It’s July, and it is hot, among other things!

Summer has hit, and just when I thought, “Now no one can say Leo is cold!” now he is most assuredly always “tai re!” – Too hot! Of course he is! I have finally come to the conclusion that everyone wants to be a part of everyone else’s life, so they will just find ways to chat with you – and since it’s hotter than blazes outside – most likely Leo is also hot. A vegetable seller today told me I had better go and quickly buy a stroller, because Leo was roasting in our carrier. Granted, he actually was pretty hot and sweaty, but since it is 100 degrees here – everyone is hot! We’ve taken to staying indoors during mid day, and have our outings either early in the morning or after 4pm. It’s still quite hot then as well, but it’s actually bearable.
Out of necessity I think, Leo has taken to LOVING cold water out of his sippy cup, a contraption he had no inclination to use until this week’s heat wave. Lately he has discovered page-turning – which means I have to read really fast if I want to tell the whole story, drawer opening and emptying – which means I no longer have drawers for my stuff in our bathroom – they are now filled with toys that Leo can empty out and put back in for hours at a time, and climbing everything. He has also just recently started to balance on his feet without using his hands. Leo has definitely discovered his own self determination – much to our delight and somewhat to our dismay (“What! We can’t control your every move??? Now what do we do?”)! It’s keeping us on our toes and ushering us into a new phase of parenting. He has turned into one very busy boy, and Cheng Ayi has taken to saying, “Now what am I going to do with you?” about 100 times to him when she first walks in the door.
As for JM – this month he is pretty much gone for the duration, with a ten-day English teaching camp in a nearby city, and then he is on a music tour with his old school’s orchestra. Leo and I will meet JM in Shanghai at the end of the month to reconnect with lots of good friends and see everyone in concert. We also are absolutely delighted that we will be meeting our first Chinese teacher’s family in Shanghai! Jiong and her husband Jinqiang are great friends of ours who now live in California. We’ve heard so much about Jiong’s family and their 4 year old daughter, who lives with her grandparents in Shanghai. We’ll spend a day with them in their neighborhood after the concert. Needless to say, we are really excited about this!

Between caring for Leo as a quasi-single Mom for a month and all of JM’s commitments, we’re continuing to study Chinese as much as possible. While JM is gone, I will do what every wife does when her husband is away and she misses him – shop! I can justify this by calling it “language practice.” It actually is great practice, because with Leo in tow I am guaranteed to have conversation in everywhere I go. I am also taking lots of walks around town – our latest was to a big track and field full of guys playing soccer. I brought Leo’s little soccer ball so he could “kick” the ball around – and he was squealing with delight watching all the action on the field and then chasing his own ball. Soccer looks pretty competitive here – these guys have got some skills! I just learned how to say “soccer” and “kick” – so I it was fun to practice my (very limited) sports vocabulary.

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