Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ergo Baby Carrier, Leggings and Our Apartment Complex

 If you have  a baby between 10 and 40 lbs. you must buy a Ergo today. Our friends, the Spata's, went home to the States for a wedding last week and brought one back for us. It is a little pricey, but I feel it has already been worth every penny! You can wear the child forwards, backwards, and on the hip. It is made so well I can wear Brynn in comfort for hours. It has given me so much freedom. It is very hard to use public transportation with a stroller and carrying a toddler.  The Ergo makes it so much easier and Brynn loves it. I just strap her on and off we go!  Today we rode the bus the Supermarket, Aushan. It has some shops and restaurants around it. Brynn's favorite part is that is had a children's area, where she can play. There is a ball pit and mini merry-go-round that she can get off and on herself. I need to bring my camera next time. She was so worn out she feel asleep before I even left the store. The Ergo has a sleeping hood that holds the babies head in place. I secretly love that she falls asleep snuggled up to me. She is usually too active to snuggle much anymore. Brynn luckily missed me getting off on the wrong bus stop, saying the word for my neighborhood over and over to some confused Chinese people at the bus stop, being pushed on another bus by someone who finally understood what I was saying and then getting dropped off in an unknown place. Thankfully someone was able to point me in the right direction and I easily found my way home. Good news is that I now know the bus route for one more bus. 

I have this thing about matching. To not match makes me a little crazy. Here in China matching is not a big deal. People wear whatever..brown with black, plaid with stripes, red and green. I am having a hard time finding cute clothes for Brynn. They also love their bling. I'll see something cute to turn it over and find sparkles, a Mickey Mouse, some buttons and a big bow all on the back. Or I'll turn it over and find they have split bottoms (it you don't know what split bottoms pants are you must go to Google images and type in Chinese split bottom pants. It is what we see on the streets everyday). I was really excited to find some cute leggings for Brynn today.  For those of you that are near a Target this is not a big deal, but for me it is huge.

This part is for my dad...he has been wanting me to post some pictures of our apartment complex. My parent's will be here in exactly three months from today.  I am so excited and can't wait to see them! There is an open invitation to anyone that wants to come visit. We have a guest bedroom!  Here you go dad!!!

Front Gate 

Near our building
Entrance to our building. Usually our scooter is parked right in front of where Brynn is seating. 
Brynn wanted her picture taken too!

View from our living room window
Our building is close to the back gate. This is the way we walk to get to the main street.
This is a little open area right outside our back gate. Brynn loves it, because she has space to run and play and this is where we meet her friends.

We got lucky today, because this cute little guy (Brynn's boyfriend from previous post) was out playing with his Grandmother. I got some really cute pictures of the two of them and will have to post them soon!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mid-Autumn Day

This year I shared my birthday with the Chinese Holiday, Mid-Autumn Day. The school was already closed to students, but it was scheduled to be a teacher in-service day. The afternoon before my birthday Matt called to let me know the administration decided to let the teachers have the day off as well. I was so happy that the three of us got to spend the day together. We got up early and ate breakfast at McDonald's

*Side note* I have eaten at MD more in the last two months than I have my whole life. There are many reasons 1. it is very convenient to the school 2. they have a picture menu 3. sometimes you just needs some chicken nuggets and fries.  You know that you have eaten somewhere a lot when you turn around while in line ordering and your 18 month old daughter has already gone across the restaurant and rolled over the highchair. Yes, she remembers exactly where they keep their highchairs and was very proud of herself.

Our Internet was out most of the week  (we needed to pay more money on it, but that is a different story) so we went by the school and I got to Skype my parents and check my e-mail. Thank you all for the e-mails, fb messages and cards. They all meant a lot to me! Then we rode the bus downtown and went swimming. The pool was very nice and we were the only ones in it. Brynn is now a little daredevil in the pool. She was jumping in off the side, with much assistance. After swimming we went to Tony Roma's for lunch. A brand new one just opened downtown. Matt enjoyed ribs and Brynn and I ate chicken.That night we ate delicious tacos and played games at the Miller's home. I had a very good 28th birthday!!

