Monday, March 7, 2011

So much goin' on...

...To wit:

1. As some of you know because you saw here there, Sarah went to San Fran to attend the National Association of School Psychologists' annual conference. "There ain't no party like a Psycho party," I contend. Learning and fun times, but not much in the way of warm weather.

2. This trip involved some payback for Gary, who was single-dadding for 8 days. So, you ask, what enriching activities did Boys' Week entail? We did art, we baked cookies, we read books, and we went to the aquarium.

Here they are, waiting for the shuttle to take us downtown. We had dumplings before meeting Leo and Keller at the aquarium.

Call the Pulitzer people! How cool is that shot, huh?

3. We have a new ayi. Yes, after 2.5 years, our beloved Lyn decided to move home to the Philippines. She is now a grandma, and wanted to be with her daughter (and HER new daughter). We miss her dearly, and the boys are definitely grieving the loss. It's better now, a month after, but there were some sad times at our house, for sure.

Here's a short clip taken during her last week here. FYI: In Tagalog, the native language in the Philippines, "mahal kita" means "I love you."

Our new ayi is Chinese, from Anhui province (where many many workers in Shanghai were born). Her name is Xiao Zhang. Actually, Xiao means "little" and is a very common nickname that people often keep well past the age when they are little. Quite a few ayis are called "Xiao __last name__." She lives nearby, with her husband. She is quite cheerful and we are lucky to have her working for us. Here she is:

Her English is better than most ayis', as she worked for a Brit family for 5 years. Our Chinese will need to improve, though. That's one of the goals, and so far the boys are doing great, speaking more and more Chinese at home.

4. Desi is rocking the wu shu lessons. Twice a week, going on 2 years now. He just passed Handset level 3. For Level 4, he got a sword. It's not sharp, don't worry. I plan to film him soon, and will post here.

5. On Friday, Gary took a day off and chaperoned Desi's class field trip to the Shanghai Museum. We had a fun time, doing a scavenger hunt/art projects for 2 hours. Plus 2 snacks and lunch, of course. I am embarrassed to say that I had not been to the museum before last week. It's cool to see a clay pot that's 7000 years old. Yes, that's "thousands," people.

6. We are getting a fishtank. Long story...Expect photos soon. And, not that it's exactly "Libyan civil war"-level news, but we did get a breakfast bar. The boys love it.

7. Thanks to a couple random packs I brought back from the states (thanks to whoever gave us those at Christmas), Desi is now into baseball cards. Let's hope this habit doesn't get as expensive as mine was when I was young. (Sorry Dad, about that whole market crash circa 1992).

Just don't mess with his cards. He trades them with his friends, including Benjamin, who seems to be having some success converting Desi from a Cardinals fan (which is in his DNA) to a (prepare yourselves, folks) Red Sox fan. Ugh, I feel sick even typing that. Maybe he forgets what TEN World Championships means. Kids these days...

8. In the interest of making this post balanced, here is Emmett, showing off his dog hat Mom got him in San Fran.