Napping and Eating

Today was our last full day in Nanchang. We had another lovely morning with Katie being her usual charming self. We were up a little bit earlier than usual so we attempted another bath…very successful!! Katie’s tummy looks better, not as red.

We Skyped with a couple of people and went down for breakfast. Our stomachs were feeling considerably better although Mom’s still wasn’t 100%. We got ready to go on our little outing to see the Pavilion of Prince Teng but Mom decided she really need to stay in for the day and take it easy.

Our trip was right around Katie’s nap time so she wasn’t happy but as soon as she got in the carrier and the bus started moving, she was out! She slept pretty much the entire time we walked around the Pavilion. I absolutely LOVE carrying her around. I was so hoping she would take to it. I brought three different options to China for carrying her in case she hated one and liked the other. I know it’s a small window of time so I’m savouring every moment she’ll let me carry her. That being said, my body is feeling really tired after 5 days of this new task. I’m strong but it’s a different adjustment than when a new mom starts carrying an infant and builds up her strength gradually as the baby grows. Katie is now 22 pounds so it’s taking it’s toll as I get used to the extra weight. I’m certainly getting my exercise but boy could I use a massage!

The Pavilion was gorgeous – it was rebuilt 29 times since 653 A.D., the latest being in 1989.
We climbed a lot of stairs but now there’s an elevator inside to take you up for the view. The Pavilion sits on a river and the other side is all modern buildings – great contrast in past and present. I bought Katie’s first souvenir at one of the gift shops. It’s a glass charm with a bunny drawn on the front (she was born in the Year of the Rabbit). The woman wrote her name “Chen Chen” in Chinese on the inside of the tiny charm with a small brush…beautiful! We have been calling her “Katie Chen Chen” because her given name of Chen was used as the pet name Chen Chen in her foster home. It’s so cute and we’ve included Chen in her English name anyway, so we’re using old and new šŸ™‚

I enjoyed the beauty of the Pavilion and cursed myself immediately for not bringing my big camera. Since Mom wasn’t coming along it meant that I had to carry Katie in the front and my back pack on my back. I was worried about negotiating the straps of the camera too…just too much….but I should have tried it. So many great photo opps! Others in our group were kind enough to take photos for me.

We headed back to the hotel, everyone a little more tired than we expected. We were going to go shopping but called it quits instead. I went to the room but Mom was in a deep sleep at around 1:30 so SK and I wandered the hotel for a while. We couldn’t find any food we wanted. The coffee shop we like was WAY too smoky …despite the sign on the counter that declares the whole area non-smoking. People don’t seem to care about smoking rules here as much here as they do in Beijing. I was actually trapped in an elevator for 10 floors the other day with two guys who were smoking…I couldn’t believe it!!

We ended up having some Congee for Katie and soup for me in the same old dining room where we have breakfast – we sat by a window for a change of scenery. They like to put all the families with babies in a certain section but we were the only ones there so I guess they didn’t mind. Probably a good thing because SK had big appetite and was very vocal about what she wanted.

Eventually we went back to the room and Mom was up. I was exhausted! I lay on the bed and was out cold in no time. Katie also managed an afternoon nap which is sort of new. I woke up to the sounds of her playing with her Bibi (Mom)….SO cute! So, we all managed a nap today!

Napping and eating have both been challenging here. We’re usually busy during the day so naps are tricky. The food is an ongoing challenge…I’m not exactly sure why. Since we love Chinese food, I thought it wouldn’t be a problem but since communicating is tricky and I’m vegetarian, I guess we’re less likely to take a risk. We do have to be careful to eat things that we know have been cooked properly. We’re kind of sick of the hotel food but it’s such a huge effort to go out since we want to avoid crossing any streets šŸ™‚ We also never really get to have a proper dinner because Katie goes to sleep so early. We didn’t do any better tonight. Mom was ready to get out for a bit so we went for a walk. Grabbed some of the teething sticks Katie likes at the children’s store around the corner and then walked the other direction for a change, where the sidewalks aren’t so crowded. The street near the hotel is full of tiny shops – either food related, flooring, repairs of some kind – and each one is so small that they just spill out onto the sidewalk to do their work. Tough to get around with a stroller. The other direction is clear though so we got some air and bought Katie a little umbrella at a small umbrella shop…that’s all they sell šŸ˜‰

