Monday, September 27, 2010

Epic Moments for the Browns

Cash has been saying "I bigger.....when I bigger, I like it" about numerous things - but the main one is that he doesn't like spicy foods - or if he thinks a food is too spicy he will say "too spicy, too spicy...i like it when i bigger...mommm like it!"

Well, this past week he informed me "i bigger mommy, i yike it...i yike salsa too!" He now eats it on his eggs, quesadillas, tacos, and other items we have - oh boy what a week will do!! I found tis hilarious!

The big moment, however, for us this past week was when we were pulling up to pre-school in the cab Cash said "mommy, i go to nursery all by myself....i bigger!" I didn't know what to think of this - it was out of the blue, and I didn't really believe it. However, he continued to tell us all week long he go to nursery by himself - he bigger - mommy and daddy go to their class, and he go to nursery....! We were all exctied for Sunday to come! On sunday morning, however, he wasn't as excited as before - in fact, i felt the apprehension in his voice and saw the worry in his eyes as we talked about it. I didn't think it was going to work. The entire taxi ride to church we talked about how i would be going to my class, daddy to his, and Cash to nursery - and then we would all meet up after! Well, as soon as Sacrament meeting ended - the tears began once again.

He cried and cried, saying "mommy come with me - mommy come wit me". So once again i ended up in there during sunday school - i tried to talk to him about me leaving, but each time he got worried and started to cry - when sunday school was over, however, it was time to switch and have daddy come in - and i told him that and he freaked out. This is not normally the case, and he was in my arms in a second, crying, no mommy, no mommy.....I was taking him out with me to find Chip - when Ashley came through the doors for singing time. He took one look at her, jumped out of my arms (literally)...and was jumping up and down saying "ashley, singing so fun...yeah!" He didn't care that I left, and I told Chip to see if he would start crying and stay close for his breakdown when he realized I wasn't there or Ashley left after singing time....but......................... (drumroll please)

He stayed the entire 2nd hour by himself - he even saw me through the glass doors on his walk and didn't freak out and went back to nursey - and when i went to get him he was jumping up and down and so exctied to show me his picture and tell me nursery was fun....oh, and also that he wanted his Lilo and Stitch bag and M&Ms that i had promised if he went all by himself!(yes, i have resorted to bribery for this one)!

It was a great day and let's just hope next week is even easier!!!

My sweet nursery boy!

Griffin also turned 2 months and had some big stats at his appointment! He is a tough cookie too - barely crying at all during all his shots! We think he will probably outgrow Cash soon, as he already bypassed him with a few stats:
Weight: 11 lbs. 12 oz (Cash was 12 lbs. 11 oz at 2 months)
Height: 24.5 inchese (Cash was 24 inches - so already taller)
Head: 15 inches (Cash was definitely bigger - but don't have stat)

So anyways - we are loving little Griffin - and he is such a good and easy baby. He has the best schedule a mother could ask for - and has slept from 9:30 pm til 7 am every day for almost the past week! He is smiling, cooing, reaching for toys, loves snuggling, sleeping on his tummy on his hands, and is just so sweet! I love my little guy!
I can never manage to get him smiling at camera because the light on it causes him to squint and look serious usually - but here he is smiling at Cash!
I wanted to take pictures of these too all dressed up, but by the time i got both of their pants on and diapers changed Griff was tired and went to sleep - so instead they are just practice shots of the boys in their stripes and UG boots!
Best Buddies already!
A little blurry but love the little feet here
enough mommy - i want to sleep
My very sweet 2.5 month old!
Check that out!
what mommy?
"take a foto hands in my pockets"

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Vacation Day At Ho Hai Park

So here in China they do vacation days a little different then the US! They often get days off in the middle of the week, but then are required to work saturday and sunday! This week was the moon festival (in honor of the full moon) and everyone gives mooncakes to everyone else. Seems a little pointless to give them away, only to receive a lot more back - but hey, that is the tradition here...I guess like giving goodies at christmas - altho it is only mooncakes! Anyways, they are weird, and some have whole eggs in the middle - but others are better! Cash LOVES them! He wakes up some mornings asking for his moon cake!

We took advatage of the Friday off and went to Ho Hai Park - it was great fun! Great weather, and a fun way to spend time with our family! We bought tickets for a rickshaw ride and tour and it took about an hour to go around the park, checking out the hutons (little houses) that apparently the rich live in - it was interesting and fun...altho a LOT of work for the guy riding the bike pulling us, but so worth it!

