Shēngrì nánhái

Shēngrì nánhái (Birthday boy)

Our birthday boy (Shēngrì nánhái) is growing faster than the population of Shanghai. I never pictured myself raising our son in a foreign country, but we are grateful for the opportunity. As of August 24th, we will have lived in Shanghai for 6 months. That means that Jameson has spent almost one quarter of his life here in China. Although he may or may not remember a lot about his time here, I know these experiences are shaping Jameson’s character.

When having a birthday party during the heart of summer in Shanghai when the temperature barely drops below 80 degrees Fahrenheit (even at night) it is necessary to have an indoor party. We decided to have a party in our apartment with a ‘rock star’ theme and I was crazy enough to attempt making my first birthday cake in the shape of a guitar. Although we do not have an oven (or a microwave, dishwasher, mixer, blender, cake pans, and whole host of kitchen gadgets I once thought I needed) I do have a friend who has an oven. My dear New Zealander friend, Jodie, has an oven and invited me to bake at her place on the Thursday before the party.  Jodie even gave me edible red glitter to frost the cake!  Yay for Shanghai friends! 

Of course tickets are required to a 'rock star' party

Thanks to Fish and Jodie’s New Zealand influence,
Tim Tams were the cookies of choice for the frets on the guitar.

I used some of my favorite photos of Jameson from the past two years
for this wall-treatment

Our friend Joe (A.K.A. “Joetar” as Jameson named him)
played songs for the kids and was encored quite heartily.

Little Lulu clapped and sang along with my friend Jodie and her daughter Maddie

Fish and Jameson's friend Lulu, the love of Jameson's life

Our friends: Amalie, Maddie, Jodie, Lulu, Amy, Eric and I enjoying a little pre-concert photo-op

Tia Lina is notorious for being in almost all of my blogs
and Tia Kelly was visiting from the States and offered
to help decorate and take photosbefore and during the party

Jameson cannot resist a cuddle from Tia Lina!

Jameson's friend Akemi and her dad Jonathan
I don't know how I missed getting a photo of
Akemi's mom, Karen... but it probably has something to do with
having a 2 year old and an 8-month old

Here is Melissa with Karen and Jonathan's little girl, Ayumi
Babies don't get much cuter than this!

My Chinese Sister (as we have been mistaken for sisters, a very high compliment)
And Jameson’s Chinese Cousins

The Man of the Hour was a wee bit sleepy at his party after a morning trip
to the park with daddy

But he soon warmed up to the idea of singing "Happy Birthday"...

Jameson quickly learned to blow out birthday candles

I am learning that even though we are in China, we can do plenty of “normal” traditions like birthday parties. Jameson is growing up as what is called a “third culture” child. He no longer leads a life of his first culture, which includes mostly western traditions; nore does assimilate completely with the second culture in China. So, we have created a “third culture” along side our community of friends with whom we associate with, celebrate with and enjoy life! I must admit that my life here is nothing as I imagined it to be, it is far superior to my own expectations. This reminds me of this scripture in Ephesians.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

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