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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Now in Guanghzou, USA?

Happy Labor Day! Well, here in China at least.

Hannah's first plane ride went very smoothly. Well, if you call having a BIG poopy diaper at 29,000 feet smooth, then it went smoothly. You got to give to Hannah for her impeccable timing. Now if we can just get Daddy to change a poopy diaper - we're in business. The man is not afraid of heights, insects, snakes, etc... but baby poop scares him. Now don't get me wrong, he is an excellent assistant, so much so that I feel like a surgeon - "Wipe... Wipe... Destin... Diaper...". But I digress, back to the trip.

Chris heard that Guanghzou looked like Charleston and I have been skeptical (me skeptical? Naaaaaa) but he is right. On Shamian Island, where the White Swan Hotel is located, it looks like Charleston. The architecture is very colonial because the English had settlements on Shamian Island. Everything else looks like... Newark. Very industrialized and hazy. In fact our guides told us that it is hazy everyday because of the pollution. We got lucky because our room has a view of the Pearl River (fourth longest river in the world). Everything is lit up at night. And when I say lit up, I mean LIT UP. We will take some pictures soon to demonstrate. After some yummy room service - cheeseburger & ravioli - we got a pretty good nights sleep. Hannah still wakes up during the night (last night around 2:30am) but we finally figured out that if we don't wake her too much for her bottle she'll go right to sleep. Keep the lights low, talk softly, etc. I know, I know duh.

Hannah is doing so great. She has been rolling over like a champ and she grabs things with either hand. She'll even to work her feet to try and bring something closer to her. She sits up with a little help, but she getting much better at the balance-thing. She doesn't mind tummy time as much now. She giggles when you run with her and it sounds like music. She talks to herself to stay awake and she holds hands when she is tired. She amazes us every minute.

This morning we had to take her picture for her visa and this afternoon, I have a hour and a half of paperwork to look forward to. Yeah!? Today we received our special edition Going Home Barbie, made specifically for adoptive families of Chinese orphans staying at the White Swan Hotel. We got to do some shopping and then Hannah needed a nap, so here we are. Just wanted to let you all know we made here okay.


P.S. We can read the comments here, and Chris has been doing a really good job at taking my picture with Hannah.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

On our way to Guangzhou!

Sorry for the delay - Hannah decided to throw a fit most of the night and that cuts into my posting time. She seems much better now.

Yesterday we took a long bus ride to a one thousand year old village. And Hannah decided that a very bumpy 60 mile-an-hour bus ride was as good as time as any to make a BIG poopy diaper. It was bound to happen sooner or later. Besides the bus was smelling way too fresh. The village was very interesting, people still live and work there. And it smelled about as bad as our bus. The tour lasted about an hour and a half. We took pictures in front an ancient tree and is supposed to be lucky. On the way home, the Hannah which we will now call "Dark H" began to make an appearance. Just overall fussy and not wanting to be held but wanting to be held, etc. She was pretty good through our farewell dinner and then it was on like Donkey Kong. I won't bore you with the details - almost all of you have been there. Keep your fingers crossed that our flight from Nanchang to Guangzhou goes smoothly.


Friday, April 28, 2006

Bath & Beyond

Before I forget to mention it, for whatever reason we haven't been able to see the comments section of the blog. One of our adoption buddies was kind enough to let me use their computer to read them and thank you so much! We hope that we can see them in Guanghzou, but who knows! If not, we'll have to borrow Mike's computer again. Thanks Mike!

This morning started out with a bath in the inflatable tub. This time it went much smoother. I think it was a combination of Hannah knowing us better and the tub seems to surround her more closely and she didn't slip as much. We all went to the local police station to pick up the girl's passports. Then we got a chance to shop for procelain and then lunch. Hannah is such a patient girl - won't that come in handy during antique shopping? - she just watches and takes it all in. This evening we got to go to another section of town for some cheap baby shopping and we took some pictures of the crowd we drew every time we stopped. We were told that the Chinese do not hide their curiousity. Most of the people were nice and we got alot of thumbs up and "lucky baby"s. Hannah got to try her first piece of chicken and her first french fry from McDonalds - I think she liked the chicken better. After a hair-raising taxi ride home, we are safe and sound and ready to start all over tomorrow.

