Bamboo Sprouts

We are just under 4 hours from becoming a family of 4!!  We have a little paperwork to do and then we will meet our Bella at 11am!! Sophie is jumping around excited and listing what we are going to do with our baby to make her happy.  And she thinks SHE should get to do it ALL!  Lol  Sophie is such a little mommy that she may put me out of a job! So she is going to give her hug a lugs and bottles and toys and help her use the potty and play peek a boo if she is nervous.  Before we left we looked at lots of pix from our trip for Sophie and there is one right after Gotcha moment where Rick and I are smiling but she is fussing and we explained to her that she was a little nervous at first so she is preparing for Bella to be a little nervous. 

We got a quickie update when we got to Wuhan (cap of Hubei) and are told that Bella is now potty trained/training, likes red toys, can walk on her own, sleeps in her own crib, likes 4 bottles a day (one at 3am??!!) and takes a whopping 3 baths a day because she enjoys them so much!  LOL Also says she is afraid of strangers so who knows what today will bring!

Last night we went to a store like a superwalmart to buy some supplies and we bought a little pink potty in case we need it. It will be nearly impossible to keep her trained while we are in China but we shall give it a whirl!

So today is gotcha and tomorrow is paperwork and the rest of our time here (8days total) is half day tours and such.  We also hope to go back to Xiaonan SWI where Sophie was and we would love to meet her foster family.  We have been told this is a good possibility and we are excited about the idea of a visit there.

Gotta run get ready for the big moment now.  I have been quite a lot more relaxed about this gotcha  moment and am hoping that I am not *under* prepared this time!

Hello!  Well between being busy busy and the very unreliable internet service, I havent been able to post as often as I would have liked! 

To catch you up…

On Friday we visited HK Disney Land. We went with the Prostak family and had a great time.  The park is pretty small and do-able in a short day.  We rode a few rides, met some characters and shopped.  Oh and we ate- but not the eel!  See the photo of the menu below! The Chinese version of the characters is sorta Pucca like so it was cool to buy some Chinese Mickey stuff.  This was also the first time Sophie was willing to pose with a character by herself.  She was sooo excited to meet Minnie Mouse and gave us lots of cheeze ball smiles for photos. The only thing much different (other then the weird menu) about HK Disney was the Asian dressed Mickey in the parade.

After Disney we visited friends who live in HK.  They treated us like royalty and we had such a nice time.  I only wish we hadnt been so tired after a day at Disney!  They had a local girl come in and cook a smashing dinner for us and we loved meeting their daughter who is from the same city that Sophie is from.  We also loved visiting their HK flat and were amazed that people live in such compact spaces.  I think I could do it but Dawna (travel mate) was sure she could not! And really I dont think I could do it forever, but a few months, sure.  This visit was really a highlight of our time in HK for me.

Today we did an agency sponsored tour and saw some beautiful sights from Victoria Peak.  We then went to a boat community (not sure how else to say it and am sure I am not saying this right) where people have lived on these little boats for generations.  We also had a Chinese lunch and went to Stanley Market where bargains can be had if you are into haggling.  I am a little wimpy but did come back with two oil paintings that I am really thrilled with, a pair of shoes for Sophie and some other little things.

Our guide talked about the housing in HK and said if a family (of 3-8!) has 500 square feet, thats a lot!  The gvt housing is only about 150sf (the size of a room!) and about a third of people live in gvt housing!  It is impossible to imagine.  Also, although gvt housing is very reasonable, a little larger one like 500 SF can be $500,000+!

Our guide also talked about how superstitious the Chinese people tend to be and he told a couple of funny stories.  He said that there was a building that caught fire and so the owner consulted with a feng shui person and that person decided tht the solution was to put a pool on top of the building!  lol  Well no one uses the pool  but there havent been anymore fires so maybe it worked. Also there was  a building that had very bad luck (business wise) so a feng shui person was consulted again and they were told to build another outside wall around the building with cut outs for the windows in the shape of coffins to drive out the evil spirts (something like that).  Its an odd looking building but it is now one of the top insurance businesses in HK.  He also told about numbers having meanings and so the number of an apt can make it more or less desirable and therefor worth more or less.  You want to stay away from the #4 apparently.  lol

We are so glad to report that Sophie is just traveling beautifully!  I cant think of even one unbearable melt-down.  With the goofed up sleeping hours and odd foods, we would have expected her to have a harder time but she is just going with the flow so far.

Tomorrow we head to Wuhan where we will meet Bella.  We are told that we will meet her on Tues though so not sure what we will do to make time go by faster until then! 

Think we are ordering pizza or hitting a mcdonalds tonight as I am starved and the Chinese food just isnt doing the trick! 

Am hoping to post again tomorrow night from Wuhan but who knows the internet situation! 

We are in Hong Kong!! We had a fairly uneventful flight except that Sophies stroller missed th time)e flight!  It arrived just seconds ago though so all is well.  Sophie did great on the 13 hour (!!!) flight.  It is so weird to “lose” time!  We got on an airplane one mornng and arrived the following evening- feels like we lost 2 days!

On the plane there was an Asian family in front of us with a baby about 18 mos and it struck me funny when they ordered apple juice for the baby and the young male Asian flight attendant gave them the can of apple juice AND a bottle of water explaining that they should mix the juice with water because kids dont need too much sugar.  The couple readily agreed and did as told but I just thought it funny and so “Chinese” of them to be looking out for the baby and I guess it surprised me that they dont just correct Americans on these things. The same flight attendant and the same couple, at the end of the flight, the wife was giving the attendant their trash and she had a cup about 3/4 full of ice water and the flight attendant handed it back and said no no- you need water- its good water and good for you and hands it back.  She dutifully drank up and handed the empty cup back.  LOL

When we were at the airport waiting for our transportation to the hotel, Sophie was cheering and saying time to go get our Baby Bella!  She was SO not happy when I told her we werent meeting Bella for a few days!  Afterall, we told her we would go on a big plane, ride a bus and meet our Bella!  lol 

Our friends arrived last night too and we spent the day with them today.  He is a fantastic tour planner so is keeping us well entertained. We just wandered around HK today, found some great shops, rode a ferry, poked around at the Kowloon park and came back for resting time.  Dinner is a bit hard to come by around the hotel but we were able to order a pizza from Pizza Hut.  Pretty goofy to order pizza in China but we are playing it safe and it is not very westerny right around our hotel.  We arent up to eating any mystery meat yet!

We found a nifty little shopping street today where I found a couple of treasures.  My fav are three hand made pottery vases that are like bamboo. I also passed on some things, hoping I see them again and knowing its early to be buying too much as we will have to drag it all over China.

I noticed a lot of people staring at us today.  Never having spent any time in this part of China before its interesting to me that their reactions to our families are a bit different.  I cant really tell if its good or bad but I am pretty sure they werent all good.  When in mainland China last time I felt like the people were very supportive of us so this feels a little weird.  On the other hand, maybe its more general curiosity and not as much critism as I think.  I hope so but then again…whatever.

Tomorrow we do HK Disney and then meet friends who live in HK for dinner.

Until next time.