Wednesday, April 28, 2010

4 down..................and can't WAIT for more!!!

April 26, 2010:

4 + hours of alone time on a hot date!
3 moves in less than 1.5 years
2 little boys to show for it (almost anyways)
1 perfect husband who I can't imagine life without

=4 great years of marriage!

It was the BEST anniversary we have had yet! Really, the day was just perfect! After four months without even a real date alone with my hubby it was also much needed! Chip planned the whole thing and did a fantastic job!

He showed up at 4 pm with the prettiest bouquet of flowers - my favorite! Cala lilies and the good smelling ones - they are still making the house smell SO good! Then, we dropped Cash off at our friend's and went off to a KungFu show! We had a great time! Then, it was off to a very fancy and delicious restaurant for Beijing Duck! We had a wonderful meal including KungPao shrimp, broccoli, asparagus, and the famous Peking Duck! It was so nice to be able to enjoy just the 2 of us without having to worry about little fingers grabbing things, making messes, or distracting us from our conversations! Then we came back to find a cute little happy bundle of joy who couldn't wait to see us and gave us hugs and kisses and just made it even better! We shared icecream bars with him, tucked him in, and had a show picked to watch together!

Thanks honey for a great date! Happy anniversary and I love you a million icecream bowls full!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Weekend of Surprises!

This weekend was full of surprises……and not ALL of them good!

First surprise - Chip took Cash on a walk to get a menu from a restaurant we were going to order with friends and check it out! However, it took a LOT longer than expected before they returned. When they walked in the door I heard Chip say – “Cash, tell mommy what happened….”

I looked over, saw Cash, and immediately burst into tears. REALLY. I cried for almost 10 minutes straight – my cute little Cashee boy looked NOTHING like himself – his hair – GONE! Completely buzzed right off his head!

Chip started to explain he told the guy to just cut a small amount off and take off around his ears and the back, and yet Cash ended up like all the other little Chinese kids for the summer – with this buzz! I was SO SO SO sad! Now I know you all might be saying “whatever, it will grow back no need to freak out over this!” However, it took us 1.5 years to get Cash as much hair as he had – which those who have seen him recently know he didn’t have a lot, but I loved what he had, and doing a cute little fohawk with it and he LOVES to comb his hair too! Also, the pregnant lady in me just erupted so just let me have my little fit! I thought he looked like a chemo patient…………but after the weekend, I am slowly liking it a little, and he loves to say to me “mommy, haircut” and point to his hair! He even will look at other pictures of himself and then say “mommy, haircut” and point – so guess he understands what happened! NEVER again will he visit a Chinese barber tho! I can only hope that his hair grows faster now, and maybe even a little thicker if we are lucky!

Second surprise – Cash was taking a bath and was so happy and being so great while I got ready on Saturday morning. All of a sudden I heard “mommy – poop!” I looked over and my worst nightmare had occurred – yep – sure enough he had pooped in the tub!
Totally disgusting, and not a fun surprise to clean up after at all!

Third surprise – we went for a fun visit to Great Wall! That wasn’t a surprise as I knew about the plans, but what occurred on the way there was – and even more so how well I handled it! We went with friends and on the way there the little girl Coy got carsick. She rested for awhile on her dad’s lap but then came back up and was sitting by me. I was stressed the whole time she was going to puke, and when she started kind of choking and I looked over I knew it was coming. Yep, she puked all over herself in the car, sitting right next to me. Now, most of you know I CAN NOT handle barf AT ALL; however, I remained calm, quickly grabbed her hat and tried to help her just throw up into it, and I actually was fine – didn’t even feel sick after like normal – and that is also being prego and after a very hot and long winding road up there – it seemed to take forever so I am not surprised she was a little woozy! After the episode tho she felt much better and we were almost there, where we could get her a new outfit and enjoy the Great Wall!

The Great Wall is one of those things you HAVE to do in China, although once you have done it you don’t necessarily want to run back and enjoy it again, or for that matter in my case ever even care if you go back again at all! Especially after all the stairs you gotta climb! But it was enjoyable and I am glad we did it! Cash had a great time too, and I will just tell the rest through the pictures! Enjoy!

This first pic is out of order but Blogger wouldn't let me move it - so our Family on the Wall - and yes, we did have to hike up all those steps after coming down them! It was a big work out!

