Monday, June 13, 2011

Settling in.

While Saturday was an exercise in settling into our apartment and getting unpacked, Sunday was an exercise in settling into the city we are now calling "home."

One of Jon's co-workers took the kiddo and I on a walking tour of our part of the city. She took us to a farmer's market, a bakery, a park, a stationery store that had a few kids toys, a western-style grocery store, and a Japanese restaurant. All in the span of a few hours. We had a great time and I can only hope that I'll be able to find all those places again!

We live in the middle of one of the downtown areas of the city. Its a huge city of over 15 million people. Now that we've got the kitchen set up, I'm trying to shop for groceries European-style, meaning, every day and only for what I need. So far, so good.

We live in one of the tallest buildings in the city. No matter what direction you look out of the windows you cannot see the edge of the city. You just keep seeing buildings going on and on and on. Tall buildings, short buildings, houses, apartment buildings, malls that take up two city blocks. Its all here, and its very cosmopolitan. Of course it might have to do with the fact that we're in the middle of the city and not on the fringes.

Today I got to spend the whole day with the kiddo by myself. This is something that rarely happens. We're usually always on the go or have something planned. Today, we didn't have anything planned, but managed to have a great day. I'm still trying to keep his world pretty small, as he was up at 2:30 ... and up for the day. We managed to keep him playing quietly (coloring, Legos, etc.) while Jon and I tried to get a few more hours of sleep. Once we finally gave up and got up with him we got ready to tackle the day! Jon got ready for work and we got dressed and ready for whatever unfolded in our day.

Knowing that he'd already been up for six hours, I decided to keep our day as quiet but focused as I could. Turns out it was the right way to go. We had some breakfast and watched a movie while ramping ourselves up for the day. Once Jon left for work, and we finished watching the movie, we took a nap. He slept from 9-11 and was surprised as how quickly the 11 came! We walked to the grocery store, came back, had lunch, watched a documentary or two about dinosaurs and then worked on a hand writing lesson. We played catch with his ball, watched a dinosaur cartoon and then played with his ball some more. We ended the day with Legos and a fun (for him) Iron *** Man cartoon.

Jon came home and we walked to the grocery store where we found the makings for BLT's. Dinner and a quick game time with Daddy and off to bed he went. He was asleep in seconds. He's still asleep now. Its 5AM, and I'm not going to jinx it, other than to say, I'm grateful he's still sleeping.

Me, on the other hand. I sleep seven hours and I'm up. So after falling asleep at 9, I was up at 4. I need to try to push that 9 a little later otherwise I'm going to have problems. Yuck. But thats ok, I'm finding being up this early gives me the opportunity to catch up on the blog, and think about what we have to do for the day.

I'm interviewing a candidate for our Nanny today. I'm told she speaks English, but I don't know more than that. Never had to interview one before, so i'm not really sure what to ask, but I'm sure I'll figure it out when she gets here. Jon's company is sending someone over from the office to act as translator in case we get stuck. I'm hoping I'll be able to see her resume before she gets here, otherwise I'll be at a slight disadvantage. :) We've always just hired teachers from his pre-school if we've needed a night out here and there.

Initial impressions? People have been more than kind, more than generous, and more than I expected. Jon's company has gone above and beyond what they needed to do in order for us to feel good about our decision to move here. We definitely feel valued and a part of the team already, and Jon's only had one full day of work in the office here. We now hope we live up to expectations.

Once the kiddo starts having a better sleep schedule, I'll start venturing out into the city to see what is out there to explore. I just don't want to take an exhausted kiddo into places that I know will trigger meltdowns if he's that exhausted. I'm even hoping to take him to Beijing to experience some of the sights there. The bullet train is only a 29 minute ride into Beijing from where we are, so thats an easy day trip!

Kiddos first request? He wants to see the Great Wall of China. Sounds like a good first request to me! I think we need to save that one for the weekend, where Jon can join us. I think he wants to see that one, too.

Once we told his teacher back in Boston what was going on, she had a little mini-lesson on China for the class. They talked about the Terra Cotta soldiers, the Great Wall of China, and a few other things that have stuck in his five year old brain. He was so prepared when we landed, I'm going to need to send his teachers a thank you of some sort. What could have been a scary ride into the unknown was a gentle landing into a new land. He's really been excited about this adventure. Even going so far as to say he wants us to live here for a long time.

Well, kiddo, who knows. Stranger things have happened!

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