Recipe for a Forever Family: Take One Mom (formerly from the Midwest), Add One Cutie Pie (formerly from China), then slowly Stir in Two Big Drooly Dogs.

Rebounding from a bad day

It was definitely an "all day in the baby carrier" day today for my little Maeve. :(

First she woke up a little early needing a diaper change. She was still tired, but not enough to lie back down so up she stayed. Did I mention she is teething as well? Then it was time to walk the dogs and she wailed in the stroller. So the baby carrier it was, although I did take the stroller along just in case she changed her mind. She didn't. Maeve did manage to nap during the walk and drank her bottle and her fruit smoothie (Thanks to Michelle for the idea!) down when we arrived back home. Talk about a little potbelly. :) This cheered her up a bit, so she was a happy camper in Baby Signs Class.

Unfortunately, this did not last long, because we had a Dr's appt scheduled for the afternoon. The dreaded "blood tests" and "vaccinations" visit. After a quick nap, we were off - one cranky, tired baby and one "I know I'm in for it" Mom. Everything was fine until we saw the Doctor. He is the nicest, gentlest man, but Maeve was having nothing to do with him. Let the screaming begin...and there wasn't even a needle in sight yet. So after a few minutes of raising our voices to be heard over Maeve to discuss her health and progress (all excellent), our Doctor wrote up the lab work request and arranged to have the vaccinations completed. Did I mention, that she screamed continuously while the doctor was there? I thought this was bad, but it was nothing compared to what was coming.

After quieting down briefly when everyone left the room, the nurse came in with the shots...all four of them, two for each little leg. She was as sweet as can be and completed them as quickly as possible, but I do believe both of our ear drums are still ringing. Still crying it was off to cross the waiting room to the lab to draw the blood. Of course, all eyes were on us crossing the room. Maeve's tear stained, red, blotchy face gave them a hint of the horrors she had experienced. Still, I thought it couldn't be worse...I was WRONG!!

Poor Maeve had to have three vials of blood drawn. One man drew the blood, another held her arm still and I held the rest of her as still as possible. I have never heard her scream like that. She hit new highs and her face turned a color of mottled red/purple. Let's just say I was just as happy as she was when it was over. I put her back in the baby carrier and she snuffled on our way out. I wish I had brought my camera for a picture of the folks in the waiting room on that last walk out. Everyone had a look of genuine concern mixed with slight alarm (fearing they were next) wondering what horrible experiments they had just subjected my daughter too. I have to say the doctor and nurses were really great about it all. I know they are used to it, but still they were wonderful. Two of the nurses even asked about my baby carrier when they saw how Maeve settled right down in it and snuggled into me. I promised to bring a picture of Maeve smiling with me next time, just to prove that it does happen.

After all that I treated Maeve to her current favorite...McDonald's French Fries. She earned a little grease today! What truly amazes me is her capacity to forgive and forget. Although tired and a little clingy (we spent most of the day walking in the baby carrier), she rebounded quite well and was laughing and playing for most of the day. Overall, she handled it much better than I did. I'm still a wreck and not looking forward to the next round of vaccinations in two months. 3 comments

Maeve vs. Camera

The Assignment of the Day - Take cute pictures of Maeve to post on Blog. Sounds simple doesn't it? After all, she is a cutie-pie. What could be more simple?!? Here is how it went...

Maeve, sweetie, sit down there and let Mommie take a picture of you. No sweetie, stay there, stay sitting so I can take your picture...
I know the camera is very interesting, but please sit down for just a minute.

Yes, I love you too. Now sit down so I can take your picture. Okay, you can stand, but stay there so I can take your picture. No no, don't come over to Mommy.

Yes, yes it is tons of fun to grab at Mommy's camera. Lots of fun, but now staying still and smiling is even more fun. Really!! Please, please believe me. Just try it. Just try staying still for Mommy.

You seem to doubt me. Do you doubt Mommy? It is really a lot of fun to stay still to have your picture taken. Really! I mean Really!! Just try it sweetie-pie.

Nevermind. You are right, absolutely right. After 30 minutes and a million blurry pictures, in your face, close ups while child is grabbing at your camera is the way to go.

