Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Day 5

Wahoo!! Tiffany is here! It has been so fun already. The boys, Andrew and Alec have really enjoyed playing with each other, especially when we have two of the same toy. :) Alec has this sore on his tongue that is making meal times and bedtimes a disaster (which was the problem with my evening yesterday) but as I find out what foods he can eat without crying, and what bedtime routines need to change everything is going better. Plus with Tiffany here there is someone to talk to, which is a good reason to hold back tears. When I'm by myself there's hardly a reason to stop crying if I feel the need to cry. So yay for sisters!

China adventure

So, here is an update from the next day in China. As far as the tournament goes, we are just starting the first official match. What's that? you may ask. Didn't you already play yesterday and do quite well? That is a good question. Turns out, that the first day's matches was using incorrect noise for the shots, and then when we realized that and played the next day, those matches were without any noise at all. So, we were doing just awesome, but that is because there was no noise. Tomorrow, I should have actual results from the real matches. Until then, enjoy some pictures from near the forbidden city.

The tower on the north west corner of the forbidden city.
The north entrance to the forbidden city (we didn't actually go in)
View to the north from the north gate.
The south side of the forbidden city.

So today is a national holiday in China, I think it is their independence day. Anyways, the chinese have the week off, and there were a lot of people everywhere. There were also some cool arrangements in the middle of Tiananmen squareThe olympic mascots

Then we walked down an absolutely packed pedestrian street that was lined with expensive stores and malls. One mall we went into was 7 stories tall, and every floor was packed with people.

Later we found a long, long line of food sellers. All kinds of food on sticks, fried chicken, octopus, starfish, lobster, other wriggly creatures, and all sorts of other things I probably don't want to know about.
We caught a subway for most of the way home, which was also fun. Anyways, hopefully I will have some official news soon.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Day 4

This morning was fine, this evening was not.

First match in China

Today we had our first match of the competition. To explain, for those who might not know, I (Chris) am in China for the Computer Olympiad and a related conference. The olympiad is a setting for computer programs to compete against each other in various games like Chess, checkers, backgammon, go, etc. For the last year I have been working on a program that plays 8-ball (pool/billiards). This is the first time for us to compete in the competition, and even the first time to compete against other people's programs. There are 4 programs total competing. Today we had a 20 game match against one of the other programs (Elix), and were able to win 16 of the 20 games. That was a successful start and definitely a good sign. Tomorrow we will have our first match against the 2 time defending champion, Pickpocket. That will be a better test of where we really are. We also are planning on visiting Beijing, so hopefully I will have some fun pictures.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Day 3

Today has been both harder and easier than the previous days. My body is having a hard time doing everything Alec wants me to do like crawl around on the floor pushing trains and sitting in the dirt throwing rocks, the kinds of things Chris would do with him. But, on the other hand, I've been able to communicate a lot with Chris and so emotionally it has been easier. We even got to Skype with him and see his face and hear his voice! It was wonderful. I have been so blessed and supported already. I've had friends invite me over for dinner and offer to watch Alec, etc. My sister comes on Tuesday and stays for a whole week so I only have one and a half more days of being Chris-less alone. I can do this.

Day 1 In China!

Hello from China! I (Chris) got here safe and sound, and here are some pictures of my day:

Our first night, they put us in a suite on one side of the lake with this view out the balcony:

Now we are in a room in the cluster of buildings on the other side. The lobby of the hotel/spa/resort we are at is to the left of the picture, about halfway around the lake between our old and new rooms. It was really misty/foggy in the morning and basically stayed that way all day. We are far away from the main city of Beijing, which I think is pretty cool. I always feel like I really got to see a country when I get out of the big cities.

The ICGA competition and conference are being held at a golf course, and this is the club house. You can see all the people there for the computer olympiad opening ceremonies. It was really odd to see so many people there, I wondered if they were there for the olympiad or just happened to be passing through, on buses, and in a large group. A number of the chinese people wanted pictures taken with us.

I only saw a few people actually playing golf (a round costs about 100 dollars for 18 holes, for guests of the club). This twosome had two caddies, each with a blue vest and white hard hat, who rode around on the back of the golf cart, and would hand them their clubs. I got a kick out of it.

