Bamboo Sprouts

We are having fun in GZ! I think the change in hotels and locations has done Bella good.  And our hotel is so much better then the last one and shopping is everywhere- all within a couple of blocks and decent food too.  Below you can see a photo of Sophies fruit plate from Lucys.  It was a piece of art and all for a couple bucks!

Bella continues to come out of her shell and I love seeing the girls play so nicely together.  Sophie is helpful and wants to take care of Bella and make her laugh.  They are having a giggle fest as I type this.  Bella is also allowing Sophie to come within 10 feet of me now (not that Bella ever stopped her anyhow but she sure wanted to).  She is also starting to laugh and smile with Rick although she continues to have a strong preference for mommy.  I still think this will change though as she catches on that daddy is the fun one!

Today was her physical exam and she is 19.5lbs but I dont know how many inches.  I think she is fairly tall though- maybe similar to Sophie at that age but still dont think she will end up quite as tall (bec afterall, what are the chances??  lol).  We do seem to have two good size, beautiful Hubei girlys though.  Anyhow, the exam is always pretty lame and not much involved but the head dr did her full exam and about drove me crazy.  She wanted nothing to do with him and he was trying to listen to her heart so to show her it was ok he pretended to listen to mine but that just upset her more and she batted his hand away from me.  Well he thought this was so funny that he kept doing it over and over!  LOL  Well its funny now but at the time I was just thinking what a goofball!  She was getting so worked up.  I doubt he really ever heard her heart properly but he moved on like he did after he had his laughs.  He called our guide over to show her how much Bella didnt want him to touch her or  me too.  THEN, he moved on to the next patient but had to walk through the waiting room and he came and did it some more.  LOL

Bella loves anything sparkley, french fries, chocolate, being strapped to me in her baby carrier, music and bottles.  She does not like loud toys, dolls (although I think she is coming around), ice-cream or other cold foods.  I bet she will love tapioca like Sophie and I.  My portion of tapioca is dwindling with each new addition!

Bella has a very infectious smile and her whole face smiles- not just her mouth.  Her nose crinkles and her eyes tilt up and sparkle. Her name (Jiao) translates to pretty and charming and she certainly lives up to all that.

Her spikey hair does give the impression that she is a boy but we are working on that little problem.

Tomorrow is a free day (shop til we drop I guess) and Friday is US consulate day.  We check out on Sat morning (at a very unreasonable 6am!!!!!) and arrive home on Sat although to us it will be Sunday!  Not sure how much more there is to post but we are looking forward to seeing everyone soon and settling in back home.  I hope that a routine will improve the sleeping situation around here.

Photos- Bellas first flight, Sophies fruit plate art, Bella eating watermelon, Bella at dr., Sophie feeding Bella (love how Sophie opens HER mouth trying to get Bell to open hers-lol, Bella laughing and Sophie AND Bell on Mommys lap at dinner!

Yesterday we had a fun outing to East Lake which we really enjoyed last trip and again this one.  Sophie is currently having a fit so cant type much but am attaching lots of photos of yesterday.  Today not sure what the plan is but we will get final paperwork and baby passport and have a party.  Tonight we will let the girls dress up and trick or treat to our rooms in the hotel.  Halloween is not a holiday in China but we will let the kids enjoy the dressing up and candy.

Tomorrow we head to GZ where we hope to shop til we drop.

Mom, I hope you had a really nice bday. We missed you.

photos-koi, daddy and Sophie feeding fish, family at East Lake, East Lake, mommys fancy $1 hat and Bellas $1 flower, Bella in cab with flat hat hair, cracked up, serious, lucky mommy with two cutie girls, Bella, 2 jammie girls, Beautiful Sophie, mommy and girls at East Lake, scenery, scenery, Prostaks, Blasingims

Sorry its been a while!  A certain little person wont let me put her down for 5 seconds, making it hard to type…or do about anything! 

