Monday, April 16, 2007

I'm really cute today!

With fear of becoming immodest, I must say that I am particularly adorable this afternoon.

Original Comments on this Post

Re: I'm really cute today! By Joy on 4/17/2007
Very chic. Dressing them up really is one of the funnest parts..although Rachel doesn't really enjoy it as much as mom and dad do. But she did get a kick out of her little grass skirt she got this spring with her swimming suit. I keep hearing talk about getting the three two year old cousins together. It would be fun to see them all interact. Rachel is not used to playing with other kids her age. She gets excited and is not shy at all at the sight of other kids but it's few and far between that she gets to play with them.


Re: I'm really cute today! By Nana on 4/19/2007
It's true, you really do look particularly fetching. Your spring wardrobe is strictly haute couture! No doubt your demeanor was also adorable. Mom & Dad are enjoying having you be their little someone so much! And so is Nana.
Love, Nana

Re: I'm really cute today! By Auntie Loie on 7/7/2007
You certainly are, my dear!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Two month anniversary!

Two months ago an amazing little girl entered our lives and we are so very thankful that we get to be her Mom and Dad. We still look at her and say "Wow, I can't believe she's here!" or, "I can't believe we're parents!".

I know a lot of you are looking at our blog for the first time since we just sent out the announcements. If you'd like to read our old blog postings, you can get there by clicking through [the calendar over there on the right] (editor's note: use the archive links in the sidebar). Click on the month you'd like and then click on a day. The days that have blog entries are highlighted in a darker grey. We left for China on January 23, so all the blog entries from January 24th through February 7th were done from China. We toured around Beijing for a few days before we picked up Maggie in Hefei on the 29th.

You can also click on the Photo Gallery links at the side of this page. You can look at pics of the Forbidden City, Tian'anmen Square and the Great Wall of China there. The first pics of Maggie and me are in there too, under the gallery called "She's Here".

So, that's all for now. I have a hungry 2 year old who needs lunch and a nap. I will try my darndest to keep adding pictures and giving you all updates on a regular basis. In all my spare time when I'm not taking care of Maggie or getting the house cleaned up and ready to sell. (that gives me about 2 minutes on Sunday nights!)

Original Comments on Post

Re: Two month anniversary! By Lori on 3/30/2007
I was just thinking that same thing - I can't believe she's here. Do you think we will still be saying that in a few years?

Re: Two month anniversary! By Joy on 4/4/2007
Thanks for the picture card. She's adorable of course. It's on our fridge. Our house number is 5917..but we still got the card. Rachel learned how to eat with a spoon today and she slept in her own real bed for the first time last week. Still working on that potty training thing though. She sits on it but she doesn't go. Her new sibling is busy tenderizing my insides with her feet. It won't be long now. I'm as big as a house. This is going to be the last is set up to happen soon after. As wonderful as it has been to carry babies, I won't miss the constant discomfort. You are fortunate Mary in many ways. :) I'm happy for you both.


Monday, March 5, 2007

One last picture

To dust the t.v. just like mommy, you need two things: A paper towel and a big ra_ _....hmmm, gotta' keep this kid friendly.
OK, a paper towel and a pile of kleenex in your shirt.

btw - We did NOT do this to her. She came up with this one all by herself.

Original Comments from Post

Re: One last picture By mom- Joan on 3/8/2007
That is sooooo cute!

Re: One last picture By Keith on 3/13/2007
So THAT'S what's been going on for the past year.

She's cute as a button. Hopefully she's twice the trouble, too.


Re: One last picture By Auntie Loie on 3/16/2007
This child is so charming! I'd have a hard time not spoiling her.

Another Picture

Fashion Rule #1: Your outfit should always match your dinosaur mask.

More Pictures

Maggie enjoying her Tombstone pizza after leaving the hospital. And yes, she ate the whole slice. Her face is shiny because we put Aquafor lotion on her to help remove her cannula stickers. Her oxygen tubes were stuck to her face with those stickers.

Original Comments from Post

Re: More pictures By Sam on 2/3/2007
Love the pictures. I'm so glad I have a God Sister.

Re: More pictures By Joan on 2/3/2007
Miotkes and Millers here-its only -15 below right now. Hope you guys are enjoying the warmth. Looking forward to seeing you guys home safe and sound. Take Care. We loved the pictures!! The view at night with the lights is Way Cool!!!

Re: More pictures By Ellen, Ariel, Charlie, & Kyra on 2/4/2007
Thanks for the pictures of Maggie! Kyra loves them!

We're all so jealous of the amazing adventure you're on and hope you come home safely soon!

Re: More pictures By Ellen, Ariel, Charlie, & Kyra on 2/4/2007
Today Kyra calls her MowWow!

