vrijdag 31 mei 2013


Last Sunday I finally had some time to get my nails done. I found this scene in front of the shop!! The water kept going for at least an hour, oops! Apparently it is OK to have some polish on your feet these days because I wasn't buried by negative comments on how bad that would be for the baby. What was bad however was the fan to make the polish dry faster. I also wasn't allowed to put my feet on the ground. The reason? 'Cold' feet are bad for the baby. Uhm, yes. It is about 32 C outside so I think I'll be OK. I was enjoying the coolness of the marble floor!!

May 27th, 32,5 weeks
On Tuesday I went to teach in HuangPu for the last time in a while. The journey over there is too tiring now. Haiwen brings me to a metro stop about 20 minutes away and then I take the metro for half an hour more. A short walk takes me to the school. The first thing I did there was turning the AC full on! I was happy and so were the students. Poor things. They came in all red faced and sweaty. The classes were OK but the group 16 year olds can be a bit annoying. Since it was so hot the head teacher told me to keep the lessons a bit short. So all through the class they were being teenagers (a few sweet ones aside) but when I said the class was over they were all like 'oh noooo, we can't stop yet'. Pfffff. Happy I'm not a confused teenager anymore!

Citic Plaza with clouds
So now for the main news in this blog! The name of little one no.2........


We've had many brainstorm sessions to come up with a nice name after Lexie and that works in 4 languages (Dutch, English, Cantonese and Mandarin). We had a few other ones but they were dismissed quickly.

New preggy dress!
The inlaws have some trouble pronouncing it but Lexie wasn't easy for them at first either.
We came up with a Chinese name as well:

Feng XiaoLan

The 'Xiao' is the same one as in Lexie's Chinese name (冯晓茜). It is tradition that siblings share the first character of their name. 'Lan' comes from 'Helan' which means Holland. We tried to find a nice character with the compound of west (西) in it but there are no nice ones left. So 'Lan' represents the western part of Isabelle. 'Lan' also means Orchid so that's pretty too!

Miss Lexie Feng
Lexie is doing great. Some minor tantrums but luckily they are rare. It is amazing how big she is already! Only when she's sleeping does she look like the baby she was just a moment ago.

Playing at 'didi's' house
Her best friend is 'didi' (younger brother). He lives in the next building from grandma's and he's about 13 months old now. Grandma and didi's grandma are friends. Lexie laughs her head off when I'm 'talking' with didi because he only makes little screams. I don't always join the play dates because Lexie is busy with didi and grandma is busy with her friend. I feel kinda weird hanging around then.

@ school
What is the opposite of hibernation? By opposite I mean change winter into summer.....That is what I feel like doing. Sleeeeeeeeeeep!!! Just now I slept until 10.20 and I would have slept more if Haiwen hadn't called. His call was very welcome though because he had great news: our house in HK will be done on time!! Hurrah :) :)

Lunch with the inlaws
Yesterday morning grandma called me to ask if I'd like to join them for lunch. Why not? Better get out of the house at times. We went to a Japanese restaurant in the neighborhood. They are into online deals now so they bought a 'salmon package deal'. I had some other stuff. Back to sashimi in about 2 months, yihaa!

Having fun in preparation for Children's day on June 1st
It is Children's day tomorrow and the kindergarten prepared a fun week for the kids. On Wednesday they had a puppet show and yesterday they practiced for a performance. Lexie is a bit too young for that but she had a blast anyway.

Rock attitude!!
Today they are serving a buffet for lunch. Lexie seems to have my good taste :P
She refused to drink soy milk (yuck!) and also won't eat different kinds of gourds (double yuck!!).
Smart girl! :)

vrijdag 24 mei 2013

No HongKong this week!

It's Friday morning and I'm celebrating NOT being on a train to HK right now. Last check up was 2 weeks ago and the doc wanted to set up a new check up for today. I already knew that I didn't want to go since everything is fine. It is a lot more taxing on me to drag my preggo a*s over there these days....

