Wednesday, August 13, 2008 ;
6:12 PM
Adjustment and settling down in a new country is never easy. It took us sometime to figure out how the various systems worked in Utah and then now in Tianjin, it is the same.

Dh says it is even tougher to adjust here, and I guess it is so.

After arriving for one week, we have a home set up by now. We only have the bare minimum to get things running but it is sufficient till our boxes from Utah arrive.

However, the kids are getting the worse end of the transition. We went out as a family finally on Saturday 10th Aug. Before that, the kids will play in the apt or just outside. When we go out to buy groceries or DIY stuff for furnishing the place, we'll go out separately so we can find the stuff quickly and carry lots of things without needing hands to carry or hold the kids' hands.

After returning home on Sat, ds2 had fever and started having sore throat then cough. The fever of about 38.4deg subsided on Sunday morning but he has had a lot of phlegm and coughing from then till now. I keep thinking it is the smoke and the pollution.

After that, we went out alone again, till this morning, when we brought them out to check out 2 potential schools. We wanted to see if ds1 had any preference himself.

Now that we are back, it is ds1's turn to run a fever. Argh.... I think it may really be that both of them, having weaker immune systems than us adults, are very susceptible. It could be the water, or the air or the food.

Even though for the first few days, we dutifully bought bottled mineral water for the kids to drink, in the long run, we would still need to use a lot of water for brushing teeth and gargling, for cooking, etc. So I started off letting the kids gargle with tap water after brushing teeth about 3 days after arriving. Then we started boiling tap water to drink instead of buying so much bottled water. I do mix boiled water with bottled for them but Dh and I have been drinking normal water since.

Initially, I cooked noodles and rice using bottled water, but now I just use tap water. When I need to dissolve corn starch with some water to put in my stir-fries, I switched to tap water now.

However, after what happened to ds2, we are thinking maybe to go slow and use purely bottled water first.

His legs and arms broke out in all these spots from tips to ends.

At first, we thought it was more "deadly" kind of mozzies. Even with windows and doors closed, sometimes the insects still fly into the apt, and at night when we sleep, they attack the most. Myself, dh and ds1 had many mozzie bites too, but not so serious.

This is a bug bite that just swelled bigger and bigger until it spanned the whole width of ds2's arm.
These are all the mysterious red spots that filled his fingers right up to the shoulders and armpits. Yes, even in the armpits!

These are those that ranged from the bum right down to his toes.

Basically, the spots were all over his legs.
Some of them were raised quite high.

We ruled out mozzies bites then, after it was so widespread and even in the armpits. Cos mozzies couldn't have gotten into closed armpits to bite, right?

Also, although ds2 has been diaper-free at night since a month ago in Spore, after we got here, he suffered from regression and has started wetting the bed at night, and forgetting to say when he needs to poo during the day. Peeing during the day is still not affected, fortunately. So I have started wearing diapers for him at night. Since the spots reached the back of the bum, it cannot be mozzies.

We ruled out rashes too, cos they're usually smaller and not raised so high? And why not his face, back or stomach? The last time he has rashes from heat, it mostly affected the sweat areas like the neck and back.

I'd never had chicken pox and so we had H, our neighbor here, check the spots out for us, to see if it is chicken pox or measles. She said it was neither.

So, our conclusion is that, must be due to 水土不服 (not used to the environment here). Or sensitivity to some irritant in the bedding or the air? It's very scary to look at though, so we'll still observe for a couple more days and see if we need to bring him to the doc.

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