Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Pretty in Pink

Short clip of one of the pandas.


Throughout the world, different places have their own regional foods that they are well known for. When visiting Philly, you almost have to try their Cheesesteaks. Chicago and New York have their own Claims on certain styles of Pizza, and New Orleans is know for several creole/cajun dishes. When you go to Lexington NC, you have to try the Barbecue. (The Official editorial position of this Blog is that that Lexington style is the ONLY true kind of Barbecue. )

Well, Chongqing is well known for a dish called "Hotpot". XiXi took us all out to a local Hotpot Restuarant, this one seemed pretty upscale to me. Basically, they have a Boiling Pot with various spices, etc that is heated in the middle of the table. In this picture, the Red portion in the middle Is the "Spicy" Part, and the part on the outside is the less spicy part. You can't tell from the picture, but all of this is at a rolling boil. They bring out numerous types of raw food, vegetables, meats, dumplings, etc. and then you place them in the "Hotpot" and then fish them out with Chopsticks or a scoop when they are fully cooked.

Most of the locals we saw eating there had a giant pot with only the spicy part. They must have cast iron stomach linings, because I tried dipping a corner of a cooked piece of meat in the spicy part, and it took a few minutes for my mouth to cool down. The locals would just put the stuff in there to cook for several minutes, and I'm sure eating something soaked in those spices would make some of the biggest Hot sauce/Hot wing fans I know back home give up.

It was good, but you definately need to try and hone up on your Chopsticks skills before going. For a very nice restuarant, it was very affordable too. XiXi just split the bill between all the families, and each of us paid 120 RMB, which is around $15 US, and that was including all food, drinks, a dessert made from Sweet Potatoes (See the little round cakes in the picture above) and a generous tip.

In a few years, I could see something like this becoming a popular type of restaurant in the US for big social get- togethers, something similar to the atmosphere in Japanese Steakhouses. I bet the spices would have to be toned down just a bit though... And I'm certain the prices would go up. :)

Of course, all the excitement was a bit much for Madelyn. She fell asleep sitting on my lap. (Yeah, the culture stuff is neat, but we know the main reason people are reading the blog is for cute pictures of Madelyn.)

The Pandas


Since we stopped off at the museum's yesterday morning, we didn't have that much time at the Chongqing Zoo as I had hoped we would. Since we take buses, we have to stay within the time we have a bus paid for. The Pandas were smaller than I had imagined. They were still cute. We saw a baby panda in a small area by itself. All of the other pandas seem to be kept in separate areas and away from each other. Logan and I got a good laugh when we saw one poop right in front of us. I took a couple of short videos I'll post later of the pandas. While there I bought two little plush pandas wearing Chinese silk shirts for 80 yuan - equals about $10 usd (finally starting to figure out their money). (Tracy - one of these is for Devin)

Tony forgot to mention in his last post the beautiful artwork that was sold at the museum's. One of the things we bought a few of was painted leaves. We selected some with Pandas, dragons and an Asian girl painted on them. They are absolutely beautiful. I hope I can find a way to frame the ones we're keeping when I get home.

Stillwell Residence + Flying Tigers Museum

Well, we went out this morning planning to head off to the Zoo to see the Pandas. (I'm sure Melissa will Blog about that part of the trip later.) Once we got on the bus, there was a little surprise in store for us.

Before the Zoo, we took a side trip to the Residence of General Stillwell, Commander of US forces in China during WWII and the museum of the Flying Tigers. Months ago, when I was researching Chongqing, I found out that these spots were in Chongqing, and being the History Channel Junkie that I am, I asked the travel group if they wanted to go. Apparently, lots of other people remembered the mention of that, because when I asked our Guide XiXi if it would be possible to take a Taxi there, she said several other families had asked about a trip there.

The Flying Tigers were a group of US Pilots in the Army Air Corps who voluntarily gave up their commission in the US Military to go to China and fight against The Japanese, prior to Pearl Harbor and the US's formal declaration of war against the Axis Powers.

