Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Travel is More

In 3 short days, we will be on our way to Bali for the winter holiday. I am beyond ready to relax and explore with my little family.  My dad and his wife will be joining us along with our best friends here in China, so we're lucky to spend the holiday season with people we love! 

A house we're renting with our friends



I'm also looking forward to doing some reading. I mostly enjoy reading non-fiction books. Here are a few that I hope to begin this break.

Found here



Found here


Found here


 "Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living." 
-Miriam Beard, Realism in Romantic Japan 

I began to read How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm and one of the chapters started with this inspiring quote. Don't you love when you read something that make you stop in your tracks and re-read it again and again? I think it's so fitting for us since we'll be traveling this holiday. Lately, I've been in a lull. I've been feeling pretty home-sick and second guessing our decision to stay abroad for the holidays. Reading this quote reaffirmed why we live abroad- to be able to experience change, to continue to learn to be more open-minded, and grow together as a family.

I will miss our dear friends and family so much this holiday season. Please know that we are thinking about you and hope you're Christmas is nothing short of magical. We can't wait to see you all in a few months. 

Hope your holiday season is merry and bright! xo

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Our November

November has been a bit chaotic and busy. Here's a little breakdown of our month.

EAL Conference
A couple of weeks ago, our school hosted an EAL conference with almost 200 participants that my team organized. Kurt was away for part of the weekend coaching basketball and I didn't get to see Sawyer much. Our ayi (nanny) stayed with Sawyer and the poor guy had a 101 fever, so I had to run home to give him medicine, and get hurry back to the conference. I think the culprit was teeth as a few new molars have sprouted and he was quite fussy for a few days. 



There was even cotton candy


Sawyer Update
Sawyer is turning into quite the character. He knows what he wants and has an opinion about EVERYTHING. He's starting to have temper tantrums (throwing himself on the floor crying if he doesn't get what he wants) and very clingy, pulling on my leg demanding to be picked up. Terrible twos early?!

He's loving reading books and watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates before bed. Good grief that song is going to forever be stuck in my head! He dances around to the songs and will lay down on a pillow and blanket and cuddle me.  Today, he was pretending to mix food in an empty jar and then began feeding me with the spoon (so sweet).

He definitely loves the holidays like his mom. Sawyer is obsessed with our Christmas tree. If the lights aren't turned on, he will point and whine at the tree until someone turns them on...then he starts to clap and giggle. 

Our little Christmas tree

He's not talking yet...he will say momma and dadda but that's about it. For all I know he's trying to speak in Chinese! He understands far more Chinese than English, since our ayi, Karen speaks in Chinese to him all day. She will ask him to get his shoes and he will do it. We will ask him in English and he stares at us. I'm not worried though, because the language will come on it's own time. I have also heard that language can be delayed in bilingual households. 


Sawyer having the time of his life at his friend's 2nd birthday party.


Thanksgiving
We celebrated Thanksgiving with two other teacher families this year. I made pumpkin pie for the first time ever...and I'm happy to report that it turned out great!  I may have eaten pumpkin pie for breakfast the next morning too. My friend Kristin made the most delicious homemade stuffing that I'm still dreaming about. Sawyer didn't want any of the food, go figure. So instead, he ate oranges (at least someone ate healthy to balance the rest of us out). It was nice, low-key dinner and I left feeling stuffed. Thanksgiving 2014 for the win.


Sawyer and his Thanksgiving oranges


Winter Bazaar
Every December, our school hosts a Winter Bazaar featuring yummy food from all around the world, games, and some shopping. We haven't been able to go for the past two years, and I was excited that we were able to make it this year. The Bazaar was packed and there was a ton of good food, but the booths sold out quickly (aka basically, I just ate deserts). My favorite were the Swedish waffles (which reminds me... I REALLY want a waffle maker) and Brazilian treats. Santa even made an appearance. 

I love the festive international flag decorations.


We couldn't pass up this photo op 


Santa is a popular guy


A snapshot of the Bazaar


Movember booth


...and onto December!



20 Weeks

Baby Callahan is half way "cooked" and I'm still in disbelief. This pregnancy is flying by.  November has been a crazy/busy month and I'm so happy it's December (one of my favorite months because Christmas of course). 

We've picked out a name for our little lady, Rosalie Beth. We chose Rosalie because we think it's sweet and classic. Beth is my mom's middle name and Kurt's mom's middle name is Elizabeth, so it's a way to honor both grandmas= win.


Gender: Girl 

Weight gain: Unsure (I will find out at my apt. this Saturday...yikes)

Maternity clothes: Yes, I'm starting to stretch out some of my regular clothes... still using the good ol' ponytail trick for squeezing into my jeans.

Stretch marks: Nada

Belly button in or out: Outtie (kind of annoying) it didn't do this until the end of my pregnancy with Sawyer.