After you get through all the tourist stands, and before you get on the cable car to go up to great wall, we found this Camel! Cash LOVED seeing it and went right up and petted it! They charge 30 RMB for a photo with it, but i got this snapped before they told me!

Chip and Cash in the cable car as we took off for the Great Wall!

This picture was for Chip - it says that Pres. Clinton rode in this cable car in June of 1998! (i think that is the right date) Wow - what a special car!

The cars actually go up very steep very quickly - a view of those behind us!

At the top after a small climb, but before the bigger one! The blossoms are coming out and really pretty!

A good view of the long stretch of wall we were by - it goes on forever it seems, and I am glad we didn't do the whole walk - way too tiring and hot!

Cash saying "CHEESE" and smiling for the camera! A very good view of his new cut that at first made me cry but I am now liking a little better! Still a cute kid right?!

In china a lot of women carry around umbrellas to block the sun, and ever since Shanghai Cash has been obsessed, and will chase after those carrying them, so when we got to the Great Wall he wanted an umbrella at the first tourist stand and we got one just perfect for his size! As you can see from the smile he likes it, and also saying to people "wellow umbwella" (it's yellow)

love this expression
LOVE these 2 boys!

The chinese always want their kids in pictures with white kids, so we were obliging! This little chinese kid was eating the nastiest looking hot dog out of a wrapper - looked SO gross!

The other kids didn't want to, but Cash went right up and grabbed this other kid's hand for the picture when they asked - he is used to it now and might wonder when we come back to the US why people are not wanting to shake his hand all the time or take his picture and touch him!

Cash, Coy, and Keeser! Buddies all enjoying the trip!

We decided to ask for a picture with some Chinese folks since they always want pictures with us - this guy was LOVING it - and definitely had some of the craziest teeth you have ever seen!
It was a little smoggy, but hot anyways and just another view from the wall!

Out of a whole in part of the wall!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

S Stands for...........................

This week Chip had a rash on his hand, and so went to the Dr. to get it checked out. Turned out it was Shingles! Hmm......definitely hope I don't have them!

The Dr. told Chip his Shingles were caused by stress! This
tells you how stressful his job is out here. Yet still things are up in the air for as what that means for us. Will we be staying, or will they be closing the office here in China and sending us back to the US early - as in next month? Yes, that is the million dollar question right now for us, and if Stress caused Shingles for Chip, I wonder what it will cause for me if we don't figure it out this week and let me know where I am going to deliver this baby! Yes, Stressed we have been!

SHEDDING of blood:
Yesterday I put Cash in his crib for a time out. He doesn't seem to mind timeouts at all, and in fact was playing nicely by himself for at least 5 minutes - that is until I heard a blood curdling cry - I went running in and saw blood gushing from his mouth! Apparently he had jumped and when he came down hit his jaw on the crib bars, causing himself to bite his lip - it stopped pretty quick, so no stitches or anything required, but he has a little owie on his lip today on the inside and outside, and like to point at it and say "owie"!


This is something we do a lot of as we have a great pool at our place, along with a cool baby pool and a nice "hot" pool too. Today we decided to go there in the morning with the kids instead of going to playgroup. Cash, Kees, and Coy all have fun. Well, there were swimming lessons goin on - and we saw yet another weird part of the chinese culture that I just had to share. There were about 15 kids at the lesson, with 1 instructor, and she never once got in the water (note - she was probably age 55+). Maybe this doesn't seem odd to anyone else, but as the kids were at one end of the pool far away from her, I was wondering what she would do when one of them started to drown? Then, it gets better! There was a garbage can sitting at one corner of the pool - i didn't think anything of it until it started to get used - as a pee bucket for ALL the kids to go into - first just one kid got out, pulled his pants off and peed in it - however, then at the end of the lesson before they got into the hot water pool they lined up - both boys and girls, and took turns squatting over this thing - totally gross and also something that would NEVER happen in the US. Boys just pulling trunks off, and girls pulling suits to the side, all intermixed! Weird - altho guess good since we know that noone peed in the other pools!

Finally - all their clothes were just sitting on towels on the side of the pool - after they got done with the warm pool she had another trash bucket with water in it and they all stripped down to being naked and she poured a bowl of water over each of them, and then sent them to get dressed. As they were all getting dressed, she took the pee bucket and went into the locker room to dump it out - leaving ALL the kids unattended by themselves next to swimming pools - i was seeing lawsuits written all over these actions - and yet they all seemed to think nothing about it - such a different place - and yet I like America where we seem much more civilized when it comes to bathroom behavior (don't even get me started on the nake ladies in the locker room - GROSS!)