General Stillwell was in charge of all US forces in China during the war, after the US officially declared war, including the forces previously known as the Flying Tigers.

Although there may be some animosity between our governments and their official political positions, lots of average Chinese people remember that Americans came of their on free will to support China in their time of need, and in few places is that memory as strong as in Chongqing, where the headquarters of the US troops were based.

I would put some more links to information about them, but because access to Google is spotty at best, and the "Great Firewall of China" blocks out a lot of websites such as Wikipedia, It's tough to do until I get home.

I bought a nice book about the history of the flying tigers, as well as a T-Shirt with a reproduction of one of the Flying Tigers' "Blood Chits". Basically, the Blood Chit was a large Silk patch sewn inside the clothing of the Members of the Flying tigers that read something along the lines of "This foreign person has come to China to help in the war effort. Soldiers and civilians, one and all, should rescue, protect, and provide him medical care".

I'd love to get into a lot more detail, but I know that most of you reading care more about our Adoption than about WWII History. But I did think it was an interesting Historical tidbit, that I will probably never get another chance to visit.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


She's saying "I'm going to suck my arm off if you don't stop dressing
me up and feed me a bottle NOW!!"

A Long Day

Cultural Weirdness and Clothing Police!

It's really strange to be in a situation where you don't know any of the language or customs.

I've seen a business named "Chinese Caterpillar Fungus". Seen a man in a Santa Claus Hat and a full black beard digging through Trash cans, and professionally dressed men walk over to the bushes and take a leak.

Unfortunately, we haven't been able to experience as much of the local flavor as I would have liked. We wanted to try some more authentic chinese food, but with a 4 year old in the bunch, lots of our food has consisted of familiar american Icons, like McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Bugles, Pepsi, Coke, Snickers, etc. etc. You know, if you just point at something on a menu and smile a lot, they don't seem to mind taking your money. :) We will be going out with the rest of the families from the travel group later in the week to eat.

Pizza Hut seemed really upscale here. All the waiters in dress pants, shirt and tie, all the waitresses in Dress shirt, heels and skirts. It reminded me of the scenes of Taco Bell in the movie Demolition Man. To tell you the truth, the pizza was better here than in the states. But they did have some options that would be weird back home. Salmon Soup at Pizza Hut? Egg and Beef Burger at McDonalds? Logan thought it was funny that you could get a cup of corn instead of French Fries with your Value Meal. Oh, and for one more movie reference, It's not called a "Royale with Cheese"... The English version of the menu still said "Quarter Pounder with Cheese."

We had hoped to find some traditional Chinese clothes for Madelyn, but most everyone here is dressed in clothes that would look perfectly normal in any American city. However, I have seen a lot more 80's style big hair and Mullets among the teenagers than I ever expected.

It's like 70 degrees outside, feels really great, maybe a little bit brisk in the mornings. The Chinese think that us Americans are insane for going outside without coats on, and god forbid short sleeves. Every one of them is bundled up like I would be for 20 degree weather.

The little old ladies will come up to us and make sure we have the kids dressed warm enough. Feel logan's hand and face and make sure they aren't too cold. And one couple who had their daughter dressed with some bare leg, I think they got cussed out in Chinese. Luckily, we had been warned in advance about the "Clothing Police" and had Madelyn dressed up snug and warm.

We're Celebrities

At least some of the Chinese make us feel that way...

There is a mall connected to our hotel. Earlier the four of us went strolling the mall and two Chinese young ladies came running up to us. One of them spoke English and asked excitedly if she could take our picture and she wanted to be in it. She wanted to be in the middle. Tony held Madelyn and Logan stood in front of me and this stranger stood between us. Her friend took the photo. They were so excited to have a photo with us in it. Gotta wonder what they were saying in Chinese and what they'll do with that photo.

Monday, February 26, 2007


I had my first attempt at shopping. Tony had been out by himself but this was my first time. I admit it, I don't know how to shop here. I like bargains but I don't know how to shop in CQ for that. From what I understand the best shopping is in Guangzhou so we'll probably wait to buy souvenirs there.

