Archives for September 2009

Our Shipment has ARRIVED!

On Saturday morning while Gigi with Kevin were at gymnastics, Vincent and I waited for the shipment, the landlords’ people to clear out the storage area in the basement, and the sofa factory with our new sofas to arrive. And you guessed it: they all arrived at the same exact time!

We were both pretty excited to see the trucks coming down the road.  This is taken right outside our front door.  The kids love having the park right across the street.

We were both pretty excited to see the trucks coming down the road. This is taken right outside our front door. The kids love having the park right across the street.

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The living room BEFORE:

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And the living room AFTER:

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The entry room BEFORE:

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The entry AFER:

The Ganesh was placed front and center right away.  We still need to hang all of our art work.

The Ganesh was placed front and center right away. We still need to hang all of our art work.

The sunroom BEFORE:

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The sunroom AFTER:

Right now, this is our coziest room.  We just hope it won't get too cold in the winter in this windowed space.

Right now, this is our coziest room. We just hope it won't get too cold in the winter in this windowed space.

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Here you have the guest room on the first floor up, the TV room, Gigi’s room on the next, then Vincent’s room, and finally our room at the top:

(The two little red candy boxes are for our guests tomorrow morning.  Adrian and Kate arrive!)

(The two little red candy boxes are for our guests tomorrow morning. Adrian and Kate arrive!)

Aside from being our TV room, this is also known as the "Red Room."

Aside from being our TV room, this is also known as the "Red Room."

Gigi is now sleeping in her room--granted, Vincent is there too, but that's going to be a hard habit to break.  They are used to sharing a room.

Gigi is now sleeping in her room--granted, Vincent is there too, but that's going to be a hard habit to break. They are used to sharing a room.

We're looking forward to getting all Vincent's awesome art work up on his bedroom walls.

We're looking forward to getting all Vincent's awesome art work up on his bedroom walls.

I divided my room up in two: there's a little changing area for myself behind the bed.

I divided my room up in two: there's a little changing area for myself behind the bed.

The kitchen–it is so nice and big!

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And the outside of the house:

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The garage is replete with goods: bikes, rollerblades, balls, hula hoops, or and a washer and dryer!

The garage is replete with goods: bikes, rollerblades, balls, hula hoops, or and a washer and dryer!

That’s our house!  I’m missing some outdoor shots, but that saves for another post.  We have a barbeque which we use at least once a week.  We just bought a drill too for hanging all our art–which we definitely have the space for, but I’m kind of waiting for Adrian and his expertise in placement.  We really enjoy our new home.  It is by far the most spacious we’ve ever had.  As I look around, I find it hard to believe we fit all of our belongings in our little sanctuary in Juhu Beach, Mumbai, India.  But we did! Home is where the heart is, and while we miss our old home, we are making the best of this new one.

Chinese Noodles

Check out our young man and his skill at eating Chinese noodles!

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(Please don’t pay attention to all the noodles covering the table. Actually, according to Chinese dining etiquette, a dirty table is a good sign….;)

Olympic Park, Beijing

This Sunday we went down to the Olympic Park in Beijing. It’s a very impressive site filled with tons of different venues. Each building is definitely funky in its own way. For example the building where all the swimming took place, actually looks like the panels are made of plastic. We didn’t go into any of the structures yet–just in case our next visitors, Kate and Adrian, want to also go take a look. We did have fun walking around the park though. We learned how to pose while using the peace sign, we saw Will Smith’s son as he was filming the remake of the Karate Kid, and we managed to find a spot for ice cream.

Can you read the sign? It's hilarious!

Can you read the sign? It's hilarious!

"THE GRASS IS SMILING AT YOU. PLEASE DETOUR."

"THE GRASS IS SMILING AT YOU. PLEASE DETOUR."

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Kevin just did something else besides the peace sign with his fingers!

Kevin just did something else besides the peace sign with his fingers!

It ended in a chase!

It ended in a chase!

The boy in the purple shirt is Will Smith's son. He's here filming the remake of Karate Kid.

The boy in the purple shirt is Will Smith's son. He's here filming the remake of Karate Kid.

This is the scene they were shooting for.  We're looking forward to seeing this movie.

This is the scene they were shooting for. We're looking forward to seeing this movie.

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Gigi's giving her peace signs.  Everyone here takes their picture like that--don't be surprised if you see it again from us!

Gigi's giving her peace signs. Everyone here takes their picture like that--don't be surprised if you see it again from us!

I had to post these beautiful flowers--they seriously look like they are on fire!

I had to post these beautiful flowers--they seriously look like they are on fire!

Gigi Turned 6 in Beijing!

Sunday, September 13th was a special day. Gigi turned six. Her first present was displayed in her room: an art easel with tons of great supplies. For breakfast, we went to a great local organic type breakfast spot called Mrs. Shannen’s for breakfast. We rode our bikes there which in of itself is such a luxury. After breakfast we went to the local mall where there’s a nice grocery store in the basement. After finding all the necessities for Gigi’s afternoon barbeque we headed home without the groceries–they get delivered! Oh, and at the mall Gigi got my despised-I-said-I-would-never-get-them-for-my-kids present: Crocs. They truly are so ugly. Gigi was allowed to get the daintier version–in flourescent pink of course!