Finally, I am officially out of my second trimester and into the third and final haul - not sure if it is more mental or actually physical, but i already feel more tired and HUGE each day! I will post a pic soon! Anyways, we are still struggling with boy names so if you have any unique cute ones send them my way!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

ChaoYang Park Adventure

We had a great time last Saturday with our friends, spening time at the biggest park in Asia - ChaoYang Park! It was a beautiful day, and so much fun to walk around and see all the festivities!

We saw kites being flown, and plan on getting one of our own soon to try, enjoyed the giant blow-up water toys they had, checked out a bunch of rollercoasters, rented fun boats and went on the river, checked out the fishing pond they had (a highlight for Cash), played a dart game to pop balloons and win stuffed animals, ate some yummy popcorn and popsicles, also some noodles straight from the street vendors, checked out the squid on a stick (don't think I will be trying that though ever), laughed at the split pants kids - and some day i will get a good picture of one of them, and just had so much fun with our friends! A great way to spend the day!

A fake Mickey Mouse at the gate - Cash ran right up to give him a hug!

Happy to walk around on his leash - he wanted to run wild all over the park!

The fun toys on the water - altho spendy, and making Chip a little sick, worth the 10 minutes of memories! Cash was a little small to really enjoy it too, so 10 minutes was plenty!

Chip and Cash rolling around!

Say "cheese"

the gang walking after lunch - Cash was sharing his popcorn with everyone!

Rian and Sid and family on their boat - ours was the same but blue! Super fun to get out on the river!

Cash wanted a turn on this as we were leaving - just marched up and took it from that girl!

The entrance to the park - as we were getting ready to leave!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Easter Sunday

So I am a bit behind, but wanted to get these posted anyways!

We had a great Easter Sunday! It was a BEAUTIFUL day - actually the first day it really felt like spring here in Beijing! We actually had fast and testimony meeting this day, and General Conference was moved to the following week for us!

We had a great dinner with friends - Cafe Rio chicken burritos, fresh mango salsa made my Chip, delicious desserts and watermelon and other american food that made it feel like we were back home!

The kids had a great time at the Easter egg hunt, as well as the adults since Britton hid 2 eggs for them as well with gift cards to pizza hut and the silk market! So fun to be able to celebrate and share this experience with our great friends!
Happy Easter!

Cash before goin outside!

Right before the start!
Cash gettng his first eggs

Comparing baskets with Nora!

The whole Crew: Jensens, Krommenhoeks, us, and the Roneys!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Superstitions............................and laughter

So I am not sure why it took me so long to recognize this, but this last week I realized something about the elevators here in China. There are no floors here with the number 4 in them, or floor 13. They skip them in each building. So our building does not have a floor 4, 13, 14, 24, or 34.

The number 4 here is associated with death, and 13 is unlucky so they just get rid of them. It kind of mkes me laugh because in my mind if I were on floor 5 I would just be thinking about how really it is floor 4 anyways, so is that unlucky? (i know, weird thoughts of mine) Anyways - thought this was interesting! They are a VERY superstitious people here!

As for laughter - this past Easter Sunday we had a great dinner (cafe rio chicken burritos) with some friends - it felt like we were back in the US eating normal american food and it was SO fun! The food was delicious, the weather beautfiul, and the kids had a great time hunting for eggs, as well as the adults for the 2 with money in them hidden by Britton. It was a blast and the perfect day to celebrate this wonderful holiday here in China!

We had it at our friends, and at the end we decided to walk back the 30 minute walk to our place - and our friends who live in our building decided to come with us. We loaded up the kids into the strollers, got all our pots and pans, crockpot, and other food stuff, and set off.

The boys were pushing the strollers, Cash in one, and Coy and Kees in the other. Preface - 2 tall white dudes pushing kids with Easter baskets and also having bags attached - quite the sight. To make it better, they were walking faster than Rian and I so they were about 100 feet ahead of us. Rian and I had backpacks, pregnant bellies, and she was carrying a big pot and bowl - also quite the sight!

The boys didn't notice, but everyone who passed them would quickly look back at them and start laughing and talking about what a sight they were - and then upon seeing us some of them put it together and laughed even more -at least they ALL had a comment about it!

