treat! More pics to come with Ella in her traditional dress as well photos of the Dragon Dance, fireworks etc. 

As we say in Hong Kong....Kung Fei Hat Choy!