Nathan’s 5th Birthday

Time really flies so fast as we had Nathan’s 5th birthday already! That little boy who looked like Churchill in his first month grew into a little devil in such short time. Today we invited some of his friends from kindergarten to celebrate at our place and it was the first time for us to do so. We had first planned that Nathan gets invited to some birthday party and then invite those kids to his celebration but he was never invited in the 1 1/2 years he is in kindergarten. So we had to rethink our plan and let him just chose some kids he likes the most.

Playing some games

Thus far we had only celebrated his 1st birthday with some friends and family but that one didn’t really count as Nathan has zero memories of that time. Now he was all excited the entire week and it was so hard to get him to bed each evening as he was looking forward to his birthday. All the previous years it was just like any other day for him as he did not really understand what a birthday is. My wife did once again all the planning and organising for this event and she really invested a lot of time into it.

Weeks before the birthday she ordered all the decoration and the theme she planned for was Paw Patrol. Nathan is just like most other kids a huge fan of that show. As the whole Paw Patrol thing is rather huge it was not hard to find the proper decoration for the party. Now what was hard was to get the apartment ready for the birthday. We basically cleaned and decorated for two days untill everything was ready just minutes before the kids arrived. I think nothing can prepare you for the madness of having so many kids in your place. Nothing broke or anything like that but it is just crazy when all the kids are running around, screaming and trying their football skills in the kitchen.

Destroying together the Lego Ninjago City

Yes we are dead exhausted now but it was worth it as Nathan had tons of fun and the kids also were happy. No matter how deadly such event is for the parents it is still worth it when seeing all those beaming faces. Nathalie also had a lot of fun but she was a bit in the way for the other kids as she is a tad bit too young so I brought her downstairs to her grandparents. Haruki the Shiba was not fond at all of the crazy kids and the noise so I had to evacuate him to my parents as well.

 

How did you celebrate as a kid or how did you plan your kid’s birthday parties?

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Chinese New Year celebration…

In the past weeks I read so many blog posts about the Chinese New Year and how the people will celebrate it and whatnot all. Here in Germany in my little hometown it is a bit different. Sure we would love to celebrate New Year but first of all we only hoped this time not to get sick again as all the past year. We had so bad luck each January/ February with our health that we already prepared all the medication for a week with high fever in bed. But some wonder happened and we stayed healthy! That was indeed already something new for us and actually all we hoped for.

Eating some fruits, drinking tea, Chinese New Year Gala and a dog harassing us

Back in Finland we had this big New Year celebration in Helsinki city center but here in my hometown? Not so much. Even though there are pretty many Chinese living here (we know perhaps 5% of them) there is never any event taking place. Of course they always plan to celebrate with some nice food and invite many friends over but that never happens. Thing is this is still Germany and there are no holidays over the Lunar New Year so people are just too busy to actually celebrate on a working day. We had “holidays” ourselves as we are exporting to China and we just have no customers at all for an entire week due to the holidays over there.

So what can you do when there is authentic Chinese restaurant anywhere nearby and the supermarkets have only limited amount of ingredients for making some nice Chinese dishes? You do nothing but stay home, eat snacks, have video chats with the family in China all the while the Chinese New Year Gala is blaring from the TV.  I must say it was a rather uneventful day for us and my wife was a bit down as all chat groups were filled with pictures and videos of the food in China while she was stuck with some grapes and chips.

No that was not our food this year as we couldn’t get any useful ingredients

But it all ain’t bad as this uneventful day and the entire weeks gave us time for other things. My wife finally started studying for her driving license again after starting it back in 2017! I also had time to do some video editing and finished our holiday “movie” from 2015 and started now the editing process for 2016 in which we had the crazy city tour in China.

How did you celebrate the Chinese New Year?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore there is also my Instagram account in which from time to time some pictures and short videos might pop up.

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New Apartment IV

It has been a while since I wrote last time about the new apartment in China. It has been too long as over half-year passed by already. Back then I had the news that MIL will move into the new apartment alone and FIL would stay behind the old place and have his peace from his wife. This actually did not change thus far and that is something special as my in-laws are changing their plans as often as other people change their clothes.

Renovating the apartment has finally started and MIL might be able to move in by May/ June.  It took ages for them to decide how the apartment should look like, which materials to use and what furniture to purchase but after nearly a year of discussion and useless ideas they settled on something. Now I have no clue at all how it will look like but something has been bothering me a lot. Apparently renovating that 90m²/ ~970ft² apartment (actually more like 80m² as in China there is some stupidity going on that you purchase part of the staircase/ floor outside the apartment) takes over three whole months! How on earth can this be possible? Sure the apartment is just a shell when they purchased it without any floor, just concrete wall and windows. But how can this take that long?

I know my way around renovating apartments as we turned this…

Here in Germany when you build a house most companies guarantee that the entire house is complete after 3 months including everything inside according to your wishes. So how can just a small apartment take that long in China. Besides taking way too long it also costs pretty much the same as it would in Germany. For example in 2017 I renovated a 70m² apartment together with my dad in just four weeks so how can it be that professionals need three times as long? In my opinion something fishy is going on as it seems to be the norm in China that it takes so many months and worst they say the apartment needs to “air” for a couple of months so all the fumes are more or less gone by then.  I am no expert but I have renovated enough apartments by now that I know that there is something very wrong and that they just want to charge more for taking that long.

into something bit better looking

I would love to show some pictures of the current progress but sadly my in-laws never took any pictures or videos. Most likely the next pictures of that apartment will be in April when we visit it ourselves. I do wonder how long it will take for MIL to ruin the apartment as three months each year in our apartment are enough to destroy or damage rather much. Probably FIL will go there very often to clean up the mess due to his OCD but I hope it won’t be that often as I wish for him to get some rest and perhaps his hairs might even grow back with less stress around the household.

FIL with hairs on his head before the horrors of living with his wife started

What are your experiences on how long it takes to renovate an apartment?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore there is also my Instagram account in which from time to time some pictures and short videos might pop up.

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.instagram.com/Crazychinesefamily

My crazy Chinese Family I married into…

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