Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Back to Reality

Reality has slowly started creeping back into our lives.  Jamie returned to work a week ago Monday and it was up to the girls and I to take on our part of the world together.  I thought I would face my fear head-on and Monday morning Jamie went back to work, I took the girls to an unfamiliar store to wander up and down the aisles.  Our one task was to get water bottles and a snack.  We were triumphant!  I wanted to look through the store without the pressure of having to cook a meal or rush back to pick up a child from school.  I successfully used our China debit card to pay and managed to find our driver again.


LBean was very interested in the fish at the supermarket and she even told me she wanted to buy one and "cut its eyes off".  She's spent a considerable amount of time fishing at Papa & Grandma's house and it shows.  One of the RT Mart employees tried to get EBean to touch a craw fish (or something similar to it) and as you can see in the picture she is giving me her smirk as she says "no" to touching it.

Another goal I had for that Monday was to clean up the hotel a bit.  With over 13 suitcases and a random assortment of food, important receipts, craft supplies and swimming gear our room was a bit unorganized.  We eat, sleep & play in one tiny room!

To pass the time the LBean and EBean have really enjoyed swimming at the hotel pool.  LBean is getting really good at swimming under water and EBean is learning to enjoy the water more.  It's also been fun because families from our apartment complex come over to use the hotel pool because the apartment's pool is broken and probably will never be fixed.  Are these not the cutest little water bugs you've ever seen?!

We got the keys and security cards (to open the glass doors to the apartment building) in the middle of the week.  I finally gained access to a washer and that meant some great things for a few people in our family.  Back to reality and laundry!  It also freed up some space in our hotel room and LBean made a new clubhouse in the hotel closet.

On Friday night our air shipment finally arrived!  The shipment actually flew into Shanghai on July 16th, but it took until Friday to get it released.  About 8 p.m. the boxes started rolling in.  We had just finished our first meal in the new apartment, a very fancy meal of pizza!  The girls were ecstatic and loved seeing some familiar things.  I included some kitchen things in the shipment and once I get them washed and sterilized in non-local water I can start cooking again.  We now have sheets, towels and mattresses for the girls.  As soon as our hide-a-bed is delivered from the local furniture store, we can move in.  The sea shipment with the rest of things should arrive this next week, but who knows how long it will take to get those things released!

Our first meal in the apartment.

This week's view of the laser light show,
from the living room.

Unpacking our boxes.

Setting up the household in the girls'
Whew, they can finally get their dress-up clothes on again!

Our weekend was a mix of fun and function.  We went to Metro on Saturday morning.  Metro is like the Chinese version of Sam's Club.  We were able to find some things in bulk and get some staples for the apartment like flour, canola oil and milk (which here the good stuff comes in a box, unrefrigerated).  We were "those people".  The foreigners holding up the line because the register wouldn't read a bar code and we had quite a line form behind us.

We raced back to the apartment (about 25 minutes away) to put away the cold things to try and make it to a friend's apartment by 1 p.m.  Since there isn't drive-thru fast food around, we stopped by Auchan on the way to apartment and Jamie ran in and grabbed KFC to go.  We gobbled it down in the car and Jamie and our driver took the cold things up to the apartment.

Striking a pose as they wait for the show to start.
Our afternoon plans were to go to the local art and performing center and watch the Disney Live program, all in Chinese of course.  The friends we met in Chicago on our flight to Shanghai came with us to see Mickey and his pals.

My favorite part was when Ariel's sisters (from the Little Mermaid) broke out into Beyonce's "All the Single Ladies".  It was too funny!

We ended the week at Fellowship, minus the storms from last week.  Afterwards we went to a Malaysian/Thai restaurant at Times Square.  It was very yummy!

This dessert is not Malaysian, but tasty indeed!

Looking over all the pictures, I notice how we have our hair up in most of the pictures.  It is so hot and humid here, that I don't even have to beg to pull the girls' hair back!

Next week's goals include going to the wet market to get some fresh vegetables and fruits, finally take the girls somewhere so we can get our nails painted, interview an Ayi (a household helper), and pick up some bottled water (since we mistakenly purchased several bottles of sparkling water instead-oops!).  Wish us luck!

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