Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Prayers have been answered today!

Today, everyone in the house got up early, which NONE of us are used to right now. We left in time to drop off the big kids at before school care right as it opened and Jaden soon after that. Darby and Carter were a tremendous help this morning and knew how important it was that I leave on time. They were just great.

Jack and I then took off for Palo Alto and the California Ear Institute (CEI). About a half hour into our trip, I had handed Jack all the toys in my little magic bag for him to hurl on the floor of the car. He was ready to be out already. So, I started on the food. This kid can put away the crackers, let me tell you. It looks like a toss up between what actually made it into the belly and what is all over my car - but it made him happy for a while! Then, he was ready to be out of the car. We listened to music, which he likes to have up REALLY LOUD (note to self - get a new kid music CD). Then, a general meltdown ensued followed by a nap for the last 30 minutes of our drive. Three hours after leaving Sacramento and we were at the CEI office. There is only one good thing that can be said about this and all of our future trips to Palo Alto and it can be said in 3 words: CAR POOL LANE.

Jack then proceeded to charm the office staff and then amaze his audiologists. They performed a bone conduction hearing test on Jack. He sat in my lap in a little booth with a device attached to his head that vibrated sounds on his skull. He turned immediately when the first sound was made and I nearly cried. I don't consider myself to usually be a very emotional person, but God has answered some prayers and it touched my heart to see Jack hear so clearly. Jack has at least one functioning cochlea and maybe two. He heard everything in all frequencies down to 10 decibels. He was very cooperative and this will save us from having to sedate him for further tests. It is clear that a bone conduction hearing aid will help him a lot.

We then went to lunch. I ate some soup, while Jack wondered why I was trying to feed him after he just ate ten pounds of crackers. We then walked around the office area and had all kinds of fun walking along the planters, looking at spiders and ants (and smashing a few)and peering at people who were in the offices. He made many friends (none of them were bugs, though).

Here are some pictures of Jack picking me some flowers. Hard to tell if he is trying to be sweet or mischievous - huh?

We then went to meet with Dr. Choe and Dr. Roberson. What wonderful people these doctors are along with their entire staff. We agreed that there is no urgency for further testing since we know the BAHA (a brand of bone conduction hearing aid) will help him tremendously. We will start with this and some speech therapy and will go from there. So, our next appointment for the BAHA fitting will be on 12/29/06.

Then, Jack and I loaded up for the drive home. By this time, I was out of food and I think Jack's belly was out of room. After some very persistent and diligent tugging on the straps that trapped him, Jack fell asleep. A long day for a precious little boy and a day I will not soon forget.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Okay, maybe not. But, it sure felt like one when Jaden’s preschool director today told me they have a space for Jack! I am so incredibly relieved! I think it will be good for him to be where Jaden is and I really like this school and the teachers. I was not thrilled about trying to find another place for him and making 3 stops every morning and evening. Whew!

We have been home a little over a week. It is hard to believe that Jack has been with us for just 3 weeks. It seems like so much longer than that! He is adjusting to life at the Herne house and his siblings are adjusting to life with Jack. I am trying to figure out how I am going to get out of the house in any reasonable length of time – for anything!

Last week, Carter very generously shared his killer cold with the five members of his family. We all got very sick, very fast. For several nights, everyone seemed to be up with some ailment or inability to sleep. As a result, Mom was not a happy camper. Chris was going to work, so every time someone got up with some hacking cough, I got up, shared in the hacking myself and then tucked the poor soul back into bed. It seemed that by the time I got myself back into bed, someone else was crying or at the bedside. I am glad all that is over. We all seem to be recovering now.

The fantastic news is that Jack is sleeping through the night, in his crib, by himself. A huge accomplishment for this young lad – only after a few rivers of tears. It took about 3 nights of mean mom putting him to bed for naps and night time and letting him cry. He now offers his courtesy protest cry for about 2 minutes and then sucks his fingers while he drifts off to sleep. He does still wake up in the middle of the night, but only with some grunting and then goes back to sleep on his own. This was a tough 3 days for the whole family, but the result is that everyone gets to sleep at night. Poor Jaden had the worst of it since she couldn’t sleep in her bed while her new brother cried. She went from Darby’s bed to Carter’s floor, to mom and dad’s floor. It was a happy night when everyone was sleeping in their own beds all night!

