Thursday, July 30, 2009

Please Help LWB

This is so easy, just takes a moment, and you can help those that are making an incredible difference to the children in China who remain in orphanages and foster care!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Happily Home!

Saying goodbye to friends!
I love "Cafe Pafisic"!
We had to go check out the prayer room at the HK airport. There are mats and a big floor compass for Muslims, along with an area to shower off before praying
We are back and enjoying every moment of freedom, family, and starting tomorrow, friends. It's once again very surreal to be here. It's like we have alternate realities and they are so vastly different that one doesn't seem as real when we are in the other. As you can tell I finally gave up earlier in the month on trying to post. After months of Blogger and Youtube being blocked it was very disheartening when FB and Twitter were gone as well (of course along with Flicker, Typepad, etc.). The proxy situations were difficult and time consuming so we did what they hope you will do and quit trying. I love to research and network on all that is near and dear to us, so being cut off really bothered me. But it's over, and we are diving in : )

The flight home was great. We got bulk head seating on Cathy Pacific again and Abbey is a wonderful little travler. She is so into her passport (which is pretty full now) and loves going here and there on buses, taxi's, trains, boats, you name it. For her CP is all about Playhouse Disney, children's meals, and goodie bags. I had a migraine but also had and Imitrex shot which saved the day. I've gotten one now every time we've flown here to there, so I think it must be about the air pressure, because other than that they only come at a set time each month. I had $350 to spend on the duty free goods with vouchers from our last trip when there was no electrictiy on our ailse. I would have preferred an upgrade to first class, but still it was nice. Abbey got to meet one of the pilots and go upstairs to the cockpit, she wanted to know if girls could fly the plane and they assured her that girls can be pilots too.

Our re-entry has felt like heaven, everything familiar and comforting. It does feel extremely luxurious and there is some guilt that goes along with that. My first bit of culture shock was seeing a large group of People to People high schoolers on our flight. I was shocked at the number of obese teenagers. In China I always felt conspicuous for being "large". Our last week there I tried to buy some leggings at Wal Mart that were one size fits all, but they were tossed aside on the first attempt to put them on. It feels very nice to be average again. Looking around at all the overweight people here in the US, I wonder how it all must appear to my friends back in our China home.

And then there was Target, the first destination on my list. Trying not to sleep during the day we headed out and downed a huge SBX (which has replaced the Target snack bar), and spent almost 3 hrs wandering around. Coming home with all our belongings reduced to 2 suitcases each, we need everything. A first pass at the basics (cereal, vitamins, toothpaste) totalled $242. My mind was spinning as I went up and down the shampoo isle. I just wanted some Pantene and there were about 15 different versions. Straight hair, long hair, volume, color treated, silky, etc. I finally got some Suave, they only had about 10 choices to narrow down. My sister later told me that if you turn the bottle over and look at the ingredients they are all the same, which made me feel much better knowing that I could pick anything and it will work fine. We had so much fun there. It was so freeing to be able to read everything and not have to do mental money conversions. Abbey gave up all her things when we first moved to China, and then gave up everything from this year when we left, so she is thrilled that it is now time to get some new clothes and toys and keep them. The last week in China was a little challenging as she gave away her bike, princesses gear, scooter and books. We did keep her little castle and dress up clothes.

Two embarassing moments today...

I went to get gas for the first time (it's so exciting to drive!) and couldn't remember about the different grades of fuel. I had to yell and ask a rocker teenage boy if regular gas was unleaded. Everyone was staring at me with their mouths hanging open. I sheepishly mumbled that I had been out of the country for a long time and couldn't remember.

At the post office I asked the clerk how much stamps are now. I knew I had some old ones somewhere, but didn't know how much they were for and needed to know what to buy to bridge the gap. When he showed me the display notebook I tried to take out a sheet to purchase and he snapped at me as if I had touched the crown jewels. I forgot that you just point and they retrieve it from elsewhere. It was the same Chinese clerk that posted all my adoption documents. He maybe thinking I'm a little cuckoo. I have so much compassion now for people who are switching cultures, everything is so different. I really want to reach out to foreign students and new immigrants and befriend them.

Abbey's big thrills have been seeing our family, taking a bubble bath, listening to our favorite Tommy Walker CD which we forgot to bring to China, and eating Mexican food at Sharkey's. We also spent an hour yesterday at an awesome toy store. The toy situation in China is so sad, but that's another post. She's excited to go to a birthday party today, start swim lessons, and hopefully see Tina, her former daycare provider, soon.

Our tenants don't move out of our place until Friday and then we want to paint and have the carpets cleaned before we move in. We are taking this week just to stay with with those we love and slowly re-acclimate before the whirl of work and school begins.

Friday, July 10, 2009


It's all gone.  Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, everything...The point is to make it so hard that you quit trying. 
We fly out July 25th and I'm really looking forward to connecting with all of you and sharing all that we couldn't these past several months.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Horn of the Unicorn

"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I now present to you the Horn of the Unicorn.  It's is very important that you remain in your seats.  I repeat, remain in your seats.  Do not attempt to touch the horn for it is very sharp...."
Just another silly part of Abbey's shower routine that we reenact each time. 
In other silliness, we always say lines to each other from the Beatrix Potter book, Squirrel Nutkin.  Our favorite is "Who's been digging up my nuts?" which we chant and say when we are looking for something.  I also call her Chippy Hackee, which really ruffles her feathers.  She always insists that she is Goody Tiptoes. She likes to hide her vitamins in her cheek like a little squirrel.
On a more serious note Abbey has certain things that she loves to go over with me time after time.  She asks, "Mama, do you love me?"  because she loves for me to tell her "You NEVER have to wonder if I love you.  I will always love you no matter what."  She loves to go over how much I love her (up to heaven and back again).  And she loves to discuss that I will still love her even if she does something very bad and she asks me to tell her, "You can never stop making me love you!"   It's very funny to hear her mirror things back to me like "You are my precious Mama.  You are my cutie."  The other day she said, "Mommy I love everyone in China, and the whole world, but I love you best of all."  Everyday I just feel so incredibly grateful to have her in my life.

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