Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What can I say?

I have seriously cute kids!

My Friend has cute kids also!

I have cute kids!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Temple Blessing

Baba & Gege are wearing matching shirts - isn't that the cutest?

YUMMY! Banana Milk shakes at the Cow & Bridge!

Making eyes at Xixi!

Oh Buddha! Pray for Peace between Imperial Children as Dowager Empress is Mighty Tired of Jealous Antics and Misbehavior!

Yes, that IS the Goodyear Blimp!

Nice Day in Old Canton

We are enjoying our stay here - each day goes so fast, hard to fit it all in! Of course the shopping, sightseeing etc. passes the time. We are having some logistical problems arranging our trip to Hong Kong - but hope that we will have that all worked out. In this day and age - it seems impossible not to be able to arrange transport. Apparently the 7pm train no longer runs so taking the train may not be practical - we are considering renting a van ($300 US) to take us from the Consulate to the Disneyland Hotel out on Lantau Penninsula in Hong Kong. At least we won't have to deal with bags etc. And there will be BAGS! I still have a little more shopping to do - but I am well on my way. LOL

This time I am concentrating on quality rather than quantity.. LOL No 30 pairs of squeeky shoes... bu I think my friend grabbed the best prize of all... a gorgeous tri-color Jade Quan Yin... it is exquisite and just the right thing to remember her 3 years in China. I splurged on some gorgeous silver pearls for myself... and a special something for some special someones.

I do have to try to find something special for a few more people. Plus my list is crazy - and I don't want to forget anyone. Especially the really helpful peoples!

Today we went to Six Banyan Temple for the Blessing of the Children and that was lovely! We stepped outside for a moment to shop and it was same as everywhere.. certain things are for sale all over the place - others one can't find anywhere! I will post some other pics - I can't post too many in one email unfortunately. More tomorrow!

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Ok Part II


Ok - Back to Blogging!

I have been reminded that I have been a little remiss since arriving in GuangZhou - that I have been so busy as to not blog - so here are some new pics and birthday pics of EFP.

The second pic is EFP, EBB and AB (our friend Monica from March Moonbeams is right next door - Yea us!) so the girls are becoming best buds - I guess I see a trip to the coast in my future!


PS - if I seem giddy, I just return from the pearl and jade market! LOL

Friday, March 21, 2008

We are OUTTA Here!

Yes, we are leaving LanZhou. I will probably be able to post birthday pix and such from GuangZhou a little easier than I can right now. Please bear with me! We are thrilled to be packed and ready - even though our flight is not for HOURS!! We have to check out of the hotel at 3pm then grab a bite - then head to airport for 8:40 PM Flight to GZ. Aside from the fact we will be meeting with friends and more travel buddies - I just want to see the back of this place. The heat crowds and "other" inconveniences were worth it for our son - but I am not in love with this city. I was very sorry to leave NanChang when we traveled for EFP and I am sure I will feel the same sadness for our son's sake.. but when I can speak freely you will understand the ambivalence much more clearly.

We are grossly overweight in our luggage and I am sure we Will pay a fortune - but how could I not come home with TWO Gansu Galloping Horses with Hoof on Swallow?? Plus assorted other things. I did VERY well at the Jade Market and better at the Silk factory.. and the shopping is still to come!! What to get what to get all those friends and family who have been so extra special and helpful to us... We are SO buying another suitcase.

When I tell you the adventure we will have in store making a mad dash from the Swearing In at the US Consulate to the train to Hong Kong. I think we must be MAD! But it will all work out.. I guess. LOL It has to right?

So next post from GZ and the land of being halfway home...
Zai Jian for now... Love to all!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

All quiet on the Eastern Front...

It has happened. The transformation of one small child from traumatized howling feral child - into a somewhat cheerful (though wary) and affectionate little boy has been affected, but not entirely by me! This kid can eat! He laughs and sings, talks and chatters away - he repeats EVERYTHING said or done.. all the while smiling and laughing. We read a book and he decided to read to me! So he started from the back and point out all the items he knows - and said their name in Chinese. Of course I started from the front and said everything in English... he repeated it. So know he can say Monkey, Bird, Banana, Man and Big Mess! We were reading Curious George.

