Thursday, August 22, 2013

Qingdao Trip

Day 1: On the first full day of our vacation to Qingdao we decided to brave the heat and humidity and climb Mount Lao. Climbing a mountain was one of Seth's three major goals for the trip (the other two being going swimming and eating lobster), so he was eager to get started. We took a taxi to the tourist center and then purchased the bus tour of the mountain, but don't worry--there was plenty of climbing involved!

Seth was really attracting a lot of attention, and it took me a while to figure out why: we were the only visibly foreign tourists on the mountain all day. It became annoying rather quickly, but it was also encouraging to reflect that he no longer draws nearly as much attention when we are in Beijing.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Hairyness Continuum

As usual, Benjamin stopped shaving during finals week this semester (actually two weeks in our program, but who's counting?) and then decided to shave it all off once he was officially finished with work obligations. Which of Benjamin's looks do you prefer? I have a very clear favorite, but I don't want to skew the results, so I'll keep quiet for now.

Seth reacted quite strongly, insisting on regular occasions all evening: "You're not my Daddy."

Monday, October 29, 2012

Carving Pumpkins

This evening after dinner we carved our pumpkins. Seth wanted a traditional jack-o'-lantern; Benjamin was going to make a run-of-the-mill face in his as well, but I talked him into doing a more complicated pattern. I think it turned out great, but you can judge for yourself!

Costume Party

Yesterday was our second annual children's Halloween party. We tried to get trick-or-treating organized the first couple of years we were in Beijing, but we never had much success, so for the last two years we have been hosting a party instead. I put a lot of work into yesterday's party (designing the invitation, crafts and games) and was very pleased with the results.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mutianyu Great Wall

Last spring the school took us on an outing to the Jiankou segment of the Great Wall, but since it is one of the hardest Great Wall climbs, we didn't actually get to the wall. Seth was pretty disappointed and has been begging us to go back to the wall ever since. We have this week off for the Chinese National Holiday and Mid-Autumn Festival, so we decided to go to the Great Wall at Mutianyu. We invited our best friends, Peter and Jeni and their one-year-old daughter Mackenzie, but the more people whom we told about our plans, the more people who wanted to join us. I soon found myself planning a day trip for thirteen people! (It sounds like a lot of work, but all it really entailed was hiring a van and driver for the day.)

This morning when Seth woke up, I teased him a little:
Me: Are you ready to get ready for school?
Seth: [smiling] No, I not have school today.
Me: No? I think you do. It's Tuesday, isn't it? I think you definitely have school on Tuesdays.
Seth: But today we going to the Great Wall of China.
Me: The Great Wall of China?
Seth: [after rolling his eyes in exasperation] Silly Mommy! "Great" means "amazing", "wall" means "wall", and "of China" means "here." Got it?

Yes, Sweetie, I "got it." We were on the wall all of two minutes before Seth said he was ready to go home! But we had a really nice day and got some cute pictures besides, not to mention the bonus picture of a shoulder bag featuring President Obama dressed as a Chinese soldier. It was the first time I'd seen one of these, but apparently they are all over the place now. Not sure what the intended political statement is, or if there is anything intended by it at all (besides making money, of course).

Wednesday, September 26, 2012