January 30, 2015

It was a "dog-gone" good reunion

Yesterday was a good day. If you know me at all....you know how much I love my dog, Gracie.  I didn't hesitate for one second on whether or not Gracie should go with us to Beijing. When Walt actually questioned it I asked him if he would leave Eloise, Emerson or Avanell behind...because if his answer was no, then it should be the same response for Gracie.
I know while we were packing up the house Gracie was wondering what was going on. When we moved in with my sister for several days she wasn't as nervous, but on the Saturday that we left, she knew something was up. Dogs just know....they really do. Gracie was picked up on Monday morning. She flew from Houston to Amsterdam...how many people can say their dog was in Amsterdam, and then to Beijing. She stayed in quarantine for 2 days...and then yesterday a miraculous reunion happened. The front office called to let me know that Gracie had been delivered.  She arrived at my door and when I first saw her face she was well...pissed. But, the second she realized it was me, she smiled, kissed me all over and was all kinds of happy.  I will even let you know that I broke down in tears. This apartment just wasn't the same without her. Our family was not the same without her...and now she is back where she belongs, with us.  As I am typing this, she is asleep on the chair...and in all honesty, this is the first time in a month that I have not seen her shaking all over out of fear for what is about to happen. She knows she is with us and we aren't leaving her behind.

I'm not quite sure who was happier, me or Gracie. 

The big girls started school on Thursday.  They are attending the British School of Beijing.  Once we move to Shunyi, the girls and I will walk to school everyday....but right now, man is it a beating making the commute every day.  It takes an hour to get there from our apartment...so round trip Avanell and I are in the car for 4 hours a day.  When we lived in Texas we didn't have to be at school until 9:15, so we left the house around 8:45.  Now...we have to be at school at 8:15, so leaving the house at 7:15-7:30 with 3 littles in tow is hard. All the more reason why I am ready to move into our house! Needless to say Avanell takes her naps in the car now...which kind of stinks for me because I have a little one with me in the shower, sitting with me while I dry my hair...you get the point. Avanell is doing better with her jet lag. We still aren't completely cured, but I have to keep reminding myself we have only been here since Monday.  
 We love starting our mornings Facetiming with Aunt Poco and Uncle Pat!! 
 One of her many naps in the car.  Look at those rosey cheeks....we apply aquaphor about 15 times a day because her cheeks are so chapped. 
 Hour long car rides to school are so overrated. 

The girls LOVE school.  Yesterday when I picked up Eloise she was in a rotten mood in the car, when I asked her what was wrong her response was: "I didn't want you to pick me up from school. I wanted to stay there forever." So, I have been very thankful for their transition.  I was very shocked to hear that they go outside 3 times a day.  These little Texans girls that are not used to cold weather have not complained one time about it being cold when they go play outside.  I am proud of them for that because it is frigid here! Emerson has already had show and tell and if you know her you know she showed off one of her animals.  :)  Eloise claims that she already has a boy in her class that likes her...so I am guessing that they are adjusting quite well.  
The girls with their teachers.  Of course my girls are the smartest in the class. ha! 

Last night Walt and I went to dinner with some of his coworkers and their wives.  We went to a restaurant called Duck de Chine.  Beijing is famous for the Peking Duck.  It was an experience.  To get there we had to walk through a little art gallery.  Once you were in the restaurant you could go back to where the ducks were being roasted.  I had to muster up the courage to see this.  They bring the duck out to you along with little crepes and "fixings" for your crepe, and this really good plum sauce.  As I was fixing up my crepe, I turned to one of Walt's workers who has lived in Houston and said, "Oh this is like a duck fajita!" He just laughed, but the reference was correct, because you add your own little fixings to your crepe.  Thankfully I was able to only add a small bit of duck because it was not really my favorite.  But their Kung Pao Chicken was great and their fried green beans were out of this world.  So all in all the night was a great experience.  The girls stayed in the apartment with Walt's boss' daughter...this was nice as it was waaaaaay overdue for time away.  
That was about as close as I would get to the roasted duck.  

Today we are going to try to explore the city a little and eat a some recommended restaurants, purchase some much needed items...like a straightener, hairdryer, more food, gloves for the girls...the necessities.  I did go to a thrift store the other day and picked up a highchair for a total of 10.00.   It is so interesting to me how fascinated people are with babies here.  I mean fascinated! Especially a blonde headed baby like mine. I've never gotten such quick and fast service in my life.  People just flock to me because of Avanell and everyone here is extremely nice, which makes things easier for me.  The other thing that sticks out in my head right now is their portion size.  It's so much smaller than our  portion sizes in America! I swear after every meal I am still secretly hungry! I guess this is why I came home the other day after eating lunch, and channeled my inner Texan and snacked on this: 
I mean, it is true what they say right...
You can take a girl out of Texas, but you can't take Texas out of the girl! :) 

Hopefully I will have much more to update after our first weekend in Beijing!