EFP is still intermittently miserable or happily. She does NOT want to bring home a "brudder" and "I want duckies and birdies - No Brudder!" Ha Ha. Today is her Birthday.. she is 3 years old. I can hardly believe it - the time has flown by so fast! I am not sure how I feel about the bittersweet nature of being so desperate to get her home in time to celebrate her first birthday and now we are here celebrating her third! We will have a party later - with cake and candle, pressies and goody bags. I am glad we brought so much stuff... we love our travel group. They are the best! I have something rigged up to post a few pics - hope to pics some from the big birthday soiree later! Love to all - someone PLEASE have a GIANT good coffee for me... how I long for a giant good coffee! For some really clean clothes (don't get me started about the laundry ...) and some sun without unbearable dust and heat - now honestly am I really asking for TOO much??

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Local Dialect

Have I mentioned that LanZhou is the "none-where's ville" of China yet? Perhaps once or twice right? Well - not only does hardly anyone speak English - they don't exactly speak Chinese either, that is standard Mandarin. They speak something like a Gansu version and nothing sounds quite like you expect it to. The people here are quite friendly and curious and everywhere we go there is a stir. They are of course curious about what the children are doing with the white people - but that is not unusual even in Beijing. I try to converse - and learn some things... getting better at apologizing every day (duoy boo chee) and saying hi and bye and thank you A LOT!

We are having a quiet day - slept a bit late (Don't worry Kristen - I am not mad LOL) and thankfully we did wake up in time to have a bit of breakfast. The kids are getting along better and EBB is just following along behind DH every where he goes. I admit this is exactly what I was hoping for. I am not persona non grata exactly but DH is necessary - I am just along for the ride apparently. He does let me do things for him (feed and dress etc.) but prefers DH for everything else and is sort of fond of EFP at the moment - from a bit of a distance.

She is doing nicely. Her fever is almost completely gone and all the other scary symptoms seem to be disappearing nicely also. Did I mention the night-terror she had when we landed in Beijing? No, well LET ME TELL YOU! She had fallen asleep about 30 - 40 minutes before we started the real prep for landing.. and when I tried to right her in her seat she completely freaked out and started screaming and falling on the floor of the plane. Now, I am not Mrs. Clean but I had issues with that floor (especially since she puked once and the flight attendants now consider assisting passengers with menial task like cleaning up little pukey messes beyond their job description) so I hardly wanted her spending much time down there. Anyway - for a few moments I didn't catch on to what was happening because her eyes were open etc. but she was completely vacant and shrieking etc. It made for quite a bumpy landing but thankfully she woke up completely and all was ok again.

Now that we are here and most of the trip is just waiting to get to GZ - I am really paying more attention to the "real" China and all - it is amazing and sort of beautiful in it's primitive (but heavily polluted and trash laden) state. Driving out into the country is interesting - except for no tall buildings it does not seem all that different from within the city. I should mention too that here in the north they have a SERIOUS disdain for the south. They find the eating habits of GZ (everything with 2 or 4 legs except for the table) disgusting and are not too proud to say so. They seem proud of this region for its antiquity and ancient traditions - this is consdiered the oldest part of civilized China and the Yellow River is like where it all started. I bought a book - but it is in Mandarin (LOL) so it may be some time before I find out anything really interesting to tell you about all this.

I can't still post pix but will try again later...

Right outside our Hotel is a night market - and I wish we could walk through it - Perhaps when the others get back we may try tomorrow night some of the adults - obviously we can't traipse around with the children (and it does get cold here at night in spite of the heat and dust of the day - rather like the desert only not as nice!) so it would have to be some adults only. I wanted very much to try a restaurant that a few other families have used here that looked very pretty in an atrium or greenhouse but since I can not remember the name of it - have no idea where it is located.. I am SOL for the moment. I am not sure if we will have dinner here at hotel or try the crazy 24 hour coffee shop (Maraschino Cherry Pizza) for the amazing rice - but perhaps the hotel has something similar....

Well - I am off to foot massage and European massage - so I will probably be too loopy to write more later - HA HA HA - but I will let you know! If I could just have a giant carmel latte I would be the happiest Mommy anywhere - two sleeping kids and ecstatic DH and massages... whoopee!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Touring, Dinner and Shopping - What's not to like?