Re: More pictures By Kari Grimes on 2/4/2007
I just love checking the website to see the latest updates. The shot with the towel (I am thinking she is right out of the tub...) is adorable. She looks very happy.

I think its so wonderful you three have been able to be away from it all just working on being a family. I know you want to get home but enjoy this precious time - its gonna be over before you know it. (and its really cold here.....)

See you soon. Can't wait to meet her. She truly is a cute kid and will fit right into the rest of your family.

I think she has won everyones heart that has been following the pictures and updates.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

A true story "How Maggie Went to the Hospital During a Blizzard".

Miss Maggie came down with a nasty virus on Thursday that landed her in the hospital for 2 days with bronchiolitis. Bronchiolitis is a generic medical term for "your child can't breathe". Her resps were at 70-80 per minute and they should have been at 40, she was also retracting (pulling hard on her stomach and rib muscles to breathe). We ended up taking her to the Woodwinds Hospital ER at 9:00 in the middle of the blizzard because they were the closest. They took her oxygen saturation levels there and found her at 90%, so they immediately put her on oxygen and ordered a nebulizer treatment. She had 3 nebs at Woodwinds, and couldn't keep her oxygen sats over 90% without oxygen, so an ambulance was ordered and we took a trip to Children's Hospital in St. Paul. When the ambulance is only doing 30 mph on 94 and you're still fishtailing all over the road, you know it's bad outside.

As soon as we got to Children's, they gave her a nasal cannula to give her oxygen. Those are the short little tubes that go into your nostrils. If you want to know how to really piss off a 2 year old - stick something in their nose! They started her on nebulizer treatments every two hours and then we waited. She had a pretty rough night/morning, but finally stabilized and they were able to take her off the oxygen by the early afternoon. We spent Friday night in the hospital also because she was getting nebbed every 4 hours and they also wanted to make sure she could make it through the night without supplemental oxygen. Maggie and I shared a bed on Friday night and we both slept 8 hours! We woke up a little bit when the respiratory therapist came in to neb her, but otherwise we were out. Thank goodness - we were all very sleep deprived. When baby can't breathe, baby can't sleep, and if baby can't sleep, nobody can sleep! Bryan and I both had about 3 hours of sleep total Thursday night into Friday afternoon, and Maggie had about 6 total. Not good.

Anyway - Bryan came home a few times to pick up supplies and shovel snow. When he came home on Friday night our driveway had been snowblowed. I believe it was Sean from next door who did that for us. We owe you big time Sean! It saved us a lot of time and trouble, and Bryan was able to come back to the hospital that much earlier. We have great neighbors.

We came home from the hospital on Saturday morning and immediately got some food into the kid. Hospital food is no good if you're a toddler with an "interesting" appetite. For example, she won't eat pancakes or french toast for breakfast, only the sausage or bacon. She doesn't like milk, she gets her dairy from yogurt. She doesn't like any fruit but bananas, peaches and pears. She doesn't like apple juice, she only likes peach juice....etc. We tried to special order her meals, but in the hubbub of trying to keep her from turning blue, the menus got lost in the shuffle. So we all had Tombstone pizza for lunch and Lil' Sizzlers and eggs for dinner to celebrate being home. Nummy - best meals ever!

So - that's the story of "How Maggie Went to the Hospital During a Blizzard". We are nebbing her at home and she made it through the night without a neb treatment! She was breathing long slow breaths in the middle of the night without coughing so we let her sleep. Right now she is bugging her dad in the living room and all is right with the world.

Original Comments from Post

Re: A true story "How Maggie Went to the Hospital During a Blizzard". By Mom- Joan on 3/4/2007
So glad to hear that all is well. It's uncanny how bad the timing of medical crises can be. Glad you are all well. Hugs...

Re: A true story "How Maggie Went to the Hospital During a Blizzard". By Auntie Loie on 3/4/2007
I remember when my oldest contracted croup the year I was pregnant with her sister. Brian's Mom told me I could expect every baby to get in some hospital time within the first two years of life. Welcome to parenthood! But now for some better times for you all to share. I will be thinking of you and praying for more of those.

Re: A true story "How Maggie Went to the Hospital During a Blizzard". By Ira on 3/4/2007
Thanks for the update! We were concerned at the office.

