November 11th, 2012

I’ve been up since arond 5:30, feeding Catherine and then watching her and Nathaniel sleep snuggled, side by side, under their heavy blankets.

Today’s the very rare morning that I don’t succumb to another hour or so of sleep, and get back in bed. I went to bed at 10 last night, thus getting an extra hour of sleep, so I am feeling pretty refreshed and ready to start the day.

It’s now 6:45 and water is boiling to add to the lemon-ginger juice that I make for everyone’s colds. Lesson plans for today’s classes are almost done and I finally–after many, many months of intending to try this–sit down to blog for five minutes.

How perfect this is, the house is unusually quiet and the topic is quiet. It’s raining outside and the people who are usually up and walking at this time must still be inside due to the rain.

I like this time of quietness, I just hope I can get up and start my day off with more of it again tomorrow.


September 17th, 2012

As a child, I always hated how long my name was and promised myself that my kids would not have long names. Unfortunately, that did not happen. It happened that we didn’t really like the shorter names or there was something “wrong” with them–like the way they sound to Chinese people.

I just had to label a box of 12 markers, and five other things with Nathaniel’s Chinese name…and for being just three syllables, it’s not short. It has 31 pen strokes. If I had to guess, I’d say that 20 – 25 is average. I really wish I were the mom of one of his classmates. That girl’s name has jut six strokes for three syllables!
And, for the record, Cathrine’s name also has 31. It would have had one less, had Santiago not changed the character that he wanted to use. ‘Yu’ was going to be the character for rain, but he changed it to the one for language. Here’s hoping she becomes the tri-lingual child that she’s supposed to be–and masters baby sign language quickly, too.


September 10th, 2012
They both turned four this month!

During the week–and one day–starting August 31 and ending September 7, the number four came up a lot.  To start with, we had our anniversary…four plus one…, then Nathaniel turned 4 on the 4th which also happens to be the day which we became debt free 4 years ago and as of the seventh, Catherine has been with us for 4 months which brings our family up to 4 people!  And she’s the 4th grandchild on this side of the family. What makes this pretty funny to me is that in Chinese, the number four is not a good or lucky one.  It has the same pronuciation as “death” and this number is to be avoided at all costs.  One of my friends lived here a year before I did and said that she and the other foreigners were put on the fourth floor of the building since they, unlike the Chinese tennants, didn’t have a problem with the number! 

First Day of School

September 10th, 2012
September 3, 2012 First day of Zhong Ban

After a week of school, he still hasn’t cried…a huge improvement from last year. He still isn’t crazy about it, but does like the fact that he is on the third level of their four level bunk beds!  His friend was under him, but that resulted in too many missed naps by both boys, so the other boy got moved. 

The sign says:
Age- 4 minus 1 day
Height- 103 centimeters
Weight- 38 pounds
I want to be a policeman.

Cutting Hair

July 23rd, 2012

A few nights ago, Nathaniel discovered a new use for his battery-powered screwdriver…a pretend razor to cut hair.  Santiago was sitting on the floor and got a hair cut.  Then Nathaniel used an old tv remote as water to wash and rinse.  He’s got a pretty good/interesting imagination.

Two Months

July 9th, 2012
Nathaniel absolutely adores Catherine…except when she cries!

Catherine’s One Month Photos

July 7th, 2012
Squeezed into the 0-3 month dress that I made her!

Though she’s two months old today, these were taken on June 7, when she was just one month old. 

One Week Old

May 15th, 2012

one week old

Socks and booties from American Grandma!


April 11th, 2012

Week 35 (or so)

April 10th, 2012



    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.