Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Turtle update

If you remember, our student and friend Alex brought the kids 3 turtles at the beginning of the semester. Not very long later we noticed that one of the turtles' tail looked a little different. We thought that maybe he was a boy. Then it looked as if one of the turtles had been biting his tail. We thought that it would heal, but it never really did. Not that long ago, I thought his tail looked worse. It was pale and actually looked a little hollow, like it was dying or rotting. We decided that we should isolate him from the rest of the turtles in case it was contagious.

We kept him away for a bout a week and a half. Then when I was cleaning the turtle homes, I decided to check out his tail more. I flipped him over and looked at the bottom of is tail. There was a pretty angry looking bump. I figure it is either infection or a tumor. That was why his tail was dying.

So we had a decision to make.
We were not going to take him to a vet. I am sure that vets here don't really treat turtles.
We decided that the best thing to do would be to let him go. He won't get better, and I don't like the idea of watching him slowly die. We talked to the kids and said that we would take him to the pond and let him go, so that as long as he lives he will be very happy. So Monday we put him in the little glass bowl he came in and walked to the pond. There is a small pond that is really pretty, but when we looked at it, we thought that he would have trouble climbing out of that water ( it is a man-made pond). So we took him over to the bigger lake. Hallie placed him on a rock very near the water. He just sat there for a minute.
Then he looked around and jumped into the water and swam away. He settled on the bottom under a small plant. We watched until the kids got distracted (about 2 seconds). He looked as happy as turtles look when he swam away.

We left feeling peaceful and like we did the right thing. The kids are not sad at all! We have also talked about setting the other two free before we come home this summer.
But for now we have two turtles!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

tooth fairy comes to China

Last Friday, some friends of ours offered to keep the kids for us, overnight! We took the kids to their house and then left them. We did not have any major plans but we spent a nice evening shopping and walking down the streets. It is harder to just walk with the kids, because they get tired an whiny and worry that we are lost. It does not bother Jon and I to be a little lost. That is how we find new places here in China. We made it home and had a quiet night. After lunch on Saturday, we went back to pick up the kids. Liam had a suprise for us...his first loose tooth!
We came home and ate dinner and then colored Easter eggs. In this picture you can see that Liam is wiggling his tooth.

Easter morning, the kids got up a little early to see what the Easter bunny brought. Jon and I were too sleepy to get out of bed, so we just listened to the kids. It was amusing. I did not get pictures of their baskets. We went to eat lunch around 11, and while we were eating, Liam started crying. He either bit down on the spoon or just hit his teeth with it. It hurt, it bled some and then was VERY loose. After lunch we picked up a package from the post office. We were opening the package and Liam was wiggling his tooth. All of a sudden, he yelled," I pulled it out!"
He only had a loose tooth for one day!
Hallie lost her first tooth the next day after discovering it was loose too.

The tooth fairy came that night and brought his favorite watermellon gum, a 5 yuan bill, a 1 yuan coin, 5 jiao coin, and a 1 jiao coin. Only because it is his first tooth, the other teeth don't get that big a price.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Finger lickin' good!

One of the best things about living in China is the food. Chinese food in America is nothing like the real stuff. The food here can be so delicious. It is usually very fresh. The green vegetables we ate at lunch could have still been in the field the day before. The roasted chicken might still have been clucking this morning.
Real Chinese food is also very diverse. There is a huge variety. Since actually living here, American Chinese food tends to taste all the same and be somewhat bland.
I like the fact that the kids are being exposed to new and interesting things. I try not to let my food prejudices rub off on them. Usually if they want to try something, we let them and even encourage it.
The Chinese people will eat things that we wouldn’t dream of eating. They eat all kinds of creatures and all parts of those creatures.
Last Sunday after our meeting, we went to a place that serves food from the North west part of china. The specialty of this restaurant is barbequed lamb and Chicken. It is delicious. This time the chicken came with not only the head (it is typical), but its feet too!. Chicken feet are a much enjoyed snack here in China. I have heard that Tyson sends all the chicken feet from its birds to China.
I was really just joking when I asked Liam if he wanted to eat a chicken foot, but when he readily agreed, who was I to discourage it? I got Jon to take pictures!

I helped hin a little

Then he did it himeself!

Not to be out done, Hallie tried one too.

If she doesn't eat it, she could talk it to death!

The chicken only had two feet, so Eryn did not get to try one.
A foot note to this story:
Hallie showed these pictures to our housekeeper and she fixed Chicken feet for the kids while Jon and Jen went shopping today.