We spent the morning touring - the Yellow River which is considered the cradle of Chinese civilization.  The world-famous bronze Galloping Horse's Hoof Stepped on a Flying Swallow, also named as Galloping Horse, is a treasure of Gansu Provincial Museum. Excavated in 1969 in Wuwei County, Gansu Province, the piece depicts a vigorous horse with long tail waving and head erect. Its three hooves are in the air, galloping like lightening. What makes this sculpture amazing is the right back hoof of this galloping horse lands on the back of a small flying bird. The bird turns in surprise to look at the big creature on its back. At the same moment, the horse's head also turns slightly in attempt to know what has happened. The whole statue is honored as the mysterious and rare treasure in the history of Chinese ancient sculpture art. Yea, we  have two.
We were going to go out for Hot Pot but instead  will save that for Guangzhou - but we had BETTER... Korean BBQ - OMG OMG OMG OMG - I have died and gone to BBQ heaven! What a delicious meal. Actually the noodles here at the hotel are amazing - the kids went nuts watching the noodle-man make the noodles (local dish is wheat noodles with mutton broth... not actually my idea of breakfast but it was delicious so - whatever) The dinner tonight was just the best... ate some things I never hear of and would eat again anyway - oh, I am going to steal room service menu again... how does Braised Donkey sound? or Squid with Duck Intestines.. I SWEAR that those two things are on the menu and there are others even more bizarre!
We ate at a lovely restaurant here and they were so nice coming in to put the meat on the brazier and then trim it with scissors... there were all manner of side dishes that were lovely meals themselves.  The kids enjoyed eating the bits of meat and vegetables very much.
I am feeling a little less overwhelmed today - but honestly traveling two little kids really is a bit like herding cats!! They neither of them really want to go the same way at the same time. I am not sure if that ever changes actually.  We are doing better... tonight the kids were able to eat as much as they liked and they were happy.  I sent DH back to hotel with kids and then went shopping for little bits for the party on Thursday. I also needed some other uh, necessities which also explains my utter lack of emotional stability... LOL Not that there is anything wrong with that! We are on our own tomorrow - the other families will go to their orphanage city and we will stay behind. I think the kids will benefit from a quiet day - and DH has promised to see if the pool is a possibility and I am booking a massage and manicure!! Whoooopeee!
I think we will venture out to local coffee shop (right next to hotel) and have some amazing chicken fried rice (believe me this is not your local take-out's chicken fried rice!)

Local Nanny Clothing police: 100 Mom of the year: 0 - oh well!
Zai Jian for Now

Monday, March 17, 2008

Panda & Soccer

EBB's Little Panda - a gift from mei mei! While playing "soccer" with baba - if I hear "GOOOOOOOAAAAAAL!!!" one more time I will scream! LOL The "boys" are having a blast playingand EBB really throws himself into the game. He carries that little panda everywhere - and if for some reason he can't take it with him he hides it somewhere only he knows.... Not the best pic of our handsome little boy - but he is in motion so much it is hard to capture him!

A little better today

This is day two - civil affairs office where we completed the adoption - everyone was very nice. EFP is so sick she could barely keep it together so we were rushed to the head of the line and quickly spirited away after that. A visit from "Dr. Meg" the pediatric nurse in our group - got her to completely comply with med taking - so we are definitely seeing improvement - I am calling it Monkey Pox for now... (the real story somewhat later....)

And it begins - a day early

Since our "harmonious period" started on Sunday we are technically on day one of adoption here - but really it is Day two outside the Gansu Provincial Civil Affairs Office. We are actually being sheparded by the head of the whole civil affairs office here in LanZhou (which HE called None-where in China - not me! Though I heartily concurr... NanChang, I am so sorry I ever dissed you, if only I had known!). The people here are so unused to seeing foreigners (there are approximately 20 white people in LanZhou at the moment - and 11 of them are us - AND they know where we are at every moment!) we are the tourist attraction walking down the street with our Chinese Children (all of whom are absolutely gorgeous I might add) and "lo fan" parents! But honestly - everyone has been very nice, offering advice and direction to which we all merely nod and smile. I am attempting to speak my little bit of Mandarin (they do not exactly speak Mandarin here it is a local dialect that our guides say is very hard to understand even by other Chinese). Our son picks up English every day.. but I think we must start offering better English words than pee pee, poopie, garbage, NO!, eat, and drink!! LOL

He is clearly happy to be in our family (TG!) and smiles and laughs. He is wary of motherly affection but pretty well head-butts me to giv me a kiss on my hand "wo ai ni Mama" I guess he must. He really loves Baba - but they are more of the punch on the arm type... LOL

It's ALL good! (well, except for the abyssmal heat and dust.. more about that later!)

Now we are four!