Mommie loves you too!! 2 comments

Nap Time

It's always good to take a nap with a pal. Of course one settles down for a two hour nap while the other basically naps 23 hours a day. Can you guess which is which? :) 4 comments

Magical Moments

- The first time she says "MaMa" and means YOU!
- Her first step on her own towards you.
- The absolute trust she has in you, falling into your arms over and over, knowing you will catch her everytime.
- Her first smile, her first giggle, her first chortle and her first gut busting laugh.
- The first time, after you have been away, that you come home and her face just completely "lights up" when she sees you.
- That first slobbery kiss.
- How she stops crying and reaches for you in the morning when she wakes up.
- Her calm contentment as she stares at you while drinking her bottle.
- Watching her expand her comfort zone and venture a little further from you each day, always looking back and checking to see that you are near.
- Realizing that your comfort zone is to have her as near as possible.

And the list goes on and on and on and on ... 2 comments

Not Physics, but Babhysics...

As a new Mom, I continue to learn more and more each day.

- Bedtime and Wakeup time
Beware! Letting a baby stay up past their bedtime does not increase the amount of time you can sleep in the next morning. It is actually the opposite. For example, let a baby stay up 1/2 hour past bedtime, guarantees they will rise with loud vigorous cries almost to the minute 1/2 hour earlier than their normal wake-up.

- The reappearing stain/spot.
It is a given. It doesn't matter how often you change their outfit, wash their clothes, whatever, within 10 minutes a stain and/or spot will appear. Usually in a very noticeable place leading your friends and neighbors to think you never wash their clothes. Note - same thing goes for bathtime.

- Crumbs
Immediately upon entering the new home, a baby acts as a catalyst in the until this point dormant reproduction properties of every cookie & cracker in your home. Once the baby is on the premises, said items will instantly multiply and shed crumbs everywhere, places that had never seen a cookie before will now be filled with crumbs. This leaves the new parent with a constant dumbfounded look on their face and a dustbuster in hand, until acceptance finally sets in.

- Cranky time and visitors.
Your normally happy, smiley baby will instantly turn into a crying, snarling beast whenever company comes round. Personally, I feel this is a ploy/blackmail plot on the part of your baby for compensation for displaying their sunny and charming behavior. Don't panic, simply learn the lesson from the toy/baby food manufacturers and give your child 3 month old cheerios. This should do the trick, until age two when expensive, electronic gizmos that break five minutes after the box is opened become the next popular choice.

- Disaster Zone.
As a warning, any baby under two will turn approximately 600-700 square feet of your house into a disaster zone. (I understand from BTDT parents that this area increases & can even spread to the outdoor spaces as the child ages.) Note: I actually read in a helpful tip section of some book that sometimes it is just easier to put the highchair in the shower and wash it down. This was before I had baby and I laughed thinking it was a joke...I'm not laughing anymore.

- Baby Exercise
How do you not lose weight when you have a baby? No time to eat and all the exercise you get. Remember smirking when those crazy speed walkers go by with their 5lb weights? Now I rush about feeding, changing diapers, walking to settle a fussy baby and all carrying an 18 lb weight almost all the time. Talk about weighted squats, not to mention the additional squats 50x a day to pick up all her toys and put them away.

- The Hair Dryer (Arch Villain of all Babies Everywhere)
Without fail, no matter how short or long the length of time it takes to shower and wash my hair, no matter the time or day or night, when I go to blow dry my hair Maeve cries for some attention. It might be that she just woke up, has a wet diaper, is hungry or maybe a simpler reason...she is determined that I wear a ponytail until she goes away to college. 2 comments

Pictures (At last!)

Time for a little snack. I like things crunchy!!

Clean-up crew at the ready.

Equally cute from the front and back view. Look at that smile!

Hi Mommy! I'm coming to get you.

Did you see a big dog around here somewhere?

I did! I did! I did see a big dog!

And finally...
"Come on girlie! Hand over the camera. Don't make me sic my new friend, "Baby", on ya!" 2 comments

Miracles do happen!

Okay, the title is slightly tongue in cheek, but last night was very surprising.