Re: A true story "How Maggie Went to the Hospital During a Blizzard". By Jennifer on 3/5/2007
Glad all is well. We have been through RSV w/Mackenzie at 5 wks. Remember sitting up watching her breathe all night. Very scary. You sure got baptised into parenthood quickly!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Not the Pox part II

We took Maggie to the Pediatrician on Monday for her 2-year Well Baby Check-up. She is very healthy and is developing normally. Yay! She got a few shots and a TB test, but otherwise it was pretty uneventful. The doc looked at her spots and told us it was probably from the Johnson's Baby Wash. She was developing spots in the office as we were talking to the doctor! And since she had just gotten out of the bath, the doctor deduced it must be the soap. We have stopped using soap on her in the bathtub and her spots are going away. She's a little stinky without soap...but what can you do? Kidding! She's as sweet as a rose. We went back to the office today and the nurse looked at her arm and said she doesn't have TB! Yay! It makes me happy when we can cross dreadful diseases off our list. We still have a long list of things to test for - some of which involve stool samples (blech!), but such is the life of an international family.I am going to make a new album in the Photo Gallery with some of the pics we have taken since we've gotten home. Look for it in a bit.

btw - this is how we've been spending our time...We throw Cheerios at Maggie's head and see if she can catch them.

And she can!

Original Comments from Post

Re: Not the Pox part II By Davin on 2/23/2007
That sequence is funny as ever!
That camera is paying for itself already.
When can we see some of your China home movies?

Re: Not the Pox part II By Mom-Joan on 2/26/2007
Love those pictures. Keep 'em coming! How's it going this week. did you get out into the snow?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Not the Chicken Pox

Well, we got everybody in the family a little excited yesterday with the mention of chicken pox. Upon further review, I don't believe we have a pox on our house. Maggie Mao has about a dozen little red bumps on her body, but they are not blisters or oozing or doing anything gross. So, no pox. We think it may just be an allergic reaction to her new clothing, so we are washing everything and hope that will take care of the problem. Which means we can go out in public and celebrate her birthday this weekend! Yay!
In other news - we are all almost fully recovered from the awful cold we brought back from the far East. Horrible, horrible thing. Daily doses of Airborne didn't even stop that thing and I swear by that stuff.
Maggie just finished up a lunch of tater tots and hot dogs. We'll Americanize her yet! Aunt Lori bought us dogs when we were gone, so we thought we'd try them out on her. She loves them. Yesterday we had beef lo mein, today we have tots. No wonder she toots like a Polish grandpa!
Wow, this post is disjointed. Well, time to put the little booger to bed.

Original Comments from Post

Re: Not the Chicken Pox By Davin on 2/15/2007
Did you get her medical records when you adopted her?
Maybe she has already been vaccinated for CP, like my daughter was.

I've read that buying Dreft® is a waste of money; normal detergents are just fine for washing kids' clothes.

Glad to hear she is eating!

"You gonna eat your tots?" - Napoleon Dynamite

Re: Not the Chicken Pox By Mary on 2/16/2007
Everything here gets washed in Tide w/Downy, her skin seems to tolerate it. And she hasn't been immunized for CP yet - lots of other stuff, but not CP. Today her spots are itching, so I don't know what's up with her. I need someone with experience to come over and look at her - Bryan and I have no idea what we're doing. : )

Re: Not the Chicken Pox By Lori on 2/16/2007
Mary - I wish I could help - Does WebMD have pictures? I just wanted to say Happy Birthday Maggie!!! Meaghan is going to color you a beautiful picture for your big day. She will probably cut it up with the scissors cuz that is what she does right now but before that happens it will be a beautiful picture. Love Ya!!!

Re: Not the Chicken Pox By Davin on 2/16/2007
Good one, Mary! 8^)p
Yes - you two are totally lost and need all parents in both families to come to your house to tell you what's happening with the spots.

BTW - according to my Mom, Ellen's kids were immunized for CP but still got it anyway.

Re: Not the Chicken Pox By Ellen on 2/16/2007
If the rash doesn't clear up soon, I'd invest in fragrance-free laundry detergent and separate fragrance-free fabric softener. There's also a sensitive-skin Huggies body and hair wash that we like. We used this for Kyra when she was little and then slowly transitioned her to the regular stuff. In the meantime, get some sensitive-skin baby lotion for her itchies - sometimes just rubbing lotion on it can help with the torturous itching.


(And I know you probably already know this, but don't use soap of any kind on her body - toddlers can get clean with just water. Skip the bubble baths for a little while.)

Re: Not the Chicken Pox By Ira on 2/16/2007
We've got the pediatrician on the speed dial for just this sort of thing. Nothing worse than having 63 different "have you trieds" running around in your head.


Re: Not the Chicken Pox By Mom-Joan on 2/17/2007
It could be chicken pox. Little kids usually get a very light case. If the spots get little pustules (ghastly word) then that's it for sure. It's really better if she gets it now, rather than later. She will suffer less, though she will want to scratch them. Know she probably had a lovely birthday with you. Hope to see you soon. BTW, how did the China authorities know her birthday? Was it assigned or was there information with her when she was found? I had it at 8 mo. and still have a scar in the middle of my forhead that my mother was not able to keep me from scratching. I don't remember it of course but have a picture.

