This year we attended the “Grand Autumn Sports Meeting” (which is quite a mouthful, so i’ll just call it “sports day” from here on) at a nearby College Campus, on a Saturday morning, with the rest of our school. Elijah and I were going to join for the full day, but the pollution levels were shockingly high when we woke up that morning, so we made the decision to keep little man inside (with the air purifier cranked up high) until after lunch, when the air looked a little less death-like. Oh my word – this is one of the worst parts about our life in China. The air is horribly polluted, and only after becoming parents do we care more then we ever did. Chinese schools only keep the students inside when the levels reach 500, so despite the cloud of smog hanging over our city on Saturday, Sports Day went on just as planned. NEVER again will I take blue skies and clean air for granted.
Here are some picture of the festivities that took place during the morning…
Once all of the opening ceremony shows were over, the sports events began. The whole school was present – as well as most of the students from our sister school (which has no international department) – so there were a lot of people on the stands, and a lot going on.
These are our new friends, Kevin and Charity – Justin’s newest co-workers at Grand. We recently did a hike up FuShan with them, and this weekend we will pumpkin carve with them too. So I’m sure you’ll be seeing at lot more of these friendly faces. They are a really wonderful couple – we feel like they are just like us (you know – mushy, super in love, can’t get enough of each other), which makes us really happy.
Around lunch-time, all of the primary school students went home. The high school students stayed to compete in more events. It was around then that Elijah and I arrived at the sports field. Justin was over the moon, of course. To be honest, the entire school was over the moon. They had all been dying to see Eli. He is so popular!
Within seconds the students were rushing over to take pictures of Elijah. Some of the students from our sister school had probably never seen a Caucasian baby since I’m pretty sure I saw a girl faint. hahaha… she looked at Eli, her eyes went big, she grabbed her friends arm, then she stumbled over backwards, and lay flat on the floor. Oh dear! Probably his eyes… I bet big blue eyes must look shocking if you’ve never seen anything like that before.
Elijah is pretty much used to this. When he gets this much attention in small spaces, and he can’t get away, he sometimes goes very quiet and gets a bit overwhelmed. That’s when he buries his head and tries to hide. If we put him down and let him walk around, then he just carries on playing like the students aren’t there. Sometimes he will stop and pose or smile with them, but most of the time he just keeps moving along like they aren’t there. Occasionally, while they are chasing him like paparazzi, he looks over at me and gives me faces like this…
Haha, I have no idea what that look means!
When he was only 5 weeks old we did a post, The Faces of Eli, (and #2 here) on some of the adorable facial expressions that this little cutie pulls. Well, in the last couple of months he has taken on a whole new array of facial expressions. All of them are absolutely hilarious! I think I will have to do a third post because he has us in stitched lately with all of the faces he pulls.
When I moved to Asia, in 2009, I had never taught before, but I soon figured out that I loved it. It was pretty much like acting for a crowd of mini people. My co-teachers all told me that I was amazing and I should become an actress. When I asked why they said that I had a lot of expressive facial movements. Since then I have been told that a lot, and I am now noticing that with my son too. Many of the students comment on his facial expressiveness. I guess Elijah got that from me.
It’s not always easy to get a picture with a toddler who is excited, but I think that one will do!
This is pretty much what Elijah did all afternoon..
He walked around SHOUTING, clapping his hands, and pulling his face like he was angry. He does this at home sometimes too. I can’t quite tell what he’s trying to say, and he seems upset that no one understands him. Toddler troubles!
We sat down to have a snack and some water. Elijah took out his favorite books and read to daddy. He is hilarious with these books, he shouts “words” and turns the pages, pulling his face and pointing at the pictures. A friend in Texas, BJ, gave Elijah two of these books, and he has pretty much not let them out of his sight since then! Thank you BJ!
It looks like Elijah asked to see that picture. Maybe he wanted to approve it!
Towards the end of the day, Elijah found a soccer ball. He has never seen or played with one of these before, so I was quite surprised by how excited he got. He picked it up, threw it down, and made several attempts to kick it. In fact, he did pretty good for a child who’d never even seen a soccer ball before. I guess we should think about putting a soccer ball under the Christmas tree! How is it that my child has taken 20+ international flights already, but he’s never seen a soccer ball?! That’s pretty funny.
This next shot makes him look like he’s more cut out for Rugby than soccer…
We ended up having the Monday off after this, to make up for the Saturday that we were at the Sports Day event. We like to joke that we “stole” a day together because even though this was a school event, we got to be together as a family. So really it was three days in a row that we got to be together. Yes – we value our time THAT much. The days apart are long for Justin and I, we really miss working together. If I don’t return to work, we’ll always miss those five years that we spent working side-by-side on a daily basis. Yes, as I said, we’re still super mushy and loved up. We can’t get enough of each other.