Monthly Archives: February 2007

Home, finally

We finally made it home in what without a doubt was the longest day of our lives. I’m not sure how but we were traveling for about 30 hours or so, all on the same day. Yes, you can talk about date lines and the rotation of the earth, blah, blah, blah… all I know is that we were all tired and through it all, Lili did amazing. In fact the feared meltdown didn’t come until we’d been home for about 2 hours. At this point Catherine and I had the intellectual and functional capacity of zombies and little Lili is trying to wake the neighbors to announce her presenece in the neighborhood. After a warm bottle and lots of time on Catherine’s chest, I finally slept for a few hours while Catherine may have gotten 30 minutes. Through it all Lili was not the happy Xiao Bao we’d seen the last two weeks. Now we  know, she gets cranky when tired, much like her parents.

I woke up early, made coffee and eggs. (coffee for the adults, eggs for the little one) and we fed her breakfast and then both Lili and Mom went down for a 2-3 hour nap. I puttered around the house digging through the 2 feet of mail, unpacking, doing laundry, etc. Catherine and Lili finally got up while I hunted and gathered by going to get sandwiches. After lunch and a naptime book, it was time for an afternoon nap. Lili fell asleep quickly, or so I’m told because I was comatose in seconds. Catherine’s mom dropped by for a few mintues Wednesday afternoon and I incoherently mumbled a few words while trying to clear the fog of jetlag from my system. I wasn’t successful.

We put Lili down for the night around 6:30 and we turned in as well. She slept for 6 or 7 hours, before taking a warm bottle and going back to sleep for another 6 or 7 hours. I feel like a thinking being today and Catherine is looking pretty chipper as well. I think it’s just the caffiene working it’s magic.

It’s sleeting and snowing outside now and we have our Pediatrician appointment this afternoon. It should be fun slipping and sliding through the snow. Photos will have to wait for a later day. Ciao -t

Trip Home Part 1

So far so good. Some tears and screams but overall happy baby is doing great. We had a really late night last night because apparently Lili has some gas issues. So I taught her some rugby watching the six nations match between ireland and france. She seemed absorbed. Catherine however got very little sleep. She’s doing awesome as well. In fact I don’t remember the last time cranky catherine made an appearance. It might have something to do with this little woman.

eating japan

 After eating we both took a nap while catherine got lunch.

sleeping

Gotta go. looking forward to talking with everyone soon. ciao -t

Ghaungzhou to Beijing

We’ve discovered a new low (or high) in uncomfortable travel experiences – we flew on a wide body jet with a 3-4-3 seat configuration. The seats were small and there was so little leg room that my knees touched the seat in front of me, before that person reclined. Luckily for us there was an empty seat next to Catherine. We slimmed down to 5 carry-ons (Catherine was mortified). One a rolling bag with porcelain, my backpack again with porcelain and a few odds and ends, Catherine’s backpack with paperwork and ipods, a camera bag w/computer and oh yeah a diaper bag for the star of the trip. Lili did great, only crying a little bit and sleeping most of the 3-hour flight. Although we did have a diaper bag accident with the bag of medicines – children’s tylenol makes a sticky mess of everything when it leaks in the TSA approved 1-quart ziploc bag.

We just started getting a taste of the New Year’s travel rush, imagine Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years combined into one massive countrywide week-long holiday and you aren’t even close. But everything went smoothly and our travel guide for the group trip had arranged a hotel rep to meet us at baggage claim which made getting to the hotel really easy. We took a nap and then went out for a walk. Even here in Beijing, Lili attracted attention, although not as much as in Nanchang. We are in an airport hotel and there is this neighborhood with shops, stores, etc. Although we saw a fireworks store Catherine wouldn’t let me buy New Year’s fireworks because they are illegal to set off until Feb 17th here in Beijing. Of course it sounds like a war zone outside of our window right now with lots of small firecrckers,  many large booming explosions and occasional visible bona fide “bursting in air” fireworks. Go figure. Maybe when we get home I’ll try to track down a long string of firecrackers to celebrate the New Year and to celebrate our daughter’s birthday. You have to love a tradition which encourages you to make lots of noise with gunpowder.

Dinner was excellent at the hotel restaurant. I’ve discovered a great new dish – eggplant with chili sauce and minced pork – tasty. We had essentially the same dish yesterday for lunch – it’s almost like a chinese ratatouille. Even here in our airport hotel there are vendors selling the core staples of the chinese tourist trade – chops (the stone seals used in traditional calligraphy); chopsticks; glass globes with paintings inside them; carvings of animals; chinese clothing; etc. Basically we could have waited to buy stuff until our last night in China because almost every thing we bought is available here – or at least a close facsimile thereof.

