Thursday, July 31, 2008

Just Chillin'

Today was a free day for us.  We slept in, ate a leisurely breakfast, and played in the room.  It rained for most of the day so after lunch Lilymei and Baba took a nap and the boys watched a movie.  I spent a little time reading a book (haven't done that since before packing for China).  

Good Morning Sweet Pea!

We took a taxi to one of the shopping areas in Hohhot.  Scott was on the hunt for a few bargain polo shirts.  He scored 2 nice shirts for @ $7 total.  Here Lilymei is sharing her first Oreo Blizzard from DQ. Another hit!

Downtown Hohhot.  Notice Lilymei's new shoes.  The 2 pairs we brought are too big!  This area reminded Scott of New York City.
Lilymei's first time in a highchair.  We had dinner at Pizza Hut.  Last count, that makes 3 times in 8 days we had Pizza Hut.  It is such a bargain and a more gourmet restaurant than our American version.  Lilymei ate 2 pieces of pizza herself.  She tied with Nate.  In this photo she is having her appetizer of crackers.  At this rate, we know she will add a pound or two on before the doctor visit in Guangzhou on Monday.

The smiles and laughter were much more commonplace today.  Daddy has found her tickle spots.    
Lilymei loves to play with the boys.  I think she has figured out just how goofy they really are!

Tomorrow we will receive Lilymei's Chinese passport. We are also planning to visit the area where Lilymei was abandoned.  Pray for good weather for us.  We have only had 1 sunny day here since we arrived Sunday afternoon.  

We will be leaving Hohhot on Saturday morning very early.  We are sad to leave Lilymei's birthplace but we are excited to be one step closer to home.  

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Day Full of Surprises!

This morning we went with our guide, Jessie, to the Inner Mongolia Museum.  It is a one year old building with several floors of exhibits all relating to Inner Mongolia.  We spent almost 3 hours there.  We had an English speaking guide from the Museum take us around to various exhibits.  This is a photo of the outside of the building.  
The largest dinosaur fossils found in all of Asia; 12 meters high and 26 meters long.  Very impressive.  
"The happy bunch."  Lilymei was a little intimidated with the crowds and she clung pretty tight to Scott and I.  Everwhere we went we were on display as many people looked at us, took photos, and tried talking to Lilymei.  
Nate and Drew, dressed as twins, as a few people stated, standing next to an exhibit of a yurt.  The boys groaned this morning when they saw I had these shirts laid out to wear. "Again....yes, the rest of your clothes are drying on the shower curtain rod."   
Family photo next to a few traditional Inner Mongolian outfits, with our museum guide.  Yesterday we purchased 3 of these outfits for Lilymei for when we get home.  We were really impressed with the museum and would have loved to stay longer but now that we have a toddler that's not always possible.    
Nate and Drew at lunch in our hotel at the Thai restaurant.  It was delicious.  We had Spring Rolls, Yellow Curry, Chicken, Fried Rice, and Noodles.  Yum!  Lilymei ate as much as I did and more than the boys.  She has not turned her head away from any kind of food.  We told the boys to learn from her.  
Here is the first surprise of the day.  Smiles that Mama and Baba got to see for the very first time.  Lilymei really opened up this afternoon.  She loves to play with Drew and Nate.
Lilymei reading one of her books.  Isn't that smile precious?!!!  Surprise number 2:  Lilymei laughed out loud, with the boys, of course.  That was a first today.  It brought tears to our eyes.  We did capture the laughter on video.  I hope we can post it tomorrow.
"Are you going to keep taking my picture?"
Look at that beautiful smile.  What a relief!  We can't wait to see more of those tomorrow.  Surprise number 3 happened after we put Lilymei down for the night.  The room was dark except for the light of the computer as Scott and I were getting photos downloaded.  Lilymei started talking.  We don't know what she might be saying but it was so cute!!!  We did get a few video clips of her talking but haven't had a chance to edit it yet.  We'll try to put that on the blog tomorrow too.  

