So very annoyed

Well I won’t be able to tell if this posts because apparently I am not authorized to view my own blog. I get a message about not having the right credentials. HMMM I wonder who or what could be blocking the site and my access. I guess my blog or all blogs at the moment are a problem to national security. So if you are able to read this here is what we have been up to.

Zoe is liking school very much and has several friends. There is a little girl named Emma who goes 3 mornings a week and the two of them are stuck together the whole time. She is also friends with a little girl named Ellen who is turning 3 this weekend. She was one of the 3 kids Ellen invited to her party. Ellen is just learning english as german is her native tounge so Zoe gets to do most the talking. LOL She still calls Tiger her boyfriend and really likes another little boy called Peyton.

We are thinking of moving to a new place for the remainder of our time here so we have more room and Zoe’s bedroom is on the same level as ours. She will be outgrowing her crib soon and I am thinking if we can hold off until then she will get the big girl bed for her birthday. Which would probably coinside with the move because we would have to give 2 months notice. Oh and for anyone who cares it looks like we are going to be here longer likely through until 2010. Steve is still working some stuff out and the decision will be final within the next couple weeks.

Why are we staying longer you may ask. Well Steve has gotten a promotion to GM and it means a lot of great opportunities and challenges for him. There is nothing like a good challenge to get him going and keep him engaged. He did ask me for my input before accepting this and my thoughts were that he is an amazing person and I have been with him this far on the journey so I might as well stay on the ride and see where it takes us. I know that he will excel at work because he is engaged so it makes it easier to support him in this decision. Not that I am completely happy or doing it without some conditions. On the up side for our friends and family you have that much more time to come visit us or revisit us as the case may be.

Christmas is coming and we have already bought way too many things for Zoe. She has told us the only thing she wants from Santa is a Pink Dinosaur. We have not had much luck with that so are trying to get alternate colours and/or presents. We did see a pink dinosaur head thing at the market yesterday she liked but it looked cheap. It was an egg shaped thing and you add water or something and a head grows that looks like a dinosaur it was pink and sandy looking. Of course I don’t think you know what colour you have until you add the water so that could be a problem. We also looked at a wooden doll house for her but they would not go lower than 8ooRMB ($100 US) it is pretty big and goes with the furniture and dolls we bought her in Thailand that were on sale for 70% off (it is called Plan Toys). Will have to do some research online and see if that is a deal or not. I received one of my Xmas presents early Steve brought me back a pink Nintendo DS game system because my other one broke. He gave it to me early so I could continue playing my game I have been without for two weeks. I am very spoiled. Zoe wants to get me a ring. Which worked out well because I am having one made and told Steve he can wrap it up with Zoe so she can give it to me at Christmas. Zoe already picked out a present for Steve too when we were out shopping one day. I can’t say what it is because Steve will read this.

Well this is a long post that I am not even sure will make it to the blog so that is it for today. Hey if you do read this maybe you can email me so I know it posted. There are other posts that never showed up and Steve was looking into the problem for me.

Touring around

This week I have done more touring around with Phyllis. We went on the same tour I sent my friends Sean and Kate on a couple weeks ago. I must say they had a longer tour and went to the pearl market ours didn’t. We went to a teahouse and tried some teas then of course were asked to buy some. The guide said if we were lucky there would be people at the Temple of Heaven doing some or all of the following Tai Chi, Peking Opera, playing instruments, dancing. Well they were but we didn’t get to stop and see any as we raced from the front gate to the hall for good harvest. I think I will go back on a less smoggy and rushed day to the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace.

When Phyllis and I went to the wall I was worried I overestimated her abilities. She nearly broke down getting to the gondola and it was going to be a long walk to the tobogan ride down. After many stops and minor panic attacks she calmed herself on the gondola. Then once on the wall she made it without any problems at all and it is a long up and down walk. The ride down was a lot of fun but there was a person in front of us who kept coming almost to a stop so we had to keep slowing down just as we got going.

The silk market tailor Phyllis visited knows her well now as she went to that market at least 4 times for various fittings and is going home with 2 shirts. One of which she let the girl there pick the material for and is her favourite one. Our driver also knows Phyllis well and probably has not heard so much talking the whole time he has worked for us. Of course he has a sense of humour and seems to have enjoyed it even if he didn’t completely understand what she was saying all of the time.

As for eating as we eat out and eat mostly wester or european food that is what she has had. We did go for Peking Duck and I took her to our favourite dumpling place. Where the brought us the wrong dumplings (they were hairy crab). This was discovered when I ate one and had to spit it out discreetly into a napkin. They do not speak much english but the menu is in english and chinese and has pictures. The hairy crab dumplings where beside the pork soup dumplings I had ordered. The waitress seemed a little angry that I would dare say that she had not gotten the order right but it did get fixed. Phyllis enjoyed watching my face as I realized there was seafood in the dumpling I had just put in my mouth.