I did get Madelyn a coat and a hat and some leggings to go under the pants I have that are too short. I was looking for clothes but trying to figure out sizes wasn't making sense to me. It seems the people selling just hold it up to the child and everything looked too big to me.

Logan did get a toy transformer very cheap. Unfortunately in less than 5 minutes opening the package, a small part broke.

I'm still searching for the traditional silk dresses, tea sets, squeeky shoes and the jewelry.

Oh, and (not related to shopping) the vonage phone power cord is not the only thing fried now. I thought I could use my curling iron today by plugging it into the surge protector. I let it heat up for just a few minutes and then put it up to my hair. My hair got a little thinning out. It burnt it pretty good. Fortunately I can hide it but will be looking forward to a haircut when I get back home. I might just go ahead and cut it all off now for Locks of Love. I've got enough but it will be shorter than I wanted to go. With three babies tugging on my hair, I'm ready to go short.

Laughing Baby

This was taken at Gotcha after we stripped off her jacket to cool her down.

Tuesday Morning

Miss Madelyn was a great sleeper. Wow! I'm thinking we got the wrong baby. She doesn't cry, she sleeps, and she's quiet. Is this really our child?

This morning we went through several clothes. I took her to breakfast with her pants unbuttoned. Thankfully our guide is taking us to a children's store at 10:30. We are going to buy some larger clothes and a stroller. She's very long. She's got to be the longest baby in our group for sure. She is the only one that does not sit up. In the highchair she kept leaning over and bumping her head on the table. All the others could sit up in the highchairs just fine.

She wasn't feeling so great this morning. We've given her some pediacare. Her poor little nose is a fountain that doesn't stop running. She fell asleep in my arms while I was trying to eat my breakfast. Since her nap though she seems to be doing better. She's been smiling at Logan and bouncing. Right now she's having playtime in the floor with her little panda bear and a rattle and saying "da da da da"

Her orphanage friend Estee loaned her a pink hairbow. I didn't bring any that would work for babies hair. I'm hoping to find one at the baby store this morning. Madelyn's hair kinda looks like a boy's haircut so we need some bows.

She attempted congee for the first time this morning. We weren't successful at getting her to eat. Our guide said that the 10 month olds tend not to eat yet. I think we'll wait until we get home and put her in a reclining chair before attempting to spoon feed again. She doesn't have the back support. She's just a long, floppy baby that is very limber.

Loving my daddy and brother!

Missing Home

Last night listening to Madelyn saying "da da da da" over and over and smiling made me miss the twins so much. Nate says it just like she does. I was in tears missing them. I had to call after that. Both are doing great, good eaters and good poopers from what I understand. I got a few photos of them. In four days it will be their first birthday. We'll be flying that day to Guangzhou to meet up with a few other families using the same agency we are. That will be Madelyn's first plane ride. I hope she tolerates that one well. At least we do have a short flight to find out how she does on planes before the long one back to LA.

Miss you lots Nate and Andrew. Hugs and Kisses.

Since the picture links were broken earlier...

Try the following links

Gotcha (Where we first got Madelyn from the officials)

Other Adoption Related Photos from our trip Here and Here

On our way to meet Madelyn


BTW, I have LOTS of photos....too many to post so I'll just have to show family all of them once we get home. I hope I can find some deals on developing prints.

A Perfect Match

We couldn't have been matched with a better baby. She's perfect.

A bus took all ten families to meet our babies today. When we walked into the room with the babies I didn't even notice them at first. I was taking pictures of everything at the time and when I turned around and saw the babies I didn't believe they were ours. All of the babies were wearing matching clothing. We stood in awe and in tears. I scanned them out quickly and kept saying "Xiu Fu Yang?" to all of the nannies. A man was holding her and a nanny pointed to her. We couldn't take her until it was our turn but we sure were bright eyed over her and touching her hands and feet and taking pictures. Of course I was crying too. When it was our turn, I took her first and tears rolled out of my eyes. She hugged me first thing. It was the best feeling.