32 weeks
I can do it of course but it is a waste of energy to travel for 5 hours total, wait for ? hours just to have my belly touched for 2 minutes and get told that everything is fine (since I already know that!)
The rhesus factor issue (I'm - Lexie is +) is under control as well so I'll be going in in another two weeks time. I have a whole day of hospital fun planned then: Rhogum shot (to make sure I don't make anti bodies), check up and another check up. It's hard to say how long I'll have to wait between all those fun activities so I'm taking a late train back to GZ that day.

On Wednesday I went out with Dima and Moni. Dima (Sitkovetsky) is the conductor this week and Moni started working at the orchestra when I left. We took a black cab to a nice Japanese restaurant and had a lot of fun. For Moni and me it was the first time in a black cab since it is not smart to take one by yourself. With the 3 of us it was no problem at all. After dinner we couldn't get a cab either; we were very close to a sports stadium and the match had just ended, oops. We got on the metro and that was fine. Back at the hotel there was a queue for the cabs but Moni went to talk to a hotel guy about getting me a cab quickly. I was ushered inside to wait sitting down and in the AC. Haha, I'd better enjoy these 2 last months! Hotel guy came by after a little while and walked me to the cab, as the other people in line were still waiting. Aaaah, the power of the belly :) It was quite late by then so I was happy to be on my way home.

When I got home I got struck by a typical 3rd trimester mafan: insomnia!!! The second my exhausted head hot the pillow I was mega awake. 'Let's go camping and hiking' awake. Grrrrrr...... I played some games on my phone and waited for drowsiness to set in. Around 2 AM I finally fell asleep, only to be bright awake again at 5.30...... Lexie and Haiwen were sleeping away happily.

I lasted the whole day (couldn't get in a nap either) but around 19.30 I started to fade. I went to bed on time and slept allllll the way to 6.30. Not bad. I'm still a bit sleepy now so I think I'll head back for a bit ;) Just catching zzzzz's when I can!!

I'm looking forward to the concert tonight. Dima's good friend Mischa Maisky is the soloist. I haven't heard him play live yet but I'm expecting it to be very good :)

zaterdag 18 mei 2013

AC cleaning day

I finally convinced Haiwen that our AC's needed some cleaning. Since I'm no expert in that field and don't have any equipment he set out to find 'a guy'. Turned out that 'the guy' has been here before together with grandpa on non-cleaning AC business.

We had four units done because HW wasn't sure that the cleaning would do any good *le sigh*.
Well to convince him I took some pictures of the gore that came out and he was quickly convinced.
Yuck, so gross!! I'll spare you guys the details. He cleaned both the inside and outside parts of the AC's.

Playing at grandma's

We scheduled the AC cleaning on the same afternoon as ayi works. That turned out to be a very good plan, given the state our white marble floors where in after mixing outside grime and water on them....
Foot prints, slipper prints and less definable spots where all over the house in no time. Ayi attacked them all with gusto and they disappeared quickly.

Strike a pose

My computer has a trackpad problem so now I'm trying to work it with an old mouse. It is not going well as it keeps jumping through the screen. Very annoying! Just now it tried to close this screen....

dinsdag 14 mei 2013

Mother's day dinner

All together :)




Nice weekend

Not sure if this 'pimp my ride' worked out for the better ;)
Lexie was supposed to sleep here on Friday night but she refused to leave after her bath and was climbing in bed already. Grandma called me if it was OK for her to stay. I didn't mind after a HongKong check up day. I did see her at dinner and we had some nice cuddles so all was good.
Grandpa giving Lexie a drink in between intensive playing on court
On Saturday morning daddy was playing tennis and we joined in on the fun. The tennis court is on the 2nd floor so I need help to carry Lexie up. Of course grandpa was more than happy to do that. HW carried up the stroller because I needed that to take her home. There were no people on the other court so Lexie had a lot of space to run and chase balls. Grandpa taught her to 'throw' balls over the net and she bounced some balls off the tennis racket with my help. Grandpa left and we played some more.

