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Lilypie Kids birthday Ticker
Friday, April 06, 2007
Getting To Know You, Getting To Know All About You
What an incredible day yesterday turned out to be.

As I mentioned, we had some tours scheduled. We boarded the bus and headed off to the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers. It was about a 30 minute ride. In other words, just long enough for Sera to drift off into a nap. Now our paperwork said she only took one nap a day in the afternoon. All of our paperwork said that, but we've all discovered that our daughters like a morning nap as well. Sera had had such a rough night the night before and her nap schedule messed up the day before that I was wasn't willing to wake her up. I stayed on the bus while everyone else walked around the river and let Sera sleep. She slept for a good 40 minutes and woke up just a few minutes before the first person (Jim) returned to the bus. Jim and the other dads started negotiating with some of the peddlers through the closed bus windows. They kept lowering their price until someone would get out of their seat and go to the door to buy their wares. We bought a map of China, Chongqing, and the Three Gorges Dam, plus some painted fans.

Afterwards, we headed off to the Three Gorges Museum. To be honest, it didn't do much for me. Sera isn't really fond of her stroller so she and I went out to the entrance and sat while the others toured. It was all about the building of the dam and the archeological structures. Jim was a good dad and got photos and video. Then we rode the elevator up to the 4th floor and watched a presentation by the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute on calligraphy painting. Afterwards, we looked at their different crafts and bought some embroidery and banyan leaf painting. It was important to me to buy some of the local crafts for Sera.

Then it was back on the bus and back to the hotel, Sera just loved looking out of the window and watching the people and the cars. She was fascinated. We got back to the room, fed her another bottle and down she went for her afternoon nap. We had to wait in our room for our guide to bring back the notarized copies of our adoption for final inspection. Jim and I laughed as we realized that once again we were skipping a meal. The food here has been fabulous. We're eating breakfast everyday, but it seems like we only get a chance for one more meal in the day. This parenting stuff is hard work!

Sera woke from her nap slowly. She likes to ease into things, but soon she was playing and giggly. This is when we took the video that you saw yesterday.

At 5:00, we gave her another bottle and got ready to head down for dinner. We were meeting the group in the hotel lobby. Frederick and Tracy escorted us below the hotel into the underground where we had dinner at a hot pot restaurant.

Jim forgot the camera, but we'll get pictures from others in our group.

In the middle of the table there is a huge basin inset in the table. The outer ring is boiling liquid. It is fiery red and filled with chile peppers. In the center, is another small basin filled with what appears to be a chicken stock and slivers of ginger, and veggies. Small dishes of beef, pork balls, a funny bacon looking beef, mushrooms, tomatoes, potatoes, a tofu type item that looked like noodles, and cucumbers. We each had a bowl of sesame oil that we mixed fresh garlic, vinegar, salt, and msg to taste. You then took some raw food and cooked it in whichever basin you preferred. You then dropped it into your oil bowl and ate it. We also got some bowls of steamed rice. We were about halfway finished when they brought out skewer whole shrimp and placed them in the hot ring. We pulled them out after a few minutes, and they were delicious. Some at our table were a bit put off because they still had their heads. My first memories of eating boiled shrimp as a child in New Orleans included ripping their little heads off. That doesn't bother me at all. Jim and I had taken turns holding Sera during dinner. He had her when the shrimp arrived, I was ripping and peeling for both of us. It was fabulous. That outer ring is really, really spicy. Our entire table was just dripping sweat, but we kept eating. Even Frederick and Tracy, who are locals, said that this was a very spicy batch. I think they were impressed so many of us ate from the outer ring.

After dinner, a few in the group were going to head a few doors down to the market. Jim had Sera in the sling so he went back to the room while I headed to the market. I picked up a few gifts there and was standing to the side talking to one of the adoptive dads. We were watching the crowd gather to see Kevin. We really need to get a picture of him with Jim. I've never seen anyone make Jim look small before. Kevin is so good natured about all the attention he gets.