Sleep: All over the place. I've been pretty exhausted after a few busy weeks at school and falling asleep at 7:30 on the couch, then waking up in the middle of the night for 1-2 hours. My brain just wont turn off. 

Best moment this week: Having a date night out (it's been about two months) so it was nice to relax and spend one on one time with Kurt.

Worst moment this week: I'm getting sick and feeling pretty blah in general.
Miss anything: Beer. Is it spring yet?

Movement: Yes, and we can sometimes feel her from the outside.

Cravings: Chocolate. I eat some form of chocolate every .  single  .  day .  Also cereal...weird.

Queasy or sick: Sick (as in cold related, not pregnancy related)

Looking forward to: Our Christmas in Bali! We leave next week...hooray :) 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Baby Callahan is a...GIRL!

We had a doctor's appointment today and she was able to confirm that we are having a baby girl! I am over the moon excited! I can't wait for Sawyer to have a little sister and to have a little lady around the house to balance out all of the men (Kurt, Sawyer, and our 2 dogs). I am in trouble because girl clothes and accessories are so darn cute...sorry Kurt! ;) 

We are debating names, but I am a planner and want to pick the "perfect" name. I have a good idea of what I would like her name to be, and I think desperately hope that Kurt will be on board as well :) 



Gender: GIRL! 

Weight gain: 54.9 kgs, so about 121 lbs (eek that's about 5 lbs since my last apt.)

Maternity clothes: Yep, starting to bust out my maternity shirts or stretch out my regular tanks. I'm growing WAY quicker this pregnancy. Still living in leggings.

Stretch marks: nope

Belly button in or out: Flat and pokes out more toward the end of the day.

Sleep: Can't complain. I wake up at least once every night and sometimes it takes me forever to fall back to sleep (my mind is so busy!)

Best moment this week: Hearing our doctor confirm that we are having a little lady in the Callahan household...it all feels so surreal.

Worst moment this week: Just the overall craziness of school this time of year, November is a busy month...can't wait for it to be over (minus Thanksgiving of course).
Miss anything: Having a drink. I presented at a workshop this week and there was beer and wine served before hand, and I really wish I could had indulged in a cold one before my presentation ;) 

Movement: Yep. Usually at night when I'm sitting still, I feel her kicking or turning.

Cravings: Chocolate. I have had such bad cravings that after dinner this week that we all took a family outing to the store so I could get devil's cake mix to whip up some delicious cupcakes. They were amazing. I literally inhaled two after I took them out of the oven and then decided I better bring them to school to share, or my tummy would be half baby, half cupcakes. 

Queasy or sick: Nope... I've been feeling pretty good.  

Looking forward to: Checking some more things off my to-do list this week and getting a new Christmas tree  tomorrow. Don't judge me. I put up my Christmas tree mid November since we always leave the second week of December for Christmas break. I want to enjoy my decorations people, the longer I can have them up...the better! 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Shark Bait Ohh Ha Ha-lloween 2014

What a busy day it's been! I volunteered for the Halloween Committee this year at school (yep, right up my alley) and we worked until the very last minute to make sure the kids had a spooktacular time! We organized spooky stations for the elementary kiddos and it was a blast! I helped manage the stations all morning and loved watching them get so into the games. Here are a few pictures from Kurt's 5th grade class. 

Teachers at our school take Halloween pretty seriously and teams usually dress in a theme. I think the teachers out did themselves this year and had amazing costumes. Take a look at some of genius ideas here. I love that even though we live in China, we're able to make our own holiday traditions and memories. It's really easy to feel homesick this time of year, especially when I scroll through endless Facebook photos of pumpkin patches, fall foliage, apple picking, etc. I love keeping our traditions alive here in China, even if that includes decking out our apartment in Halloween decorations and having pumpkin candles lit 24/7 to pretend it's "fall" outside when it's really 80 degrees and humid. 


Team Costume: Idioms
(raining cats & dogs, bun in the oven, and we have a teammate who was out sick and going to be butterflies in your stomach)

After school, there was a little teacher-family party to celebrate Halloween. We went as a lifeguard, shark, and injured surfer.  I couldn't stop giggling at Sawyer. For a while, he even waddled around saying, "Rahhh!!!" This kid always melts my heart.

Cue the Jaws theme song.





And... I couldn't get the "Shark Bait...Ohh Ha Ha" out of my head either.




















We had a wonderful and busy Halloween and cannot wait to celebrate next year as a family of four. I'm already scheming costume ideas. 
Now it's time to kick back, light some fall candles, and watch Hocus Pocus! :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

13 Weeks

Here's to week 13! The doctor estimated me a week back from my original due date based on the baby's size. We had a busy weekend with running to Hong Kong for our doctor's appointment, but it was kind of nice because Kurt and I left Sawyer at home with our ayi, so it was like a "date." Before our appointment, we ate at this yummy restaurant nearby our doctor's office that makes awesome toasties and I'm always looking forward to some good food. 





