Saturday, August 29, 2009

Last Day of Summer Vacation

We spent the last day of summer vacation at the beach. It was LM first time to the beach. Since the beach was at a military installation, I was unable to get pictures of his first time at the beach. He is very unsure of the ocean. He screamed when the waves got close and I was holding him. He would laugh at PT when she went into the waves. I finally got him to touch but that was it. Finally LM had fun playing in the sand away from the waves. We got to see sea lions, dolphins and many different waterfowl. LM did not seem that interested in them. He was just happy playing in the sand. PT was happy to have the waves to herself but ended up playing in the sand with LM.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Three Week Update

Asleep eating noodles
Cool Man riding my Hot Wheels

Look at me go

It is hard to believe that we came home three weeks ago. Things are progressing well. LM has his moments but they are overshadowed by the hugs and kisses! He is all boy! PT was active but never this active. He is constantly on the go! Only a few accidents but one major one which ended up as a nice knot and cut in his head. His gross motor skills are slowly catching up. Thus until they do, I expect more falls, bumps and bruises. We have finally figured out the sleep pattern and naps. He wanted DH for nap today! That is a first. When DH is at work he is happy to have Mom but on the weekends he follow DH everywhere. Sleep time is also DH time. It will be interesting when DH start to travel again. DH is going to miss PT first days as a first grader. He has to fly back to the east coast. I see exhaustion on my part until he gets home. Jet lag took until two week before it got better for me. I also think I was drinking too much caffeine before bedtime. We started swim lessons this week for LM. He seems ok with the water but gets exhausted quickly. It sort of helps with sleep time since we have lesson early evening 5:50 to 6:20. We eat then bath and go to bed. Things have slowed down on the eating aspect also. I think he has maxed out. He is eating more normal for a three year old. The ped. said everything looks good. He is 70% in weight and 20% in height on the American charts. Can you say linebacker. They are predicting he will be about 5' 7" to 5' 9". He might actually be taller than DH or at least the same size! ENT appointment went ok. He thinks there might be fluid in the ears but will wait and see until this fall. We have hearing test schedule for Nov and this will tell how his hearing is and if we need tubes. Ped. thought that only one ear had any fluid and even that ear was not that bad. So we can only hope, wait and see what will be next. I made an appointment with Plastic Surgeon but still not sure if I will go back to CHLA with him. PS is now out of network and I do not know if I will keep both with him. I will need to make a decision soon since the appointment is in early September. I at least need to call CHLA and see when I can get him in for a Team meeting. If I can get in sooner I probably with go with CHLA.
Will post more pictures later!

Friday, August 7, 2009

July 24th - Traveling Home!

We had breakfast as a family today. Our last breakfast in China. DH decided he wanted to go back to the shopping center to pick up a couple of things. I went to a store and picked up some Ma Ma and Ba Ba shirts since I picked up Je Je and Di Di shirts for the kids. We wore the shirt day for travel to find each other with ease. So DH left to go shopping while I finished packing in the room. He decided to save the taxi fare and walked back. When he got back we went down to see what time we could extend check out since we were not going to leave until 6 pm. We decided to take the shuttle van from the hotel and bought our tickets. We finish packing and check out. Then we left of bags at the hotel and had lunch Lucy's. We took our time eating. We then requested to get into the play room and they let us in. LM and I spent the rest of the time there until it was time to leave. DH and PT decided they would go to McD's to get the last 4 Hello Kitty's for PT collection. They left while LM and I played. They walked back. They said the shuttle was full this time going to the shopping center. Since we did not do the red couch on oath day we had our pictures taken today. We probably should of taken the earlier shuttle did not realize it would take us that long to get there. We should of realize that it was rush hour. But we still had plenty of time. Note: Save a little back for people who help with luggage at airport. We were short and only had a $50 American bill on us. Lesson learned. Again the crutches helped a little but not a security. This was the first time we had to take our shoes off at security. Getting on the plane was interesting. This is first time getting a plane that large outside. The plane left Guangzhou late and so we were late getting to LAX. LM slept 11 of the 13 hour flight. PT slept 11 also. They again were not strict about buckling in LM and he prompt fell asleep before we even got off. This time I made sure PT was wake when the food came out. On the flight to China, she missed the food and was mad and hungry. Once feed she went to sleep. LM fell of the seat once, I thought I had told DH, I had to go to the bathroom. LM fell off just as I had moved away to the bathroom. Lesson learned never trust a sleeping husband. We made to LAX without much trouble. This is one time I wished DH pride would have given in to a wheelchair. I had to carry LM since the stroller was waiting with the rest of our luggage. I had heard that LAX was a nightmare. Again we got faster service since DH was on a crutch. Then they only had one person for the immigration but he indicated that it would be faster if one parent went to get the luggage while the other wait for the paperwork. DH went for the luggage. Once he got back he took the kids to the bathroom. By the time he came back the paperwork was done and we were off to get the car. Our first stop was IN-N-Out for a hamburger and shake. LM at first did not like the car seat. He screamed all the way to In-N-Out. On the way home, we found he like the shake more than screaming and promptly fell asleep. No more screaming. We got home about 11 pm. It took everyone a while to settle down. LM did not go down until about 2 am. But it was not so bad since we all slept in until afternoon.

