maandag 24 februari 2014

Last week

I spent three days subbing (substituting) at the American School last week. The school is equipped nicely but bloody far away in Science Park. That means getting on a faculty bus at 6.45......

The M1 music room
The students are nice and we got a lot of work done. I got positive feedback from the students, some parents and the regular teacher :) At one point I may go in to sub other classes as well, possibly Chinese (Mandarin). It is fun to teach at an international school. My language skills come in handy, hihi. If I were ever to work there I'd learn some Korean. I shocked the Asian students when I said "Are you kidding me?" in Cantonese, hahaha. After that they played better.


On the first day I couldn't get a cab or a bus to get to the faculty bus pick up point. Very frustrating as it was cold, dark and raining. For a second I thought I'd moved back to Holland!! 15 min before departure I finally got on the B21 bus. I made it with 4 min to spare, thanks to no traffic at all. Phew.

The second day didn't go that smoothly either as the bus passed me on the way to the main road. Ayaaaa. Luckily I knew that the B21 would be quick once it came along. Made it again. No rain, but still very cold.

On the third day I got a cab straight away. The result was that I arrived at the pick up point stupid early (6.20, bus at 6.45). Well yeah, I joined GZ's elderly for a little stretching on the riverside and took some pics of day break. 

Day break is FAST in the sub tropics. The first pic was taken at 6.27 and the last one at 6.38.

 Weekend was family time. We went to Hommy's on both days to chill out. Miraculously both Lexie and Izzie took a nap at the same time on Saturday afternoon.

Yesterday I gave Lexie a haircut. She was always saying "haartjes auw, auw". I was a bit sad about it as she had such adorable pig tails. With curls even. Getting her hair washed tough wasn't fun at all. At Daiso I got her a halo so that problem has been solved now. She played with it for a long time and then when we used it, she loved it. When I was cutting her hair she even said "xiexie mama". Wow.

Not bad, mommy!
She's started to serve me imaginary tea and cakes now. I also get offered meat as she loves to eat meat herself. Very cute :)

Hanging out for old times' sake
Izziebizzie is 7 months old today. She seems quite happy about it as she's sitting next to me in her high chair, throwing toys on the floor.

zaterdag 22 februari 2014


Yesterday mom called with some bad news: my uncle Theo Theunissen has passed away. He hadn't been feeling well lately and he died in the hospital yesterday morning. Main cause of death was not enough oxygen in his blood. He passed away quietly and without suffering so that is a great comfort to us. My thoughts are with auntie Rieki and the rest of the Tummers family.

woensdag 19 februari 2014


Last week I spent 3 days teaching clarinet in HuangPu. The weather went from 25C at Chinese New Year to 8C a few days after. The real feel went as low as 1C!! That is super cold with no central heating anywhere.

               HuangPu students

As you can see there's no real furniture or anything cozy in the classroom. Just students, me, instrument and our desire to stay warm. Did I mention it was windy too? Brrrrr. I took a few classes out to run around in the hallway and to do some jumping to warm up. The lessons went very well and they students improved a bit. 

I had to skip class on Thursday morning as I got sick at night and Lexie and Izzie took turns waking up and crying...... I rested for a bit in the morning and went in in the afternoon. 

Later that day I decided to stop breast feeding. 6,5 months is quite some time and I'm getting busier work wise. It's not fun being out with no space to pump. On top of that I'm so done with pumping after Lexie that I don't ever want to do it again. Cold turkey it was since I know I don't do well doing things gradually. Just not my way. Friday and Saturday were not my most comfortable days ever, to make a slight understatement......... Now on Wednesday it is going better. 

Students are coming to my house again after being on their holidays. Nice to have some old enough to have a coffee with ;)
My student was happy with her class as she later posted on WeChat: "Isabelle didn't cry during my lesson today. That must mean I'm getting better."

                  During breakfast

I must admit that breastfeeding was a whole lot easier than giving Izzie rice porridge and bottles. Ayaaaa. Gotta pay a price for freedom I guess ;)
She seems to know that her Chinese sign is snake. She wobbles her head looking at the spoon and than strikes forward like a cobra. Unfortunately her coordination is a bit off so that particular spoonful of food ended up in her eye..... I seem to get her nose a lot...... We'll keep working on it!

                    After breakfast

vrijdag 7 februari 2014

Holiday week

It is the 8th day of the Chinese New Year today. Haiwen is on his way to HongKong for business, Lexie is keeping the grandparents busy and I'm home with Izzie. Yay!!! Finally some "alone" time. Much needed after a week a full on family time. We did have a great time, but as you all know, too much of a good thing...... ;)

On Tuesday we went to HuaDu (about an hours drive) to spend a night at the Sheraton there.
Haiwen, Izzie and me left first to go take care of my friend Katja's cats. We had some trouble finding her place but once the guard pointed us in the right direction it was OK. Both cats were happy so that's good. I changed the litter, water and food.

The plan was to meet up at a garden close to the hotel but they wouldn't let anybody in as it was at full capacity already. Gotta love Chinese New Year. We arrived too early and the rooms weren't ready yet.

View in the resort
No problem: early lunch it was! We went back outside and had lunch at a farmer's style restaurant. It was pretty good. Lexie took turns at taking everybody out to go look at the fish.

Water fun time!

