Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Wednesday-February 28th-BUBBLES!

Wednesday Flower was wide awake at 7:30 when KG got home. She didn't wake me up so I'm not really sure if she was awake all night or what. She just wasn't being herself all day the day before. We're thinking maybe she is needing more physical activity during the day although she did walk a lot with me the day before. Who knows? We did lots of walking around. I took her to the office to meet Ken, the owner, because he hadn't met her yet. I then took her to see a former co-worker of mine, Jamie. When we got there it had started to snow and Flower got all excited, jumping and giggling, saying 'Bubbles'. I realized she thought the snowflakes were bubbles like in nursery at Church. It was cute. We stayed at her office playing for over an hour. By that time Flower was getting tired and fell sleep right about when we hit the parking lot. I thought this would mean a good nap for sure. Alas, it only lasted a half hour! At 6 I went visiting teacher. KG dropped me off and took Flower with him to the church for scouts. My companion dropped me off at the church when we were done. Since it was almost 8 and none of us had eaten, nor were we in the mood to cook, we decided to order Teppanyaki to go. We enjoyed a nice meal together and started the bedtime routine. We were having so much fun with her on the bed however that we played for an hour! At 10 I finally left and Flower and KG fell asleep. KG came out at 10:45 to go to work and Flower slept all night long! ;)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tuesday-February 27th-Cloth Diapers

Tuesday was also uneventful with work. Last week I got our disposable diapers, (my cousin totally hooked me up, thanks Jessica!) and have been using them for about a week and love them! KG had the first and only messy one so far(the other's have made it into the toilet or into a disposable because we didn't have enough inserts yet) and he's not sure what he thinks yet but it will save us a lot of money and I just feel better about something I can reuse. Not to mention it's a heck of a lot better on our baby's bum. Flower's rash was almost healed with the cream we had been using but a bit of redness was lingering. The day after we started using the cloth diapers, the rash was gone, without using anymore cream, and has not re-appeared. I got some more inserts and they need to be washed 4 or 5 times before use and we were out of quarters. Flower and I walked to the bank and then came back and spent the next couple of hours walking to the basement every 25 minutes to start the load again. We also went to the Co-Op to get some laundry detergent so we stopped by Jim's first to see Joni. She gave Flower some mashed potatoes for lunch. She loves Flower and says she can't wait to start spoiling her first Grandchild. What fun! At the Co-Op they have mini shopping carts(but not toy ones) that kids can push. She had a ball pushing our detergent around and was not happy to have to put it away! It was a hard day for Flower. She didn't sleep well the night before, only slept a half hour even though she laid down for almost 2 hours for her nap, and went to bed at 7:45 because she was acting so tired but didn't fall asleep till after 10:30! Then she woke up at 1:00 am, then 2:30 am.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Monday-February 26th-New Sofa!