We had a very full day yesterday. In the morning we joined a crowd of hikers/walkers in the inaugural walk of a local trail that just opened. It was an easy four miles (although one of us slept for two miles). After that we spent most of the day at home catching up on some chores (again one of us took a two hour nap). Even with the day's activiities, Maeve & I decided to join the local astronomy club in some star gazing in the evening (open to the public function.) After which we still had time to stop at Target and grab a bite to eat. Needless to say, I arrived home 30 minutes past Maeve's bedtime with a wide awake baby. (Bad Mommy!)

At this point I feared the worst. Bedtime is bedtime, so I proceeded withour bedtime ritual and 15 minutes later was gently placing her in her crib. I was steeled for the crying and screaming...when it happened! Maeve had been fine throughout everything, softly cooing and playing with anything near while I changed her and put her PJs on, now she looked at me, smiled and rolled over to go to sleep...just like that. No tears, no sobs, no muss and no fuss. I am still in shock, thankful, but in shock. 0 comments

Mysteries Revealed

On this new journey of motherhood, I have discovered the truth behind many mysteries that have puzzled humankind for generations, here are just a few.

1) How can one tiny baby produce 2.5x his/her weight daily of green, gooey mucus?
The answer I have deduced is that tiny Martians set up green gooey mucus factories within the baby him/herself. Although very gross to humankind, this green gooey stuff is later extracted from the multitude of tissues used to clean it up and exported back to Mars where it plays an important role in keeping the Martian ecosystem well and thriving.

2) Why do Grandmas always carry extra tissue? I rarely carry it and have always wondered why Grandmas seem to buy the stuff in mass production quantities from Costco.
The answer is they were once mothers of small infants/toddlers and coconspirators with the Martians in their babies. Due to the intensive brainwashing of the Martians and the copious amounts of green gooey mucus Grandmas (formerly Mothers of infants/toddlers) learned to carry large quantities of tissues with them at all times. This habit was never broken and to this day, all Grandmas manage to carry a tissue for every small child within a 5 mile radius. (I'm currently being subjected to these brainwashing activities and have recently purchased a large pack of mini-disposable packages of kleenex.)

3) Why will babies refuse to try the twenty varieties of baby food that a parent has just purchased, then happily chomp down the cheerios that have been in the cupboard for the last three months?
This is actually a marketing ploy brought upon by the baby food manufacturers. Unbeknownst to the parents, babies are recruited by said companies either directly or by other pint sized undercover babies (& you thought it was just a play group). Lured in with the promise of huge rewards, babies are told to look slightly interested in as many as possible baby food types & flavors at the store, and then refuse them at home. Overall, a very successful campaign for the manufacturers, but the babies end up losing out. You would think with all the money they should be making, their college funds would be well stocked, but alas babies are not that fiscally responsible and take their payment in three month old cheerios. Some try for more, but the baby food manufacturers refuse to negotiate their contracts which results in horrible frustration for the babies. What some see as colic, is actually a baby crying for/demanding his lawyer after being cheated by said companies.

4) After spending $100s of dollars on new toys, why do babies decide the wrapper or box top is so much more fun to play with, completely ignoring the new toys?
For the answer, please refer to question & answer #3, but substitute the toy manufacturers. You would think the babies would learn, but alas this doesn't happen until approximately age 8-12, sometimes later. (After the purchase of your next large appliance, leave the box out for your older kids and see what I mean. Please note, large appliance manufacturers are not part of this conspiracy.)

There is more, but I'll limit it to this for now. 2 comments

Baby Sign Class

Today was a very good day! After a quick trip to introduce her to some of my friends, we headed off to our first Baby Sign class. What a success! Although Maeve completely ignored the signing going on around her, she had a blast in class. The instructor had brought and dumped out so many toys that I lost count, then there was the fact that two of the other babies are the same age as her, not to mention all the singing and music in the class. Maeve played, bobbed with the music and constantly checked the other kids out, eventually going over to one of the other little girls and sitting next to her. She even played with some of the kid's spoons that were laying out (temporarily forgetting they are her archenemy within this universe.) Maeve had so much fun that we can not wait for our next class next week.

