Monday, March 2, 2015

Life in the Lately...

It's been a harder week. The seemingly never ending cycle of rain, followed by lower pollution for a day or maybe two accompanied by really cold temperatures, and then warming up only to getting to unhealthy AQI levels and then raining again is getting to me. I am so ready to just go outside! I did yesterday, even though the AQI wasn't great. Hadassah's been a lot more fussy as she's getting over the sickness, but going outside never fails to cheer her up. Yet the whole time all I can think about is trying to not breathe deeply due to the smog and too soon I told her it's time to go back inside, to not risk it any longer.

Not that one time really adds that much risk. And not that anyone really knows the long range effects per time outside. There are a lot of studies that show it's not good long term. But does 30 minutes to let a toddler walk out some energy and calm down in the sunshine hurt? We've talked to people at church who have been here for years, and they don't really pay attention to the AQI. They have children that need to run off energy outside. They haven't noticed any effects, even after years. So...

But that mommy-protective-brain still knows that were we to find some issue Hadassah has due to the air quality, I would blame myself for taking her outside in it. So I try to imagine that it's still snowy and cold, as it would be in the north. But it's really hard to imagine away warm sun streaming in through the window. And we're both going stir-crazy. And every time I read another article about how all that kids really need is fresh air and sunshine... yeah.

We are almost through the sickness, I think. Hadassah's gone over 24 hours without diarrhea, so there's hope! Ryan got sick Saturday (sleeping for 13 hours that night!), probably contributed to by getting chilled through riding his e-bike through freezing rain a few days in a row. He continues to feel the effects, yet has pushed through to get needed work done. I admire his tenacity. Hadassah got through the sleepy-all-the-time stage after the first two days and entered the "I'm not feeling my best so I cry every time I don't get what I want right away" phase. Tiring for mom. I prayed a lot more for grace and patience! But today she actually played by herself for a few minutes at a time (instead of crying every time I left for a minute), so I'm hoping things are on an upturn. And after her nap, I may take her outside again... We're looking at 3 more days of rain ahead, the temperature is in the 50s today, and the AQI is only just over the "unhealthy" mark...

These are the never ending struggles.

That, and the fact that despite trying to filter all of food, water, and air, somehow Hadassah picked up a bacterial infection that caused all those days of sickness. Was it from eating food from our neighbors or somewhere out, or something that slipped through our filtering efforts? It's hard to know.

Chinese continues to be a challenge. Lessons start back tomorrow after a few week's break. And yet every time I get a phone call, I am reminded of how little I know. I nearly always first say "today I am at home" (in Chinese) hoping it's just a delivery person wondering when to come by. But then they ask questions ("I don't understand") and again ("I don't understand") and eventually we both kind of laugh a little and they hang up. It's frustrating not being able to communicate with people calling with legitimate questions about something I ordered online.

Today I was REALLY glad Ryan was at home, because the mail man came to the door with boxes and said "Hùzhào!" when I tried to take them. I thought he was asking if I wanted him to open the boxes (he had a box cutter it looked like) so I said "Bù yào" ("don't want") but he again demanded "Hùzhào!" I looked to Ryan, helpless, and he came to the rescue, realizing he was asking for our passport. I ran to get them, he checked the name, and wrote the passport number on his slip. Why? Who knows. He was just delivering olive oil. But, that's our life... whatever makes them happy. I'm still trying to imagine what would have happened had I been home alone. I NEVER would have thought he was asking for my passport...

But, there are blessings. There always are. We learned of someone we know becoming a Brother. We got a new camera, as friends from church visiting the states let us order one to send to them to bring back with them. I broke our old, nice one a month ago, as I was trying to videotape Hadassah riding her push car when she fell off, and in my mommy-comfort-her urge, I set the camera down to hard lens first. So we used phone cameras for a month, that are quite fuzzy when trying to capture an active toddler moving inside! We still managed to get some cute ones:

But the clarity of the new camera is amazing:

Love seeing the look of joy she has now that she's feeling better and up to playing!

And the flip-up screen for selfies is pretty nice, evidenced by our first picture with the camera:

And yes, some days I pretty much live in my bathrobe. It's still cold inside. We've learned how to help, and yet I've also just gotten more used to being cold, especially if I sit for any length of time. Yes, I am so ready for warm weather. You know it's been winter too long when you start wearing the same clothes two or three days in a row (if they're still clean), since no one ever really sees that first layer anyways!

There is hope. I saw buds on the bushes yesterday, promising spring is coming. There is always joy in new life. :) After over a week of all the shops and restaurants being closed and the streets mostly deserted for the Chinese New Year, people are every where again and the university campus is buzzing with the start of another semester.

And, God is good. No matter what. It's harder sometimes to praise and trust. Yet...

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host.
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

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