Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Cat That Scratched and Boo Boos


The actual story came out last night about the cat scratch. Turns out is wasn't Sammy. Jie Jie was just using him as an example of a cat, to tell me that a cat had scratched her. Turns out that the cat was Rose, who will scratch if bothered. Jie Jie knew this and that's why she didn't come to me right when it happened.

I'm very lucky in that Jie Jie was well-cared for, nurtured a lot. From the very first day, whenever she was hurt, even little hurts, she would come to me for cuddles and soothing. She makes a clucking sound with her tongue that an adult would make when soothing a boo boo so I've imitated that whenever she's hurt. She will not hesitate to cry when hurt and even over-does it sometimes as part of letting her grief out. I always take care to hold her and comfort her, kiss the boo boo or get the bandaid, and keep it up until she is feeling better.

The fact that she didn't come to me or even cry when she was scratched was an indicator to me that she did something she knew she should not have done. We've talked a lot about how to treat the cats and which ones she should be careful with and I've had a translator come over to make sure there wasn't any language barrier with this.

The way it came out was that Rose jumped onto my lap while Jie Jie was also on my lap and Jie Jie was slightly alarmed and leaned away and pulled her hands in. I put two and two together and asked if Sammy scratched her and she said no, that Sammy loved her and Rose did not love her and Rose scratched her.

I glad to know that Sammy didn't scratch. He's never done so before and I'd hate to think that Jie Jie would do something to make him start now. Rose, however, will scratch, but she gives a lot of warning first and will not scratch hard, just enough to make her point. Obviously, Jie Jie didn't heed the warning and felt the result.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easter and Other Treats


Sunday morning we went to an hour of church, which was just right.
I took these pictures of us using the timer on my camera.


She loved coloring the Easter Eggs.



She awoke to an Easter basket at the foot of her bed filled with a few treats.

Thank you to B & J who left a gift certificate to my favorite place on my kitchen counter while I was in China. These two helped me so much in the last couple days of packing, truly, truly! Thank you sooooo much! As you can see, Jie Jie loved it.

A box of gifts was waiting for Jie Jie at the post office upon our return from China. It was from a dedicated reader whose good wishes have been constant. Jie Jie loved everything, especially the dog purse and lollipops, which were organic and delicious. Bella, thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers and gifts!!!

See, the dog purse! It comes with us everywhere and contains all of Jie Jie's "jewels."

Can you believe that the only helmut to fit in two stores was a cat?

I love this look on her face as she goes down the slide.

Looks benign right?

She's actually 5 feet up off the groung without a safety net! I remember doing the same things at that age so I allow it. She's been good so far about knowing her own limits.


Today is the one month anniversary of adoption day and things are continuing to go very well. My only regret is that I wasn't able to take a maternity leave. I see the result on her and feel it myself. I hardly carry her any more because if we are getting out of the car, inevitably I have all the grocery bags in my arms. If we take a walk during the day, I'm pushing 4 kids while she's on the Strolli Rider. If we take a walk at night, she's in her pajamas in her stroller under a thick quilt, falling asleep. Honestly, I think this was my favorite moment of the week. She loved being allowed to take a late evening walk and fall asleep under the stars. It's one of the things I envisioned doing from the start with Apple so I'm glad that my big girl can do it, too.

The second time we did it, she had taken a nap so she wasn't sleepy and when she saw the San Francisco skyline at dusk for the first time with all the city lights on, she sat up so excitedly and shouted how pretty it was three times. I can't wait to take her to the beach for the first time.

She got her first cat scratch today. It's only one line, but it drew a tiny bit of blood. She didn't come to me or even cry, which was unusual. Instead, she showed it to me matter-of-factly a few minutes after it happened. Sammy was the culprit so I knew she'd provoked him. He's never scratched anyone in his entire life. She's not good at telling what happened when things are her fault for doing something naughty. I've been watching her poking the cats with her finger as she walks by or when they are sleeping and even knocking them on the heads a bit or swinging things at them. I hope now she's learned her lesson because when I've caught her annoying or provoking the cats, I've warned her and demonstrated that she could be scratched. Now she knows exactly what I meant.

