Looking forward to America’s sunny skies where I can hopefully stop dialing down my aperture and maxing out my ISO on nearly every single photo I take!
1. Last Sunday we hit our 2 months left in China mark and it’s like we flipped a switch into cabin fever mode. Suddenly I’m itching to clean out closets. I miss sunshine more than I have in months. I miss my family more than ever. I daydream about taking Will to parks and running again through clear morning air. I still like Chengdu but as our time winds down, it is harder and harder to stay content with where we are. America! I miss you!
2. We had a feeling we would start to feel a little stir-crazy by now so Chris and I, wisely or unwisely, planned a trip to Japan for this weekend. We figure we are as close now as we’ll ever be and, hot-damn, we are really craving some good food. We cashed in a bunch of frequent flier miles and so we are headed to Tokyo for a grand total of $40 per person. Is sushi (and sunshine) worth the expense and hassle and the utter insanity of dragging a 6.5 month old on 2 5-hour flights to spend a grand total of 72 hours in Tokyo? We’ll find out!
3. Speaking of babies and travel: is there any way to lessen the enormous upset of taking a kid away from the only home they’ve known, dragging them on a short tour of America to see family, then giving them the chance to juust get settled for a few months in D.C. before packing them up for a new tour in a new country?
I can imagine great ways to help older kids cope with the transition but I have no idea what to do for Will besides generous doses of hugs and snuggling and trying to stick to a routine as much as possible. I’ve also been trying to introduce a lovey to little success. Any other ideas? I’d say a baby won’t notice or care, but this kid seems to notice everything. Even at 6 weeks old he seemed to know China was very different than the place he was born, and he did not like it one bit.
4. Is there any point to sleep-training a kid that will be sleeping in 6 different places within the next 12 weeks? Yea, didn’t think so. We might try in D.C. when everything is new and we have a clean slate. Until then we are taking baby steps towards sleep independence. Very, very, very tiny baby steps.
5. I made these orange sticky buns a few weeks ago. The dough is the best cinnamon roll/sticky bun dough I’ve found yet. The orange filling is good, but maybe not my favorite recipe. Definitely try out the dough for your next cinnamon rolls though.
6. Are reusable snack and sandwich bags the new “it” thing yet in America or am I just way behind? A few months ago I got really sick of using plastic baggies for Will’s pacifiers when we are out and about. I know there are little pacifier pods on the market but why get a bag that has only one purpose when I could get something that we could use after the pacifier stage? Enter Lunchskins. I found a 3-pack on sale at amazon and we love them. They are cute and easy to wash and oh-so-functional.
Will is still in his “ziplock plastic bags are the most fun toy EVER” stage–he will wake up out of a deep sleep if he hears me open one on the other side of the house–so these bags serve an additional purpose in our house: baby entertainment device. Unlike Chinese ziplock bags, these reusable Lunchskins are really sturdy, too small for Will to shove his head inside, and bad-stuff-free. As long as I’m watching Will like a hawk, he can chew on these bags to his heart’s content, which he does, very happily.
7. We found out the hard way that the pesticides on Chinese lettuce give Will hives, even after being well-washed. He didn’t even eat any lettuce, he just played with some while we were having dinner the other night. Compared to a lot of Chinese kids though, a case of hives is nothing. What can I say here without slipping into probably ill-advised rant about food in China? Not much, so instead I’ll point you to this article from last year, in case you are interested.
8. My mom just sent us The Little Blue Truck board book. I’m in love. Even though Will has no interest in books beyond how many pages he can fit in his mouth, he still likes listening to a good rhythm and hearing me make funny sounds. Thus, The Little Blue Truck is the perfect book for us right now. It has a nice beat, it’s fun for me to read, it has all sorts of animals sounds and the story has a nice little message to it. The illustrations are lovely if ,perhaps, a bit above Will’s head. And of course, its made of cardboard so we can actually read it without worrying about Will ripping out the pages and eating them.
9. Do you still remember being a kid? And if so, does it influence how you parent? I’ve been thinking about this question a lot lately as I vividly remember not just my childhood but also what it felt like to be a kid. We are still a few months away from needing to begin introducing boundaries and other such parenting quagmires with Will, but I know that time will be here before we know it. As such I’m thinking a lot about my own, really wonderful, childhood these days and how grateful I am to my parents for the way they raised us.
10. Speaking of board books, I’ve been imagining a board book that teaches colors, in which each page is a really vibrant, really beautiful photograph highlighting one color. Does such a book already exist? It sure would be fun to make one if it doesn’t! Sort of a different spin on this neat alphabet book I found a few weeks ago.
Have a happy weekend!