« August 2006 | Main | October 2006 »

22 posts from September 2006

September 06, 2006

Last night in China


This is our last night in China.  It's been a wonderful adventure and even though we miss our bed and the ability to rinse our toothbrush in something other than the last 2 ounces of water from the Watson's bottle, we know this the possibly the last time we'll be here -- at least for this purpose.  So we want to treasure every last minute.

Here's Gwen modeling Daddy's shorts.  She's going through a phase where she loves to wear multiple layers of clothes.  She's really changed so much during this trip.  She's talking about 50% more than before -- perhaps because she has a little sister to communicate with.  She's also figured out that there is a difference between men and women and calls all women "Momma" and all men "Di Dah" (Di Dah is the reverse of Dah Di or "Daddy").   It's especially flattering when she points to a pretty slim mannequin and screams "Mamma!"  At first, I thought she really thought someone looked like me but I've finally figured out that it's her way of saying that someone is female or male.


Maddy was a skinny little bean pole when we got her two weeks ago.  We expected her to be a picky eater but she eats everything in sight!  This kid gets up and drinks some sweet milk then puts away three bowls of chicken or pork congee, a bunch of watermelon then wants a couple of big granola cookies a half hour later!  She repeats the process for lunch and dinner and snacks on Pringles chips inbetween.  She even mooched most of my pistachio nuts off me yesterday.  A 2 year old who likes pistachio nuts? Nuts!   Oh well... we've been letting her eat!    She looks so much better!


Our guide, Sarah, is part of the China Team from US Asian Affairs.   She's been awesome!  In addition to guiding us through all of the official adoption stuff, she's taken us to many tourist attractions in Guangzhou.   She'll often watch the girls so we can concentrate on tours or take pictures.  The girls LOVE her!  Gwen is a big Momma's Girl and doesn't like other women very much but she really likes Sarah. 

Yesterday, we visited the tomb of Nanyue King who ruled this region 2300 years ago.  Today, we visited the Guangzhou Safari Park.   Oh my gosh.... this was awesome!  We'll post some of the pictures below. 


The Safari Park isn't a zoo.  It's like the Wild Animal Park in San Diego only much more up-close-and-personal.  We rode in an open train through various habitats with animals all grouped together according to where they are on the food chain.  They were so close to us!  It was really fascinating and the girls squealed with delight as they pointed at everything! 


Gwen's favorite:  The Rhino.

We're all packed up and ready to head out in the morning.  The next time you hear from us, we'll be home! 

September 05, 2006

One Year Anniversary


One year ago, a very frightened 14 month old little girl was carried into a hot room full packed full of excited onlookers and thrust into the waiting arms of her new parents.   This was her "Gotcha" day (the day we "got" her).

She was less than thrilled at the time but we're pretty sure she's happy with the arrangement now.
  • Click <here> to view last year's blog post and pictures about Gwen's "Gotcha".
  • Click <here> to view Gwen's "Gotcha" video.


Here we are one year later.  Mommy is wearing the same clothes as last year and might continue this as a tradition.

Gwen has gained 6 inches of hair and 8 pounds.  (So has mommy)

She loves Daddy but she's very much "Mommy's Girl".

She's a bright, sunny child with a big beautiful smile and eyes that twinkle but if you've been reading this blog for any time at all, you already knew that!

It's been a wonderful year!  We love you Gwenny!


Last night, we took our 2nd cruise on the Pearl River.  You can read about last year's cruise <here>. 


Last year, Gwen loved running around the top level of the ship as we cruised on the smooth water past the Vegas-like scenery.  She was so cute!  It was very memorable so we wanted to be sure to include it on this trip as well.


Here's Gwenny this year -- with her new little sister, Maddy!.  You'll notice that a young lady can strike a much more mature pose at age 2 than age 1!

September 04, 2006

Then and now (Sep 4)


Here are our girls today.  It's hard to believe that one year ago, we had neither of them.

September 4, 2005 was the day we met the other 38 families traveling in our group for a big Dim-Sum banquet.  You can read all about it here: Sun 9/4/05 Dim Sum Banquet.  The next day, we got Gwen!

September 03, 2006



It's really hard for us to commit to art.  In fact, you'd think we're picking a tattoo that we'll have to keep forever by the amount of consideration we give to it.  In the end, we can't decide and our walls will go bare for years because we can't find the perfect thing to hang on them.   

But we want to change (but we're still not getting a tattoo)!  So, when we bought the new house, we decided that we'd force ourselves to make inexpensive/temporary art choices just so we can enjoy having something to look at while we wait for the perfect thing to come along.   Yesterday, we took our first bold step in that direction.

While the girls napped in the stroller during our visit to Shamian Island, we took advantage of the air-conditioning in the art shop next to the White Swan hotel.  We looked at everything at least three times and finally picked a large painting of the mountains in Guilin, Guangxi province (Maddy was born in Guangxi province).  The top picture is the artist holding the painting we selected.  The bottom picture is my horrible hack job in PaintShop Pro as I tried to square it up and mat and frame it.

It was 800 yuan (about $100).  We bought art!  We're so proud of ourselves!

September 02, 2006

The Famous Red Couch

Red_couch_framed We had Maddy's medical exam at the clinic on Shamian Island today so we took the opportunity to visit the White Swan hotel and get a picture of the girls on the famous red couch.  We didn't do this when we adopted Gwen since our agency never stays at the White Swan but we promised ourselves that we'd do it when we retured someday.  That someday was today!

There are several of these red sofas in the hotel and we spent the better part of an hour searching for The One only to learn that they're all the same.   

The tradition is for adoptive families to plunk their new babies onto this velvet throne and get a group photo of all of the screaming infants.  There's something about sitting on this that sucks the happiness out of the children since I don't think I've ever seen a baby smile in any of the Red Couch pictures.  Our girls are further proof of this.

My Photo

My Other Accounts

Blogger Facebook Flickr YouTube

  • Follow Me
  • Join me on Facebook

Family Blogs

Most Recent Referrers

  • we picture {this}
  • www.flickr.com
    This is a Flickr badge showing public photos and videos from Donna & Andrew. Make your own badge here.

  • No Hands But Ours