We be flying out to Beijing this Friday for a couple of days. Matt has a teaching conference and we are staying extra to see some sites.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Walking Street...

Whenever we meet up with a group to go out for dinner or go shopping, we meet at a place called "Walking Street". It is located right outside our front gate. Early in the morning, food vendors line up on Walking Street and sell fried dough, dumplings and egg sandwiches (my favorite). At night, fruit, vegetable and DVD vendors take over this area. This is a common place to find Sarah and Brynn buying fruits for snacks.

Last night, I took some pictures from atop a bench of the area around Walking Street. It should give you an idea of the traffic in the area. It can also give you an idea of what buildings in our look like. I hope to include more pictures in the near future of our city, school and friends.

Traffic Jam on Walking Street

Petty Cab (costs about $1.50)
Corner store where we buy everything from milk to eggs to laundry detergent
Buildings near our apartment with Petty Cabs everywhere

Gameday in China...

My how Saturdays in the Fall have changed for Matt Perdue!
When I say Saturdays in the Fall, it is actually Sunday at 12 AM for me in Chengdu. While all college football fans in America settle down on the couch for the early games at lunch, I hear my alarm ring at 12 AM signaling time to wake up and watch Georgia vs. Arkansas.

When all my friends and family gather to watch Alabama vs. Duke at 2:30 PM in the afternoon with the grill going and drinks flowing, I am laying on the couch of my 5th story apartment at 3:30 AM by myself with a warm glass of Coca Cola.

When all the Alabama fans are celebrating their drumming of the Blue Devils by watching Auburn pull a win out of their butts over Clemson, I am on an hour bus drive to International Fellowship at 9AM in the morning.

Gamedays are very different for me this Fall. I am not attending all of Alabama's games for the first time in three seasons. I do not have the luxury of watching every meaningful game on TV this season. Last week, I woke up early for the second half of Ohio State-Miami, but missed South Carolina-Georgia. Today, I missed the second half of Auburn-Clemson and all of Iowa-Arizona. Instead of eating my pregame meal at Swens, I am eating authentic Chinese food on the streets of Xi Pu. Last night for example, I tasted a local cuisine called Hot Pot. I will be posting pictures and giving a description of this unique experience later.

Even though I live across the Pacific Ocean from college football, I have yet to miss a snap of Alabama football. I hope to keep that tradition up throughout this season. My only concern is the Iron Bowl, as I will be at a Model United Nations Conference in Singapore during the game.

Next week's game will another early riser, as the Crimson Tide meets the Arkansas Razorbacks at 3:30 AM. It will be a great test for Alabama and I will be up bright and early cheering the team on!

Matt Perdue OUT!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ballerina and Prayer Warrior

 A few days ago we were straightening up Brynn's closet and found a ballerina outfit. Brynn had to try it on and loved it. Later that day we were going out to play and she wanted to stay in her ballerina outfit. I am not sure the people in our neighborhood knew what to think of an American girl in a tutu.

I call the cute little boy on the right her boyfriend. It seems every time we go out to play he is there with his grandmother. He is so sweet, but does not like it when Brynn tries to take his riding toy. She succeeded that day and got to ride his toy. Brynn was sweet enough to let him play with hers, so they were both happy.

On Monday Brynn and I were sitting down to eat our lunch and held hands to say a prayer. About 5 minutes into our meal Brynn reached out to hold my hand and then bowed her head and closed her eyes waiting on me to pray again. Brynn prompted us to pray about 10 more times during lunch. I told Matt about it before dinner and wondered if she want to pray throughout dinner as well. She did.... we said a prayer after every few bites!!! Brynn would even throw in her own toddler talk and some Amens :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Weekend Recap....

