Monday, December 6, 2010

Post-trip Syndrome!

Pardon the lack of more timely updates as Hotspot Shield has been failing me…

We are back from our 9-day Guilin/Yangshuo family trip, and I already can’t wait to bring our girl on our next vacation! It wasn’t as scary as I thought, managing the trip all alone (i.e. without Wayne, Nainai or an Ayi) with Rosabelle, and I think our girl has matured along the course of this trip, making me very proud of her. Best of all, I think I bonded even more with her, and her with the rest of my family members whom she seldom gets to see.

I have photos galore (about 1,100 of them!), and I really need to get down to sorting them out before I post a day-by-day chronicle of the trip, but I took half a day to unpack/get settled in after we reached home at 8+pm last week Monday night, and Rosabelle has been recuperating from a bad runny nose that thankfully came on only on the last day (and it did not affect her mood for play or excitement!).

Now if only I can get MS Photo Editor to not hang on me when I open the huge folder of photos – I spent close to a day trying to back up old files on an external hard drive so that I can free up space on the one normally plugged into the laptop; hopefully that will speed up the file reading and formatting…

In the mean time, life went on (and back to normal), with us having to stay indoors whole of Tuesday last week as it was hazardous-air time with bad pollution. Wednesday saw us heading out for Mommy & Me at 3e – it was nice to go back after missing the session last week, but it was a nightmare in terms of getting messy/wet. All the major activities had to do with something that I wished she could keep donning a waterproof long-sleeved smock – playing with shaving foam on a table, scooping up flat fishes swimming in the water (fake, of course), and running cars over puddles of paint in a box. And our girl had an OCD – she kept running to the sink to wash her hands, complete with squeezing of hand soap onto her hands and rubbing the hands down. She must have wasted loads of soap and water that day, washing even after getting her hands wet when fishing, until I had to stop her – who needs super-dry hands in an already dry winter? Aiyo… only good thing is I am so glad I did not have to clear up any mess… haha!

After that, I brought her to Amcare for her Hepatitis A second jab – I’d actually called them in the morning to return my call as I wanted to see if she could still take the jab, since she was nursing a cold, but when the doctors returned my call, I was in class, and could not speak to anyone available after that, so I decided to just make my way down as I was afraid to miss the 11:30am appointment (I’d actually made this appointment like a month earlier, but the girl called me two days ago when I was in Yangshuo and said I was booked for 10am – how silly of them! So she had no choice but to give me an additional slot at 11:30am and warned I might have to wait…sheesh!).

So when I finally reached there (carrying her and panting and note that I was breathing in badly-polluted air), we of course had to wait. She’s now 90cm and 12.5kg, and was happy to play around the area whilst we waited for our turn. After about 15 minutes, I asked the nurse if she could take the jab, and she said it’s better to wait a few more days till she recovers. At that point, I then asked to speak to the doctor as I did not want to wait for so long and then not to be able to take the jab, and still have to pay consultation fees. So the doctor’s assistant confirmed that yes, with a runny nose, she can’t take a jab that day, and can only come back in January (since they were booked solid for December). Sheesh… thankfully I asked and did not wait around for nothing, so off we went to have lunch at Element Fresh again. (I’ve booked a slot for this Saturday instead, with the doctor booking me in – who said anything about being booked solid! - as she advised that I don’t wait till her 10 Feb KKH appointment in Singapore for this jab since it’d be too long in between both jabs already.)

I stuck to tried and tested pork wontons for her, and her favourite mushroom soup (which she did not have much of as she surprisingly ate quite abit of my chicken with mac & cheese). I was really quite filled with having to finish both my mac & cheese and her wontons, AND the soup, AND the mango smoothie I ordered, but at the same time, wanted a sweet treat, I ordered a chocolate cake with ice cream. Our girl prefers eating the ice cream, so I dumped the whole lot into a cup for her to feed herself, haha…

After that we took a walk to the bookshop in Lido Hotel again, where I spent close to RMB250 on new books for her, and some for Simon/Marianne/Gideon when I’m heading home next month. Yes, it’s that fast – CNY falls early on 3 Feb in 2011, and I’ve already booked my air tickets on Air China – exorbitant as it may be (RMB4,100 for me, and RMB3,300 for Rosabelle, when it used to be RMB3,300 for me!). I sure am looking forward to heading home for a month!