Monday was uneventful. We both have been wanting to get back to the gym since we got home from China but apparently not enough to go alone. We are also not ready to leave her with a babysitter or stick her in the daycare there. We had a great plan that for Family Home Evening we would all three go to the Y. KG would swim with Flower while I worked out and then we'd trade and then, if there was a racquetball room available, we'd take it and roll a ball around and just run around with her. All good intentions. We have also been considering getting a new sofa. We have had ours for seven years, its hurting both our backs, it's not really our style anymore and we just want something fun and new. A year ago while in Utah for our anniversary we both fell in love with a sofa at Z Gallery. Neither of us has forgotten it and we love it for several reasons. The color is very neutral so it will go with any decor for years to come. You can completely change the look just by putting a new color of throw pillows. (huge plus since I have a love affair with decorative pillows) All the fun pillows, available at almost every store I go into, look horrible on our current sofa. they taunt me at every turn! The cushions are also deep! KG and I can both lay on it next to each other and watch a movie. The downside. It's expensive and it's in Utah. We'd have to pay to have it shipped. Well, we were in Macy's the week before we were waiting to leave for China and found a similar sofa but better! It's the same price though. :( I was sad until I got into a conversation with one of my tenants who works there and was planning to buy a sofa. I told him I fell in love with one there and he said, 'well, if you give me the money, I'll buy it for you and you'll get my 30% discount.' NO WAY! That will be a $900 savings! We were thrilled. We love this one more because it comes in 5 modules so it can be arranged however you want. If we move and our room is shaped different it is easily switched to face the other direction. Not common with a sectional such as the one we have now. It can also be arranged to form a bed for guests. One of the reasons we have wanted to keep the one we have is because of the sleeper. We decided we'd wait to see what our tax return would look like and go from there. Well, we decided to go yesterday and do all the measurements and such. We are excited. Yes, we could use that money to pay more of our adoption dept down but we are paying a substantial amount and have been handling our money really wisely and are comfortable with the time line we've set forth to have it paid off. We had to go to Macy's first because they close at 8 pm and KG didn't get up till 6:30 and we didn't leave till 7:15. So...we still love it, wrote down all the numbers, and then came home to get ready for the Y and realized it's now after 8 and the kiddie pool closes at 8! Grrr. We forgot. We still went though and I'm proud of us for working it in. KG left while I bathed Flower and made us dinner. Then he came home finished getting her in bed and I went to the Y until they closed at 10. Although not as fun alone, it worked out great. I also discovered I've lost 8 pounds, according to KG, since the 7th of January. :) Yay!

Monday, February 19, 2007

2 weeks in review!

We've been home for two weeks and it still doesn't seem real! everyone kept telling us our lives would change so dramatically with kids and so far it hasn't at all, other then one more seat in our car being taken up. she is such an easy going kid! some days i can't believe it's been too weeks because it seems like yesterday but most of the time it just feels like she's always been here. KG and I were talking yesterday and neither of us has had any significant 'I'm a parent now' moments. Here are some of the highlights of the last two weeks. She is talking more and more! She will pretty much repeat everything we say. One of our favorite word's she says is noonals (noodles) all nasally.

It's so cute! Every time she sees a camera she stops in her tracks and says 'cheese' and strikes a pose, even if the camera's not on! She also likes to mimic what we do. For example, KG will stand with his back to a wall and cross one leg up and in front of the other so he's just standing on one leg. Within seconds she has noticed and will have her back to the wall trying to imitate the stance. I'll come up with goofy things just to see if she's paying attention. We don't let her know we're watching and she thinks she's being sneaky! She loves to help me with work stuff and just trots along behind me greeting tenants as we go! They of course all love her! She is now the second child in the apartment complex so she gets lots of attention. We started only giving her bottles at night the first week and the second week got rid of them completely. She loved our night time routine. We all get on our bed and she gets her soy milk in her sippy cup while we each read her a story. We then say prayers. I then get up, turn off the light, turn on the Enya music she now loves and sings along too, and KG rocks her for a few minutes and then puts her in her crib that's right next to the bed. She sleep anywhere from 10-12 hours a night. The girl loves food! We are so grateful that she is a good eater! We both struggle with kids that won't try anything! She will try anything once! If she doesn't like it we don't care because we don't like everything either. She likes most everything though. She doesn't like hamburger or jell-o or strawberries. those are sticking out in my mind right now. i think for her it tends to be a texture thing more then a taste. We had steak with sauteed mushrooms and onions the other day and so far it's been the only thing that she's eaten every bite of and then licked the plate after!

She also loves refried beans! We make burritos and she makes such a fun mess with it and eats it all up!

She loves to sing with me! I'll say a few words and she repeats it as best she can, usually getting the number of syllables with gibberish words, but always getting tune right. Her favorites right now are You are My Sunshine, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and the Itsy Bitsy Spider. she loves to do the actions to the last two. We love lazy days that we all just sit around in our pajamas and play and read. Although I think we've only gotten two or three of those in! She had her first doctors appointment and everything checked out although we think she has a milk allergy. We won't really know for sure until we go several weeks but we'll see. She also had her first dentist appointment and loved it. Her teeth look great! She loves to brush. She does it first while we do ours then she lets us finish up hers. She also loves us to floss her teeth!

