We were just sitting around in our empty living room and hanging out at night. Maddy grabbed my hand and wanted to walk. At first I thought she just wanted to walk around for no particular reason, but she took me straight to daddy’s den and pointed to her stroller and babbled something. I put her in the seat thinking maybe she just wanted to play in it, but she moved her body back and forth and started to fuss loudly.
All the sudden it dawned on me that maybe she wanted to go out for a ride. Despite that I was already tired and Brownie was walked, we made it out around the park again. She sat up straight with her little chubby legs dangling the whole time we were out. Then right before we came back home, she look up and gave me a smile as if telling me that she is very pleased that I understood her and happy that she got the walk.
I was pleased too. It is almost like we had a two-way conversation and our relationship deepened today.
Joe and I finally got our butts together last night and ‘really’ started packing in preparation of the Chinese movers to come in this afternoon. At first I thought they wouldn’t show because they called to see if we would change the time, but pleasantly they got here 15 min ahead of the scheduled 4:00pm (so un-like the typical Chinese culture)
I would have to say, they totally restored the ‘image’ I have for Chinese professionals. They were fast, efficient, and friendly; the skinny Mr. Chang almost gave me a heart attack when he lifted up the 300-400 pound sofa all by himself with a tiny trolly. That same sofa almost killed Joe and our friend John (who is 6 feet tall) when they moved it TOGETHER. They even declined politely on the breaks we thought they should take.
Not only they finished everything in 2 hours instead of our estimated three, they packed it so well that the money we will get refunded by the terminal paid the expense to them and some. After all the ‘hard work’ (watching them from afar since we were in their way most of the time), we went and had shaved ice on their behalf.
So we don’t have much left in the condo… only our bedroom set which will go to donation due to the years they have served Joe and how the mattress is no longer flat. Well, we still have misc junk that needed to be cleaned out and sorted between donation or trash pile. I guess we’ll do that the next three days.
All of Maddy’s furniture is gone. She got to sleep in the portable playpen today. I was worried that she would fuss, but it seems like she is taken it well. Just as usual, I put her in with her blanket and doggie Pinky.. turned off the light and closed the door. She didn’t make a sound. I will be very proud of her if she sleeps through the night.
Update: Maddy woke up at 4:45am screaming. I think she got scared at the un-familiar playpen. When I went to kiss her and re-assure her, she grabbed my neck and woudn’t let go. Poor baby. We made the exception of brining her to our bed. Needless to say, no one got good sleep after that. Well, at least she wasn’t terrified.
She is a good sport though. Excited as usual when I dropped her off at the daycare and waved me bye-bye before I was ready to go. Well, hopefully she doesn’t have too bad of a time transitioning to her new school. I don’t worry about it too much. Kids are so much more flexible and they embrace changes much more gracefully than us grown-ups.
Maddy is acting more and more like a toddler these days.
From not even wanting to crawl until beginning of June, to all the sudden almost walking; From us alwasy guessing and assuming what she wants, to all the sudden pointing, walking towards, and objects loudly when not getting her way; From not knowing how to fall asleep herself, to pointing to her crib and blanket when she is tired; From eating whatever given, to share her food with us and Brwonie (which is a little gross but I open one eye and close one eye..part of growing up with a dog)she is definitely growing into a young toddler these days.
I love her little hugs. When she squeezes tightly around my neck, it makes me forget everything else and feels like I’m the most important person in the world.
I guess when she turns one, we’ll call her a toddler officially.
With daycare giving Maddy a farewell party and countless goodbye lunches/dinners for us, it finally hit me that we’re leaving CA in one week.
It’s funny how everyone asks us the housing price in RTP. The houses there actually look like they’re worth what they’re priced at. With the same price of our condo (located in a rather crappy school district), we can get a single-family house at least three times bigger in the best school district in the heart of Research Triangle Park.
However, I will be the first to admit: Life experience in California is PRICELESS!
We all gripe about the housing price here, but most people stay. We too, were MORE THAN WILLING to pay the premium to stay here for the past four and a half years. There are so many things Bay Area offers where no other place measures up. And life, is not all about housing prices (for those of you who are a bit jealous about us getting a big house in NC). For one thing, I will never go back to TX where housing is dirt cheap on my own will.
And for the first time (after me moving to a different state every couple of years with only excitement), I feel sad and ’sentimental’ about CA. Here are the things I’m going to miss:
1) The all year round beautiful weather… blue sky no other place has seen
2) Our countless hiking trips.. after four years, we probably only checked out 1% of the total hiking trails here
3) Our day trips to San Francisco when we feel like having a ‘City’ life
4) Our weekend ski trips to Lake Tahoe…. Ski in T-shirt and short; come back to the nice weather again in three hours
5) Our day trips to the beaches when we feel having a ‘ocean’ day
6) My first marathon and couple half marathons. It is a runner’s haven here, period.
7) Great authentic Chinese restaurants and Ranch99 walking distances away from both home and work.
8 ) Our first church here at Abundent Life.. Our first experience in a non-Asian mega church
9) Our second church here at CCIC.. where we met wonderful folks and befriended many of them
10) The awesome high-tech environment here. Well, for most folks outside of the bay area, Yahoo, Ebay, Google, Cisco, etc… all are just some company names on the web. For us, they are the companies down the street; they are folks we know. To be in an area where our work is the frontier of the technology evolution is utterly amazing.. So we talked about it in fellowship that high-tech work really doesn’t have much ’social redeeming values’. I agree, but hey, someone has to do it, and I happen to love it.
..Sigh..I don’t think I would ever leave Califonia if we didn’t had kids. Maddy changes many things and I am in a different season in life now. With her, we would like to
1) Be closer to families so she will have more chance to see her grandparents.
