Easter Pictures At the Park

April 6th, 2015

Catherine looking at flowers Catherine looking for eggs Nathaniel, Catherine and Ethan Still looking...

This year Easter coincided with the Tomb Sweeping Festival, which is a one-day holiday which means that we got a three-day weekend and there was no weird scheduling (ie. working on Saturday to make up for having Tuesday off). I had arranged it so that I wouldn’t teach this weekend and so we had a pretty nice weekend with all of us home. Nathaniel spent about 5 hours each day doing homework and studying ahead in his Chinese book, so it wasn’t all relaxing and carefree but we managed to get to a newish park each day.
Saturday we had a picnic of snack-ish foods and some yummy banana-cranberry-chocolate chip muffins (thanks Marlys!). We went early in the morning and came home after lunch for naps. Everyone slept, even never-takes-a-nap Nathaniel and that night we watched a movie on the wall with this projector that Santiago bought. It’s kinda like the movies, only more convenient and comfortable!
On Easter we invited Santiago’s sister and her son to join us. We bought food at KFC and then waited for them to arrive, only to wait another 30 minutes while she talked to some friends that she ran into. Hence all the pictures of the kids with flowers and playing with dirt. Since we ate late, we did the egg hunt late and didn’t make it home for naps. When we did get home it was too late for Catherine to sleep so I played with her and Santiago taught Nathaniel a new Chinese lesson. Sister invited us to dinner but Catherine was very fussy (she’s been battling a cold since Friday, so coupled with no nap it was no surprise) so I made her and I a simple dinner. Then I fed her in the kitchen while sitting on tiny stools so that she couldn’t hear the guys leave! I got her in bed around 6:30 and she was out almost instantly.
Yesterday was cold but Nathaniel wanted to return to the park to try his hand at selling bubble wands. There were several women selling them for 5 yuan each, but a store by us was selling them for just 1.5 yuan. He bought 10 and hoped to make a nice profit, but his lack of selling skills coupled with the weather meant that he didn’t sell a single one. He did enjoy trying and we’ll go there again for the May holiday and give it another try.

Nathaniel and Daddy Climbing on Daddy     Nathaniel hunting for eggs Nathaniel is amazed at all the eggs Ethan found! Catherine and Daddy Catherine and Mommy Nathaniel on his pogo stick

Happy Birthday Grandma!

May 5th, 2014

Happy Birthday American Grandma!

“I wouldn’t cooperate and sit still for a nice picture, but I did eventually smile. I love you, Grandma.” Catherine

So pretty when she smiles!

 

Happy birthday Grandma!

Happy birthday Grandma!

Other side of the airplane

“I drew this paper airplane for you. It’s you sitting on the plane when you come visit me.” Love, Nathaniel

Made by Nathaniel

Made by Nathaniel

School: Take Two

March 6th, 2014

After becoming a kindergarden dropout in November 2012, Nathaniel’s back in the classroom. He didn’t return to the kindergarden, where he would be in the “da ban” (big class, or level three); he attending a private class that’s held in the fromer art classroom the elementary school. Guess art isn’t important. Anyway, he’s in the xue qian ban which is a level between the da ban and first grade. Not all kids attend it, some take it as a summer course. He’ll be in it for just a sememster.

New Year’s Clothes

February 7th, 2014

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Most Chinese rush out to buy new clothes for the New Year, but we’ve never done that. Two  years ago, I started a sweater but come New Year’s Day, one sleeve was still not done. I finished it last year and Nathaniel’s worn it all year. I whipped up a dress for Catherine last year; I think it got left in America for baby Morgan to grow into. This year I had the best intentions to knit both of them sweaters, but I only got Nathaniel’s done…around 11 pm but I only weaved in ends that would be noticeable! The rest remains to be finished.

Again this year we were scolded by Santiago’s parents for always forgetting to buy new things, so a week before the holiday, I ran out for a quick shopping trip. I was certain I’d get his sweater done, so I just bought him some jeans. For Catherine I ended up buying her a cute floral shirt and paired it with jeans she had. I also put in the zipper on a sweater my mom knit her. While it didn’t match (no biggie…we’re in China where red, pink and orange can always be worn together!), it was cute.

Her red jacket and his blue sweatshirt were gifts from older aunt. Her hat was actually given to Nathaniel many years ago by Santiago’s coworker. She doesn’t have a child and apparently didn’t realize that it was more suitable for a girl. Glad no one else had a girl to pass it on to; it and the scarf are quite cute on Catherine.

Twenty Months

February 5th, 2014

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Belated, as usual, but well worth the wait, I think! They are from her 20th month, though. She’s a little fashionista in the making; each time she goes out to play, she has to inspect each of her three pairs of choose to select the pair that she wants! She can say “piao,” which is part of the Chinese word for “pretty,” and uses it frequently!

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Family Pictures

November 1st, 2013

For the second time since Catherine’s birth, we took a family picture. I’ve been trying to get this done since April…at least! DSC_0056 DSC_0070 DSC_0085 DSC_0087 DSC_0089 DSC_0099The little boy is the son of the guy who took our pictures…just some random family who was going through the park. We were on our way to dinner, which explains why Catherine is looking at the boy’s bread so longingly!

The Perfect Dinosaur

October 30th, 2013

DSC_0013 DSC_0016 DSC_0018Yesterday Nathaniel’s set of five dinosaurs arrived. It was just something Daddy bought randomly. Well, not randomly in that he’s not interested in them (he is), but that it’s not a holiday or anything. Actually we can count on one hand how many toys we’ve bought him in his five years of life. He gets most of his toys as hand-me-downs from his older cousin who had an extremely large collection of them–we recieved two large tubs of toys when Nathaniel was born. Of course by the time I removed the unacceptable toys (a suffed Bart Simpson and characters from the Happy Goat, Evil Wolf cartoon) and broken ones, we were still left with a box.

Anyway, today Nathaniel was explianing which dino was stronger and which was larger and told me that if only “this big one was as strong as this smaller meat-eating one, it would be the perfect dinosaur!” I was shocked at his use of the word perfect. I have no doubt that he knows the word in Chinese (I don’t) since kids are pushed to be perfect, but I don’t recall saying it or explaining the word to him.

After dinner I mentioned this to Santiago and he said that they’d talked about this earier and he’d taught him the word perfect. Mystery solved!

Fifteen Months

October 30th, 2013

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Three months past due, these weren’t taken on August 7th, but are within a day or two. We were in the USA for six weeks in July and August and I just kind of skipped the monthly picture since I didn’t have the usual blocks that I use to spell out “months.” Never mind that I did buy a set of alphabet blocks at a rummage sale and could have used those. Anyway, these are from her first trip to Chicago with Nathaniel, Grandpa and I and our afternoon at the Boone County Fair.

Cousins

March 6th, 2013

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Nathaniel, Xiang and Catherine having fun with some fabric from my mom. Santiago’s younger sister’s family came here on New Year’s Day and ended up spending two nights at our house. The boys had fun playing and kept each other entertained. Nathaniel’s under a map of the world and Xiang is under a layout of a town–the same one which him and Catherine are playing on in the first picture.

    About Charlotte

    I'm a wife, mom and freelance writer in small town China. My two kids and I are three of the dozen foreigners that live here, though we've yet to meet them.

    We're near enough to Beijing to visit occasionally, but far enough away to make it a bit of a hassle since we don't have a car.