I have discovered something that just makes me giggle and smile – something so utterly adorable – of course, it involves my own child. I have discovered that I can sit for hours (ok, maybe not hours, but mintues for sure) and watch Ryken eat. I just find it fascinating and so cute. He LOVES food. He giggles when food is placed before him and lets us know in an extremely grumpy manner if it has been more than 30 minutes since food has last been in his mouth. He is trying so hard to eat with a fork and spoon and will often hold the spoon or fork in one hand and savor the taste of his other hand with food on it. He smacks and licks his lips and does all the disgusting things that I find so distasteful when an adult does it. A meal is an event for him, one that usually requires a bath or at least a good washing down afterwards. We have only found one thing he will not eat – Eggs. We’ve been able to trick him a few times by hiding the eggs in with ham and cheese and veggies. But if it’s a hard boiled egg or a fried egg – the second it touches his lips the tongue comes out and nothing can go back in. I keep trying though – every few weeks, I’ll give it to him again and so far, same reaction every time. I wonder at what age I will no longer find awful table manners adorable and the need for some real learning at the table to begin?
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
We needed to go to IKEA to look at some storage stuff for the kids toys. Finally decided to go on Sunday. It was raining, so thought taxi would be good way to go rather than subway since we’d have to walk around outside a bit. Maybe that wasn’t the best idea. Ryken got a bit carsick and threw up in the cab – mostly on the floor but a bit on the seat and on Anthony. We cleaned up what we could. The ride took about 1 hour and 20 minutes! Thank goodness I wasn’t holding him when he puked because I think I would have puked too – I was also feeling carsick. When the cab driver dropped us off, he got out to inspect his seat (all seats have these white covers on them here for easy washing and cleaning) – he was not happy at all and started yelling at us. But what we were to do. I handed him the fare plus a little bit extra to cover the cleaning cost – but he was still standing there yelling as we walked away. Of course, all in Chinese, so I have no idea what he was saying…but I can guess!
Once inside IKEA, I took Ryken to the bathroom to clean him up – stuck him the sink to wash him down – while one of the bathroom ayis (I call all cleaning people ayi’s and every bathroom has at least one cleaning lady) was yelling at me to move him – she thought I was letting him pee in the sink! I explained as best I could in broken Chinese and gestures (gagging with finger in mouth) what happened and she finally calmed down. Then I had about 15 women staring at us and talking in Chinese while I cleaned him and changed him – I am pretty sure we caused a huge traffic flow issue out of the bathroom as everyone wanted to see this white mom clean up her white baby boy. When he was completely naked with all his bits hanging lose, there was a lot of commotion as everyone wanted to see.
It is definitely true that we live in a bubble in Jinqiao area – where there are foreigners everywhere and although people like to see what I buy at the local supermarket, we don’t get many looks and our children are usually left alone. But when we step outside that bubble we become a spectacle and everyone wants to watch us, touch our kids, take our pictures and generally just be amazed by the fact we have three children.
We did take the subway home, which is a better mode of transportation when you have kids who may be carsick and aren’t strapped into a car seat or even a seat belt. Although, I still do not understand how any handicapped or wheelchair bound people can go ANYWHERE in this city! The way to get down to the subway when we had to transfer lines was only by stairs. There was an elevator sign and we tried taking it, but it didn’t go to the right floor or right area. It was three flights of stairs. Luckily, we have a WONDERFUL stroller that only weighs 9 lbs, so carrying the stroller and Ryken isn’t that difficult.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Typhoon heading for Shanghai
Kids school has been cancelled - Ashley for tomorrow and Liz for tomorrow and Thursday. After school activities were cancelled today for Ashley's school - was her first day of music class, so that sucks! It's been raining all day. I used a taxi to pick up Liz, made him wait, then take us both over to pick up Ashley. Due to the sure number of private drivers picking up students, there is no room for a waiting taxi at Ashley's school and it's impossible to catch a taxi because they can't get through all the private cars - so we walked home in the rain. We all got soaked but the girls had fun splashing in the pouring water. I saw some little frogs floating upside down going downstream in the water - sad.
This is an interesting way to keep tabs on the typhoon - this guy is CRAZY, but I'll be watching to see how he fares the brunt of the storm!