On the bridge overlooking the Ho Hail Lake!
The bridge behind us (u can barely see it) is one of the oldest in Beijing!
A view of one of the Hutons, where people still live!
Closer view outside of one - getting ready to go in and see the courtyard
Inside the Courtyard
Cash was really excited about the fish!
Us with the driver of the rickshaw
Another view of what it actually looked like - pretty sweet ride eh?
Another view of the lake and a native chinese person!
At the tourist shop this parrot was just inside and free to do as it pleased - Cash loved watching it
Checking out the shops - cool street!
The park supposedly has the best tower to overlook the forbidden city - wasn't the best day to see everything - but when it is clear I am sure the view is amazing!
The big drums in the tower...awaiting the show!
The show was pretty sweet, altho a little loud for poor Griffin's ears!
No easy way up - had to climb all the tall stairs to get up to the drum show....pretty amazing how many elderly folks were up there!
The Bell Tower also had a Ton of stairs - we sure got our workout in!
The Big Bell - really cool stories about this - including a girl jumping into the fire to help cast this bell
The view of the tower from the bell tower!
Griff was worn out by the end of the day - conked out on the way to dinner!
cute sleeping ghosti!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kimmy Update and Qualms with Cab Drivers

ok - so here's the skinny on kimmy:
MRI was cancelled monday, and is being done instead on Thursday morning at 7 am!
Here's to hoping answers come soon - and that they are good, yet find something they can do to fix the headaches!

NEXT - lately i have had way too many crazy cab incidents - so decided to post top 3 so as not to forget them or the great experience they are here in Beijing.

#1: The Case of the Wet Back Seat

Cash dumped water ALL over himself and the cab back seat. AS in, it was soaking, and pretty much the water bottle was empty! Well, the cab driver got out when we were getting out (dang it - was hoping that would not happen) and saw the mess, and started yelling at me in chinese. My friend was there, and she said he was saying "don't leave me - don't walk away from me, don't just walk in front of me....what am i supposed to do, give me more money..." Well, I just walked away from him anyways and kept going, because, well - what was I supposed to do? I didn't have towels, or anyting to wipe it up, and what i did have was 2 crying kiddos and it was raining and I just needed to get inside. WEll, after we walked away and he stood there angrily watching us go the whole time - my friend then figured out why he was so angry.....he probably thought Cash had peed all over his seats! Yep - since the kids here where split pants and just go whever, that is what he thought happened...especially since when cash was getting out he slid over the seats and left bum prints the whole way......look mr. cabby, however - before you get your panties in a knot, take a wiff and just realize it was only water - because hey, i am american and we believe in wearing diapers and not letting our kids have accidents everwhere!

#2: The Case of Stephanie "when in china, behave like the chinese!

So when we first moved here I used to be polite. Yes, I used to kindly let oters go before me if they were there first, wait to have my veggies weighed til others were done, etc etc. Well, then I got pushed around, was late to functions, and was just getting frustrated and sick of trying to be now I act like the chinese people and push and fight my way through -- and especially when it comes to getting a taxi!

Last Thursday we had been waiting outside for a cab for 20 minutes. Chip was holding Cash, and I had Griffin in the front pack. It was windy and starting to rain and no cabs were coming so we walked up to the main road and split up to opposite sides to try to get one faster. Well, after 5 minutes one finally came. I waited patiently for the couple inside to get out, and was standing on the side of the driver - often tho the back door is locked because they like you to only get out on the other side. I looked over and what did I see - a teenager opening up the front passenger door to get in. "Bu yow, Bu Yow!" I said "This is my cab and I was here first and you are not taking it from me or butting me to get in. Get away!" I just got a blank teenage stare back - either the typical response often elicited by teenagers when they don't want to listen, or the stare any chinese person gives when they want to act like they don't understnad you because you aren't speaking chinese...the - 'lost in translation' stare as I call it! And he did what? Yes, preceded to get in the car and gesture for his girlfriend to do the same.

