We had created a "barrier" in the hotel room as the marble on the floor was really slippery and we didn't want the kid's to fall. Zachary at least once a day climbed onto this suitcase (or in it if we left it open). Here he is letting us know he is ready when we are!
Taken at the White Swan Hotel Guangzhou, China 5/12.
5/18 was the first official test of the stroller. (Had to try it out before their dr.'s appt 5/19)
It's functional- for a double...not extremely heavy (key word there being extremely), it fits in the back of the car, and there is some room (not a lot) underneath to store a few small things per side.
We are trying to get adjusted back to Ga time. UGH!!!!
The boys slept fabulously in China. No such luck here. We know they are having trouble w/ the time adjustment and since they are....so are we.
In China we were very fortunate to discover their sleep schedule was for real. They woke up 6:30-7am, napped 11:30 till 2:30 or 3pm and went to bed at 9-9:30pm and might wake up once for a wet diapey.
Now, back in the states w/ the time change is a whole other story. We are trying to get them back in to their familiar pattern. But so far no luck. They are exhausted....and so are we.
Right now it is one of them waking up about every 2 hrs during the night. (couldn't they get this timed together at least?)
Actually they are doing amazingly well considering...me not so much. Thank goodness for our wonderful friends and neighbors who have been taking such good care of us! several of them have delivered dinner. We can't express our thanks enough. We probably would have just skipped those meals as we were to tired to make anything. So thank you again!!! (and again, and again!....btw Andrea I think Scott might like your lasagna better than mine! I think it's the chunks of tomatoe, I'll have to add those to mine.)
Our flight back from China was long. VERY LONG! One of our flights got cancelled due to weather so instead of flying from Guangzhou to Beijing to Chicago to Atlanta we had to do Guangzhou to Beijing to Chicago to Charlotte to Atlanta. From the time we got up to get ready for our flight till the time we made it back to our house 36 hrs. Long travelling day.
Well, this post took about 4 hrs to try to write. so will post as is without anything further.
Will try to fill in details whenever I can. -Jenni
in front of our Hotel....I love these "blow up" entrances they use to attract attention lots of bikes, mopeds, etc.... This is the building that most of the babies stay in at the orphanage our boys are from. There is also the "Lily Care Center" which is a room staffed by our agency where babies that need more care are taken care of. That is in the next building over to this one. Their orphanage is made up of 5 buildings. Each building has one of the characters from the olympics on it. The whole facility looks very nice. This is the Children's Welfare Institute in Zhengzhou. It is called the "new" orphanage as the children used to be in the social welfare institute with older patients. Now there are just a couple children left at the SWI, but there are approx 280 children at the CWI now. Most of these children have needs that require some sort of special care or attention.
ornate shrubbery outside the gates of the Chen House....
The Chen Family Temple was built as a collective effort by the Chen families from 72 counties all over Guangdong Province at the end of the 19th century during the reign of Emperor Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty. The temple was built to honor and worship their ancestors. It was also used to house Chen family members who came from all over the province to sit for the imperial examinations. Today, it is the largest and best preserved example of the architecture and artistry of the time in all of Guangdong Province.
We have been super busy! (As you can probably imagine!- especially being new to all this!)
We are in Guangzhou now. We flew in Saturday. We survived our first plane ride. Of course this one was only 2 hours long, but it was a good trial run to see how it is going to go for the long ride home.
Scott and I were seated one in front of the other. For our in-China flights we only have "lap seats" for the boys. It was nice that each of us had an empty seat in between us and the passenger by the window. Both of us being on the aisle was great as well. More so for me as I had Zachary who is a little bit fussier and I had to get up and walk him a couple of times as he gets antsy just sitting. I had a really nice gentleman sitting in the row with us. He played w/ Z a lot during the flight. He also didn't gag when right after takeoff Z made a real stinker. (Though the person in the aisle accross from me was according to Scott who had a good view of him while I was focused on changing Z's diaper and getting the smell gone ASAP!) It was a small plane and I decided since there was an empty seat to just lay Z accross the two seats and change his diaper right there. I apologized in Mandarin (yeah...one of the phrases I know!) even though this gentleman spoke quite a bit of English to me afterwards. At that point I didn't know he spoke English and I was very proud of myself for remembering the right words. I know I got it right because he answered "that's ok" back to me.
So I now can mark that off on my list of things I have accomplished as a new Mom... changing a diaper on a plane.
