First. the Harv is 3 weeks.
Today Harvey Joshua Shelley turns 3 weeks old. I can't believe he's already 3 weeks old. I know, that sounds ridiculous. 21 days is such a short amount of time. But really, I can't believe it. He's already changed so much...it's crazy. So I would like to record a few notable things about this kiddo.
a. He is getting chubbier. In my opinion, the chubbier the cuter. (For clarification, this only applies only to babies and small children.)
b. He hates getting his diaper changed. Particularly since he has recently been circumcised. I know...I'm bringing it up again. I apologize.
c. He enjoys spitting his pacifier out. Until he realizes that it's out and he screams bloody murder.
d. He is obsessed with the milk factory that is located in his mother. But the second best thing to that is his pacifier. He loves it.
e. The next best thing after his mom's milk source and his pacifier is for sure the car seat. For some reason this kid loves his car seat. And loves riding in the car. I'm pretty sure if I was his mother and had to live with him going crazy and waking up every 10 minutes during the night I'd spend a good bit of time riding around in the car in the middle of the night. And the cool thing is that when he falls asleep while riding, he doesn't wake up when you stop riding. He just stays asleep for a long time.
f. He likes standing. Well...he likes for the person holding him to be standing. When he's crying for minor reasons (reasons other than being hungry, tired, or without a pacifier) it usually cures his problems.
I'm sure there's more that should be noted about him, but this is all I can think of for now.
Second. We're leaving in three weeks.
Crazy. I can't believe I've been here for almost 7 weeks. It's insane. I've enjoyed being here so much and even though I can't wait to see my family and friends and such, I really don't want to leave. I wouldn't be surprised if I cried during my last week here. Today it sort of hit me that I'm leaving in less than 3 weeks and I might never come to China again. Ever. And it's kind of a sad thought. I love China so much. So for now I'm just telling myself that I'll come back. And hope that I do. Yes, China can be crazy at times. But I'm ok with that. I love it. And here are a few notable things about China.
a. China has some crazy ideas some times. Alot of times. Their logic is, well, not really logical at all. For example, Harvey was being held by Josh in a sitting up position and our helper told Josh that if he holds him like that, it will cause him to drool alot when he is a little bit older. I don't about you, but this just doesn't seem logical to me.
b. But even though point (a) may make China seem absolutely ridiculous, not everything is like that. You know those seemingly-endless minutes you spend looking for a parking space? And you can't ever find one that hasn't been half-parked in by another car due to bad parking skills of others? Well, the geniuses of China have come up with a solution. Tonight we were in a parking deck looking for a space and they had this incredible invention. So over every parking space there are these little lights. And if there is a car in the parking space, the light is red. And if there is no car in the parking space and it is open for business, the light is green. So instead of searching around for what seems like hours, you can just quickly glance through the place, find a green light, and drive over to it. Pure genius.
c. Everyone thinks the Chinese language would be crazy difficult to learn. And they're right. But so is any language. I honestly think that it would be no harder to learn than English, possibly easier. Chinese doesn't have plurals. So the word for "dog" and "dogs" is the same. Also, there is only one word for I, me, and my. It's things like this that just make it a little more simple. The only thing that makes it harder is the characters. There's thousands of characters, which I'm not even going to try to say is easier to learn than English. But for just learning to speak it and spell it phonetically, not with characters, is for sure just as easy.
d. billboards. So you know how in America you pass like a thousand billboards when you go anywhere? Yes, well I would say the same thing for China. But in my opinion they are (for lack of a better word) better than America's billboards. First of all, they don't try to convince people of things such as the world ending on May 21st, 2011. But that's not my point. So in America the billboards are all along the sides of the roads, right? Not in China. Ok so you know how there's bridges that cross over top of roads. And if you're driving on a road and there is a bridge above that road, you can see the side of the bridge. Well on the side of the bridge is where billboards are in China. I think this is so much smarter. First of all, I feel like if you pass a good billboard (such as the Pass It On billboards...best ever) and you're into it, staring off to the side of the road, it could cause some problems...such as wrecks. But if it's right in front of you, you're already almost looking at it. And if a car in front of you slams on breaks, it's like a centimeter below the bridge (from your eyes' points of view). And it's harder to not look at them, making it more productive for the advertiser. On the side of the road they're easy to ignore. But not when they're right in front of your face.
e. One of the not-so-good things about China is the gaokao. The gaokao is the Chinese entrance exam. I would compare it to the SAT. Except the gaokao is so much worse. The gaokao is a test that takes approximately 3 days to take. Yes, 3 days. Each day they do 2 subjects. And they aren't allowed breaks, because if they take a break, they might cheat on the test. And literally a kid's entire life is spent preparing for the gaokao. In high school, what they do is take practice tests. That's about it. They don't have history class and math class and science class where they learn about World War II or graphing parabolas or the bones in the human body. They just take practice tests. There is so much pressure put on kids to do well on this test. Pretty much if you don't do well, you're doomed. And your family couldn't be more disappointed. If you do do well, you go to college. And your family will still love you. It's kind of ridiculous. And way too stressful. I feel terrible for every Chinese person that has to take it. It doesn't matter if they do well in their classes or do extracurricular activities or help out their community. The only thing that matters for them getting into college is their score on the gaokao. The SAT doesn't sound so bad now, does it?
Like Harvey, I'm sure there's more to say about China, but I can get to that later. I've given you enough information for now.
Third. A chaco solution.
If you don't know, Chacos are a brand of shoes. I got these shoes for Christmas. I wore them for a while, trying to adjust the straps to get them just right and to get used to them. And I just could never get them right. Then you may remember when we were back in Beijing and went to the Summer Palace...well I wore my Chacos there and it was an awful idea. They just didn't feel right. I tried to loosen them up and thought that would be a good solution. But it just made it really hard to keep on and when I walked I just had to concentrate on keeping them from falling off. It was quite uncomfortable. And I realized that I should've gotten the ones with the back-strap.
So I pretty much thought I would never wear them again, unless somehow I got them to feel right. Until I came up with an incredible solution. So you know what they say....duct tape fixes everything. And yes, it can even fix a Chaco problem. I created a back-strap out of duct tape. I haven't worn them yet but I'm hoping to soon...and I'm pretty sure it's going to work.
Oh and another thing. Fourth. Tonight we had a nice little outing to the local Pizza Hut for Kayleigh Greene's 5th birthday. There are 3 kids in the Greene family and they're all precious. Kayleigh, Zeb, and Layla. And just because I thought you might be interested...Zeb is actually John Zebulun Greene the 5th. Yes, 5th.
Josh and Layla
This girl has got to be one of the chunkiest babies I've ever seen. Actually...the chunkiest baby. She's hilarious.
These people seemed to be having a little too much fun at Pizza Hut. The must've literally ordered at least 35 things off the menu. At least.
Josh and Kayleigh
John Zebulun Greene the 5th. I know....the hair. Isn't it great?