Sawyer photobombed me





Gender: We had a doctor's appointment this weekend... and she made her gender prediction. We'll just have to wait and see if baby Callahan is a she or he ;) 

Weight gain: 52.7 kgs, so about 116 lbs (no weight gain yet) although I feel like I've gained weight in my stomach!

Maternity clothes: Still wearing looser fitting clothes, mostly leggings, or maxi dresses to work

Stretch marks: nothing yet

Belly button in or out: starts off in, but starts to poke out mid day

Sleep: Pretty good, can't complain. I do wake up at least one time a night to pee, but I'm able to drift right back to sleep.

Best moment this week: Watching our little one dance around on the ultrasound and "wave" at us. 

Worst moment this week: I don't know that I had one... which is great! :)
Miss anything: Being able to bike at a normal pace and up hills for that matter. Today I was biking groceries home, and had to stop halfway up the hill and walk my bike... I felt pretty pathetic.

Movement: Nothing, I'm starting to think what I felt in Thailand was not the baby. 

Cravings: Eggs, bagels, fruit (grapes, blueberries, I wish strawberries were in season in China right now!) 

Queasy or sick: Nope... I'm really hoping we're over that stage now :)  

Looking forward to: Halloween festivities coming up, oh and a few packages coming from the states via my mom and this super cute Halloween sweatshirt that I couldn't resist ordering. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Thailand Part 2: Bangkok

For the second half our trip to Thailand, we headed to Bangkok. Kurt and I had a tech. conference at an International school there. While we were there, we were able to explore temples, cruise via river taxis, wander about, and go to a floating market... all in just a few days. I am pretty impressed that we were able to do so much with a toddler in tow! 

We've been to our fair share of temples, but The Temple of Dawn was incredible because it is decorated with bits and pieces of Chinese porcelain that glimmers in the sunshine.  The temple was originally built in 1768 and then a King expanded it in the 1800's (that's when the porcelain details were added).  Getting there was an adventure because literally 1 minute before we boarded the ferry to cross the river, it started down pouring. The torrential (I'm really not being that dramatic) lasted about 25 minutes. As soon as it let up, we jumped on the ferry and just our luck, it started raining again! At least the ride was just across the river. The rain actually ended up benefiting us since there were barely any tourists when we arrived.











Spicy Thai Beef Salad


Lunch on the river (view of the temple) *I spy Lennon's leg


River taxi

I'm so glad we ended up going to the Amphawa floating market. We were a bit skeptical since it was at least a two hour drive outside of Bangkok, which is a long ride with a wiggly baby who's not in a carseat. We made the trek to the floating market on our last day in Bangkok and it was so worth it. I loved that it was authentic (we only saw a handful of foreigners), not a tourist trap. We did a 45 minute river cruise and saw restaurants, shops, home stays, and houses, along the river. 

Sawyer was a little celebrity when we strolled around the market (I'm assuming it's the blonde hair and blue eyes) as many people stopped to smile and wave at him, or simply just to stare. Everyone we've come across in Thailand is so incredibly sweet and kind to Sawyer. 

I would love to go to this market at nighttime because fireflies are supposed to light up the trees like Christmas lights...it sounds so magical! 









           Below is a little video I made of our travels to Thailand:
                                  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

12 Weeks




Gender: I'm 50% sure it's a boy ;) I had an ultrasound here in China to check on the little bean earlier this week and the doctor said, if he had to take a guess, he'd say girl...but it's really too early to be sure! I have an appointment next Saturday in Hong Kong, so hoping my doctor can tell because the suspense is killing me! 

Weight gain: I weighed myself in Thailand and I was 52 kgs or about 115 lbs, so same as last time.

Maternity clothes: Not so much, just wearing looser shirts or dresses since I'm still in the "pudgy" phase where people can't tell if I've eaten too much or if I'm pregnant. 

Stretch marks: Nada

Belly button in or out: Starts to poke out mid-day, so annoying!

Sleep: Better! I've been sleeping through the nights blissfully for now, so hopefully it continues.

Best moment this week: Seeing this little one stretch around and kick on the ultrasound. The doctor was so patient and took his time. I felt like I really got to "bond" with the baby.

Worst moment this week: Being pretty sick on Monday with some bug/food poisoning, I did not get out of bed all day. 
Miss anything: Beer and tropical alcoholic drinks... I was jealous of all of the drinks on vacation! 

Movement: I THINK I felt mini- movements a few nights in a row while laying in bed. 

Cravings: Chicken salads, chocolate, oranges, I'm drawn the the sweet and sour foods and treats this pregnancy.

Queasy or sick: Not as much. I did get a bit car sick in Thailand but the past week, I've really started to feel a lot better and am happily drinking iced coffee again...hooray!  