Tomorrow is our free day.  We were thinking of taking the Grasslands tour but decided to forgo it.  It is so far of a drive and the tour lasts most of the day.  We might take our guide, Jessie, with us out shopping in the morning but we hope to sleep in a little.  All three kids were very restless tonight after lights out.  

It's been a great day and we look forward to what tomorrow will bring!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Day 3 Zhaojun Tomb

Breakfast Buddies:  Lilymei is not picky at all when it comes to food.  She will eat anything we give her.  She loves her morning congee but also ate french toast, dim sum, watermelon, banana, rice, and some omelet.  She follows everyone's fork/chopstick and she perks up whenever anything new is placed on the table.  She even woke from a dead sleep while we were at lunch at the noodle shop next to our hotel.  When she saw we were eating she was wide awake.  
Eating with new brother, Drew, while playing with a few toys.  Sometimes she is stubborn and won't put the food in her mouth but will wait forever for us to put it in for her.  Other times, especially with the baby grapes Scott purchased for her, she will gladly pluck them out of our hands.  
Sitting on Mama's lap during one of our car trips today.  Jessie, our guide, had just picked up our official RED BOOK from the notary's office.  
Family photo with the bell players at the Zhaojun tomb where we visited this afternoon.  The players were almost finished with their performance when we walked in but they played another song or two for us and announced to all that since there were "Westerners" in the crowd they would play a special song for us: Ode to Joy.  It was a very nice show.
Inside the cultural museum at the Zhaojun tomb.  Lots of artwork, relics, and exhibits from the Han and Hun cultures.  It was nice to be in the air conditioning.  It was a very hot day in Hohhot today.  So hot in Hohhot, we like to say....

Photo taken by Drew of Khan and Zhaojun, with Zhaojun's tomb (the mound) in the background.  We climbed to the top~the view was stunning, especially since today was the clearest day we have had so far.  
Lilymei eating her first ice cream cone.  Even though the orphanage nannies told us not to feed her cold things, Daddy couldn't resist.  It was made with Mongolian milk.  Yummy!
Street vendors galore in the shopping district where we bought Lilymei a couple of traditional Mongolian outfits and silver necklace (for good fortune).  We also picked up dinner at....McDonald's.  Hey, we had traditional Chinese food for lunch.  Lilymei had her first photo taken next to Ronald McDonald~I think she liked him.  

Lilymei is starting to feel a little more comfortable around us.  She has given the boys a couple of quick smiles but none for Mama or Baba.  The pediatrician from the orphanage came to the hotel to look at Lilymei's hand.  She had a large pustule on her right hand Sunday when we received her.  We had been putting antibiotic ointment on it but it was looking bad.  The pediatrician lanced it and drained the fluid off of it.  Tonight it is looking much better.  We knew it had to be hurting her these past couple of days.  We did get a bit more information from the doctor about Lilymei's medical condition since she had been the doctor that had seen Lilymei while at the orphanage.  We appreciated that.  

Time for bed.  We are going to the Hohhot Museum tomorrow morning.  It should be another fun day.  

Monday, July 28, 2008

Random photos for those wanting more!

Here are some random shots from around our hotel to the first shot of Lilymei coming into the hotel. We had the luxury of having almost all of our paperwork completed in a very nice area of the hotel. All of the officials have come to us, except for the passport photo processing. We just got back from the security office and it was a breeze. 
When we got back from the security office we had Lilymei's pediatrician come to the hotel. The doctor helped treat a sore that Lilymei has on her hand. We hope it gets better soon. We are just about ready to go to a traditional noodle shop for lunch. Thanks again for everyones thoughts and prayers. Miss you all.

First Full Day with Lilymei

Lilymei slept the whole night through.  She went to bed @ 8:30pm and awoke at 7am.  She had congee with meat, dim sum, yogurt, and watermelon for breakfast.  Breakfast is a more traditional Chinese fare rather than the Western breakfasts we had at the Radisson in Beijing.  Scott said the coffee here is the strongest he's ever had.
Jean, Lilymei, and the boys in the lobby of the hotel, The Phoenix, where we met the notary and the registrar.  We were so happy that we didn't have to travel anywhere to do today's paperwork.  
Lilymei watched us put our fingerprints all over the documents but she sure didn't like giving her own footprint.  