Last week, we had the pediatrician check up. Good news – Jack is developmentally on target except for speech. I thank the Half the Sky program for this. However, he is not even on the growth charts – he is so small. He weighed in at just 21 pounds. I can see that his little legs are getting some chub on them, so maybe he will catch up at least a little bit. He also got 4 shots and was so very brave. He really didn’t cry much at all for this – well, not compared to the going-to-sleep-by-yourself-torture. Then, we had blood work - that was rough. I am glad it is over and I am sure he is too. Unfortunately, it made me think of how many times this little boy is going to have to be stuck with a needle over the next few years as we deal with his hearing and ears. I think it is harder on me than it is on him!

Tomorrow, we go to Palo Alto for Jack’s first ENT appointment. It is my hope that he will cooperate for the behavioral hearing test. If not, he will have to be sedated. I am expecting that they will order his hearing aid on Wed and then we will get it about a week later. In the meantime, I have signed him up for the early intervention program through the school district. They will provide a speech therapist who will come to our home a few times a week – awesome!

Jack and I are enjoying our days together. He loves to play with cars and enjoys being outside. He can’t quite reach the pedals on the trike and wishes very badly that he could. He loves going to the store and the post office with me and is exploring a variety of new foods. He still prefers noodles to anything and so I am using a little trickery to get some veggies in. He ate goulash laced with peas and ravioli laced with green beans. Today, he ate a cup of noodles with tofu chunks – ha! He is also feeding himself with a spoon and fork. See the video evidence here...

In the evenings, Jack is playing with his older siblings. He is still throwing things a bit too much and throws himself a little pity party several times a day if I tell him “No” to anything. Once he is done crying (and often flailing) in his crying spot, he stands up and gives me a big hug. I think it does him good to just let it out. These episodes are decreasing in frequency and length, so I think we are making progress. Tonight, he stood on a stool and helped make the pizza dough with Jaden. He then helped make his own pizza and stuffed his mouth with some of the extra pepperoni. He was soooo proud to be “helping.”

Jack’s vocabulary has been expanding as well. He says “bye, bye” now and likes to say this and take off in the other direction with the little shopping cart. Very cute. He also can say Jaden – though it sounds more like “Ada.” He can sign more, eat, drink, and done consistently. Just yesterday he ran around the corner saying, “mama, mama” and signing “drink.” I got him his water cup and he was so pleased with himself that he was able to tell me what he wanted! I enjoy so much watching his progress!

Sorry, I can't post photos because Chris has the cord I need to upload... More after tomorrow.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Good to be HOME!

Okay, I know it has been a few days since I have posted. So, let me try to recap...

We left Guangzhou early Thursday morning for Hong Kong. The flight went well and we managed to keep Jack awake for this leg. We had a pretty long layover in Hong Kong and Jack insisted on using chopsticks himself in the airport. See the video here...

We then loaded up for the long flight to San Francisco. We flew Cathay Pacific and the flight was just great. The food was good and they gave us two great little kids meals for Jack. He had his first fish sticks, snubbed the potatoes and experimented with peas (I think he may have actually consumed a few). He slept for a total of about 5 hours which was good because it will help us adjust when we get home.

We then did the luggage transfer through customs hauling the cranky boy with us and then sat for our torturous 3 hour layover. We wanted so badly to just be home! Jack enjoyed the airport and loves to watch the service vehicles at work.
He calls cars something like "ta-shey" which we are wondering if it is something in Mandarin. Soon enough, we load up for the short 20 minute flight to Sacramento.

When we arrive, our dear friends, Deb, Trish, Jo and Matthew brought Darby, Carter and Jaden to the airport to meet us. What a warm welcome indeed! They were holding a very nice banner and greeted us a the bottom of the escalators. Jack was very curious about all of this commotion. It was soooo good to see the kids! We split up and rode home. Jack went with Chris and took a little nap en-route with not much fuss about his car seat trap. I will have to post these first family pictures later as my camera was not snapping at the time and I will have to get them from others...

Grandma and Grandpa had a very welcome spaghetti dinner ready for us when we arrived home. So, Jack's first meal at home was a very messy spaghetti feast!

Jack then slept most of the night (like his normal up several times routine). We then kind of woke him up in the morning. He has since really enjoyed playing with the siblings and is exploring the house in earnest. He truly loves the backyard; the sticks, the leaves, the dirt - he is all boy. He is also VERY two and is continuing to test the boundaries - for everything. Jaden is doing so well with him and is enjoying showing him the ropes. A favorite toy in the house is the toy camera - he likes to snap our pictures...

