17 posts categorized "China 2006"

September 08, 2006

Home at last!


We got home about 3:30 yesterday afternoon after a 12 hour flight from Hong Kong to SFO.  All told, it was pretty comfortable.

We flew Cathay Pacific and used the car-seats we purchased in China.  Since the flight wasn't very full, we were able to move to the bulkhead so we had lots of leg room.  Gwen slept soundly in the car-seat for the best part of 8 hours.  Maddy is a tummy sleeper so she wasn't comfortable sleeping in the car-seat and we were really lucky that we had enough room in front of us to lay her down on the floor (with tons of blankets and pillows).  The flight attendants were amazing.  They did so much to make us comfortable and we strongly recommend using Cathay Pacific on that particular route.
Zz20060907_homecoming_016 Once home, Gwenny took Maddy on a tour of the house.  Here she is meeting Kitty for the very first time.  She loves Kitty and we're pretty sure she's not just imagining her in a good gravy. 

Kitty was very happy to see us but seems to have not suffered too much while we were away.  Mary-Mia checked in on her several times and so did her friend Maggie.  Thanks M&M!

We kept the girls up until 7:30 PM last night and they slept until midnight.  That would be the time they would get up from their nap in China so we weren't frustrated that they were wide awake.  We let them play quietly (if there's such a thing) and put them back to bed about 3:00 AM.   We think the trick to helping them adjust to the time difference is to let them get lots of time in the sunshine and resist the temptation to let them sleep too long during the day.  Eventually, they'll be guided them into their new night schedule.  We're also making sure that we sleep when they do.  When we brought Gwen home last summer, I was so ready to finally have some personal time after Gwen fell asleep that I didn't go to sleep myself.  A few hours later, I was ready for bed and Gwen was wide awake and not willing to be entertained by anyone other than me.  We're not making that mistake again. 

This morning, we all got up at 10:00.  We could have easily slept longer but we feel pretty good and the girls are happily munching dry cereal and raisins and drinking their yogurt drinks.  Poor Maddy won't get her usual breakfast of congee until I figure out how to make it (feel free to post your easy and tasty recipe for congee in the comments).

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!

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