Re: Not the Chicken Pox By Auntie Loie on 2/17/2007
I would definitely keep an eye on the spots. Pox look like a nasty white head eventually, and then they scab over. It's typical kid stuff. Not to worry. I'm just sorry it had to happen at birthday time and so soon after Maggie's arrival.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Everything is fine. We're just sick.

We all immediately caught a nasty cold upon our arrival home. We'll keep updating the site, but not until we're feeling better.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

I'm Home

Maggie here. After 24 hours and a "vertical diversion" to Fargo, we have made it home! I'm busy feeding myself dinner since mom and dad are all pooped out.

Maggie Mao

Original Comments from Post

Re: I'm home! By Nana on 2/8/2007
Welcome to America! I will be very happy to meet you. Hope you have had a nice trip and will enjoy your very own new room.
Love, Nana

Re: I'm home! By Mary on 2/8/2007
I brought her up to see her new room right when we got home, and it took her a few moments to recognize it from the pictures. She knew exactly where she was as soon as it dawned on her, it was really cute. Her eyes lit up and she made a "hey I know this place" noise. It's now 7:30 p.m. and we are all going to bed!

Re: I'm home! By Faye and John on 2/8/2007
Welcome home you guys! We are glad you are safe and happy. This website was so great. It felt like we were there with you every step of the way.

Re: I'm home! By Davin on 2/8/2007
Is that her official middle name? Mao? Cool!

Re: I'm home! By Joy on 2/9/2007
Welcome back. I wish my aunt and uncle had been able to blog their trips to China. this was interesting. Thanks for sharing. Welcome to the family Maggie.


Re: I'm home! By Xiumei on 2/9/2007
Hi, Maggie,

I'd love to see you some day. I asked your grandma to bring you to Cary's house when it is possible! As we are both Chinese, I'd love to share with you the Chinese belief that "Misfortune sometimes is blessing in disguise." I wish you grew up with love and being loved.


Re: I'm home! By Auntie Loie on 2/10/2007
Welcome to our new family member, and thank you to Mom and Dad for allowing the rest of us to share this wonderful adventure. It was something I looked forward to at the end of each day.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Going Home!

Well, the porter will be here in minutes to pick up our bags! Whoohoo! We will be home in 23 hours! Miss Maggie woke up with us at the crack of dawn, so we have been chasing her around while trying to pack. The good news is that we had time to stuff her full of noodles before we leave.
I am so sick and tired of this hotel, I can't even tell you. It is absolutely gorgeous here. Warm temps, green plants, old time European architecture...and all I can think about is "get me off the godforsaken island". Our room smells like mildew and we are all sniffing and coughing. Ugh. We didn't start enjoying ourselves until yesterday - when we knew we were short-timers here.
Anyway - time to run and catch a plane to Tokyo. We'll be home in 9 hours! (OK, maybe not, but it's 5:00 am Thursday here already)

Original Comments from Post

Re: Going Home! By Lori on 2/7/2007
TGIF - Thank God it's Flyday!!! Just a little humor for you. I hope the Benadryl knocks her out for a short time and can't wait to see you on Minnesota soil.

Re: Going Home! By Emily on 2/7/2007
This is such a Big event were[sam,me,alison] so exicited we have missed you.

a big thanks. By Sue, Savana, and Sara on 2/8/2007
I just want to comment on the fantastic job you three did with this blog. It has been like a reality vacation, adoption show. The journey you both have been through is totally unforgetable. It has made all of us pull up the blog everday for the nest exciting episode. Thanks for all the effort and time put into this. You two have a beatiful daughter(who by the way I put as my wallpaper on my computer everday with a different photo). She looks like she will do just fine. Thanks again Mary and Bryan and welcome home.

Re: Going Home! By Davin on 2/8/2007
So... what will be come of this site?
Maggie is a like a movie star to people now.
Safe flight...

Re: Going Home! By Davin on 2/8/2007
Now that you have a kid, you should really get a cat. Take one of Mom's. Does she have any allergies?

Message to Lori

I sent you an email yesterday and haven't heard back from you. I'll call you from Portland on Thursday morning. We leave for the airport in 6 hours (5:30 am Thursday for us= 3:30 pm Wednesday for you. I think the time zone change may have you thinking you have more time to get back to us than you actually do. : ) Or, you just haven't checked your email. : (
Either way, we will call you from Portland around 9:00 am on Thursday morning your time. I will just call your house and Mom's and your cell phone until I find you. I need to know what your plans are for coming to pick us up. Are we calling you after we get our bags? Are you parking and meeting us at baggage claim? Who's coming with you? etc. etc.
Time to get a few winks and then it's time to go home! Yay!
Love ya and can't wait to see you,
p.s. leave a message on this post before 3:00 p.m. your time on Wednesday and we'll see it before we leave.

message to Davin: I've been getting up somewhere between 4:30 and 7:30 this whole trip. Shifting continents does odd things to sleeping patterns. I can't believe I'm still awake at 11:30! I should have gone to bed at 9:00 with Maggie.
message to everyone else: We don't know how long it's going to take for us to get used to the time change back to Minnesota time. Don't make any big plans for us Friday or Saturday. Maybe Sunday we'll have people over - immediate family and a few friends. Maybe. The rest of you will have to wait - sorry. I've heard that the number of days it takes to recover from jet-lag equals the time difference between the places. So, give us 14 days and we'll be up and at 'em!