:) Any time she sees a striped shirt she says 'Jo-Jo'. Every time she sees a baby she says 'wiweea' (olivia). She still remembers her pals. Once in a while we go down the whole still and ask 'where's antoinette?' and she tips her head onto her shoulder in a sleeping pose. She'll tip her head for every child we ask about. It's really sweet that those kids will forever be sleeping in her mind. she loves to help both of us with whatever we are doing. She helped me make blueberry muffins the other morning for breakfast. She loves to blow her nose which I taught her a few days ago and helps tremendously since she constantly has a runny nose! It had dried up though since we stopped the milk. But everyone is always shocked when she actually blows and knows what she's doing! We are trying to get her familiar with the toilet. We have been paying attention to her facial expressions and as soon as we see the face, we run her to the toilet and take her diaper off. She has poop twice. We have a big dance party right there and she gets to throw toilet paper in the toilet which she loves! She has a cute little game she plays with KG where he'll say 'i love you' pointing to himself then to her. She then repeats it and he says,' NO! i love you!' and then she does it. They get louder and louder until she is all giggles! She loves to blow kisses and that is usually what she does when she's ready to leave where we are. That is now our new signal that it's time to go. She is very good now at saying 'tay-too' (thank you) and peese (please) and now thinks she should get whatever she wants of she says please! She also will hide behind anything and say 'peet-a-doo'(peek-a-boo) and usually gets big laughs! She has a fish tank now with two little fish that she loves. She loves telling us all the noises animals make when we run down the list and when we get to fish, she says 'here wishy wishy wishy' (fishy fishy) in a high pitch voice while moving her fingers real quick like she is calling them. That is because of the big fish at the White Swan Hotel. KG did that the first time and all the fish swam over and opened their mouths ready for food. Now she thinks that's what fish say! Well this is long enough. I'm just not good at short! :) We re all doing so well and having a blast!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

SUNDAY-Day 18-February 4th

We had a wake up call at 5 am to make sure we were up and ready. KG got everything packed the night before. So we just had to get up, get ourselves ready and double check our room. KG only got about 3 hours of sleep and I only got about 6. Flower woke up around 5:30 wide eyed and ready to go. At 5:45 Janet, Chris's sister, came to the door to help us get our stuff. We piled into the van with all our bags and headed to the airport. The trip took about 45 minutes. When we got there we unloaded the van and headed to check in. They said we had to have an infant ticket, even if we planned on holding the child on our lap. We told them that we were told we did not need a ticket for her but the manager said we do. So instead of arguing with them we just paid the $270 for her ticket. The annoying part is we pay $270 but she doesn't get a seat with that ticket. That is just an international boarding pass so she can get on the plane. Our first flight was from Guangzhou to Tokyo Japan. That was about 3 hours. We left at about 8:45 am. Flower was pretty full of energy for that flight. We landed in Tokyo and had about 20 minutes until we boarded our flight to Portland. That was a long flight. It was only about 8 hours, so not as long as our flight to Korea. But when you have a 21 month old child, flights seem a lot longer. We tried to get Flower to sleep because it is bed time for her in China, but she was fighting back her sleep so much that she started to get pretty noisy. KG made a bottle of chocolate milk for her and put some of the liquid from a nyquil pill into it to try to help her sleep. It obviously made her tired but she still kept fighting it. Finally about 2 hours before the plane landed she finally fell asleep. About time! The fun part is we left China at 8:45 am Sunday February 4th and got to Portland at 7:00 am Sunday February 4th. We went back in time! Now we are sitting in the Portland Airport with a 4 hour layover. We could have rented a car and driven half way home! Well, we landed in Boise right on time at 2:00