We were given a "surprise" when we landed in LanZhou - the children were arriving at the Hotel in short order!! Not really so much of a surprise - but the problem was that there was no time to prepare ourselves or get anything ready thanks to new regulations. I won't/can't get into it now but it was a considerable pain in our buttkisses! We had a mix up at the hotel and so we are LITERALLY in the "presidential" suite - because we were supposed to have a suite or two connecting rooms (absolutely necessary as it turns out) and they did not have any - so the two "adjoining rooms" were a hallway away - so here we are with a Sauna(with hot rocks - not the fake kind), bidet, 1.5 baths, 3 couches, a king-size bed and two large screen TVS (If I don't remember to take pics of this - shoot me!) SO we had problems immediately and still had to get down to get room straight and we met our son in a frenzy of activity - but in a way it made it a little easier. He was totally overwhelmed and upset - though he did not cry then. He is so small that nothing I brought fit at all. I only have a shirt and a pair of shorts - so we are shortly to go out to buy some clothes because the clothing I have him in is causing us no end of trouble with the "LanZhou Granny Clothing Police Patrol). EFP has been sick for a few days now.. more on that later. I will be seeking a new Pediatrician IMMEDIATELY we return - I welcome recommendations!! She has been sort of miserable except for when she is not. She enjoyed the touring somewhat - liked the Ming Tombs quite a bit and really would have liked the Great Wall - but it was so windy that we really worried she might blow away. I think the less said about our hotel in Beijing the better.

We had to go immediately from "gotcha" to the photo place and the boy started crying - or howling actually. His will be the worst adoption certificate picture ever I am sure. I looked none too happy myself - since I have not eaten or slept properly since the night before we left NY nor could I pack makeup in carryon so I am au natural pretty much. He perked up a bit at KFC (where everything is spicy except the fish - and the fish was too grey for my palate) and really enjoyed the mashed potatoes with gravy. EFP was happy to see nuggets and she was properly awed by her first step into a fast food place (how will I convince her there is no KFC or McD in USA?) We stopped at a nearby department store and purchased minimal necessities: juice, water, crackers etc. and that is when the howling (think feral wild animal stranded on strange planet and you may be able to imagine the sound) started. It did not stop for 6 hours. I think the less said about our first night the better... but I owe my ever-patient sister a boat-load of thanks for talking me down from the ledge.

EBB arrived with a cold - big surprise - and so I gave him a little medicine to help him breathe and after he was worn out from howling he slept. He seemed sort of happy to see me this morning.. that was a bonus. DH is really taking him in hand. He had to shower him this morning (we have no bath - I mean really a luxury suite in the best hotel in LanZhou has NO Jacuzzi??? What's up with that?) as he was quite layered in dirt - I think during the winter the kids here are washed from the waist up only - perhaps till spring. Anyway - that business taken care of - we found the first smile of sorts when he was handed his brand new undies and other clothes and that was a rapprochement of sorts. He has also taken to a little stuffed wind up Panda that EFP gave him at gotcha - so I am now in charge of 1 kitty, 1 giraffe, 2 panda bears, and a DVD player with all the Dora videos ever made. DH admitted today that this boy is his son - honestly they are two of a kind! Kind and helpful as soon as you tell them how to be!! LOL They even kind of walk the same - sort of like two sumo wrestlers preparing to do battle. With EFP so under the weather we have switched from our intent and DH is really trying to assume care and feeding of our new child while I try to keep our first from totally losing it.

At breakfast - I had a few weak moments and cried (in public with our guide) thinking I have really messed up my family (sound familiar?) EFP was sound asleep in the giant but very low to the ground chair and then EBB saw what DH had put on his plate and he actually smiled and said Xie Xie!! breakthrough moment 2!! It has been all up from there. EFP has begun to feel a little better (one of the new moms in our group - is a pediatric nurse, man are we lucky!! She has declared that EFP will probably be fine till GZ and I have, on her recommendation as well as our temporary new pediatrician's rec started the Amoxicillin.) I had some dark hours over the last day or so - and so if I have been quiet - well now you know all there is.

We had the official adoption today and all went well - pens and red bags flying. We have asked for permission to travel to Tian Shui - and were denied. I will not say more about this at this time - but when we are away I can expand. We are trying to decide if it makes sense to go there (4 hours each way) anyway - and the orphanage director said he will show us around - but we may not see the orphanage. We are trying to decide if EFP will be well enough - and DH is thinking perhaps he will travel with our son. I know how important it will be.. we should see the pics from the two cameras we sent today or tomorrow. EFP was doing a bit better - so the two of them have been playing nicely. He is imitating play - so I drew a sun and some mountains on a little magna doodle (and he erased mine and drew his!) things are definitely looking up!

