Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chinese haircut

I put it off as long as possible. This was actually the first haircut I've had in China. During the 18 months that we've lived here I managed to wait until our scheduled trips home for haircuts. This time though I am here til at least July and waiting was no longer an option. I'm still not brave enough to go get my hair colored here. I know there are a few places I could go, but they are expensive and I'm lazy.

I ended up just going to the local salon across the street from our old apartment where Nick has had his hair cut a few times. I took this picture with me to give them an idea of what I wanted. I didn't want to walk away with a mullet, and this picture looked like it would be pretty hard for them to mess up.

When I got there I had to choose which level of stylist I wanted. I had never heard of this before, but apparently the more training they have, the more you have to pay.  There were 4 levels starting at 38 RMB for the lowest. The highest was 280RMB. I decided to go for the third since it less than half the price. I paid 128RMB and was pretty happy with the results. I made Nick go with me and explain everything and then let them start cutting.

I think the guy who did my hair was pretty nervous. He was very meticulous. When he started he was only going to cut off about 1/4 inch. I made him go back and take off another inch, but it took quite a bit of pushing to get him to do it. (It had been 6 months since my last cut so I definitely needed that much trimmed) I have never had a haircut before where they cut off less than I wanted. Usually at home I have the opposite problem. My hair always ends up shorter than I would like.

Overall I had a pretty good experience. I have heard some horror stories about haircuts here, but I have no complaints. I did spend a little extra time in the chair while he dried my hair and everyone else in the salon walked by at some point to watch. A few people even came by to touch my hair because its so fine and hence so much softer than most Chinese girls thicker hair.

Now I just have to live with my "OMBRE" look til I can get my hair colored in July or August...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Totally Worth It!

My flu shot that is...

Nick has come down with the flu and is feeling pretty miserable right now. I remember back in December feeling pretty crappy for a few days right after I got it, but I don't think it was anywhere near as bad as Nick is feeling now. Also, I'm pretty sure I would much rather be sick at 12-13 weeks pregnant than 27. It was much easier to get comfortable in bed, on the couch, and just about anywhere back then. So, yay for flu shots. That was 100 RMB well spent!

I'm so proud!

We went bowling a few weeks ago here in Beijing with a group of friends. Nick managed to score 100 for the first time in his life. I had to document the success for him!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hours of Entertainment

We are in our new place! It's going to take a few weeks to find a place for everything, and get all the dust out that seems to be pretty permanent here in China, but we are happy with it. And so is CoCo. He was a little freaked out at first and would stay right by my side wherever I went in the apartment, but he is getting used to it now and is loving all the windows. Every room has a window that is his height so he can sit and watch the people walking in the courtyard all day.

Moving was a lot less hectic than I thought it would be. We packed everything up ourselves. Apparently you can pay to have people come pack your stuff up and move it here for pretty cheap, but I'm way to crazy for that. I wouldn't like the way they packed it and would want to re-do it myself. So we hired a couple of guys to come move the boxes and furniture. They loaded up their truck with everything and unloaded it here in less than an hour and a half! All for less than 400 RMB ($65)

I was a little overwhelmed to start unpacking, but once I started things went pretty quickly. We have probably 3 times more closets in this place and its smaller than our last apartment. I feel so organized! More pictures are coming soon once its looking nice.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Oh No!

Yesterday I had the chance to see both how CoCo and our ayi will react to having a baby around the house. My friend Karla needed to run to the market, and it is much easier when you don't have a baby strapped to you, so I offered to watch her son Jacob for an hour or two. He is three months old and super cute!

Let's just say CoCo did not handle it well. He is used to being the center of attention around here. We are going to have some work to do to get him ready for baby. I was sitting on the couch with Jacob in my lap and CoCo would come lay down next to me and try to push his head into my lap, thus pushing Jacob away. He was very curious about this new addition and also loved smelling diapers and baby feet, but he needs to learn to be gentler. I had to give him quite a few shoves to keep him from licking Jacob's face.

Thankfully, our ayi, Mrs. Jing was here that morning and she was a BIG help! She loves CoCo so she did a good job distracting him, and then when Jacob got a little fussy and hungry she took him from me and walked all around the house. She is so cute, she thinks I get tired so easily and won't let me do anything because I am pregnant.

After baby comes she is going to start working a few more hours a week and I am so excited. Right now she mostly just cleans, dishes, laundry, etc. Starting in May she is also going to cook for us 3 times a week (including the shopping for all that food), walk CoCo in the afternoons, and help out with baby. After seeing her with Jacob I know she will enjoy playing with baby everyday. Hopefully she can teach him some Chinese too!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

On to the Next One...

Apartment that is.

It's hard to believe we have already been in Beijing for a year! We have had a few problems in our apartment lately, and our landlord hasn't been too easy to deal with, so we decided to start looking around since our lease is up in March. We saw a lot of apartments and finally found one in our price range that wasn't completely trashed or tacky.

It is pretty close to our apartment now, since we love our neighborhood, and it is also in the same building as Nick's new office so he will be able to get to work quickly.  It also happens to be across the street from one of our favorite restaurants here.

We are excited about a new apartment, but I am not looking forward to packing and moving. Luckily we have a few weeks before we have to be out, so I can get started slowly and get things organized how I want them in the new place. We will see how this new apartment works out. Hopefully we like it so we can stay put next year! (This will be our 5th apartment in the 26 months we've been married...)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ice Festival at LongQing Gorge

Just after getting home from Thailand we had the chance to go on an afternoon trip to the Ice Festival at Longqing Gorge with a group from church. The weather was completely the opposite to what we got used to in Thailand, and we really had to bundle up. We took a bus out to Longqing (about 1.5 hours away). Nick had already been there once this summer, but it looks completely different now.

We had a few hours to wander around and see everything. The weather was cold, but definitely bearable when we got there. As the sun went down it got much colder, but then they turned on all the lights! They had a variety of ice and snow sculptures and ice slides (don't worry I didn't even try to convince Nick to let me go down... he got in trouble at work when showing his co-workers pictures of his pregnant wife on an elephant!).

The really cool part was the ice city they had all lit up inside a big tent. I thought the stuff outside was cool, but we walked in the door to the tent and I was impressed. It was so pretty. I imagine Harbin is much prettier, but this was a much cheaper, shorter trip and I really enjoyed it. Also, I discovered just how much I love hot almond milk in the winter. It was so nice to be able to drink something warm and I am definitely going to be looking for it at the store by our house. They heat it up right in the can and it tastes so good!

The show at the entrance

A big dragon outside

Ice dragon. There will be lots of these pictures the next few months since baby will be born in the year of the dragon.
The lights turned on at night.

Inside the tent

Ice City

A view from above.
Sorry for the blurry picture. They recreated the Great Wall along the edge of the mountain in lights. It was neat.