We continue to be stopped by people in the street. Some are so obviously friendly. Some seem really grumpy but then turn out to be friendly after they stop staring. I thought we’d gotten much better about keeping SK bundled up, with shoes on and feet not sticking out but twice today, complete strangers came up to the stroller, lifted up the blanket that was covering her completely, to look at her feet!

We got brave and bought these amazing chive pancakes at one of the little stores we’ve passed regularly. They’ve been calling to me for days! Delicious!!! And Katie liked it too….of course. So, that was dinner – chive pancakes off the street and the coconut milk drink we’ve been enjoying that we keep in the fridge. Oh dear.

Katie had a tough time going to sleep – crying, then happy but restless then finally sleeping…and Mom is sleeping on the other side of me too. Just us girls tryings to get enough sleep in a city that doesn’t stop honking (honestly, it is SO loud here). Tomorrow we pack up in the morning and head back to Beijing. We have only been here for 8 days but it feels like so much longer and we still have another week to go. Tomorrow’s flight now includes a small child – should be interesting!













8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jim and Thirza
    Mar 15, 2013 @ 15:06:24

    Sondi, you look tired. Big long trip you are on.
    Risa, you look great.
    Special K is lovely.


  2. Sydney
    Mar 15, 2013 @ 15:42:12

    so hard to be a tourist in a strange country while at the same time getting to know your new daughter….hats off to you!!!!


  3. scrappinginontario
    Mar 15, 2013 @ 18:02:47

    Oh Risa, As hard as it is physically you’ll never, ever be sorry that you’re carrying SK so much! When I got home I was still carrying Hannah 5-8 hours a day in the carrier and it worked wonders for our attachment! My motto was, ‘I don’t know if we’ll have attachment strugges but I’m going to treat her as if we do.’ It was the BEST. I know I offended people by not allowing them to hold or pick up Hannah for the first few months we were home but in the end it was the very best for her and us and truly that’s all that matters. Looking back now over 3 years later I am SO thankful for all that time that we were attached – literally! šŸ™‚ To this day if she’s having a really rough time of something, putting her in the Ergo (all 4yo, 42″, 36lbs of her) will calm her and help her regroup. Carriers are your friends now and for a long time to come!

    Love to hear how well you’re doing and all that Katie is experiencing. Your talk of sleeping, not sleeping, eating, not eating is oh so normal. You’re doing a great job Mom!


  4. Don Askew
    Mar 15, 2013 @ 18:59:19

    Thanks for taking us on this journey with you. The pictures are so fun and beautiful! Katie is precious and we are looking forward to seeing her in May. we are so proud of you. love, D & M


  5. Barbara kovinsky
    Mar 15, 2013 @ 22:47:52

    Sondi,you look exhausted. Can’t wait to meet Katie. Love reading your blog. You can write a book about this exciting time in your life.


  6. Ed & Barb Friedman
    Mar 16, 2013 @ 16:24:40

    We have been following your wonderful adventure with love & respect for what you have been doing. What a story in pictures & words you will have to show Katie as she gets older. Safe trip home. Love Barb & Eddie

    Sent from my iPhone

    On 2013-03-15, at 10:45 AM, “Special K :-)” wrote:

    > >


  7. Genevieve Wolfe
    Mar 16, 2013 @ 18:43:16

    Gorgeous photos, Risa!
    (from Oct FB group)


  8. Rachael Shay
    Mar 17, 2013 @ 02:17:44

    What an amazing journey you are on! You all look so in love and so beautiful! We are blessed to share a glimpse of your joys and inevitable bumps along the road Risa. Good for you for blogging, these moments are so precious and it will be so lovely for you both to look back on these memories.


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