Friday, April 22, 2016

The Colorful Cars of Beijing

Driving a luxury car in Beijing for the rich seems to be as much about standing out and being different as it is about having fun, at least for a small segment. Why sit in luxury in a boring white, black or even silver high end car when you can make up any color you want? I toggle back and forth between amazement, envy and humor when I see the amazing rainbow and hues of the colors. The gaudier the better it seems.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Leaving Beijing

We are leaving Beijing. Today we are the leavers. We've been the newbies, the stayers and it is our time to go.

Although Beijing isn't the perfect place, where is really, Beijing for my family
is home. The home I've made for the last 4-5 years. My expectation when finding out I would be leaving would be feelings of happiness. Although I do feel happy, it is more like a strong mixture of emotions, sadness, anxiety, and within the mix, happiness. 

When I left the U.S., I left as a working mother of 1. When I leave Beijing, I leave as a stay at home mother of 3. If we go home for good my identity has changed. I am going from Beijing a different person in so many ways. If we go somewhere else it will be a new adventure with a new learning curve, and being the newbie again.

I feel like I am leaving family when I leave Beijing. When I leave I will be leaving my comrades behind, the friendships are different, stronger, tighter. Then I feel the guilt of feeling sad when I left my blood family behind to come here, and they miss us every day. 

I now understand why TCK (Third Culture Kids) feel they belong nowhere, and are always missing important people. I have to imagine for my daughter these feelings will be intensified as she has few memories of life "before China." No school friends, no experiences that match her day to day life here. This is home, this crazy place, crazy culture and awesome experience. 

And now I understand, you will leave a piece of yourself behind when you go, and every place that you go. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Mutianyu: Great Wall of China

We made a family trip to the Mutianyu site of the Great Wall the other day and I snapped these pictures with my iPhone. It was a beautiful Spring day and so clear. Amazing. I will miss having the Great Wall of China in my backyard when I move from China.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Bad English signs

We saw this supermarket on our way back from the Great Wall the other day. I had to laugh at the use of 'i' instead of 'l' in the sign, they must have been having a sale on 'i's' or maybe out of 'l' that day they bought the sign. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Translation funny?

This was posted for sale on one of my wechat groups today. I'm hoping this is a translation from another language and my English self just doesn't know it, but I laughed pretty hard at the idea of this being a "baby coffin." 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Chinese New Year and Dogs

Fireworks are a big part of the Chinese celebrating. Just remember if you move here with a dog, make sure you know how they respond to fireworks. We hear them every night for hours and for days and days during Chinese New Year. We also hear them when people move into a new home to celebrate, be prepared so your dog isn't stressed or doesn't run away. Especially during Chinese New Year, some dogs may need a thunder jacket or even drugs!

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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Happy Chinese New Year: Year of the Fire Monkey

Happy Chinese New Year to all my readers! We are now in the year of the Monkey! Any baby born in this year will be a FIRE monkey. We are currently celebrating by eating dumplings (jiaozi), spending time with family and listening to LOTS and LOTS of fireworks. 

You are a monkey if you were born in the follow years:

6 February 193225 January 1933Water Monkey
25 January 194412 February 1945Wood Monkey
12 February 195630 January 1957Fire Monkey
30 January 196816 February 1969Earth Monkey
16 February 19804 February 1981Metal Monkey
4 February 199222 January 1993Water Monkey
22 January 20048 February 2005Wood Monkey
8 February 201627 January 2017Fire Monkey
26 January 202812 February 2029Earth Monkey
12 February 204031 January 2041Metal Monkey

(dates from Wikipedia/image from Vector Open Source)

Friday, February 5, 2016

Air Purification via Plastic Wrap? - Pictures in Beijing

I'm still confused about this one. Maybe someone that is a car expert can explain this. The front of this car looks like it is plastic wrapped, and to get even more serious, the license plate is in front of the plastic wrap, and it stops right after the bumper?? I'm clueless, but it sure gave me a laugh the other day.

Maybe a DIY air purification system?!?!? 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

My Super Power: Jet lag

I'm currently doing two things in life, trying to connect with my oldest in a more meaningful way (she hates "how was school?") and trying to get my toddlers from two to one nap. So, somehow this all turns into me asking my daughter and then myself the question, 'what is your super power?' and I've been thinking about it for days. I had no good answer for her.

After much thought and trying to channel my inner 5 year old, I decided that getting over jet lag is my current super power. The last 4 trips, back and forth, twice to the US from Beijing, I've had no jet lag.

How in the world is this possible you ask?

Because I am so sleep deprived nursing twins for the last 1 year plus that it doesn't even affect me. So this got me thinking....I just need to treat going from two to one nap like the kids have jet lag. For me this seems more manageable. This also might mean for a week your kid goes to bed at 5pm and it awake at 4am.

So how do I handle jet lag with children?

1. Realize this too will pass, it won't go on forever. (best used at 2am, 4am, 4pm)
2. Try to push bedtime/naptime little by little, so you can finally get to a "normal."
3. Keep busy to try to ward off the lazy, sleepy feeling of boredom.
4. Take time, Rome wasn't built in a day.
5. Realize that for a few days or weeks life isn't going to be scheduled and learn to be OK with it.
6. Most important, sleep when your kids sleep. Or do your darn best to try!

So for now I'm going to enjoy my super power.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

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Monday, February 1, 2016

8% off sale: Pictures in Beijing

My friend and  I saw this really cool store with awesome Chinese style items at the local shopping center, I had a good laugh when I saw this sale flyer touting "8% off," run don't walk what a sale!!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sunrise in the States

I took this pictures with my cell phone, sitting in my car in the grocery store parking lot early one morning our first day back in the States. So beautiful.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Weird Things You Do When You Go Home

I think all of us get a bit giddy going into a Western grocery store when we make our trips back to the Western world. I'm assuming I'm not alone?? I think three trips in a row my first stop has been Whole Foods after getting off the plans and getting a night's sleep.

Well I made a quick trip to Giant Eagle for some snacks and such for the kids and couldn't help myself when I saw these "2015 flavors" from Lay's. First, I love potato chips, second, I felt like I'd been missing out. 

We had a little tasting party at the house to try these flavors. Truffle fries won the contest hands down. We did like the gyro flavor too much and biscuits and gravy while OK didn't excite us.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Caution With Style - pictures in Beijing

I was driving the other day and saw this in the middle of an intersection, the picture is zoomed in so you can't see it is an intersection. Bless the people that put these branches in the open manhole (there are actually two open manholes).

 I think this is the best, makes it look like there is a tree growing out of the road. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Hanging high - dangerous jobs in China

This guy gave me quite a fright as I drove home a couple days ago, wasn't expecting him working above our heads. Not sure exactly what he was doing but I prayed that he didn't fall in this country full of safety snafus. 

See the wire to his left and the shape it is making?? He obviously drew the short end of the sticks.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!!

Wishing you a fabulous 2016 to you and yours, from me and my family!