While Daddy Was Away
There have been a lot of travel posts lately, so today, a little glimpse into one of the days while Justin was away. I really don’t know why, but while Justin was away, Eli and in went outside a lot more than we usually do. It might have been a combination of good weather, the need for distraction, and the fact that we didn’t have someone bringing home everything that we need.
At the end of every workday, Justin messages and says, “What can I bring up?”. I have a white board on the fridge where I write down things that we need. I either take a picture of it, or tell him that we are good for the day. We absolutely LOVE living above all of these stores. Our first apartment complex in Qingdao was beautiful, but it lacked all of the conveniences that we have here.
Although Justin did his best to stock us up with everything that we would need, we did need to head out to buy some fresh veggies, fruit, and other random necessities. Sometimes we would just go down for one item, and use the opportunity as a chance to play. As I have mentioned before, I just love this stage that we are in – almost three – and Eli is an absolute pleasure outside now!
Some pictures from a day without daddy…
We woke up in the morning, freshened up, made our beds, and then headed to the kitchen to prepare some breakfast. While Justin was away, I often woke up before Eli, so I would have some time alone to check emails, read or drink some coffee. Eli is, however, the most amazingly pleasant child, that it really doesn’t bother me what time he wakes up.
Above, Eli used to eat a baby/ toddler cereal mixed with hot water, but when he realized I was eating raw oatmeal mixed with yogurt, he started to request that. His “requests” are very subtle – but adorable – he just walks over to me, points at my bowl, and then smiles. You’d be amazed how much one can communicate without many words at all.
Below, Sharing a mid-morning protein berry smoothie.
[Take note: That lollipop he is holding. It took 6 days to finish! Eli will lick the lollipop, or even just hold it in his hand, and then eventually give it back to me. I LOVE that he is not addicted to sugar (like I am).]
Depending on the day, and the timing, we would get a chance to talk to Justin at roughly 8 or 9am. Here we are chatting to daddy while we have breakfast (8am), while he is in bed and getting ready to go sleep (9pm, the day before). The time zones are a real pain in the butt because the window for communication is SMALL! A thirteen hour difference doesn’t allow for much time to chat without someone staying up late, or getting up extra early.
Let’s Go Outside
When classes were all done, and Eli had woken up from his afternoon nap, we were free to head outside and spend some time in the complex gardens. Look at sweet boy, with that huge grin on his face! As usual, his hands are full. In one hand, a small stuffed cat, and in the other, a truck, and our house keys and gate card. I love that he is happy to wear sunglasses now. This boy has very light eyes and he is sensitive to bright light – it took months of trying to explain that to him.
Speaking of keys and gate card, you might recognize this holder from my Mothers Day post. Justin left this, and other gifts, in a box, hidden in Eli’s bedroom. He knows me well. I really needed this, and often when I need things, I try to struggle on without them. I have no idea why. No more looking through my many bags for my keys and gate card… Thank you Justin!
My Little Helper
Above, Forgive me! I am about to rave about my son again. I used to hate taking Eli down to the grocery store and veggie store. He would run away from me, and it was just so much effort to be outside with him. No amount of calling would get him to return to me. It was so difficult to hold his hand (while he tried to get away), gather veggies, pay, and THINK. He now seems to understand so much more, and when I tell him to stop, he does. He might not listen perfectly, but I can’t stress how much he has changed in the last 2-3 months. Outings to the grocery store have gone from just plain frustrating, to a very pleasant experience!! Look at him – he even carries the grocery bags for me. If I hand him multiple bags, he takes them all. He is just so precious.
Below, Another HUGE pleasure lately: He doesn’t run away from me when we are playing. I have spoken before about how surprised I am when he stands and looks at me for photos now. If you have never struggled with a “runner” then you won’t understand, but when your kiddo switches over to “co-opertaion mode – it is heavenly!
Fun in the complex gardens.
We picked some fruit, played with leaves, found sticks, and then sat on the swing. The little Chinese girl in the above picture was PETRIFIED of Eli. I’m not sure why, but many Chines folks like to tease little children. They kept shoving the girl towards Eli, and when she cried, they would laugh. I haven’t figured out the drive behind doing this, but I see it in many forms here. There have been times when Eli has been upset or crying, and Chinese folks will stop and point at him and then laugh. Almost as though his crying is so amusing that they want to draw attention to it. I really don’t understand this.
And there you have it! A few pictures that give you a glimpse into life while daddy was away. I often wish that I was still vlogging – and I am excited to start again in June – because there are so many days that I wish I could go back and re-experience. This was one of them. Eli and I, although missing Justin, had a really great day together. We made the most of our time, the weather, and the chance to enjoy the outdoors.