After we got our rooms we chilled out for a bit. To keep Lexie entertained we went to a cake decoration class. Haiwen decorated a small cake and we ate it. Then it was onto gym and sauna for most of us. 

Hi :)

Haiwen and I took a yoga class but the teacher was very bad. I decided to stop and head to the sauna instead. That was a good call. In the evening we went to this restaurant:


The food was so yummy that we had lunch there the next day as well. It is in the middle of nowhere but all tables were taken! Unfortunately Qiang (my sister in law) got a fever overnight. We decided to head back to Guangzhou a bit earlier.

Grandpa and Izzie

On Wednesday evening we took the girls to Haiwen's former classmate's baby's 100th day celebration.
It was fun and Lexie adopted a "big sis" to play with her. They both had a lot of fun. Izzie was very popular amongst all the present "aunties".

Daddy, Izzie and blue sky
On Thursday we went to pay New Year's respect to people that helped grandma when she was very young. They live in Shunde. Qiang still had a fever so she couldn't drive there. Beep, beep!! Joke on the road!! I followed Haiwen which was more than a little bit frustrating since they guy won't indicate to save his life, grrrr. I had two very dangerous maneuvers because of his last minute reaction driving style. Well, luckily this is China so it is kinda expected that you don't really know where you're going anyway. Western Joke was pissed off though ;)
Together with XiYangYang
We had a nice lunch together but I didn't have much time to eat as Izzie is teething. Poor girl. She looked at me with such a sad face. I gave her Dentinox and some homeopathic stuff as well. That seemed to help a bit. At night I gave her baby paracetamol so she (and I) could get some sleep. We didn't have much of that for a few nights in a row. Last night she woke up once and she's napping again now. I can see the teeth so hopefully they'll be all the way out soon.

No more teeth less grins..... It does go so fast.......

Guangzhou, Guangzhou

zondag 2 februari 2014

DimSum with the girls :)

Here are some pics from our DimSum brunch today :)
We met up with Beth and Thomas (aka 'uncle Tom') and he took some great pictures!

zaterdag 1 februari 2014

Thailand 2

Aaaaaaaand, we're back in Guangzhou! We had a great time in Thailand and we'll be heading off with the four of us again, hopefully sometime soon :)
Tropical flower girl taking in the view
We had lunch here, Skyping with grandparents Tummers from the restaurant overlooking the pool and the sea. As you can see we were suffering greatly ;) Hehehe, we went back for dinner as well as they have a wide couch for Izzie to chill out on (we didn't take the stroller along for dinner).

Miss Izz chilling out
Dinner at this restaurant was inspired by the lovely lunch there and the fact that we had two unhappy girls the night before ;) It went much better but Izzie got too tired so I took her back to the room first, super convenient. Haiwen came back with Lexie a little while later. Unfortunately Thai cuisine is not that good at seafood BBQ. We tried it twice and it does not come close to the Cantonese level of preparing seafood. Massaman curry on the other hand is simply heavenly. We decided to stick to the curries afterwards, hihi.

At Samui airport
Samui airport is super cute. Open air and flowers everywhere. When we got there we got dropped off at the right conveyor belt. There was only one so no chaos and running around to go find your bags. Very chilled out and laid back.

Samui airport uses carts to get you to the plane :)
The trip back went very smoothly. We had a 15 minute delay on the way to Bangkok but we had plenty of time to catch our next flight.

Two kids KO as we are approaching Bangkok
Izzie woke up just before landing but Lexie stayed KO as daddy carried her off the plane. Luckily the stroller was waiting for us right at the gate. Lexie really needed some sleep as she slept through security check and passport control. They are very nice in Thailand: we got to go through the special lane (the one for monks and government  officials) and Lexie didn't have to get out of the stroller so it could be x-rayed. They simply drove her around the metal detector. No way that would happen in Guangzhou; I've had to take a sleeping Izzie out of the cotton (!!) carrier so the carrier could be x-rayed, sigh..... None of that nonsense in Bangkok!

Ipadding away.....
Check-in was a bit eery as we encountered no other passengers. It took them a long time to figure out that Lexie and Izzie don't need a visa since they have a special China pass. Well, about 15 minutes later we got our boarding passes. There were about 20 people on the flight. Perfect :) We had a whole row to ourselves. I strongly recommend traveling to Guangzhou on Chinese New Year's Eve.

Bye  bye holiday!
Auntie Qiang came to pick us up and the grandparents were waiting for us at the gate of the compound. They took Lexie and Izzie back first as Haiwen and I went on to offload our baggage. The day before we went back we got a message from grandma: "Let Lexie sleep at our place tomorrow so you guys can have a good rest." Hehehe, yes grandma, we need "rest" :P 

We had a nice dinner together at their place and then it was time for bed.

I did manage to go to the spa once again, this time for a facial. So nice! I still feel relaxed now :) I bought some shampoo and body lotion so we get to smell like holiday at home too.

Cool Strepsils
This holiday "new style" was different from our "old" holidays, of course. We used to be much more active but this time we mostly chilled out and played with the kids. We got in lots of cuddles and kisses :) Also the way "vacation" works is different now. At times either Haiwen and I would take both kids so the other could completely relax for a bit. Haiwen went for a few swims and I went to the Spa or the hammock outside our room. Lexie joined me in the hammock a few times as well, mostly to sing some songs :)