She still sleeps very well. We did have a bedtime meltdown last night, only our third or fourth in the nearly three weeks that we've been home. Her grief is always aimed at an object and last night it was that she didn't want her pillow that's she had since coming home, she wanted a smaller pillow. That was easy to fix and the fact that she instantly stopped screaming and relaxed the second I removed the offending pillow was all the proof I needed that it was a grief issue. Honestly, it was like flipping a light switch. Tonight I asked her if she wanted her pillow back and she thought about it for a moment, finger on her chin to seriously contemplate her answer, then accepted it back. I think it's very significant to note here that I'd put a new pillow case on the pillow last night, one we'd bought in China and hadn't used yet, and that sometimes kids can have a "psychotic perception to change" to quote a line from a movie it reminded me of called House of Cards with Tommy Lee Jones. It really mirrored a scene in that movie in which a 6 year-old girl is dealing with the loss of her father. No, my daughter is not in any way psychotic, but she is going through a process of deep grief, loss and new attachments and it can manifest in many ways.

She's enjoying a lot of new foods. She loves salad and always eats two helpings. Lasagna, shepherd's pie, egg salad sandwiches, chocolate (which she didn't like on her ice cream in China, but she did like hot caramel on it), homemade macaroni and cheese, which surprised me because she doesn't like cheese by itself yet.

We eat dinner at the table together every night and I've learned not to pick up the phone if it rings during dinner because for several nights I was on the phone while my little girl sat in front of me eating and be both hated that.

She is learning to write her name. I am teaching her proper printing, a nearly lost art. Her name is very simple so I started there. She is also learning to say the alphabet, which I started in China informally with her musical toothbrush.

She is just about doing 25 piece puzzles by herself. She still needs a bit of help getting started. I'm pleased at her progress in two areas, one, she is now understanding the relationship between the picture on the box, the picture the puzzle makes and that the colors on the pieces relate to one another, and, two, she is more patient and willing to try harder to figure it out before asking for my help or whining.

I am learning to understand a lot of Chinese, but it's more her local dialect than Mandarin, I think. I repeat it, but can't always reply properly for lack of knowing the right tense, verb or sentence structure, but I love that I understand so much of what she says. Tonight she said for me to "come quickly and look" as she was watching an airplane through the window all lit up in the night sky. We live very near a major airport so there is a lot of low air traffic.

As I knew I would, I love motherhood and it's a natural lifestyle for me. Jie Jie brings out the best in me. My organizational skills are peak and I'm getting more sleep than I've gotten in the last year because I'm able to go to bed at a decent hour. At some point in the day, Jie Jie goes into her room to play, and this gives me a moment to myself. I always go in to check on her and give her some kind of positive feedback so she knows that I'm fully aware of where she is and what she's doing and that I'm thinking of her enough to seek her out. I do all this without intruding on her alone time, if that makes sense, and she often relishes the opportunity to show me what she's doing in greater detail, then I pop out again, back to doing dishes or whatever.

One of today's highlights was to see a mama duck with 7 tiny duckings in the water today when we took our walk.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Shopping WITH Jie Jie


Wow! I finally went shopping at my favorite kid clothing store that starts with a G with my child actually with me! I went so many times while waiting and dreaming, then hung the clothes up in the dining room for a few weeks afterward just to look at them and imagine my future with my child. My future is now my present. My new saying as I dress Jie Jie each day is, "These clothes are just for decoration any more!"

I only bought socks today, smaller ones than I have because my miniature daughter has extra-miniature feet. She's 7 and wears size 2-3t socks.

I learned that one must carry cash only when shopping in the smaller markets of China Town. My gorgeous fresh mustard greens were left at the checkout stand because this mama only had plastic. Too bad they didn't take Yuan because I still had some in my wallet! However, at the bakery, plastic was fine, so we got pork buns and rice cake, chow mien that got a huge thumbs up from Jie Jie, and custard cups.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

On the Next China Trip...


...I'd do a few things differently:

1. I'd bring a broader range of clothes for myself. I ran short of clothes for hotter weather and I needed about two more outfits. Part of this problem has to do with the fact that I don't have many clothes to begin with.

2. I'd have a firmer meal plan in mind right from the start. Lunch was a meal that was particularly hard to get because we were usually in the middle of going somewhere or doing something and then have to scrounge around. I'd find two or three food sources and plan ahead a bit to make sure I get to one at a set time. I guess the trick is to actually SCHEDULE meals. I found department stores had the best market areas with hot food to go.