Tonight we are going to Zoe’s schools Halloween Fancy Dress Party. Zoe is quiet excited to wear her pirate costume. It is much colder this October than it was last year so I don’t know that anyone will see her costume when she goes trick or treating next week.

This morning at about 6:30 Steve brought up to our bed because she had a bad dream she fell right back to sleep and slept until almost 9am. When she woke up she opened her eyes a bit and smiled and shouted I want a puppy. She says I am getting a kitty and she is getting a puppy. Although when we went on our hutong tour with Phyllis last weekend we went to a temple where we saw 3 cats. There was a little white one that followed Zoe the whole time we were there. She kept saying “come on kitty” and it would follow along behind her or beside her. Then when we were leaving we said it was time to say bye to the kitty and she looked at us with her eyes all welled up with tears and said she didn’t want to leave the kitty she wanted him to come with her. Even when we explained that he lived there she was not happy and started crying. She cried for several minutes after we left. I was really worried at the next courtyard house we stopped at because they had a tiny white kitten but she didn’t get as attached because it would not listen to her and just chased the leaves blowing around the courtyard.

Well that is a nice long entry for those that still try to read this. There are other stories I could tell but will save them for another time. For now we are all well and looking forward to trick or treat time. Hope that everyone has a Happy Halloween and don’t eat too much candy.

What's been happening

I know I don’t post that frequently. I am now one of the many addicted to facebook. That is where you will find many of our pictures. Of course there I don’t blog or really write about things going on. So here is a little something for you all.

We had a great visit in September and saw a lot of family and friends. I attended my 20 year school reunion and went to a friends 40th birthday where I saw a bunch of people I hadn’t seen in years. It was a real walk down memory lane this trip. Hopefully I will be able to keep in touch with some of the people I saw and meet up with them once in awhile when we move back to the US.

Zoe is getting bigger and changing. The teachers at her school noticed a change when we came back from our holiday she had been out of school for 3 weeks. I think maybe her haircut had something to do with it. We brought our friends Sean and Kate home with us and they had a busy 5 day visit.

While here Sean and Kate went on a hutong tour, to the forbidden city, summer palace, temple of heaven, tianament square, the wall, pearl market, silk factory, lama temple(buddist), dongyue temple (daoist), and we went for Peking Duck one night and dumplings another. Sean enjoyed the mexican place by our house and ate there 3 times while visiting. They managed to pack a lot into 4 days of sightseeing. They even managed a couple massages before the return home.

Next we have Phyllis coming to visit us this Friday. She will be here longer so we won’t have to do as much in as short a period of time. I am sure there will be lots of shopping and at least one manicure and pedicure during her visit.

What’s been happening

I know I don’t post that frequently. I am now one of the many addicted to facebook. That is where you will find many of our pictures. Of course there I don’t blog or really write about things going on. So here is a little something for you all.

We had a great visit in September and saw a lot of family and friends. I attended my 20 year school reunion and went to a friends 40th birthday where I saw a bunch of people I hadn’t seen in years. It was a real walk down memory lane this trip. Hopefully I will be able to keep in touch with some of the people I saw and meet up with them once in awhile when we move back to the US.

Zoe is getting bigger and changing. The teachers at her school noticed a change when we came back from our holiday she had been out of school for 3 weeks. I think maybe her haircut had something to do with it. We brought our friends Sean and Kate home with us and they had a busy 5 day visit.

While here Sean and Kate went on a hutong tour, to the forbidden city, summer palace, temple of heaven, tianament square, the wall, pearl market, silk factory, lama temple(buddist), dongyue temple (daoist), and we went for Peking Duck one night and dumplings another. Sean enjoyed the mexican place by our house and ate there 3 times while visiting. They managed to pack a lot into 4 days of sightseeing. They even managed a couple massages before the return home.

Next we have Phyllis coming to visit us this Friday. She will be here longer so we won’t have to do as much in as short a period of time. I am sure there will be lots of shopping and at least one manicure and pedicure during her visit.

One more week

Well we only have one more week before our visit to Vancouver. It will be a busy week for Zoe who is going to start a dance class after school and maybe an art class. They are hour long classes the school has just started for the kids. There are a lot more kids in her class this semester but she still only seems really to talk about Tiger. She adjusted well and was going into class without any fuss by the end of the week.

Also someone hacked into our site. This apparently happens a lot and put links to a drug site of some sort. So don’t click any links. We have not put any in and don’t want anyone getting any virus or anything on their computer. Steve is working on fixing it.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone in a couple weeks. Hopefully everyone has an easy time with the time change. We are taking a different flight this time and will be leaving Beijing at noon and flying to San Fransisco then from there to Seattle. So it will be a longer travel day and Zoe will be less likely to sleep the whole way so it should be interesting. We will have her dvd player and lots of snacks and activities for her so that should help. We will leave on Friday and get in sometime on Friday afternoon I think. We will be traveling with a couple of our friends on the way back and are just taking the direct flight from Vancouver so it won’t be as long and Zoe should sleep part of the way near the end.

