Saturday, February 15, 2014

Catch up post! Lots of pics

We have had a busy couple of days and I don't want to get too behind on updating the blog.  We have had a long day of traveling from Zhengzhou to Guangzhou and didn't get enough sleep last night, so I'll cover most of what we did with pictures.

Thursday 2/13

We had a free day at the hotel.  We enjoyed playtime in the room, visiting with our travel group in the hall, and dinner at a restaurant called "the little restaurant" that was near our hotel.  Bryan got one of the guides to write down dishes in Chinese so he could point and order for our group.  We had kung pao chicken, sweet and sour pork, vegetables, fried rice,  and scrambled egg with tomato.  We fed 9 adults, 3 babies and a 5 year old and only paid $5 per adult!  The restaurant had a fish tank with a lid and throughout our meal the fish were trying to get out.  As we were leaving one jumped so hard that the lid came off and the fish ended up on the ground!!

Dinner at "the little restaurant"

Smiles & tickles while getting ready for bed

This is a face we see a lot- Hannah tries so hard not to smile and laugh at us sometimes! When she is trying not to smile she purses her lips together like this

Cruising around on furniture in the room so she could get the bubbles down

Friday 2/14

Our group had the choice to go to a temple that is the birth place of Kung Fu or to the local aquarium.  The Kung Fu trip was an all day event so we chose the aquarium.  We enjoyed being with the group but I think one of my travel mates said it best -- once you've seen one aquarium you've seen them all. Some of the exhibits were kind of sad for the animals.  But hey, it was something to do to get us out of the hotel room!

Hannah passed out on the bus en route to the aquarium
She tends to get overwhelmed in large public places & when we travel which is understandable.  Her coping mechanism is to shut down socially and by sleeping.  As she gets more comfortable with her surroundings and with us as her parents we expect this to decrease.

Checking out the fish

Fish tunnel

Apparently I was near the "arctic pole paradise"
Let me tell you there was no paradise in site based on the sites and smells of this place.

Bryan came across the "marine gentleman house" in the outdoor section of the aquarium. Hmm

After the aquarium we grabbed a quick lunch in the hotel restaurant before putting Hannah down for a nap.

I love it when babies sleep with their booties up in the air!

Yikes! Baby girl woke up with some serious bed head

That night we ventured to "the turtle restaurant" across the street from the hotel.   Once again, Bryan had one of the guides write down special dishes to order.  She specifically wrote "NO TURTLE" since no one was interested in eating turtle!

Our group

Oops, we clearly don't know how to communicate quantity in Mandarin.  We had quite the spread!  The broccoli we ordered was delicious!

With our Hannah at the restaurant.  She is great little eater!

We had one ordering flop:  tofu soup.  The guide insisted it was good and the babies would like it.  We referred to it as "the gelatinous cube".  Only Bryan was brave enough to taste it.  He said it had the texture of paste and tasted like play dough.  In other words, it was not very good!  We all laughed and laughed watching him taste it.

The Crowne Plaza where we stayed.  Crossing the street was like a real-life version of the game Frogger

Poor Hannah had to endure another bath.  She didn't cry this time, wahoo! She even sat in the tub on her own this time.  She's not a fan of having her hair rinsed but I don't know many 18 month olds who love that.

Photo shoot in Hannah's valentine pajamas

Hannah has perfected the fake baby drama - this is because she was tired of pictures and wanted to be held.  Of course I obliged right away and scooped her up!

We had lots of packing and organizing to do that night before bed so Hannah sat and played with her toys while we worked.  It was the first time I saw her do pretend play-- pretending to mix up baby food with a baby doll spoon and feed it to a little stuffed kitty.  

Saturday, 2/15

Our luggage had to be out in the hall by 7:30 and we had to be on the bus by 8 to head to the airport.  Hannah ended up sleeping in bed with us but we all actually slept fairly well once the crazy fireworks stopped.  Last night was the final night of the 2-week long Spring Festival celebrations.  It is one of the nights when fireworks are allowed and let's just say when the Chinese do fireworks their policy is "go big or go home".  It was nuts and lasted til midnight! Hannah didn't go to bed until 11.

At the breakfast buffet

Organized chaos at the Zhengzhou airport.
It is no small undertaking to get 11 families with 13 babies checked in for a flight.  We are so impressed with our agency reps in China! They have taken great care of us.

We loaded a bus @ the gate and drove a short distance to see this.  Awesome, who wouldn't want to board a plane on a ramp with a fussy baby in the cold? 

Overall Hannah did well on the plane.  She sat on my lap (Bryan's lap is still a no-go for her) and ate puffs.  She cried once but Bryan fixed her a bottle and she settled down.  She did fine but we are still dreading the 14+ hour flight home.

We made it! We are in Guangzhou!  
After a long day of traveling she finally passed out in the Ergo carrier

 We checked into our new hotel, China Hotel, which is a Marriott hotel in GZ.  While our hotel in ZZ was fine, this one is much nicer!  It is newer, has a starbucks in the lobby, several good eating options nearby, better weather, faster internet!  We are glad to have a change of scenery and to be one step closer to going home to our boys.

Another hotel, another remote control to master

Welcome basket from the hotel

The tub at the new hotel is very deep so I busted out my swimsuit again and sat in the tub with Hannah.  She did great and even played a bit!  She still doesn't like having her hair washed but that's ok.

Tomorrow we have signed up to do some touring with our group.  We will visit a Buddhist temple, the historic home of the Chen family and go to an area with popular arts & crafts (and shopping!).  We did not do much sightseeing in Hannah's province because we had other things going on -- you know, like meeting our child and getting her to like us and getting all of her adoption paperwork!  We are hoping to enjoy our last week in China so that the days fly by.  This is a long, hard trip and we miss Caleb & Joshua so much but we know it is worth it.  We are trying to make the best of our time here, enjoy this bonding time with Hannah and enjoy our travel group as well.  

Thank you for all of your wonderful comments, emails, messages etc!  We are so encouraged by your enthusiasm for Hannah's story.  I wish I had time to respond to every nice word but there are just not enough hours in the day during this trip!

Thanks for reading!

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