This little girl has smiled, laughed and been the sweetest thing. No baby cried today which was amazing. Ours was probably the only one laughing. She is funny and very ticklish and she definitely loves her brother.

I had a bottle already made for her and she drank it on the bus back to the hotel. She drank every drop and had no problems keeping it down or sucking the nipples I had for her.

She is a very healthy baby. She might even be the biggest in our group. Twelve month clothing is almost too small. She's like the boys. Her feet are even big. I haven't put any shoes on her yet but I think they are probably the size of Nate and Andrew's feet. The hotel has scales in our room and Tony measured himself and then did it again while holding her and she is about 9kg which is close to 20lbs.

Madelyn does have a cold. She is coughing and has a runny nose but no fever so we're not going to give her antibiotics yet. I have pediasure. The orphanage doctor recommended a medicine for the runny nose and they went to the store and bought it for me for 15 yuan.

She does not sit up. She is very limber. She rolls over very well. She holds her head up well while laying on her belly. She can grasp objects in her hands (loves a rattle).

This little princess just put herself to sleep on the floor. She was playing, rolled over on her belly and konked out. I hope she's always this easy at nap time.

This is just too good to be true to have such an easy baby.

Here's some photos for you to awe over. Of course there are more than this. I just shared a few. I'm going to wear out the button on my camera.


Sunday, February 25, 2007

Madelyn's Passport Photo

Same face, more hair.

Chinese Paperwork - DONE

After today, Xiu Fu Yang is ours according to China. The rest of the time here is US paperwork, visa's and a few other things before we can leave the country with her.

We received another picture but couldn't keep it. However, it will be her passport photo so we will have this one copy. I tried my best to take a photo with my digital camera but the lighting was bad in that room and it didn't turn out that clear. Good news....she has hair now!!! It's short but so cute. And her ears do not stick out as much as they did in her referral pictures. It looks like her head has grown to catch up to her ears. Her facial expression was exactly the same.

Our guide gave us a copy of today's Chongqing newspaper to keep for history of what was going on the day Madelyn became our daughter. She also made a chop for us with her Chinese name on it. They gave us another copy of her finding ad. Of all in our travel group, our daughter was in a separate newspaper than the others so I don't have a picture of all the babies (at least not until a few hours from now).

Now we're ready to eat a bite, if we can keep it down and not get sick. I'm getting nervous now. Gotta finish packing a diaper bag, get all cameras ready with film and batteries fully charged, and maybe take a chill pill before getting on another bus (these roads are crazy with all the traffic.)

Speaking of traffic, everyone honks a horn here. Yesterday we saw a sign with what looked like a trumpet in a circle with a line through it. Sleep deprived me had to question what that was for....duh, no honking silly. I'll try to get a picture of it later.

more from this morning's outing


Tony tried to order a strawberry shake and a chocolate shake and he got two strawberry ones. He said his Chinese wasn't good enough to tell them they got the order wrong. Logan wants chicken nuggets for lunch. We'll have to see what the plan is after paperwork this morning.

Lots of women exercising this morning

Logan thought this truck was hilarious.

Monday Morning

This morning after finally coming to realization that Logan was NEVER going back to sleep, we finally got ready and went to breakfast buffet at our hotel. There was Chinese food and Western food. Tony and I both tried congee for the first time. I first had plain congee and didn't care for it. He had beef congee and said it was okay. I went back and got the vegetable congee and added some onions for some flavoring and then put a little sugar in it. Not sure if I was suppose to do that but I know some people add sugar to grits so why not add sugar to congee. I don't think Logan tried anything Chinese.

At 10:00 we start paperwork. At 1:00 we load the bus to head for wherever the babies are. We should see them for the first time around 1:30.

No Sleep

Logan is not on China time. This is not working out for me right now. He's bouncing off walls at 3 am time here and has been for an hour. I might could sleep and get back on their schedule but this four year old is not going to even try. At least Tony is sleeping and might be functional after Madelyn is here.

