The first week we went to two of our closest parks, all three of the large shopping malls that surround us on every side, the Shanghai Museum, and to our international church which they loved. We have a very good worship service, but I often don't hear the messages after singing is over because Sayde is up. She is not happy in the nursery so I won't leave her there. She is still very dependent on me and nursing day and night, but Jeremy and I were able to go out on a date one evening while my parents babysat. We went to a restaurant close by and came home just in time, Sayde had been crying for one whole hour. So, no overnights away from Sayde for me yet! I have yet to be able to go on any women's retreats either. There is no way it would be appropriate to leave my baby at home overnight. Maybe by the time she turns two...
Later on in the middle of the night we were up with both Sayde and Annalise sick, they were throwing up. The rest of the week everyone in our home was sick at different times, but the nice part is that my parents decided to change their plans and extend their stay for one more week! My parents were able to attend Jeremy's company dinner and watch him dance the hip-hop penguin shake on stage with all his co-workers, and help me with the kids at our table with all the many fancy, delicious food dishes. The next weekend, Jeremy and my Dad were able to go the Crossfit Iron Dragon for a WOD and brought t-shirts home for us to proudly wear. I would have loved to join them. It is still not very popular among Chinese women's fashion to be strong; rather, the fashion is to be skinny. This crossfit gym is the first authentic crossfit gym within China, and hopefully "strong is the new skinny" will become popular here also. We did some crossfit workouts at home as well. My mom and I did a 50 squats, 40 sit ups, 30 pushups, 20 lunges and 20 burpees WOD and the kids did stairs in our building to the top floor with my dad. I think our building has over 40 floors.
We also spent the last week of my parents visit shopping for clothes, something we normally never have time for! My mom and I went out twice looking at sweater tunics, shoes, and coats. Annalise and I found some boots at a sale next door to our building. Hers are pink with fuzzy material on the inside and mine are black ankle boots with silver crosses dangling from the zippers. It is easy to find my size in clothing and shoes here! And, Jeremy visited a local taylor shop at our market and had a complete suit sewn up for him, and it fit perfectly. Although he mistakenly had white pants made instead of black ones that he had to have for his penguin dance, but luckily he had some black ones already at home that he wore.
The rest of the time we spent on homeschool. We started the Sonlight curriculum core and get to spend time every day reading fun books together like the Boxcar Children. We also are reading lots of Bible, geography, history, and travelling adventure stories. Having a schedule with plenty to do each day has made homeschooling so much easier for me. We try to take field trips and outings as much as possible (lately it has been cold and rainy outdoors), and include as much practical life skills as we can. Rather than trying to imitate the classroom experience as if our kids are missing out on not attending school, we believe that they have an advantage over school attending children in that they learn more practical life skills by not sitting at a desk all day.
Now we are feeling kind of lonesome and homesick, our apartment feels so empty with no visitors. But we know we are placed here for a reason and have a destiny that we cannot yet see. For those last few weeks our home was very similar to a Chinese home with extended family living with us. Many Chinese families have parents living in and they take care of each other in many ways, leading to not only a more lively home but a more orderly one as well with so many adults around to care for the kids. Here are some pictures of our time together...
|Annalise and Gamma|
|Sayde is wearing one of my baby dresses|
|Sayde with Gandy|
|Sayde loved having the snake tied around her waste :)|
|Annalise playing resturant|
|Jeremy is up on stage doing the penguin shake on the right|
|family photo in some bamboo|