Beijing bonding

Asia and I (Justin) just got back from a 4-day excursion to the capital for Asia's gluten blood test, and some quality father-daughter bonding. We saw a western pediatrician: I had to hold Asia down while she had her blood drawn. She is terrified of shots and flips out when she has to have them. She did pretty well though and I was quickly forgiven for helping the nurse. She got to go swimming in the hotel pool, jump on the soft beds and have waffles at the breakfast buffet. I don't often get the chance to spend this much one-on-one time with her, so this was a fun and meaningful trip for me too. She is growing up so fast and becoming a very smart and beautiful little girl. She is also a great traveler - she gets really excited to fly on planes and explore new things. She kept saying, "I am so excited to go on a date with Daddy!" It was cute. :)

Overall, the trip went great and we are awaiting the results of the blood test...hopefully we will hear sometime this next week.


expensive grapes...

my tummy is queasy and my heart hurts. I was just robbed by three Uyghur guys while walking downtown with my two little girls. I was buying grapes, while three guys working together distracted me while one unzipped my backpack pocket - taking all my money. Once I noticed what had happened - the guy who nabbed my cash was already running down the street, and the bigger one was staring at me arrogantly wondering what I might do. There was nothing I could do. I had two small kids, and the rest of the people around me all witnessed the theft....and did nothing. Uyghur men are known for wielding knives and using them. I quickly got into a taxi and just started bawling. I feel so violated and dumb. Why did I leave my money in "that" pocket? How could they steal from a mom & kids? I am so angry at this system...this culture....the evil in this world. I know this battle is not against people, but things like this sure make it more challenging to love them. Maybe I will post a pict of my backpack and expensive grapes! I have learned much thru this experience...and have gotten good, inspiring advice.


a breathe of freshness...

Here we are traveling up to the mountains! We rented a small bus and traveled with some good friends up to Nan Shan to spend the day in the fresh air and exploring the glorious mountains (山 = shan) & valleys. Eden looks unimpressed...
We got to set up camp inside a Kazahk family's Yurt (蒙古包 = měnggǔbāo), while we ventured out to climb the hills, explore the bug-life, and chase flocks of sheep (羊 = yáng). Then mommy & Eden got to ride a horse (马 = mǎ)! Here are some glimpses into our relaxing day as a family.

A family photo looking downhill with green mountain slopes all around us (Asia-4, Eden-2, Sydney-8 months).
Eden was so thrilled to get up on the big horse with mommy. This was her first time to show any interest in large animals. Usually tiny Chinese puppies freak her out. So this was a huge feat for adventurous Eden!

Daddy imparting wisdom to his eager pupils....


trip to a smaller city...

Last week we traveled to Xining to visit some friends working in a nearby province. It was such a different place - and it felt much smaller, quainter - if you can say that about a city of 1+ million. It didn't feel as crowded or bustling with activity as our home city. We also got to stay in a new youth hostel with great accommodations, attend the grand opening of a new Italian restaurant, as well as see the World Class Rock-Climbing competitions in the park across from our hostel. We got to meet lots of new people and have fun as a family. Here are a few pictures of our trip....

This is Sydney....making a Chinese friend. These two little gals are only 2 months apart!
Here's the Rock Climbing wall & crowds. People came from across the world to compete - from Europe, Iran, China & other parts of Asia. It was amazing to watch the climbers attempt these routes, and also the speed climbing (under 9 seconds!).
Justin & the girls riding double bikes in the main square - they loved this!!
if you want to see some videos of our trip - just click on the McNabbfam video link - on the top right. We just started posting some video's on YouTube! More to come hopefully!


where everybody knows your name

Today I went out shopping with Asia, and as we were coming back - we caught a taxi (chu-zu-che = 出租车) right outside the department store. The lady was a really cute Uyghur lady, wearing a trendy cap and stylish sunglasses. She smiled as Asia got into her taxi, and climbed up into the seat. She was quite talkative with us as we drove, and she mentioned she had a little boy "her age". I told her we were foreign students, and somehow she already knew. Then she said, "Your daughter's name is Asia, right?" I was amazed that this lady (in a city of 3 million) could know my 4 year-old daughter's name!! I asked her how she knew us, and she said a friend had told her about a foreign family living at our college. Crazy!! News sure gets around fast.... Asia's name also seems to be of particular interest, and is also used for Uyghur girls in other forms. Anyhow, its nice to feel loved.