Saturday, July 23, 2016

$5 Swim Suits and Saturday Fun

We went to a water park on Wednesday. It was fun, but the price may not have been the time spent getting there or the fact that with little kids, we didn't even do any of the big slides! ;) But it was a fun family memory, and Hadassah was thrilled and keeps talking about it. We also got to go with our good friends, which made it even more fun!

But while I was there, I noticed that, despite the crowds, bikinis were rare. If they did have a two piece, the bottom at least usually had a skirt, and often they had a drape over the top. The vast majority of the swim suits had skirts in some way. As one who used to hate swim suit shopping, spent big bucks to get ones with skirts, and finally just made my own because it was too hard to find one that worked, I was impressed.

On Friday night, we walked to BiJiang Guangchang for our date. Bad mistake. Despite the gentle breeze, we were soaked with sweat and I felt lightheaded by the end of our 45 minute walk. Guess that's too be expected when it's July! :D But on our walk we passed three swim suit shops all clustered together, and the insides looked enticing. 

 So this morning, we set out on a big girl shopping trip - in a taxi (called by my husband thankfully!) this time. :) My girl is growing fast, and I wanted to find her a swimsuit with a skirt if we were going to buy another anyway.

 Danielle came along - shopping is just more fun in a group! And I think it made Hadassah feel grown up to be out with the girls. :) And we found the cutest swim suit! Despite the saleslady pulling out all of the two piece ones she could, suggesting they were cute instead, she was accommodating, insisting that the ones I liked, though she didn't have a smaller size, would work on Hadassah. And since I can sew, I decided to go ahead and go with one that just needed the shoulders taken in a little.

 We even got ice cream to celebrate since we were out and it was just a short walk down the way. Dassah felt very important getting her own cone (since often as a family we just split treats three ways!) and managed to eat it all without spilling a drop on herself! Where did this big girl come from?

 When we got home we just had to model it for Daddy. She couldn't stop jumping up and down in happiness. And I must say it's adorable! And the price? Only 35 RMB ($5.23 for you Americans). You can't beat that.

 So we had to pick up another super cute one in a larger size since we were there, and it was just $5 too. I mean, it's worth having around since she's guaranteed to grow and absolutely loves being in the water!

And then, I just may have gone online and bought enough suits at around $5 each (some less!) for the rest of Ellie and Hadassah's childhood. They're small enough to bring back to the US, and finding swimsuits like these at prices like these isn't likely to happen. I had thought of eventually sewing them their own similar to mine, but the price of fabric alone in the US would be more than the cost of buying these suits here, not to mention the time involved in sewing! Plus, I wouldn't put the time in for all the cute detail you can get here!

I did a quick search for "woman's swim suit" too, curious to see what would come up. The first three results were typical one pieces. The next page was mostly full of the above - amazingly modest for the top bought suits on Taobao, used by much of China! Two pieces were a rarity. I feel like it says a lot about a culture, to see that exposing themselves a ton during swimming just isn't a big practice. And with an adult nice suit just $10, I bought one to give it a test. It would be nice to have variety, and I just might stock up in adult sizes for ten years down the road for the girls too... And yes, I am very tempted to ask friends and family in the US if they want a suit too if the quality is ok! ;) Seriously, if you do, let me know, and I just may be able to work something out.

 We came home to be there when Ellie woke to nurse and make lunch. My big helper is enjoying her new apron! I have the process started to make a matching one for me and another slightly bigger, so Ellie can grow into this one and Hadassah grow into the next size up. Hard to believe I'll have two kitchen helpers before too long! I'm just waiting on more flower detail and bias tape to come. My test Taobao order turned out well, and with the cheap prices it has, I know I'll be missing it, Chinese and all, when we're back in America.

 This little one had a long morning nap, but then a rough afternoon one and a pretty fussy day. She had a fever on and off for 2 1/2 days, seems to be teething again, and this morning broke out in heat rash! But she still had a super fun time playing on the little car, hitting the "beeper" over and over. We can't get over how cuddly and chubby baby she is, and yet she's growing so fast... Never happier than when she's on the go - as long as mommy isn't walking away from her, of course! ;)

Ryan got some Ellie time after naps while I took Dassah swimming. A certain way to ensure she'll wake up happy is to tell her "let's get your swimsuit on and go swimming!" She loved her twirly suit, and even twirled around and around in her swim ring in the pool. She desperately wants to swim by herself... Tells me to let her go all the time, tried to get out and go swim in the fast lane once, and enjoys being able to propel herself with the floaty. I tell her we'll get her lessons when she's four or so (and we're back in the US) and until then she hangs on the edge of the pool to do her "water tricks" or we pretend we're seals as I help her dodge all the many people (we pretend they're ice burgs and dolphins and penguins) as we go from one edge of the pool to the other. I love time with Hadassah, and I think quality time together really speaks to her. There's been a lot of adjustment with a little sister around for mommy to care for. Lots of good (she told me today that Ellie is her favorite and her best friend!) but also lots of time for some conflict. So getting away and doing something fun together is good for both of us.

 As almost every Saturday here has been with Alex and Danielle, supper found us eating Chinese food! Y was so gracious helping us find a place for them to try authentic noodles and jiaozi (half-moon dumplings). They're getting excellent with chop sticks, and it's been a good excuse for us to eat more authentic cuisine too! It tasted good, but it did leave us with just a tad indigestion...

 And despite the shade and a little breeze, a 15 minute walk made this one break out in heat rash again. Poor thing! I took her clothes off at the restaurant, we took a taxi home, and the rash died down as she played in front of the air conditioner. This same thing (fever followed by heat rash) happened to Hadassah at almost the exact time last summer, and at least I am not freaking out as much as I did with her. But still, not fun to see your baby covered in red spots!

Now it's the end of another Saturday. Ryan leads music in church tomorrow, so has been busy preparing. And it's crazy to realize that after tomorrow, we just have one more Sunday with Danielle and Alex. But we have a full week and half planned before they go!

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