Sunday, December 27, 2009

Baobao is in Youtube

Uploading videos to blogger can be painful and slows down the blog, so we've decided to create our own you tube channel where we've uploaded most of Baobao's videos so far:

http://www.youtube.com/macandchen

Subir videos al blog da mucho trabajo y hace que todo vaya mas despacio, asi que hemos decidido crear nuestro propio canal de you tube donde hemos puesto casi todos los videos que tenemos de Marc:

http://www.youtube.com/macandchen

Blue Christmas

First time away from home (Altea) for Christmas, can't say I'm looking forward to a second time. There's something unique about being home these days, enjoy the same traditions, be close to my family...

Since this year it was impossible we tried to make the most out of it and went down to Indian Wells, probably the nicest desert city in the south-east of California.

There goes a video showing why this was a blue Christmas :)

Love and merry Christmas everybody!


video

Monday, December 7, 2009

Thanksgiving by the beach

One of the many nice things about living in California is the amazing weather, during the Thanksgiving weekend we went to some of the beaches just North of San Francisco, it's a really beautiful and scenic drive by the ocean and the beaches are gorgeous.

Baobao really enjoyed running up and down in the sand, but not so much the wind nor the cold ocean water :)



video


video

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

The family is back...

Marc, Lily and Lily's got back to Chicago on Tuesday safely, tired after the long trip, followed by a long and unpleasant interaction with the immigration officer at O'Hare... Oh well, they are here and that's all that matters.

As I said in Facebook, happiness sometimes comes from simple things, when I saw Marc coming out of the gate in his stroller and he looked at me giving me the biggest smile you can imagine, that was happiness to me.

3 weeks is a very long time for a baby, he's changed a lot, he now has 2 teeth, he looks less like a baby and more like a toddler: can sit up on his own, grabs stuff non stop,...

Pictures will follow this weekend :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

One more week to go...

Maybe one day as Marc grows older I'll enjoy having time for myself, I'll appreciate having some lonely days with nobody around.... but right now I'm certainly not there yet.

Lily and Marc have been gone for 2 weeks, it will still take 1 more before they fly back from Beijing and this has not been fun at all. I miss them all the time, I don't like going back to an empty home, I hate not to be able to play with Baobao.... As a result I'm working way too much (like 14 hours a day in average), reading a lot (this is good) and just counting the days missing until they get back... Less than 6 days to go now :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Thank god for technology

I'm not a big fan of technology, it may sound strange considering I'm a Telecom engineer and I've been working in the next big thing for the last 9 years, first 3G when data on a phone meant just texting, then 4G when just data was not good enough, it had to be broadband data... And yet, I often times see technology just like a means for humans to interact less with one another.

There are exceptions obviously, I love that I can talk to my family and friends on the phone no matter what the distance that separates us.

I also love that I can share special moments with special people almost immediately, through this blog for example, or our Picasa site, or facebook...

However, never did I appreciate technology more than this week. Marc and Lily flew to Beijing on Tuesday, they'll be there for 3 weeks. Since they've been gone, nearly every night we do video calls on skype and seeing them means the world to me. I love to see Baobao laughing, making funny noises. I loved how he was fascinated seeing Dad in that monitor, yet he could not touch him or hug him.

It certainly is not the same as having them home, but is much better than not seeing them for 3 weeks.

Love you both! Have fun and come back safely.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Feliz cumpleaños Mama!

El pasado martes mi madre cumplio 76 años, en Noviembre durante una revision rutinaria descubrimos que Mama tiene cancer, en realidad lo descubrio Ana quien con su conocimiento e impresionante atencion al detalle vio algo en los resultados de los analisis que no le gusto y se ocupo de que a Mama le hicieran mas pruebas.

La enfermedad llego silenciosa y traicionera, sin avisar... Otra persona quiza se hubiera venido abajo, pero no mi madre, Mama es dura y fuerte, pero dura de verdad. Dura como solo lo son las personas de su generacion que nacieron entre guerras y pasaron su infancia y juventud en la postguerra, con carencias, sin libertad... Personas que salieron adelante con muy pocos bienes materiales, pero con mucho teson y caracter en la lamentable España dominada por el fascismo.

Mama no ha tenido una vida facil, le cayo en suerte un hombre que no esta a su altura, en realidad no lo estuvo nunca. Probablemente lo unico bueno que le dio ese hombre fueron sus cuatro hijos. A mama le toco vivir multitud de mudanzas, de un lugar a otro continuamente, porque mi padre no era capaz de mantenerse estable en un trabajo mucho tiempo, le sobraba caracter y orgullo; y le faltaba plantearse el impacto de sus decisiones en su familia.

