Monday, January 24, 2011

Meant to Be Friends

I have a very weird habit. I eat syrup on my eggs.

The story goes that when I was young, just learning to talk, my mom asked what I wanted for breakfast. Not sure how to say it, I went to the fridge and pointed to eggs and syrup. Even though my mom thought it was strange, she scrambled some eggs and put syrup on top. Somehow I communicated that what I really wanted was french toast, but I ate it anyways.

I have eaten my scrambled eggs this way ever since.

Now before you yell about how gross this is, think about it. Eggs are really just a base, without much flavor. They are a part of all sorts of sweet flavored recipes such as cakes, pudding, and cookies. Somewhere along the line someone decided salt and pepper, or even tabasco or ketchup, sounded good, and now that is how the majority eat their eggs. (both of the latter of which I find disgusting, I might add)

Never in the world have I met someone else who eats their eggs this way. Until now.

My best friend over here, Jacquelyn, and I just discovered that we both eat our eggs this way. In almost every other way we are completely opposite, but in the ones that really matter (haha) it turns out we are exactly the same!

Next time you have some eggs, try it :-)

From January 2010

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tired of Bodily Fluids

This afternoon, I came home tired after spending much of the day at school. Listening in on Nathan's class's script reading, lunch with the hubby, Chinese character writing activity, Chinese class, caught the student bus home at three.

So forgive me if after changing my daughter's poopy diaper, I decided to let her play on the floor naked-bottomed to air out for a few minutes while I rinsed her cloth diaper.

Less than two minutes later, she had peed on the floor.

So I cleaned her up. After that, I thought, well she just pooped and peed, what better time to let her play and air out her little bottom? Her room is fairly safe, so I settled down on the couch while she was content playing by herself.

Five minutes later, she's a little quiet, so I decide to check on her. Surprisingly she has just decided to find me too, so she's smiling brightly from the doorway where she crawled to find me. How cute, I think, as I walk over to pick up my cooing daughter.

And then I see it.

The poop. Obviously kneeled in, played with, and drug across the floor to her doorway. Oh, boy, I think. Your father is going to love me for this one.

I decided to do my best wiping her down with baby wipes and strip her of her clothes, before putting her directly into the bath. I was hoping her daddy would walk through the door any minute.

So now I have a half clean baby, poop all over the floor, and I need to draw her a bath. I decide the safest place to put her is in the bathroom with me, so I set her on the floor while I set her baby bathtub on the counter and start the water.

She starts peeing.

Are you stinking kidding me? Really!???

I turn off the water, move her away from the puddle, run to the other end of the house for a towel, wipe her off once again, and put the towel over the pee. Start the water again, fill it, put her in, and let her play until her daddy comes home, about five minutes later. He takes over on bath duty, and I start scrubbing the floor.

30 mins later and she's dressed, dry, and fed. Ah, time to relax and put her down for a nap.

Instead she just puked on the floor. Probably from the poop she ate. Just great.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cloth Diapers

I would not consider myself an Earth activist. I use plastic grocery bags (although I am switching to cloth), I love paper towels and other disposable items, and I enjoy takeout. However, I really do believe in cloth diapers. And not actually because they cost less. I figure by all the energy and time I put into washing and drying them, I'm really not saving much.

But I can't stand the thought of thousands of her diapers rotting forever in a trash dump.

However, washing them here is sometimes a pain. See, we don't have a hot water option on our washing machine, and apparently you're supposed to use one to sterilize them every wash. So I heat water on our gas stove to make the wash water hot.

From 2010November

Three of my largest pots, then carry them one by one 32 steps through the kitchen, across the dining area, over the living area, and into the drying room (where our washer is located). This involves skirting around Lizbeth's play area, going through two doorways, and up one step, then down another, all the while carrying a pot full of boiling water.

(view from the kitchen entry way to the patio where the washer is)
From Apartment JinHai

In other ways though, doing cloth diapers is a little easier here. The covers of all the diapers have to be line dried, and any time she poops, the poop stain has to be bleached out by the sun (sounds weird but amazingly it works!) Since dryers are kind of a new concept in China, line drying is down to an art. Nearly all apartments have a special sun room for drying, complete with a double hanger rod pulley system and large windows facing the east. They sell all sorts of hanger contraptions, such as the one pictured below, which makes hanging up individual diapers so much easier.

From January 2010

Another amazing thing, is that one of our friends found GroBaby diapers at a local export market. Apparently GroBaby has been discontinued for GroVia, and so this place is selling the discontinued diapers for an incredibly affordable rate of five dollars a piece! (They normally sell for $25 a piece) I have also found $52 dollar baking dishes for seven dollars, and many great clothes as well! I am in love with this market...

So, I guess while not having hot water in my washing machine is a pain, not everything has to be hard.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Warm Enough?

Chinese people over here never think your baby is dressed warmly enough, and they have no qualms about telling you about it. I've even had our vegetable lady loan me her personal blanket since I had forgotten Lizbeth's at home! Foreigners will complain that no matter how warmly you dress them, it is never enough. I think that this is mainly because they just want a reason to talk to you and look at your baby.

It can get quite old though, and some of them are not as nice about how they tell you their feelings. One of my friends said she was actually hit by a stranger who was so emphatic!

So, rather than combat it (and because sometimes they're right), I decided the best way is to go along. I purchased a Chinese style coverall for Lizbeth, and she wears it almost whenever we go out. Pleased with myself, I was relieved to have no one telling me she did not have enough clothes.

Until last week. After eating at a restaurant I bundled her up in her suit to go, and a gentleman asked me, "You're going to go outside? Isn't it too cold? Her face is exposed!" I wanted to laugh out loud, but calmly explained we were only going as far as our friends car which was parked right across from the door, and that I would close her stroller up so that the wind wouldn't bother her.

But honestly, what more does he want? She does have to breathe, doesn't she?

From December 2010

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Friends

Lizbeth loves people. And people love her.

She has made it incredibly easy to meet new friends. Everywhere we go people love to smile and talk to her, Chinese and foreign alike. What's great is that she loves to smile and talk back.

Last Sunday at Starbucks, we met a college aged Chinese girl. She brought out her camera to show me pictures of her niece. My Chinese is to the level I can converse fairly easily about surface level things so I enjoy talking to new people. Eventually, she asked if she could take pictures of Lizbeth. Afterwards I gave her my e-mail address so she could e-mail them to me, and I hope to stay in touch. In America, I would be surprised if a stranger actually followed through, but Chinese are true to their word! Two days later, these showed up in my mail box. She also included her contact info so I can get back in touch with her. What a great new friend!

From December 2010

From December 2010

From December 2010

From December 2010

From December 2010

From December 2010