We thought we would get lucky and have the boys sleep during the flight as it was their nap time anyway, but no go. They also were supposed to have one of their "solid meals" on the plane, but we decided to flip their schedule around and do one of their bottles of formula at the meal time and then later at the formula time do a more solid meal. That did work out fine. On advice of other BTDT mom's we picked up a thermos here at the lotus center on one of our shopping trips.
side note: *The Lotus Center is supposed to be a grocery store. I guess it is if you shop at a Super Walmart. It had everything-even more than Walmart! It is more like a small mall. The cool thing was that it was 4 stories high. Let's see if I can remember what was on all the floors. 1st floor jewelry...we skipped that floor as we were on a baby survival mission. 2nd floor groceries. It was fun seeing a lot of the brands you know but on Chinese labels. 3rd floor Ithink that is where we found the baby formula. There were certain things that had to be paid for in that area and other things that you could take floor to floor and just pay for at the end. It was very interesting. 4th floor diapers ,wipes and a ton more stuff of course- if I am remembering correctly. Baby formula -pay right there! Luggage-right there. Back pack-right there. Batteries, diapers, wipes, water, food, baby pants- all could wait to the end to pay. We were in there for 1 1/2 hrs on our first trip and that was not enough. We could have spent about 4 hrs just looking at everything. I went back seperately to pick up a bigger pack of diapers- ha ha and to see if they had instant oatmeal. No such luck on that. Though they do have oreos, pringles, lots of junk food that we see at home. I finally found a bag that our rep said was wheat. Seeing that it was in a bowl, I was thinking cream of wheat...not quite, it was just a bit thicker than formula and had a few oatmeal like flakes of wheat. It works for one of their meals, but I tasted it....yuck! and I eat just about every hot type of cereal out there. (I have been accused of eating hot bird seed)
Ok, back on topic.... So we got a thermos and once through the security we filled it (w/scalding hot water) from one of the hot water stations in the airport. We also bought some cold bottled water so we could mix their bottles to the right temp. That way, we wouldn't have to rely on the airline to make us hot water exactly when we needed it. They might do it, or they might be too busy so we played it safe and prepared that way. All in all, the flight went smoothly. They were not bothered by the air pressure changes. Even with the two of them having pretty nasty colds. We at that point were battling snoogery noses that changed from stuffy to runny. We had brought children's meds from home and were dosing according to their (future) pediatrician and it was helping, but not quite enough.
They both started to fall asleep right as we were about to land. We wore our ergo's for carrying throughout the airport which again worked out great except being very HOT! Ergo now makes a "sport" version. I am wondering if it truly is any cooler. If anyone out there is thinking about one I'd say give it a shot as the regular ones are super hot. It's like strapping a heater to your stomach when you put on a little 20+ pounder!
Oh... as far as suitcases on the in-China flight....they don't count the # of bags, just weight. Overall each adult is allowed 20(kg's I think....works out to 44lbs ) and lap tickets are allowed 10kg. If you are over in weight you just pay a not very expensive fee. BUT......I would highly advise going as light as possible from home because you are sure to pick up more stuff at every stop! We had to pay on our flight from Beijing to Zhengzhou, but since we gained the weight limit for the two boys we didn't have to pay even though I had picked up a suitcase (which I bought at the lotus center of course )to hold the boys diapers, formula, food, etc.
Last notes on the airport the baggage carts are free and it is interesting going through security screening (at that point our interpretor was no longer with us) when they are asking you to do something and you don't understand them...and of course while holding a squirming child!
Zachary and Hunter have kept us running! They are napping right now. This is the first time I haven't felt like I had to nap too! (I could still....but it's not like it's mandatory this time)
Scott already posted the picture of them wrestling... it cracked me up they are such BOYS!!!!!!
It is really neat to watch them exploring everything. Zachary especially loves the scale in our room.
Feeding time in the room has been funny. Zachary seems to want to be the only one to get fed. Even though Scott and I are both feeding them, Z will sometimes sit on top of Hunter in order to get in his way and get the food. H is OK with it. They both are really sweet, but H is super, super easy going.
They both sleep all the way through the night. They both love baths. Z has a little more strength in his legs, and we are sure he will be the first one to truly go solo. Right now they both are able to walk around holding on to things, but Z really hauls! H is more proficient with his hands. He is much better at holding his bottle and tilting back to get the last drops. He also is really good at the nesting blocks. He really "gets" the whole nesting thing. Z gets a little more frustrated with them as he keeps trying to put the bigger one into the smaller one.
We think they might both be lefties (just like auntie Christina!) they do use both hands for a lot of things, but they tend to reach for food mainly with the left.
So today we had a free day to do whatever we liked and to catch up on some laundry and some sleep. It was nice spending the whole day to ourselves and not having to run anywhere. We gave our boys their first bath today which was a lot of fun. They love the water and like taking baths. They were splashing water everywhere and having a good old time. I've posted some pictures from the Registration office with the Director and also posted some pictures from the notary office. See you all Soon!!
Thanks everyone for looking at our blog and following our Journey!! It has been an unbelievable experience and being parents even though only for a couple of days is AWESOME...Tiring...But Awesome!!!! THESE BOYS ARE GREAT!!!!