Count down until we see all the babies .... 10 more hours

Another photo of Chongqing taken from inside our hotel room

This is a MALL!!! We actually ate inside. Highly doubt I could afford to buy something from this place.

The building outside our hotel room - Night shot and Day Shot

We're Here!!!

As Tony put it earlier, the airplane ride and layovers and rushing to get on the next airplane was horrible. Thankfully four out of eight airplane trips are out of the way.

We started off pretty good out of Charlotte. No trouble, no delays, just a little cramped for a short flight.

Then got to Atlanta. That airport was crazy with lots and lots of people. Logan was excited that he got to ride a subway train. This flight was delayed b/c it was overbooked. Then when we finally boarded we waited and waited b/c there was too much weight on the plane and they had to fill up with more fuel.

Anyway, that did cut down on the layover time in LA. We met up with another family in our travel group during the Atlanta flight and then two more in LA. The LA layover was still long and if adjusted for Eastern standard time like we're used to, we didn't take off until almost 3am. We had to carry a sleep 4 year old that was too tired to walk plus our carry-on's to board a bus to take us to the plane. He ended up crashing again as soon as we boarded.

The 15 hour plane ride from LA to Gaungzhou was horrible. We felt like sardines. I think every American on the plane was on their way to adopt. As soon as we boarded this plane, all we wanted to do was sleep but that didn't happen except for Logan. They kept the lights on to serve us a meal. I was trying to lay back in my chair the flight attendants kept coming by making me put my chair up. The backs were not allowed to lie down while people were eating nor were the armrests allowed down even if we didn't eat. The flight attendant's were not nice at all. By the time food was done, we attempted sleep again. I might have gotten 1-2 hours but that's about it. I just couldn't sleep. Tony probably got about the same amount. Logan didn't eat the meal and he still hasn't had a good meal since we left LA (and that was McDonald's if that counts). The flight attendant's weren't so great at providing drinks on that flight either. There were times I just wanted to parachute out. I was going nuts not sleeping and being cramped in that space AND the worst part was after Logan woke up, he was WIDE open. He was restless, irritable and cranky. We were SO ready to get off that flight.

After that flight was over, we had to find our luggage and clear customs. We lost out on some money. We had been warned about people in this airport scamming. We were with another family and was told to pay money for a bus ride b/c we were late boarding our next flight. We had no Chinese Money on us so the other couple paid. Well, it turned out to not be a bus but a golf cart, BUT there was one driver and he took off with a few others and no other drivers ever came back to pick us up. We barely made it over to boarding our flight from Guangzhou to Chongqing. Then on that flight we were all split up. Luckily Tony switched around so he was only one row in front of Logan and I was further back in the back.

Chongqing is AMAZING. I knew it was overloaded with people but never imagined this much. We had a bus ride to our hotel and thank goodness I wasn't driving and Tony is glad he wasn't driving for the sake of hearing me complain about the craziness on the road. No stoplights, no lanes. People just drive all over the place. There could be just an inch between each vehicle and it didn't bother anyone (except me of course).

Our hotel is fabulous. I've never stayed in a hotel this nice. The only thing wrong so far is the bathtub does not empty so my shower turned into a bath for my legs. Our room has a great view of the city and overlooks many of the high rises people live in. Some are no so nice looking unfortunately.

We've already toured a grocery store. We filled about 4 grocery bags for a total of about twelve USD. We crossed a road on foot....very dangerous. People stared at us the entire time we were out. Logan kept getting touched by people. Our guide said they were saying he wasn't warm enough. Everyone in my group was wearing short sleeves except Logan I think and he was in long sleeves and jeans. Every Chinese person on the street has on coats. To us it's very warm but I guess they think it's cold. Another couple has two sons and they were getting the same looks and comments. Our guide said that these people only see Americans on TV so that's why they stare so much at us tourists.

Logan is crashed on the couch now. His body thinks it's 4:10am but it's 5:10pm for us in China. Tony and I are waiting to go with the group for dinner tonight. We're hoping to meet the rest of the families with our agency receiving daughters tomorrow from Xiushan.