I think I mentioned to a few of you the mystery of split pants in China. All of the children in China wear split pants and no diapers. They are held over a potty chair and they just... go. Most are potty trained very early. Hannah has done fine with the diapers and never showed any interest in going back to the potty chair (the hotel supplied one for us in the room). I wanted to include a photo of the split pants in action. I find it interesting that the Chinese are so concerned about bundling their children so heavily yet their sweet little bottoms are hanging out all day long.

I meant to also include in yesterday's post, the calligraphy poster we had made. In the picture, I tried to show what characters mean what. We'll have to get it framed and hang it in the hallway.

Take care,


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Mar..A..Nar..A Sauce

Quick story to tease Chris about whenever you see him next.

We went to Pizza Hut last night for dinner with Tiffany, Mike and their daughter Audrey. For those of you who don't know Chris likes extra sauce on his pizza. When they served the pizza last night Chris immediately noticed the lack of sauce and tried to ask the waitress to bring some extra. She spoke very little English and therefore did not understand what Chris was asking for. I'm sure she thought there was something wrong with the order. Chris then proceeded to loudly sound out the syllables of what he wanted: Mar...A...Nar...A Sauce, as if this would help his cause. It didn't. Actually it got her to simply say no and walk away. But he must have looked perplexed enough that she brought someone over who spoke a little more English to translate Chris's request. He did not get to hear the syllabic refrain, but he also said no and went about his business. So Chris ate his "dry" pizza and we all made fun of him.
The End.


What a Happy Anniversary!

Today is our tenth wedding anniversary - can you believe it? Ten years ago today we were partying it up at a country club in Parsippany, NJ. Now look at us. What a difference ten years can make... I mean besides the wrinkles. You can say that this experience and Hannah Bear are the best anniversary gifts ever, and they most certainly are, but Chris, Tiffany & CiCi made it even better by surprising me with a ten red roses and an anniversary cake complete with pyrotechnics (too hard to explain - but the Chinese really know how to do birthday candles). Thank you so much for making a special day even more special.

Today we went to the local food market in Nanchang and then the Peoples Park. The food market was definitely an experience, we seemed to get even more attention there than on the busy streets of Nanchang near our hotel. We saw hundreds of fresh vegetables and fruits and some really unusual gross stuff that will haunt me for awhile. We got firmly reprimanded by a pregnant Chinese woman for exposing our daughter's legs - but what can I say she's got really cute legs. The park was really beautiful and surprisingly busy considering it was mid-morning on a Thursday (the Chinese have a five day work week like us). After the park was yet another delicious lunch at a new restaurant called KungFu. That was where I was surprised by the roses and the amazing cake. (Hannah is big fan of icing - that's my girl.)

Hannah is as terrific as ever. Tiffany mentioned that she might turn out to be a shy girl, and I definitely have to agree - she talks to us alot, but around other people, she is content to sit and take it all in. Time will tell. Here are some things we have learned about Hannah thus far:

- She likes to be held... alot.
- She likes her bottles hot.
- Her tickle spot is her neck.
- She sleeps with her hands up.
- She learning to sit up on her own and roll over.
- When she does roll over, she does not like it.
- She likes to scratch (herself, others, furniture, whatever she's not picky).
- She's liked every food we have had her try (today was bananas and pears - big fan).
- She loves Cheerios.
- She likes music.
- Her favorite toy is the lanyard that came with our hotel room key.
- She likes her Daddy to put her to sleep.
- She likes her Mommy to feed her and change her dirty diaper... thanks Daddy.
- She's the boss and she knows it.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Miracle of Day Three

In everything I have read about the travels of the adoptive families, all of them have mentioned a specific event. Around day 3 or 4 there is a significant change in their child's behavior. They seem to have finished the grieving process and embrace everything that is around them, namely the adoptive parents. We're not sure if we can say that Hannah is finished grieving - can we ever say that? - but she definitely feels much better and is showing improvement in motor skills, etc. She has started to sit up and (with a little help) keep her balance and she has started to stand on our laps. When we first met her on Monday, this was not a possiblity. She is also very smiley. We get to see glimpses of this special girl's personality every minute.