The others were ready to leave, but I still needed a few things so I headed to the other side of the market. I couldn't find what I was looking for and just start to feel weird. By now, I was the only non-Asian in the store, and I was getting all the attention. Not quite to the degree Kevin does, but double takes at the tall, large white woman were a little disconcerting. Everyone was very nice and polite, but it just feels weird to get that much attention. I gave up on my search and headed to the checkout counter and then back to the hotel.

On the way to the room, I passed the Japanese restaurant we'd eaten at the night before. Jim and I had been missing a bottle and thought we might have left it there. It took some pantomiming and a couple of people, but we finally figured each other out and they produced my bottle.

When I got up to our floor, some of the parents were visiting in the hall. I hung out there for a few minutes chatting when I heard a baby cry. I knew it was Sera. It doesn't take long to recognize the sound of your child, does it?

I came in the room and found Jim changing her diaper. His first! He had come upstairs and gotten her to sleep when he realized he hadn't changed her diaper. She was not pleased about being disturbed, but he didn't want her to get a rash from sleeping with a wet diaper. He's such a good daddy. He got her changed and we put a sleeper on her. She and I had a few minutes cuddle time, but then she went back to dad. He's pretty good about getting her to sleep, but she wouldn't have it last night. It was like we missed the window of her going to sleep easily by changing her diaper.

He held her for awhile and then gave her to me to see if I had better luck. She would lie in our arms, sucking her thumb, and would almost drift off when she'd squirm and open her eyes. While I was holding her, she started to explore with her fingers. She was running her hands up and down my arms and across my chest. She picked at my bra strap through my shirt and was just feeling her way around. I lay down with her and we lay face to face. She then started exploring my face. My dentist hasn't examine my mouth and teeth as thoroughly. She rubbed my cheeks and ran her fingers down my nose, and stuck a finger in my nose. She poked at my glasses until I removed them and then touched my eyes. It was a wonderful watching her get to know me. You could just tell she was learning my face. I would imitate her and do the same things on her face, and she'd smile and giggle. After a bit, she acted like she was going to get fussy because she could't snuggle in as close to me as she likes so I sat back up. She squirmed and tried to get comfortable, but couldn't so I laid her in the crib. It's probably not a good idea for her to think she can only go to sleep when we're holding her. She fussed for a minute, so I strked her back until she lay down. I sat on the bed where she could see me. She lay there sucking her thumb and watching me. I decided to lay down to see what she would do as I knew her view of me would be blocked by the crib bumper. After a minute or two, she raised her head, looked for me, saw I was still there, and put her head back down. I would love to say she fell immediately asleep, but I don't know because I did. I was fully dressed and still had things I needed to do, but it didn't matter. I was out!

I haven't added any pictures in because they're still in the camera. I don't want to turn any lights on as both Jim and Sera are still sleeping. I guess they're sleeping in today. The only thing on the agenda is a 10:00 am meeting that I will attend to do the consulate paperwork, so we're not in any rush. We want to go to the park outside our hotel and to the market to get more formula.

Here's an extra picture from the zoo. You know I love you when I post the shots that aren't the best of me, but I love them anyway because they're of us. Enjoy that Tigers cap I'm wearing as that was the last time it was seen. It was too hot, so I put it in the stroller basket and it was never seen again. I'll post the pictures from yesterday later.

The Stuff Not Everyone May Want To Know:

baby clothes - according to our medical information, I was expecting Sera to be on the borderline of 9-12 month clothes. The 12-month outfits swim on her. The 6-9 month Gymboree outfits fit her perfectly as do the Carter sleepers. In the Carter separates, the 6-month onesis are a little loose as are the pants, but they're too short. Basically, she fits best into 6 month for her torso, but her legs are a little too long and do better with the 9 month. She's not as close to 12 month sizes as I first thought.