Mama saco adelante una familia con dos adolescentes y dos niños pequeños mientras mi padre se debatia entre la vida y la muerte en el hospital, despues de un terrible accidente de trafico. Mama se ocupo de que nunca nos faltara nada, pero sobre todo Mama se ocupo de educarnos a todos. La educacion no la recibes en la escuela, alli te dan conocimientos, pero la educacion la aprendes en casa: como ser honesto, como ser agradecido, como ser consciente desde muy pequeño de lo que es importante, como respetar a los demas...

Mama nos enseño a demostrar el amor y el cariño con actos mas que con palabras, a querer todos los dias, a preocuparnos los unos por los otros. Cuando eramos pequeños Mama no tenia que repetirte cuanto te queria, siempre estaba a tu lado para demostrartelo. Con la edad he aprendido a apreciar mas si cabe esa forma de ser y de actuar, ahora que me llego el turno de ser padre, todos los dias intento imitar a mi madre... intento ser para Marc un padre lo mas parecido posible a lo que mi ella es para mi.

Son muchos los años que llevo fuera de casa, primero fue Valencia, luego Lisboa, despues vino Chicago, un año en Pekin y de vuelta en Chicago. Recuerdo, siendo pequeño, como Mama me dijo que yo seria el primero de los 4 hermanos en salir de casa... como siempre tenia razon, al final las Madres saben estas cosas antes que uno mismo. En todo este tiempo no ha habido un solo dia en el que no extrañe Altea y a mi familia.

Se que Mama va a ganar esta batalla contra el cancer, de hecho ya lo esta haciendo, pasito a pasito, con su animo, con su optimismo y con su fe.

Nosotros, desde la distancia, le mandamos todo el amor y todo el apoyo.

Feliz cumpleaños Mama!

Amazing...

It's amazing how much Marc has grown, how he is now aware of everything going on around him, how much energy he has, how he enjoys every second that you share with him every game, every tickle, every smile, every funny face...

It's amazing what a good and social kid he is, how easy it is to go almost anywhere with him... ...

let's not forget how handsome he is :) (I know I know.... but hey, he's our kid after all :)).

Never ending energy...



Saturday, March 7, 2009

Marc's 6 months stats

Marc is now officially half a year old, Thursday he had his 6 month check up with his pediatrician. Following are his stats:

- Weight: 19.1 Lbs (8.7 kbps) -> 75 %-ile


- Height: 27.1 inches (68.8 cms) -> 75 %-ile


Everything looked good, he got 3 more vaccines and hopefully won't have to see his pediatrician again until June. We hoped that'll be the case, he's been a very healthy boy so far, the only time he got sick, the whole family did (some sort of flu/cold).

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Volver a empezar...

Hoy, después de 30 años empieza una nueva vida para mi hermano Manuel, mañana pasara a engrosar la lista del paro después de trabajar en el mismo sitio, de repetir la misma rutina durante 3 décadas… No ha sido por sorpresa, ni tan siquiera por culpa de la crisis económica. A su jefe le llego la edad de la jubilación y decidió cerrar el negocio.

30 años en los que trabajo demasiado, durante mucho tiempo 7 días a la semana sin vacaciones, en los que fue leal, en los que dejo pasar otras opciones mejores por la fidelidad a ese hombre que le ofreció su primera oportunidad cuando apenas había acabado la EGB.

Después de 30 años, mi hermano y su compañero tan solo han recibido de ese hombre para el que trabajaron duro, el mínimo a que obliga la ley, ni tan siquiera un gesto para reconocer como esos dos empleados llevaron el negocio adelante…

Tampoco tuvo el detalle de dedicarles su tiempo, de hablar con ellos, quizá de ofrecerles la posibilidad de traspasar el negocio, ofrecerles su ayuda en caso que decidieran intentar la aventura por su cuenta.

Durante 30 años, ese hombre ni tan siquiera tenia que presentarse en el trabajo, ellos dos se sobraban y bastaban…. Al final de esa relación de confianza solo hubo un silencio cobarde y traicionero…

Lección aprendida, en los negocios hay que ser egoísta, no hay lealtad ni fidelidad que valga… Al final nadie se va preocupar por uno, tan solo uno mismo.

Por otra parte, se que mi hermano encontrara otras oportunidades, sin duda mejores. Siempre pensé que malgastaba su talento e inteligencia en el mercadillo, ojala este cambio forzado le ayude a ser ambicioso.