Lili is not sleeping well tonight. Lots of unconsolable crying – we think it’s gas but who knows. As soon as she, uhm, toots for lack of a better word, she smiles and is able to go back to sleep. This has know happened twice – the first time she cried for over an hour. This time it was only 10 minutes.

Well it’s time to shut down the computer. Depending on how tomorrow goes there may be an update from Japan, otherwise it could be a while. And yes, for the thousands (okay tens) of fans out there we’ll keep blogging although probably not as frequently. -t

Last Day in Guangzhou

Well this is it.  We are essentially packed with one less carry on than we had coming from Nachang.  Of course, we have decided to ignore the weight limit and just pay the fine on our packed luggage.  Have not even weighed the bags.  It is quite different packing everything for the multiple days for Lili versus coming to Guangzhou where we only packed for that plane ride.  Although I know that my baby will eat almost anything(still can’t get her to like banana), we don’t know what will be available or when so that made packing a little more of a challenge and then we always have Thom who travels with multiple carry-ons to begin with.  I must say that this trip has built up my arm muscles what with lugging around a 7kg baby and then all our “stuff.”  I weighed Lili today on the scale and I think she has gained about 1/2 a kilo or about 1 pound since we first weighed her.  Thom made some big deal about the scale not being zeroed out and it not being the same scale, etc, etc but I am going with her gaining the weight.  She certainly feels heavier.

How do I feel about leaving?  I am not like most people who seem to be dying to get home.  Of course, I really cannot think of a trip I wanted to leave all that badly.  Going back to reality will be tough.  Here I live in a little world where all we have to do is focus on Lili and that has been great.  No cooking, no cleaning (although neither of us is great at that), no laundry, etc.  We have loved China and the people we have met both Chinese and American.  We have enjoyed eating.  Today we went to a great little place on the island and had some fantastic food.  We seemed to be the only westerners there and we do live for that.  We have learned a lot about the country although I feel that it is a drop in the bucket and I anxiously await the day that we can all come back as a family and travel around and see even more of China.  All in all, Thom and I have really enjoyed everything that we have experienced the best thing, of course, being getting Lili.

On the other side of things, we look forward to getting home and showing off our wonderful baby girl.  She has such an addictive smile and when she is in a good mood, there is not a happier baby in the world and we have to admit that she is in a good mood a lot of the time.  It will also be nice to have her have some scheduling because things have been a little hectic in terms of scheduling here. I would like to know for instance if she could take a longer than 45 minute afternoon nap.

Today was a relaxing day for us in a way.  We spent the day just hanging out on the island.  Thom went into a flurry of last minute shopping.  By the way, never let Thom tell you he does not like to shop.  He loves it especially if it is for himself.  To be honest, he usually buys something for you or someone else while buying for himself.  Lili had a tough day.  She had 2 big crying jags sounding like she was in pain which, of course, led to Mom breaking down and checking her ears which led to even more crying.  No ear infection.  I think it might just be teething but she was so upset this afternoon she actually cried herself to sleep.  I have to admit it was heartbreaking because there was little to do to comfort her.  However, after her evening nap, she was in a good mood and ate her usual large dinner with a big smile on her face.  She learned today how to put something large into her mouth if she is holding it in her hand and was quite proud of herself for doing it.  She actually took a bite of the shut up cookie with her new top teeth nubs, which have not fully come in yet.  Of course, if she has the cookie hidden in the hand she does not know how to get at it.  She went to bed tonight with her usual crib aerobics and is sleeping soundly for now.  We’ll see what comes of tomorrow. -c

Once again I can’t defend myself because I was out foraging for dinner. We tried to get dim sum to go, specifically dumplings but we had no luck so I defaulted to Thai food once again. Safe and tasty. Here are today’s photos along with some mental aerobics.  

GhuangzhouTaxiChaos

The taxi rides should be packaged and marketed by Six Flags. Here you see more contestants of Human Frogger, count how many people you can see.

GhuangzhouFoodstick

Count and identify the types of food on a stick.

RandomTemple

While trying to find a cab to get back to the hotel I ran across this beautiful little temple. A nice quiet respite from the absolute chaos which passes for normal city life in Guangzhou. Count the number of Buddhas.

And here are the pictures you are actually waiting for.

 LiliTigger

Lili meets Tigger and makes a new friend.

LiliFoodVictory  liliFoodeating

Hey what do I do with Teeth? Victory over the shut up cookie, you can just see her top two tooth nubs. (if that’s the correct term)

We might post tomorrow night, otherwise the blog will have to wait until the jet lag wear’s off. -t