I spent more on the books this time round as opposed to the previous time, as the assistant was so much more helpful than the fatty-stuck-to-laptop addict. She agreed to just waive 50% off every single book, seeing how I was having difficulty doing a match for one-for-one since there was a range of different prices. How nice! And how convenient! Makes me just want to buy more to thank her!

In the taxi on the way home, Rosabelle actually fell asleep on my lap, and I had to ask Nainai to come down to help me carry the things, but she unexpectedly woke up 5 minutes from home, heh! That afternoon, she slept for 4 hours in the afternoon, waking up at 6+ for a feed – I thought she would wake up but she instead rolled over and continued sleeping… till 8:30pm! (That gave me a lot of time to go to our management office and get her residence certificate done, as Wayne went back to Zhengzhou when we were away on our trip, to collect her denunciation of Chinese citizenship, so the next few steps are more paperwork (what else!) of going to the police station to get a foreigner’s residence certificate, then applying for her Chinese visa. FINALLY. We started on this crap more than a year ago, and had to make three trips to Zhengzhou – that’s how efficient that is for you…) As you can imagine, she started going to bed only at 1am that night…

So I was most thankful when she managed to wake up in time for Kindermusik classes the next morning on Thursday. We had a good time catching up with Yi An (realized it should be an English name Ian!) and his mummy (he apparently looked for Rosabelle last week when we were not there), and with Singaporeans Rei and her mummy Priscilla, and having lunch thereafter together at Familier. The lesson was most fun, as we learnt a new song, her favourite ‘Sombody’s knocking on my door’, and we did quite a few exhausting dances that had the older kids dancing/jumping in the middle of the circle. However, she kept wanting to hug the kids, and I had to be sure to keep her away from them as she can hug them quite roughly/tightly.

There were two new faces, a mommy I introduced from Mommy & Me class and her 22-month-old Niu Niu, and her friend, who came with her 2 years 7 months old daughter Tian Tian. The former was asking me on Wednesday whether Rosabelle attends any other classes, as she claimed that our daughter is very
厉害, i.e. not shy/afraid, and dares to venture around and play (and snatch!) things. Her daughter is too shy for her own good, or so she thinks, and she’d like her to open up more. So I asked her to call Yuliya for a free demo, and they both actually signed up for the remaining sessions! I was telling her to get RMB50 off the course if possible as rightly, I should get a discount for recommending somebody, but since I had already paid in full, I told her to enjoy the privilege – not sure if they gave her the reduction, but she was thankful to me for introducing this nice class to her, heh!

However, the older girl Tian Tian wasn’t very friendly – when Rosabelle wanted to touch her fruit box, she snatched it away rudely, saying she did not want her to see it. Then, when she found some fake beans to place onto a seat to ‘cook’ for her mother, and Rosabelle wanted to touch it, she pushed Rosabelle onto the floor, and later, smacked her onto the face. Sigh… I told Rosabelle to stay away from Tian Tian, and advised her that ‘if people aren’t friendly and willing to share, go and play with something else, or play with somebody else who is willing to share’, and to protect herself from children who will beat/shove her.

After that, it was mostly uneventful as Rosabelle ended up being the last to leave (again), even after repeated calls from me to go (she even pooed twice whilst there – in the loo, of course). When we finally got going, it was close to 3pm, and she started becoming fretful/grouchy in the taxi, getting a telling-off from me (‘Next time, when I say go, let’s just go, don’t leave so late and start becoming all grumpy on the way home eh…’). She was most tired and cried/screamed all the way as Nainai washed her hands, changed her and got her ready for nursing time before her afternoon nap. That night, after dinner, she pooed again, and yet again before she slept. Strange! But her poo was all normal – maybe she was making up for 4 days of no poo, which is highly strange, as she pooed every day (sometimes even twice) when we were on the trip. I thought such trips are supposed to make your system go all haywire… and hers is normalized even!

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