The first full day home was Friday. All the older siblings went to school. I ventured out for diapers and smaller britches for Jack. Chris collected his truck, the mail, etc. We then took Jack to meet and greet at the elementary school. Jack was very happy to have Carter carry him around the class (and Carter was quite proud indeed). When the kids came home, I was surprised for my birthday with a girl's (just Darby and I) trip to the spa for pedicures - fun! Then, back home for the kid-made cake (very nice) and dinner AT HOME (yes!).

Jaden and Jack took their first bath together (the first one that Jack has enjoyed) last night. Jack made a fantastic mess with the water and was very upset when the fun was over. Then, last night was a bit of a mess. Jack was up most of the night fussing. Chris took over in the wee hours of the morning and we are all somewhat cranky today. Overall though, things are going well and Jack is settling in very nicely.

Let's all pray for sleep tonight.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

And Then There Was One

Only one diet coke left. I drank it like champagne to celebrate our last day!

Today started slow, we woke up without any rush and went down for breakfast in the hotel, a very large spread covering all the continents for sure. You can have omelets, french toast, baked beans, dim sum, cheese and crackers, hot wings, fruit, whatever you like! While we were at breakfast, we saw this guy working very hard at rowing his heavy boat upstream just outside. I thought it was such a contrast right outside our five star hotel restaurant. Only in China.

After taking some pictures in front of the fountain in the hotel, Chris took Jack to the play room because mom was not feeling all that well. We then lazed around for most of the morning alternating between packing and watching the Discovery Channel.

While Jack napped today, I was laying next to his crib and he just about melted my heart. He woke with a start and looked up at me and said, “Mama, mama!” and clambered out of the crib, into my arms and gave me a big hug! Very sweet. I am such a softie, I then let him sleep next to me…

We woke Jack up from his nap a little early and got on a bus for the 30 minute drive to the new US Consulate location. It is located in a beautiful, newer area of Guangzhou with numerous high rise buildings. There were about 65 families there today to take “the oath.” You would think that it is some sort of important ceremony, as it is the last step in Jack’s US citizenship, but, its not. Everyone stands up together and raises their right hand while many babies cry in the background because it is actually nap time. Then we all strain to hear what we are to be repeating and try to comply - then she announces, “Congratulations!” Our guide hands us a brown envelope to give to the customs people in San Francisco and we are done. Pretty anticlimactic.

We then met the rest of our remaining group at Lucy’s for dinner. Before we left, I finally gave in and took my Cipro. Chris and I have eaten nearly the same the whole time we have been here and I have no idea what might be making me not feel so good, but my stomach is in this continual churn. Chris seems to be fine. Jack polished off his customary two bowls of chicken congee and ate my sandwich and some of his crackers. I drank water. On the way back to the hotel, I took a picture of Chris with another funny sign warning spitters of their potential punishment (note that 20 yuan is about $2.60 and yeah, that is Chris pretending to spit). I also took a picture of the exuberant, “MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!” sign on the side of our hotel. You will notice the elaborate Christmas decorations in the background of the hotel photos as well. We thought this was interesting and asked our guide in Chengdu if people in China celebrated Christmas. She laughed and said, “No, just the hotels do.” Too funny.

Anyway, enough of all that. Jack is getting into a new phase. I started out signing, “No,” until I realized he can hear that word just fine. I discovered this when I said, “No,” when my hands were full. His response? A big frown. Now, when we say, “No,” to something – like for instance, hurling a grilled cheese sandwich at the lovely girl across the table – he turns and hurls a second piece! Then, when removed from the situation, he launches into a bawl that says, “MY PARENTS JUST CHOPPED OFF MY LEG!” Some might think that this is cute. His parents thought it was cute – the first time. Now, not so cute. Another thing to work on!

So, Jack has been going to bed without much fuss lately as long as you leave a hand on him while he settles down. Tonight? He takes my hand a positions it EXACTLY where he wants it. Demanding little fellow, huh?

He is darn cute when he wants to be and smiles a lot now. If we smile at him, he smiles back. He loves to be twirled around and giggles out loud at this. He jabbers a lot when we are in the room and today got a big kick out of dropping stuff so I would say, “uh-oh!” He is holding his own sippy cup now and is still eating non-stop.