Lilymei and her boys in our hotel room.  She had a fun afternoon of playing with her stacking cups,  reading her book, and playing with cars.  She even let the boys take a turn at holding her tonight before bed.
Lilymei's first bath.  She cried for most of it but she didn't try to climb out.  Doesn't she just look pitiful?! Her parents must be so mean.  
Lilymei all snug in the towel having Baba (Daddy) brush her teeth for the first time.  She really seemed to enjoy it!  We'll see how it goes tomorrow.

This video is from Sunday night~the first night in the room.  We thought it was hilarious how she would eat a small cracker.  Tonight she was throwing them in her mouth whole, sometimes.  
Tomorrow we are off to get Lilymei's passport paperwork completed and then to the Zhaojun Tomb.  We miss you all!  Look for more photos to come.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

We Introduce Lilymei Liying O! Lilymei Day 2008

We I believe these pictures speak for themselves, thanks to Drew for taking the pictures. Nate took all of the video, stay tuned tomorrow. The orphanage director brought Lilymei to the hotel today at 3:45 pm. Jean and I were so nervous we thought we might not be able to stand. We are so blessed and Lilymei is great. We had a room service dinner after all of the formal introductions and paperwork. Our guide has been wonderful throughout the entire process. 

Jean and the kids are fast asleep, but I wanted to introduce our newest family member. Please continue to pray for us, but life has changed forever! Thank you all for everything. We can't wait to post more, but the 'ba ba" must get to bed. 

Mom, Dad, Kathy, and Harold congratulations on your newest granddaughter!

2 and 1/2 hours left!!!!!

We just arrived in Hohhot and we have a huge beautiful room/suite. The weather is mild, but what we are thinking about the most is Lilymei! She will be here in 2 and 1/2 hours, ahhh! We just can't wait and everyone is filled with emotions. Thanks for all of your supportive comments. Pictures coming soon, stay tuned.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Oops! Today was our last day before Lilymei

Our day began with a visit to Tiananmen Square and found the city hard at work preparing for the Olympic Games. This replica of the Bird's Nest and the Olympic Event Figures was beginning to take shape in the square. The entire display is being covered in beautiful flowers.
Here is the famous entrance to the Forbidden City Gates. How surreal to walk through an area that we have seen only on TV or in publications.
Here we are in the courtyard. Don't we look great and probably a little overwhelmed.
The 3 goobs being...well themselves as usual. We are still in the Forbidden City attracting plenty of stares. 

We had a great lunch with all of our CHI travel group families. Here is the famous Peking Duck being carved table side for our culinary enjoyment and delight. Did you know it takes 24 hours to prepare the duck properly?
Wow! The Great Wall is great and huge and steep and everything else you have read about it. We made our way up pretty far in the hour and a half we had alloted to climb. We were all impressed with ourselves. The local visitors were also impressed with how far we made it up the mountain and massive stone structure. Here Scott is holding onto the boys for dear life.
This is more than half way up and we made it to the top of this photo! We know we are rock stars and we don't have to complete anymore 5Ks once back on Guam.
We saw the finish line to the Olympic Cycling Road race, just within 100 meters of the Great Wall. Here is a billboard advertising the cycling event and announcing the Olympic theme of "One World One Dream".

Jean here:
We had a great day today!  Our time in Beijing was wonderful and we are so glad that we were able to be here before going to pick up Lilymei.  Beijing is the nicest city we have been to so far in our travels around the world.  It really is beautiful!

Needless to say we were quite tired by the time we got back to the hotel.  That didn't stop the boys from playing Ping Pong in the game room.  Natalee and Shannon, I thought of you two when I was trying to decide if I should get the body massage or the leg massage....I chose the body massage.  Ahhh.... 

Well, it's 11pm and time for bed.  We have a 6am wake up call and our flight leaves for Hohhot at 11am. We should have Lilymei  in less than 18 hours from now.


Lilymei joined our family...

Lilymei was born...

Drew is...

Nate is...

Jean and Scott have been married....