Sunday, September 16, 2007
It was not an adventurous weekend by any means! Both Friday and Saturday night were Papa John’s Pizza! Friday night we had dinner with Ashley’s best friend’s parents at their house – after Ashley had a playdate at their house – so pizza was the best and easiest thing for dinner – it was supreme with wine. Saturday night was dinner at another family’s house – ones that Anthony had met on the street months ago and got contact info from. They have 3 kids, all similar ages, but opposite gender. The girls had a blast playing with the boys and it was fun to see them all get along so well. Again, we had pizza, this time pepperoni with beer – branching out a bit. It was nice being sociable and meeting some new people and having some fun. Today, we had New Orleans style food for lunch at a place called Café Du Monde – the food is excellent. And dinner was at The Flying Fox – which is an Irish place – with Guiness Stew, usually very yummy.
Ashley got a new bike last weekend – with gears – so she’s been busy riding her bike and trying out all the gears. Liz started using Ashley’s old bike today and did great riding it around. I am starting to get used to riding the bike everywhere – even in the rain – which I really do not enjoy by any means! But it’s manageable, as long as it’s not pouring. This last week, I forgot to pull the rain poncho over the top of the handle bars, so it was just laying down the front side of me and I got SOAKED through – it kept riding up every time I would pedal and water would just come pouring in – I think that was a 4 shower day. I just keep reminding myself that I am helping the environment by not having a car. When it’s nice outside, I don’t have to say that to myself, as it is great riding around in the sunshine and warmth. But, when it’s raining out I have to remind myself over and over and over again – as I grind my teeth and charge through the cold and wetness.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Liz survived her first week at school. The first day she was happy to be left, the second day, she was not so happy and the third day, she screamed and grabbed my leg and wouldn’t let go. They said she refused to talk to anyone during the morning class but after lunch, she was fine and played and chatted. She loved going on Thursday, because it was swimming day! And Friday, she went but not really happily. I thought we might have issues today but she was quite happy to go and talked about school and what she was going to play with. Once there, she went to her room – changed her shoes and walked in to put her toothpaste away. She wanted me to walk her to the window where she could see me when I left, then she said goodbye and gave me a hug. No crying, screaming or fighting to stay today. I left and waved goodbye to her from outside (she’s on the second story so I think she likes seeing me from above as I cycle off home). Hopefully, she’s been active today and talkative.
Our weekend was good – the girls both started in gymnastics classes on Saturday. I took Liz first to the wrong building and then had to walk back to the right one. We walked next to a man and his daughter going to the same class – a taxi pulled up to the stop light and stopped in the crosswalk (a Very common occurrence here if they even stop for the light) and the guy who was walking, just kept walking straight OVER THE HOOD of the taxi! Instead of getting mad and realizing why the guy was walking on his car, the taxi driver just laughed amused at the guy.
Liz took a while to participate in the gymnastics class and I was dreading having signed her up – I was having to hold her hand and help her do some tumbles and things while ALL the OTHER parents sat against the far side of the gym watching their children participate and laugh and have fun. But, eventually, I was able to walk away and she actually listened to the teachers and did some things and she’s really good! She even smiled a few times. I was able to sit for a few minutes and watch her. I also watched some of the parents – there were many dads there as Saturday and Sunday are dad days here since not much time during the week is spent with dad – and there were many “blackberry” dads – those guys sitting on the floor of the gym – typing on their blackberry and randomly looking up.
Ashley liked her class and I have no idea what she did in it as the parents weren’t allowed to watch.
Saturday night, Anthony and I headed out for a date – we went to a few different areas, trying to find a place to eat – finally ended up at a weird local Chinese restaurant attached to a mall – the food was so-so. We had ordered a round of beer and it came very cold. Ordered a second round and mine was cold, but Anthony’s was not. They opened it before letting us see if it was cold or not – then because it was warm brought out ice to cool it down. Not exactly the best way to drink beer, but he was thirsty.
The place we were reminded me a bit of Taipei as there were lots of street vendor selling jewelry, purses and clothes on the sidewalk. There was even a bit of a pet market for puppies – oh so CUTE! But to buy from a pet market here is basically buying an animal for a few months – they tend not to live very long.
On Sunday, we went to a place called Bubbas (a BBQ place opened by a Texan) and watched some of the UT game from Saturday. It was a nice gathering of UT fans and ok food. It’s hard to enjoy a game with kids running underfoot – and cranky ones at that – Ryken did not take a nap! But we did the best we could and saw the UT victory. Looking at the crowd yesterday, really did not seem like we were in China!
Sunday, September 02, 2007
I found a way around the blocking of the blog here in China – as least for now. So, I am able to post and see the blog again! Thanks to this site:
Liz starts school tomorrow and Ashley had an amazing first week at her new school. She’s already made a best friend (from England, of course) and her English accent has returned full force!