A few last thoughts about our experience…

We leave China this time with a deeper understanding of the culture and heritage of our children. The Chinese people, though not typically religious, are very spiritual and have been kind and helpful. We have enjoyed learning more about the rich history and traditions of China and look forward to bringing all of our children back here someday!

As we have shared our journey with our family and friends, we once again are reminded how blessed we are to have such a wonderful support network. You all have been awesome! Thank you all for your kind words and everything that everyone has done to help out in various ways.

Lastly, we pray for a safe journey home so that little Jack can be united with his forever family. He has waited a long time for this and we can’t wait to be home with him!

Next post – from Sacramento!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Daddy's boy

This morning, we stayed in bed late. Primarily because Jack is still getting up several times a night and it is wearing on mom. After Dad made his bottle this morning at about 5:30am, Jack and I snoozed a little later. This will have to get worked out when we are back home…

We sauntered down for breakfast, and we introduced Jack to french toast, which he devoured. We have been restricting his diet a bit due to the bad bad diapers. This has gotten better, so we are letting him eat a few more things besides rice and noodles now. Hopefully, no more digestive issues (I know you are all glad I shared that with you).

Chris took Jack to play in the play room while I snuck in a workout and showered. It was nice to have some quiet time of my own. We then had to wait in our room for a confirmation that our paperwork was in order. Chris took Jack into the hall to play with the Rife family and then we played some more in the room with some toys Jack confiscated from Emma.

Good news, our paperwork is all in order and all we have to do is go to the consulate tomorrow and take “the oath” and we are done! Jack will then be a US citizen upon setting foot on US soil! We are excited to finish all this.

Chris then put Jack down for a nap. When we got up, Jack was clearly liking all this Dad-time and was not giving me the time of day. He started to cry whenever Chris left the room (even to the bathroom). If I tried to hold his hand today, he put the hand on my side behind his back and snubbed me (this was usually reserved for Dad). It was sort of nice to see him make this shift.

This afternoon, we had the traditional “red couch” photos taken. You will see in the photos, Jack suspicious of the pending torture, me informing Jack of this pending torture and then Jack actually BEING tortured.

After the photo torture, we went on another formula-hunting-trip/adventure. We took a cab (with Maggie, our guide’s help) to Carrefour, which she described as the French version of Wal-Mart. Let me tell you, it was a confusing maze of aisles and escalators and people! We had a heck of a time finding the formula – I think it took us about an hour of searching. Of course, NO ONE in this place admitted they spoke English. This time, we did ask for the scoop – which in China mysteriously does not actually come with the formula, you must ask the clerk for it separately. She dug around behind all the bags and dug out the scoop. Now, Jack can have his formula measured! Chris has been semi-guessing. Something we would have NEVER considered with child #1 (Darby, you lucky girl). Child #4, no scoop? Chinese soup spoon and a good eyeball will work just fine. Throw a little extra in for good measure since he’s skinny…

This evening, we went to dinner at Lucy’s with most of the group to bid a fond farewell to some of the families that will be leaving tomorrow. As I sat there at dinner, I was in awe. Here we sit with children with various needs; one child blind due to cataracts, one child with a cleft nose, two repaired cleft lips and Jack and his cute little ears. All these parents, taking a leap of faith that all will be okay, willing to do anything for these children. They are all special and their little personalities are beginning to emerge. It is wonderful to see them all opening up, willing to share a smile and even laugh. They all know by now that their parents are here for them and will take care of them forever. We all face varying degrees of therapy, surgery and challenges, but I know the Lord is with us all.

Before bed, Jack got a dose of Benadryl (for itching) and a head to toe scabies treatment as this seems to be spreading. He was definitely not thrilled with having cold lotion smeared all over his itchy body. Hopefully this will do the trick and maybe I will get some sleep too.

Last day in Guangzhou, tomorrow.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Medical Exam Day and some adventures

This morning after breakfast, we had to go to the clinic for Jack’s medical exam. He was not thrilled with being examined. The pictures speak for themselves, but I will say that he was never tortured while at the clinic. Interestingly enough, he passed the hearing test! He turned when the nurse made the sounds in each direction.

We then met with the Rife Family and walked to the department store in search of Jack’s brand of formula. An interesting walk. No success on the formula, but we then ventured into the back alley jade market and found some neat little treasures. We walked back and after Chris had told the Rife boys (teenagers) about the meat market we ran across two years ago, they wanted to see it. Well, we found it. I suggested we turn back after a half a block – yuck. Chris and the others insisted they saw dog carcasses among the goats. It was disgusting.

