Last Friday morning we took both of the girls out on an adventure--shopping at a huge wholesale marketplace on the western edge of town. According to our ever-resourceful house helper Mimi, this is THE place to go to get great, cheap stuff. Never mind that the taxi ride over there cost more than some of the items we purchased, Mimi insisted that we go there since she was going to introduce us to her friend there who could meet our needs perfectly. And what was it that we needed? We wanted to choose some fabric and then have some Asianese traditional clothes made for the purpose of wearing when we're back in the States. In actual fact, most of our Asianese friends very seldom wear this type of clothing, and maybe don't even own anything like it, but we think our western friends are going to love it.
When we walked in, I sucked in my breath in shock--it literally felt like we were entering a walk-in freezer. It was warmer outside! The cold was due to a combination of factors: it was a warehouse style building, unheated, with a huge, high ceiling, the floors and the walls cement block which were just emnating cold. At first it felt cold, really cold, but as we chose styles we liked from a book for all four of us, chose fabric, got measured, etc, and time went on, soon my feet and hands became stiff from the cold and hardly workable! I cannot imagine how people can work in that environment every day! But Mimi was true to her word--there were SO many choices of Asianese silk in every conceivable gorgeous pattern, and her friend seemed like he could sew all of our things quite easily. The items should be done around the first of the year so we shall see how they turn out! The great thing about tailoring is that we can always get them adjusted if they don't fit quite right.
Our house has been known to be overly warm during the winter--we have the regular steam heat which is regulated by the government. There is a huge coal-burning factory on the edge of town and then the hot water is piped in so we have steam heat. Once the local government decides to turn it on, it's on for everybody until they decide to turn it off in the spring! In the past I had often complained about it being too warm (sleeping with only a sheet covering during the wintertime seems a bit crazy) but on Friday I was truly thankful for my warm home. It took us all about an hour to warm up after arriving back home again!
Here's the "etc." part of this post--a few random pictures from the last few days. They aren't even very good photos, but at least you can get the idea! Here's Chloe showing off her sitting-up skill!
This one could be called: All My Children. Clara Anne seems to have equal love and attachment for all three of her dolls. Two of them (the left one and the center one) were mine when I was a little girl, and the one on the right is a recent acquisition--she came with the stroller that we bought for Clara Anne recently. Lately I've had to limit Clara Anne to only one doll to sleep with, as she would gladly take them all to bed with her every night. In this picture she is trying to spread out her blanket to wrap them up.
This is an action shot from a Christmas party we attended on Saturday night. Of course our camera battery decided to give out after this picture was taken, though I think our friends did get a better family picture of us later--we'll have to get that from them. But you can see us in our Christmas clothes, at least!