Wednesday, April 28, 2010

hot off the press

video of D's musical today: Bugz available here

Tooth update: The swallowing of tooth #2

So we're eating waffles on Sunday morning, and Desi starts getting a sad look. We ask why. He says, through half a bite of waffles, "I think I swallowed my tooth."

Indeed he had. His fear, of course, was that now he wouldn't get any money for it. No evidence, no reward. We assured him the TFairy would accept a handwritten note in lieu of a nasty old tooth. Sure enough, she did. So all is well.

No other loose teeth to report.

Gotta go tutor now, but wanted to post this bit of Shanghai news. Perfectly captures the place these days.

Beautiful weather. 5 day weekend coming up. That means lots of wiffle ball. Life is grand.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Power Down! ... and READ! Week

This week, the elementary school asks kids to not watch TV or movies, not play video games, and not use the computer. Instead, they are to read a lot more than usual. Well, at our house the TV is off during the school week anyway. But for Mom and Dad, who wanted to model good screen-free habits, it has been hard to stay off the computer at home. Clearly we have gotten used to lots of online time. But I am proud to say that I have gone without a baseball game or even so much as a box score since Sunday! I have no idea how the Cardinals did against whoever they played after the Mets series. I can't speak for Sarah, but I know I have not caught her online except for one time.

Now that the weather is nice, we've been outdoors more. Desi likes playing catch or watching the older neighbor kids skateboard. As do I.

Note: the youtube video of the lost tooth is now public. check it out here

Emmy had his SAS visitation day yesterday. Here is the big boy now, getting his mug shot taken:

Should be a fun weekend. Downtown for dumplings tomorrow, adults only. Then baseball on Sunday--coaching Desi and a bunch of other 6-7 year olds is hard work. I could never teach elementary school...

Pray for sun!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's like pulling teeth!

No, wait, he DID pull teeth! Well, one tooth, anyway. Yes, folks, our baby ain't no baby no more. Right after tee ball yesterday, D was wiggling a tooth that's been loose for days. All of a sudden it just came out. He was excited, needless to say. Tooth fairy gave him 10 kuai, which is about $1.50 (hey, we have a high cost of living here). See video here. Another tooth is soon to come out and with another 10 kuai, D will have enough for a Hot Wheels. More on this story as it develops.

Tee ball was fun, in no small part because the weather was perfect. Spring is finally here, as of Friday, when it was almost 80 degrees. This week should be great, no highs below 65. It's perfect timing, as baseball spring warmups start tomorrow. I'll be working with the JV kids, including some 8th graders who will be eligible to play JV next season. Let's hope at least one of them can pitch, as I suspect we'll be losing most of our pitchers to the varsity squad in the fall.

In non-baseball news, Sarah and I had a fun dinner with two work friends on Saturday night (Jason and Timber, for those of you who know them). It's nice to go downtown, especially now that so many highway projects are finished. Traffic is already way better than even 3 months ago. Expo starts in 2 weeks, and the city declared a 5-day weekend in its honor. We'll be sticking around town, laying low. We'll see Expo with my mom and Steve when they come in June. Then Steve and I are off to Vietnam for 10 days, which is exciting.

In other travel news, I will be taking Emmett to Chicago and St. Louis this summer. See my family, have some fun. Should be fun to travel just the 2 of us (knock on wood). If you are around the Windy City July 17-18, I'll be at the Pitchfork Music Festival watching Pavement, my favorite all time band, on their reunion tour that I thought would never happen.

Gotta go. Before I forget, new Cary Brothers record is out. Check it out here.

Friday, April 9, 2010

"Sue me? Sue everybody!" No--SuZhou!!

Making friends at a classical garden in Suzhou...

Early April in Shanghai means a couple things: grousing about the cold (to wit: Tuesday's forecast calls for a high of 47 F) and 3-DAY WEEKEND FOR TOMB SWEEPING DAY. Neither of our families has any tombs nearby, so we chose to beat the cold by going to Suzhou. It's about 40 miles west of here, and was visited by Marco Polo a while back. He said it was a great and noble city. True dat. Suzhou is a pretty city. Especially for a place with over 6 million people, it has a lot of greenery, and natural bodies of water incorporated into even the downtown area.

After riding the train to Suzhou (insert HERE whatever wacky misadventures you assume a train ride would entail, then divide by 2), we checked in and then took a sunset boat tour of the Grand Canal, which surrounds the core of downtown ("old city"). Lots to see: up-lighted trees, bas-relief sculptures on bridge-support columns and a rainbow-lighted waterfall. On the boat itself, a tour guide explained the sights, and my Mandarin is clearly improving, because I distinctly heard her say "27" and "We." Didn't catch any of the rest, but I distinctly heard those words.

Also on the boat, a musician play the pi pa (see here). She was a beautiful young woman, and emmett and sarah were sitting in the front row, just a few feet from her. Sarah noticed the look on Emmy's face and asked, "Do you love her?" He nodded up and down.

The next day was Easter, and the hotel we stayed at had a nice brunch. It's part of a German chain, so they even had an Easter bunny walking around. And a kids' room, so we adults got to eat in relative peace and quiet. Until, that is, the giant bunny man walked into the kids' room. At that point, this little white girl in what looked like a wedding dress starts screaming. She staggers out of the kids' room, frantic to find mom or dad, sobbing over and over, "I don't like the bunny." Talk about schaudenfreude. Meanwhile, our kids were so into Tom & Jerry (which is ubiquitous here in China), I'm not sure they even noticed bunny man.

Besides the hotel's egg hunt (which taxed even my well-known hunting skills--damn those Germans!) we also visited a classical garden. Lots of fun climbing on rock structures and being ogled. See pics below.

Birthday party today and tee ball tomorrow.

Contest update: Two free songs still available! Congrats to Nate Oetting, who correctly emailed me the date of my first post to mention Expo. Come on, folks! Get on it!