Sunday, October 30, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
today started out nice and slow. we skyped with family this morning, and then josh took the kids out to run some errands while i went out to run some other errands and do some birthday shopping for q...his 3rd birthday is next week!
Friday, October 28, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
today was an odd day...it seems this is a theme for the week, eh. we started off great, skyped with my dad and got some boxes loaded up/addressed and ready to go to the post office...and then i got a call from our real estate agent telling me that they wanted to show the apartment at 2:30. it was about 10:45 at this point. q was also telling me he was hungry. so, i got a few things done, made lunch for q, got a few more things done, made lunch for me, got a few more things done, took q down to play at the playground for a while, got q down for a nap, sat down to terrorize pigs for a while, got a few more things done, woke up q, went down to get sissy from the bus, and then came back and waited. and waited. and scolded the kids away from their toys. and waited. and waited some more. no one ever showed up for this fictional showing. the apartment looks pretty darn great, though. :-) the kids start twitching when they approach the toy box, but i am not sure that's really a bad thing >:-)
Monday, October 24, 2011
today was a pretty slow day with the kids... gymnastics class, school, gymnastics class, store, park, home, playground, done. it was a good day, just not a super exciting one.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
today was a nice slow day. we didn't do anything huge, which meant there was plenty of time to work on move-related stuff and finally get the pics from beijing up as well as the pics from our trip to the hong kong wetland park on saturday.
josh and the kids ran out to play and run errands in the early afternoon, which gave me some time to start clearing out the kids' toys and pack about 75% of them. we have so greatly reduced the number of toys that the kids have since we moved here...we moved here with at least five bins of toys. we are now down to two not-quite-full bins, and they include bulky items like games/puzzles in boxes and stuffed animals. i am pretty proud of us for paring down the insane collection. our goal, when we move home, is to keep all toys upstairs in a designated game room...no more of this house-looks-like-toys-r-us-threw-up-in-it crap. it helps that both kids are way beyond the bulky baby toy phase now and can manage stairs without any issues. it used to be that we kept a lot of toys downstairs in our house b/c the kids couldn't be upstairs by themselves...they were too young.
since our apartment is not very big, we are already about 3/4 packed. it doesn't take much to pack a compact space. the big issue for this move is going to be getting rid of our furniture. we bought almost everything second hand using local discussion forums (similar to craigslist), and we hope to sell/give away the furniture the same way. the trouble is that it's SUPER hard to transport large items here if you do not have your own vehicle. you have to hire a mover, which is what we did. hiring a mover is not super expensive, but it takes some coordination and arranging...it's just a PITA. large items, like the beds and entertainment center, have to be disassembled to be moved...big pain in the tuckus.
tomorrow, life returns to normal. livie is back in school this week, and josh will be back to his GZ schedule, though on different days this week due to canton fair, which is going on in china this week.
we also encountered lots of interesting people on our trip. when we were at the great wall, we ran into several north americans including a couple from northwest austin. we got lots of compliments on how well the kids were handling the hike on the wall. we also got a lot of attention...people taking pics of us and with us. we had a group of five or six women take turns snapping pictures of themselves with olivia when we were taking a rest at the forbidden city. it was funny, but also a little tiring :-) most of our strange encounters were just plain funny, but we did have two instances that were semi scary.
in the eight months we've been in asia, we have noticed that olivia gets a ton of attention...much of it from men, and a lot of that attention is the wrong kind. this is something we are hyper vigilant about at all times (of course). at the beijing airport, there was an incident in the men's restroom where a male employee walked in on livie, seemingly on purpose. that gave us the heebie jeebies. livie's fast-approaching the age where it's no longer okay for her to go into the restroom with josh, and that incident sealed the deal. we also had another interesting incident at the beijing airport where a young man basically leaned across our table at lunch to strike up a conversation with olivia. it was uncomfortable to say the least.
all in all, the trip was an amazing adventure that we will treasure. we are looking forward to printing and framing many of our pictures from this trip; we will revisit the memories we made on this trip often!
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
today was a busy day, but it was OUR busy day...back in our familiar surroundings doing what we do...so it was easy(er).
i'm still avoiding going through 650 pictures. check back.
to recap, we had an absolutely wonderful time. we stayed in the corporate apartment owned by the company that josh works for, and it was spacious and beautiful. the weather was perfect...sunny and in the low 70s. we didn't do any adventurous eating, which is sad, but it was necessary considering that we had two small children to keep fed/satisfied.
we toured the mutianyu portion of the great wall, tienanmen square, the forbidden city, and beijing zoo...in two days. we are exhausted, but it is well worth it. this trip alone makes this move to hong kong make sense. this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and one that we would most likely never have done from the u.s. my only regret, and it's a small one, is that the kids are so very young that they most likely won't remember this trip. we look forward to telling them about it and showing them pictures to remind them.
speaking of pictures....i will post some soon...check back in a week or so...seriously, it's going to take me that long to go through them.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
we are looking forward to our trip...especially to the MUCH cooler weather. i am hoping to see fall colors, too! just for fun, here's a widget with beijing's current forecast.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
Sunday, October 2, 2011
today, we braved the crowded MTR and one transfer to head over to kowloon to check out the kowloon walled city park. our friends, the b family, had visited this park and told us how beautiful it is. it is stunning. the weather didn't really cooperate with us today...or should i say we didn't look hard enough at the forecast...so it was a damp adventure, but it was fun nonetheless.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Ni hao-dy. (booo- hissss, I know.) So, Lori asked me to guest publish to the blog tonight. Of course, I said yes, but wasn’t really sure what I would write about. Seemed to me that I should write something profound or exciting as my first post to Texpat 365, but in reality we had a fairly low-key day. The big event of the morning was we got a new toy, a Nikon P7100 digital camera. We have been shooting almost exclusively with our mobiles since we got here, and the quality of our pictures shows it.
I did my research and decided the Canon G12 was the camera for us. I checked it out at the computer mall in Wanchai near where I work. Then talked it over with Lori last night and went in with the kids this morning to buy it. The computer mall is a pretty insane shopping experience. There are 3 floors of 8X8 shops set in a labyrinth pattern with narrow hallways packed floor to ceiling with every high-tech gadget on the market. Sounds awesome, but I get a bit of sensory overload in there, but can find some really good deals. Luckily we went early enough and it was not too crowded yet. For those that follow the blog regularly, you can imagine the damage Quinn could do in a place like this. That thought did not escape me, but figured we I had already done the shopping part and we could get in and out fast enough the destruction could be kept to a minimum. All went fine pretty much until I had paid for it. The sales guy very smoothly asked why I was so determined to go with this model when I came in. I very proudly told him of the research I had done and threw out some stats about frames per second I can’t honestly say I understand. He knew. They always know! He asked how was it I had not come across the *NEW* Nikon camera? NEW?!?!? OOOOOOOHHHHH! NEW GOOD! ME LIKE NEW!!!! Why me buy 6 month old camera with great reviews and recommendations? This one new!!!
The genius to this salesman was to wait until I had already paid and had two kids running amuck. A high risk move, as I could have walked out with my camera I had purchased, but he knew. They always know. The price difference was not dramatic, so I don’t feel too bad about it and so far I am very pleased with the shots. Check them out below. I still have not got all the setting down, but beats the hell out of my iphone camera.