Es duro volver a empezar después de tanto tiempo, salir de la rutina, quizá aprender un nuevo oficio, pero si alguien puede hacerlo, ese es mi hermano Manuel.

Te queremos y estamos orgullosos de ti, ahora más que nunca!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentine's day...

... or: how dad and mom get an opportunity to go out and enjoy a romantic night together.

Yes indeed, our good friend Kula volunteered to babysit Marc on Valentine's night, what a nice detail! Being far from our families, these are the kind of things that mean the world to us.

The plan for the night? Dinner a
Sura Thai Bistro and a movie. Again, it may not sound like much, but to us it is. One of the few things we really miss from our life pre-Marc are our weekly movie sessions.

Dinner was amazing, a festival of flavours and great presentations. Kudos to a creative special menu built around flowers with a total of 4 dishes each one of them equally impressive, I wish I remember the names of the plates, but there was a little bit of everyt
hing: roasted duck salad, ceviche, orchid tempura,... Following are a couple of shots we took:


After the nice dinner we enjoyed "Revolutionary Road", some may say "not the happiest movie for a Valentine's date", but what a great movie nevertheless, two great actors probably at the peak of their game, specially Kate Winslet who fills the screen with an unbelievable portrait of these woman trapped in a life she cannot stand.


Happy Valentine's (even if with a little delay) :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

2nd year wedding anniversary...

We've been married for 2 years! So many things have happened in this time: we looked for and found our first home, we decorated it, we've been together to Hawaii, Miami, New York, Spain and China, we got our green cards, and last, but definitely not least, we've had the most wonderful baby together.

Ours was a very unconventional wedding, we just knew we wanted to be together and we were willing to do anything to accomplish that goal, we did not want to risk being apart for long time again due to immigration aspects, we also knew that preparing a formal wedding with our families living in two different countries so far away as China and Spain was not a realistic option.

Therefore, we decided to just get married in the Chicago city hall on Feb 13th 2007, a Tuesday, in the middle of one of the worse snow blizzards of that winter. The judge joked that we would probably be the only couple getting married that day and that we should be really in love to marry that day.

It's funny, but I remember almost every second of the ceremony, I remember how nervous we were, how warm Chenli's hand felt while I was holding it.

We did not even have rings, the rings came later as a present of my family when my sisters (Ana and Mari Carmen) and my brother-in-law came to visit us. I've actually never been one who likes to wear any type of jewels and I thought wearing a ring would not work for me, but now, I love it, it reminds me of one of the most wonderful days of my life, it reminds me that I'm lucky to share my life with such an amazing woman and it reminds me that our families are always with us supporting us and loving us.

This posting is dedicated to my wonderful wife for the last 2 amazing years and for the many more that will follow... Love you more and more everyday.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Surviving the winter

It's been tough to find time to blog lately, specially since I joined facebook... Kind of difficult to keep both sites updated, specially during the winter when not much is happening. I just uploaded a few new pictures to Picasa: http://picasaweb.google.com/macandchen

Some of them were from our last couple of days in Altea, the rest were taken the last couple of weeks capturing some m
ajor milestones:

- Marc has started to eat cereal, I can't say he's enjoying it much, but hey, he'll get there.


- Marc is trying to walk, yep, he's only 4 months and a half, but he's already decided that he can skip the sitting up and crawling stages. Therefore we bought a doorway jumper for him which he really digs, good stuff!

What else? Last week we were missing Spanish food so much that we placed an order in latienda.com. We got the shipment yesterday: Jamon Iberico, Lomo, Chorizo and Paella rice. It was awesome to try them out yesterday for dinner and remember the good times we spent back home in Altea.

We miss everybody tremendously!
Love!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Vacation is over...

All right, it happened again.... after half and hour typing, $tupid blogger ate my post... Talking about frustration....

Anyways, just wanted to let everybody know that we made it back safe and almost on-time to Chicago, those of you reading the news about Madrid-Barajas airport know that this is already quite an accomplishment!

Vacation was GREAT, one of the best trips ever, what did we do, you may wonder. Next to nothing! We barely left Altea in the whole time we were in Spain, we just focused on relaxing and enjoying time with family and friends, that simple!

Now we are back in Chicago and missing family and friends every single second, missing the long walks by the sea, missing the awesome home cooked food, missing the long conversations over good coffee.

Marc and Lily had a great time and so did my family. Having Marc around illuminated the whole Christmas! They all love him and he got many many presents from family, friends, neighbors... he was a tiny little celebrity, everybody wanted to meet him, play with him...

May the new year bring only the best to all you guys! We love you and miss you a lot!

We will be writing individual posts for the highlights of the trip over the next few days.