When EFP isn't feeling too poorly or jealous she is actually quite sweet to him and he is sort of admiring and teasing with her. I am afraid we will have a hard time convincing anyone that he is not her age and that we were looking for virtual twins! They are the same height but he outweighs her by at least 10 lbs. Our son is no stranger to the dinner table (or lunch or breakfast or snack for that matter!) He is speaking more now and is calling us Mama, Baba and Mei Mei.. we have so far tried out a few names and I will let you know which combo we choose. I am leaning toward Chance for now. He is a little tiger (and I suspect I knew what I was doing when I gave him the EBB just as I did when I named EFP! I am definitely staff!) and while I am still
trying to navigate being a Mom to two children they are seeming not to mind my mistakes for the moment.

I can not post pictures right now - as I am on the computer in our suite and I don't want to put pics on here - but I will try to post some pics later. We have a great travel group and they have taken some better than my DH has managed - and thank you so much for NOT pointing out that the teapot was pouring ON MY HEAD! That was not intentional - that is my DH!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Good Morning Beijing!

At 3:30AM Beijing Time - the Empress decided to arise and since she requires her coutiers be in attendance at all times - Mama & Baba were up too! Actually works out kinda ok - since we really needed to be down to breakfast buffet early so we can meet others and get on the bus at 8:00 am - we are still waiting for certain things to, uh.. happen for her highness and I am hoping being up that early with speed things on (IYKWIM) We were quite tired but managing and it will be interesting to see what happens tonight! We ate leaisurely breakfast and the bacon and sausage were going like gangbusters! I don't know where she puts it all. I am already tired of eggs! Would love a bagel with a smear and some fishy but - whatever! Shortly we will be off to Great Wall then Lunch then Ming Tombs.. we will not return till much later.. but I will try to post more and a few pics. I am having a LOT of trouble posting from here and can't even post to my yahoo groups... so if any of my buddies are reading this - if you could just say hi to all and let them know we are OK - I will send updates when I can.

Word of the day: Sleep! ( for those who have been where I am - the word is really poop!)

Ni Hao Beijing!

We MADE it! We are "settled" into the Peace Hotel in Beijing!! All I can say is "It's not the Wang Fu Jing! LOL Our flight went great - EFP is a world traveler in the making! Except for a tiny bit of airsickness and the scary-a$$ night terror just when we were getting ready to land.. she had a blast! Walking around visiting friends (from our travel group) and her "Dora on Demand" system (portable DVD) she had lots of fun. She even liked the taxi and take off - just wanting it to go faster!  She is getting happier about "GeGe" but we will see. We arrived safe and sound with all our luggage! The restrictions are getting tough apparently we will not be able to bring ANY liquid or gel on the in china flight at all... YIKES! One of our families was missing one piece of luggage but it looks like it never left their home airport - it arrived tonight as we came back from dinner (good packing note: pack a little of everything in each bag!!)
We arrived at hotel - I can't even begin to tell you what the traffic was like!! Made NY rush seem like smooth sailing!! But the Beijing National bird is out in force!! (The Crane) Construction is amazing here.  We saw the new CCTV building - looks like a big lego building with a huge chunk out of it!
We were supposed to be "free" today - so we walked around Tianamen Square is just  a few blocks away... the shops are amazing. Really you can get anything here you need. The we decided to join others for Silk Factory tour  and well  there's a new comforter in Town. At first EFP wanted a beautiful Imperial Yellow color but then she changed her mind to pink.  We picked out a yellow with blue design meaning good fortune for our son.
Then we went to the Acrobat show - EFP was rapt! She danced and clapped - then fell asleep and so far has slept through three bus rides, diner and being change for bed! Luckily we have to get up really early tomorrow so that is probably going to be fine. The Dinner we had tonight was the Peking Duck dinner.. with a bunch of other stuff. No Crispy Blooming Fish (Right China 129?) but I did see one go by and for a half second was hoping it was coming to us... nope, passed us right by!  We are hunkered down... I had quite a few technical difficultures today so I was not able to get one any earlier - but will write more tomorrow. I have to sign into class. that has proven harder than I thought it would be but I am sure I will manage. Love to everyone and we'll speak to you soon.. The panda phone works great - so we hope to hear lots of folks!
DH Greg
DD Chloe Rose b. 3.20.05 a. 2.20.06 JiangXi
DS Chance Jiang Bo Gotcha 3.17.08 Gansu

DH Greg
DD Chloe Rose b. 3.20.05 a. 2.20.06 JiangXi
DS Chance Jiang Bo matched 9.10.07 LID 4.12.07 Gansu

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

All our bags are packed...

