Tuesday, April 26, 2011

China Portraits Part Two

These are some more pictures of our adventure at the Chinese Portrait Studio. I included more of the silly pics in the batch!

Not sure what this face means??

This is what she does when you tell her to smile.

For some reason the photographer thought Winnie the Pooh needed to be in some pictures.

Another big smile from Brynn!

I think that she might have had a dirty diaper at this point of the photo shoot!

Umbrella is just a tad bit big for Brynn!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Family Portraits Chinese Style...

China loves their props. Teddy bear, bucket with flowers, flower bouquet, teddy bear and rabbit doll (actually this is ours).

Brynn loves to dance and wear here tutu!

This is the only way that we could get Brynn to hold still for a family picture!

Brynn is singing a song to her baby sister (Aubrey)!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Better than KFC...

Zack invited me over on Friday (we were out of school for Good Friday) to kill and eat a chicken. I figured this was an experience that I needed to gain during my time in China. For those of you that know me, I do not hunt and do not care for killing innocent animals. But in China, this is a custom, as many of our Chinese neighbors raise roosters/hens for a month and then eat them in celebration of a holiday.

This is our chicken. We kept him in a dog cage until slaughter time!

This was our killing instrument. I wanted to ring his neck, but Zack was in favor slitting his throat, as all the blood would drain out easier.

We tied the chicken upside down over the garbage can to keep the mess from spreading on his patio. Getting the chicken tied up was definitely the hardest part, as he was a valiant fighter. Once we got his feet tied down, we locked up his wings.

For my mother's and sister's sake, I will not post any pictures of the killing, skinning or removal of the organs. I have all of this on video camera that I can show to those willing souls this summer. I did not actually slit his throat, as I did not want to hit the wrong spot and make him suffer. I did pluck all his feathers, once he died. We dipped him in boiling water, which made the feathers easier to pull. I also was in charge of removing all of the organs. I made an incision just below his bootie hole. Then with gloves, I removed all of his insides. At this point, we realized it was not a him, as I began to remove eggs. Once he was cleaned out, I cut off his feet, wings and head. I then let Zack take over and carefully remove the breast meat, as I did not want to mess the most important part up. After all of this work, Zack (AKA Gordon Ramsey), turned our handiwork into Kung Pao chicken. Sarah and I both tried the fresh chicken for dinner. It was not bad, but I think I will let someone else handle this type of work in the future!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Not your typical two-year old...

As I watch over Sarah's shoulder as she reads different blogs of friends and complete strangers, I have noticed that people like to make a post of accomplishments about their child. They will post things such as "Billy is now 1-year old and can say juice" or "Suzy is 6-years old and can do a cartwheel". The list is typically pretty long with cute accomplishments of their child over a certain time frame. This post is along those lines, but is not necessarily about her accomplishments, just some things that I realized she has done over the last year that most kids will never experience!

All of these have occurred in the last year:

1. Travel:
     a. Airplane: Brynn has taken six round trip flights with a seventh coming in May.
     b. Countries: Brynn has visited (not counting US) Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, China and            Thailand.
     c. Accommodations: Backpacker's Hostel in Singapore; 5-star hotel in Qingdao; condo in Thailand; Smallest hotel room ever, without any power in Malaysia

2. Transportation:
     a. Taxi: Brynn rides in a taxi on a daily basis. She knows how to properly motion for a taxi.
     b. Public Bus: Brynn rides public buses weekly. These are not American buses with plenty of room, but Chinese buses with people hanging out the doors and windows.
     c. Three-wheel scooter: How many children's parent's main form of transportation is a battery powered, three-wheel scooter? Brynn can check that box!
     d. Seat Belts or Car Seats: Brynn has not used one since July.

3. Food:
     a. Fresh fruits and vegetables: Brynn and Sarah visit the market daily for fresh fruit and vegetables. Brynn gets her choice of grapes, bananas, strawberries, watermelon, etc... Any kind of vegetable can be found for Sarah to steam.
     b. World cuisine: Brynn has tried all sorts of food from authentic Chinese (Swen is not the real deal, but I still love it) to traditional Thai on the beach. She still prefers a ham and cheese or hot dog, but does not turn down some interesting Chinese, Korean or Thai dishes.
     c. Milk: How many kids can say that their mom serves them  milkoff the shelf? Who needs refrigeration when your milk stays fresh in the heat? We do not ask questions, just let her drink away.
     d. Hooters: How many kids eat at Hooters at least twice a month? Brynn is a regular at the Chengdu chain of America's favorite wing joint. The waitresses love her and play with her during our meals. Brynn takes home a Hooters' balloon after every visit. For those who think we are terrible parents for taking our daughter to Hooters, I must reassure you that the atmosphere is much different than the US version!