We also stopped by the local YMCA to check out what they had to offer. Starting next month they have "Mommy & Baby" swimming and also Baby Gymtime. I will probably sign up for one or both of these courses as well, depending on how she is progressing.

Later in the day we went out for a walk in our stroller with Grandma. That was fun too, although in the picture Maeve is giving me the eye because I do not have her in the baby carrier (her preference.) She is making strides sleeping through the night, still waking up, but for shorter and shorter periods. Tonight I had to go into work for a late meeting and left her with Grandma with strict instructions that bedtime was 9pm. 10:30pm when I walked in the door guess who was still up and wide awake?! Grandma determined since it was her last night with her for awhile (they fly home tomorrow) that she was using "Grandma's perogative" and keeping her up. How could I be mad when I saw the look of pure happiness light up Maeve's face when she turned and saw me come through the kitchen? Grandma & Mom were both happy. Although, Maeve wasn't happy for long when I put her to bed 10 minutes later. ;) 0 comments

The Wee Hours of the Morning

What happened to my sleep through the night 10 straight hours baby?

It is probably just the transition and her intolerance of a wet/dirty diaper, but Maeve is waking up every night between Midnight and 2am. Luckily, I have discovered that she just needs a diaper change and can be tucked pretty easily back into bed. She does cry for a few minutes, but then settles down to sleep. Good thing for late night showings of "Law & Order". :)

Maeve is doing fine. Her cold is pretty much under a control, and should be a thing of the past in a couple of days. She still prefers a bottle to solid food, but she is eating more and more solids each day. It is a big experiment to see what she will eat. The latest conquest is "Chef Boyardee", Grandma's muffin and gumming pretzel sticks. The amusing thing is that I can feed her by hand, but she refuses the same items when I try to feed her with a spoon. Maeve dispises the spoon and lets me know it at every attempt. I'm giving up the spoon for now and contenting myself with hand feeding her for now. She is still perfecting her pincher grip and getting food into her own mouth. She can do it, but more often than not it ends up all over her, me and whatever other object is nearby. I am planning on giving her the spoons to play with, hopefully this will soften her disposition to them. For now my goal is to fatten her up prior to our next doctor's appointment in two weeks.

As for me, I'm doing fine as well. I've determined messy hair pulled into a hasty pony tail or hair clip, dark circles under the eyes and assorted food stains that appear seconds after clean clothes are pulled from the dryer really are a sexy and attractive look for me. Why I didn't think of it earlier I do not know. Of course, when I have Maeve in my arms and I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I realize I have never looked better and wouldn't trade a moment of the past two weeks for all the eye concealer in the world. :)

Monday will be an exciting day. I'm taking Maeve in for a brief visit to friends and then to our first Baby Sign class at a local baby store. The class is more for me to learn so I can teach her, but Maeve loves other babies and should enjoy it too. As she becomes more accustomed to everything, I'm looking forward to signing up for Mommy & Baby swim classes (should help with her learning to like bathtime), joining the local babywearing group and one or two other activities that sound interesting. Now if I could only find a Mommy & Baby yoga class. :) 0 comments


She walked by herself for the first time today. 3 steps from the couch to me, but 3 steps all on her own. We knew it was just a matter of time as she could stand up by herself and toddles around the furniture holding on as she goes. It was just that she was in a crib most of the time and didn't have an opportunity to walk before this. Now, on the flipside, she has room and plenty of encouragement to roam around.

More news about how she is getting along with the dogs. I'm happy to report that Maeve and Baby & Smudge are all fast friends now. Smudge even received a kiss today. :) Please note, I did not get a kiss, but the dog had one. Hmmm, plan on working on this one. :))

All in all it was a very good day, with high hopes of it being a good night as well. Maeve slept in until 10am this morning after waking up from 2-3am last night. After that she seemed back on schedule and went down with barely a peep at 9pm (her normal bedtime) tonight. Time will tell if she sleeps the whole night, but I am hoping. Her jet lag is less every day and her cold has greatly improved as well. Today we had a couple of short trips and she goes into her car seat with barely a cry now, not to mention she likes her stroller, honking the play horn as we go along. She even sat in her highchair without crying and took her nap in her playard (play pen) pretty easily. Now if she would just warm up to bath time, we would be in fine shape. :)

Well enough of the update, here are some pictures...



