Winter is here!

It’s been a while since we’ve posted, and I wanted to give everybody a quick update. A couple of days ago, it SNOWED – a real snowstorm that lasted an entire day and actually left some snow on the ground! It doesn’t always snow every winter in Nanjing, so it is a real happening here. It also rarely snows this early in the season, so everyone is wondering what this winter holds in terms of weather.

Since we live south of the Yangtze River, our city does not have central heating in any buildings. We rely on space heaters and lots of clothing and hot drinks to make it through the colder months. We arrived in Nanjing in February ’08, and narrowly missed the last snowstorm in Nanjing. We lived through the last bit of ’08’s winter, and then last year really experienced winter in Nanjing for the first time – on the 7th floor of an uninsulated North-facing apartment building. It was cold. We moved. End of story.

This year, we are happily situated on the 3rd floor of a building that has other buildings around it, and so far so good. We are now pros at switching our various space heaters around the house to maximize the heat with the least amount of electricity usage. I’m really into space heaters, and if you ever want to know the various pros and cons of differing types of space heaters, you just let me know – I’m our household expert.

Leo was less than impressed by the snow; he was outside for 10 minutes and decided it was way too cold and wet for his liking. The next day he outright refused to go outside all day. Today, he’s much more content now that the sun is shining, and I also think his day indoors was just boring enough to convince him the cold isn’t that bad after all. If he would agree to wear his mittens, he might like the snow a lot more.

As for me, I am now wearing my huge black maternity-ish winter jacket, which somewhat hides the fact that I am 8 months pregnant. I look like I might be pregnant, or I might have a huge beer belly. This is causing some problems, because getting on the bus is becoming next to impossible (when I am lugging Leo, the backpack, and the stroller, I can barely make it up the bus stairs now). So I have to immediately open the coat when I get on the bus to get a seat and I really feel like I ought to get 2 seats these days. My days of riding the bus solo with Leo are very numbered. I think taxi rides may be in my future for the remainder of this pregnancy. It literally takes me 5 minutes to recover my breath after I sit down, and if the bus is crowded and thus hot – then I also feel like throwing up about 10 minutes into the ride. 🙂 Ah, pregnancy!

But winter is here to stay, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. We are excited to begin celebrating the holidays, and I am counting down the days until Thanksgiving so that I can put up our Christmas tree. In the US, we had a strict no Christmas decorating rule until just before Christmas Eve. But that was in a country where you couldn’t walk two steps after Halloween without being confronted with Christmas. But here there is none of that, and we make our Christmas for ourselves. So we will decorate early and try to squeeze every Christmas-sy little tradition into the next month or so. Not to mention, I could very likely have this baby before Christmas. I will confess I have already been singing Christmas carols to Leo, and have moved our decorations to the front of the closet, but so far I am exerting my self-control fairly well.

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