The Bird Park

Katie slept for 12 hours! Mom and I were close behind. We’re so lucky she’s a good sleeper! (Katie, not Mom).

I love our morning time…we give SK some water and a toy, she sits for a while and plays while I prepare some cereal which makes her extremely happy. She knows where we keep the water (there’s a little fridge in cupboard) and where we keep the snacks (on the desk). Last night I got hungry for some of the chips we’d bought but I took them into the bathroom and ate some with the door shut so sleeping ears didn’t hear the crinkle of the package πŸ™‚ She continues to be extremely interested in eating although today we didn’t have as much “passion” over it (I’m being kind).

We met a family here who is on a “homeland trip” which means they are coming back to China with their adopted daughter who is now 10 or 12 and is wanting to see where they’re from. This mom said her daughter was the same way with food…only worse, she would eat so much that she would throw up. It passed. Her daughter was also in foster care and apparently even the foster moms (not just the orphanages) keep the babies on a rigid schedule (eating/sleeping) so although Katie came to us well nourished (she has pudge on her legs πŸ™‚ but she may not have had food when she wanted or needed it. The grown daughter on the homeland trip, Keeley, is SO sweet. She was very taken with Katie!

We had wonderful playtime this morning after cereal. Katie was more interested in the toys I brought. She would take each item out of the squishy square and hand them to me. She loved the finger cymbals. I held one and she used one to bang against mine and ring! One of her favourite things is to drag clothing out of the laundry bag over by the mirror and look at herself all proud. She’s definitely getting more adventurous and getting into more things that she shouldn’t so we’re keeping a close eye.

Katie and Mom have a beautiful bond…Mom seems to naturally speak “Katie”…she understands what she needs and wants. Katie loves her and is so content sitting with her and playing with her. Mom doesn’t enjoy it much but she suffers along quietly πŸ™‚

The bathroom is still the most fun. Today’s big achievement was changing diapers standing up…NO fuss from her at all! I didn’t while she stood at the tub and threw toys in. Miracle!!!

Over all there was much less unhappiness today πŸ™‚ We FaceTimed Cindy and Tyler in for breakfast and Katie recognized them right away and smiled especially big at Tyler. She had her first mango today. I told 2 families from the U.S. about Music Together classes they should look for in their area….always pushing the music! We also managed to Skype with Dad (and neighbours Jill and Michael) and with Judy and David. Katie was in fine form! We also got a brief amount of time with Tim and some friends at York right after his show…how crazy that we can communicate like this…I still can’t get over it.

So, our big outing today was a group trip to the Bird Park. It was such a perfect thing to do! We had a nice bus ride for about 20 minutes. Brought Katie in the Beco so we had our special bus time. Then had about an hour and a half of wondering in the gorgeous park. I can’t imagine how beautiful it would be if it were further into the Spring. It was an overcast day and it got quite cool. We have learned to ignore the weather reports entirely. I have been expecting really warm weather here but it’s not the case at all (except for one nice day but it wasn’t the 29C they forcast).

There were several different areas to the park, All very traditional and each had a path of the massaging stones arranged in different designs. We saw a big Buddah statue, a lovely pond with tons of goldfish, some old traditional style wooden structures, statues of animals, a courtyard with huge pots in traditional ceramics. It smelled wonderful, it was quiet and it was empty except for our group.

It was so nice to spend unhurried time there with everyone. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful group of families…Carrie and Jim who have Ava (8yrs) and now baby Leah, and Helen and Jeff who now have baby Lisa. I managed to put Katie in the Beco on my back for the first time. That allowed me to use my big camera which made me really happy. We put on her pink hat with the ears for the first time and she seemed happy enough for about an hour. I didn’t have her in a third layer of clothes and eventually it got really chilly. I put on her warm coat and switched her to the front carry and she was asleep in 30 seconds πŸ™‚ More cuddly bus time on the way home. I could have wondered around there all day! There were real tangerine trees, parrots who say “Ni Hao” (hello), some large turtles but ironically not that many birds. Most of my photos can’t be posted because they’re on my big camera. The card reader I bought is for a small size CF card but hopefully I have a few on my iPhone.