We're ready to go. The limo's waiting, he's at the door (well, ok at 6 am) We're leaving on a jet plane....* We're going to get our big guy! Leaving on a jet plane! Yea! I will try to post a pic of the packing.. but I am so tired and can only sleep for 2 hours.. so.. this will have to do!

Final Tally:

3 Backpacks
1 Carry-on (small and light)
1 Stroller (love my Volo!)
3 Checked bags (Huh?) 2 at 30lbs and 1 at 25 - we are SO good to go!

Puffs packed - 1 gazillion
Socks - 6 is the optimal number of pairs
New Hat for EFP - 1
Swanky new spring coat for EFP - 1
Shoes - 3 for EFP 2 for me :-( I really wanted to bring my crocs... maybe they will have some there!

Medicine (enough to make a developing nation well!)

Quart Size Ziplocks for liquids.. 3
Thinking a quart size bag is a waste of time - Everyone
How many things I snuck into the other 2 quart size bags... 4 (tee hee - I put my tiny hairspray in DH's bag!!)

Amount I am going to miss my friends and family - to the Moon and back... but only for a little while! When we return we bring more love to go around!! Our hearts are elastic - they stretch to fit even more than our arms can encompass and then some..... there is ALWAYS room for one more!

Love you all! Think good thoughts... and please stop in and say hi!

PS - to TBG in case you don't get my email: I can NOT believe you did that.... ! We LOVE the shirts and I can not wait to see my TWO in them. It was so unexpected and welcome - means so much to us that you were thinking of us... thank you again - big hugs and thank EG for bringing the giftie!! Love and hugs to all!

*Thanks to CK for the reminder of this oldie!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Late breaking news..... :-(

What the heck is Chicken Pox Virus Variant*? And how do I get it off my kid! It is NOT to be believe - I mean we have immunized this kid against everything - including things that aren't even a problem... so here we are a few days before our trip - and that is right! You got it.. she is covered in "Chicken Pops!"

* As some of you know - I have a great love of the dramatic AND the ridiculous (as well as a large fondness for Irony!) and so I already know that she is fine, there is nothing I can do, she will be ok to go on Wednesday.. and this really is not so bad... BUT.............I am &#^@$^^@#%@ Just the same!

5 Days and counting... (Down!)

Yes - we are getting ever closer to our little boy and I am fairly certain that we have cornered the market on things Dora, chocolate and travel remedies... LOL

The shoppin- to-be ready goes apace and the "Great Pack" has not actually begun... though there is a staging area! I have yet to find the one 'don't leave home without it item - Pedialyte Powder' and that is disappointing... I am now considering bringing unfrozen pops in a ziplock! Can I tell you how many ziplocks I now possess...? Yes, too many! We have snacks. we have bubbles, we have color wonders, we have 101 puppies on dvd, we have socks, vaseline, saline, pepto, and so many other things that I can't imagine I will ever feel like packing again! But, I know we will because we are taking at least two small weekend trips with both kids.. one in May and another in June... YIKES! It is crazy to say the least! Our flights and hotels are booked.. including the fantastical Disney in Hong Kong and after some (tiny) deliberation we are staying the the world-famous White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou (instead of the roomier but less grand Victory). I figure after "roughing it" in LanZhou - I will need some pampering! and French Toast! In any case, I am wrapping up work - but have to complete a crucial federal report so I will be working some even as we travel. Tomorrow will be my last full day and then I can concentrate on packing and finalizing a few details.. our house-sitter and cat-keeping will arrive on Wednesday.. and we are taking a limo again so we can sneak out of and back into the country without any fanfare!

Our EFP is getting very excited... about the plane, the train, the boat, the hotel, the Great Wall, no school (child-care) and the hint of pressies.. but NOT her big brother! She is still saying she would prefer some pets, a few farm animals and some things that properly belong in a zoo.
Uh Oh! Are there enough M&Ms in the world to bribe her do you think?

Empress Fussy Pants

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Emperor Big Brother

Lilypie Next Birthday Ticker