Original Comments from Post

Re: Message to Lori By Lori on 2/7/2007
Mary - I will get everything you need on your grocery list and I will meet you at baggage claim so I can help you with luggage since I am sure Maggie will be holding on tight to you. I will have my cell phone on me tomorrow in anticipation of your call. I have never gone this long without talking to you. Weird!!! Anywho have a safe flight and I hope MaoMao enjoys flying. Get her a sucker or something for takeoff and landing I heard it hurts kids ears. I love you all bunches and I will talk to you soon.

Re: Message to Lori By Davin on 2/7/2007
I sure you gals already planned for this and this is irrelevant; make sure there is a car seat for Maggie when they're picked up from the airport.

Re: Message to Lori By Lori on 2/7/2007
Davin - Yeah we are way ahead of you :) - Meaghan is the same age so I have a toddler carseat already in there for someone about the same size - except Maggie is a lot thinner. Thank goodness for adjustable carseats. I am starting my T minus arrival countdown. Yippee!!!!! 24 hours til home!

Re: Message to Lori By Gina on 2/7/2007
Mary, many of us have been enjoying your blogs and we feel very much a part of this exciting time in your lives. Have a safe journey home and we'll see you all when you are able to have visitors.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Mama's Nuts!

Hey, Maggie Mao here. I have to tell you what my parents did to me yesterday. I was taking a nap, minding my own business, when my Mama and Baba wake me up after only an hour and put this horrendous itchy ugly outfit on me! Then, then, Mama puts me up on the bathroom counter and brushes my hair with cold water and sprays some sticky stuff on my head! Wait, it gets worse...they then drag me downstairs and start taking pictures. MaoMao, look at the camera, MaoMao smile for Mama. Yeah, right.
Then, after all the pictures with Mama and Baba, they put me on a couch with Julia and Hadley and I could feel the Happiness being sucked right out of me! I'm serious! I was fine, just hanging out with Mama - then poof, I sit down on this red velvet thing and instant crying! It freaked me out too. But did they pick me up and save me from the red couch? Nooo, they kept snapping pictures! Hello! Get me off the evil couch!
Gaah, parents!
Anyway, my Mama says I was a beautiful Chinese Princess. I think Mama's nuts.

I almost forgot to mention this part. They brought me back up to the room and took MORE pictures!

I'll see you guys in a few days, and by the way - I won't look like this. I don't do Princess.

Original Comments from Post

Re: Mama's Nuts! By Mama on 2/6/2007
Leave this kid alone for just one second and she takes over the blog! Dang! The last picture is of Maggie playing patty-cake with the monkey's feet.

Re: Mama's Nuts! By Nana on 2/6/2007
Dear Maggie,
You ARE a beautiful Chinese/American princess but you won't have to act the part. Our girls get to be what they want to be.
Love, Nana

Re: Mama's Nuts! By Davin on 2/7/2007
A princess? She'll fit right in with this family. JK!
The last picture shows some sores on her left leg. Just normal kid bumps and bruises?

Re: Mama's Nuts! By Lori Matt and the Girls on 2/7/2007
How many princesses do you know that play hockey? I can't wait to get our anti princesses together.
love Ya,Lori

Re: Mama's Nuts! By Mary on 2/7/2007
Yeah Davin, she's a little bruised. Just part of being 2, not a big deal. She also has some scars from bug bites and owies. I'm not concerned, just part of growing up.

Re: Mama's Nuts! By Beth on 2/7/2007
Getting dressed up may seem like it is going to kill you, but it won't. Don't worry you only have to dress up several times during the year, just pray your Mama doesn't buy you one of those fancy Easter dresses. I will be thinking of you as you fly into Portland. Love ya, Auntie Beth

Re: Mama's Nuts! By Kyra on 2/7/2007
Being a princess isn't so bad - it comes in handy when I want something from my subjects, I mean parents. I like to order them around. Sometimes it works!

See you soon! I told Mom I'd share my toys with you, but I'm 2 - we'll see. Gotta go - Mom's coming!

Almost Outta' Here!

