Since this particular blog was solely for our travel journey, this will be our last post! (E mail me privately if u'd like more specifics on this). Thanks for joining us!!
Follow along on the journey of a lifetime!
Our group 'red couch' photo
Our travel group at the waterfall
Busy day - photo shoot in the afternoon followed by our Consolate appointment. The consolate was a lot of waiting, & we stood in a few lines, & then waited some more. A woman came out & addressed the whole room (50+ families) & had us hold up the baby's right hands & recite some type of verse. It was cute =) Then they handed out the Visa's & we were able to leave.
It took us a few hours to pack. We bought one of those cheap suitcases here to pack our purchases in. Low & behold - we actually needed the duct tape. No, not on our mouths . . . the cheap suitcase didn't latch all that well, so we got it to close, locked it, & then circled the suitcase a few times around with the tape. Perfection! I think we got everything in. We'll end up carrying on a lot of the fragile stuff on the plane.
Grammy had a massage tnite at the White Swan - it was reasonably priced & quite an experience. The woman hung from a towel wrapped around a bar on the ceiling (no kidding) & walked around on her back with her feet. I can't get into much more tnite as I'm exhausted & we have to be up at 4:30AM. I was not brave enough to sign myself up for that. She said I missed out . . .
When we arrived here last week, we got to see the White Swan decorated for Christmas. The staff even wore Santa suits. They had a decorated tree near the waterfall - it was amazing. Today we went to breakfast & during the night they had started to decorate for the Chinese New Year - WOW! Huge dragon sitting in the middle of the breakfast buffet, lighted goldfish jumping around the waterfall, & giant lanterns hanging from the ceilings. Absolutely beautiful! We got some pics, but not digital. I'll try to post a few after we get home.
We ordered etchings last night & caught this girl working on Ian & Quinn's picture. 3 girls were all sitting in a row etching different pieces - they could not have been older than 13 years of age. It's amazing, & cheap. We paid about $5 (USA) per person.
We're having dinner tnite with our travel group in the hotel. Tomorrow we take our 'red couch' pictures & are sworn in at the Consolate. Then we attempt to pack. Tmrw is our last day here. We leave Wednesday AM at 5:45. It's been fun, but we're ready to go home.
Late post today b/c the hotel internet was down. Apparently technology works just as well in China =)
Mali was still a bit grouchy today. We attempted to have her blessed at the temple. She pitched a huge fit and I had to take her outside. I'm not sure that the 'heavenly house' would've appreciated all that screaming during the ceremony. As soon as we got outside, she promptly threw up on herself. She was definitely having belly issues. We've been working on altering her diet for the past few days in a attempt to help her out (per the advice of Dr. Jerry). It seems to be helping. Tnite we had a major breakthrough (quite literally). Hopefully tmrw she'll be a bit more comfortable.
Dim Sum lunch
My skills & reaction time are increasing rather quickly. Today at our dim sum lunch, they had no baby seats. When I requested one, they brought me a booster. The problem: the seats were shiny flat (not real cozy) & wood. The booster seat was basically a block of wood. It did not attach to the chair. No straps to tie the baby in, either. We were starving, Mali is constantly wiggling. I had to eat lunch with one hand & attempt to keep Mali sitting on her 'seat' with the other. I was a bit weary by the end of the meal. She didn't fall (although she slid way down a few times & I had to retrieve her) - & nothing was spilled. Wow, huh? The food was good (well, most of it). You never really know what you're eating. Usually, one person at the table tries it & lets everyone else know how it is or what it is. Even the desserts are surprisingly tasty.
** Food tip - if it's got a dry, pasty brown filling & it's kinda sweet, it's probably bean curd.
When we got back from our trip this afternoon, we had to sit with our guide & fill out (nearly 2 hrs worth) of Consulate paperwork. Mali stayed up in the room with Grammy & took her nap.
We ran out this evening to order some custom goods we need to pick up by Tuesday. We've found one shop in particular that we love, I'll post more about it before we leave. Only 2 days left before we begin our journey home.
Mali just fell asleep with bunny hanging out of her mouth. Right before she nodded out, she had one ear in her mouth & one up her nose. She fits right in.
Tmrw: Some quick checking of Consulate paperwork & our Consulate appts in the afternoon.
Clutching her favorite toy - the bag of wipes.
Two of the examiners said, "Oh, very strong baby."
She proved it to us on the 15 minute walk home. Total meltdown - Linda Blair style. She SCREAMED, kicked, arched her back, flipped upside down & writhed for what seemed like forever. She was in the stroller, but I ended up taking her out thinking that's why she was so upset. Nope. She still fought - all the way home. People were staring, but most were kind of giggling. I've been told several times: "Big baby for little girl." That's an understatement - did I mention she weighs 25 lbs? She finally settled down in the room, but it took about 15 more minutes of her wrestling around on the bed, kicking & arching her back. Her bottle settled her down & she's sleeping. I still have no idea why she was so upset . . . bellyache? Maybe. She's still sleeping now. I'm hoping she's in a better mood when she wakes up, otherwise the Pearl factory might not be so fun.
Very serious, not sure what she's pointing at . . . Cheerios!! We had to keep em coming or she grunted and lunged at the bag =)
We made it back to the hotel & Mali was exhausted. She fought sleep the whole way home. We kept her awake long enough for Dr. Jerry to visit & check her over. She got an A+! She weighs 22 lbs, and has a slight cough. She really only cried when we took her clothes off & Dr Jerry was poking around. She totally was not in the mood for the exam. She wouldn't take her bottle at all, but he said that's all good for today. While she was crying, she vomited several times. My superhero reflexes caught the first load in one of her stacking cups. After that, it wasn't so easy. There was puke on Grammy's bed, in Mali's bed and all over me. Most of it was loads of green snot (sorry!), the rest was oranges (she must've eaten them on the way over b/c we didn't give em to her). I suppose it was just a combination of her being so tired & having such a long, emotional day. Mali's sleeping now, very soundly in her crib. She has a cute way of kicking her leg up into the air when she sleeps. Grammie just reminded me that her personality report from the orphanage said she enjoys 'kicking her crab.' Now I get it . . .they must've meant 'crib.'
This is it for today - gotta go shower. I'm exhausted, sticky (well a little crusty now), and I probably stink . . . but it feels wonderful =)Crashed out. ** GOTCHA pics taken by our wonderful group pediatrician - Dr. Jerry from Alaska!! ** (Thanks Uncle Jerry!!)