Once we got home, we opened a few more presents–like a kite from Vincent and a pair of roller blades for both of them. (Each sibling usually gets one present on the other’s birthday–it seems only a little bit fair. Or rather easier for the folks. We spoil our kids too much!) The rest of the afternoon consisted of preparing for Gigi’s barbeque. The weather was gorgeous, the food yummy, and the company so excited to be sharing in this special day for our dear Gigi.

Enjoy the pictures.

Rani wanted in on some of the presie fun!

Rani wanted in on some of the presie fun!

Rani is now 8 weeks, and she's definitely a bit more mischievous!

Rani is now 8 weeks, and she's definitely a bit more mischievous!

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I didn't crop this picture, so you could all see the garbage bin.  It's down....hmmm, wonder why!?

I didn't crop this picture, so you could all see the garbage bin. It's down....hmmm, wonder why!?

This is Pei (pronounced "pay") with Gigi.  She knitted Gigi a little doggie for her birthday.  Pei is great!  We really like her.

This is Pei (pronounced "pay") with Gigi. She knitted Gigi a little doggie for her birthday. Pei is great! We really like her.

For some reason, Gigi wanted a ladybug cake this year.  She got it!

For some reason, Gigi wanted a ladybug cake this year. She got it!

Gigi also wanted to give hula hoops to her guests.

Gigi also wanted to give hula hoops to her guests.

Even Kevin can hula hoop now!

Even Kevin can hula hoop now!

Saturdays in Beijing–Hiking up to the Great Wall

Kevin and Vincent joined Izzie and Jeff Plaman this Saturday on a hike up to the Great Wall.  The weather was a perfectly crisp day with a bright blue sky and and comfortable temperature.

Izzy is the Twitter friend that Vincent had made virtually through Jeff and me last year.  In person, they are becoming great buds–as you can see from the pics down below.  The folks are too.  Twitter is a great communication tool, but it’s even better when you meet the people in person!

Here are Izzie and Vincent about to start the hike!

Here are Izzy and Vincent about to start the hike!

There's nothin' like a lil' arm wrestling in the car to pass the time away.

There's nothin' like a lil' arm wrestling in the car to pass the time away.

The Destination

The Destination

I love this picture! He's talking to me from the Great Wall telling me all about it.

I love this picture! He's talking to me from the Great Wall telling me all about it.

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These are their totally pooped faces!  What a hike, what a day!

These are their totally pooped faces! What a hike, what a day!

The Green Packet

This little packet of Chinese herbal medicine is unbelievable! I felt a wicked bad cold coming on. I took on of these packets around 5:00 pm and another at 8:00 pm. By the morning there was no trace of the pain I had in my throat and ear. Any orders? It’s not even $3 for a packet of 8.  It has a sweet coffee like taste that’s hard to finish, but it’s totally worth the after effect!

Everybody around here call this "The Green Packet," but the actual name is Ganmao Qingre Keli.

Everybody around here call this "The Green Packet," but the actual name is Ganmao Qingre Keli.

Our First Visitors–The Bellos!

I can’t express enough how wonderful it is to have arrived in China and already have both friends and family here!  We have Debbie, Phil, Jane, and Leo here in Beijing, but we have even more in Shanghai! Mary Kelly and Giovanni Bello came up for the weekend. They arrived around 8:00 pm on Friday night, and they were here until 5:30 pm on Sunday.  It was a perfect visit! Despite we still haven’t fully moved in, I think they were comfortable.  Unfortunately, they didn’t get much Rani time since she was sick and at the vet’s this weekend.  We had another wonderful Saturday in Beijing to chalk up.

Here Mary Kelly and I are at the Dirt Market--our first excursion!

Here Mary Kelly and I are at the Dirt Market--our first excursion!

This is a sincere photo--no posing.  The kids really get into the antique--or rather dirt market--part of this spot.  Once we get to the wares displayed on the ground, they hit their haunches and take a good look at what there is.

This is a sincere photo--no posing. The kids really get into the antique--or rather dirt market--part of this spot. Once we get to the wares displayed on the ground, they hit their haunches and take a good look at what there is.

We arrived to the Temple of Heaven hungry.  These cute ladies guided us to our lunch spot prior to entry to the park.

We arrived to the Temple of Heaven hungry. These cute ladies guided us to our lunch spot prior to entry to the park.

Here’s a series of Vincent eating noodles. I hope Scot Hoffman has a chance to see this…he would have been very happy with the meal. For months before our arrival to Beijing, Scot would ooooh and ahhhhh about the noodles in Beijing.
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The Lovely Bellos!

The Lovely Bellos!

Our driver Chai Xin joined us for lunch.

Our driver Chai Xin joined us for lunch.

Can you identify any of the sleepers? This was hilarious! I came out of the bathroom and recognized two of them--ha! Vincent and Kevin joined the waiters in a little siesta.

Can you identify any of the sleepers? This was hilarious! I came out of the bathroom and recognized two of them--ha! Vincent and Kevin joined the waiters in a little siesta.

Vincent hung out with the boa constrictor for the majority of the lunch.  The snake might have been a part of the menu, but we never asked.

Vincent hung out with the boa constrictor for the majority of the lunch. The snake might have been a part of the menu, but we never asked.

ust a little chasin' down the walk way....

ust a little chasin' down the walk way....

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A little Chinese hacky sac for Kevin.

A little Chinese hacky sac for Kevin.

The Tooth Fairy is in China!

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Gigi’s B-day Invite

I wish you could all come. Here’s her b-day invite. Maybe we can arrange for some Skype calls this Sunday….

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