Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thomas woke up a happy boy this morning.  We haven't had very much crying at all.  He has started to cough a little, but doesn't seem too big a deal yet.  Maybe the initial deep grief is fading a little.  He is eating formula very well now, but really not happy about any baby food or solids even approaching his mouth.  I think our guide was so smart to give us so much downtime the first few days.  Going out with Thomas today was fun, but even just yesterday, it would have been hard.  He seems stronger today, but still very weak considering he's 27 mos.

We went to the Lanzhou park and zoo today.  They have so many very beautiful animals, but the cages aren't great.  The panda came out to see us.  Many Chinese tourists were more interested in us than the panda.  More people than I expected approach our cleft-affected kids in a friendly way, but there are a few who stare at the kids.  All the babies really seemed to enjoy the outing- no real screaming at all at the zoo.  Our guide, Steed, is great- he brought extra strollers, which were a life saver, and he tells jokes in English that are actually funny.

The older folks at the park were doing tai-chi, water painting, and playing instruments.  It looked like a wonderful place to hang out.  The view of the surrounding mountains is breathtaking.  The road was very bumpy, but we have a great bus driver.  I haven't felt uncomfortable without a seat belt at all.

Then we had a quick stop at the police station for a passport picture for the babies, and we went to the famous Lanzhou beef noodle restaurant.  It was good, but the pulled noodles that they serve for breakfast at the Landison Hotel where we are staying are better, imho.  Maybe just because they leave out the cilantro for me....  Watching the chef pull the noodles by hand is pretty amazing- I've never seen anything like it.  He just grabs some dough and starts stretching, and suddenly, he's holding noodles.

We came back to the room and got ready for naptime, and one of the other moms and I headed out for our daily "buy more water from the store" trip.  On the way, we stopped at a boutique and bought really cute baby shoes.  Of course, Thomas's have pandas...

The girls enjoyed some Chinese cartoons on TV while I was gone.  You don't have to speak the language to follow the plot of a cartoon.

We expected it to be freezing in Lanzhou and came equipped with parkas and everything, but it is very warm- at least in the 60's, and not below 50, even at night.  The Chinese still expect you to bundle the babies in many layers, and I got yelled out when a bit of his leg peeked between his pants and socks.  He was already sweating from all his clothes, though...

Thomas just woke up (almost 4 pm here) and had his 4th bottle today.  He'll have at least one more before bed, so that's the most he's eaten for us in a day, by far.  Yay!  He lets me hold him for every bottle, and looks at me as much as he can stand.  I think we are growing on him.  :)

Lanzhou famous Beef Noodle Restaurant
November 03, 2011
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November 03, 2011
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later today
November 02, 2011
Thomas really played for the first time after his nap.  He played with a toy car, and used his hands to pick up and hold things better than ever.  He sat up alone for a really long time, and can reach and scoot when you put his toy car out of his reach.  He even crawled 2-3 little steps to get it once.  He's all worn out and just playing while laying down now, but not ready for sleep.  Still no really long crying fit yet today.

Matt is totally crashed out, and I'm so tired.  The time change/ jet lag is still hard.  Good thing Ginny is here...  her (usually annoying) ability to avoid sleep is very useful, and Thomas loves her.  And good thing Thomas is a good napper and sleeper.

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