Today was a good day.
Today was a great day!
We celebrated freedom in two ways today. First off, we had an appointment with the US consulate to register Carla as an American citizen, to get her passport, and to register her for her social security card. The consulate is located in a shanghai, fairly close to the hospital I delivered at. We are quite familiar with that particular area of the city, so we took our freedom to a whole new level by (gasp!) renting a van and driving ourselves.
NZ has had his license since November, but we've yet to log any miles.
A friend of mine mentioned that she and her husband often use a car rental agency nearby (which we didn't know existed here) to buy themselves a day or two of freedom to travel. NZ checked into it, but later learned that we could rent a minivan from the company our driver works for to drive by his self.
So, that's what we did.
We loaded up the kids and my beast of a stroller and headed down G2 expressway bound for Shanghai. I played go-pilot ( my poor husband--it's never good when he asks if we are going the right way and I answer with " I think so") and we even conquered the toll booths in mandarin.
I'm pretty proud of us.
We checked into the consulate and waited for our interview. Preparing for this visit caused a week of headaches for us due to the crazy requirement of having an official copy of my dissolution of marriage from my first marriage (yes, there was one before THE ONE). Thanks to my sister and father in law, and an attorney service, we were able to secure the document in time. Who'da thought I'd ever need a certified copy of that thing? Anyways...we also took prof of US residency with us, including college transcripts, VONS cards, blockbuster membership card (isn't blockbuster defunct now?) etc in case our case worker didn't buy our story that we are red blooded Americans to the core.
In case you're wondering, there was no question.
We held up our hands and gave our sworn statements, and just like that, Carla was pronounced a US citizen. We applied for her passport, and social security card at the same time.
Here's a crazy side story....while waiting for our interview, a nice woman came up and asked how old my baby was, and asked where I had her. I vaguely answered that I had her in Shanghai, to which she followed with "what hospital?". I told her I gave birth at a new hospital called Redleaf. She nodded her head in approval. I asked her if she worked in the industry, since she seemed to have a bit of knowledge behind that nod. She said yes, and continued on that her husband is an OB/GYN here in china. I asked where, and she replied, "Redleaf". Just then, her last name was called for her appointment.
Can you believe that she is the wife of the doctor that I refused to let deliver my baby?
Too bad her husband didn't have her personality. I know who does the socializing in that couple, lol.
On her way out she asked my name, so let's see if her husband puts it all together. My guess is that he will have no idea in hell who I am.
Anyways, back to our day.....
We went to celebrate Carla's citizenship with a walk to Element Fresh. It was freezing, but well worth the walk.
Downtown Shanghai is so much more western than Wuxi. I just love it. I couldn't resist taking a picture of these horses that are on display outside Gucci to celebrate the year of the horse for 2014.
After lunch, we headed back to Wuxi, with both kids asleep in the car. NZ and I smiled and laughed more than we have in a while, listening to some of my new iTunes downloads (don't laugh but it includes Miley, Pink and mackelmore) and capping on the terrible Chinese drivers sharing the road with us. I love my husband for so many things, but here in China, I can put more emphasis on the fact that I love my husband because he can drive! I smell freedom in our future.
Even if it comes in the form of a minivan.