Mr. Peanut visit

When we moved to China we were only able to bring one dog, so sadly, Mr. Peanut had to stay. We found him a great home at our dear friends’ house just a few doors down the street. Last week I was in the US for a quick trip (just 2 working days) and I was lucky enough to see Mr. Peanut for a few minutes. He was initially very nervous when he didn’t recognize me, but once he got a good sniff he was overjoyed and very happy to see me. I really miss this guy!

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Me vs. The Mandarin

I’m trying to maximize my allotted language instruction hours in the short time left before we leave for Shanghai. This has meant daily 2 hour lessons this week, and my brain is fried! I’m just hoping to be able to say something intelligible before entering the country. Really, anything at all. So far, it’s not looking good. But I’ll press on.

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Moved Out

Monday the packing started, and by 5:00 PM today the house was empty. We’ve moved across town to a hotel. Luckily we’re in a two bedroom place, as nearly three weeks with all of us in a single room would likely end poorly.

Marshy seems to be adjusting to hotel life just fine.

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A New Lifestyle

School started back on Tuesday, but how much this changes my day to day existence was not really apparent until today. Between all the checkups and meetings and paperwork and rushing here and there (so much that both boys were absent the second day of school for a series of appointments), I haven’t really had a “normal” day. Until today…the boys are at school, and I’ve got nothing on the schedule except to prepare for Eli’s big birthday bash this evening. In that vein, I hitched up the cargo trailer and rode my bike over to Plum Market this morning to pick up some last minute party foods. That’s when the reality of my new life really hit me. Plum market was chock full of women, about my same age, dressed like me, in yoga pants, or some other form of running/exercise gear. It was as though a secret signal had gone out, inaudible to the general population, but to moms of school-age kids it whispered “psssst. Meetup time. Report ASAP to Plum. ps Wear yoga pants.”.

We were all walking slowly around the store, with serene looks on our faces, taking our time and smiling at others as we passed. We were practically high-fiving one another in the dry goods aisle, nodding and raising our eyebrows in a way that said, “I just spent 5 minutes reading the labels on boxes of quinoa. You too? Yep. Isn’t this awesome?”

On the Road Again…..

Car full of stuff that’s going to spend the next 3 years in PA. After being left behind when we last piled into the car for our trip to Pittsburgh (and then on to China), the dogs stood at the front door waiting to be let out, making it quite clear that they weren’t missing this trip.

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Tea time

We had a fabulous tea with our friend Leila at Tea Haus today. The boys absolutely loved it. They weren’t sure at first, not being big tea drinkers, but they were able to order fruit tea, chilled, and carbonated! Just like soda, but so much healthier. And the food was amazing! We went for the full tea service and left so stuffed. I wish I had gotten more pictures, the food was beautiful in addition to being incredibly tasty. Alas, I was too enthralled with eating to remember to take many pictures, and the ones I did take were pretty bad because I was anxious to get back to the food. Well, there’s always next time! The boys have asked to go back ASAP, which is fine with me.

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The new normal

I like to think I am a pretty laid back person, but I will admit that having things laying around the house makes me a little crazy. I like it when things have a place, and I like them to be in that place when they aren’t being used. But these days I am having to let go of that a bit.

It seems like there are always suitcases out…being packed or unpacked. The other week I packed Eli’s camp suitcase and then left in in the living room…we got home from Pennsylvania at 4 and drop off for his computer camp was at 6, so he needed to be packed and ready to roll before the weekend in PA. Likewise, Ryan left for China at 5 AM this past Sunday. Since we picked Eli up at camp on Friday and drove directly to Cook Forest to celebrate their cousin’s birthday campout, Ryan’s suitcase was packed and ready for when we returned Saturday night. This week I unpacked Eli’s camp suitcase and the suitcase we took (car)camping, and I’ve left them out because I need to pack myself for China next week, and Eli, who is going directly to his next camp after we pick him up on our return from Shanghai. Whew!

The other thing cluttering up the house is boxes. We’ve got a fairly hefty list if things we want to buy to take with us on our move. They don’t really have a place to be put away, since they aren’t for here. So we’ve got boxes stacked all over, and when they get in the way we move that stack somewhere else. I’ll admit, it’s driving me a bit bonkers.

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Still life

Right now Oliver and I are hanging out in the parking lot at Ford World Headquarters. Due to a large gap between his arm appointment at Mott in Ann Arbor and my passport/visa appointment here in Dearborn, we are sort of in limbo for a few minutes. Here’s a glimpse of what life looks like right now…bag full of paperwork for relocation, latest set of X-rays for Oliver’s arm, IPad to get things done while we’re out an about….and note the ever present coffee cup that’s fueling this process.

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