Finally another post

I know I don’t post very often on here so to the one or two people who read this sorry.

Today Zoe went back to school. The class was full of kids she didn’t know. There were about 10 instead of the 4 or 5 she is used to and of the 10 at least 4 were crying. She did not want to stay there. Her friend Tiger was not there yet and none of the kids were the ones from last year. Tiger was coming so she should be fine once he gets there.

Zoe calls her friend Tiger her boyfriend. Last week when Steve was late coming home she was crying saying she wanted daddy and Tiger. One day I will take the camera to school to get a pic of them together. Tiger is also fond of Zoe as is his mom. Zoe really likes his mom too and often gets very excited to see her. She has even tried to go home with them a couple times. I would of let her if there was a carseat for her. LOL

Tomorrow Steve and I will of been married 8 years (we have now been together for 19). He will be leaving early tomorrow morning for an offsite though so we will not be spending it together. This is an annual thing and he had the same one last year on our anniversary. He is coming back Thursday instead of Sunday though so that will be nice. By then I should be really tired of hearing Zoe ask where’s Daddy and saying I want Daddy.

We will be coming to Redmond on the 15th then up to Vancouver on the 21st and staying until the 6th of October. Steve will be going to a conference on the 29th and back on October 4th. We hope to get lots of fun and visiting in on the trip.

I think that everyone except maybe Rebecca who was just here will notice a bit of a change in Zoe she is thinning out a bit and speaking more clearly. Or maybe I am just getting better at understanding her. She is also much more active and coordinated. I am thinking about getting her first haircut when we are in Redmond. Steve and I have been disagreeing on when to cut her hair. So far I have won but it is getting a little crazy now so a trim may help it and make it less fine.

Well that is it for now. No promises when then next ramble will be but maybe now that Zoe is in school and I have a laptop I will get to this more frequently.

The Great Wall

Well Rebecca and I went last week on Thursday to see the wall. We were supposed to go to a section called Badaling which was the first open to the public and the most visited section. However it is on the road that will be used for the outdoor cycling next year during the Olympics. So the traffic was insane and our tour operator suggested our group visit the section before it. I don’t know what it is called off the top of my head. This section is in good shape and usually less crowded. I think the traffic is greatly increasing the visitors detouring there from Badaling. It was a very hot day upper 80’s to low 90’s and there were a lot of many steep steps. About 400 in Rebecca’s counting estimation. She made it all the way to the first watch tower I made most of the way but was getting over heated and decided to quit before I pushed too hard and couldn’t get back down. The steps are very steep and uneven. Some are a foot high and some only about an inch high so it is very random. There were a couple spots with platforms on the way up that were flat and we did find small patches of shade. The metal hand rail was almost too hot to touch.

There was also a long line of padlocks with red ribbons on them along the lower part. I was told by our guide that people make a wish lock these on and take the key with them. Then if their wish comes true they are supposed to come back. Maybe next time I will get a lock.

We also went to a Jade factory and the Ming Tombs that day. The Ming Tombs were kind of a let down. The Tomb is still sealed underground and they tell you the general area it is in. While there you see a couple arches and a few artifacts along with a statue but that is really about it. So not much excitement and we only stopped for about 20 minutes there. The wall doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles but it is big and what you expect. Actually it is pretty amazing looking up close.

Next time I will post a bit about the Dongyue Temple where we visited the different departments of hell and rubbed a lucky donkey statue.

Long time no post…..

Ok so it has been awhile since I posted anything. Zoe has been improving vastly on her language skills and often comes out with some of the cutest things when you least expect it. It also means you really have to watch what she hears on tv, music wise, and from us. She is also improving her other skills such as stair climbing which she often insists she can do alone.

Right now we have our niece Rebecca here for a visit and Zoe has been in heaven. She loves playing with Rebecca and is always asking where she is if she can’t see her. It is great having someone for Zoe to play with when you want to have a shower or do something else too. Steve and I may even go out one night and leave her with her cousin.

I have been doing some touring with Rebecca and yesterday all of us went on a tourist attraction spree. Zoe did very well and was not mobbed too badly. When Rebecca and I were at the wall she had some ask to have their picture taken with her so it even effects older kids. I will write another blog about some of our sightseeing adventures or this will get too long.

The temperature here has been in the mid to upper 30’s high 80’s – 90’s which is really hot. I have done suprisingly well in the heat when I have been out in it. Zoe seems to have inherited her fathers tolerance for the hot weather and does well. She won’t always wear her hat but seems to really enjoy it when her and I sunblock up together before going out. I don’t want to find out if she is like her dad in that she doesn’t really burn. I am going to just assume she is like me and needs to bath in sunblock before going out. Since Rebecca has arrived the smog has not been too bad which means you can see the blue sky. It also means the temperature goes up. The smog does make it a few degrees cooler.

Well there are a few stories I have to share and I will post them over the next week or so. It will give you a reason to check back and something to look forward to. Hope everyone is enjoying their summer and that we will ge to visit in the fall.