Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday Favorites | Our 9th Week in China

Eeeekkkk! 9 weeks in China- as more than two months! Crazy how fast (and sometimes slow) that time flies! This first picture was not taken this week, but is definitely a favorite- I just love love love Everly's run! This arm is always flailing back!!

While in the Philippines, particularly at the different airports, I got to have a few coffees and this caramel machiato that I got last Friday was definitely my favorite drink :).

Also, I got to FaceTime with this girl and her daddy for about an hour while I had a layover.  FaceTime while both of my children are home is quite challenging and very chaotic so I soaked up some 'one-on-one time' with this girl.

I made it home!!!! Which after waking up before 3am, was definitely a favorite! That night we hung out, walked to the playground and Emma and Everly hung all over me before we all crashed! Sadly, I don't have any pictures of me picking Emma up from the bus stop, but it was as great as I thought it would be!

We decided to get our car a little later that next morning so we headed down to the playground bright and early!

When your dress matches your location,  your mom makes you take a picture :).

After lunch, we headed to one of my favorite parks to date; People's Park in Chengdu.  The greenery was outstanding and it felt like a much smaller, more crowded Central Park in New York.

Everly wanted me to take her and Lollie's picture by the flowers :).  I will always love that this girl loves 'lovies'. She is rarely without one, and it doesn't particularly matter which one :).

We were able to figure out how to rent a paddle boat and before long we were on our way!

With Lollie by our side ;).

The area to paddle was pretty small and once we made it around, Wes kind of parked us in the middle and we let the girls 'paddle' definitely one of their favorite parts of the day.

After our hour was up, we turned our paddle boat in and Emma grabbed a hold of my phone and snapped a few of her favorite pictures.

As she kept saying, "we get to keep these pictures forever and ever".

Not bad, right?

The girls had fun watching them make sugar candy.

We bought the girls some bubble wands and found a little semi-private area for them to go crazy and run around with their bubble wands. Emma liked trying to make 'snowman bubbles'.

I love how Everly sticks out her tongue when she concentrates.

Bubbles were everywhere - some of the best 8Yuan we have spent ;).

Another favorite moment of the week- Emma and I were invited on our first playdate in China!! And then I asked if Ev's could come too ;). We went swimming at a hotel (no pictures there because I was in the pool too!) and then got out and had a trifecta of Durian desserts. I thought the cheesecake was normal cheesecake.  Poor Ev's got a huge scoop of this and put it in her mouth- ay yay yay, disgusting! Have you ever had Durian before? The best way I can describe it is that it tastes like dish soap. Appetizing, right??

Here is the pool that we went swimming in-Ev's loved that huge fish tank in the background of this picture.She kept waving to the fishes while saying 'hi fishy'.

Emma and her school bestie!

Unbeknownst to me, the playdate also included dinner - a very fancy dinner might I add :). There were 8 adults and 4 children (2 of them mine) and this is where it got a little awkward... there was zero English spoken the entire dinner, which is ok, but just lonely...

I made the best of it though and had a blast with these two!!! I had missed them so much while I was in the Philippines.

This was Everly and her 'tea'.  Basically, she was squirting water from her sippy cup into a fancy glass cup.  It is no small miracle that nothing was spilled.

Three crazies running around a hotel!

Sweet besties.  Overall, it was fun a playdate and I am pretty happy with myself just saying 'yes' to something so new and by myself.

Wes tries to get Everly a nap everyday, but lately she has wanted nothing to do with naps. She will just lay in bed for over an hour and a half whilst catching zero sleep.  The other day this happened and so he got her up and then promptly found her like this in our living room 10 minutes before they had to be at the bus stop to pick up Emma.

Do you remember how on Wednesday, I told you about Emma writing her letters. That night she came home from school (I was at a work hot pot) and just wrote her name with zero help from Wes. I was beaming with pride when he sent me this picture. I mean, it is just the best!! Definitely my favorite moment of the week.

Hope you have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What's Up Wednesday | May 2016

It is one of my favorite link up's of the month- What's Up Wednesday! Today, I am linking up with Shay, Sheaffer and Mel to give you a little insight into our life in China and what is up with us!

1.What we’re eating this week…
I lucked out and got to eat some Western food while I was in the Philippines last week- think cheesy quesadillas, nachos, sliders and even French fries!  And yes, I definitely feel guilty that my family did not get to eat the same so we made up for it on Saturday and went to a ‘more Western restaurant’ in Chengdu and feasted on a hamburger and fish and chips J.

Last night we ate a very spicy beef dish at our neighborhood Chinese restaurant.

2.What I’m reminiscing about…
Since we are done have babies, we handed down most of Emma and Everly’s clothes to their cousin- baby Helena.  We didn’t have much 0 – 3 month clothing left (different seasons and Emma spit up on everything), but it has been fun to see Helena pop up in the girls old clothes now that it looks like she is in 3 – 6 month clothing size.  Here are just a few comparisons for you to see.

3.What I’m loving…
That our playground is walking distance to our house! We use this playground at least 4 - 5 times a week, sometimes more, so often that I typically don't even get our camera out anymore.  Except when Emma masters a new 'trick'- this girl seriously has no fear :).

We are also loving that our neighborhood has bats! When we walk back from the park when it starts to turn dark out, we see them swooping down :).

