Friday, September 11, 2009

Back in Shanghai!'s been awhile since my last post. Obviously. It's hard to get motivated to write a post when you think nobody is "listening". So...IS there anyone out there, reading this? If so, I apologize profusely for neglecting my blog. If not, then it's moot...and I'm again just talking to myself. ;-)

Ok, being pregnant has something to do with me taking a sabbatical from my blog as well. I'm sure most people could understand why. The "gist" of events between my last blog post and now, is: we got ready to leave Hawaii...we headed back to settled in...had to get ready for school...adjusted to first few days of school...I left for a mini trip to another province...and here I am. Ta-Da!

Leaving Hawaii was hard. It didn't take long before I missed my mom...and the US. Before we headed back to Shanghai, I had been a little stressed about going back to China. I knew that I would have obstacles upon my arrival, as well as long term [health] issues throughout the upcoming year...especially with Ryan and Allen.

Sure enough, once we seemed as if I had been transported back to last summer, when we first arrived in Shanghai. Our water was yellow and smelled like there were dead rats in the pipes...the satellite wasn't was hot...there was very little food...and a lot of things in which I felt I had to gain my equilibrium again...UGH!

However, once these obstacles were once again overcome...and easier and faster than before...we began to settle into life in Shanghai once again. I was primarily focused on two things: reconnecting with my women friends after not seeing them all summer and getting the boys ready for school. It was SO nice to see my friends again. I hadn't realized just how much I missed them AND how much I had originally bonded with them, until they were out of my life all summer. I was excited about learning of their own adventures over the summer, seeing changes in their life and witnessing how big their kids grew over the summer!

The boys are going to different schools this year. I can say, without a doubt, how much ALL of the moms I know over here, were looking forward to seeing their kids back to school again. ;-) Me included! Many of us and especially those of us who were away all summer, had our children 24/7 for what seemed like a very looooong time. Those who stayed in Shanghai faced their own challenges with the constant heat and lack of play areas to choose from. Again, everyone was happy school was about to start!

The first few days of school were VERY exciting for both boys! Brandon, going to his first "big boy" school (B.I.S.S) had been looking forward to his first day for a very long time. He was so excited to wear his uniform and buy all the "essentials" for school. He seems to know how easily he makes friends and wasn't worried at all about making new friends. Every day since his first day, he comes home excited, challenged and satisfied with his school life. It's so neat to watch his animation when he relays the events of his day. He laughs hard at all the funny things his new friends said or did. He seems to always have had a good time playing games in his chinese class. He is also very excited about starting his extra-curricular (soccer) and swimming. He can't stop talking about his ICT class (computer workshop) and he seems to LOVE all his other subjects as well...reading, science and numbers. I can't express how happy I feel that we made the right choice in schools for him.

Ryan started at the school he went to last year. Fortune Kindergarten is a bilingual school, emphasizing both english and chinese. He has a new teacher, but all of his friends have moved up together. He has MANY friends from last he is happy to be around them again. I see him hugging his friends in class and asking them to play with him. He runs around the outside playground with his very best friends, laughing and giggling the whole time. One of his good friends happens to live in our neighborhood as well, so he is often spending extra time with her in the car or at each other's houses. Life is fun for him right now. :-)

Once school started, I was concentrating on running errands around town that I had held out on until school had begun. These activities were almost immediately followed by a trip to another province with a group of girlfriends for a few days. It was so much fun to once again get out of the city and see some more scenic areas of China. These trips seem to invigorate me and help "settle" my nerves about living in Shanghai.

Knowing my time is "running out" before I am either too big and cumbersome to go anywhere or I have a newborn to look after once again, I feel the need to see many of the areas I had wanted to get to while still living here. I realize I may not make all of them, but if I can do them now...I figure I better try. I guess I'm not one to let life pass me by, even during pregnancy!

My chinese and singaporean friends thought I was absolutely NUTS to consider going anywhere while pregnant...much less a place like Yellow Mountain...which has steep topography and uncertain terrain. I reminded them that I was 6.5 months pregnant...not disabled...completely.

The culture on this side of the world is different in regards to pregnancy. Many of my friends have admitted that while they were pregnant, they didn't see much outside their living rooms and television sets. They take their confinement period very seriously and are advised to rest and take it easy even before their official confinement begins...eating and drinking specific items to ensure a healthier pregnancy. So, yeah, travelling ANYWHERE made them nervous for me. And they are sooo cute. They don't even want me to bend over to undo my own son's shoes. They are always rushing in to do it for me. They get nervous if I suggest walking from one shopping area to another...or crossing a street. It's very endearing, and sweet.

Ryan's cough AND skin issue is back - already. :-( Allen has had on/off chest issues tangled with a cold since returning. He can't seem to be out in the humidity for very long. While expected, it's a bummer for us. We held on to a small sliver of hope that the health issues were permantently gone. Almost right after we got back, our ayi mentioned that "they" came and sprayed something over our grass and backyard area. I was SO upset! We had specifically asked our landlord to tell the yard maintenance people NOT to spray any more CRAP in the yard. Who knows WHAT is in that stuff...POISONS for sure! Sure enough, Blue is now practically biting his feet off again. It is SOOOO frustrating! And so scary...our kids play on that grass! So, now we have to try and keep both our kids and our dog off of it until it wears off. Which could be awhile since we are no longer in the rainy season. UGH!!!!

Anyway, that's the official update since my last post. We actually have not been back for very long, but it seems like forever...because we have been so busy, trying to pick up from where we left off before the summer.

Sooo...SORRY...for anyone who had wished I had posted something else before now. I seem to have a limit of one major activity a day... and then I'm pooped.

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