2) have a nice big house with a nice backyard in one of the best school district and mommy can still work simply because she loves to and not because she has to.. and daddy can still work ‘not-so-hard’ simply because mommy also works so he doesn’t have to worry even if he loses his job. And it would be really nice for Maddy to have her own playroom instead of having to share that with mommy and daddy’s living room. Well, ok.. so it’s debatable on whether it’s nicer for Maddy or ‘mommy’.. but really, seeing little toys everywhere in the living room makes me not want to be at home. Daddy has his own den so mommy doesn’t have to see or clean up his stuff. Maddy needs to have her own playroom so mommy can have her sanity back. But I have everyone know, I’ve come a long way… from not able to stand ANYTHING on my kitchen counter or any clutter anywhere, I’m proud to say that now I see two people (and a dog) I love, and not the mess they leave behind for me. Well, most of the times.
We are going to miss California a lot, but I’m ready and also excited to move back. One thing for sure: We will come back and visit. Maybe I’ll convince Maddy to come to Stanford for college. I hope she gets to move around and experiences different places when she grows up! It has been a great journey for me from TN->NY->NC->China->TX->CA, I think I will settle down a bit unless I get too bored or itchy to move again
We turn off the TV whenever Maddy gets too close to it. When she crawls away to a ’safe’ distance, we would turn on the TV again. She’s been ‘hitting’ the TV and trying to fix the problem herself.
Well, Maddy found the power button today. This baby is so ‘focused’ that she doesn’t even touch other buttons but goes straight to the power. There is a victory grin on her face.
I guess we won’t be watching any program in peace when she’s awake from now on.
At the daycare during lunch time, Maddy was able to walk with me holding her left hand only.
She laughed.. obviously pleased with her new found skill. We walked up and down the little slides in her homebase, back and forth and back and forth and back and forth… until my back started to hurt.
We closed escrow and sold our first starter home today! And this time, we only did our “Chen Dance” after we saw money wired into the bank One more thing down, and 15 more days to go (hmm.. I should start packing soon)
Our substitute agent (official agent is on vacation in China) went behind our back and negociated with the first buyer on how much deposit we wanted. She probably thinks that she’s doing the ‘right’ thing and tries to get extra money for us without hassling us.. I wasn’t sure if I should be mad at her or not, since whatever she did was totally out of our interests. Anyway, typical ‘Chinese’ thing to do, I think. It reminded me of the one time (first and last) I walked into a Chinese salon, came out with a cut that I speicifically told the hair stylist not to do. I can’t say I’m pleased with all the Chinese professionals I’ve encountered. Oh well.
Anyway, we have many good memories/history here, but it’s time to move on… So bye bye our condo.. hope you make a good home for the next home owners.
Since Maddy is getting heavy and sometimes she doesn’t like to sit in her stroller, we decided to buy her a pair of ‘real’ walking shoes this past weekend.
This girl is so picky. When we put a pair of black shoes on her (just trying out the size), she screamed in protest. She had to pick the yellow pair (same style) herself. I guess she doesn’t like black shoes.
We’re practically out everyday now, and Maddy really enjoys walking around holding onto our hands. Sometimes Brownie is annoyed at Maddy’s slowness (among other things.. well.. I think Brownie is annoyed at Maddy in general for good reasons, but they are dealing with each other like real siblings), but she is adjusting to the new family ‘pace’.
I definitely want our next place to be close to a park or hiking trail. I can invision me walking Brownie and have Maddy on her tricycle on the side. It’ll be fun.
Maddy figured out how to use the straw during dinner time last night.
Maddy learned to kiss me this past weekend. Well, her kisses are not exactly the most elegant or girly ones, they are more like spreading her saliva all over your face accompanied with funny laughs and noises. Nevertheless, I’m pleased to receive them.
Daddy is jealous because he hasn’t been able to get her to kiss him. He only got a bite from her. I told papa Joe that Maddy’s kisses are earned and not freely given
I’m working from home today. Unfortunately, Maddy got the hand-foot-mouth disease. A couple more blisters showed up on her feet and hands and Dr. Rossins checked her throat and found some there too.
I had to call the daycare and emailed people at church to apologize for Maddy even though I didn’t know the girl from the wedding had it and I didn’t know Maddy has it until this morning. It’s so embarrassing as a parent. I can see the label of “The inconsiderate and irresponsible mom who spreads germs” coming my way.
Papa Joe also got it. He insisted on showing me the red dots on his hands and foot, and he is being such a drama king about it.. it’s not even funny! I guess it doesn’t help when mommy just totally brushes him off. He reminded mommy that he is not high-maintenance, but he does need a little sympathy sometimes.
So there are two whining people and an embarrassed mom (well, and a dog) stuck in our condo this weekend. I suppose we can start doing some packing.
Maddy ‘might’ have caught the hand-foot-mouth disease from one of the kids during our Vegas trip.
She has one white blister looking thing on the bottom of her foot, and she hasn’t been sleeping well these past two nights (which could also be from teething).
Thankfully, she didn’t have any fever, but we will see.
Mommy IMed auntie Karen and half complainied to her about her disease spreading family, and freaked out because she found out that three other kids and one adult had fever after the wedding.
Daddy said he thinks he has it too. He didn’t feel too well two days ago (he thought he had head stroke), but he found two red dots on his hands tonight.
We didn’t go to church tonight… better to be careful and not spread our germs around although we are not 100% sure… well, just in case.. better safe than sorry.
We might have to miss out on our weekend activities if we find more blisters on Maddy tomorrow.
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