3. Have fewer toys and a wider variety. One coloring book would have been enough, not three. One set of little toys, not two (still haven't opened the Pol-ly Pockets, but did get good use out of the Lit-tle Ponies), wish I'd remembered to bring my stacking cups (needed a larger, but compact type toy), buying the scooter was brilliant, bringing the beach ball was perfect, but I'd bring two next time since they get holes easily (thank heavens for duct tape). I didn't need so many toys because we were always on the go. There was plenty to do all the time.

4. Have definite help set up for the first few days home with two back-ups. If I could have gotten sleep in the first 48 hours, I'd have been perfectly over any jetlag; the timing of the flights was perfect.

5. I think I'd like to take the train to Hong Kong instead of fly out of Guangzhou.

6. If I have the time and money, I'd like to see Beijing and climb the Great Wall and I'd like to see Hong Kong for real.

7. I'd pack so that all like items are together. I didn't want to buy a bag/case for cosmetics/grooming and health-related itmes so I used several small bags, etc... and it was hard to keep track of what was where. I had one container for all the hardware, like duct tape, converters, rechargers, etc..., and I called it the tool box, and it was great. If I could have had a single container for grooming items, it'd have been better.

Things I'd do the same:

1. I did not pack a pharmacy of drugs. I had children's pain and fever reliever, motions sickness tablets, anti-diarrhea medicine, Neosporin, Boogie Juice (Alkalol), aspirin and motrin and that's all. I only used the aspirin and motrin for myself once or twice and that's it. I did have some Eucerine and used it on Jie Jie three times and it cleared up two dry skin patches that have not returned.

If I was adopting a baby, I'd bring something for yeast rash (anitfungal), two different diaper rash creams, and that's it.

2. Bring my Ergo Carrier and harness/leash!!! These were the most valuable things I brought.

3. Bring a box each of three different sized ziplock bags. I used these for everything!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

English Lessons & New Friends


Each day I've tried to have a little brain activity to ease us into a homeschooling routine. Books, puzzles, painting, that sort of thing. Today, the book was a picture and word book and my little rascal wanted nothing to do with it until page three when she suddenly realized what I was doing, then she was very excited.

We've communicated easily and in quite a lot of detail, but now I notice we are on the verge of a new level and we need a common language to communicate more complex ideas.

Tonight after dinner, we met a friend and their daughter at the park. The daughter is 5 and half a head taller than Jie Jie. It was the first child Jie Jie really took to and they had a great time. I can see some fun times ahead for the girls.

I've got more pictures, of course, and some darling video to post this weekend when I have more time.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Happy Days


I live for weekends now, time alone with my daughter. I finally got caught up on my sleep. It felt wonderful to sleep in and rise refreshed.

Saturday was mandatory house cleaning day. I still had laundry and suitcases out, though they've been completely unpacked since day 2 home. If it wasn't for the fact that I'm a licensed home daycare, I'd have let the house go a little longer and cleaned up in spurts, but it really had to get done. The down side is that my daughter had to amuse herself for long periods of time and this was hard on both of us. Later in the afternoon, I marshalled some helpers and this sped things up considerably so my daughter and I ended the day on a high note.

Sunday we did a dry run to church. We got there a few minutes after church ended. She saw my travel companion and was glad to see her. Jie Jie is fond of her, but I'm sure that will diminish as B becomes someone we see only on Sundays at church. I do feel good that I have a back up person that Jie Jie is familiar with - just in case.

I learned a good lesson: People will try to hug her and it happens so fast that I missed stopping it the first time. Unfortunately, it was a man and not one I care for. I asked him not to, but he almost had his arms around her by then. I didn't realize people would do this. Jie Jie walked away and wouldn't come back because the guy was still right there and when I told him he scared her, he didn't get it and actually denied it. I wish she'd have thrown a huge screaming and flailing fit to make her point. At least I got her point and went over to her - alone - and she was okay with me. From then on if we passed that guy in the hall, she covered her face with her arm and leaned into me. When we go to church next week for real, I'm probably going to put a little sign on her that says, "Look, but don't touch," or something like that.

I was really offended. I mean, even before petting a dog I ask permission from the owner and here is this guy, big suited up American guy in a church (remember how big churches seem to kids) coming right at her. Anyway, lesson learned!

About Food:
My daughter loves to eat and will try anything and let me know if she likes it or not.