I've had a couple questions on comments, so here is a quick note.

I've just changed the settings to allow everyone the ability to leave comments. Prior to this, you had to be a registered user of blogger to do so. Initially I thought this the best way to go, but I've had requests to change this to accomodate the non bloggers of the world. Careful now, it is addictive. After reading several blogs you will have the overwhelming urge to start your own blog. :) 0 comments

Dogs Day Afternoon

Well today was the big day...the dogs came home. So, how does one 17lb baby react to two 100lb dogs?

Very calmly at first...I was shocked. It wasn't until Baby came over and licked her foot (I was holding Maeve in my arms) that she decided she had had enough of that and started to cry. Even then it wasn't too bad. Maeve doesn't want the dogs near her, but is fine if they are on the other side of the room. As the evening progressed, she was actually fine if they walked by her, just cried if they looked at her. The dogs, Smudge & Baby, took to Maeve without a problem. Both are trained as therapy dogs and they specialize in children, so this wasn't any big deal to them. They were more stressed to realize that with Grandma & Grandpa in the house, that the couch wasn't big enough for everyone. They are actually using their dog beds tonight...shocker!

Big news on the Maeve front. Our doctor's appointment today was a success. Well, she wailed, but she is very healthy. She is above the 50th percentile for height, but only at the 3rd percentile for weight. My pediatrician is not worried on the weight and reassured me that she is fine. She has only been bottle fed to this point, and he feels as she moves to solid foods she will plump right out. She is slim, but not skinny and not malnourished at all, so she will be fine in that regard. After discussing it with the doctor, we decided to wait two weeks to do her bloodwork and all the other standard tests. She is still adjusting and since she looks so good, we decided it wasn't worth stressing her out anymore at this point.

More big news. She definitely loves her Grandma & Grandpa. After a cranky day and a half suffering from jet lag and a slight cold, she woke up from a long afternoon nap feeling like a brand new baby. Playing and giggling with Grandma & Grandpa. Then going to Grandma and letting Grandma hold her without crying while I was in the room in plain sight. Another first!! Grandpa introduced her to the wonders of Tollhouse crackers and soon they looked just like twins, both sitting on the couch watching TV with a bunch of cracker crumbs all over them. I can't wait for her to meet her Uncles & Aunts!

No pictures today. Maeve so upset & cranky with jet lag & transition, not to mention the faucet her nose has turned into, there hasn't been a good time. Maeve is recovering quickly from her cold, so I'll pull out the camera and take pictures again tomorrow. 1 comments

Our First Day Home

I awoke early this morning with a list of things to accomplish prior to Maeve waking up.
1) Add Maeve to my insurance
2) Make Doctor's appt (wouldn't let me do prior to her being on my insurance)
3) Ensure all necessities unpacked
4) Blow dry hair :)

The last item I haven't been able to do since she arrived as she wakes up whenever I even head over in the direction of the blow dryer. But I am happy to say, all items were completed prior to Maeve's 6am wake-up. After a bottle she was a happy little camper. We even took a walk to the local coffee shop to pick up some sweet rolls for her Grandpa. Of course everyone "oohed & aahed" over her and I was very excited to start introducing my new daughter to some of my neighbors that were out and about. I did keep it brief as I don't want to overwhelm her too much. She already has a lot to take in. This morning after she woke up, we played in her room for a bit. She kept looking around the room, not knowing what to fix her attention on first. I think she realizes it is all for her and she is just amazed. So for the next few days, I plan on keeping it low key. No visits, limited trips out of the house, aside from the doctor, store and a morning walk when it is nice and quiet outside. Later I'll introduce more things into her daily routine as she becomes more accustomed to everything.

I started this post earlier this morning and am just getting back to finish it. Maeve is working through her jet lag. It has been a struggle to keep her awake and active today to help her through it. I did let her take a morning and afternoon nap, but woke her up after a hour or so each time. She is adjusting, but it will take awhile before her internal clock is completely reset. Here are some pictures from the trip. I had Maeve in the baby carrier so much that Dad has named most of the pictures, "Laura and the back of Maeve's head". :) The last picture is of her sleeping at home in her crib.