July 23rd - Free Day

LM liked the chair at the Video store.
PT with her McD's cup watching LM.

LM and DH again had breakfast before PT and I but we were not that far behind. Again LM and DH went to the playroom while PT and I finished our meal. Most people were going home today. Since we could not get a flight home until tomorrow we had a free day. We decided to go back to the shopping district instead of the electronic district. We took the White Swan shuttle and deciding if we wanted to walk back. We decided to take a taxi ride. The taxi ride was short and was not as bad a I remember 10 years ago when we were in China. We had lunch McD's for PT again. She really likes the Hello Kitty that they sell that are not part of the Happy Meal. DH has got ordering down to a art. Everyone seems to take pity on the man on the crutch and two kids and harried wife. They actually bring the food to our table for us. One thing about McD's is that they are very busy. It is hard to find a place to sit down. It is interesting that there is another just across the plaza. And they are both one the second level. You have escalator going up but not going down. Could not find the elevator. We did a little shopping. I was looking for a new purse but could not find one I like for the price. They were not in a bargaining mood. We both another dress for PT and a traditional outfit for LM. We got a good bargain on them. One of the few we found. Once we got back LM, PT and DH went for a swim. I decided to visit Jordon store. I found a number of bargain and was happy with my purchases. PT wanted to do a little shopping so LM and DH stayed at the pool while PT and I went back to Jordon. She found a few thing which we brought back. Off course she like the 7 eleven store it has the gum we let her have and Gatorade to drink. We have to stop and pick up some things for her there. PT wanted to try dinner at Lucy's. Menu is the same but we ordered different food. Then we went home and bathed the kids and went to bed. It seemed we were always in bed before 8 pm.

July 22nd - Oath @ Consulate

Decide to use the Ergo to go to the German restaurant. He fell asleep about half the way there. LM seemed to like it and it was better than carrying him.

LM and DH went to breakfast while PT and I slept in. It was different to just have the one child again for breakfast. I am getting used to being a family of four that just the two of us seemed weird. LM and DH spent the rest of the morning in the playroom. That was one place that was very air condition almost to the point of freezing. PT and I join them later and watch LM play. He is really opening up to DH. He has gone to both of us really well and still prefers me over DH but not as much today. I think it helped having breakfast time alone with Dad. We had lunch at the Deli Shoppe again. And did a quick swim at the pool for the kids. Then off to the consulate for taking the oath. LM was having a small fit on the bus but them promptly fell asleep. He woke up in time for the oath and seemed much happier. We really have not kept a regiment on naps will try when we get home. After the oath we decided to go dinner at Italian restaurant. The food was ok. PT liked the pizza. This is the first time I have seen her eat more than one piece. PT has never been much of a pizza eater so this was a moment. I now know LM is not much of a vegetable eater. I got a veggie soup for him and I ended up eating most of it. They had a good seafood dish I was able to eat also. LM does not seem to like pizza. Another child who does not care for pizza. We will see more when we get home. It took PT six years before she would eat it. PT and DH stopped at the playground while LM and I went home for a bath and to get ready for bed.

July 21st - CA Day

This was a quiet day. We just went swimming and hung around the hotel. We were all tired and needed a day of rest. Everything went fine with the consulate. Guide can by to has us sign a document and we were done. Just had the swearing in ceremony tomorrow. We ate lunch at Lucy's again and had dinner German restaurant. Food did remind me of what we had in Germany but that was 10 years ago. On the way back to the hotel we stopped off at the playground. PT again had a request for pictures. She is getting used to the idea and it does not bother her as much. I figured since we are in Guangzhou she would have less request but have had just as many as Nanjing.