p.m.. We had a huge amount of people at the airport including both sets of our parents, Grandma Madison, Grandma and Grandpa Hunter, Grandma Jensen, all three of my siblings and spouses plus their kids, KG's youngest brother's girlfriend and his daughter, our SW Jessica (with the cutest teddy bear in hand!), the Rummler's (good thing too cause they had to bring us our car and take our luggage in their van!), the Klein's, and we were especially grateful and so excited to see that KG's brother and our nephew, Justin and Adam, drove all the way from Arizona Friday night just to be here to meet Flower, and they have to leave first thing Monday morning! Flower did so well! She walked right off the plane and through the doors! She has such a commanding little walk. She of course got overwhelmed with the crowd and wanted daddy to hold her but then she was fine and happy to greet everyone that had been so excited to meet her! We were so overwhelmed and touched by the amount of love that was there and showered upon us! I cried of course as soon as I started hugging everyone. We were just so tired! After an hour of fun and greetings we were headed home. The Klein's asked if they could stop by real quick because they had a few things they thought might be helpful. They were so thoughtful and asked if we needed anything. We took them up on that and asked them to stop and get us whole milk for Flower's night bottles and diapers. The Rummler's followed us home and helped us bring our bags up. Flower liked Tristan right away and let him carry her in the airport parking lot which was shocking! She didn't really let anyone else hold her or touch her. We are thankful for their willingness to house our car and transport us to and from the airport. The Klein's showed up shortly after and they went above and beyond and spoiled us! They had paid such attention to what we were writing about Flower and got everything she loves plus a few things they know their kids like and thought she might too! They showed up with a big bag of stuff including two boxes of spaghetti, one box of bow tie noodles, two cans of spaghetti sauce, a box of ritz crackers, a box of teddy grahams, a box of pony tail holders, a box of dragon fly barrettes, two card board style books, a coloring book with washable markers and a box of washable/fat crayons, a box of egg rolls, a dozen eggs, two big bottles of apple juice, a package of apple sauce cups, a package of jell-o fruit cups, a box of Life cereal (for me :)), bubbles, 10 package of Ramen noodles, plus the diapers and milk we had asked for! They did way too much but we so appreciated it and needed it! We were so exhausted and didn't want to even think of going to the store! We have the greatest friends and family!!! By the time we were alone it was 4:45 and KG couldn't keep his eyes open any longer. He took Flower to bed and I unloaded one of our suitcases. I joined them just a half hour later and we were all asleep by 5:30! Flower woke up at 9:00 p.m. so I fed her-the Ramen noodles were so perfect when it felt like the middle of the night!!! We all fell back to sleep and woke up at 3:00 am. I was up with Flower until she fell back to sleep at 6:00. KG slept on and off in that time. At one point, we were laying on our backs, I turned on my side and grabbed her and was pulling her in to snuggle to her to get her back to sleep. I pulled her too fast and her head went right into my noise and gave me and immediate bloody nose! Lovely. I did laugh though. We are all just doing really well and can't wait till things become normal. She is such a delight!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