We Are HOME!

Sorry for the lapse in my daily blogs while in China. I wanted to let everyone know that everyone (grandparents, Mom & Maeve) all made it back just fine. The first two to three hours of the flight were tough as it was Maeve's bedtime and she was tired...only problem is that she likes to be laying down on her stomach when she sleeps. So the question is, "How many times can Mommy walk up and down the airplane aisle with her upset little girl?". The answer is, "Many, many times. " :) She finally crashed out splayed across my Dad's and mine laps. It was adorable.

Now that is just a memory and Maeve is zonked out in her new room and enjoying life again. Just to bring everyone up to date. Guangzhou was very nice. Maeve really opened up, not just with me, but Grandma & Grandpa too. She smiles, laughs, giggles and plays. She still grieves a little bit, but now she looks to me for comfort and is comforted. Such a huge step for such a short time span.

Just to catch everyone up. We arrived late on Friday night in Guangzhou and checked in to the very lovely White Swan Hotel. This is the last leg of the adoption trip for everyone, so we saw all the other GWCA families with their newly adopted children from other provinces. It was a real treat to see all the new and expanded families. While there we finalized our paperwork for the American Consulate to obtain our daughter's Visas allowing them to come into the US and become citizens. So we tromped off for passport photos and then the doctor's exam. All went fine, except Maeve cried whenever I had to hand her to anyone. Of course, about half the babies did this too, so we were not alone. After that, we were pretty much done and just waiting for the Consulate to process our paperwork and issue the Visas. We did some sightseeing and, of course, some shopping. I had a lot of fun bargaining the prices lower - I was in my element! Maeve had a great time seeing the sights, visiting the White Swan play room and hanging out with Grandma & Grandpa. We did have one scare! Our last stop on Tuesday was a visit to the US Consulate to take our oath and pick up our Visas, then straight to the airport. We arrived to discover that the computers were down and they only had processed half of the Visas, so some families would not be able to leave (their babies did not have legal status to enter the US without the Visa). That was a heart stopper, luckily we were in the group that made it and were able to travel on time. Unfortunately, I know some of the families that did not get their Visas and will possibly be delayed. Our guide was on the phone the entire trip to the airport and walking us through our check in process working with the US Consulate on this. He told me before we left that the computers were back up and everyone else would have their Visas first thing in the morning. I will say the US Consulate was great about this problem. They really took it seriously and had escalated the problem stateside. There wasn't anyway they could issue the Visas, but they expanded their hours and dedicated themselves to resolving this issue. They were there to answer any question and/or concern and really did their best to take care of the families that were without their Visas.

I promise I will download pictures and post them tomorrow. 4 comments

A Good Day

After receiving our babies, we have had one activity or tour planned each day. Wednesday was a trip to Walmart to stock up on formula, diapers and other baby goodies. Thursday was a trip to a historic area of Chongqing, full of shops and odds & ends to see. After the trip to the historic area some of the families went out to a local Chinese restaurant for lunch. It amazes me how cheap it is to eat in China! This was a nice restaurant and they brought out dish after dish after dish, placing them all on a lazy susan in the middle of the table for us to share. At the end of the meal we split the bill. Including tip, it was about $7 a person. It is more expensive to eat at McDonalds at home!

In the afternoon, some of the families had requested to go to the zoo and see the pandas. I had originally wanted to do this, but after the excitement of the morning, Maeve was all tuckered out and napping too nicely to go. So Mom & Dad went and had a nice time. When they came back, they saw a completely different Maeve! She woke up from her nap, had a bottle, looked around and decided she liked me after all. :) We played all afternoon and she never cried once. Even better...she laughed. Yes, she was laughing and smiling all afternoon. Now that will beat those big stinky pandas any day of the week! :))

Maeve is definitely attached to me and she is getting used to Grandma & Grandpa too. Grandma even got to give her a kiss last night without a bit of fuss. This morning, Grandpa held her while I ate breakfast. She wasn't too happy at first, but then she settled in and enjoyed her little walk with Grandpa.

