Peanut Butter Cookies and Leo’s Latest Chinese

The Muller household is proud to announce that we are now the happy owners of a countertop OVEN. Yes, after almost 2 years of oven-free living in China, we treated ourselves this past weekend to an (on sale!) oven to ring in the holiday season. It is JM’s (early) Christmas present to Liz, and she thinks this may be her favorite Christmas present EVER (maybe with the exception of the Christmas I got the Pongo Ball). Last night the smell of freshly-baked peanut butter cookies wafted throughout our apartment, and the word ‘cookie’ is now firmly embedded into Leo’s permanent vocabulary. They were actually almost too sweet for all of us, since we don’t eat tons of sugar here, but somehow we managed to eat a LOT of them anyway. A pumpkin pie is next on the list, and Liz has visions of muffins and pizzas and casseroles dancing in her head. Although it’s been a blessing in some ways to do without an oven for a couple of years (we’ve certainly learned how to cook more Chinese dishes because of it), having an oven makes our home in China just a little more like home.

Now getting the oven home was quite a feat. We traveled to a suburb to buy our oven, and it just so happens that this area is under heavy construction. Which in China means TOTAL CHAOS. We made our way through a bit of rubble across the street to catch a taxi home (with JM lugging the oven and Liz lugging Leo), only to find that taxicabs aren’t crazy about this area right now (I can see why). The nearest bus stop was about 1 mile down the very busy and congested road, and there was no pedestrian walkway. So, we hired a pedi-cab driver (who were keen to pick up the business the taxi drivers didn’t want), and he hauled us the mile to the bus stop. We are happy we made it in one piece, and truly wish we had brought our camera to show you all. I thought we were going to tip over about 5 times. Then we caught 2 other buses and then another cab to get all the way home. But we made it, and the oven survived the trip.

On another fun note, Leo continues to make leaps and bounds with his language. The other day he told his Ayi, using Chinglish, "Ni have it. Gei wo!" Which means, "You have it; give it to me!" She jokes that he will teach her English (which is not far from the truth, as she has had to acquire a few words to understand what he’s saying at times).

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