So, after this little adventure, Jack took a short nap in the room and then we met some other families for some tours. We went to these same places when we were here two years ago, but thought it would be good to get out of the hotel for the day. We toured the Six Banyon Trees Buddist Temple and Jack was blessed by the buddist monk here. We also lit some incense and made a wish for each of our children.

Next, we toured the old Chen family temple. The Chen family is the largest family name in the Guangdong province. The temple is beautiful and now serves as a museum and tourist attraction. It was originally built as a place for the family to pay their respects to their ancestors and school their children.

Last, we went to a provincial craft shop and poked around a bit. It was here that Chris and Sal (one the dads we were with), found some snake wine that one could try a sample of. Snake wine is maybe not what you would expect – it is liquor with a snake in the bottle. Yes, a whole, real snake. Probably a bit more disgusting than tequila with the worm, huh? Well, my dear husband actually willingly tried the stuff (and paid a small sum for the privilege)! He did not give it a good review – something like the most disgusting thing he ever had in his mouth…

Tonight, we met some families at Lucy’s for dinner. Families who have been here before will be saddened to hear that the noodle shop next to the White Swan has closed. This was our favorite place for pan-fried dumplings and we were looking forward to it! So, Lucy’s down the street instead tonight. Jack was presented with his first french fry and poked at it like it was a twig. He was happier to eat his chicken congee (overcooked, watered down rice with chicken bits) and devoured two bowls.

Jack is really comfortable and content with us both now. He is very interactive and smiles a lot. He listens very carefully to us and now responds to “Jack” consistently. We are also pretty sure that he is speaking some Chinese to us. Today, we noticed that Jack has two small patches of pustules – one on his leg and one on the small of his back. We immediately suspected it was scabies so I took a snapshot and sent it to the pediatrician in CA (isn’t technology awesome?). The Dr. confirmed the suspicion and we will spot treat tonight and hope it fades. Other than that, Jack is perfectly healthy and ready to grow!

Tonight, he had a little chat with Chris about his siblings and grandparents – view the video to hear his sweet voice!

Tomorrow, we will get the final okay for our paperwork – only a few days left!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Paperwork and Pictures

Our second day in Guangzhou was a bit of a lazy one. We slept in a bit, which was nice as Jack is still waking up startled about every few hours each night. He does go right back to sleep, but this is wearing on me a bit. The breakfast buffet here is amazing, so we took advantage of that. Jack sat in a high chair for the first time, which was great so that he can smear his goo on his surroundings and not his loving parents.

After breakfast, we went to get Jack’s picture taken. You’d thought they filled his mouth with lemons, but he actually just hates to have his picture taken and you have to sneak up on him to get a good one. They weren’t interested in being very sneaky. We also picked up our freshly laundered clothes (I had to include a picture of this - it was 92 yuan for this - about $12).

After that little adventure, Chris took Jack to the play room and I filled out paperwork for his visa. Then, while Jack took a nap, I snuck a little shopping in. This afternoon, I spent a few hours with Jack in the play room. He made all kinds of friends and definitely loves the trucks! This play room is definitely going to get used by the Herne’s – Jack loves it in there.

This evening, we went to a Thai restaurant that was very yummy. Jack polished off two huge bowls of congee and some Thai crackers and some pumpkin. Only way to say it is that this kid can truly EAT. He should be about 4 pounds heavier by the time we leave China!

We played in the room this evening and then mister-I-don’t-want-to-go-to-bed was tortured into a slumber.

We have a few adventures planned for tomorrow, so I will keep this short!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Day 1 in Guangzhou, Ornery Boy and WORDS!

This morning we crammed and shoved and squeezed all of our Chengdu treasures into our bags BARELY getting it all in. I am down to two diet cokes and Chris didn’t make me drink them before we left. At the airport, our bags were slightly overweight and we were lucky or our fabulous guide Sandy said something sweet, because I still have two diet cokes and our bags were all clearly overweight. We were sad to say goodbye to our very wonderful guide, Sandy. She will remain in our hearts forever and we will definitely be keeping in touch with her.