Wednesday, 12:31 p.m. Guangzhou, China (Tuesday 10:31 p.m. Minnesota)
Well, we are almost done with our China adventure. Little Miss MaoMao is taking a nap, then she gets a bath and a trip to the US Consulate for her US Visa! The US government has already approved her, today we go and swear that all of the information we gave them is true to the best of our knowledge, then they give us our babies' passports back with a US Visa inside them so they can get into the US!
We have set our alarm clock for 3:30 a.m., since the porter is coming at 5:00 a.m. for our bags. We have to be on the bus for the airport by 5:30 a.m. sharp! We have an 8:30 flight from Guangzhou to Tokyo, that will take about 4 hours. Then we have a 3:00 p.m. flight from Tokyo to Portland that will take 9 hours. Which will get us into Portland at 7:00 a.m. the same day, and hour and a half before we left China! Wrap your brain around that one! We then fly out of Portland at 8:45 and get into Minneapolis at 2:00. That's actually only a 3 hour flight when you account for the time change. Still with me?

Here's a picture:
Portland: -8
Minneapolis: -6
New York: -5
England: 0
China: +8
Tokyo: +9

There's the time zone map.
We leave Tokyo at 3:00 and fly 9 hours to Portland. That would get us into Portland at midnight Tokyo time, and there's a 17 hour difference between Portland and Tokyo. (Look at the chart -8 + 17 = 9) So - midnight in Tokyo = 7:00 a.m. in Portland!
Bryan just interrupted me to take a look at Maggie Mao. Here's how she was sleeping:

That's what those crib bumpers are for! Doh! Probably shouldn't have moved it, but she likes to look at Mommy when she wakes up. I'm that cute.
I have some pictures of Maggie Mao in her Chinese Princess outfit that I will put in the next post. This one is acting wacky when I try to upload pictures. So tttfn!

Original Comments from Post

Re: Almost Outta' Here! By Mom-Joan on 2/6/2007
It's 11:15 here and I shouldn't even be up but I've been downloading some of your pics and putting dates on them, so just thought I check one last time for the easter egg I sometimes find late at night. Looking forward to your return and continuing adventures. Have a great trip home. Please continue the pics as you all experience your new life together.
Love, Mom

Re: Almost Outta' Here! By Davin on 2/7/2007
I truly hope all your flights home are safe, consistent and with no surprises.
I'm still shocked at the thought of Mary getting up at 3:30 a.m.

It just doesn't happen!

Almost Done Here

First - to answer the questions from the last post: The guy in the white robe is the monk who blessed the babies, I mentioned him in the comments. And no, he doesn't smile. And no, not all of the families from Children's Home are from the Twin Cities or even Minnesota. Craig and Gwen are from southern Minnesota and Rick and Antinette are from the Seattle area. I was going to ask them how they found Children's Home, but never got around to it yesterday.
OK - on to the original post that I wrote:
Hey everybody. I cannot tell you how homesick we are. It is really tiring to be living in hotels for 2 weeks. We saw someone eating lasagna on the TV this afternoon and I almost cried. They try to do American food here, and Guangzhou does it better than Hefei, but it's still not the same. They put egg and cured beef on the club sandwiches for instance. It's okay - but it's not a good old fashioned American club. We've both lost 10 pounds here! Nuts.
Our guide/translator in this city is Molly. She went to the US Consulate for us this morning and said that Maggie's American visa has been approved! Yay! They're going to let her into the country. We just need to go to the consulate tomorrow to pick it up and do some kind of oath. Then we catch a van to the airport at 5:30 a.m. on Thursday morning and we are out of this country by 8:30! It has been a great trip, and the people here are wonderful - I just really really want to go home.
Anyway - we went out shopping today with Craig, Gwen and Julia. We bought Maggie a Chinese outfit for pictures this afternoon. (we'll post them as soon as we make them) We also picked up a pair of dress shoes for her that squeak when she walks. She thinks they are very cool. Her walking has improved 100% since last week. She's still a little wobbly, but being up and moving around has really helped. The squeaky shoes will definitely help too, the more she moves the better she gets.
We have the funniest video to show you guys when we get home. Funny as in disturbing. I was feeding her noodles for dinner last night (what else?) and she starts smoking her spoon. Yup, big old drags off of it. What the heck?!! I asked her "who have you been hanging out with?". She was in a Social Welfare Institute, so she was surrounded by people of all ages, and I think there may have been a few smokers. The most disturbing part of the whole smoking incident was when she pulled down the collar of her t-shirt to take a drag out of her trach-tube. Nice. My baby girl smokes out of her neck. We have some work ahead of us. It is really hard not to laugh when she's doing this. I know we should not be encouraging this - and she will do anything for a laugh - but we can't help it. She's an odd little thing. Odd as in adorable, precocious, funny and sweet.
I suppose you're all jonesing for a pic by now...hold on.
OK, I found a few pics that we have taken in the last day. This first one she is showing that she is related to Uncle Davin. She came into the bathroom to poop and brought a snack. Hey - it was going to take a while! I'm serious, she was actually pooping and eating at the same time.

