Thursday, June 28, 2007

Missing Out

Confession: I feel like I've been missing out a little on the new mum scene. You know, meeting other mums over coffee, play dates, baby yoga, swim, etc.

However, while I was in Portland, I overheard two new mums gossiping over coffee...

"You know Lisa just shows up like she rolled out of bed. I mean, what's with her hair? I know she has three kids, but she should really have her act together by now."

I couldn't stop listening. Neither could Hubs. Seriously. We didn't say two words to each other for about a half hour as the ladies dished on their *best friends.*

I came away feeling pretty happy about my little playgroup in Dalian.


After nearly three weeks of eating everything I've craved over the past six months, I think I've gained about 20 lbs.


The only thing left on my list of things to consume is a hostess fruit pie. Lemon if possible. If there is no lemon, I will settle for Apple.

I can't really explain my Hostess fruit pie craving. All I know is that I get it every year.

There's just something about that pie shell - all glazed with sugar. The way it cracks open. The way the gooey inside pulls apart (I'm drooling just thinking about it).

Thursday, June 21, 2007


So much has happened, following are a few highlights.

- Flying with a toddler is WAY different from flying with an infant. To all my friends with infants - travel NOW. Go see Europe. See Asia. Do it now, before your child can walk. Take it from me, the "fasten seat-belt sign" means nothing to a toddler.

- On my (10 hr) flight to Portland (via Beijing and San Fran), a woman sitting next to me was kind enough to point out there was a row of seats (about 10 rows back) that was wide open. She told me, with pursed lips and forced kindness, "I have a two year old and I find it helpful to fly with as much room as possible." I replied, "thank you, but I prefer the bulk head."

- My high school reunion was good, although only 6 other people showed up for it.

- Living in Europe just doesn't give you the same level of culture shock upon return as living in China. The thing that hit me most is how overweight Americans are... and I'm in Oregon - with loads of active, physically fit, granola crunchers. And I was still blown away. I shouldn't be talking, because I'm no skinny Minnie, but coming from a city where you just don't see much in the way of extra weight on people...well it really struck me. And the kicker is that I just really "got" for the first time how much it is part of our culture - sure you 'know' why it happens, but the portion sizes are super huge - I found myself stuffing a massive chimichanga into my body, packing it in, as if I had to make it fit. Hubs and I decided to gorge ourselves - as you can't get Mexican food in China - and I actually ate spoonfuls of guacamole - alone, with nothing else. It was so good. The point is, I understand why Americans are heavy. Food (especially anything processed and full of sugar, salt, starch) tastes so good. But comparing what we eat in China (rice, tofu, fish), to what a typical American eats, it sure makes me want to stick to a Chinese-type diet (even after we return).

- Hubs flew out to PDX for my Dad's wedding (photos to come when I've downloaded everything from our camera). We had a great time with family. It was wonderful. The wedding was at the Coast, so Chase got to play in the sand for the first time. At first she didn't know what to do, she didn't like the sand in her toes, but 10 minutes later she didn't want to leave - ever.

- Nana Cris has really been working overtime to keep Chase busy. She set up "learning stations" all over her house. Little pitchers filled with rice. Different spoons for Chase to carry rice from one bowl to the next. Clear plastic tubes for Chase to roll marbles down. A box with smaller boxes in it, to be sorted. Lots of water play. A very special thanks from me to Nana Cris for rearranging her schedule so that I could get my hair cut, go to dentist appointments, etc.

- Grandpa Mark also gets a big thanks for all his time playing with Chase. And for the lovely building blocks he created for her. They are wonderful! Thanks Dad!

- And of course I need to thank my little cousins, Sean and Julia, for all the time they played with Chase too!

- Other than that, we mostly spent our days on the road, visiting friends and family. I'm on a red-eye to Mississippi tonight. Good times. Here's to hoping my daughter sleeps right through it.

Photos From Portland

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Radio Silence

Will post updates as soon as I can *find* the time. Departing Portland tomorrow - to Jackson, MS.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Furniture Arrived!

Chase's bedroom is finally coming together.
Except, to my dismay, her new sheets don't 'exactly go' with the rest of the room.
They should be red, but instead I fell in love with a lime green and pink print.

But at least it is looking more and more like a little girl's room; less like a nursery.
The butterfly cabinet, small chair and small table arrived today from Beijing.

It's so great to finally have a room with our own things in it.
We've been living in furnished apartments for so long.
We've forgotten what it's like to be surrounded by our own things.

Goodness me, it feels so good.
Very warm and cuddly.

Chase likes it too ...

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Worse Than The Cable Guy

The shippers (the ones who are responsible for safely moving the goods we purchased in Beijing to our home in Dalian) are slower than molasses in January. And worse than any cable guy in the States.

We were expecting delivery yesterday. Hung around until well after delivery time. No one showed. And so we had a Chinese friend call to see what the delay was about - turns out, the truck was in an accident. They asked if they could deliver our items today, Sunday, at 8 a.m.

No problem. Chase wakes up at 7 a.m. E-v-e-r-y d-a-y. Yesterday she woke up at 6:30 a.m., just to see if we would wake up to.

So 8:00 a.m. arrives. No delivery. 9:30 - still no delivery. Hubs calls one of his friends from work to have him call them (again). Turns out they had an "emergency" delivery (whatever that means) and could now deliver at 11 a.m.

Would you believe that they didn't show up at 11 a.m.? Nor did they show up at 2 p.m. as they indicated they would at 12:30 p.m. when we called to say, "hey, what the heck?"

So now we wait. And stew. And wait. Hubs is reading. Littlest Lolly is going through my purse. Taking things out. Putting things back in. Taking things out. Putting things back in.

We haven't been outside all day. We're afraid to leave the house, because as soon as we do, the movers are bound to arrive.

'The List'

This morning, Hubs said "this article says we should not use Chinese toothpaste."
I thought to myself, "good thing we don't buy Chinese toothpaste."

But then I thought, "hmm, I think there might, actually be Chinese on our tube of Crest."

And then, sure enough, I went into the bathroom and saw our Crest toothpaste tube (the-one-with-Chinese-writing!), was almost gone! Seriously.

I can't keep track of all the things I'm not supposed to buy, so I've started a list.

For those that have not seen the headlines re. Chinese toothpaste, please visit: