Sunday, December 28, 2008

Quick Sidenote, if you have been following, about Martha...

So you don't think I have it totally together while living 7000 miles away and not speaking the language...the night we had the work party, after I had run around like a crazy lady all day - people finally left and we could just sit down a minute to relax and eat ...I looked down...and had 2 DIFFERENT black shoes on! yes. 2 different shoes. now, they were similar - cole haans, with that Nike shox support heel, but still. Can you stand it? Losing it, I tell you. oy. vey. Oh well, am sure if it was noticed they assumed it was some American trend, right???? Here is a picture at the end of the night, I am the one in the front on the case you can't see me ...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

CDR living the dream, once again!

One of c's xmas presents was to go to the Suns Game (which was too bad they lost) *and* he got to be the Suns Ball boy. They get to go on the court for all the warm ups, and the neat thing is when they introduce the players, they intro the Ball Boy, etc. So with all the lights dimmed, music going and people cheering - they say " and now, from Concordia International School in Shanghai China...Its CDR!" and he runs through the players high fiving, etc.

I wish I could be CDR! He had a ball, got to talk to all the players and get a basketball fix. His league starts up after we get home, so maybe he will remember some of the moves to use? though, check out this video from his bball camp - maybe he doesn't need any moves???

Here he is at the game, quite serious....

Merry Arizona Christmas to All!

yes, we are back in the states for the holidays. We arrived 12/18 and we leave on Jan 3rd. It has been great to be here. The kids have thoroughly enjoyed themselves so far - play dates, visiting old schools, Target, geez - going to Fry's and picking out chocolate milk and yogurt has been a treat! It's funny how things you take for granted normally, you no longer do! I am sure one day it will be the norm again, but for now it is still a treat to be able to buy what you want at the store for a somewhat reasonable price. I can't tell you how many times I say - no, not buying those pop tarts for $7...or no Trix, its $11/box...wait till we get home. The funny thing is when we lived here, they never even really asked for those things!

My weekly tally is dropping. I often think I should keep track of my massages, mani/pedi's, the week ...but I never do. I can tell you I have had no mani/pedi or massage in about 2 wks I think! yikes. I did head right to my naturopath for acupuncture (had to clear that shanghai damp!) and have also been to my beloved chiropractor. He was checking out my shoulders...and finally said... there is a knot here, and I don't think its going away! So, yes, apparentley there is some stres somewhere lurking in our life - could be in getting up at 4am during the week, or maybe it was just the long flight over, but it is there somewhere. I knew there was a reason I went for so many massages!

Christmas itself was great, with the kids getting way more than they needed, and me trying to figure out how we might get all this stuff home! am sure we will work it out.

wishing you and yours a happy holiday...with more pictures to come from the week..there is lots to share - suns game,xmas morning, etc....etc... :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I have seen the Master...

and lived to tell the tale. I debated back and forth about whether I really wanted to go back to the bone setter. Trust me, if you had gone once, you would be thinking the same. I was not going to go, but after 3wks or so my neck felt like it was getting tight again. The original Dr had told me it was best I see the master as I was a tough case and may need an adjustment. Too many bad habits and my knees would lock again.

So! Last Monday I woke up and decided to just do it. I arrived and the waiting room was very busy - I paid and sat down and then the Dr I had seen popped out and saw me - he was very surprised - said he didnt think I would come back! So, I waited my turn, trying not to breathe in the nasty herbs they burn...supposedly for your health. At one point there was a commotion and I heard some noise and someone ran into the room with towels...I had an inkling what was going on, but thought - can't be? Meanwhile, I am texting with E, telling him he hasn't heard from me in 20 min to call Yu-Wei and tell him to go in and get me...and a lady comes out covered in PUKE! omg. She was having her bone setting done, and threw up due to the pain. See - I told you it was one of the most painful experiences of my life...and here I was back to go again??

