Wednesday, December 15, 2010

January-February 2010

The first half of the month was spent anxiously awaiting for Nathaniel's exit visa to arrive. Then when it finally did, we were suprised to see that there was a fee on it but we'd never been asked to pay. I was busy packing and finishing giving exams to my 200 some students. I had to give exams earlier than the Chinese teachers, but then I have to wait and wait until they open the website to input scores. Why it can't always be open and have the teachers able to input scores throughout the term, I'll never understand.


In February the three of us went to Wisconsin. Santiago was there for 12 days, Nathaniel and I stayed for 24. We had a great time visiting some family and friends, but we mostly stayed put and hung out with my parents and siblings.

Santiago and I did go out to New York and tried to get to DC but got stuck in NYC due to snow storms. Nathaniel got to visit his first farm, library, Pizza Hut, chili dump and so many other things. Oh, and his first car seat experience. That did not go over well the first two days. He screamed from Chicago to Marengo where we stopped at McDonald's for a quick bite to eat and bathroom break (he wasn't keen on the airplane toilets, either). Then back in the carseat he screamed for another 20 minutes until he fell asleep. The second day I had to renew my liscense, deposit our money in the bank, make an eye appointment and a few other things. Each time I drug him into the store with me, explaining the car seat to him. By the fourth stop he was cool with it and never made a fuss again. He did tend to fall asleep on longer trips.

My brother took us to Chicago via Amtrack, complaining the whole way about how terrible the train was. We just laughed at him and told him as long as we could sit, no one was smoking, there was no garbage anywhere, we thought it was just wonderful. We had to go to the Chinese consulate to get a visa for Nathaniel but after much confusion and headache, we could only get him some Chinese document to let him travel. We hadn't gotten a paper from the local police saying that he gave up his citizenship (never mind that he has an American passport and SSN already!), so they still consider him Chinese. Then went to Navy Pier and to the IMAX to see Avatar.

Spent one Sunday afternoon with lots of friends who were able to stop by and visit with us for awhile. That was one of Nathaniel's few days ever without a nap and he did really well. Of course he fell asleep on the way home and slept all through the night!

Nathaniel was not too happy to be left with my parents while Santiago and I went to NY, but he survived. We stayed with a 60 year old through He was a neat guy with tons of knowledge that he was all too willing to share with us. But he saved us lots of time and money during our time in the big city. We went up in the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, China Town and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The flights went way better than I hoped to imagine, especially coming back by myself with a toddler, three carry on bags, two checked suitcases and a stroller. Yes, I take full advantage of suitcase weight limits...gotta have cheese, bbq sauce and deoderant!

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