This is us trying on her tights this morning. Oops, time to go shopping. I'm wearing a sweater because the AIR CONDITIONING in this hotel is too cold. I took it off and just wore my SHORT SLEEVE T-SHIRT shopping. (just rubbing it in)

And finally - her squeaky shoes. Her pants were falling off her behind and she was running around making her shoes squeak. You guys should meet this kid - she's funny. Wow, her legs look really short in these pics - she could be a Polack!

OK, time to wake up Maggie and Bryan and go get our pictures taken. Bye for now!

Original Comments from Post

Re: Almost Done Here! By Davin on 2/6/2007
I remember a scene from "The Bad News Bears" where a bathroom door is accidentally opened to show a kid was eating a bucket of chicken while sitting on the pot. Nasty!
It's 6:15AM, snowing and it's -4 degrees. The roads are bad with accidents and some schools are closed. Nonetheless, Minnesota misses you both!
That smoking behavior is amazing! I'm so glad you two don't smoke.
She's just a tiny girl, isn't she? When I se the pictures of her alone, she seems bigger - until I see the picture of her in your lap!
I'm glad the last few steps are going gracefully. When you get home Thursday, let us know when (Friday, Saturday) it's cool to come over and meet the new family member - after you guys settle in and rest. Cheers!

Re: Almost Done Here! By Lori on 2/6/2007
She will fit right in with the rest of the kids in this family. Odd behavior is completely acceptable if not expected out of the rest of them. I am just hoping she forgets all about smoking out of her trach tube in the coming years. Thanks for all the stories We miss you guys!!! I am so anxious to see all of you.

Re: Almost Done Here! By Auntie Loie on 2/6/2007
She looks happier, more enthusiastic, and more relaxed with every batch of pictures. Hope Rachel (my granddaughter) can meet her sometime soon.

Re: Almost Done Here! By Beth on 2/6/2007
Snack food in the bathroom icky, next time give her a magazine.The trach thing is disgusting, it's sad that people still smoke with a trach, remember that Uncle we had from the island, didn't he have a trach and smoke??? And one more thing if her pants are falling off her butt does that mean she has no butt like the rest of us?

Re: Almost Done Here! By Joan on 2/6/2007
Thanks for the update. I'm anxious for you guys to be back also. Have a safe trip back.

An old wive's tale for you

There's an ancient Chinese story about how the red couches at the White Swan Hotel suck the Happiness out of little adopted Chinese babies. And it's true!

Original Commenst from Post

Re: An old wive's tale for you By Alison and Jim on 2/6/2007
Alison has a book that indicates in China that dried sea slugs are a delicacy, are you certain that it was beef on your club sandwich the other day? It looks like you should have said "noodles" instead of "cheese" before taking that picture. See you soon.

Re: An old wive's tale for you By Ashley on 2/8/2007
She's so cute! I can't wait to meet her. I hope you have fun with her at home, since your home now.
Love always,

Monday, February 5, 2007

We're just fine.

I know. We haven't posted for a little while. We've just been kinda busy running around, filling out paperwork, shopping, and just being a family.

Yes, we have her passport. We actually got that in Hefei. It's a red Chinese passport. We're getting the US Visa put on it here in Guangzhou. We had a quick medical check done here also, although, I don't think it was a thorough exam. They just went through some basics to make sure that she was healthy. She is.

Yesterday morning, we went to the 6 Banyan Tree Temple, The Chang School, and the Jade and Pearl market. The temple was pretty cool. Our guide had a monk bless us and our children.

Original Comments from Post

Re: We're just fine. By Mary on 2/5/2007
By the way - The people in the picture are Rick and Antinette with their 3 year old daughter Hadley, the monk who wears Nike socks, us and Gwen & Craig with their 17 month old Julia Lu. We've spent most of our time with Gwen and Craig, the other family had to go to Nanjing to pick up Hadley and didn't meet back up with us until we arrived in Guangzhou. We are all Children's Home families, that's why we're in the same group.

Re: We're just fine. By Beth on 2/5/2007
Who's the guy in the white jacket? he doesn't look too happy. None of the kids are smiling either, maybe it'a a Chinese thing. All the parents look very happy to be new mamas and babas.

Re: We're just fine. By Davin on 2/5/2007
Glad to see that everything is going fine. Cool pic.
Does that mean that all Children's Home families are from Minnesota?