Once we realized what was going on Rian and I couldn't stop laughing either - it was SO funny to us that these 2 dads were drawing so many funnny looks and comments - and then probably us too! It was great!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Shanghai trip

Chip had a conference this past monday for work, so Cash and I tagged along and we went and saw the city there!
It is a way cool city, and we had a blast! We were there til Wed, but although short we saw a TON of sights! Below are LOTS of the pictures from the trip!

DAY 1:

Cash and Chip in our hotel room on the 71st floor with view of city behind them upon arrival

The view of the City out our hotel - simply amazing that they had no highrishe building 15 years ago - such a modern city now!

We went on a night tour of the city, including a river cruise -- here we are on the boat (we paid a little extra and got to have this nice cabin - it was so fun....and a lot warmer for all of us!)

We went upstairs to the deck to take pictures - Cash loved seeing the water, and we thought the building looked spectacular!

Cash and me with the TV tower in the background - looks like the space needle in Seattle

More buildings - it is like they took ideas from ALL the big cities in the US and put them all into one city!

Chip and Cash with the Bund - famous place with cool buildings - in the background

The cool buildings of the city behind us!

After the cruise we went over to Xin Tian Di - a famous street with lots of cool restaurants and shops - Cash LOVED the water fountain!

DAY 2:
Chip spent a good part of the day at his conference, and so Cash and I played at the hotel, swam in the pool, and just hung out. Chip joined us for a yummy lunch and then we tried to venture out to see some sites; however, it started raining hard at the first place, so we bought some umbrellas, walked around a bit to a few places, and then just settle for some pizza and pasta at a shop we found at Xin Tian Di the night before!

Cash and Chip with their umbrellas - Cash LOVES to play with his now ALL the time!

A beautiful park - with a cool building in back I can't remember what it is!

The Shanghai museum - the back part with the pretty flowers and awesome skyline!

DAY 3:
It ended up being beautiful, although very humid from the rainfall the day before!
We extended our stay a few hours and were able to see a lot of places we wanted to the day before!

First stop: the aquarium - it is the biggest one in Asia and was spectacular - Cash's favorite place we went! OUtside with the water fountains

Cash checking out some fish!
Giraffes too - jk - statues in the aquarium that were pretty cool!

My personal favorite thing here - the jellyfish - So pretty!

You went down an escalator below the water - it was way cool!

Jaws - or a shark like it I would NOT want to encounter! Pretty scary looking!

The big tank of stingrays - thought of crocodile man!

After the aquarium we walked along the Bund - really cool building and statues!

Cash didn't want his picture taken here!

It was great just spending time together after so many long nights without Chip!

People here and in Beijing act like they have never seen a baby before - they go NUTS over Cash every time, always ask for pictures of him - we thought these guys were exceptionally funny - so took their pictures too! Cash LOVES the attention tho and plays along well usually!

There are SO many bikes and scooters in the city - and they all go eery which way, in no orderly fashion - amazing there are not more wrecks!

Chip enjoying the nice day!

We went over to the Yu Garden next and Shanghai Old Street -it was amazing!

I loved the Old Street - so cool, with fun shops and interesting people

Outside the garden - ready to go in!

The Yu Garden is a rock garden with pagodas and way cool rock formations and green landscape and was so pretty!
Cash enjoyed the water and fish that were EVERYWHERE inside here!

Way high up on the rocks!

Found one that makes a great seat!

Having fun!

Cool view of surrounding building from inside the garden!
Outside in the street they had statues of animals - Cash liked the elephant!

Jade Buddha Temple - these guys performed an interesting ceremony
The Buddha statue was HUGE

Different view of the street!

We stayed at the Grand Hyatt - which is the 2nd tallest building in Shanghai - the tallest one is the World Financial center (on the right)! Both were very tall!

Cash wanted to wear my shades on our last trip to the park across from the hotel!

Closer view of the TV building

Although it wasn't raining - Cash wanted to walk with his umbrella, and threw a fit til we let him!
The park across from our hotel was gorgeous!
Chip between the wrold financial center (left) and our hotel (right)

Last pic before heading to the airport - I love this one because it shows the best part of our trip - Cash got to spend a LOT of time with his daddy (and i did too)! We had such a great time in this city. It feels so modern and nice!