Thursday, February 20, 2014

One Week In

We arrived in Yinchuan just over a week ago and I'd say we are fairing pretty well. The trip went smoothly.  Adalyn cried inconsolably for half the trip to the airport, but then she hardly cried the rest of the trip.  She is still small enough to be content sleeping, nursing, and checking out all the new sights.  Juliana slept the first part of the flight and then enjoyed watching cartoons most of the rest of the time.  She had a few meltdowns by the end of the trip, but overall she did well.  When we arrived in Beijing, we suffered a little anxiety when none of our bags appeared.  Fortunately after some investigation they tracked them down wandering around the airport somewhere, and we were once again reunited.

The day after we arrived, we were able to get the same movers from last time to transfer our things to our new apartment.  Unpacking is fortunately much easier and faster than packing, even though I wished we had half as much stuff.  One week in, everything is pretty well unpacked although it's still a bit messy.  Juliana's room is in the best shape - she even has pictures on the wall.  The living room is looking good and the kitchen is relatively organized - I have even started cooking on my fancy two burner stove!

This has probably been our easiest yet experience with jetlag, at least post-children.  After sleeping at the beginning of the flight, Juliana stayed awake the entire day of travel and finally collapsed close to her normal bedtime.  She just had a couple of days of waking up at4:30am.  Adalyn had a couple of nights in bed with us semi-constantly nursing and then she has gone back to her good sleeping - more 7hr stretches!  Strangely, both kids have had the most problems with naps!  Juliana hasn't wanted to nap at all, and Adalyn has been attempting some 5-10 minute naps.  It seems rather unusual for jetlag.

Both of the kids started coughing and sniffling as soon as we started traveling, and by the time we arrived it was apparent they both had colds.  Somehow Kevin and I managed to avoid them, and the girls are now both doing better.  Kevin has started in on a sore throat, though, either from cold or allergies.

We are enjoying our new apartment.  It is spacious and has lots of good light.  The previous occupant (whom we knew) left things super clean, so our move in was much different from last time - no grime, no random knickknacks and Chinese boy-band posters, and NO MOLD!  The kitchen is much nicer than in our last apartment with real counters and cabinets, plus a little pantry!  I also appreciate the large laundry porch with laundry poles that lower and raise. They have been getting lots of use since everything we packed smelled pretty dusty and musty and the tiny washer has been working overtime.

The campus we live on is at the very edge of town, but there are still plenty of restaurants outside the gate.  Just outside our apartment is a little playground (there are hardly any in China outside of kindergartens, so this is particularly special!) right next to a vegetable shop.  It's super handy to have vegetables, eggs, tofu, and even frozen chicken pieces just a few minutes away.  We also learned that the new milk delivery man delivers fresh milk twice a week right to our building!

And even better than a playground - Juliana's good friends (3 and 5 yr old boys) now live just across the hallway!  She is thrilled, and I see lots of coming and goings in the future!  I realized that all her friends in America were girls, and there was certainly a lot of princess play this fall.  Juliana is still enamored with princesses, but I'm not sad to add trucks, trains, and dinosaurs to the mix.

Next week Kevin (and possibly me, we're still not sure) will start teaching Business English and Pronunciation.  We are happy to be settled back into our own apartment and excited to get back into a regular routine.  As I write that, I think, "Who gets excited about routine?"  but it's true - after seven months away, I am happy to be settled in our China home again.