Thursday, May 29, 2008

Some Comments About Comments

Occasionally, people I don't know will post comments on my blog (like you, DS). But I never comment on comments. And here's why: I can't.

Here in Beijing, I can't even read my own blog, or any others hosted by blogspot, without going through a proxy server. I can see the comments that people leave me, but I can't respond. And I can't post comments on other blogs, the ones I access via proxies.

So, please know I do read comments. But unless I know your email address, you won't hear back from me. Keep the comments coming, please - it's fun to see who is reading. Well, except for when it's creepy.

Ahhh, China. Gotta love those censors...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Vomit, Part Two

Tonight, around 5 p.m.

I sit down to feed Ainsley, and Kyra snuggles up next to us, just to shower Ainsley with sticky kisses. We get a book about boats and settle in to read together while I nurse the baby.

Suddenly, Kyra goes all "exorcist" on me. Her tiny little maw opens up wide, and she vomits. Gets the couch, gets the floor, gets me... misses Ainsley, luckily. She just keeps tossing up her lunch while I try to get up and help her. I think she scared herself, as she started to cry hysterically as soon as she stopped throwing up.

It's five hours later, and she's since settled in to sleep. In fact, all four of the kids are asleep. And I've cleaned the couch, the kids and the clothes. So why am I still awake?

Wish me luck that I get some sleep tonight...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Teen in China - My Article

Here's another article for y'all. This one is from the Christian Science Monitor's KidSpace section.

And for those of you who've asked, Aidan is well again - no more cleaning up vomit.

For now.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

What a Day

Saturday. My mom is back in Seattle. My husband is back at work. And I have four kids. Fortunately, I asked Xiao Tong to come in for a few hours in the morning, just so I could get a bit of a break, maybe even take a shower. She took Aidan and Kyra to the playground, and I went upstairs to shower, only to find the shower clogged and overflowing. Nice start to my morning.

Actually it was better than my afternoon. Ainsley refused to sleep all morning, so I carried her with me everywhere, setting her down only when necessary. About an hour after Xiao Tong left, I was still carrying her. Kyra, thankfully, was napping, and the boys were upstairs playing with friends.

Suddenly Shay hollered down the stairs “MOM! Aidan threw up on my pillow!” Sure enough, Aidan had tossed his lunch on the pillow, the carpet and himself. When I approached him, he threw up again on me. And he proceeded to throw up the whole way to the bathroom, never once managing to hit a hardwood floor when there were perfectly cozy rugs and walls all around that could serve as targets.

Sigh. This is not going to be easy, is it?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Article in the FSJ

Lest you think I've done any writing at all since Ainsley arrived, let me assure you that any articles published in the near future were submitted to publications in the distant past.

Here's one I wrote for the Foreign Service Journal. Scroll down to page 9 to read.

And one of these days, perhaps I'll have time to do some writing for you. For now, suffice to say that I'm treading water, just barely staying afloat. But everyone is fed and clothed and occasionally bathed, so all is well in Beijing. My mom left yesterday, and an ayi-less weekend begins tomorrow, so wish me luck as I enter the weekend...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Raising a Family, Growing a Business

Another article for you. Of course, how I'll find the time to keep writing, who knows? Still - right at this moment, Shay and Aidan are in school, and Kyra and Ainsley are both napping. I'm eating a healthy lunch of cheese, crackers, veggies... and a Starbucks mocha - all while catching up on email.

A brief moment of peace, and I remember what's good about motherhood.

Enjoy the article...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Ainsley is Here

You might have noticed I haven't written in awhile. Well, I've been a bit busy welcoming a baby girl into the world. That's right, our newest daughter, Ainsley, arrived at 2:10 a.m. on Wednesday morning, right here in Beijing.

I am now busy trying to figure out how to care for four little beasts. It seems an impossible task, but I'm hoping it'll become easier with time.

More from me soon, I promise. But first: a nap.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Our First Outing

My mom got here Friday night, so we planned to do some site-seeing Saturday morning. But right before it was time to leave, the sky turned pitch-black and the clouds opened up on us. We decided to skip the outdoor activities, and instead the kids stayed with their dad while my mom and I went out for massages and a yummy lunch.

This morning it was sunny again, so we headed to Ritan Park, in the center of town. It’s a pretty place – once inside, you can’t really tell you’re right in downtown Beijing. The kids ran around the lake for awhile, then we found the kids’ play area and went on some little rides.

Bart had to go to work for awhile, so the rest of us headed to the Stone Boat for lunch – you can see it in the background of Aidan’s picture above. We feasted on dumplings and noodles and spring rolls.

Unfortunately, the camera batteries went dead, so we didn’t get too many pictures. But here’s what we’ve got: note that I still haven’t had that baby!

May Day Celebrations

The boys have been out of school all week for May Day, whatever that is. And – worse than that – it’s an official holiday. I hate official holidays, because my ayi gets the day off, but my husband still manages to need to work. Sigh. She’ll be back Monday.

You would’ve thought the President was visiting, not just my mother. Xiao Tong spent the entire day yesterday cleaning in preparation, even wiping out the insides of drawers in the guest room and dusting the baseboards. Sad to say, as this was all done before Her Excellency’s arrival, the kids and I could easily undo her work by then.

So yesterday, I had all three kids to entertain while she cleaned. The boys spent most of the day fighting, bickering and brawling. At one point, Shay was in tears because, as he explained, he always gets blamed for everything and Aidan never does.

I feel his pain, I really do. It was the same way in our house when I was growing up. I always got in trouble, but my snotty little sister never did, because I was “Old Enough to Know Better.” I’m not sure, as we haven’t fought recently, but I believe if we did, and my parents were called in to referee, I might still get the blame. Even in her 30s, with a PhD on the way and a mom herself, I’m betting my sister still isn’t old enough to know better.

So when Shay was crying about this awful state of affairs, I tried to tell him the story of evil Auntie Deborah, who was the bane of my existence. I was hoping it would cheer him up to know he isn’t the only kid who has suffered so. But it didn’t help. So then I tried to explain that even if Aidan is the one who starts the fight, I still have an obligation to punish Shay if I round the corner and find Shay slamming his little brother’s head into the floor. This line of logic also failed to appease him.

I gave up trying to reason with him and instead just gave him a hug. “You know, Shay,” I told him, “you’re the first baby I ever had. That makes you pretty special.”





“No, mom,” he finally answered. “That makes me the fourth special-ist.”

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Race Is On

Still no sign of baby #4. She's happily kicking away in there, oblivious to the fact that we'd all like to meet her. Meanwhile, my mother is flying in to town tomorrow. So, smart money is on my mom arriving first. But you never know. It would be quite sneaky on baby's part to arrive at the same time as her grandmother - it's a bit tricky to be in a hospital and an airport at the same time.

Technically, I have one week to go before the actual due date. But since the other ones were all about a week early, I'm planning for this one to be early, too.

But how to explain that to her?
Please. Write your own stuff.