Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Saturday Shade and Serenity

We're on week three of sickness. First Dassah, then Ellie, then me... But it was last week that I first came down with mild symptoms, not worth paying attention too, right? Besides, moms don't get sick days. Well, Sunday afternoon it caught up to me. A slight fever and cough, and I've been coughing up mucus and getting slight fevers since. I guess my body is telling me to rest. But how? I collapsed on the couch after dinner and Ryan took the girls out to let me. Tylenol and sitting is helping. I thought I was better this morning, but just biking the girls to campus this morning and walking 20 minutes carrying Ellie to meet Ryan did me in both times. Normal things (is it weird that they're normal now?) are suddenly exhausting. Yes, I know, I'm trying to figure out how... REST.

The AQI has been WAY better lately, but sometimes I wonder if its just coincidental that these coughs and chest colds seem to hang on longer and hit us harder since we've moved to China... The girls are still coughing two weeks later, though thankfully it isn't waking them at night anymore.

So while I'm on the couch I thought I'd distract my aching head with memories of Saturday, when I didn't feel sick at all and everything seemed perfect...

After naps we decided to take the girls out to explore a new park we'd seen while biking one day. It's good for the eyes to see new sites. We taxied there this time so we'd have more time (and a stroller!) but the driver didn't really know where it was. We tried asking, but it took a bit before we found the right place. It was tucked away... But on a beautiful, not at all cold but not too hot day in the fall, you don't really mind a little extra walking.

You've got to love it when places like this, that probably almost never have foreigners set foot in them still have English translation. And yes, when we saw it, we knew our goal had to be making it to the Artificial Toad. The name just begs to be seen!

But first, amid beautiful shade to the "Healthy Body Location." :)

Every apartment complex and public park without fail has its own set of outdoor exercise equipment. The older people use it for its purpose. But since playground equipment is more rare, children use the fun things to climb on!

Cute little leg and foot... how can she be turning one in just two months, already trying to walk everywhere she can?

And I do get some workout, as this is one of their favorite "toys" - I have to switch legs as they tire as I bounce them up and down ;)

The lights and darks were so beautiful in the foliage.

Even the apartments were picturesque. And quite a few grandpas wanted to practice their few words of English on us, and try to understand more through our limited Chinese.

In the middle of the park we couldn't resist a boat ride. :)

Dassah was pretty excited!

Our goal was to go under the bridge, and in what looked to be a circle back to the dock. We were wrong. It was a dead end. But Ryan's amazing steering got us back!

It was peaceful, though, and we were a family of four. What a blessing.

Miss Ellie was done being constrained by the time we got turned around and back through though ;)

But the sun was just right for pictures...

Ryan has an artistic eye

Chinese architecture never fails to give joy.

And at last we made it to THE well-acclaimed Artificial Toad!! Yeah. ;)

With a last look at he sky (yes, this picture is edited, but still, the sky has been so beautiful blue!), it was time to head for food.

It even looked as though there was an airplane cloud in the sky.

This is how we roll... Jump in as fast as you can while they stop on the side of the road!

But seriously, it was a beautiful day...

Sometimes the lack of normal-to-us restaurants is still hard. Like when I'm sick, I've been so tempted to not cook dinner, but there is no healthy panera bread or like restaurant closer than an hour away. There's Burger King, Pizza Hut, or Chinese food - good in its own right, but not craved when sick. But Ajisen Ramen, with its good fried rice and noodle bowls (think gourmet ramen noodles) is a favorite Saturday night destination. It feels healthier than most other options, and even has food for the girls.

Like the mushroom broth soup that Hadassah gets so absolutely excited about. I still bring veggies from home, but having food we can rely on to be good and nutritious and not require prep or dishes so we can go exploring on a Saturday afternoon is a rest in itself.

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