Today we made our adoption 100% official!!! We went to the registration office and the notary today. This was the final step in making the adoption official!! Another interesting note is that the four families here were the first four families to use the new registration office. They made a pretty big deal out of it. They literally rolled out the red carpet for us and had us take pictures with the director of registration affairs (this is not the normal process). Each family had to take a picture with him then we all took a group photo with him. He was very nice and he was very much appreciative of all of the families. Anyway I'm posting some more pictures from yesterday and we will get the registration and notary pictures posted later. FYI this is SC...My first official post!!
Amazing, simply amazing that in one instant we became mom and dad two the two most precious little guys.
Out of our four families that are travelling together, we were the second family to have our children brought to us. We were waiting in the hallway as we were told they would be bringing the children to our guides room...which is right down the hall from ours. The families all worked out arrangements of who would take videos and pictures for whom. This worked out great as we all could focus on the children and not worry about "capturing the moment." I haven't even looked at the pic's yet! I will post some on in a moment.....be patient! ha ha!
We got totally choked up watching the first family meet their child. All the rest of the families were sobbing, but the parents did so great and gave a warm welcome to their little boy. We think watching that first moment helped us not to be emotional wrecks. The tears started brimming when we first saw our little guys being carried down the hall towards us, but the moment we held them it all seemed to click, and it was just a feeling of awe.
And they are so sweet. And funny, and cuddly,...and heavy when you are not used to lugging a child around!
We were pretty busy playing with them, while our representative tried to get the paperwork with the orphanage squared away.
We found out that our adoption of our little guys is the first one from this orphanage. As I have mentioned before they are the "new" orphanage for the city of Zhengzhou. I am not sure when exactly they opened, but I know it has been at least almost a year. So the orphanage workers were not really familiar with how everything was supposed to be done. And they even forgot some of the paperwork. But we didn't care as long as the brought the most important things: Zachary and Hunter!
The orphanage did a lot of nice things for us, like making an amazing book, bringing back a camera that we had sent, they also were going to give us all the clothes that we had sent back, but we told them to keep them. (Except I did ask for the sweatshirts since they might be useful in the AC and easier to take on and off than the sweaters we had brought with us.)
The countdown has truly begun! It is 9:36 right now as I am typing this post. We found out we are to meet our boys at 9:30 in the morning!
We found out today that our province guide and Lily, one of the founders of our adoption agency, visited our boys orphanage a week or so ago and spent 1/2 a day playing with our boys. We asked our guide more info and she told us that they are walking holding on to things for support and that they are happy and very easy going.
We can't believe we soon get to see these things first hand!
We can not wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We need to try to go and get some sleep...try being the key word.
Ok, its 3:15 in the morning here and I am wide awake. I don't think it's being on US time, I think it is excitement!!!!!
I can't believe we are so close to getting our boys! Tom. morning we fly into their province. We aren't suppose to get them until the 4th, but we have heard of cases where the children are brought earlier. Not really expecting it, but you never know!
We are sorry we missed our "skype" windows.... we've been on a set schedule with our guide. We have seen a lot in 2 days. Today we visited the Great wall, a cloisonne factory, a jade factory, we went to the olympic birds nest, had a nice lunch, and then went to an acrobatics show. We came back to our room and crashed! So I did get some sleep...not running entirely on empty.
traffic- ok, there is a ton of it. Of course being from GA we have seen our share w/ the Atlanta traffic. The biggest difference here is that in addition to all the cars there are also the bikes, the trikes, the tons of people walking everywhere. The bikes aren't on the sides of the roads, they are mixed in with the cars, looking like they are about to get clipped at any second. But the people riding them show no concern at all. But the amazing thing is that it seems almost like poetry in motion. I know, an odd thought about traffic. But the vehicles and people seem to blend in very fluidly. It's not like in the US where people are trying to not look at you so they don't have to let you in. Here they all accept that they must flow lane into lane and it just happens. The other interesting thing we learned is that Monday through Friday. Everyone, even though they have a 5 day work week is on a 4 day driving schedule. They have one day that they must leave their vehicle at home. This is done in order to minimize the amount of vehicles on the road. We also were told that during the recent olympics, the government put everyone on an every other day driving schedule. This cut traffic in half, but I can't imagine their subways during those days as they are already incredibly crowded.
Pride. Today was Labor day in China. There were crowds everywhere. Our guide said many people travel far on days such as this to visit the historic sites.We saw two women rush a guarded area that held a flagpole flying China's flag. They were dragged off by the police. They risked arrest in order to touch the flagpole of their country. Also I have heard several people here talking about themselves, no not them themselves personally but they "chinese people" as a group. I heard statements starting... "we Chinese ...." I found that incredibly interesting as that is not something I can say I have heard in the US. We don't group ourselves saying we all do anything a certain way.