October 2015

Here she is, at the end of the toddler posts.


What’s floating this girl’s boat:

  • Special Party.  Have you been invited to the special party?  Most likely, you’ve been bribed into it, or punished out of it.  For months, Hazel and Miles have made the promise if you do something “you can come to my special party”, or “spesh” for short.  Miles confided weeks ago (out of earshot of Hazel) that there was no special party.  For Hazel, the party planning lives on.
  • Special Guys, and the Fall of the Pee-anghk.  Hazel loves her soft toys; they have families and birthdays (with cake), conversations and love to snuggle.  For years, since birth basically, we went nowhere overnight without Pinky.  Then we took a trip to the beach where Seastar took the coveted carry on position.  She told us – this is the first time I am going away without Pink.  It also happened to be the week of Sea Star’s birthday, which we had celebrated with … a special party.
  • Adaptable.  Hazel just rocked it through a very major life transition.  HUGE props.
  • Sneaky Jabs.  Finally, she is that sibling, the one who can not only stand up for herself but can dish it back, in the sneakiest way possible where she won’t be the one in trouble, turning on the water works at just the right time for Miles to take the brunt of the blame.  I’m onto her though…I had a little sister too you know.
  • Out of the Green.  Green is no longer trumping the rainbow these days.  Up on top, Tuscan Red and Goldenrod (thanks to the artsy Grandma Linda, she is well versed in the expanded color wheel).  Also, Pink.  Although I see it as short lived.
  • Big Girl.  The big FOUR (point) OH is looming, and Hazel has fully come into her own.  She sporting her Stelzer lump (with lump kiss for daddio), eating some more vegetables, going on big hikes, speaking her mind, and loving big time on New Baby and momma’s giant bump.  I’m so proud of this little lady!

Barely two weeks back in North America and we got a tropical treat.  We all headed down to Cancun for the wedding of Mariel to her very own Tim.  The long weekend was planned at an all-inclusive resort, and afforded us great opportunity to catch up with the Bolhouse grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins while also getting to know our new in-laws (out-laws?) who are also based in Colorado.

Miles, Hazel and I were all in the wedding, and what a gorgeous wedding it was.  Perfect weather, on the beach, with enough personal creative touches by the newlyweds to make it a truly magical evening.

Also magical: knowing the tropics are only a 3-hour discount airline flight away.  For when the mountains get to be too much.  Whew!




Miles was super eager to get going with kindergarten, so even before we had the keys to our house in the neighborhood, he had his first day of school!  It happened to be pajama day (talk about a relaxed start!)


Hazel made friends at the playground, and I started to meet some moms at pick up.


Miles got to participate in walk-to-school day, after which we walked straight back home again, as he only attends afternoon kindergarten.


So far, so good with the new school.  Miles is making friends and loving it!

September is a good month to move to Colorado.  It was still kind of summer, although the evenings had a crispness to them.  Shorts were ideal most of the time, and the leaves had not started to fall.  The skies were a deep autumnal blue, a very welcome change from the haze of our last days in Penang.


We stayed 10 days with the Stelzers, and for the most part it was pretty relaxing for us.  Miles got a week off school, Tim was working but from home, and Hazel and I didn’t have a lot of responsibilities as we could not yet move into our house.  We met some parents at the meet the parents night for kindergarten, and Tim caught up with old old friends at his 20 year high school reunion.


Mostly, we enjoyed being outdoors and having grandparents around.  Why else did we move to Colorado?  Lots of walks, hikes and just hanging out.  Real life would start later, we made a nice and easy transition to our new home.


It had been seven years since I last set foot on Chinese pavement, and with the golden opportunity facing us (Tim’s business need, plus fulfilling the strict requirements of the elusive transit visa) we jumped at the chance to stop on our way moving home from Malaysia.  It would be a quick one, a mandated 72 hours or less, but I couldn’t wait to check out our old stomping ground again.  We had lots of bags, plus emotional baggage from leaving Penang, but it turned out to be a great stop.


Priority number one: cruise at 400km/hr.  Miles loves his trains, and the chance to ride the Maglev was our first stop.  Unfortunately, it was raining on our arrival and they only hit 330 km/hr on the trip to the city.  The return fare sped to the max velocity however, and everyone was happy.


Priority two: Work.  True, I no longer work at AMD (or at all, as it were, leaving all employment in Penang), but to visit the office I occupied on it’s day of inception was a treat.  I had a very warm welcome, and was surprised to find my former team almost completely in tact!  I’ll take it as a compliment to my efforts there that they were all there working.  I got a fabulous welcome, and they took me to lunch at Taibei Yachu, which was always my choice for welcoming and saying goodbye to team members.  I suppose that day they did both.  Miles impressed them with his eating abilities.  The weather was gorgeous, and the trees blooming around the office let out the sweet scent that is only September in Shanghai.  Nostalgia hit hard.

Priority Three: Checking out the city.  We had one day to see what Shanghai had been up to in our absence.  We walked all over the French Concession, found it to be far less caffeinated than we expected yet blissfully full of noodles and wontons.  Subway-ed around, hit up the Bund, Oriental Pearl Tower (Dong Fang Ming Zhu became a suggested name for New Baby), and ended up at the fake markets in the High Tech Subway stop.  Dinner was more Hunan homestyle food, we could not get enough of this stuff!

And that was the end of our 72 hours in Shanghai.  Onward: homeward bound.