Thanks for your patience everyone. I would post more often but we are usually blocked from blogs. Sometimes--like right now--we have a short window of time during which we can access our blog.
We are doing well. It is the first of November and today the temp was 3 celsius. Unfortunately "central heating" here means there is a central steam plant in the city which will begin sending heat to all the homes on November 15. Until then we wear lots of sweaters/coats inside. We do have a small air conditioner upstairs which can be turned to heat, so the living room at least is warm. I won't be surprised if the boys end up sleeping on the upstairs sofas until the 15th. The bedrooms downstairs are positively frigid!
We are feeling really settled in. We know where to shop and how to bargain for the best price. We know the only place to get chicken breasts, the only place to get butter, and the only place to get Hershey's syrup. We know what restaurants to go to and what (and how) to order. We can get just about anyplace in a taxi. If you know me, you know how funny it is to see me hailing a taxi!!
Alaina starts school tomorrow, at a Chinese kindergarten (kindergarten being the name for schools enrolling children 2-6 years old.) I am told that she will pick up Chinese very quickly. I hope so, because no one at the school speaks English!
The boys all really like their school. They are learning Mandarin for one hour every day. Darryl is taking private language lessons. I'm trying to learn the language by talking to our Chinese-only driver and our Chinese-only Ayi.
We are returning to the US for a visit on December 19. I am really looking forward to my annual peppermint mocha at Starbuck's. Hope we get to see you all.