Thursday, November 29, 2012

5 Months

I found a sign to hang from our car (appparently Pregnantwoman in one word)

Speaking of our non- existent car,  I loved reading everyone's perspective and comments on our car decision.  We have pretty much decided to buy a car and will hopefully make the purchase between Christmas and Chinese New Year. Yay!
We are really sure that this is our last (biological) child so we are getting a bit nostalgic about it. Yesterday Jason and I went to probably our "last" ultrasound appointment. We got 100% confirmation that we are having a girl and she put on quite a show for us- tumbling, thumb sucking, waving, kicking.  We got some 3D images that I thought were sweet and Jason thought were freakish looking- so I won't share them.   Now that I don't feel sick I want the pregnancy to slow down, but it feels like November flew by. I am happy to keep her on the inside for a while longer, because I know it's going to be a bit crazy once she's with us on the outside.

Monday, November 26, 2012

My Early Christmas Present

Hong Kong has quite a few Starbucks, but none in the area I live in (the nearest one to my house is 30 minutes). The mall close to us to quite "local" and so many times I have just wished for a place to meet a friend for coffee.  It should be open by the end of the year. Josiah and Annette know I am really excited because every time we pass the sign they shout, "Mommy your Starbocks!!"

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Party!

At Back to School Night Josiah's teacher had sign- ups for various parties throughout the year. Jason nudged Emily and I and urged us that we "had" to do the Thanksgiving party since we are the Americans. ICS, being an American school, does celebrate Thanksgiving although often the kids eat chicken wings and sushi rolls at their feast! (: 
Emily and I first taught a lesson to both R1 classes that included a story, some songs and a Thanksgiving game. 
Then came the "feast." I made a small turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry and rolls while Emily brought the sweet potatoes, corn, apples and pumpkin pie- yum! The kids didn't think it was as yummy as I did, but it was an experience.

 I am so thankful that Josiah can go to a school- that regardless of the culture, holidays or food- he can cultivate a heart of gratitude to God. Happy Thanksgiving!!

A Comment on Comments

 I just figured out that I can remove the annoying and sometimes challenging word identification option when people leave comments. I know my friend tried 6 times the other day to comment, but some of those "words" are impossible to read!  Anyways, hope this makes life easier, 'cause I love hearing from you!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Learning to be Home

Recently Josiah surprised me with the question, “Mom, when are we going to move to a new house? We have lived in his one for sooo lo-ng” (he whines in a Chinese accent). We have lived in our house now for about 4 months, which to be fair is longer than we stayed in any one place last year. 

But his question was probing to me and resonated with something that I have been wrestling with this fall- home. Neither Jason or I (or Josiah for that matter) are homebodies. At all. We love to get out and nearly go crazy if we are inside too long. Since we sold our house and cars in LA over 6 years ago we intentionally have turned our back on the “American Dream” of bigger and better. A temporary mindset and small living quarters have kept us from investing much into “home”. 

Also, being home with little ones is hard for me because I often feel like I am getting nothing done, in fact things seem to get “undone”. The natural course of events with a 2 and 4 years old is for things to go from order to disorder (sometimes at break neck speed). So home can feel like a place of never ending, ever- accumulating work. . . dishes, laundry, spills, smudges etc . . . 

But lately I’ve been wanting more out of “home”. I desire home to be a place of rest. A place that nurtures creativity and loving relationships, where learning and lifelong habits are formed. I’m not really sure how to get to this place. I think it must have to to in part with letting go, and learning to relax, laugh and live in a home even when there are fingerprints on the sliding doors and crumbs on the floors. I also want to be more intentional about creating special memories that we share at home. If anyone has any thoughts I’d love to hear them, since we do not feel called to be nomads- in spite of Josiah’s itching to up and move. (: 
Chilling at home this weekend in the kitchen by our new Christmas tree

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Po Po Encounters

One group of people I just love in Hong Kong are the old PoPos (Grandmas). They all dress the same, smile easily and seem to share the same quality of being a little, well, overbearing. They are quick to squeeze a cheek and scold a thumb sucker or child not wearing shoes (we would know).  Almost always they don’t speak English and they call the kids, even Josiah “bb”- baby in Cantonese.  To Annette right now being a baby is the biggest insult in the WORLD.

