I have seriously cute kids!
Monday, March 24, 2008
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
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!
I LOVE GUANGZHOU!
PS - if I seem giddy, I just return from the pearl and jade market! LOL
Friday, March 21, 2008
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
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
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
Local Nanny Clothing police: 100 Mom of the year: 0 - oh well!
Monday, March 17, 2008
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!)
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
Word of the day: Sleep! ( for those who have been where I am - the word is really poop!)
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!
DD Chloe Rose b. 3.20.05 a. 2.20.06 JiangXi
DS Chance Jiang Bo Gotcha 3.17.08 Gansu
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
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
* 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!
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?