She shares food easily and doesn't hoard at all.

She's clear about when she's full, and will stop eating even if there is still food in her bowl.

She prefers noodles to rice, loves veggies, but her favorite is meat. She's a real carnivore! I've learned her word for meat.

Her PoPo cooked, what I think is fish, for her and she loved it.

She eats oatmeal, made from scratch, not a packet, cooked with milk and dried cranberries.

She likes sunflower nut butter and jelly sandwiches.

At Costco, she like the samples they had of smoked salmon, ham, scalloped potatoes, chips, jelly beans, chocolate covered peanuts, and sausage.

I made beef stew tonight, with rice, and she loved it.

She didn't like bananas in China but she does here. She loves watermelon, but I was told that her favorite fruit is a pear. I've given her one and she did love it.

About Sleep:
She's a great sleeper. We've had only one meltdown since being home and it was at bedtime. I've put a twin bed up against my double bed for her. I tuck her in and lay next to her and look at her and wind up a musical doll (only once, and she knows it but asks for it again anyway, and I say no or bedtime gets prolonged and we risk a meltdown). She gets self-conscious being looked at and turns away and is asleep within a minute or two. Tonight, she had the doll and a fake fish tank, the kind you plug in and the mural of the fish go around and around. I was able to leave the room while she was still awake and she was fine. She can hear me in the next room.

Clothes sizes:
Each brand and style is different, but I'll try anyway:

Size 4 shirts in all the brands I've tried so far and some fives if the sleeves are rolled up.

Size 4 leggings.
Size 3 pants, expecially Gymboree and Old Navy.

Size 4 dresses and coats.

Size 8 (24-25) shoes have a nice amount of growing room.

Toys:

She loves her baby doll and has named her Bao Bao.

She likes a memory board game someone gave her that is wood with circles that fit into round places.

Plastic snap-together beads from the baby toy section are a big hit.

Her stuffed pandas. She's got three and one is mechanical.

The scooter is still a favorite.

Cats:
She's great with the cats. At first she was a bit scared, but now she picks them up and even pets ones she sees on the street that allow it.


Off to the park with Bao Bao.
She made it all the way there, but I strolled her back.






Look closely and you will see that she is helping her doll play the keys.


Now she is playing to her doll.
She's got such a tender look on her face. I can see already that she'll make a great mother herself some day.

Zonked out with Rose to watch over her.


The black shoes are the ones she was wearing when I first got her. The white shoes are the best-fitting pair I found for her and they still have plenty of growing room.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

What's In a Name?


Okay, I finally have it from a Chinese person that big sister in Mandarin is spelled Jie Jie, so, I started out spelling it correctly, then changed it, then it was wrong.

However, since this is only my daughter's pseudonym, it doesn't matter.

I am still not inspired to give her an English name and she hasn't indicated to me or anyone else that she would like one, but we are still in our very early days.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Every Moment


I'm the camera-toting mom, trying to freeze each precious moment in time. However, I did purposely leave it behind last night when Jei Jei and I went to the park after dinner so we could simply play with each other. My little town has tons of great kid parks and I'm introducing Jei Jei to the best of them and we are getting into a nice routine that will be even nicer in summer when the days are longer and warm. After dinner, we go to a park and bring her scooter.

This morning she woke up at 9:30am on her own!!! She came downstairs, where the daycare is, just like I'd told her to do. I'm so glad that she woke up on her own because she's veyr grumpy if I wake her up. We are definitely starting to feel a rythym to our days and we're both happy and doing well.

She is after my own heart! She doesn't like much bread at all and even cried on the plane when that's all they searved for a snack, but she loved her cinnamon bum from IKEA, just like mama. Honestly, they are my favorites!

Doesn't every little girl have a picture like this?

This one makes me melt inside. She is just so loveable!

Getting started with nocturnal a gymnastics workout.

Henry has a new pal.

FOUR Years Logged In!


Though my heart is full, there is still another precious girl out there and my paperwork has been logged in for her now for 4 years!

Now that I'm a mom, I can still say that I didn't feel this wait. The wait I felt was the agonizing two months of waiting to find Jei Jei's file so I could lock it and adopt her.

