Nanchang to Beijing

I’m sitting in the bathroom typing again…only it’s a different bathroom. I couldn’t blog last night, we were exhausted from a very long day of travelling. I know people do this all the time (travel with babies) but holy cow, as a first-timer this was stressful!

Packing was a challenge. We didn’t bring as much luggage as everyone else and we really didn’t buy anything but we had to bring back all the clothes that Katie was wearing when she was presented to us (these are an important keepsake for later). Even if you saw the photos from that night you wouldn’t get a sense of just how many layers of clothing she had on. Everything is kind of puffy:-). We also have the set of sheets and little pillow from her bed so squeezing everything in was tricky. I had Sara inquire as to whether or not we could purchase the linens. Katie has been so happy in her crib and the set is very cute (Hello Kitty, which goes with the duct tape we used on the baby gate at home…long story). I thought it might be a nice source of comfort and some consistency as she moves to the new bed here in Beijing (a Pack & Play not a crib) and then home to another different crib. I was so happy we were allowed to buy them and they weren’t expensive…but they do take up space. We managed a morning bath, breakfast and packing pretty well and made it to the lobby in time but it was stressful. Preparing for the first flight with SK required some new brain cells from mom but it seems we had everything we needed.

Between the three families we had a LOT of luggage. Thank goodness we were there to help each other. Checking in was fine since Sara did it for us but going through security was crazy…we can laugh about it now but in the moment it was challenging. We have found that the security gates here are very fast paced and you have to keep up. It’s a stark contrast to the laid back energy of the security guards at Pearson! We go through pretty much the same scrutiny but just faster! I had Katie in the carrier which of course I had to remove to walk through the scanner. On the other side, everyone has to stand on a little platform to be “frisked”….it is quite “hands on”. It really surprised me the first time but this time I treated it like a small massage and kind of enjoyed it:-). They swiped the wand all over Katie while I held her and then made me hand her over to Mom while they scanned me. What would I have done if I was alone? Then of course we had try to gather up everything we’d removed from our bodies along with nap sacks and a heavy carry on suitcase from the belt while the fast pace of processing people continued behind us. I didn’t want to put Katie back in the carrier because I really needed to run to the washroom 🙂 Honestly, it was chaotic but we did it.

We had a window seat I thought Katie might enjoy since she likes looking out the car window but once we were up she didn’t care. I had her back in the snuggly and hoped she would fall asleep in yet another moving vehicle but no luck. It was a 2 hour flight and aside from when we were feeding her snacks, she was not happy at all! Her cries filled the plane (although Sara said she didn’t hear us from the front). She wasn’t bothered by ear pain or anything, she just needed a proper lunch and nap and was tired of being confined. She finally fell asleep in my Mom’s arms for a bit and then mine about 15 minutes before we landed.

We waited until everyone had left the plane – I managed to get her back in the carrier while she mostly stayed sleeping (I’m definitely getting the hang of the Beco), haul my nap sack on the my back and dragged my suitcase out of there while Mom lugged her bag and our coats. I felt like a mule most of the day:-). A long walk to Baggage but everything showed up really fast and a huge thanks to Jim who hauled our bags onto carts before we even saw them coming! Then on to another bus for the ride into Beijing. Back to the Poly Plaza. What a relief to at least be familiar with the hotel. So, we survived the “dress rehearsal” flight although I’m pretty sure I did the whole thing with dried Katie poop smudged on the bottom of my pant leg.

The timing of the flight, 2:30pm, was unfortunate because the babies never really got lunch, dinner or a nap and we arrived at the hotel right around when Katie would have gone to bed for the night but we’d had no food. Well, nothing with any nutrients. Did I mention there are surprisingly few vegetables here? Chinese broccoli is about it. So she eats a lot of rice based food (cereal, congee, plain rice) when we’re not at the breakfast buffet. At least there we can find some fruit and protein. Everything is very sweet too, even these little round baby crackers I’ve been giving her (which all the Chinese babies eat but I finally just tasted one!) and the rice cereal in the morning. Can’t wait to get her off all this sugar and starch!

We tried to get settled for the evening as fast as we could. The room here is much smaller and we had more bags because we’d left a big one behind in Beijing! I swear we had people knock on our door about 8 times before we could call it a night. Various luggage deliveries, room service (which we finally ordered and it was good!), etc. We had a problem with the comforter on my bed…not sure if Katie peed on it first chance she got but it was wet. They didn’t understand my request for a new blanket. Someone brought a fuzzy baby blanket and put the pee soaked one in our closet…hmmm. So we tried again. Finally a woman came to remake the bed properly and Katie was watching carefully from her Pack & Play. She thought it was the funniest thing she’d seen so far! Her laugh was worth the insanity:-). We had fed her some cereal as soon we got here, showed her the bathtub and got her stacking cups out so we could play a game she knew right away. She was so hungry but once we fed her she did great. She couldn’t settle for a while but she amused us with her talking and smiling and then conked out:-). She is making the funniest sounds now. We can only describe one of them as her “sumo wrestler” sound. I know it’s not a Chinese reference but it’s all that came to mind…it’s SO funny.

We had a good sleep but Mom wasn’t feelings great for a little while. The last two nights she had some stomach issues but all seems fine this morning. We’re off to the Great Wall today!!

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sydney
    Mar 17, 2013 @ 14:12:12

    everything will seem easy after this!!!

    Reply

  2. Bette Smith
    Mar 17, 2013 @ 14:24:29

    Loving your blogs. U , Mom and Katie will be happy to be home soon and exhausted. Left a “spring” outfit for Katie at Mom’s house. See hope to see u all soon. Bette

    Reply

  3. Bernie
    Mar 17, 2013 @ 16:35:29

    WOW. What a journey. Great job handling it all so beautifully, you mule.

    Reply

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