I have to say that I personally believe my baby carrier (I have a Mei Tei style carrier, specifically a Babyhawk Mei Tei) is the best invention since the wheel. Maeve loves it! If she starts to fuss or become upset, in she goes, we walk a little bit and she calms right down. She just snuggles in it as close to me as possible and is just is content as can be. I'm so glad I brought it with me and didn't wait until I came home to try it out.

Here are some pictures. Enjoy!


Our First Full Day

Our first day together went very well. Maeve was much calmer and definitely attached to me. My poor little girl is still greiving and will be for some time. She calls for her nanny anytime she gets upset. I'm so sad that I can't produce her nanny for her, but I know that in time that attachment will transfer to me. I'm already working my way up there.

Maeve doesn't appear ever to have had solid foods, so we are sticking to the bottle. I'm trying to introduce some easy stuff like rice, congee and bits of fruit. She likes to watch me eat, so when she grabs at that I give her a little. She did manage to figure out how to get ALL the cheerios out of the snack trap. She didn't eat them, but was fascinated by all the "new" toys she had to play with. :)

Most of the day went well. I think she only thought about her nanny when she was fussy because of hunger or needed her diaper changed. Then she was looking for the person who normally did this, missed her and was so sad. I did get some smiles and chuckles from her by the end of the day and she reaches for me if I don't have her in my arms already. Last night while walking the hallways in our new nightly routine, she was snuggled in as close as possible to me and just as content as could be. It is a slow process, but we will make it just fine.

Yesterday, I finally looked around at all the other babies and it amazes me the different personalities each of them have. All are about the same age and many from the same orphanage, but that is where the similarities end. Some are timid, barely willing to look up at their new parents, others are shreiking with laughter already. Some are little barrels, eating anything in sight and others are the finickiest of eaters. All are just amazing!

Here are some pictures. Dad has most of the day's pictures on his camera, so this is just of mine. "Baby behind Bars". :) Actually, these are the pictures I took when I layed her down for her nap and later at night when I layed her down to go to bed. She likes to play with her toys for a few minutes first, then settle in.


She's Here!

My group met at 9:30am to fill out paperwork and had an unexpected updated photo!
Then at 2pm it was time to leave to go get Maeve. After a short drive to the Civil Affairs Office and a quick trip on the elevator to the 14th floor, we were there. The place was organized bedlam, as there were several groups of families there completing their paperwork. Everyone else had their babies, so it was easy to spot the nannies with our babies. They were in a separate room. The walls were glass so of course we all flocked over and stared. I picked Maeve out right away!
Now it was time. One at a time they called the families to meet their new children. Dad was videoing and Mom took pictures of it all. And here she is...

Some of the babies never even cried, not my daughter, she has a set of lungs and knows how to use them. Don't worry, it is a good sign! After spending some time on the last bit of paperwork, we were able to speak to the nannies. Maeve's favorite nanny answered all of my questions and it was obvious she was very well loved while in the orphanage. I am happy to say she is healthy, not even a runny nose and completely beautiful. All the girls from Xiu Shan Orphanage had the same cute little outfit on and all looked wonderful! After all this excitement, it was time to go back to the hotel. Maeve took it in stride only crying a little along the way. She was starting to stare at me when she thought I wasn't looking, but looked away as soon as I looked at her. I had put her in her baby carrier and that really helped calm her down. She loves her baby carrier (Thank you Aunt MaryAnn!!)

When we got back to the hotel, we met with our guide to go over Maeve's schedule for feeding and sleeping that the nannies had given us. It was in Chinese so Michael interpreted for us. Then it was time for a diaper change and a new set of clothes. Although Maeve wasn't happy about either of these things, it allowed me to get a close look at her and check to make sure she was healthy. She is and a good weight too. She is a year old, and is fitting into the 9 month sizes that I brought along. Later, she took a little bottle, but not much. She was still looking around and getting use to her new surroundings, but now she didn't look away when I looked at her. She was definitely clinging onto me at this point. So, what's a new family to do? Off to dinner of course. :)

