From the day we found out we were expecting little Olive Bee, we joked about how one day she would reach an age when telling people that she was born in Beijing, China would seem like bragging rights. Well…since we stripped her of that joy – we thought the least we could do was take photos of her in utero on The Great Wall of China. A big thank you to photographer Diego Ferrini and to make-up artist Meili Autumn.
Please stayed tuned for A Blonde in Beijing’s big blog move….coming soon!
All images courtesy of Diego Ferrini.
I am very aware that my last post has left me in a frozen state of 29 weeks of pregnancy – and well, that is obviously not my reality. I am happy to announce that we have a beautiful and healthy baby girl (but more about that later). For now, I would like to focus on why I was not around to finish my “Bump in Beijing” posts…or any other posts for that matter. You see – the very day after I posted the Bump in Beijing Weeks 25-29, my darling husband came home after work with big news. He announced that the company had sold, and we now had to make a decision…stay in Beijing or head to the mother land.
Honestly, it was a no brainer. While we loved our time in China’s capital city – it was time to move back, be closer to family, and share our bundle of joy with her grandmothers! (Not to mention saving her precious little lungs from Beijing’s off-the-charts pollution.) The preparations began immediately. Movers were hired and goodbye parties were planned. We were on a very strict 3-week time table before I would be on the NO-FLY list – so we couldn’t waste a single second.
Very grateful for the adrenaline rush created by the thought of an international move at 32-weeks preggers, my energy level soared to new heights, and I was able to cram in lunches, dinners, and shopping excursions with all of my favorite ladies. I finalized projects and Brett and I checked off some “Beijing must-sees” that had been overlooked during our 3 1/2 year stay. We even squeezed in one more visit from my parents. It was a jam packed 3-weeks – to say the least, but we survived!
A couple of days before the movers came to pack us up, I took several photos of our apartment. I realized that I had never posted images of it before. I will always think back with fond memories of this apartment…the first place Brett and I lived together, the countless dinners, the get-togethers with friends, the 3 Thanksgivings and Christmases, the many Saturday mornings we woke at dawn to watch Alabama football and drink pink champagne, and finally the place where our sweet baby Olive was made.
Our last week was packed with activities…we squeezed in one last trip to the Great Wall, finally visited the Summer Palace, and had a “yard sale”.
All the last minute sight seeing and visiting with friends was great – but honestly, the highlight of our last week was hosting a Chinese style yard sale. After cleaning out and organizing the apartment so the movers could come to pack everything, we needed a fast way to get rid of all the junk we had accumulated. For months we had been fighting the traffic outside our building due to a make shift Saturday morning market that brought the locals out in droves. Now it was our turn to get in on the action. I had to do some convincing to get Brett on board. He feared that we (okay he) would have to haul whatever items didn’t sell back up to the apartment. So naturally - his idea was to just trash everything. I, on the other hand, was confident in my understanding of the local Chinese. If we were selling Western goods (and I don’t mean cowboy boots) – they were buying. My hunch proved to be more than right. We couldn’t even make it to the sidewalk before a swarm of 75+ Chinese people started pawing and grabbing everything in our hands. It was mayhem…bedlam…anarchy – I honestly don’t know how to put it into words (nor does the thesaurus). And sadly, it happened so fast that my pictures do not even do it justice. FYI – Beijing might be the only place in the world where you can practically get dollar for dollar (or RMB for RMB) back for the crap you bought at Ikea.
After a busy week of goodbyes, it was finally time to head to the Beijing International Airport one last time. Somehow – although we came to Beijing with only 5 suitcases each, it took a shuttle bus to take us in order to hold all of our bags (not to mention the 76 boxes on the way to America via slow boat).
And just like that, after 3 1/2 wonderful years – full of once in a lifetime experiences, we said, “Bye Bye Beijing.”
Please stayed tuned for A Blonde in Beijing’s big blog move…coming soon!
It is no secret to those who know me that I am a lover of all things Barbie. So when my dear friends here in Beijing decided to throw us a baby shower – the theme was apparently a “Barbie Doll Brainer”…i.e. a no brainer. Not to suggest that creators behind the famous doll do not have brains…it is just that if you literally squeeze the doll’s head, it is hollow – there is no plastic brain. Perhaps something Mattel should think about adding…
While my Ken doll, Brett, was in the know, the shower was a total surprise to me! What a fun treat to find all of my Beijing beauties dressed in their “Barbie Best” to celebrate the upcoming arrival of Baby Olive Bee. And while the actual brunch baby shower was a surprise, I was not surprised at all to find that these special ladies had covered every detail – including a preggers Barbie centerpiece! I will now let the pictures do the talking…
I would like to say another BIG Barbie THANK YOU to all of our sweet friends who organized this celebration in honor of our little one. Being pregnant and planning to give birth in China is certainly a unique and sometimes challenging experience, but having the love and support of such great friends is a true blessing.
Better Late Than Never, Right? Here is a very tardy post of our wonderful visit with the Hutchinsons last November.
What a treat it was to be able to spend time with Brett’s parents, his brother Cory, and beautiful Kara here in Beijing. There are just some things that cannot be expressed through words or photos – which is why we love visitors. It actually enables us to really show what our life is like in this crazy, polluted, overcrowded…but still pretty fascinating foreign land.
Unfortunately, their visit fell on an extremely busy week for Brett (which I think the majority of you, through deductive reasoning, will be able to tell by the absence of him in the photos below) which left us all missing him and forced the Hutchinsons to see China through the eyes of a Blonde in Beijing. I am hopeful that a good time was still had by all!
In addition to celebrating Brett’s Big 4-0 at Maison Boulud, we were able to show them quite a few of the sites - The Olympic Village, The Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, Wangfujing Snack Street, Tea Street, and The Forbidden City. And of course – we made sure that they tried all the top foods – Beijing Duck, Din Tai Fung dumplings, and don’t forget the street meat. (Okay – I don’t think Donna actually tried this…but Cory & Kara braved a variety of interesting delicacies – i.e. scorpions, silk worms, etc.)
As their tour guide for the week, I did my best to document the trip for them (a service I only provide for true VIP visitors!) Here are some of my favorites…
In need of a suit? If so – lucky you! Thanks to numerous ready-to-wear designers, buying a suit is no longer a sentence into conformity. Not to suggest that the chicness of a well-tailored, classic black suit in a high quality fabric is on the outs – but why not jazz it up a bit with something a little more inspire? In reminiscing through seasons past – I tried to find options to “suit” a variety of tastes. Whether you are a lover of color, prints, or a modern take on shape – here are a few inspirations for SUITING UP!
We are certainly progressing in the “bump” area! For those of you who requested new shoes each week…I hope you are not disappointed. If you commented on the fact that my hair grew bigger in each photo during weeks 18-21…I am sorry but my thin, baby fine hair is pretty much maxed out with the teasing and “Big Sexy” aerosol hairspray.
Only 15 weeks to go until we meet our little Olive!
Check out Weeks 18-21 for a “Bump Comparison”!
While having a little girl on the way is relatively new to me…having the color pink on the brain is certainly not! That said – it has enhanced my love of the color even more – which I didn’t think was possible. And – it seems that I am not alone in my affinity for all things PINK. Numerous designers used the girly hue in their resort collections. I believe that many of them chose the specific Schiaparelli shade that you see below to pay tribute to the brand’s big comeback. I personally cannot wait to see who will be named the new head designer of the infamous label. Waiting on PINK pins and needles until September…
Images courtesy of http://www.style.com.