Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Shang-high Days and Shang-low Days

Living in China is always an adventure. I am a pretty open-minded person and like to learn about other cultures. I think of myself as easy-going and usually see the positive side to people, places and new experiences. However, some of the things we deal with on a daily basis can be a bit stressful.

Like the public toilets.

In case you are wondering. This toilet is called a "squatter" by other foreigners like myself. It is level with the ground. The grooves on either side are where you put your feet. There is no seat. Get my point. If we are in a place that only has "squatters" I usually enter the restroom and exit with in the same ten seconds...leaving John to navigate us to another location quickly where I can try again. I refuse, unless it is an absolute emergency.

Another stressful time can be grocery shopping.

This is HuaLuan....or as John and I call it "Walmart." (We do have a real Walmart here but this is our Chinese Walmart.) Our Chinese Walmart is across the street and we frequent it regularly. It has all of your personal and household needs. Clothes, bedding, dishes, appliances, cleaning supplies and groceries.

This is a picture of the fresh produce. Yummy! Toads and Turtles!

This is not the stressful part anymore. During my first trimester it was SUPER disturbing because I couldn't stand the different smells. Like dealing with a "squatter" I would bolt out of there as fast as I entered.

The true stress and frustration comes with waiting to check out.

I have learned to totally appreciate my personal space of about 3 feet. Here that doesn't exist. In fact if you aren't inches behind someone you get cut off. With no regard, they will cut in front of you and pretend like nothing happened. And that TOTALLY gets me fired up. (Just thinking about it now gets me so angry.) But this happens to me quite a bit.

*Some of the other things to add to the list:
-People hawking lugies. (not even sure how to spell this)
-Loud, I mean REALLY loud yawning.
-Throwing trash on the street, even when there is a trash can.
-Being asked "You want Coach, Gucci, Louis Vuitton?" Over and over and over again.
-"I give you special price." "This is best quality."
-Driving on the wrong side of the road or on sidewalks.
-People driving while holding down their horn. WHY?
-Picking noses in public, even at a restaurant.
-People staring at you.
-Rushing into the elevator before you have a change to get off.
-Taking a #1 and #2 on the sidewalk.

When you have had too many of these things in a row on a particular day and you feel like you have had enough, this is called a Shang-Low Day. We all have them from time to time. They are horrible and can even make you cry.

A bad Shang-Low Day can be cured by following these two little steps:

1. First, head across the street to Bamboo 7 immediately.

Spend the $10 and get an hour long foot and back massage. I love you Bamboo!

2. Go shopping for something fun. Like a new handbag, jewelry or my latest China obsession....furniture. Here are some pics of pieces we are having made.

Once these two little steps are followed you are back to saying "I love Shanghai!" and that is called a Shang-High Day!

*I could go on and on with that list. I'll save some others for when I catch a picture of them!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Where to Begin Again

So much has happened since I last posted consistently. I am a bit overwhelmed with the amount of "stuff" I need to blog about. So overwhelmed that I just don't want to do it.

However, since it is our blog, I guess we can blog by our rules. I am going to start with what is happening now and when I have the time and can fill you in with the rest!

As most of you know, we are expecting a baby boy. We are thrilled to meet little Carter in just 12 weeks (unless he is late or early).

Here is his latest picture:

I am so amazed with the technology and can't stop staring at this picture. I think he takes after his handsome daddy. :)

This picture was taken at 24 Weeks and 3 days...which brings me to the most recent huge event. Carter's picture was taken the same day his twin cousins were born.

Luke and Hudson Van Sickle were born on September 23, 2009.

This is their first family photo. My older brother, Brandon and my sister-in-law, Suzie are now proud parents and I couldn't be happier for the two of them.

The twins are just adorable! Mommy and Daddy are doing well and I am obsessed with checking their blog for updates. www.twobabiesandbailey.blogspot.com I was lucky enough to be in the US this special day and got to hold them everyday their first two weeks. I miss their sweet little faces!

Finally, here are a few belly shots from the past several months that we have been away from the blogging world.


(I actually thought I was starting to show.)



(I'm sporting the bella band and the growing begins.)


(My friend Laura who is due a month ahead of me with her little girl Elle. She is 27 or 28 weeks in this picture.)


(The belly has popped and is feeling bigger each day.)

In John's words: "You're finally pregnant!"