Friday, April 15, 2011

First Day Home: From April 9


As we are about to hit the one week home mark, I can finally say that today was the first day I didn't feel like the living dead. Three days without sleep followed by four with barely any was really tough, but I managed far better than I ever thought I would. I've remained patient and sane, though my brain could barely function. I can see the beginning foundations of a new routine being built and I felt like Mother-of-the-Year tonight when my little darling wanted third helpings of the Chinese mustard greens I made - for the first time!

My agency sent a "welcome home" packet that I opened tonight of paperwork and information and I'm so glad to say that I've not had a single bit of post-adoption blues or even an inkling of "what on earth have I done?" In fact, it's still going far better than I ever knew it could.

The hardest part of being home was being so tired. Actually, sleepy is a better word. I was falling asleep on my feet, for real.

The next hardest part has been going back to work so soon. If only I had any other option... Yes, yes, yes, I am know I'm lucky that I work at home, but how would you feel if you had to tell your child, only four days home to wait a moment while to tended to someone else's child? On our second day, I started a routine of mentioning all we'd do after the kids left for the day. She really does understand. I point to what we will do or make a motion to describe it, then say bye-bye and wave to all the daycare kids, then smile hugely and point to my daughter and myself and say the cheer she says in Mandarin, "Come on! Come on! Come on! Today was day three and after I told her we'd get her scooter out after bye-bye time, she confirmed it later in the day using the same signs I did. No camera, only she and I, went to the park tonight with her scooter and she had a GREAT time.

Jei Jei caught a cold. She played with a darling American girl a few days before we left and that child had a streaming cold. The cough began before we left China and for the last two days here Jei Jei's nose was running like crazy. Today she is almost better. What strong girl! Her nose blowing technique needs improvement. She blows as hard as she can right in front of me then points to it so that I can wipe it.

I ended up not having help here at home. A relative was going to meet me at the airport but became ill at the last minute so I didn't know and have time to email my back-up. Wide awake or not, the super market isn't the best place for a 7 year old at 2:30 in the morning! But...we did have a fun time and the stockist in the isle spoke Mandarin!

Best things? Everything! When I see her in her room or when I choose her clothes and remember how it felt getting it all ready for her, I'm in the clouds. I was dead-on with what looks good on her and her best colors. She loves her things and has a daily ritual of picking out her hair bows. She's very open to learning to match them to the outfit.

She loves her doll! I'm so glad. I had my doubts in China that's she'd like dolls, but it's the first thing she went to and she treats it so well. She pretends very well! She got the baby dressed this morning in three layers of clothes and dressed tonight in pajamas, like I've taught her. She made sure when dressing the doll to tell me which clothes were the first layer and the second layer and the third. She's named the doll Bao Bao, which is a common Chinese name. I took one video of her tucking her doll into bed, but the lighting is terrible so I'll try to take another.

Enough, right? You want to see these....

First sleep on our very first night home.
Henry has claimed her already.




I breathed a sign of relief when I pulled this out.
The strollers I borrowed in China were like pushing a 1000 pounds of rocks.

The sun was in her eyes so she wouldn't open them, but check out her eyelashes!

Does this smile say how much she loves the swing?

How about this one?

She was a little too small to make the step off the bars and onto the slide platform. Thankfully, mama was ready to pull her to safety.

Is this my child or what? Handstands in hotels, gymnastics on the grass... Yep, she's mine!

Yay! A tutu of her own and a shirt with sparkles!!!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Brushing Teeth Jei Jei Style




I bought her a singing toothbrush and I'm singing along with it. The gargle at the end is a riot.

Last Day In China 5: Flying Home


On the way to the airport, this is a bus in its proper lane beside us.

This is the same bus pretty close to use as we duelled in traffic.

Our flight from Guangzhou to Hong Kong was scheduled to leave at 10:40pm, April 8th and it was pretty much on time. We arrived in plenty of time at the airport, spent quite some time passing through immigration, where my child grew more and more impatient and whiney in the Ergo on my back, then stopped for some dinner in one of the aiport restaurants and still had some time for the little ones to play around the gate area before boarding.








Jei Jei was tired, but happy until she had to wear her seatbelt. She really started getting grumpy at it, but it was a short flight and we all managed well.