eating - our update also said that she was eating 1/2 an egg as a snack each day. I don't think this is true. She guzzles down her bottles, but didn't appear to know how to swallow food. She's finally started eating Cheerios and Gerber Puffs. When we finally got her to take them, we learned that she wasn't swallowing them. She had a cheekful of paste in her mouth that came out in one big drool. Fun stuff. She's now swallowing them and gets visibly excited when she sees them. If I hold a Cheerio up though, her mouth opens like a little bird. She has to lick anything we try to feed her and grimaces each time. The key is how she reacts when we do it again. If she likes it, she opens up. If she doesn't, she turns her head and pushes your hand away. We'll start slowly on the food thing, but she'll catch up.

moving around - Jim saw her crawl once on the first day. She hasn't again. She hasn't stood much either, but that appears to be changing. She's starting to reach for me. Yesterday, all three of us were playing on the bed when she got a little fussy. Neither of us reached for her. We waited to see what she would do. She reached over, grabbed my sleeve with one hand and pulled herself upright and into my shoulder. I think she can do more than she's shown us so far.

fine motor skills - she can easily pick up her toys and bang them together. She can even pick up the Cheerios and Puffs though she has not once brought them to her own mouth. She much prefers to throw them and anything else.

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Blogger Marcia said...

yay, a new post...i didn't expect one this early in your day! I love reading ALL of it...I look forward to it every day! I can't wait for more pix.

The boys loved the video (Derek and I did too)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Guys

Just a quick note... We are off to Chicago with the kids tomorrow (Friday). Hopefully we can find something cute for little Sera. Kyra was watching the video and kept saying that was Sera her friend. Sounds like you guys are adapting to parenthood very well....Cant wait to see you next week. Doug said PS: What is that smell. Congrats!! There will be many more to come :)


Doug, Laura, DJ, Sean, and Kyra

Blogger Tammie said...

I'm happy to hear that Sera is opening up to the 2 of you. It truly is a miracle having your child inspect you so closely during this bonding time. Enjoy! I love your posts!

Anonymous Sandra said...

Magi, I love how you write these long and detailed posts. It is like living your trip and re-living ours all over again. I am so happy that things are going so well. The story of Sera studying you, was so touching. Keep enjoying your trip!!!

Blogger Stephanie said...

You guys look great together. What a beautiful, happy family. Thank you for sharing your photos and information. Can't wait for our turn.

Anonymous erin said...

I think that's a beautiful family photo. Everyone looks happy and content. Love it!

Blogger Stacy said...

I give you lots of credit. I don't know if I could do the hot pot. First of all I don't care for spicy. Secondly I know I couldn't do the shrimp. I had Bar-b-qued shrimp in New Orleans once, and when I saw the heads were still on I didn't eat. Whew.

Sounds like some very interesting adventures. I would have to agree with you on the river museum. Not my cup of tea. I would like the shopping part. :)

It is interesting the Sera is fitting in mostly six month clothes. I have only been purchasing 18 month outfits. It is so hard when you don't know.

Thanks again for such a great detailed post. I am learning so much from you. I love the picture of your family.

Enjoy tomorrow.

Anonymous jessica said...

It looks like Josie will be handing down stuff to Sera instead of the other way around!!! She was in a 12 month outfit earlier this week and her 9 month Jammies are fitting better then her 6 months! Then again those sizes are whacky and things shrink....How much does she weigh? Length? Same as they said before you left?


WE love you.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Soundsl like a great day. Sorry the clothing doesnt fit well.

Blogger Colleen said...

I just love your detailed posts. Sounds like Sera is doing great. WOW - 6-9 month clothes. I have lots of 12 months and few 9...guess more shopping is on the horizon. Since we have to wait yet again from being skipped - shouldn't be a problem at all.

Now bring on more pics!!!!

Blogger Kristi said...

What a wonderful family! I love reading about your adventures together. I'm so glad your bonding process is going so well! If you get a spare minute,could you ask the CCAA to hurry up and send those referrals while you're over there :) ? Enjoy!

She is adorable! What a smile!

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