Our guide has told us we will see our daughters at 1:30 Monday. The director of the orphanage has told her that almost all of the babies are sick with colds and diarrhea and once we get them back to our hotel rooms we can talk about seeing if they need to see a doctor. Our guide will take us to a Chinese doctor here in Chongqing if needed. After receiving the babies, we will return to our hotel rooms and later we will be given a chance to talk to the director and/or nannies.

I haven't been able to hear from the twins since leaving Atlanta so I'm very anxious to talk to them later tonight. I'm waiting until it's Sunday morning for them.

BTW, we have found a McDonald's and KFC across from our hotel. At least we have these to fall back on if we get hungry or tired of Chinese food.

Finally here, with a few pics.

Let me be the first to say that travel sucks.

And 15 straight hours of Coach seats sucks worse. I'm sure Melissa will get into more details... I'm just uploading a few pics right now.

Click on the link below to go to our Adoption Pics Gallery. More will be added down the road, so it might be worth bookmarking.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Last Update before leaving the States

We'll be outta here very soon. What a journey this has been already and we haven't even made it to China yet.

Just a quick thanks to everyone that has been there for us through the past few years.

Thank you for all the prayers and support during the paperchase, the long wait, through the referral and the wait until travel time.

Thank you to the 6 families that wrote recommendations that were needed for the original and updated homestudies.

Thank you to the families that have already BTDT that have been there for us to email or call with questions.

Thank you to all the notaries....couldn't possibly name them all.

Thank you to the families that babysat for us during the paperchase (before the twins) and during the past few months while we were getting ready for this trip.

Thanks to my three secret pals that sent wonderful gifts to us last year for Madelyn and the rest of our family. Some of those are going to China with us.

Thank you to our Adoption Agency for making this dream come true for us.

Thank you to all those that volunteered to come clean my house while we're gone......I got it cleaned up so no need but I sure did love the offer. Thankfully I had two families push the swiffer products which have made cleaning floors a lot easier this past week.

Thanks to all the ladies that donated clothes their daughters had outgrown.

Thanks to everyone else that has helped out these past few years. I can't possibly thank you enough.

Sneak Peak

One of the honorary Aunts sent me a sneak peak of the blankie she's making for Madelyn. Isn't it pretty? Another honorary Aunt is making one also.

Kricket and Ne-Ne love spoiling my kids.
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In about 12 hours, we'll be heading towards our destination drop-off spot for 2 of our 3 kids in the States.

In about 30 hours, we'll be leaving our house to head for the airport.

In about 3 days we'll be in China.

In about 4 days, we'll meet our daughter for the first time.

Wow! Is this really happening? Am I dreaming?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Two Days Left until Take-off

Not even a complete 2 days...

So the plans are (short list):
1. Finishing packing up the twins.
2. Get house cleaned up as much as possible
3. Take twins tomorrow to my friend's house
4. Unload them and install car seats into her van
4. Cry b/c I'm leaving them for two weeks
5. Finish our last minute packing
6. Load van up Thursday night with our luggage
7. Have car seat ready for Madelyn in our van
8. Stay up during the night worrying about the long flight and worry about 1/2 of our kids we're leaving in NC
9. Get to airport and fly away
10. Pray for safety for all of us

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Missing them already

As I mentioned before, we're missing Nate and Andrew's first birthday while we're in China. No, they will not know it but I will. I made them both a "My First Birthday" t-shirt. Andrew is modeling his. At the time of photo, he was clean. Nate was still in his highchair covered in food so he didn't model his shirt. The shirts are a little big but I got them on clearance for 0.99 in case I messed them up and I know they'll mess them up when they tear into their cake.

Logan and I picked out two gifts to send with them to open on their birthday. We also have another gift for them when we get back and will also have some souvenirs.

Here's Nate and Andrew playing in the laundry basket. Gotta love these sweet little adorable faces.

