Thursday, October 29, 2009

Shanghai Steamed Bun Restaurant

After meeting our last company this morning, we have essentially wrapped up our business here in Shanghai, we travel back tomorrow. Today, together with Michael Chang, our very gracious and welcoming local Lilly host, we visited one of Shanghai’s most famous restaurants - The Shanghai Steamed Bun Restaurant.

This restaurant is located in the middle of a relatively run down part of the city, a traditional housing section of the city which hosts many tourist focused shopping areas. You can see how these steamed buns, or dumplings, filled with a variety of assorted meats and vegetables are steamed cooked in bamboo pots and served steaming. One can see the local traditional buildings, the smog but with the unmistakable Shanghai World Financial Center buildings shown in the background.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Shanghai Update

Things are going well in Shanghai. Weather is beautiful, 60-70 C with no humidity. This is such a big city, it’s simply incredible. Most of our hosts are claiming its over 23 million people. We drove 45 minutes across town yesterday and there were skyscrapers for miles, with many many high rise apartment buildings.

I’m having a little trouble with the 12hour time difference. Its hard to remain focused in the afternoons at the companies I’m visiting and I’m generally wide away from 4am.

Food is really nice. Mostly vegetables actually and not a lot of meat being served. I have not eaten any additional new or exotic items since my last post. Have had some interesting and different white teas that were flower based.

The air around the city is pretty thick with smog or something similar. As you could see from my earlier picture, it is difficult to see much more than a couple hundred meters. As I look out the window this morning, its pretty bad!!

I have not had a chance to take any more photos, sorry! I’ll trying getting some today!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

6am Shanghai, China

Good Morning from Shanghai. This is the view from my 37th floor hotel room so I couldn’t resist taking a quick snapshot to write a quick post.

I'm on the East side of the Huang River looking across the famous Shanghai skyline. This picture from Wikipedia is a little better than mine.

My trip was uneventful and long. I did not sleep at all so I was pretty tired last night. We did meet some local Lilly colleagues last night for a very informal dinner which was very nice. I can claim to have eaten goose intestines, prepared in a nice soy and chili sauce.

I have constant and free internet access (hard wired) so I may post quite a bit this week. Enjoy the week everybody!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Trip to China

The posts may be few and far between next week, I travel to China, specifically to Shangai, for work on Saturday morning. This will be my first trip ever to China so I'm  somewhat excited. The trip there won't be much fun, Chicago direct to Shangai is almost 15 hours straight. I'm also a little apprehensive going with Lynne's due date so close. Only 6 weeks to go, so I should be a little nervous leaving right? Lynne would say that there isn't much I could do anyhow but, you know, I would like to be there!!

Anyhow, I plan on posting at least once next week from China, I may not get to it however!! Thanks in advance to Randy and Loraine as always for their help next week!!

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Aneka Crystal Boerrigter

Congratulations to Steef, Ginette and Marissa on the birth of their daughter and sister, Aneka Crystal Boerrigter. She was born yesterday morning and weighed 8 lbs 6 oz. I have not spoken with either but we have heard that everybody is doing well.

There are more photos on their blog. I'll post another when I get a family photo.

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Tonight I have made another promise to myself, one of those that may end up like a New Years resolution, great idea at the time but will never last. I'll have to see in this case.

The girls are constantly coloring, drawing, painting, writing etc etc. They generate masses of paper, mostly with scribble or a mess, but once in a while when they concentrate it looks good. To date this is Anja only but I'm Isabel will get there eventually. To date we have been throwing these out, simply because we have not been sufficiently organized but also given the amount of paper. So, I'm going to try keeping some of the best stuff by scanning it and keeping an electronic copy. This will take some of the guilt from throwing away their "Original Art". Lets see how long this great idea lasts I can hear you all say. I'd say the same quite frankly but I'm going to give it a shot.

Periodically, I'll share some. These two were generated today. You can see that Anja both did a drawing of a heart and wrote some names. Brooke (our new nanny), Anja and Isabel (she needs to work on her S's). Not bad I think for a 4 and a half year old! We're proud of her!

(post publishing thought, given how good the second picture looks, we need to check who indeed painted this picture. We now think it may have been Kristina). If it was, Kristina we are thinking of you!!

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Sleep Fairy

Ever hear of the Sleep Fairy when you were growing up? Not me. In our house, growing up in Ireland with a house full of boys and one girl, if you didn't go to sleep when put to bed, the results were often not pretty. Well in todays new world of parenting, kids have to be coaxed into everything.

Since we returned from Ireland, Isabel has had trouble sleeping, or rather staying in her bed once she is put to bed. To be fair she has had a lot going on in her little life but sometimes, the up and down from bed would go on for hours. That was until we bought the Sleep Fairy Book. There is also an accompanying website.

The story is simple enough, two little girls will not stay in bed...that is until they read about the Sleep Fairy. I will not spoil everybody's fun totally, but the Sleep Fairy operates much like the Tooth Fairy, that is, if little girls (and boys apparently) stay in bed and go straight to sleep, the Fairy leaves a very small gift for them (really small and oftentimes something they need:).

It's working wonderfully for us, quiet as mice,............we LOVE the Sleep Fairy!!

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Our Blog Address

When I first started this blog (see my first ever post), I was all excited about being able to start sharing photos of Anja with anybody who was interested. I registered with Blogger and selected "" as the blogs URL. Seemed reasonable at the time, not so now given that we have Isabel and another on the way.

I have now registered , so hopefully Anja's siblings will not feel too left out when they read this many years from now. The old address will still work! the family picture below is from August this year, Isabel's birthday party!