Iced tea!!! (Don't tell grandma)
When we were done playing daddy and his tennis friend carried Lexie and the stroller down. Lexie can walk for quite a long time but she also wants to be picked up and carried from time to time. Problem is that my lower back is on the edge of what is humanly possible already with no.2 inside me. So, stroller it was! We played at home and waited for daddy to come back. Later we all went out for lunch where Lexie ate most of daddies rice with egg and shrimps.

She climbed up by herself and started playing!
Lexie has discovered that crying is a way to get her way (so to say). The only problem is that it doesn't work on me but it sends the grandparents into a 'calm Lexie down' frenzy. I just hold her and tell her I'm not impressed and that it is not working. Yup, horrible mommy ;)

Some light reading at Hommy's
Good news is that Lexie's sleep schedule is pretty solid now. Weekend naps are also back on. Nice, so we can take her out late afternoon/early evening and actually have fun together. After her nap on Saturday we went to Hommy's for a bit.

On Sunday she had her nap at grandma's because Haiwen took me out for delicious dim sum at the Hilton. Afterwards we stopped by at Hommy's again. Dim sum is great but there's no ice cream for dessert.... One floor down from Hommy's there's yummy ice cream from New Zealand :) We did have coffee first and got the ice cream on the way out. As we were leaving Qiang's friend stopped us to wait for my flowers :)

A rare pic.....
It was supposed to be a surprise for family dinner later in the evening but this way was easier.
Maybe better for the flowers as well as it is quite hot out these days.

Yay, flowers!!! (From Qiang's friend.... HW still needs to learn)
Dinner was nice as we checked out a new restaurant called SaLaLa. We sat outside which was only possible due to a gentle breeze. Lexie had fun running around with her aunties and grandpa.
Qiang took some nice pics that I will post in the next blog.

donderdag 9 mei 2013


Well. that was not a great week!! I spent it coughing and feeling bad. That's about all for me, very interesting, I know ;)

Almost 2 weeks ago
It's not been easy to get some sleep (coughing/peeing/coughing/peeing.....) so I had no energy whatsoever. All resources are going to little one no.2 (as they should) so mommy was not much more than a not so well functioning incubator. Or very well functioning, depending how you look at it.

Early morning
Luckily Lexie got over her cold much faster, after producing very impressive amounts of snot, hahaha.
She's still doing great in school and is very happy with her life as it is now.

I played a concert with a youth orchestra in XingHai last week so at least I've played there every year since we moved here ;) The guards are still major assholes but I did manage to get inside to join the rehearsal and concert. It was fun but too tiring and I hurt my back. We needed to change seats a lot due to different ensemble sizes. In the rehearsal I had a little pillow for my back but decided not to take it on stage during the concert. That turned out to be a stupid mistake. I was fine for a long time but due to speeches and unexpected repeats the concert lasted too long for me. Ouch!!!!

I decided not to take the pillow because every seat change involved taking my clarinet (obviously), cleaning cloth, cigaret paper and reed cap. I felt it would be too much to add a pillow to that. There were also 4 different conductors so we were standing up a lot when they changed as well. Yup, pillow falling on the floor......  In hindsight I should have just done it but yeah, too late!

'Don't park your bikes here'
On Sunday Haiwen and I had a nice lunch in RokuRoku. I get hungry these days but most food doesn't appeal to me. I do have a thing for Beef Fumiyaki (the restaurant made that name up). It's thinly sliced beef with onions and it is super yummy. Finally I felt a bit satisfied food wise. Lexie and grandma were hanging out at Hommy's (they don't appreciate the yumminess of RokuRoku) so we picked them up after lunch and went home.
19.20 after skipping her afternoon nap
The rest of the week was basically a haze of bed, couch, snot, coughing, TV series and dizziness.
Hope to report better news next time!!