We had some lunch when we got back…tuna sandwiches and fries with a latte in the cafe…made us very happy and the change of scenery from the breakfast room was nice. We played for a while, cut some little nails and counted money. Sara needed us to pay for the notary fee and the price had gone up but no one knew…we needed another 1600 yuan (about $250). We are running short on cash so we may have to find a bank machine tomorrow. No one takes Visa! I went down and exchanged what money we we had left.

After lunch, Katie seems to have an small allergic reaction to something…she felt hot and her tummy was very red and she was scratching it. I believe the one and ONLY thing I didn’t bring from the drug store is baby Benadryl. Luckily it didn’t get worse and she seems fine now. Her legs have little scratches we’re trying to heal up because her nails hadn’t been cut for a while but I’m still not sure why she scratches at them. She’s quite good about letting me cut her nails πŸ™‚

She got a little fussy at 5:30pm and was sound asleep by 6pm. I went out for a walk by myself to get a bit of air before bed. Mom and I are both feeling just a bit “off” in the stomach department…and so is Cindy back in Hong Kong. Strange. I picked up some bubbly Sprite and ordered a bowl of rice to have this evening. Dinner wasn’t going to be an option. We’re going to bed early as usual and I’m sure we’ll be fine in the morning.

Forgot to talk about the laundry. We had the hotel do it (for a small fortune). It came back in a basket with all of our t-shirts wrapped in plastic that has the name of the hotel on it. When the woman delivered it to the door, I actually thought she was trying to sell me T-shirts from the hotel. They were so perfectly wrapped we could have gone and sold them on the street…to help pay for the insane price of laundry ($70!). Katie liked playing in the basket so I guess it was worth it πŸ™‚








8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sydney
    Mar 14, 2013 @ 13:07:39

    glad things are settling a bit and a 14 month old that sleeps for twelve hours is dream. As I recall the things that Anson loved best at that age were not toys but things he could climb in like laundry baskets and any kind of water play.


  2. Kathie
    Mar 14, 2013 @ 13:27:35

    Oh Katie is just beautiful! Love reading your blog and hearing about all your adventures. So happy for you all!


  3. Gillian Saunders
    Mar 14, 2013 @ 13:47:10

    Oh I can’t wait to see her…any chance of a Skype date? I know you are probably limited to time but let me know if possible. Have a wonderful day xo


  4. Don Askew
    Mar 14, 2013 @ 13:57:57

    Risa, we’ve held off replying because we wanted to make sure we understood for sure how to do it. I guess it boils down to just trying and here we go. First, we are so happy for you to have had a safe trip and it appears that everything has gone very well for you and your Mom. Marie and I have really enjoyed keeping up with your adventures and the pictures of Katie are just wonderful. We are fine and can’t wait to see everyone when you return. We’ll pray for smooth travel home and that Katie enjoys the trip.


    Don and Marie Askew


  5. Barbara Kovinsky
    Mar 14, 2013 @ 15:11:35

    Sounds like she has bonded to you very well. She is a beautiful little girl. I’m glad you were able to spend time with Cindy and Tyler enjoy yourselves barb


  6. Reggie
    Mar 15, 2013 @ 11:57:34

    This is the best book I have ever read. Can’t wait for the next chapter.




  7. scrappinginontario
    Mar 15, 2013 @ 17:51:37

    What a wonderful day to spend together as a family! Sorry to hear about your tummy troubles. Hope they settle soon.

    Katie is absolutely adorable!! THANK YOU for the larger pictures!! I was aching to see her sweet little face but didn’t want to pester you. :o)

    So glad you’re enjoying your time in China! Trult it is the trip of a lifetime for so many reasons!!!


  8. Genevieve Wolfe
    Mar 16, 2013 @ 18:20:09

    Hi Risa!
    I am sorry I have not yet commented; your blog is a wonder! Katie is so precious, and I love hearing how your time together is unfolding in such a beautiful way. How very very special to share this with your mom too and she with you and her new granddaughter. We too will go to Nanchang this spring or summer, so I am soaking it all in.
    I had been wondering about your teaching music. I had just posted on our FB group about how I felt that the Music Together our older daughter and I took together for years after she came home contributed to our bonding and attachment as well as nurturing her development. Most of all, the classes were fun, and created a special shared history through the weekly gatherings, singing together throughout the week, and of course at bedtime. I’ll never forget a day of flying that was spent with our daughter pointing to songs in the MT books that she wanted to hear and my singing them. It amused her for hours. I am so glad you are spreading the word!
    Thank you for including us on your journey.


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