SATURDAY-DAY 17-February 3

Today, since it was our last in China, we spent the day enjoying the outdoors and having fun together! We woke up about 9:30 and lied around until 10:00 and then got ready to go to breakfast. After that we took some photos by the fountain and fish. We then went for a walk outside. There's a playground not far from our hotel. They have a ton of cute statues of children surrounding the playground. We got some cute photos and then let Flower play. She went down the slide and liked it but didn't ask to do it again. We also found a few more fun things to buy. :)We found two great little dresses for Flower. I'm not sure why we hadn't seen them before but I'm already sick of all the pink and I found one green dress and one orange one so I had to have them. Perhaps we'll save one to use as her Easter dress. We found a lot of really cute fun little things to give Flower throughout her life for different events. We'll keep them in a box and have them on hand for special times. After a few hours Flower was falling asleep on daddy's shoulders so we headed for the deli and took lunch to go. After we ate, on the bed, we cleared it and all laid down and watched The Ant Bully and took a nap together. Earlier that morning as I was getting ready, or rather, just standing by the sink, I was doubled over with a pain in my ribs. Now it feels as though I've pulled something. After I woke up from the nap the pain was even worse and since they were both still asleep, I took a long hot bath and read. Unfortunately it didn't help all that much but by the time I got out they were awake. We got dressed and went out for another walk. We then went to the hotel buffet for dinner. The selection wasn't as good as I'd hoped for the price. The food we had was good but almost everything was seafood which we're not huge fans of. We all found enough to get full though and came back to the room to pack, although as I write this KG is watching a movie and Flower is wandering around so we're not being very productive. Flower is definitely still a daddy's girl but we have our sweet moments and love them when they come. Frankly I'm not sure I mind how things are right now, especially with this long flight approaching. Just the two hour flight to Guangzhou made me happy she wanted him more! Let's just say I got reading time in and he didn't. ;) There's been a couple times though that I don't think I noted. In the mornings she will let me do her hair. She has the hardest head of any kid I know. Its great she doesn't ever cry when doing her hair. The other day I was holding her and I said, 'I love my Flower' and she leaned over and gave me the biggest kiss in response. Then yesterday as I was putting her in her crib for a nap I whispered, 'I love you' and she whispered it right back. She still won't cuddle with me like she does KG but this afternoon while I was still in the bath she picked up my green sweatshirt and said, 'where's mommy?'. KG pointed toward the bathroom and when i got out she was walking around rubbing my sweatshirt on her face, cuddling it like a blanket. :) Just a few minutes ago she wanted up so i picked her up and she cuddled with me for a moment and softly touched my hair and ear and said 'pretty'. They come in small doses but it's these moments I live for and love! I actually don't think I'd handle it well if she was super clingy to me the way she is with KG at times because I'm someone who needs my space. I'm really liking things the way they are and think she has bonded really well with both of us and I'm super excited to go home and see how things progress! At 8:00 p.m. each night there has been a little light show with music. So tonight we walked down to the river to watch the show. Flower was entertaining several people by dancing to the music. We took a few last pictures as we headed back to the hotel. Flower got one last bubble bath as KG started to pack everything up. We put Flower to bed and KG spent the rest of the night packing as I read.

Friday, February 2, 2007

DAY 16-FRIDAY-February 2nd

Today was a really good day. I felt really good. KG's stomach is still bothering him but he doesn't show it. We all slept until 9:20 which was unexpected. We rushed around trying to get ready so we could go to breakfast and meet our guide by 10:00 am. We went to a museum and the Chin home, around 200 years old. We went on the short bus with about 5 other couples and their new kids. It was nice to see other parts of Guangzhou as well as meet other adoptive families. When we got back it was 1:00 p.m. so we went to the deli for lunch. We all like what we got, one of the things was quite similar to my favorite thing at the bakery at the Idanha so I was pleasantly surprised! I then took off from there and went shopping. KG brought Flower back to the room for a nap. I came back with a few bags from one store and then headed back out. I was gone for another couple of hours. the bags were so heavy I wouldn't have made it had I had to walk any further! When I got back I showed KG everything I had purchased. I finally got me something and surprised KG with something as well. Up until then, most everything we had bought was for others. Flower was also awake so they decided to join me on the next spree. We had a few more people to shop for. KG also bought me a really cute bracelet. :) We hit three stores, one of them, Jordon's, was the same as where I had gotten several things just a couple hours earlier. They have things marketed quite low already, they are all a pleasure to deal with and they have a huge selection. We were able to get everyone on our list checked off! :) After a few hours of that we were famished and ready for food. Lucy's was the closest thing to where we were so that's what we had. We all loved our food this time too! We are so impressed with Flower too. She willingly tried and loved the refried beans from my enchilada and a mashed baked potato along with her normal spaghetti and part of KG's fries. When we got back to the room we unloaded our bags and packed them in a suitcase. We then got Flower to bed and asleep by 9:30 pm. We started a movie and then decided to take advantage of the big tub. It's not really long but very deep. We were able to tangle ourselves together in such a way that we were both almost completely covered with water. Once we got out we watched With Six You get Egg Roll. It's an old film that we brought with us. I hadn't seen it in years, probably not since I lived at my parents. I remember sitting around with mom on a Saturday watching old movies like that one and the original Yours, Mine, and Ours. Those are good memories. I can hardly wait to make those memories with Flower. We both fell asleep before the movie was over.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

