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Unexpected Togetherness

2009-11-11@11-29-52
This week didn’t go as planned, but it was perfect.

Our helper was unavailable all week so that meant I was doing 1.5 – 2 hours worth of dishes each day. It takes a while to wash everything because we either run out of counter space for the drying dishes or we run out of hot water.

Dishes cannot be washed at night because we need to reserve the water for bedtime bath, showers, etc. Yes, winter is here and we’re adjusting our daily life to fit the season.

I’m pretty sure over the last week there was a 15 minute window of time where the sink was perfectly clean and empty.

Where are all those dishes coming from?

Paula Dean’s Chicken and Dumplings
Boilermaker Tailgate Chili
Grandmaw’s Veggie Soup
cornbread. cornbread. cornbread.
pear crisp
rolled apple strudel
chai concentrate
blueberry muffins
blueberry pancakes
yogurt muffins

When we went to San Xia Ren Jia on Saturday is was close to 80 degrees, but by Thursday it was 45 outside and 58 inside. We enjoyed a mere 4 days of fall weather.

The colder weather has officially put us in thermals and pants on bottom with a thermal, long sleeve turtle neck and sweater or fleece on top. Schäfer has been fascinated with Hubs “muff muffs”.

I wondered how Schäfer would survive being inside for 7 days straight. I had planned on doing Tot School everyday, but time flew by between singing, reading and free play.

I have loved the stacks and stacks of books we’ve read each day – probably 15-20 (some of them are 60+ pages). In one sitting, Schäfer read the entire OT. Then, the next day, he read the entire NT.  OK, so it was a kid version, but still. That’s a lot of stories!

2009-11-13@16-10-01
Right now, Schäfer is really into Buzz Lightyear because they met at Disneyland HK. Sometimes he’ll ask to color a Buzz so I’ll print one from the internet. Right now, coloring isn’t so much about adding color as it is talking to whoever is on the page and creating a story to fit the lines he is drawing. (We’re holding off on the Toy Story movies.)

2009-11-13@16-21-04
Our big, fun, exciting news from the week is that Jie Jie came to live with us for six nights and seven days. I think she got a little tired of Schäfer at some points, but believe me – Schäfer did not get tired of her.

She’s an amazing eight-year-old to come and live with foreigners. She was a trooper and seemed to like our foods.

This week, we also got to experience Jie Jie’s life: Getting to the bus by 7:30am. Coming home from school at 5:10pm. Eating supper. Doing homework. Taking a bath. And then to bed. Jie Jie seriously has very little free time.

The hardest day was on Monday when an enormous ink explosion occurred in her backpack. Ink was all over her notebooks and clothes. It was one of those moments when I knew she just wanted her Mom.

2009-11-09@21-08-03
I did my best to get the ink out of her clothes. We cleaned off her textbooks and tried to salvage whatever notebooks we could. Unfortunately because of HFMD, I couldn’t run to the store and buy a new backpack so we loaned her one of our backpacks.

(We just love her parents and would completely trust Schäfer in their care as well.)

2009-11-11@15-02-42
We wanted to say thanks to Amy, Beth and Katie who sent a most unexpected care package. Schäfer absolutely loved growing the foamies.

2009-11-11@15-17-41

2009-11-13@13-42-19
After all the foamies were finished growing, they spent hours driving around the living room taking turns being the driver and passenger.

2009-11-14@15-35-13
On our last day together, we slipped out of our self imposed quarantine and went to the Children’s Park for some much needed fun. Schäfer asked to ride in the race cars first.

2009-11-14@15-38-16
After the carousel, we rode “the duck ride” that zooms up and down while we use fishing nets to gather balls so we can try to throw them in a basketball hoop. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a photo.

2009-11-14@16-28-13
For the first time, Schäfer went into this jumping area which included a big slide that ended in a ball pit. I think Schäfer jumped non-stop for 1 hour. Meanwhile, Jie Jie was across the way working on a craft. How will I ever manage with two?

That’s basically been life for the past few days. Schäfer is doing great and we don’t see any more sores in his mouth so I’d say he definitely had a mild case of HFMD.

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