Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Home alone...

Well, not quite - the kids are asleep - so it just feels that way. Shafi has been working pretty long hours, so once I get the kids in bed, I more or less have the place to myself. Anna May leaves as soon as she's done cleaning up from dinner, so she's gone by the time I'm done with Leah. Then I can sit in peace and quiet and check email, pay bills, upload pictures, blog, etc. In some ways I am enjoying actually having the time to myself...and in some ways it's lonely night after night. And now for the next few days I'll have even more of it. Shafi is off on his first business trip since we got here. He's going to be in Delhi for 2 nights and Mumbai for 1. Sounds like he won't really have time to see the sights, as he'll be working a lot, but I'm sure he'll at least get some good curry.

The kids and I are keeping very busy though. Sunday the whole family went to the Pumpkin Festival at the Hong Kong International School (HKIS - which is the American curriculum school here on HK Island). We had a good time - saw some people we'd met before and met some new people. There were games and such for Leah and it was nice to see that there's a real community surrounding the school - which we could be part of in a couple years - potentially.

Yesterday morning Leah had a playdate with Caden and Vera, which I took Will to baby group. Caden and Vera both have younger siblings in the group - so it worked out well for everyone. Then Leah had swim class in the afternoon. She has made huge strides in just a week. She wasn't clinging to me for dear life like she had been last week. She was able to really let herself enjoy the class this time. She can now do the "monkey walk" - hands on the edge of the wall and feet against it and walk along it - very quickly - keeping up with the rest of the class. And when we did the passing back and forth from me to the teacher, she was willing to go under the water some of the time - and she figured out how to close her mouth and hold her breath so she didn't come up spluttering when she did. She was incredibly proud of herself afterwards and has been telling everyone that she "goed under the water." We've only got 1 more swimming class before we move, but I definitely need to see about putting her in another one soon. The timing on this one isn't so great once she is in school, so I'll need to see if there's another option with an indoor pool nearby. And maybe I'll be able to find one for Will too.

In other exciting news, Leah has been continuing to work on potty training. Yesterday she pooped on the potty - this was her 10th one - so she finally got up to 10 stars on the chart and earned herself a prize. We went to Ocean Park this morning, so I let her pick her prize there. She chose a mechanical stuffed animal seal that scoots and turns and barks and flaps - it's very cute.

We had a nice time at Ocean Park. We took the bus there - took only 10 minutes and cost less than US$1. We got there right around opening - 10 a.m. - and stayed until just after 1 p.m. - 3 hours is just about the right amount of time - and that included lunch. It would have been fine to leave at noon and come home for lunch too - might do that next time. Today we took the cable car over to the other side of the park. We rode a couple of rides and saw the acquarium. The aquarium was very cool - as were the nearby seals and sea lions. The highlight might have been the "raging river" - what I would call the log flume. We got a little splashed - not too bad - but Leah thought that was very cool. The ride was nice and she giggled - until we got to the big drop at the end. The picture they snapped when we were about to go over the edge showed some sort of amused terror on Leah's face. And when we came to a stop at the end I could not tell if she was laughing or crying. I asked her and she said, "both." As we were walking away I asked if she wanted to do it again and she said, "Maybe next time, I think." So cute.

Will has really taken to Anna May now. She can easily feed him and put him to bed and play with him - the whole package. I feel very confident leaving him with her for several hours like I did this morning. And when we got home he was sitting playing with a toy and smiling happily. He also took 2 2-hour naps today - so it seems that she's doing something right!

Will is continuing to prove to be a great eater. Last night he ate about 90% of a jar of stage 1 pears. And tonight he finished that one and ate at least 3/4 of another. And they seem to have done him good, as last night he had an enormous poop after a full week of not pooping. I'm hoping a couple more days of pears will be good for him! If so, I may mix in some rice cereal next.

He is also getting really good at holding on to toys - and playing with them - or at least chewing on them. It's definitely amazing to see how much he has changed in the 3 weeks we have been in Hong Kong.

Leah and Caden have become fast friends:
A special treat - Leah got her nails painted at the HKIS Pumpkin Festival:
An open-topped bounce house provided lots of fun - and good photos:
Mmm - tasty clown toy - and you can see Will multi-tasking - chewing on a toy while watching Leah play:
Will enjoyed his 2nd solid meal:
Watching the real Nemo at Ocean Park:

Aww - a hug from a friendly shark at Ocean Park:

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