I quickly text E about this and said I am going to just leave - and of course he says - no, you are already there, just stay and get it done. You already had it done once and you said it helped. Easy for him to say, sitting in his office at work! Then Dr Huang pops out for me - and I said - I was just thinking about leaving after the last one - he said oh no, its ok - The master is very good. uh huh. sure he is. Then he says Master already saw you sitting there, he says you need setting - he can tell by your legs. Ok, so now we are back to my FAT legs again. I said, listen. I do not have fat legs. I am not asian, no. But I DO NOT HAVE FAT LEGS AND DONT SAY THAT AGAIN! Then said there are many american women with fat legs, I am not one of them. He says ummm....ok. We will make your legs look and feel better and then you can come back and we will further tonify the qi in your legs. Ok, much better. I said now that is fine. Put the positive spin on things. Telling someone they have fat legs (when honestly, they aren't fat..) is not a good sales pitch. I really think he should hire a communications expert!

I sit and Master checks out my knees - ah, yes, still too tight. Then he starts working on them. I would say on a scale of 1-10 - his adjustment was about a 4? the first dr the first time was about a 12. It was really manageable, uncomfortable, but I could deal. He also did an adjustment of my arm - he said my hands were numb due to neck tightness. ( didnt even know they were numb) No puke, nothing. He then had me do a few exercises and reminded me no running, kicking, laying flat with knees locked, etc. and I was out the door. I will say my neck feels fine and I am following orders. Will I go back for acupuncture to improve my legs? we shall see. Maybe after the holidays???

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Martha is alive and well in China!

Yes, I pulled off the work holiday party from China this year. oy.vey. 25 chinese people, all coming to see how the "laoban" (boss) lives. It is a bit more difficult to host parties here - mainly the food part - figuring out what to serve, and then many things you might normally do are super $$. I managed to come in just slightly above budget.

I ended up doing a mix of things, some chinese (zhongcan) some western(xican). I catered some really yummy appetizers from a local restaurant, then at home did a few more things - michelle made spring rolls, I did crab rounds, meatballs,cheese/crackers/salami...dessert we put out fresh fruit, and I had made cookies and cupcakes. Chinese are huge on fruit for dessert, I think they ate all of it! All the food seemed to be a hit - There was not much of anything left, a few spring rolls (we had made 100!) and a few indian meatballs.

Kids were quite good and had so much attention but it was Wrigs that was the star of the show. They loved him! So here was our 11 year old dog, doing tricks and getting treats all night long - he was in heaven! Connor sang to his Wii american idol game. D showed off all her babies.
e's admin - who loves to take pictures - got a snapshot of just about everything we own, I think. Was too funny!

It was a long day and I am glad to be done!!! Now I can get us ready to leave this Thursday.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Germs, germs, germs!

I have been told by many people here that we will likely have some viruses and infections we don't get at home - different bugs, germs, weather, etc. Ok, I suppose that makes sense. What I am not fine with - is what DCR had in October. I did not even take a picture of it in its acute state - it was AWFUL! She had gotten a tattoo on her temple/forehead at a birthday party, which had to be scrubbed quite hard to get off. The next day, E noticed a slight rash (I was gone to the states). Well, the day after - full blown rash that looked like an outbreak of the worst acne you have ever seen! When I got back I ended up taking her to the DR, - and though they didnt culture it, he said it was either MRSA or some form of infantigo - a skin infection. MRSA is the penicillian resistant bacteria that abounds in hospitals, though it can be other places too. He said he would give same rx whatever the culture said, so sent us home with rx for bactrim (the packets we mix ourselves again!) and said to do hot compresses 4 times a day. This all started Oct 26. I took this picture of her last night - you can still see the spots. I do think they will eventually be gone - but can you even believe this?? just crazy! SO, new rule in the house - no tattoos anywhere and especially nothing on faces. nuts!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

even in China!

We are surprised at the decorations they have out here locally - lights on trees, santa and his sleigh posted on buildings. Very festive, really. Note my santa next to the tree, E bought it at the flower market for me - he is life size and really handsome!

We didn't bring any holiday decorations with us - for any holidays. none. Just wasn't on the list. So, I was able to find some ornaments at the flower market, ikea and the fake market - some really pretty ones, too, I might add. We borrowed a tree from friends that have 2 here. E was so happy that it was about 8 ft tall and was super easy to put up, vs the one we have at home that takes a village to get up and decorated. We rushed to get it done last weekend as we realized we won't get to enjoy it if we don't get it up now as we leave for Az on the 18th. Here are a few pics, for your viewing pleasure and a few of the house. I never think to post any house pics, but imagine somepeople wonder what its like to live here - and now you will know, it's not so different from being at home!

