Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Shenanigans in Shanghai with Samantha

This little lady is officially 2 months old. Depending on the day, it either feels like she has been a part of of our Family forever, or feels like just yesterday we were at the hospital. About 2 weeks ago we woke up and noticed an incredible change in her. It was like she grew overnight! I have a baby app, and it said she was going through a predicted growth spurt, and that was so true! (Bless you, Apple!) 

Having a baby in Shanghai has been harder yet more enjoyable than I thought it would be. First of all, I am convinced that the Chinese do not believe in handicap accessibility. There is probably one ramp in this whole city. This means taking a stroller anywhere is comparable to mission impossible. If I do take the stroller anywhere, I have to make sure there is an escalator in sight or its not happening. Pretty sure theres a sign on the escalators stating to not take strollers up them, but its my only option! Sometimes I have to flag down an innocent bystander to help me drag my stroller up stairs. Side note: you should see me try and pantomime "help me with my stroller" to someone who doesn't speak a lick of English. Its pretty comical. 

 Samantha is sad there aren't any ramps for her stroller, too! 



I have really relied on the baby carrier. They are genius and I would not be able to do anything without them. Another positive of wearing the baby is that she LOVES it and almost immediately falls asleep when she is in them. Peyton does his share of wearing her, as well. Theres nothing more cute than a baby strapped to a mans chest. I am convinced! Samantha loves hanging out with her parents. (Pun intended.) Thank you thank you, i'm here all day. 





Which brings me to my next topic. Subways! The metro (anytime) is an adventure. Some sightings have included naked baby bums, bags of raw meat, baskets of fruit, sleeping citizens, and lots of selfies! I love people watching on the metro. Unfortunately, they love watching me. Especially with Samantha strapped to me. They love to stare! 



One thing that has surprised me about having a baby in China is that people LOVE white babies. For numerous reasons. The Chinese traditionally do not take their babies out and about until they are about 3 months old. These people don't usually see small babies. They also don't see a ton of white babies. (Samantha even has HUGE blue eyes. This practically pushes them over the edge on giggles and excitement!) They also usually only have one child (by law) so the small babies that they DO see, are usually just their own. I can't walk down the street with her without someone stopping to either want to touch her, look at her, or steal her. At first it kind of bothered me, just being a protective first parent, but I find it flattering that they love her so much. It really makes their day to see Samantha, and I am happy to provide them with such happiness. Plus, it doesn't ever get old to hear people talk about how beautiful your baby is! 

We recently went to Southern China where it is way more remote than Shanghai. These people do not see a lot of expat white people. These people were so intrigued by her. At one point they had Peyton sit on a stool so that they could take pictures of her. Many people stopped to stare and smile. At one point we had to change her diaper (in public, oh gosh!) and we had about 50 people standing around us looking at her. I was so paranoid. "They are looking at her vagina, Peyton! Change her faster!" It really always is an experience. 




The best advice we got from a couple of friends is to just go out and still be social while she is still young. We didn't want to be one of those people who just sit at home for 3 months while their baby is small. We took her to church a week after she was born, mainly because we were getting stir crazy just being home. (And we wanted the blessings). We have also gone to get foot massages, gone out to dinner, went to a botanical garden, went on vacation and gone shopping. She loves being out and about so we take full advantage of her sleeping while we are out doing things. It's also the best advice because all you really need with a newborn is a boob, (maybe two) a pacifier, and if you are really fancy, maybe a blanket. 






We have really loved having Samantha in our lives. She has recently started to smile at us. It is the best thing, ever! We are obsessed.





These two months have been so much fun! I have rocked living in Shanghai with a newborn...and you can tell I have totally kept my humbleness, too!