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Just to rub it in

The weather forecast for Guangzhou for this week:
Sunday 74
Monday 77
Tuesday 79
Wednesday 81

Original Comments from Post

Re: Just to rub it in By from McGregor MN on 2/4/2007
Just add a (-) in front of it and that is what we feel like today, close anyways. We are still all having fun in the indoor pool.

Re: Just to rub it in By Davin on 2/4/2007

Re: Just to rub it in By Rane on 2/4/2007

Re: Just to rub it in By Beth on 2/4/2007
Looks like it will 64 today in sunny Medford, OR, Kind of screws up the family ski vacation this coming weekend. Oh well I guess we go fishing and hiking instead.

Re: Just to rub it in By Davin on 2/4/2007
Did you get her passport yet?
Just wondering...

Re: Just to rub it in By Lori Matt and the Girls on 2/5/2007
High of 12 on Thursday here in the cities - You are coming back in time to enjoy our warming trend

Re: Just to rub it in By Davin on 2/5/2007
-17 this morning in White Bear Township.

13 this morning in Whitehorse, Yukon.

I think I can handle the Yukon.

Re: Just to rub it in By Joan on 2/5/2007
Hey Hope all is well. We haven't heard anything recently. Wondering what you guys are doing in the warmth? Its 11:15 Monday, what did you do on Sunday & Monday.? Do you have her passport yet?

Re: Just to rub it in By Emily on 2/5/2007
we went up to Mcgreger my dad went with Jeff to the races all girls
besides Thersa and erin stayed back!!!! dad says if you were out there and you opened your eyes theyed half freeze!!!! you are very lucky!!!

More Pictures

Pictures of Maggie. The first two are from Hefei. The last one is from here in Guangzhou.

We made it to Guangzhou

It's been a long time since we've been home, and we're really beginning to miss it. We checked in this afternoon at the infamous White Swan Hotel. It's a beautiful hotel, but our room smells like the last resident was a chain smoker. The smell seems to be fading. We first walked in and saw that our room featured twin beds, and smokers smell, but then we saw the view. Amazing, and that was during the day. At night the shoreline lights up like a Christmas tree. It's quite a sight after seeing Hefei, which is an industrial city, not a tourist place like this.

Hmm. 35 RMB for the Coke Light in the mini-bar. Ouch, that's over $4.00. We went down to a little store on the first floor and bought 2 Coke Lights, and a 1.5 liter of drinking water for 15 RMB (just under $2.00). That's more like it.

Almost everything here is catering to tourists, but we're amongst many, many other adoptive parents. Let's just say that we no longer stand out in a crowd here. We generated some stares in the last city we were in. Sometimes a sense of humor is such a necessity. While we were eating noodles in the hotel restaraunt last night, we actually had a family that stopped and came into the restaraunt to watch us for a minute.

Original Comments from Post

Re: We made it to Guangzhou. By Davin on 2/3/2007
Those lights are super frickin' cool!
My motel room Des Moines wanted $4.50 for the bottle of Evian (water) in my room.
Less than a week until you're home! Yay! Does the air seem cleaner here than it was in Hefei? Can you get noodles with cheese on them?
This morning in St. Paul, it was -13 degrees! Really!

Re: We made it to Guangzhou. By Jim on 2/3/2007
We are watching Turk race his sled in McGregor today, -18 on the ice!!! Have fun in the warmth while you have it.

Re: We made it to Guangzhou. By Ashley Turcotte on 2/3/2007
hi Mary! she is so cute! the veiw is AMAZING! im here at the hotel im mcgregor with joanie, jim, lori, matt, and all the kids! i cant wait to meet her. i hope you have a great time!
lots of love,

Re: We made it to Guangzhou. By Emily on 2/3/2007
The lights are very pretty,does mao like the view? for her b-day through
her a noodle party!!!

Re: We made it to Guangzhou. By Ellen, Ariel, Charlie, & Kyra on 2/3/2007
Nice view but Kyra is requesting more pictures of Maggie (she calls her Mangy Mownow - Mangy pronounced like tangy).

We're counting down the days until you come home!

Re: We made it to Guangzhou. By alison on 2/3/2007
It's so pretty!!!I'm stuned.

Re: We made it to Guangzhou. By Mom- Joan on 2/4/2007
The top photo is the best smile we've seen yet. New desktop wall-paper for me. Thanks!

Friday, February 2, 2007

Why I love noodles

MaoMao here again. Thought I'd clear up a few of the noodle questions for you. You see, China is bisected laterally by two large rivers, the Yellow and the Yangtze. People who live north of the Yellow River (like in Beijing) are noodle eaters. Those who live between the rivers eat both noodles and rice (like here in the Anhui province) and those who live south of the Yangtze are rice eaters (like down in Guangzhou). So - I like noodles and rice because I'm a Central-Chinese kind of gal. I've had noodles every day since they started me on solid food. Like how you guys eat potatoes with every meal.