After tonight, they only sleep in their bed three more nights before they go to my friend's house for two weeks. I already miss them.


Check out Google. The O's have been replaced with some Boars.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Visas Have Arrived

Logan's best friend took a picture of him holding his passport showing his Chinese Visa with the new Fisher Price Digital Camera he just recently got.

Finally we have all of the documents needed for the trip and just need to make photocopies of the passport pages and visa pages.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

You've Got Your Hands Full

The Moms of Multiples club I'm in was surveyed recently and one of the questions was "How do you respond to "You've Got Your Hands Full." I wanted to post this since I'm constantly everyday being told this....

As for the “hands full” comment, I respond-and I love it!

But it's so much fun.

Yes I do but love every minute of it. God chooses certain people to have multiples!

Yes, I do!


Yes and it’s so much FUN!

Yes, but it is well worth it. Just look at those smiles!

I do and I love it, Thanks!

I just cross my eyes after about the 3rd time a day being told --- MY FAVORITE

Yes we do and our hearts too!

Uuughh this is my #1 least favorite. I try not to growl too much and just say yes, but it’s hard when you hear it 500,000 times in one outing. The comments do get fewer as they get older, thankfully. --- I'VE GROWLED A FEW TIMES MYSELF

Nice to see I'm not alone!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

What's going on right now.....

10 days until take-off....

We received Logan's passport last week and FedEx'd our Chinese Visa applications. We should be receiving these back tomorrow. Then we'll need to make photocopies of the passports and visa to take with us.

We thought we had enough luggage but then ran into a problem with not enough room. For In-China flights, the weight of the check'd baggage can not exceed 44lbs which limits us to the pieces we can take. We bought another piece of luggage over the weekend b/c we needed the space but now it's over the 44lbs and I still haven't packed jeans/pants for me. We've been working on this forever it seems like. Our packing list even lists what is in each suitcase. We're trying to be as organized as we can possibly be but it's stressing me out. We also spent about 1 1/2 hours Saturday photocopying all the papers/forms we need for the trip plus copies to leave at home in case we lose something and need to call someone to fax these to us.

For Valentine's/early Birthday/pre-travel gift we gave him the Fisher Price Kid Tough digital camera tonight. He has been asking for his own camera for a long time. He's always wanting to take pictures with my camera. Right now Logan and Tony are uploading his photos. Now he can take his own photos while we're in China. To the left is one that he took of Andrew. We've already had to give him a lesson on why it is NOT appropriate to take naked shots. Nate was in a middle of a diaper change and Logan wanted to take a picture. Uh oh! If I catch him coming in there with the camera while I'm in the shower, he's in big trouble.

We are all immunized. We're now all updated with Hep A, B, typhoid and updated Tetanus. I had to be sneaky about Logan's immunizations. I knew he would start screaming and yelling. Luckily it didn't turn out as bad as I was dreading it. The person that gives the shots is very fast.

Tony created our own luggage tags in PINK. He even made up laminated cards with phrases in Chinese saying "why" we are in China and has Madelyn's picture on it.

My sister collected up some things to put in Logan's carry-on. We're working on finding more travel games. Kricket has one for him. We can't seem to find any. I guess most games now are all for computers but not all of our flights are we going to have power for the laptop. All I have for me so far is a crossword puzzle book. I'll get bored with that pretty fast. Tony ordered books for himself.

I got prescriptions for Madelyn. I've been told by many to take syringes but when I asked our pediatrician she said we didn't need them. Hopefully we will NOT need them or someone else in the group might have one we can use if we HAVE to get an injectible medicine.

We have one more weekend to get everything together plus Tony has off Monday for President's Day and also the day before take-off. Nate and Andrew will be leaving the night before we leave. I'm going to cry. Leaving them behind is tearing me apart. I'm going to miss them so much. They are on the verge of walking and I'm afraid I'll miss that first step with no assistance. They already cruise everywhere and walk with hands being held. On the bright side, we should be able to see Madelyn's first steps. We've missed all the other firsts so far with her.