Looking forward to: A lazy weekend. Even though we just got back from a trip, I feel exhausted and would really love to relax and watch some spooky movies this weekend.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Thailand Part 1: Ko Lanta

We have just arrived back in China after a ten blissful days in sunny Thailand.
The first four days of our journey started out in Ko Lanta (an island) at a small eco resort on the beach. To say it was relaxing would be an understatement. 

Our mini villa was right outside the pool, so it was perfect when it was Sawyer's nap time because we could just leave him to snooze while we swam or hung out by the pool. We traveled with our friends Kristin and Frank from school and their sweet baby, Lennon. My dear friend Emily and her super cool (yes that is how I'm describing you) fiance, Shawn flew all the way from Wisconsin to explore Thailand with us. I've been friends with Emily since 4th grade and felt so blessed to be able to make special memories with her on this trip. 

My favorite part of Ko Lanta was when we rented a tuk-tuk and Kurt drove us around the island. We looked ridiculous, but it was all sorts of fun. 
*Stay tuned for a video of this!*

I didn't do the best job of documenting our time in Ko Lanta, I guess I was too busy lounging... but we all did our fair share of sun bathing, drinking fruit shakes, and eating tons of delicious Thai food! 

Here are a few photos that Emily took of us on the beach one afternoon. She is such a talented photographer.













Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Baby Callahan Round Two


Here we go again, baby Callahan #2 is due in April 2015!!! 
We are over the moon, and a little bit nervous to be on "man to man" defense with two little ones. I suspected I was expecting when I continued to wake up in the middle of the night....starved and extremely sleepy (that's how I figured out I was pregnant with Sawyer). Everyone knows that I do love an early bedtime... but falling asleep at 7:30-8:00 was a red flag. 


We announced our pregnancy this weekend via cheesy a picture with the caption, "We're adding a pumpkin to our patch." I couldn't resist, especially since it coincides so nicely with Halloween. Let's just say getting a "nice" family photo with a squirmy toddler was NOT easy. I set up my camera on self timer on top of our stroller (hence why the pictures are crooked).

Sawyer proceeded to throw the pumpkin.





Notice the pumpkin on the ground AGAIN (and my husband's face) 
Yes we're so happy to take these photos! 



This is the photo we ended up using... even though our heads are cut off and my stomach looks ginormous. Yep, thanks Kurt for making me choose the most unflattering picture of myself ;) 




All Sawyer wanted to do was carry around the pumpkin and throw it as hard as he could on the ground. Notice the Chinese work out equipment in the background (don't ask me how to use it). 





Gender: Am hoping that we might be able to find out at our next appointment. Our doctor told us REALLY early with Sawyer (13 weeks). Right now, I'm guessing a girl just because this pregnancy has been very different than with Sawyer, but then again, they are two different babies! 

Weight gain: I started at 116 and I think I was at 118 at my last appointment (still not used to converting from kgs to lbs)

Maternity clothes: I've already started wearing my Old Navy maternity leggings. I have some from the GAP on the way via my sweet mother because they are just oh SO comfortable. 

Stretch marks: Crossing my fingers for none, I was lucky with Sawyer! 

Belly button in or out: My bellybutton starts in at the beginning of the day and the afternoon bloat causes it to poke out a little (so weird).

Sleep: Ok... I haven't been waking up as much in the middle of the night with a 3493843 thoughts racing through my mind, like... "should the babies share a room?" "Where will I pump at work now that I share an office?" "Should we move to a bigger apartment?" "Should we buy another crib, or will Sawyer be ready for a big boy bed?" Yep these are things that keep me awake at night. I look over at Kurt blissfully sleeping and think how jealous I am! 

Best moment this week: Having a nice spooky dinner with some friends on Sunday making homemade pizza (that Kurt started on fire on the grill...hahah!) It was still delicious ;) 

Worst moment this week: Not really sure that I've had one?
Miss anything: Beer....It's been so hot here and after a long day at school, I would love a beer...so in the meantime, I can drool over Kurt's. On a positive note, I will be able to have my favorite beers in the states this summer! 

Movement: Nope. I am hoping I will feel the "bubbles" in a couple of weeks though! 

Cravings: Sweets, bagels with cream cheese. I really, really want these noodles that I love from this cute little restaurant here in China BUT it's about a 40 minute ride on the subway, so I'll have to wait until we get back from Thailand. 

Queasy or sick: I've been feeling "car-sick" (I don't know another way to describe it) for the past few weeks on and off. I've been also having weird aversions to things like... coffee! I love my iced coffee/lattes and it's been so hard because I've been dumping it out in the morning because the smell makes me so sick.  

Looking forward to: Our vacation in Thailand this Friday. I am hoping to be able to relax, drink a ton of fruit shakes, and eat a bunch of yummy Thai food with friends!