My Shopping Companion
Oh gosh – I love love love this little man of ours. He is simply adorable and I appreciate his calm presence so much. Does he sometimes drive me crazy? Of course! Every day isn’t perfect, but most days are, and I love our time together. For a couple of months it was really weighing heavy on my heart that he might need to start some sort of day-school or kindergarten. When we returned from South Africa, he started talking and I began to feel like I wasn’t “enough for him”. It seemed as though he needed more than I could offer, and that the house was too quiet with just the two of us at home in the day. I often have editing to do, and I do love time to just sit and work on projects. Eli seemed to need me more, and I wondered if school was the answer.
After much deliberation, Justin and I finally decided that we will wait until he is four. Justin’s new school takes little ones from four for their pre-K class. Even though I know that Eli would thoroughly enjoy school now, I don’t want to put him in a Chinese kindergarten for a couple months, then go away for a month, then come back and have him in school for a month etc . Basically, if I put him on the Chinese calendar, and then keep changing his schedule to suit our new international schedule – it would be really disruptive. The other, REALLY IMPORTANT, thing that dawned on me one the last couple of weeks, is that I just want to keep him a baby a little while longer.
Most of the kids his age are a lot more developed, and they no longer have that “baby” in them. I love how Eli is, and I don’t want school to change that about him… I’m just not ready yet. Instead of putting him in a Chinese kindergarten, we will keep him at home until he is old enough to go to Justin’s International School.
Getting Out and Enjoying the City
It is VERY easy for me to stay home everyday, but I have realized that I LOVE being out during the week with Eli. There is something so special about that one-on-one time with him – exploring, walking, and having fun. This week we went downtown to visit a friend, and ended up spending the rest of the day wandering around a Marina City. We walked along the harbor wall, did some shopping, and chatted away. I though that Eli would fall asleep, but he didn’t. It seemed like he was loving our outing as much as me, and he didn’t want to miss anything.
It was a beautiful day, with an absolutely perfect temperature and no pollution. How could we not use this opportunity to be out and about? It made me wish that I could be more diligent and get out on the days that look like this.
We saw a huge parrot, and since Eli has been watching me sew his Halloween costume, he was pretty excited! For Halloween this year we dressed up as Pirates and Eli as our parrot. We have therefore been practicing the “sqwwwaaakk” sounds and “Polly want a cracker”.
Those Breathtaking Autumn Leaves
The trees lining the entrance to Marina City were all yellow and bright. It was a beautiful sight!
While Mommy Shops
Since we hadn’t eaten lunch yet, we went down to the grocery store in the basement of Marina City Mall, and picked up some food. This is what I lOVE about having our stroller when we are out. We load up on water, snacks, and other supplies. I don’t know how I would ever go back to carrying bags and bags of stuff. Strollers are lifesavers, especially if you don’t have a car!
Eli enjoyed his sushi and almonds while Mommy picked our some new sweaters at H&M. Before I started my ketogenic journey, I avoided sweaters (or anything knitted) like the plague. This winter I am excited to wear patterned tights and loose sweaters.
So stylish and cute!
While I tried out some lipsticks in Sephora, Eli read some of his newest books (first image in this post) – Do you see what I mean about this kid? He’s AMAZING and JUST LIKE HIS DADDY! He is more than happy to stroll around a store for ages with me! He loves shopping. I hold up two items, each in a different color, and ask Eli which one he thinks I should get. So fun! Sometimes he even tells me “no like” – hahaha!
Marina City is like a Ghost Town
For all of our friends who used to live in Qingdao, and have since moved home/ somewhere new, you would not believe how quiet Marina City is now. Most of the stores are closed, and there is barely anyone walking around. The larger stores, like H&M, Sephora, Gap and Muji, are still open, but all of the smaller places are gone. Some of the corridors are dark. It seems are though in a few months it will all be gone.
Although I don’t go to Marina City very often, it is quite sad that they are getting rid of this mall. It seems things are developing more in Laoshan (where we live).
After all the Fun
Eli ended up falling asleep on the way home, and although I do like that he took a nap, it sure does make my trip upstairs a difficult one. It used to be quite simple to hold Eli on one shoulder, and carry all my bags with the other hand. Now that’s he’s getting heavier and taller by the day, it is quite challenging. By the time I get to our front door, I am out of breath, and dripping with sweat!
This day out-and-about with my boy reminded me that I need to seize the day and go out alone with him more. Of course, we are however moving into quite a festive season so there are activities every week! When our weeks don’t feel overly full, I would like to head downtown with Eli to see some things. Perhaps I could even combine it will a LONG WALK home along the coast!