Friday, June 29, 2012

Last Day of Teaching

Yesterday was my last day as a teacher at Bambini English School.  I have so many wonderful memories from the past year...

Farmer Week: planting our own vegetables

Nerf gun fun!

Vocabulary review games

The best co-teacher ever...I miss you!

Chocolate-making for Valentine's Day

"You better watch out, you better not cry..." Christmas singing and dancing

Listening to the Christmas story

Wonderful bosses and co-workers

Kindergarten class

Level A Class

Level D Class

Summer Program Class

Level F Class

Halloween Party

I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a teacher at this school.  I will miss my students and co-workers greatly.  Thank you for helping me grow.  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Saturday Mornings

Since we started fostering Micah, our Saturday mornings have become longer.  Here are a few pictures that chronicle a few of our favorite pre-10:00 am activities on the weekend...

1. Washing the dishes.  If we give Micah some plastic measuring cups and turn the faucet on low, he plays happily at the sink for nearly an hour.

2. Going out for breakfast at Yummy Kitchen, a local Taiwanese joint.  We love the 20-minute stroll to get there...especially in the early morning before traffic picks up.  

Kalan usually gets a breakfast sandwich with coffee; I have scrambled eggs with corn and a cabbage/egg rice wrap with fresh soymilk.  Micah has a bit of everything.  Added bonus: this complete breakfast is less than $5 US.  

3. Taking a mid-morning nap.  I never was a lover of naps until I got pregnant; now I thoroughly enjoy them.  Kalan usually studies for the GRE while we sleep (which he claims is enjoyable, too...)

While washing dishes, going out for breakfast, and taking naps aren't all that exciting...I've really enjoyed these relaxing weekend rituals the past few weeks.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Our Growing Baby

This post is for our friends and family across the ocean...

6 Weeks

15 Weeks

17 Weeks

21 Weeks

24 Weeks

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer Goal #1: Learn 10 New Recipes

I've made a list of Pre-Baby things I want to do or learn in my free time this summer.

#1. Learn 10 New Recipes

Being married to a chef is awesome.  For our first year of marriage, I probably cooked dinner about seven times, total.  Fortunately, as "sous chef" I was able to observe Kalan and learn skills that made cooking less how to chop an onion in less than a minute.  In the past few months, I've started to change my attitude towards cooking--now it's less of a chore and more of a creative quest.

The biggest challenge of cooking for me is knowing what ingredients to buy at the open-air market.  For the first year and a half we lived here, I only bought chicken breast or ground pork.  All the other meat cuts hanging on open-air hooks were simply too intimidating.  Without a grocery store label, I had no idea what they were or how to cook them.  

Last week, I decided be brave and try buying a new cut of meat.  I looked up a pork roast recipe (as well as a picture of what a pork roast looks like raw).  Then I braved the pork stand and pointed to something that looked similar.  Guess what?  It turned out all right.

My next mission is to buy a fish from the market.  For some reason this is even more difficult.  Maybe because most of them are still flopping around on the ice as I peruse them!  I have to admit that this almond-encrusted salmon we had for dinner last night came from a nearby supermarket...but it was still delicious.

Two new recipes down, eight to go...any suggestions?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Maternal Health Advice from Taiwan

In Taiwan, every pregnant woman receives a Maternal Health Handbook from the government.  Some of the advice offered is different from what we would read in the West.  Here are some tips I found interesting…

Under “Dietary Requirements:”
--Recommended daily foods include giblets, soymilk, tofu, bean curd, bean curd sheet, amaranth, Chinese Kale, leaf mustard, water convolvulus, pig blood, duck blood

--Post-birth, you can ask the hospital to prepare you a “Chinese herbal medicated meal” to help you recover that includes “sesame oil, eucomia bark, tuber fleece-flower root, Chinese angelica, wolfberry and dates with pork ribs, pork heart, pork liver, pork kidney, chicken, sea perch, and pork feet.  Herbal soup and malt water provided.”

Under “Things You Must Know During Pregnancy:”
“#9. Relax and Be Happy Mood
Being anxious and in a nervous mood may cause the child to become restless and insecure in the future.”

On list of 20 Essential Items You Should Prepare for Your Baby:
4-6 Kimonos
Mosquito Net
Musical Bell

On the List of Items You Should Bring to the Hospital:
Paper pants
Delivery Pad
Chopsticks and bowl
Thermos bottle

Under a lengthy section titled “Postnatal Exercise:”
“The beautiful figure is the foremost concept in developed countries to seek after healthier life.”

Other tips I've heard from people in Taiwan (not doctors) include:
Don't eat too much soy sauce or your baby's skin will be dark.
Drink lots of soy milk so your baby's skin will be white.
Don't lift anything heavier than ten pounds.
Don't drink water after giving birth (only soup with Chinese medicine.)
Don't do any home renovations (it's bad luck for the baby).
Don't sit on the floor.