So today in the grocery store a PoPo comes up to Annette who is sitting the cart. No surprise, she flashes a toothy smile and say “ay, bb!” Annette who has had enough of this shouts (for the whole store to hear), “I’m not a BABY, I’m a BIG GIRL!!! YOU’RE a baby!!” as she points her finger at the PoPo. It is moments like these where I’m so glad meaning gets somewhat lost in translation. The PoPo just laughed and shuffled along.

Annette definitely knows how to embarrass me, like the other day when she exclaimed in a crowded elevator, “Mommy, whose stinky?!” Of course I didn’t answer her, so she had to ask over and over again until the doors opened!
Here is Annette with our favorite PoPo. We have known here for years and she has sort of adopted Josiah and Annette as her Grandkids. Last week she walked all the way out to our house to come for tea. Doesn't she look good for 84?  

Sunday, November 11, 2012


 I tutor students in Kowloon Tuesday evening and Saturday mornings. It has become a tradition for Saturday mornings to be fun day with dad. Typically he takes the kids on spontaneous outings that they love. They usually come home with smudged faces and fast food in their tummies, but hay-its only once a week- and they love time with their Papa. This week I returned home to the sound of power tools and Jason and kids in the middle of a wood making project on our dining table (where else can he do it really?) It made me laugh, because things are so different when daddy's on duty (:

That afternoon we took a walk/ bike ride down to the beach. The weather is so comfortable now and the kids made sand castles while I people watched. I noticed an old lady out swimming wearing a "facekini". I had read that these are a craze in China, as people try to keep the sun off their face. If any of my American friends or family are wishing for one for Chritmas, let me know! I'll hook you up.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Check out Naptime Creations

My good friend Emily is A- MA-ZING!! If you don't believe me just visit her blog, Naptime Creations She cooks, sews, knits, and does any other crafty thing you can imagine. She infuses a lot of creativity into her projects and she does them fast. I have no idea how she does it all- with her 2 and 4 year old! Her blog is a fun source of inspiration for me.
You might want to check it out now because she is hosting a $75 give away from Shabby Apple which has some adorable dresses.  Of course if "all" of you enter that would decrease my odds of winning. . . but check it out anyways (:

Monday, November 5, 2012

To drive or not to drive, that is the question

For 6 years in Hong Kong we have never owned a car. At first we loved the convenience and cost savings of using the wonderful public transportation system. Then Josiah was born and I learned how to fold up a stroller with one had, carry it and a baby up onto a mini bus, beep my octopus card and get a seat all in 7 seconds. Then I became pregnant with Annette and learned that I could carry a 21 month old in a stroller up 3 flights up stairs out of a station while 8 months pregnant. Needless to say, the transportation challenges expanded with our growing family. Now facing the soon reality of 3 kids under 4 I am contemplating days of pushing a stroller while wearing a baby and motivating a preschooler to walk to school while juggling an umbrella on rainy days through our muddy village etc. Sooo. . . we are thinking of buying a car. Here are the pros and cons as I see it. . . 

  1. Time Saving- I could get to Josiah’s school in 10 minutes instead of 30, saving 80 minutes a day
  2. Out of the elements- would not have to battle the heat, rain, and mosquitos on our slow walks
  3. Church- Our 1 hr 15 min commute to church could be cut down to 25 minutes each way
  4. Four Fares- Once Annette turns 3 we will have to start paying for her on the public transportation as well. Which is still cheaper than a car, but adding up nonetheless
  5. Village Parking- is much cheaper, and more convenient, than the parking if you live in a high-rise estate
  6. Stuff- obviously the easier option when moving around stuff, such as groceries
  7. Purchase- you can buy nice used cars here at a really reasonable price

  1. Expensive- Gas is $8 a gallon, there is no such thing as free parking anywhere, registration is high and there are fees for tunnels which abound
  2. Less exercise- currently if I just take Josiah back and forth to school I walk 2.5 miles alone. Usually I end up going more than this. The exercise of course is great for the kids and I.
  3. Repairs, maintenance, insurance- all the unfun upkeep of taking care of a car
  4. Left Side- It is not unlikely that I will have a blonde moment and drive on the right side of the road (:

What do you think? Should we do it?