Oh NO YOU DIDN'T...I thought and I went around the cab, opened the door, grabbed him by the shirt collar and nicely pulled him up out of the car and told him again I was waiting there first and this was my cab. I yelled to Chip to come over, and as he did I helped the boy over to his scared looking little girlfriend...Thank you for exiting without a fight or yelling back at me like the usual response is....but just so you know - i have learned that is the chinese way of scaring americans into giving them what they want, and I don't give in anymore! So good thing this guy didn't keep messing with me! And Thank you cab driver for then taking us where we wanted to go! Hopefully, another cab came by soon after and got the guy :)

#3: The case of the horn

This actually was a biker who would NOT lay off his stupid horn. One thing you learn after living here awhile is how much the chinese people LOVE to use the horns in their cars.....not just for special occasions, but ALL the time, and any time they have to wait (which is often), and they lay on the horns for 20-30 seconds at a time...not just a quick beep beep! It is actually very annoying, frustrating, and doesn't help a baby to sleep when we are going places! So we were at the fabric market last friday, and this guy on an electric bike pulling a trailer was coming and started to honk.....and continued his loud, obnoxious, annoying honking for over 1 minute straight. Yes, Cash was in the path of him, and Ashley and I both yelled for him to come to us - but we were on opposite sides of the bike and so Cash looked up, frozen in fear from the blaring horn. I quickly grabbed him and helped pull him to the side, all while yelling at the stupid biker to stop honking as he was going to blast off my child's eardrums, it wasn't going to get him to move any faster, and he wasn't supposed to be riding there anyways. Hello! The guy was extremely rude and started yelling at me and shaking his fists and just carrying on in such a loud manner it was just outrageous! I did the only thing that came to me right there that I knew he would understand - flipped him the bird! (sorry mom, as I know you are probably most disappointed in me....and yes, i already repented of this and i know i probably should NOT have responded this way) Yes, in China they know what that means. I was so frustrated, we were soaking wet from the rain, and i was just trying to get myself and the kiddos into another cab to head back after it was such a debacle of a trip - but oh boy, what an adventure!!! (at least the cab driver who took us home was so nice and didn't even yell when Cash got the seats muddle from his shoes from the rain!)

Thanks to all the nice cab drivers who have actually been really helpful to us, especially when I am alone with the big stroller and 2 kids - most of them generally are - but this last week was one for the memories of the crazy cab stories!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Prayers for a Princess

Meet My Sister Kimmy:

Absolutely Beautiful...
Best little sister and daughter anyone could ask for...
A model as a child...
And a model as a teen...
Glowing, Radiant, gorgeous...
A brother's favorite little sis...
someone who knows how to have fun (and looks great w/ no makeup too)...
A loving aunti...
A hot dancer...
A gorgeous girl...
And the list of positives go on and on!!!

My little sister is has been my favorite and best friend since she was born. From the time she was little I loved dressing her up, doing her hair, taking her photo, shopping for her and trying clothes on her (still one of my favorite things to do with her), and just hanging out with her.

She is gorgeous, and I always joke about how I wish I could switch bodies with her so I could have her great figure, how I wish I looked more like her, and how sometimes I wish I could just be her! But she is my hero and I wish I was like her more than for just looks.

Kimmy is kind! She is generous! She is honest! She is smart! She is funny! She is witty! She is strong! She doesn't gossip! She doesn't get wrapped up in dumb HS stuff! She knows what is important! She knows she is a daughter of God! She is graceful and elegant! And above all she is one of the most Christ-like people I have ever known! For all these reasons, she is one of my idols!

Today she is getting an MRI because she has had headaches for the past month straight and nothing has been working to fix them. She is glad to get the tests done, but worried as to what the results might be. As a big sister I am worried for her too. Kimmy - we are praying for you this day, and know that Heavenly Father is watching over you....My prayer is everything will work out and you will be able to be free of your headaches soon and get back to your everyday life! If you know my sister, please keep her in your prayers too! We love you Kimmy - and you truly are my hero! I look up to you so much!
I love you more than you love me forever!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Saturday Night Bowling!!!

This weekend was our branch activity campout at the Great Wall! We originally planned on going, but the rain, along with the cold weather, along with Griffin having a cold and no heat in the rooms, we decided last minute to bail and just stay home! However, we did have a nice fun weekend of just quality family time!

We found a couple new places to eat that are pretty good, and also found some new fun entertainment INDOORS that the whole family could enjoy!

Cash was SO excited to "go bowling, and knock the pins down.." as he kept saying all day before we left! It was so much fun! Lots of pics, but couldn't resist because love all the expressions!

Cash and daddy ready to start!
Getting some help from daddy to get that ball moving!
Daddy showing us how its done! Strike!
Looking on, come on!
Watching intensely!
bowling balls are a little heavy - help!
hey look - the chinese way of sitting!
Little Griffi enjoying his time chilling in the car seat!
Checking out which color to use - he enjoyed counting the balls the whole time!
Say Cheese!
Cash found a b-ball after and wanted to play - he is really happy here altho it doesn't look like a smiley face!