We went to the hotel restaurant and Maeve took it all in. She watched as I ate and tried a little rice and a bit of the congee I ordered for her, but she still wasn't that interested. She did start to babble and I think I almost saw a smile (or at least she thought about it) when we were playing with her keys. After dinner, we hung out with Mom & Dad for awhile, while Dad downloaded all of his pictures for me. Then it was time to walk the hallways. :) Maeve was tired, but not interested in sleeping just yet. I know they play music at her orphanage, so we walked and sang a lullaby. She loved that and stared at me the whole time I was singing. The nannies also said she liked cartoons, so later we sat on the bed and watched Chinese cartoons and played with her toys. She still cried every once in awhile, but just short little bursts and then she was done. At 9pm it was time to put her down for the night. I was a bit nervous on this one. Sure enough, she wailed when I set her down, but just for a minute. She then flipped over, looked around and literally just sprawled out to go to sleep. The funny part was when she suddenly jumped up and hurridly looked around the room until she saw me. It was like she was thinking, "That's right. I must stare at her still for awhile." I gave her her keys and she proceeded to go all around her crib, alternating playing with her keys and staring at me. She had quite the day!

Currently, she is sound asleep and I can already tell a difference in her from this afternoon to this evening in her disposition and how she is getting along. She went from utterly terrified to calm, from not even wanting to look at me to staring right back at me, to pushing away any new toy given her to playing. She was starting to babble before I put her down and definitely likes to be held (again thank goodness for the baby carrier.) By the way, she doesn't suck her thumb, but the two middle fingers of her hand. It is so cute. 4 comments

6 Hours to Maeve

Everyone in the group is all ready! We meet with our guide this morning to fill out paperwork and then this afternoon we board the bus to go to the Civil Affairs Office. Babies at 2:30pm this afternoon. Dad is trained and ready on the camcorder. Mom has her tissues ready and my backpack of goodies is all set! 1 comments

Still One Day to Maeve

Talk about an exciting day. :)

Besides all the excitement of the false alarm for Maeve's arrival we had another fun filled day. The weather cooled down and it rained over night. Still drizzling this morning, I half expected not to really enjoy the days outings. I was wrong...we had a great time! The group started the day with a trip to E'Ling Park. This is situated very high over the city and has a wonderful panoramic view of all of Chongqing. It was a pleasant drive there and well worth the short hike up a steep path to the view point. Also situated in the park was the old museum (there is a newer more modern version now) of the Three Gorges Dam project. We had a guided tour of the museum and the museum guide did a wonderful job explaining everything to us about the dam and the areas it affects. In the museum was a very nice gift shop (of course) that specialized in local art. Both Dad & I purchased Dam memorabilia and I also found a beautiful piece of art painted onto a leaf, a specialty of this area.

After the museum, the group headed down to a Tea House and was treated to a delightful presentation on tea preparation and encouraged to taste several varieties. Everyone really enjoyed this and it showed with all the bags of purchases that we were all carrying on our way back to the bus. I especially liked the sales girl. Every tea I asked a question about, she carefully explained it to me while taking it and putting it into a bag for me to purchase. I asked a lot of questions, so I might be looking to buy an extra suitcase here. :)

After this, our guide had arranged a very nice lunch in a restaurant specializing in the local favorite - Hot Pot. Here, they have a cauldron of seasoned boilig water in the middle of the table. Ours was separated in to two sections, one for Hot and another for Mild. The waitress brings over a variety of vegetables, meats, noodles, etc. and puts them in the Hot Pot to cook. When they are finished, she ladles them out into a small bowl by your plate. Each person, placed vinegar, garlic and sesame oil to their taste in the bowl to further season the food and then you eat. The food just kept coming and we kept eating. It was a real treat. Some even tried the Hot variety, which was extremely spicy and hot.

Then it was back to the hotel, where Mom, Dad & I joined Michael & Candace (one of the other adoping couples) in the hotel bar to chat for awhile. We sampled one of the local beers and it was really good. I read somewhere that the German influence in China made for good beer. Not sure on my history of the German influence, but I will vouch for the good beer. :)

Later in the evening, we had our "Baby False Alarm" that I described in an earlier post. After that excitement we all met for cake to celebrate our babies a day early. On my way to the party, guess what I saw. Not our babies, but a group of babies on their way to their new parents. That will be me tomorrow!


Site Visits