Chinese Chiropractor?

I don't know how I get myself into these things. Really, I don't. I do go to a chiro in AZ, as well as a naturopath for acupuncture. I have found that going to them on a monthly basis usually keeps me in pretty good shape, otherwise I have a sore back or stiff neck or something causing me grief. So, here I the land of acupuncture - the birthplace of traditional chinese medicine. I had a recommendation for a dr here, he speaks good english and has college degree from canada, then studied for the TCM aspect locally. I really haven't had many issues that required dr'ing here - which is good - but my neck and shoulders were really bothering me. So much that I had to break down and go. Now, I figured a few acupuncture needles, maybe acupressure in a spot or two and maybe chinese cupping. Well. that. was. not. the. case.

I arrive at this clinic, and they have disgusting herbs cooking - it was not moxibustion (a local chinese herb that is supposed to cure all that ails) but it smelled just as bad. Then a young guy pops out (young - I can say as he was probably a few years younger than me!) and says - are you here to see me? um, who are you?
well, indeed - it was Dr. huang. his card says:
Ph.D., Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Master of Medicine, China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Bachelor of Neuro-Science, University of Toronto

I tell him my issue - sore shoulder/stiff neck - and he immediately tells me it is most likely in my knees. All back and neck issues stem from knees, then he tells me he can tell without looking I have issue as my lower body is bigger than my top - means qi is blocked. (at this point, I am ready to knock him out as my legs are NOT fat??? hello? but of course, my vainness krept in and I thought, well what if my legs look better after treatment?? that would be good!)
ok, I say - but my knees feel fine?
No, he says, they feel fine now - in 20 years, you won't be able to straighten them out! He then shows me a "normal knee" - his, and then looks at mine - ah, not normal.
ok...looks normal to me? they are locked, he says. Me - locked? I dont think so? they bend??
no - see, they need to look like this. I can fix them.
hmmm..fix them? how? I just wanted to have acupuncture?
No, he says - it won't work - will be short term. I will fix them then you come back for acupuncture.
Ok, so what do you do? (my first clue should have been when walking into his office - there was a stool next to a handicap rail - and you are supposed to hold onto the rail while he works on your knees!)
So he says he will do a chiropractic adjust on my knees??
yikes! I almost bolted. Really, but my neck was just a mess. So, I sit. and then worry as I had not told E where I was going - what if he breaks my leg or something? oy.

So, I hold onto the rail and he starts "unlocking my kneecap". I very nearly passed out from the pain! I can't tell you how much it hurt! He says - your knees, locked very badly - um, yes...I guess so?
and by the way lets skip the other knee for today - I really feel MUCH better.
No, no. he won't get better with one knee. This will be ok, very fast. At this point, I was unable to say no - trying to catch my he moved to the next one...truly as bad as the first. Once he was done, he stretched me out, showed me some excercises and gave me a list of things NOT to do for the next month or so, as my knees may lock back up again! I said "what"!!! lock up again? you must be kidding? No, you have to take care. So, no running, big kicks, etc till they settle.

then, he says - my master, he will be here in Dec, you should come back. He has studied bone setting for over 40 yrs, was a buddhist monk in tibet. Bone setting? yes, that is what we just did - chinese call it Tui Na, but its bone setting. Ok, I would not have been signing up for something called bone setting! ack! Adjustment, ok - setting? yikes! You had very bad locked knees, he should check you. I then made my way out as quickly as I could move - was quite shaky at that point and was sure he did my knees so that I would have sore knees and forget how much my neck hurt!

And...the punchline is...I have no neck pain. at all. cured. My knees feel ok now, a tiny bit sore after a few workout classes but no neck pain at all. This is good. So, now to decide do I go back to see the master, or call it a day? Supposedly the master does not hurt. ha! He did say once my knees are ok I can come back for acupuncture. We'll see. E thinks I should go back. I am not so sure....!