After landing in Hong Kong, we had about 40 minutes to make our connecting flight. Just off the airplane exit ramp was a group of airline employees all holding signs. My first impression was that there must have been a lot of VIPs on my plane. Then I realized we were all VIPs if we have a connecting flight and these were the people who were going to take us to our next gate. The woman guiding us slapped a little sticker on us indicating we were heading to SFO and proceeded to run through the airport at breakneck speed, fully expecting that we'd be right on her heels. Let me tell you, my little 7 year old can run, and fast, but not in the middle of her night with sore feet from all the previous walking, in a strange place with people all over. I stopped and scooped her super fast (truly, I'm fast at this) into the Ergo carrier and by then our guide and group was out of site. We kept running and she found us, having had to come back to get us when she didn't see us at the escalators with everyone. Down we went, onto a tram-train, out we got, up we went, through security, down a huge concourse, through security again, and directly into the boarding line. We were given permission to hit the restroom before boarding, then walked right onto the plane.

This kind of customer service is what sets China apart from the US. They truly want to ease the path throughout the day of the citizens. I'm not talking about the goverment of China, I'm talking about the culture and commerce. Why spend an hour at a desk with irrate travellers who got lost in the Hong Kong airport and missed their connections if they simply provide an escort to whip them through? People feel special, they make their connections and stay satisfied, on time, and, in our case, get a load of exercise running through the airport!



There wasn't much time to reflect on the fact that I was taking my little duaghter from her homeland. I did much of that in Nanchang and even before leaving for China. Jei Jei fell asleep almost instantly, but it was a terrible sleep. Every few minutes for the next FOUR HOURS, she raged in her sleep. I could tell throughout the day that she was nervous about what was about to happen. I also think she has some post-traumatic-stress symptoms from having undergone surgeries and the resulting painful recoveries. However she falls asleep is how she sleeps and wakes up. So, she was stressed falling asleep and stressed while sleeping.

Like I said, every few minutes for the first FOUR HOURS, she would rage in her sleep, crying out loudly (her scream is loud but low in pitch, thankfully) and thrash, buck, go stiff, flail, etc... I had seen this in the hotel so I knew she could really go at it, but since movement and contact set her off repeatedly, I didn't know what to do. The old me could really have felt desperate, but my mother's heart was filled with love for my child so I did the only thing I could do, pray and asked Heavenly Father to help my child and help me to help her, also to give me strength to do what I needed to do. As soon as the seatbelt sign turned off, I suddenly knew that I had to stand up and rock my little girl as if she was a tiny baby. Just a couple rows back was an open isle area near an exit door and it was all I needed. I rocked my sleeping, raging child and spoke softly to her and miraculously, she quickly calmed. I returned to my seat and repeated this exodus every few minutes, getting just enough time in between to sit and rest because rocking a raging 7 yr. old, even if she is the size of a 4 year old, is tough on the arms and back. The flight attendents and other passengers were so kind and helpful, asking if I need help, offering to translate for my daughter, but I explained to them that she was actually asleep and I couldn't wake her up (I did try!).

Finally, the raging stopped, but the sleep acrobatics continued for the duration of her night. I could not take my eyes off her for a second. Though belted in, she still flipped and turned and manuevered so that I had to constantly pull her back onto the seat or place a pillow over the hard armrest, under her head, under her leg, etc... It didn't raise all the way so no matter what, it was in the way. She could have strangled herself on the seatbelt by hanging off the seat by her neck if I hadn't been vigilant. I am not exagerating, I promise you. It was really something else to witness.

She woke up grumpy with about three hours of flight time left. The kids' meal was horrible so I gave her my meal, which she pecked at and played with. Thankfully, I asked if there were any extra omlets from a remaining breakfast tray and got one for myself. There were also sandwiches and fruit and snack available all throughout the flight.

We arrived at SFO around 10pm, just about the same time we'd left China and on the same day, so it was still Friday, April 8th. Getting home was easy and my daughter was thrilled when everything started matching the pictures I'd sent her. She recognized our house, her room, the cats, and even a pink furry coat she'd noticed in the closet in one of the pictures.

I don't think she realized that the cats in the pictures would move because she was scared, but intrigued at the same time. It only took her three days to get comfortable with them and now she kisses them and tells them what to do.


The plane that carried us safely home. There wasn't time to get a picture of it in Hong Kong and as we headed to the parking garage at SFO, I realized that the windows overlooked our plane so I snapped a picture! I'll also mention here that when arriving in Hong Kong on our way in to China, our plane parked next to the new Emerates Air double story Airbus, the largest passenger plane in the world and it was truly something to behold.