July 20th - TB resuls

LM and I slept in this morning. PT and DH again went to the playroom to wait for us. We quickly ate breakfast and off to the Pearl Market we went. PT was happy to see McD's. We picked up some more gifts and a few DVD for PT and LM. We left PT and DH at the shopping center while LM and I were actually able to catch the shuttle back to the WS. The TB test went without any problems. I think I was holding my breath the whole time. LM and I had lunch at the hotel room and off course PT and DH had lunch at McD's. After they got back we went swimming as a family. LM really likes the water. I will have to make sure that we have swimming lesson when we get home. Since we were tired out from swimming we just went to the Deli Shoppe and had a light evening meal in the room.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

July 19th - Sightseeing

We decide to do a little sightseeing since it was cooler in Guangzhou than Nanjing. It was still hot but did not seem as bad. We first visited the Old Chen House. Our guide last name was Chen. We enjoyed the woodwork and ornate detail of the buildings. LM decided he did not want to be in the stroller that much today and preferred to be carried my mom. After the Chen House, we went shopping at the provincial art crafts shopping center. We picked a couple of jade pieces for each child and stamps with their names. We had his American name then instead placing this name we used his Chinese name at the bottom. After shopping we went back and got some food at the bakery/deli shop. PT got a pastry and I got a rice dish to split with DH and LM. After lunch, PT and I went swimming while DH and LM stayed behind to take a nap. We decided to venture out this evening and get some food for the evening meal. We decided to go to the Thai restaurant. The food was good but take additional napkins along with you. You only get one.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

July 18th - Medical, Visa photo and paperwork

Since we got in late, we woke up late. DH and PT did a tour of the hotel while LM slept. They found out where to eat breakfast. The White Swan does put on a pretty good spread. This is where we found out LM likes hard boiled eggs. He seems he can't get enough of them. We also found out the word for apple. The reception desk had apples and mints. Every time we were at this level we had to stop and get an apple or a mint. We meet our guide and did paperwork prior to going to the medical. One thing about the 800 process there is less paperwork at the end of the process. We did most of it prior to travel. Then we were off for the visa photo. Something set off LM and he did not settle until after the medical. He ended up having 4 shots and TB test. He did well for the TB but once they had me restrain him for the shots. He got really mad. He does not like being restrained. After the medical, we had lunch at Lucy's. This made PT excited since she could have french fries. The food was ok. Since LM was worn out from the shots. He and I stayed in the room while DH and PT went swimming. We were going to take LM for his first swimming later that afternoon but the pool closed due the weather which really blew in quickly. We ended up eating the evening meal in the room with the snacks we brought with us.

July 17th - Travel Day

Today we flew to Guangzhou. But since we had an evening flight, we spent the day hanging around the hotel. We decided to check out at 12 noon and leave our bag with hotel. We went to the McD's that was closer to the hotel since they had a small playground. It was very crowded and we had a hard time finding a place to sit. LM did not like taking off his shoes for the playground but finally did. He liked going down the slide. We then went and rest at a park area and watch the people going by. It was so hot and muggy we decided to go back to the hotel and hang out in the lobby. On the way back we found a market which was located in a pedestrian underpass. It is near the Drum Tower. We wish we had found this earlier. LM fell asleep on the way back to the hotel and I sat in the lobby while DH and PT found a cool and quiet place to play cards. Our driver to the airport was late and we hit traffic on the way to the airport but still made it in time for our flight. We found out that LM does not like to be restrained in any way. I tried buckling him in the seat and he had a meltdown. The flight attendant did a great job in trying to calm him down. It finally took an orange! The rest of the flight went well. We decided not to buckle him in on landing. (I know bad parents) And it went ok. A shuttle to the white swan was waiting for us and we got checked in around 10:30 pm. It took LM awhile to settle but eventually crashed.

