Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy Easter

Friday Lily's school had their annual Easter Party.  The kids had decorated eggs and made Easter baskets and played games all of which ended in the big egg hunt!  The kids had so much fun running around the playground searching for eggs.  They brought them all back to the teachers and then sat and waited for their share of the booty.  Lily came home with a basket of candy, eggs, and other goodies.
We celebrated Easter a day early since tomorrow we will be in Vietnam!  Last night we had a family favorite of tuna casserole for dinner with our special bunny plates, and this morning it was bunny shaped pancakes!  The Easter bunny was an obliging kind of guy and hid our eggs a day early.  The kids found them in record time.  I think next year the Easter bunny is going to have to try harder!  Happy Easter to everyone!  My next blog will be all about our trip to Vietnam!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Shopping & Date night!

This week a friend took me to a couple of very cool furniture store not too far from my apartment.  Both were in huge warehouse style buildings that were filled with all kinds of unique pieces.  It was not cheap, but when compared to the cost of similar pieces in the States it's more than a fair price.  There was a great mix of both Western and Asian styles.  I've been hoping to pick up a few things for our house that are distinctly Chinese but wasn't sure where to go until now.  I look forward to going back to pick up a few smaller pieces for the apartment and to the day when I can buy some larger pieces to bring back with us to the States.
After the furniture shops we headed over to what my friend calls the lamp lady.  The shop was on a very narrow street in the middle of a traditional and very poor Chinese neighborhood.  I honestly didn't know what to expect, looking at it from the outside, but Hanna assured me that it was worth the trip.  Inside, the shop is a big open space filled with all kinds of unique lamps, including one resembling the SWFC, or bottle opener building.  Not only does the lamp lady make her own lamps, she will also turn anything you bring to her into a lamp.   While the lamps were amazing I hesitate to buy one knowing in a few years I'll have to have it rewired if I want to use it back in the States.  To assuage my inner child I did buy three wire and cloth lamps that are meant to hold candles and can either be hung from the ceiling or sit on a table.  I may still go back for a special lamp to bring home though.  Even with the cost of rewiring it, it would still cost a whole lot less than buying something similar in the States.  I almost feel obligated to buy one... :-)

With Lucas traveling so much this month we were thrilled when he came home two days early from Jakarta.  Even better, we got to have a date night, and try out a new restaurant called The Brew, which makes its own beers.  Lucas tried the beer paddle which comes with six samples of their beers, while I decided to go with the IPA.  We shared a very yummy sausage platter and nachos and didn't even touch the Indian butter chicken.  Since The Brew is in the Kerry Parkside mall we walked our dinner and beers off and even found some new Chinglish at the grocery store.  We ended the night with a fabulous relaxing couples massage.  With Lucas traveling so much this month it was a perfect was to reconnect!  Lucky for us Lucas will be back from Hong Kong Wednesday night and then Saturday we all head to Vietnam for a family vacation, can't wait!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Just the three of us.

Lucas left this Saturday morning for the first of his three leg business trip.  This week he is in Germany, he'll be home early Sunday morning, but leave again late that night for Singapore. To help get our minds off missing daddy I kept us busy this weekend.  Saturday we met friends at Big Bamboo for a late lunch.  The kids had a blast playing on the outdoor playground and drinking milkshakes.  They were too busy to actually eat.  I will say that one of the great things about China being so child-centric is that many of the restaurants have playgrounds for the kids, which is great when trying to keep active kids entertained while waiting for lunch or dinner.  We wrapped up the day with several rounds of the Elefun game and their left over lunch for dinner.  Sunday my Ayi came over for a few hours to help out.  She took the kids out to play for a couple of hours in the morning to give me a break, which was great.  That afternoon I took the kids to the pool at the gym.  Charlie was thrilled to learn that he can touch the bottom of the pool and stay above water if he's on his tippy toes.  We ended the weekend with a pancake dinner!

The other exciting bit of news this week is the new bakery that opened up by us.  There are several chains in Shanghai, I've heard of this one but haven't tried them yet.  Just the temptation I need when I'm trying to be good about my exercise and eating!

Here's hoping that I have a quiet week with the kids...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Shanghai Anniversary

March 1st marks one year in Shanghai.  It's hard to believe that a year has already gone by and that we have just one year left!  We spent most of last week getting over our jet lag.  It was hardest on Charlie who was getting up three times a night, but by the weekend everyone seemed to be back on Shanghai time.
Friday we picked Lucas up from work, Lily snuck in a quick nap, before we headed to the AP Market to pick out material for a new suit and work shirts for Lucas.  We grabbed some yummy Italian at Daisy's  before calling it a night.

Saturday we ran some errands at Carefour.  The kids got a special treat from Dunkin Donuts before we headed upstairs for some groceries and checked out the fresh seafood, including some clams that were bigger than my hand!
Sunday was warm and sunny, perfect for a day at Century Park.  We met up with a few friends and let the kids loose on their scooters and with a ball.  They had a blast running around and before we knew it, it was time for lunch.  We headed over to our first temporary apartment, a short walk from the park, and grabbed lunch at BBQ Chicken Cafe.  Super yummy chicken cooked in olive oil and served with even yummier dipping sauces.
For dinner I apparently made the mistake of suggesting dinner at the Blue Frog.  First Lily spilled her milk all over the floor and then Charlie got sick all over himself and the floor!  Looks like he takes after his mommy and has a sensitive gag reflex when is comes to textures.  

That's it for our weekend.... oh wait, Charlie fed the fish!  Guess he really takes after his mommy, since for years I've been regaled with the story of how I fed my Dad's fish.  Let's hope he doesn't try to fit the crayons down the shower drain!
Oh ya, and I've got a cold!  Here's hoping that I'm better by next week since Lucas will be leaving for two and half weeks for business.