More Irritating Comments and Remarks

How many can one person take in one day?

When told I'm adopting from China ....."China? I don't need to go to China for more kids. I had enough of them here. Who would want to go to China? You could have some of mine."

When telling that Madelyn and Reagan have the same birthstone (I have the birthstone babies charms on a necklace)...."You're finally replacing the daughter you lost." That was a stab in the heart. Far from the truth.

"How is she going to understand you? She speaks Chinese." My 11 month olds don't talk. I doubt Madelyn speaks Chinese. Maybe she understands her nannies a little by words and facial expressions but she isn't going to be talking sentences in Chinese by the time we get there.

"You are going to have your hands full." Like I haven't heard that one before. If you ain't offering to help, then keep your comments to yourself.

"They kill those girls over there." This is said in front of Logan. Not sure if he heard it but it was still not appropriate to talk about something like this in front on him.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

We're Four Wheeling Now

I've been wanting one of these but no way was I going to buy one brand new. Thank goodness for other Moms of Multiples that have baby equipment their kids are outgrowing. This stroller will be making all the trips to Logan's Kindergarten when he starts in the Fall. We have a hill to go up and a stroller with plastic wheels wasn't going to make that hill (at least not one that seats more than one).

And yes, the twins are half-way naked. They had just finished eating and I had to strip them down.
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Tuesday, February 06, 2007


We met this weekend a student from the local university who is working on her PH.D. that is from China. Her host family (whom I met through Moms Club) introduced us to her. She has translated some sentences for us that we'll laminate on cards to show the Chinese people a little about why we are in their country.

For Us:
Our family has come from the United States of America to adopt a daughter. Her
name is Xiu Fu Yang, and she is from Xiushan. We will love and care for her, educate her and
teach her about China
我 们 一 家 人 从 美 国 到 中 国 来 领 养
一 个 女 孩。她 的 名 字 叫 秀 福 洋, 她 来 自
秀 山。 我 们 会 爱 护 她, 照 顾 她,培 养 她,还
要 教 给 她 中 国 文 化。

For Logan
My family is here to adopt my little sister. Her name is Xiu Fu Yang, and she is from
Xiushan. I will play with her and love her.
我 们 一 家 人 来 领 养 我 的 小 妹 妹。 她的 名 字
叫 秀 福 洋,她 来 自 秀 山。我 会 带 她 一 起 玩, 并

We also have learned that Youmei is not a good Chinese name in China although it has a good meaning. So, Madelyn is back to no middle name until we can find the perfect fit for her. One idea from the one that translated was Meiya which means graceful, elegant and refined. Also found out Yang means the fortune, blessing, happiness of you child will be as big as the ocean (and not just water as given to us in her medical translation).


I'm very jealous of those that can sleep right now. I was already a light sleeper and now my mind wonders all over about these upcoming weeks. I'm looking forward to a normal life with my family....four kids running around, no worries over what's going in the luggage and how much it can weight and how many we can take, no worries over leaving the twins behind for two weeks, no worries of getting sick while in a foreign country, no worries that Madelyn is receiving the best care and that she is happy and healthy, no worries about going insane spending so much time in airports and little airplane seats for a long period of time, no worries of anything going wrong on that airplane while up in the sky, I could go on and on.

I need some sleep. How am I suppose to function and get everything done if I can't get any rest? The days are getting closer and closer to leaving and seeing Madelyn for the first time. I'm ready to visit China and site see and experience her culture but I am ready to get our lives started together as a family of 6 at home.

Monday, February 05, 2007


I cleaned this off last week. What happened?

Adoption paperwork - Everything we need to get together to take, copies we need to make, what is being/already notarized, organizing all of this, organizing copies to leave at home, etc.

Taxes - Like we'll have time after our trip to finish taxes with four kids around, four birthday's to plan before 4/15

Bills - Don't we have a good reason to skip a month? Come on..... Agh, better pay them before we leave

And this is only MY's spilling over to Tony's...AND this is only what is on Top of my desk.
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