July 16th - Free Day

Today was pretty much a free day. We decided to venture out today. We found the Metro and decided to take it. Lesson learned. Take the Metro not during rush hour. We found the elevator down to the trains. But somehow the person who was verifying that we had token was not to be found. We got on the train and where we wanted to exit trying to explain was fun. They decided just to let us our without paying. Too much trouble those Americans. We decided to go to Walmart to pickup a few more supplies. DH and I had a discussion on where to get off and we got off one more station longer than needed. So we ended up walking a further distance. Typical male! This is DH response on how do we communicate with LM. He is typical male he grunts and points to what he wants. No need for words. Just like dad! After much sweating! We were able to find it. We spent time in the cooler section cooling off. My shirt was soaked through. I do not remember the last time I had soaked a shirt like this. Interesting thing about the Walmart is you pay for your bag. We placed most of what we bought in the backpack. We found the right Metro station. It had an interesting shopping center which we checked out. DH had to try meat on a stick. He has no idea what he got but he enjoyed it. This time we were able to get ticket and they showed us where the elevator was for DH and we got back to the right stop this time. They had someone waiting for us to take our tokens and the same elevator we came down in the morning. We know the routine now. We spent the balance of the afternoon in the hotel room cooling off. That evening we reviewed notary documents and then went for a nice Chinese restaurant. There was a lot of fun and everyone except PT at well. PT did like the duck dish. MIL used to cook duck. It brought back memories. We went back to the hotel. We found out that LM liked sleeping on the floor. He sleep very soundly.

July 15th - Sightseeing in Nanjing

What another hot and muggy day. It started out in the day with precipitation. LM still is eating well and enjoyed breakfast again. Today we toured Nanjing Cloud Brocade Museum, Zhonghua Gate City Wall and Confucius Temple. I enjoyed the museum since it was inside and not in the hot humid weather. I also enjoyed seeing things in action. Interesting how they keep the looms working. The city wall was interesting but since we did not take the stroller, it was hard on LM and I did not get to see as much. The Confucius Temple was fun. This is where PT got her first request for a photo session. The whole time we have been here, they had touched her hair, face and stared at her. It has taken sometime to get used to but I think she is soaking it up. We picked up a few things at the Pearl Market and PT got her first fan. Since it was again hot and muggy we spent the afternoon at the hotel. LM had his first meltdown. DH and PT went to get some lunch and I stayed with LM until he calmed down. Finally, noodles did the trick. Really wishing this hotel had a pool, it would of helped with the downtime and possibly some cooling off. We decided to try and find the electronic market. That was an adventure. We hit one store which had more salespeople than customers. I did find a store which sold crocs but they seemed more expensive than what I bought my pair for. On the way back, we found a McD's closer to the hotel. We stopped for an ice cream cone. Again, we ate what we had in the hotel room for the evening meal. Best weight loss plan ever. Too hot to be hungry.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

July 14th - Offical Adoption day

LM enjoying the fountain and stroller

One tired and hot sister!

Give me more!

Enjoying the food

Getting ready to go for evening meal

Brother and sister eating bananas

LM and his Ayi

Today was our first breakfast with LM. He is a eater. He really likes his food. We went back to the Jiangsu Adoption Center to do registration and notarization. We got to see the nannies again. LM had to show them all this stuff. He had to make sure everything was packed to take with him. The stacking cars were a hit along with the bowl with a cover and the two cups that stacked with covers. We found out he like cars and he came with one of his own. We also found our how much he likes phones. We had to unplug on the phone of the desk so he would not make any calls. Luckily, there was a phone in the bathroom so we could receive calls. The morning went without much fanfare. The nanny had to sneak out so LM did not know she had left. When we left he seemed sad but did not cry. From the center we got our first taste of Walmart. This is where we bought the stroller. We also pickup some water and drinks. Coke Zero must be new since it looked like it special display. We spent the rest of the afternoon in the hotel room. It was too hot and muggy to take him out. We ventured out for evening meal. We decided to try one of the local restaurants that we saw on the walk to the bank. The walk was a lot easier with the stroller. It was an interesting place. We had to go outside to their picture menu to order. Then they brought out a Indian man to speak English to us and he tried to interpret but he said they speak a different dialect than his Mandarin and we will be interested in what they will bring. The food was good and they even had a dish to match my level of spiciness. I to try spicy dishes. One thing about LM he at least will try things once and sometimes twice. He tried dried cranberries and make a face to be remember always. He proceed to throw the balance in the trash. The next day he tried them again and can't get enough of them. After the evening meal, we went to the children store to buy some shoes for PT but just ended up buying a play cellphone for LM. The night time wasn't as easy. He did not want to go to sleep and he trashed all night long. I did not get much sleep. DH and PT got more than me.