I am pretty tired for tonight (it is already 8:45!) and so will leave you with that. I hope to post more in the coming days.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Day 2

The second word out of Alec's mouth this morning as he came running into our room was, "Daddy!!"(The first being Mommy). After I told him that Daddy was still gone, because he was in China, Alec said, "bee-treen, fie... down" translation: airplane, fly, down. So at least he gets the fact that Chris was on an airplane and after flying it came back down. Next Alec squirmed off the bed, ran back into his room, and returned carrying 3 books, his blanket and a stuffed whale Grandma Betteridge gave him. He made 2 more trips back into his room gathering more books and his Sasha bear. So even though Chris wasn't there to entertain Alec with our radio clock while I tried to get more sleep, I still caught a few more moments in bed reading books. So far so good with Day 2. I took it pretty easy and only did the bathroom, dishes and a general pick up. Our friends Peter and Aaron watched Alec for me so I could go to the General Relief Society Broadcast. I just loved Elder Uchtdorf's talk about God's happiness and how we can obtain it through creation and service. It was exactly what I needed to hear about how to be happy, even when my personal sunshine is gone. So, bring on Day 3! By the way, Chris arrived safely in China and the competition starts on Monday (which is actually our Sunday) so we'll get to find out soon how his team looks compared to others!

Random cute picture of Alec

Friday, September 26, 2008

Day 1

Today is Day 1 of "Chris in China." I thought it might help me get by to blog a bit about each day, something to do with my evenings. I only cried hard for 20 minutes or so and that seemed to be all I needed to do today. Alec had a fun day at preschool. He got to take his bear, Sasha, with him and he's talked about Sasha pretty much all day after that. The landscaping renovation in our courtyard has come to the point where there are no fences around our patios or between buildings and no asphalt pathways, just dirt and rocks. All that open space and throwable objects is heaven for an almost 2 year old boy.

In celebration of it being a Friday, I gave Alec an ice cream cone after dinner tonight. He's never had one all my himself before and he seemed to relish in his "big-ness." He copied every move I made as I ate mine. If I held my cone with two hands, so did he. He followed me when I: leaned one elbow on the table, scratched my arm, licked my ice cream, bit into my cone etc... Since Chris took the camera to China, I took a picture from my cell phone and despite how it looks, Alec is happy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Inspiring golf

So the Ryder cup was this past weekend and we all, myself included, enjoyed getting into it. Go USA! It was some pretty amazing golf. Watching it inspired Alec to get out his clubs and swing again. It has been a while and he is hitting the ball so hard! It is actually a bit dangerous to do it in the house, even with the lightweight ping-pong-wanna-be golf balls. Here is a video of it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Moonlight 5K

Last weekend we all did the Palo Alto Moonlight Run/Walk! Being 8 months pregnant you can guess which one we did... the walk. It started at 7:15pm and by the time we finished it was completely dark. It was a very pretty race along the baylands and with the full moon the tide was in so it didn't sink too bad :) It was very crowded, but with Chris pushing the stroller and me following in its wake, we weaved in and out of people to finish the 5K in under an hour. We forgot our camera, but after the race we ran into our friend Peter who was there supporting his wife. He took this picture of us and even though its a terrible picture of me, I'll throw it on here anyway since Chris looks good. I'd love to do it next year.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cute Story

So I'm going to try and do better about posting more often! Here is a cute story from our WA trip that I saved for a separate post. Usually at home when I need to shower I'll let Alec play in his room with toys and then shut his door tight (which he can't open). So in WA, I did the same. One morning after my shower, I thought he was being super /too quiet so I rushed in to see what happened and found this:

Apparently he had found his blanket, pacifier and Book of Mormon, climbed up on the bed, put his head on the pillow and fell asleep! He practically did his whole bedtime routine by himself. He must have been so tired, since I was only gone for like 15 minutes. As I finished getting ready, he woke up, sat straight up and loudly said, "Aw wong" (translation: all done). He always says this to me when I'm "all done" with my shower. Then he scrambled off the bed and scampered out of the room. What a precious boy. I love him.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Its about time

Well, it is ridiculous how long its been since I've last posted. Here are some fun photos from our lovely trip to Washington. I'll start off with a view of my Puget Sound: home, sweet home.

We had lots of fun play time with my sister Hailey from parks to zoos.

Having my little son be this close to sharks is actually a little disconcerting, but he loved it.

This is a beluga whale, pretty playful.

For Memorial Day we took a 20 min ferry out to Anderson Island to visit my Aunt and Uncle's spot of land with their huge teepee (seriously like 50 feet high) my cousin put up. I only got it in the background of one of the tractor pictures, its much bigger than it appears. The hammock was hung up inside it, between two opposite teepee poles and hung 6 feet above the ground; you had to climb in from a chair....or jump in if you're really tall and crazy like Chris. Alec loved riding their tractor with another cousin, Caleb.

First day of school! It was fun playing "mommy" to a high-schooler and a grade-schooler. After dropping Hailey off in her new classroom, Alec, Chris and I went to feed to ducks at a nearby park! We had a really fun time until the big Canadian Geese started crowding in. We picked up Alec and left pretty quickly.

We also happened to be there during the Puyallup Fair! This is one of the biggest fairs in the Western United States, or some other geographical region.... its just big, ok? We saw lots of farm animals, a marionette puppet show, and got to ride the train and carousel with Alec. A big thanks to Grandma for making that experience so special!!