Happy Birthday Audrey!

Eight years ago today my husband and I were looking at this precious little bundle that came bouncing into our lives. (And before you say anything let me just say it was a long labor with lots of anesthesia. Let's just hope the ex-boyfriends don't check in while this post is on the front page.)

new family

baby audrey

She arrived 16 days past her due date and was clearly already very mature - just look at that smile! And this picture was taken when she was 2 hours old. Most people say it's a gas smile but as a mom - totally objective - I say look at the eye contact, that was a real smile, not gas.

I remember looking at her and thinking, "Who are you? What spirit is hiding inside of you? You're going to be one of the most important people in my life and I don't know anything about you."

Now eight years later I feel blessed to have watched her spirit emerge and I'm in awe of the gift God has given us in this little girl. She is so generous and sweet and giving, in fact she puts me to shame.

For example the other day Grant and Audrey and I were getting ready to leave the house and I gave them each a jacket, warning them that it was going to be chilly outside. Audrey wore hers and as usual, Grant forgot his. Stunningly predictable, that kid. Mere seconds after we got outside the building Grant complained that he was cold and, being the tough-lovin' kinda mom that I am, I told him that was too bad and next time he should remember to bring his jacket. (I know, in China this is just about unthinkable!)

I walked a couple of steps ahead of the kids because we were running late. I looked back a few seconds later and saw that Audrey had given her little brother her jacket and she was rubbing her bare arms, claiming that she wasn't that cold.

I gave Audrey my sweater. Grant gave me his if-I-knew-the-number-for-child-services-I-would-call-it look. Another tough love lesson, flat on its face.

Aside from sabotaging my tough love lessons, Audrey is full of life, has never played a sport she doesn't love, talks a lot and sings when she isn't talking, knows what she wants, and loves 'jian mei cao' (kind of like calisthenics set to music) more than anything in the world. And what does she want for her birthday?

"I need a new tiara," she told me the other day.

A new tiara. I don't even have an old tiara.

Happy birthday Audrey!


16 days past her due date?!?!?!?!? Oh you poor thing!!! I think of the mother in these instances - you must have been ready to burst. you look great though, and I agree with you - that is a full-on, eye-contact-induced smile. what an angel!

love the coat/tough love story. Happy Birthday Audrey! I bet you're fabulous.

Posted by christin on October 09, 2008 at 06:41 PM CST #

Happy Birthday Audrey. 8 years has passed... I still remembered Buddy was so excited when Audrey was born. Time flies. I'm getting old.

Posted by Jennifer on October 09, 2008 at 07:33 PM CST #

Gorgeous...both of you!!! Can't get over that two hour old smile and look....just amazing! She doesn't look like a raisin like so many infants do....

And, i agree with Christin....what a sweetie....love the coat story! And, you ended up being cold.....very ironic!!

Posted by MountainGirl on October 09, 2008 at 10:08 PM CST #

the eye contact is pretty good, honeslty. I thought new born can't do that

Posted by tabman on October 10, 2008 at 02:07 AM CST #

Happy Birthday! I like the photos.

Posted by qyjohn on October 10, 2008 at 05:32 AM CST #

I just came to know Audrey some 11 days ago, but through your blog I had the feeling I knew her already when I arrived! She has been so caring about me during my stay!
Happy Birthday to Audrey!

Posted by Andreas on October 10, 2008 at 07:17 PM CST #

I was touched deeply by this lovely story. I can feel you are proud of your children.

Happy birthday to Audrey!

Posted by Forrest on October 14, 2008 at 07:03 AM CST #

Wow, I can hardly believe 2-hour-old Audrey's gorgeous smile! I remembered my son could smile like Audrey till 2 or 3 month.

And, my family just celebrated my son's birthday last Saturday - October, 11. Sooo close to Audrey's...

Happy Birthday to Audrey! (although a little delay)

Posted by Kelly on October 14, 2008 at 07:17 AM CST #

Belated Birthday wishes to Audrey! Wow, what a smile!

Posted by Madhan Kumar on October 14, 2008 at 05:58 PM CST #

And no pictures how the birthday girl looks like now - aw come on :)
Her zest for life and boundless energy was pretty evident when I met her last - that would be a little more than 4 years ago
Belated birthday wishes.

Posted by Shubho on October 19, 2008 at 09:27 AM CST #

A happy belated birthday to Audrey! :-)

Posted by Skrocki on October 22, 2008 at 09:41 PM CST #

Thanks everyone for the kind wishes! Audrey had a great birthday and did not complain for a second that her only present from us was a tiara.

Shubho, I try not to post pictures where the kids are recognizable. I know the chances of something bad happening are very, very slim but to me it's just not worth it. However since I know you I'll send you a picture via email. :)

Posted by Melanie Gao on October 30, 2008 at 02:50 AM CST #

HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY, AUDREY!! Can't belive it has been 8 years already. Seem like it was just yesterday when Buddy came to RSA as a proud new dad with that pefect smile picture of Audrey. And my first comment to him was "Wow, you've got a beauty there!" We all miss you guys very much, hope to see you all soon!

Posted by Tseng Family on November 02, 2008 at 08:08 AM CST #

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