THURSDAY-DAY 15-February 1st

This morning I woke up at 8:30. Flower was still sleeping so I got in the bath and read, telling KG to get me in an hour. I got out at 9:15 to find them both asleep. Flower woke up shortly after she heard me getting ready. We all got dressed and went to the breakfast buffet. I really have come to like buffets here because we can all find something we like! After breakfast we had to go back to the room to wait by the phone in case our coordinator, Chris, had any questions while he was at the embassy with our information. I stopped to take some photos of the waterfall and fish and by the time I got to the room I found KG and Flower sitting outside in the hallway on the floor. Our room was being cleaned. The way they were sitting was so cute. I joined them for the next 15 minutes. Finally our room was done and we got the phone call shortly after. Chris says, 'You cannot take baby, you are not approved for her.' We were a little surprised and he explains that she is special needs and our home-study only approves us for a healthy baby. Well, when we first started this process, that was the case, but when we found out Flower was available, we switched to the special needs program. We weren't sure how he got the original home-study. We told Chris our home-study talks about Flower specifically so he was on his way to the hotel to look at it. Well, turns out we brought the original one rather then the updated one! Grrr. I hurriedly got online to see if our social worker or agency worker were online. They were not but my cousin Kami was and saved the day! I gave her both Jessica and Diana's numbers and she called them for me and asked them to get online. With their help, we soon realized that the INS must have sent the original home-study to the embassy rather then the updated one. Diana was able to get a woman from her agency to fax us the updated one. When Chris arrived Diana called him and then he and KG went to the business center in the hotel and picked up the faxed copy. He said he would be back in two and a half hours to pick us up for our embassy appointment and all should be well. Without that, we would have just been delayed in getting Flower's visa but thankfully Kami was on and Jessica and Diana were available! :) Especially since it was 10:30 p.m. Diana's time and 8:30 p.m. Idaho time! Flower went down for a nap shortly after and I got busy uploading photos and trying to catch up. We haven't gotten online here because it costs $12.50 a day! Ouch. But since we had to get ahold of our agency I will now take advantage and get us caught up. :) I really love the internet and have withdrawals when I can't get us so this made me one happy camper! ;) At 2:30 p.m. we went down to the lobby to meet Chris and all the other families going to the embassy. We all got in a bus, about 16 families, for the half hour bus ride. When we arrived we were all guided to the fifth floor, then sat in chairs and let the kids play. We all had to go to the window, family by family, and just verify our paperwork. We were happy when we were told our updated home-study had the information they needed! We then had a lady stand in front of the entire group and give us instructions and then we all had to stand and take and oath. I got a little choked and was happy to see I wasn't the only one when I turned around to see Michelle Smith full on crying. It was a sweet moment, all there for the same purpose. At that point it was done and then our babies visa's were brought to us. It's all over! She is ours and there's nothing anyone can do about it now! :) As we were standing outside waiting for the bus to arrive i was taking a photo of the building and was reprimanded. Well, the guard stuck his hand in front of the camera to block the photo and said I couldn't do that, but he was too late and I got it anyway! After we got back to the hotel we ordered room service. the prices here are double what they were in Xi'an but we weren't in the mood to go out. We were very happy with our food though! I got fish and chips and KG got gorgonzola and walnut filled ravioli. They were both delicious and it was really nice to have us enjoy our meal for once. We both shared with Flower. We both keep saying things like, "I guess I'll have to get a good steak when I get back to the states" or "I guess I'll have to have a good salad when I get back to the states." We definitely can't wait to eat some good food! KG prefers the Chinese food he had in Beijing the best so far. I had a really good caesar salad several nights in Xi'An but the salads here so far are not good! Anyway, we just played in our room the rest of the night as I uploaded photos. Flower is now sleeping soundly and KG is watching a movie. I also have been able to access all my favorite blogs!! I couldn't access them in Beijing or Xi'An. Finally, after 15 days, I can check up on all the ones I previously stalked! ;) It's has provided me with some good reading the last couple hours as I upload photos. Thanks goodness for fast internet here.

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