July 13th - Gotcha Day

The day started out early. PT was up around 4 am. She loved looking out the hotel window. There was a construction site not to far and she enjoyed watching them from the room. They were working early to beat the heat. It was interesting to see a crane working at 4 am. PT kept asking what time was breakfast. She was hungry. Every 15 minutes she kept asking. So finally we went down to breakfast at 6:30. She was happy to see that it was a western type of breakfast. She is our breakfast queen. It is the only meal we don't struggle with. She eats most breakfast type of items. Our guide was not going to pickup us up until 10:30. To burn off some nervous energy we decided to go for a short walk. We did not go far since it was already hot and muggy. We can back to make sure that we had everything needed. Made sure gifts were assembled and his backpack was full of fun items. We got him a doggy backpack and filled it with stacking cars, bowl and stacking storage cups. Also, we had a Thomas Engine bag given to us from a friend. Her son took it with him when they traveled. We had hot wheels inside this bag. Once the time came, we had to sit in the warm office to wait. The staff and our son had taken the trains and we on their way. It was around 11:30 by the time they had arrive and he was hungry. Since I forgot to pack the Cheerios, I had granola bars along which he stuff into his face. Then I had a sippy cup with water for him to drink. Was not sure he had any sucking but he did and he downed the drink without any issues. He had our picture book which we sent and would point to DH and me saying ba ba and ma ma. You could tell that he was unsure of us still and would wonder back to his nanny. We received a memory book with pictures and craft done by our son, his finding ad, schedule and a gift. I was surprised and happy to receive a gift from the orphanage. It was a nice token and will be treasured. When it came time for the nannies to leave. He grieved! Boy did we find out he has a set of lungs to him! We went back to the hotel room and I stayed in the room with him and DH and PT went to get some lunch and to bring me back a diet Coke. (McD's) Little Man finally feel asleep crying. By the time they got back, he was in a better mood.

We met our guide again and headed to the bank to exchange $ to RMB. All that worries about having clean bills was unfounded. She looked them over but not as through as I had heard. It was a long walk and I found LM to be too heavy to carry and decided it was best to get a stroller. After exchanging money a show around the neighborhood, we went back to hotel to do some more paperwork. Since it was an early morning and it was hot and muggy our and I was exhausted from carrying LM. Our guide took us to an eating area and where we could go shopping for kids clothes. We decided to eat the snacks be had at the hotel. I had brought some noodle along for myself and made them. Come to find out LM really likes noodles. He proceed to eat all my noodles. This was ok since I was not very hungry due to the heat. LM and PT actually feel asleep early and we were blessed with an uneventful night.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

July 10-12th

Our travel day! It was quite the day! It was my parent's 50th Wedding Anniversary. We were able to make the picture of the whole family minus our son. After pictures we took the 5 hour drive to Denver to catch a plane back to LAX. We had a 4 hour layover before we flew off to China. Since we spent a week back in NE, we had packed two sets of luggage. We had enough time to get back to the car and switch luggage. Things worked out as planned. PT slept most of the flight. DH and I slept off and on. The worries about DH and crutches were not to be found. It actually helped! We figured in China that we would not get any preferred treatment. But we made it through customs and to our connecting flight to Nanjing in record time. The only thing that was hard was the long walk to our gate from customs. Getting off the plane in Nanjing reminded me a little of Burbank airport, getting off the plane onto the tarmac. The shuttle to baggage reminded me of Dulles Airport but more packed! We only had our temperature taken three times. Once getting on the plane, once getting off in Guangzhou and lastly at the hotel.

Someone forgot to tell me that Nanjing would be hot, muggy and smoggy. I figured it couldn't be worse than Florida in the summertime. But it was! We decided to take a walk to get some water and some other things to drink. That was quite the adventure! We enjoyed walking down the sidewalk and seeing all the little stores. We found a three level shopping area which we had to tour and see what they had. This is were we bought our drinks and water. PT was happy we had found the McDonald's. We had to stop and get an ice cream cone for her. I liked that they gave you a menu to point to what you want. There also happened to be a customer who could speak English who did some translation. We survived our first McD's purchase. Since we were all drenched from the humidity and heat we went back to the hotel and promptly fell asleep.