We had a great weekend here in Chengdu. Friday night we took two buses and three taxis and successfully made it out to eat and to the grocery store. We ate dinner at Peter's Tex Mex and it was delicious. We were both (mainly me)craving Western food. I got the carne asada, Matt got fried chicken, mashed potatoes and sweet tea and Brynn got a ham and cheese sandwich. We all cleaned our plates.

Saturday we scootered to the amusement park, Happy Valley. They have a great  kiddy area and Brynn enjoyed riding the carousal (she picked the elephant to ride), Ferris wheel, nerf ball zone and a peculiar Christmas ride where you shoot targets and accumulate points.

Matt woke up at 5 am on Sunday to watch the game before the Alabama/Penn State game.  Brynn and I joined him later to watch Bama win!! We then went to fellowship and enjoyed lunch at a nearby noodle shop. We were very impressed, because it was the first Chinese meal we were able to order on our own. Matt got chicken fried rice and Brynn and I got our favorite, egg and tomato noodles. Brynn and Matt napped when we got home and I enjoyed my first massage here in China. I am not sure why I waited 6 weeks to get one. It was wonderful and the hour massage only cost me 30 RMB, which less than $5.

Brynn eating leftover noodles for dinner last night:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

DuFu's Cottage and Antique Market

One of Matt's co-workers has a friend in town visiting for a few weeks. I volunteered to take her out one day this week. Venice, Brynn and I began the morning by taxing to DuFu's Cottage, which was the home of a famous poet from the Tang Dynasty. http://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/sichuan/chengdu/dufu.htm It was a beautiful morning and the three of us had a good time exploring the grounds.

Brynn and me with DuFu

One of these may or may not be a picture of DuFu's cottage. We had trouble reading the map and the signs were all in Chinese.

We think this was a famous poem, because people were lined up to take pictures. We have no idea what it says.

After DuFu's we made our way down the street to Songxianqia Antique Market. We did a quick stroll through, as we were overwhelmed with all of the vendors and stuff everywhere.

Mt. Qingchengshan

Last Saturday our family, the Whitlock's and the Brewer's took the train to a nearby mountain called Mt. Qingchengshan. The train is brand new and very nice. It took about thirty minutes to get to our stop and then we took a 45 minute bus ride to the backside of the mountain. When we got off the train, it began to rain and it never slowed down. We were able to buy umbrellas and ponchos to help with the rain. However, we had to walk through ankle deep, muddy water and our rain gear didn't help with that. I was in a puddle when a car went through, so needless to say, I got really wet. Brynn stayed dry in a backpack with an umbrella wedged into her Daddy's back. We made it to a little town at the base of the mountain. It had some neat restaurants and shops. We got to look at where we could ride a chairlift up the mountain and climb, but it was closed due to the rain. We ate at a very good Chinese restaurant and drank some hot tea. The gang then headed back down to the train station. It was a little disappointing  not to be able to hike and explore, but we made the best of it and ended up having a great time. We are hoping to make it back up there soon and get to take in the scenery when it is dry!

 The only picture I got outside! This is before we set out in the rain. Brynn loved sitting in the backpack.

Waiting at the train station playing Kung Fu (I think that is the name of it) with the Whitlock's. I was terrible! Yes, Aimee and I have the same shirt on. We went shopping the day before and found them on sale and both ended up wearing them the next day. 

Board at the train station. Thank goodness we had Kira and Zack with us to help us translate and figure our how to get around!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Brynn says "Roll Tide" from China

The Alabama football season started off a little differently this year for Matt. On our Sunday morning, he set his alarm clock for 6:45 a.m to wake up for the game. He then prayed very hard that Jeff's sling box would work (thank you Jeff, it worked great and we hope you are feeling better!). While everyone was eating wings, pizza and nachos while watching the game we ate eggs, bacon and toast in our pajamas. Brynn even got to try on her cheerleader outfit. I bet she wins the award for the furthest away fan! Thankfully, next week Matt will be able to watch the game at a decent hour, but the others he will be waking up in the middle of the night.