We did a little site seeing with the group this morning. Our guides took us to the "New City" of Nanchang and the TengWangGe (the major tourist attraction of Nanchang). Then we had a lovely lunch complete with a beef and onion dish (one of our favorites) and a carrot-shaped rice pastry filled with sesame paste. Very tasty.

Hannah Bear is up from her nap so I'll sign off for now.


Monday, April 24, 2006

Hannah Bear

Well, of the few things that we have learned about Hannah, "she is a trooper" should be at the top of the list. She was a little bit more fussy this morning than usual - she even took a nap after being up for about an hour. Her nose has been running and she started this little pitiful sneeze/cough thing. We gave her a bath in the sink and she screamed bloody-murder the whole time. I tried to get the mysterious crud out of her belly button, but I could only get a couple of fragments - should have brought tweezers. We calmed her down and took her to breakfast and she tried some egg with her congee and some grape baby juice for the first time. We even took her on a very brief walk right before it started to downpour.

Today our agency arranged for a doctor to come and look at the girls and our appointment was at 11:00am. We thought this was perfect timing since her nose has started to run and the cough thing. To say that it was tramatic for Hannah is an understatement. It took four people to hold her head so the doctor could look into her ears - which were clear thank goodness. And the tongue depressor was horrible too. It turns out that Hannah's glands are swollen and she has got a bad cold. Her eyes have some goop in them, but the doctor thinks that is part of the cold. Looks like the anitbiotics we got in the U.S. will come to good use. Our agengy reps are also picking up some Tylenol for Cold and Cough (like a dumba** I only have it for fever) at the pharmacy this afternoon.

Right now, Hannah is sleeping and we hope she will feel better soon. I will take more pictures as soon as Hannah stops thinking we are worst parents ever.

I think she has somewhat forgiven us although that certainly can change. We were able to get some "hanging out in the room" pictures and we got a cute one of her looking at the fish in this huge tank at the 0791 restaurant where we ate dinner. Check out her raincoat and bunny slippers - I know too cute. One of the mothers from our group has to leave tomorrow to go back to work in a Broadway show in NYC. So we took some early family group pictures. I've also included a picture of the Corbin family - break a leg Laurie!


Cutey McCuterton of Cuteville

Today is our first full day with Hannah and we can already see glimpses of the sweetest baby ever. We woke up at 2 am this morning with an empty belly and a nasty full diaper - you know, just to get things moving along. We had some official business to attend to this morning at the Provincial Registration & Notary offices and Hannah was a real good girl for all of it. We got some smiles today and even a half giggle.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Gotcha Day

Thank you for standing by during our technical difficulties. We've got it all together now and free internet to boot! We have other previous photos to post, but we wanted to get to the important stuff first. Here is the first Davis family photos.

We are in the process of getting a very cranky Hannah baby to sleep, so wish us luck and we will post more soon.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Hong Kong - Day Two & Three

Just in case any of you are interested on how we filled our time on the second and third days in Hong Kong, here you go...
We went for walks in the beautiful Sha Tin Central Park and along the Shing Mun river. We saw alot of exercising in the parks - arm swinging and leg slapping. With all of the people exercising and some very vigorously - we thought it was interesting that everyone was wearing street clothes. Not a track short or sweatpant to be found.
We went to the Ten Thousand Buddha Monastery - too bad they didn't tell us that it would be ten thousand steps to get to it. Ugh. When we got to the top several school girls came up to us (they were kind enough to let us catch our breaths) and asked several questions. I think they were doing a report on the monastery because they asked us "If we think this monastery is very old" and "Would we come back to this attraction". Their English was pretty good.
We went to the Hong Kong Heritage Museum - beautiful museum, wonderful exhibits, a nice way to spend the afternoon.

Our agency arranged for a day of touring the third day in Hong Kong. I think it was their way to get our minds off of the next few day's events. We visited Victoria Peak, a Jewelry factory, Stanley Market, Hong Kong harbor and finished with a dim sum lunch. We bought a jade necklace and a fresh water pearl bracelet for two of Hannah's 18 gifts. Victoria Peak offered some nice views of Hong Kong - too bad it was overcast. We got to see the largest floating restaurant in Hong Kong harbor.

Tomorrow is the big day! We are off to the Jianxi (jung-shee) Province and its capital city, Nanchang.