4. Rock-Star Treatment
     - Brynn knows what Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus feels like when mobbed by thousands of teenagers. Chinese people flock to our daughter. Sarah and I get awkward stares but Brynn gets adored. We will be sitting at a restaurant eating and a complete stranger will take Brynn from her seat and play with her while we eat. We have even had people take her out of the restaurant, which makes Sarah quiet nervous. When she walks or strolls down the street, everyone stops and talks with her. For Sarah and I, it was fun at first but can get annoying. Sometimes it can take a while to get places or interrupt our meal. We just have to remember the reason we are in China and Brynn typically does not mind.

5. Communication
     a. Brynn is taught two languages on a daily basis... Chinese and English. Our housekeeper constantly teaches Brynn Chinese numbers and words. She does not know how to say thank you or hello in English, but says both easily in Chinese.
     b. Brynn is more familiar with Skype than a telephone or cell phone.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Brynn Time...

Craft time with mommy!

Riding the train at Dufu's Cottage!

Safety comes first in China!

Brynn's first Coke Float!

Pure Enjoyment!

We actually had the Coke Float before our pizza arrived at Pizza Hut!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sarah done been slacking...

Now that I am off for Spring Break, I planned to update our blog, which is something Sarah has not done since March 6. I do not plan to include any pictures of Brynn (I know that is what the family wants), but bore you with text of our happenings!

Big Girl Bed: About two weeks ago, Brynn was down for her nap. I was at work and Sarah was cleaning the house (actually watching a movie). She hears a knock on Brynn's bedroom door, coming from the inside. Sarah is perplexed and opens the door to find Brynn standing there saying, "Momma, me out!" Our big two-year old climbed out of her baby bed. When I got home, I made her duplicate the feat and I was amazed by her agility. We have turned the baby bed into a toddler bed. She has fallen out on a few occasions and even slept in the floor one night!

Scooter's Back: After having my scooter battery stolen in December, I parked the scooter for a few months. With the temperature way too cold to ride a scooter, I never bothered to get the battery replaced. A couple of weeks ago, Brian Spata and I pushed to scooter about half a mile to the battery shop. I got it replaced and the Perdues are now mobile. It has saved us money on taxies and petty cabs along with giving us the chance to go more places near our home. I apologize to the Storms, Johnny and Steven who did not get to experience my driving, but future visitors should be excited for wild scooter rides!

Visitors: Ryan, Johnny Davis and Steven Shirley visited  for the the first couple of weeks in March. Brynn loved having her uncle around. Skype is an amazing thing, as Brynn has not forgotten any of her grandparents or aunts/uncles. With Steven already being an uncle, he was a pro with Brynn and she warmed up to Johnny by the end of the trip. We showed them the sights of Chengdu and took them to some of our favorite restaurants. I am not sure if they will ever return, but it was a great visit.

Spring Break: This week is Spring Break at my school. We have made the most of the off time and warmer weather. On the first day, we went to a big park and let Brynn play in a recreational area with trampoline, slides and ball pit. After the play area, we walked around the park and were told "hello" by over a thousand Chinese kids on a field trip. We finished the day off with a meal at Peter's Tex Mex. The next day, we rode the train to the Bulk Market. We found Brynn a new pair of tennis shoes and got Sarah a new backpack. Following our shopping, we rode the Subway to Hooters for lunch. Today, we went to our amusement park, Happy Valley. We let Brynn ride a few of the rides that were open and not closed for maintenance or cleaning(I was not happy about the closing of rides at 11 AM for cleaning). We capped off the day with lunch at Pizza Hut. Tomorrow, Sarah is going out to eat with some women from our company and I get a day alone with Brynn!

Pregnancy: Sarah is officially 28 weeks pregnant this week. She is entering the third trimester. She is feeling great, but the pregnancy is starting to make her tired much easier. Sarah and Brynn will return to the States on May 11. My parents will pick them up in Atlanta at midnight. So, she will not officially make it to Tuscaloosa until the 12th. I will be coming to the States on Monday June 6. Just like Sarah, I will be arriving late, thus not making it to T-town until the next day. We are looking forward to our return home, having the baby, visiting family/friends and eating tons of American food! I can't wait to play a round (or 6) of golf! Our baby is still nameless. We have tried a ton of names for her, but just can't find the right fit.

Look for some pictures tomorrow!