Jack was pretty excited in the airport and insisted on carrying his little lunchbox through security and to the gate. We survived another gate change announced in Chinese. I have found a good strategy is to identify a “marker person” – today it was a lady in orange. When she moved, we moved. We got on the right flight and Jack sat nicely in his own seat and made mischief. He drew his first picture on the China Daily (and partly on the drop-down tray), read the safety card over and over, played I-drop-it-and-you-pick-it-up and ate the mystery lunch. He was very cute and garnered a lot of attention. Once again, when we showed people our explanation card, we got the “thumbs up.” He was a big smiley boy the whole way and didn’t nap.

We met our guide, Maggie and headed off to the White Swan. We understand that the US Consulate has moved since the last time we were here. Maggie says the only thing that has changed around the White Swan is that there are more stores – go figure. As soon as we arrived, we saw many of our Beijing group and everyone seems to be doing well. It was nice to see everyone with their children.

Jack has really opened up today. He is interacting with other people (he played “kick the beachball” in the hall with another little boy) and smiling a lot. He hung out with Chris outside some shops while I poked around and was perfectly happy (and Dad didn’t even have food). But, when we went to dinner, and he really showed his ornery side! He was grabbing stuff on the table and pounding things with the chopsticks and generally being a handful! He really does not like it when I tell him “no” and frowns or jerks away from me in defiance. A little pickle he was indeed!

So, when we get back to the room, I figured I would try to settle him down a little and grabbed the books and the photo album and sat down with him. I was pointing to the pictures and telling him who they were. We got to the last page, and I was saying, “grandma, grandpa.” He liked this page, so I repeated it several times. Then he VERY CLEARLY said, “rampa,” “ramma.” He said this several times and pointed to the correct picture each time! Wow! I even closed the book and he pulled it back, opened to the right page and repeated it several times! So, his first official verbal word is, “grandpa.” Then, he went on this little verbal rant, jabbering and slobbering all over the room. He pointed to me and said “mama.” He pulled out the little baby picture books and babbled his way through them. This is really the first sounds we have heard from him and if this is any indication, he is going to give Jaden a run for her money! He seems to be perhaps speaking some Chinese, because he makes the same sounds for the same pictures every time. His favorite pictures were definitely the cars and trucks.

Anyway, this was all a very exciting end to our travel day. We begin our visa paperwork for Jack tomorrow…

Friday, November 24, 2006

Photos - Last Day in Chengdu

Last Day in Chengdu – Panda Research Base

Well, today is our last day in Chengdu and we have to say in many ways we are sad to leave. We have really enjoyed our time here, getting to know Jack’s birthplace. This is a great city, full of the old and new and rich in history. The people have been both curious and friendly and the food has been tremendous. It will be sad in some ways to leave Jack’s roots behind, but he is feeling more comfortable with us and it is a good time to move on…

This morning we got up early and Sandy took us to the Panda Research Base. The Sichuan province is very well known for Pandas as their natural habitat is primarily contained in the province. The Panda Research Base here in Chengdu houses 50 pandas and is beginning to release them back into the wild. They have made tremendous strides in breeding and have raised many baby pandas here. We were able to get very close to both the Giant Pandas and the Red Pandas. The habitat that these pandas live in is really amazing and very natural with lots of space. Bonus for me – Jack let Chris carry him for most of our visit!

After another wild cab ride, Sandy brought us Chinese fast food to our room and we paid about $1.50 for the whole thing and it was yummy! We got two orders of spicy dumplings, two orders of spicy noodles and a huge order of Jack’s favorite, chicken dumplings. Jack is eating non-stop and we are seriously wondering where this kid is putting it all – he will rival Carter!

This afternoon we spent trying to cram all of our treasures into our luggage, strategically placing things so as to not be overweight on any of our bags – a true art form! This evening, Sandy took us to a tourist area for our last great Sichuan meal and a nice walk.

Jack has officially pounded the spinner toy into submission and it no longer works except as a hammer. He is smiling a lot now and will walk with us no problem. He is going to sleep in the crib with only a short protest and is just a sweet little guy! He played on the bed today for a long time putting all his toys in and out of his lunchbox and pounding them all with the spinner. He is signing “more” consistently and knows the sign “no” (he responds with a resounding frown). He can definitely hear and responds to his Chinese nickname “Guo Guo” (which sounds like go-go) if there is not too much background noise.

Next post: Guangzhou!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Catching Up on Photos




(Isn't this one enough to just melt your heart???)