Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Out with the Girls

This afternoon we took on hike up our famous Kangding Pama Mountain with Anna and Jolanda who have come to watch the hostel for us this winter so we can go home to America this Christmas...our first time home in three years since starting this business. We are really looking forward to it!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Making Friends

Most travelers who stay at our hostel come and go so quickly...but every once in a while, we have a guest that we really connect with and get to spend some time with. Recently, we had such couple, James and Betsy, who not only came back three times, but we grew to love during their visit! They wanted to go on a trek to Gonga Shan, and they didn't have enough tents. Kris and I talked and agreed to lend them our "wedding tent", the one we got when we got married. In the end, they gave us the rest of their trekking gear from the trip to rent out in the future to other travelers, and even another new tent. Wow. After they left, we dried out the tents on the roof and Adalia especially enjoyed playing in them. We hope our paths cross again someday...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Tonight China celebrated the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party. All four of us are sick with the swine flu (possibly of course, but definitely not going to a hospital here to find out for sure) and quarantined in our apartment here in Chengdu. The fireworks provided some great entertainment for Adalia, but were nothing compared to the awesome displays we get to see here at Chinese New Year.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Trying Again

We tried to return to Kangding with our 1 month old daughter, Indira, but let's just say things didn't go very well. A week after I arrived in Kangding, I ended up back on an airplane evacuating her to Thailand. And when we tried to return from Thailand, she got bronchiolitis and almost had to be hospitalized again. Today, I just arrived in Chengdu from Thailand, trying again. These pictures of her sleeping on the flight today were so sweet. Little one, I'd do anything for you.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Back in Bangkok

I'm back much sooner than I ever expected. Yesterday I flew here to figure out what's been happening with little Indira. She has been having trouble eating and breathing, with many scary nights for me. Today she had a barium swallow X-ray at the hospital. She looked so cute in her tiny little hospital gown. The best news from today was that it looks like she doesn't have a fistula, our worst case scenario option. I'm so grateful. I'm also exhausted, deeply exhausted. So I look forward to more appointments tomorrow. Hopefully, we can figure out what this is.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A visit to the Crocodile Farm

Kris took Adalia on a date to the Crocodile Farm here in Bangkok. Added Bonus: your ticket includes being able to feed a baby tiger a bottle of milk! Adalia is now fascinated with cwrocodiwles, and we keep catching her pretending she's sticking her head in their open mouths... Hmmm.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Is Mama okay?

Adalia came to visit in the hospital again today. Her primary concern seems to be whether I'm okay. She put on a mask and glove, pretended to be the doctor, and asked, "Mama, is your 'owie' a big big one?" Hmmm, what should I say? ;) Indira is still in ICU, and we all miss her terribly. This morning when I went down to feed her, I got to stay for her bath...

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Indira has the jaundice levels of a six day old baby, and she isn't even 24 hours old yet.... So, she's been put in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit under the lights... They are supplementing her feeding with a dropper so that she doesn't get dehydrated. It's amazing how empty the hospital room feels without the baby...

Friday, June 26, 2009


Sophia Indira Rubesh

Born June 25,2009
12:42 am

3520 grams

Sophia means "wisdom" and Indira means "beauty." More on her name soon and why and how we chose it! We will be calling her by her middle name, Indira.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

We have welcomed a new baby. . .

Dearest Friends and Family,
We are so happy to inform you that our new one has arrived safe and sound. 9:00pm we arrived at the hospital. 12:45am birth. 7lbs 12 oz. A girl indeed--even came out pink. Now it is 1:15am and we are going to get in some good family time.

Come back for her name shortly. . .

Kris and Steph

Breathe. . .

Poor Stephanie got the contractions around 2pm. She insisted on going swimming, walking to the mall, eating out, walking back, putting Adi to bed before we finally took a taxi to the hospital. We are happy to inform you the baby is on the way, come back for the latest news. Go Stephanie!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

Tonight we went out to dinner to celebrate Father's Day... We are still enjoying all the amazing food options available to us with childish delight after being away from "restaurant diversity" for so long! While we were waiting to be seated, Adalia and were walking around the mall and as we walked past a bookstore, I just had to go in and see for myself our Zhilam Hostel listing in the most recent China Lonely Planet. What an unbelievable life dream to actually see our hostel listed along the Sichuan-Tibet Highway... I couldn't help but say a "Yahoo!" outloud - and get a few stares from the other shoppers. But I was happy and I couldn't care less. ;) I recently asked Kris, "In the last 6 months, what do you feel the most proud of?" Having just opened the hostel, something we've been dreaming of for years, I was surprised and loved his answer... Instead of all the other amazing things he has to be proud of, he said, "Adalia. We made such a beautiful and sweet little girl." I hope she always knows that even when her father had just achieved a major life dream, he was still more proud of her than anything else.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Lightening in Bangkok

Today Adalia and I flew to meet Kris in Bangkok and begin the wait for the baby! We were so happy to see Kris again! We flew down in the morning, got moved into our new apartment, went for a doctor's appointment and then got in a taxi to meet Kris when he flew in to the airport. Unfortunately, because of Friday evening traffic, the whole taxi ride to pick Kris up and back took almost 3 hours -- ugh, but Adalia did great. From the expressway in standstill traffic we had front row seats to some dramatic lightening storms over the city... And when we returned home that evening, I realized that I too had experienced "lightening"... My lady has dropped and now that we're all together again, we can all breathe a little easier and enjoy however many days we have left before she makes her grand appearance.

Adalia pretending to call Kris on the phone when our plane landed in Bangkok.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Pregnant in Bangkok

This weekend my sister-in-law flew down and met me in Bangkok to help me... But I think together we were quite a site, both very pregnant, and trying to help each other. The to do list? Visit the doctor for only about the 3rd official time in the pregnancy, get an ultrasound to see if the slight brain abnormality detected earlier in the pregnancy had corrected itself, find and secure an apartment for the time of the birth, take care of Adalia in the heat and try to negotiate a stroller on sidewalks and over sky bridges not at all conducive to strollers...or two pregnant women! And finally, get ourselves and luggage on a flight back to her home in Chiang Mai.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Alone time with Grandma?

Adalia with her usual crowd of onlookers...

Monday, March 16, 2009

The New Baby Guo Guo

We went away the week after Christmas, and when we came back, we found that the guard dog at the hostel had given birth to puppies! We didn't even really know she was pregnant, although right before we left, Kris suspected something was up with the dog... If you've had the pleasure?! of meeting this dog , child-bearing doesn't really fit with her personality... Kris said he didn't want to ask the landlord for one of the puppies until he had time to see if they were cute or not (hmmm... who could possibly be the spouce of this dog?? She lets NOTHING near her!) But now, when we got back after our vacation, the landlord had given all the puppies away but one. Maybe someday we'll get a nice dog out here. We have to admit, though, that the remaining puppy is pretty cute, and super friendly and playful with Adalia! Nearly every day now, Adalia can't wait to play with the "Baby Guo Guo (Chinese for dog)".

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Sun is Out

The sun is out, the weather is showing signs of heading into spring, and we can finally wash Adalia's snow suit! We are taking advantage of this time with no travelers to get our house on the roof finished and get us moved in. Still a long way to go, but we've had some unexpected help and we're happy with the progress!