Last night was the first night that Bella pretty much slept thru the night.  Unfortunately it was Sophie who gave us the 2am wakeup call when she puked all over the king size bed that she, Rick and I are sharing while here!  If it isnt on thing, its another!  She spiked a pretty nasty temp, had welts on her mug and was really lethargic today but is perking up this evening and seems to be on the mend.  Its hard to even guess the cause but we have a DR in our travel group and she thought it was probably a little virus.  We are hoping for the best tonight.

Lets see.  Thursday we went to a dept store that I love and we stocked up on a few more cute Wuhanian shoes. Still feels like we need more though! I dont know what else we did as its all a bit of a blur already.  Oh, we had a very nice dinner with friends of friends who are living in Wuhan and teaching HS English.  Getting there was a huge challenge since the taxi driver dropped us at the wrong place and each person we asked for directions sent us a different way but after much wandering I saw a non Chinese face waiting for us on a bench and knew it was our friends.  We had a lovely visit and very much enjoyed hearing a little about life in Wuhan.  I just wish I hadnt been so tired and we could have visited more.

Friday we visited Xiaonan SWI in Xiaogan city where Sophie spent her first year.  It was a moving visit even though we came away a little disappointed.  We really hoped that a meeting with the foster family would be arranged but we were happy to visit the SWI and the town and get to ask some questions.  They went out of their way for us and remembered the girls and seemed genuinely pleased that we came to visit.  They also took us to lunch at what is considered to be a fancy Xiaogan restaurant but it looked pretty scary to us!  lol  In the end the food was fantastic and we were able to forget that there was a big ole framed photo of Mao overlooking our table. Most of all it was great to chat with them and be able to say thank you for all all they did for Sophie.  We have always felt that she was very well cared for and loved and I still think that after our visit.

One of the best things was getting to chat with our guide Joanna on the way to Xiaogan.  I asked lots of questions about life in China and was surprised at her honest answers. 

Today Bella and I ventured out to the Yellow Crane Tower with friends while Sophie and Rick stayed behind to let her rest. 

Bella has had a much rougher transition then Sophie had but still all things considered, all is well.  She is attached to  me all day and wont go to anyone else so far.  I am getting exhaused as we have also had some rough nights but last night we saw progress so we are optimistic that she will be able to sleep all night soon.  She is a sweet girl and very loving…to me- still not great with daddy or Sophie but I am sure they will soon be her favorites.  I think she is just very overwhelmed right now.  She snuggles with me all day as I carry her around in the baby carrier and lays her head right up on me the whole time.  She has even given me a smooch all by herself!  Surprised me to no end!  I deserved it too after she had been an especially difficult pill!  lol  She continues to use the little pink potty surprisingly well too!  I have only changed one icky diaper the whole time and about 1-2 wet ones a day and I think thats only because we are out and about too long.  She is almost always dry and uses the potty whenever I set her on it.

She is so smart and a copy cat.  She combs her hair, pretends to put on lipstick, trys to put barrettes in, has already learned a couple of sign lang signs (more and potty) and is saying bye bye and waving.  She also blows kisses. On the flip side, she is not very good (at all!) at entertaining herself or playing with others.  She really just wants to be held and is perfectly happy as long as I do that.  lol

The scale in the hotel says she is 7.5 kg which would only be about 16lbs and I find that impossible to believe after carrying her around for days so ??  lol  I would guess more like 20 as she seems similar in size to Sophie at gotcha.  We will know her size better next week when she has her dr appt in GZ.  12 mos clothes are just about right and size 2-3 baby shoes so very sim to soph although i think she has smaller hands and prob wont get quite as tall.  our guide has ammended her guess on sophs height and now thinks she may get abt 6 ft tall!  lol  good thing she lives in the US because she might have trouble finding a date (when she is 30 of course) in china.

She takes several bottles a day and looks forward to them very much.  She lets me snuggle her and doesnt make any attempts to hold the bottle, very much like Sophie did.  She seems a bit more babyish then Sophie was at first, but then again maybe I have just forgotten!  Her fav thing on the planet seems to be a good warm sink bath!  Takes right after her mommy (although i prefer a tub of course)!

Well this is the most that I have gotten her to play on her own but better not press my luck.

Hopefully photos in a while.  Rick ran out for a bit and I dont have a clue how to do them on my own.