4.What we’ve been up to…
Most recently we checked out a new to us park in Chengdu – People’s Park.  There were paddle boats, snacks, trinkets (the girls got bubbles), authentic dancing and singing and lots and lots of greenery.  We had a fun afternoon exploring this park and we definitely would return here again while living here.

5.What I’m dreading…
Nothing, really :).

6.What I’m working on…
I could say that I am working on potty training Everly again, but that would be a lie.  That girl just has no interest.  We do, however, have another three day weekend coming up in June with no car so maybe we will give it a go again? We really wouldn’t be in too much of a hurry (I have learned that Ev’s does things in her own time), but we really want her to be able to attend school with Emma in August and she has to be potty trained.

7.What I’m excited about…
Our summer vacation.  It has officially been booked- we are going to Hong Kong for a few days and then to Borneo (an island in Malaysia) and then back to Hong Kong for one last day.  We plan on hitting up the gondola, Victoria Peak, Hong Kong Disney, possibly the night market and then lots and lots of relaxing and beach/pool time in Borneo.

8.What I’m watching/reading…
Wes and I finished up Survivor (I was really rooting for Michelle!), the Amazing Race (I was not rooting for the dancers) and as default on our TV in China because we get limited stations we have been watching the Food Network.  I plan to watch zero Food Network when we return home ;).  Three out of four legs on my last trip had a TV with movies so I watched a few (Fathers and Daughters (heartbreaking) and How to Be Single (a little too trashy for my liking)) and I read a book on my other leg (the second Young House Love book that I received last year for my birthday).  I even earmarked a few pages of ideas I would like to implement in our home back in the states.

9.What I’m listening to…
Mr. Golden Sun.  This is what Emma’s class is singing in her end of the school year concert (don’t get me started on the irony that comes from living in a place with limited sunshine and this is the song that they choose to sing) and she has been singing it quite a bit.  Other than that, I don’t know any current new songs.

10.What I’m wearing…
I thought I would take this opportunity to update you on how it is going with no shopping.  So far, so good.  Since we have arrived in China- I have purchased three dresses for Emma to wear next summer and that is it.  I looked at all Emma’s 4T dresses and they are all still in very good condition so Ev’s will have plenty of clothes since she will be wearing a uniform so I had just a few things to shop ahead for with regards to Emma.  Someone is going to bring me a suitcase when they come in August so I will also be adding a few uniform bottom essentials to it as well as new school shoes for Emma and Everly and then hopefully there will be room for snacks!  It has not really bothered me not to buy anything for myself, but I am starting to see lots and lots of cute dresses and I just want to try them on!! It’s not even like I feel like I must purchase them- I just miss that thrill of a box showing up on my front door step and knowing it’s something for me!

11.What I’m doing this weekend…
It’s a secret! Can’t wait to tell you about it next week :).

12.What I’m looking forward to next month…
Our sea shipment should arrive!!! This means snacks and the rest of our clothes and the rest of the girls toys and Wes’s Christmas lights and hopefully a few other surprises that I have forgotten about J.

13.What else is new…
Emma is learning how to write all of her letters!!  I have thought she has been ready to learn for awhile, but she wants nothing to do with tracing or copying my letters and it has secretly been driving me crazy! She has got her A's, C's, E's, M's, O's and X's down.  This is such a fun stage - and I am so excited that she finally wants to work on it!

Practicing her E's! I make up different instructions than the coloring book says (like 'draw an E in all the triangles') and she just goes with it ;).

That is what's up with us - what's up with you?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Show and Tell Tuesday: My Favorite Vacation

Today, I am linking up with Andrea for Show and Tell Tuesday for one of my very favorite topics- vacations!!!

We have been blessed to take a number of vacations over the last several years.  Since being married (which was a vacation in itself since we got married in Mexico), we have traveled back to Mexico three times, gone to New York City, San Francisco, Seattle and even road tripped to Florida with two toddlers in tow.  In addition, every year we have gone to Port Aransas to spend Thanksgiving with my family.  We love love love to travel which is one of the reasons that we are so excited about our time here in Asia- we can’t wait to see places that we would otherwise never see.  My parents really prioritized family vacations when we were growing up and it is something that I hope to continue to do with my own children (especially roadtrips!).  All of that being said, my favorite family vacation that we have taken so far has been to Disney World! We kind of went out on a limb deciding to go with our newly turned three year old and our 18 month old; we had no idea if they would like it, hate it or love it.  It is safe to say our 18 month old was oblivious to most parts of the trip (and even decided to cut her first molar while we were there), but our three year old LOVED it and we all still had the very best time.  It is just something about Disney and its magical spell they put on you- you can’t help but to have the very best time!!!

During this trip, we spent our first day at Cocoa Beach.

Our second day at Animal Kingdom.

Our third day at Magic Kingdom- I am going out there and calling this one of the top five days of my life (we really had that much fun!).

Our fourth day we rested.

Our fifth day, we got a date day at Epcot (my in-laws went with us and they watched the girls).

And our last and final day, we spent back at Magic Kingdom before road-tripping it home.

After this trip, Disney really does have a special place in our hearts and we are so so excited that we will be taking Emma and Everly to Hong Kong Disney this summer specifically to celebrate Ev’s turning three!!! I not-so-secretly hope we can make it to all three Asia Disney’s (Shanghai Disney is opening next month!) while we are over here the next couple of years.