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Tough Time for Isabel Lately

Over the last few weeks, poor Isabel has been through a few wars. She's still battling them.

Apart from constantly having some sort of runny nose (since the day she was born), recently she dislocated her elbow whilst falling at school. This is pretty common apparently and we have since heard of other kids who also
had this happen. The doctor popped it back into place. The same week, I took her again to see the doctor after she got her thumb caught in the door. Anja and her were sparring over who would close the sliding back door. It was slammed shut, I heard it bang so it made it all the way to the jam, it was just a pity that Isabel had her thumb between the door and the jam.

Two weeks ago she has a rash or boil looking infection on her bottom. Off to the doctor again who lanced it, had it cultured which turned out to be the nasty MRSA bacterium. A round of antibiotics took care of that thankfully.

This week, she has had a fever of 103F for a couple of days so we suspected the H1N1 flu virus. It subsided but now has a rash. Another trip to the doctor today who seemed to believe that it was a Roseola virus. Pretty common in kids up to two, not much we can do about it. This was probably the cause of the fever and not the H1N1. We are also now treating a yeast infection that she appears to have picked up. This is probably as a result of the antibiotics mentioned above......

She is a trooper though. Getting through it but she is constant in the wars, recall, that this was the 11 month old who broke her leg!

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lilly Sells Tippecanoe Labs

Today Lilly announced the sale of its Tippecanoe Laboratories. This is the local Lilly manufacturing site where I started life in Lilly when we first came to West Lafayette. I worked there for over three years before my R&D position was moved to Indianapolis. It is a little sad that after 55 years our local area will loose the presence of Lilly, one of Indiana's most recognized corporations and one that contributed significantly to the local area.

This had been a long awaited announcement but I'm happy that finally those that work there have a cloud of uncertainty lifted. Most readers of this blog will know of Lorraine, well she still works there. And Samim who hosted the Eid celebration works there and we also have a few neighbors that work there.

The site will be in good hands. It was purchased by a private German company, Evoniik AG. They are already off to a great start in making their presence felt, they have offered every employee at the site a position once the deal has completed in December.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Our First Eid Celebration

Recently, we all celebrated Eid with a very good friend of ours, Samim and her son Navid. It was a terrific evening. I obviously knew about the Muslim holiday that marked the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, but I'll be honest, until the other day I didn't actually know it was called Eid or Eid ul-Fitr. This prompted me to read a little more. Amazing to see the differences in how this is actually celebrated.

Samim, had cooked lots and lots of great food and we were very happy to be there with her for this celebration. Thanks Samim.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Indianapolis Childrens Museum

A couple of weeks back, on a very wet Sunday morning, we decided to head to Indy for a visit to the museum. Anja is going through a serious Dinosaur phase at the moment so this seemed like a great opportunity.

I immediately took Anja to all things dinosaur and she loved it while Isabel and Lynne went to a few more diverse exhibits. The skeletons shown below of a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Triceratops are mostly complete and are pretty impressive. We all had a fun day!



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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Happy Birthday Randy

Tonight we were over at a surprise birthday party for Randy who turned 59 today. I was part of the scheming, since I was responsible for having him out of the house between 4.30 and 6pm so that Lorraine and Shamim could prepare. We played racketball which was fun, we play reasonably regularly so there was no real need for any suspicion, indeed he taught me how to play! Anyway we had a nice evening!

This is also a great opportunity to thank Randy (and Lorraine) for all his help over the last three weeks. He looked after the girls on several days over the three week transition between nannies and really without him we would not have had such a smooth transition. The girls have gotten quite attached to him in fact! He was also instrumental in helping us fix our dryer (did I mention that we had a hectic last few weeks)!

So, thanks again Randy, we hope you had a very pleasant birthday evening!

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Honda Odyssey.....

One would imagine that increasing ones progeny from two to three would be a relatively minor step. Well, if there is any doubt that our next child will have an impact on our lives, look no further than the picture below!

We searched pretty hard to find suitable car seats to fit three across in our Subaru Outback. It was never going to be easy so we decided to jump into the full American 2.4 child lifestyle with the purchase of a Mini-Van. We got it, a 2010 Honda odyssey EX-L, last weekend and I must say we are pretty happy with it. Not really sure if Lynne is on-board yet!!

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009


I have not updated these pages for a little while....I had a gentle push from a dear friend :)

Anyhow, much has happened over the last month, we have many items to report and many many people to thank for their help. I will get to all this over the coming evenings but I wanted to first give you an update on our biggest change since my last post.

Kristina, our nanny since February 2008, had to stop working for us. Kristina is pregnant and was struck with a severe case of morning sickness. She is really quite ill, has been throwing up constantly, has been constantly dehydrated, is not eating and is frequently having to visit the ER room. She literally cannot walk around. I think she is currently 10 weeks and I'm sure everybody will be very relieved when she reaches the end of this first trimester.

We were obviously very excited to hear that she was going to be a Mommy, but were then greatly saddened when her sickness prevented her from being able to continue working. Kristina will be a fantastic mother. There is nothing more certain and we know this since we have watched and trusted her to care for our two girls for the last 18 months. She will be a caring Mom, an engaged Mom, a fun Mom, she will do this without much complaint and she will enjoy every moment of it. She will document every milestone and moment of her babies life with excellent photography and she will do all this with her life's friend and Husband. Her children will be her best friend(s) and she will mean it. Our children had a wonderful time with her, particularly the pajama days, they and we will miss her support, company and friendship each day.

Kristina - we are so thankful for everything you have done for us, get well and we'll see you soon!

Paul, Lynne, Anja & Isabel!

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