Photos-on the road in Xiaogan- those are PIGS in that guys bike cart-lol, Bella putting on lipstick, Sophie putting on lipstick, Xiaogan, Sophie at playroom at Xiaonan in Xiaogan, More playroom, back street in Xiaogan, Mao lunch in Xiaogan, Sophie and SWI assistant director.

Paperwork is done and she is ours. It is very difficult to post because she will not let me put her down.  She is sitting up on the desk here now so we shall see how long this will last…

She stayed grumpy all day yesterday and is on edge again today.  She is just broken hearted for her foster family I think but she is doing great all in all.  She slept in the crib last night but got up at the stroke of midnight and again at 5am for bottles.  She lives for a bottle but then only takes about 4 oz. 

The only thing that made her happy last night was a bath!  The pix are deceiving because it looks like she was so happy last night!  lol

I was all prepared for Sophie to be jealous when I was holding Bella but instead its the other way around.   Yesterday I was holding Bella and Sophie came over and was talking to me and put her hand on me while she talked and Bella batted her hand away!  Sophie looked at me all confused and then looked right at Bella and put her hand right back on me.  This happened 4 or so times before I told Sophie that we are going to let Bella be naughty for a few days because she is nervous and then we will ask her to be a nice girl like Sophie is.

Bella goes to bed easily but doesnt sleep nearly as much as Sophie did (does!).  She seems fine with the crib though and I can put her in when she is sleepy and she puts herself to sleep.

She is a roly poly girl with cute folds on her legs. She is a walker but a bit tipsy.

I felt a little silly the other day when I bought a little pink Chinese childs potty and our guide pretty much said it was a waste of time but I must disagree since Miss Bella used it this morning! She tinkled and pooed in the little potty with no problem.  $2 well spent! Now to just figure out when she needs to go the rest of the time!

We met Director Sun today and he is a very kind, friendly man.  He appreciated the cash donations that some of you made and asked me to write your names for him so he can send you a special certificate of thanks. They specifically asked for the cash rather then items as they wont have to pay delivery, taxes and transport on them.  Our guide said they will provide photos and receipts for items purchased.

Thats it for now.

photos- Sleeping beauty- this photo reminds me very much of one I have of Sophie taken when we we were , in China the first time, Bellas bath time, bath, bath again, Happy Bella, Bella doing her thing, family at adoption registration, with director Sun, Dawna and Mackenzie

We have our Bella!!  She is cute as  button! She isnt all together thrilled with this new arrangement yet though! She is having a much harder time then Sophie did at first, but still nothing too awful.  She was handed to us just after 11am and it was so nice because they brought her to a conference room at the hotel we are staying at.  Actually, its the same hotel we met Soph at!! She was immediately upset with the whole deal and is still kinda wimpy and unsure of things at this point.  She is a major cling-on to me (mommy) so far and wont let me put her down at all.  She is attatched to me (in her baby carrier) even as I type this.  She is surprisingly disinterested and even bothered by Sophie!  LOL  Sophie is undeterred at this point though!  She is thrilled and says things to Bella like “oh its ok sweetie” and is sharing everything from toys to her M&M container (most gernerous of her!). 

Bella came to us dressed in a blue plaid knit two piece type thing with a typical red padded cotton Chinesey jacket over the top and padded pants (HOT).  We are down to just the knit outfit until bed when we will wear our jammies and I look forward to some PINK tomorrow!  The knit outfit has a hello kitty type design on the top.  Her head was shaved a few weeks ago so she is sporting a spikey do but we can see that she will have nice thick hair.

She has only slept for a few mins and we havent figured out how to make her bottle to her liking yet so she has just had a yogurt drink from a bottle so far.  She likes a bottle though and makes good eye contact while drinking it (and other times).

She came to us with a beautiful photo album starting at one month old and the toys we sent ahead of time.  The numbers have been worn off the little phone we sent and the stuffed zebra smells and looks very played with and loved.

We know that she was just taken from her foster fam this morning and had a 3-4 hour ride to here this morning.  She is fussing and I must run.