Happy 11 month birthday Kylie!

Each day I wake up and find myself more in love with a little girl than the day before. I have to ask myself how this is possible...

Each day so far Kylie has awakened quietly. In fact, if you aren't listening, you can easily miss the quiet sound of her sucking her thumb. But once you look over the edge of the crib at her, she smiles and is beginning to reach for us, so of course we pull her out and have some play time. (Sunday School class, be glad our class meets after the 9:45 worship, you know we were rarely on time when it was just the two of us...)

We decided to get up early and put on her CCC staff in training shirt in honor of the Charity Ball on the 10th (of course when she was wearing it you guys were still in the evening of the 9th...)

I'm digging close up shots right now, they are hard to get, but I think they can show so much personality!
You can see that Kylie changed shirts. That is because today was cooler and our guide has been stressing that we need to keep the babies in layers to keep them warm. I will say that they believe in over dressing the babies here. Ian and I decided to avoid the "clothing police" here and go ahead with a long sleeve shirt and a sweatshirt jacket. Man did she look cute!!!
We played for a while with the few toys we brought with us. Kylie's favorite things right now include the stacking cups and her alphabet shaped links. And when you can bang those onto a table and make noise, even better!

Following breakfast 8 of the 11 families in our Guangdong group headed to Shamian Island to do some shopping. Four of us decided to give the subway system a go ~ after all, if you master a subway in one city, you can figure it out anywhere, right? Turns out you can, it was easy.

Pictured with Kylie and I are Natalie (who is holding baby Marisa behind Kylie) Bob, Nathaniel, Cindy, Jenny and baby Olivia.

When we stepped out of the subway we were met with heavy construction and lots of traffic. I was beginning to doubt how nice Shamian was until we finally crossed over the bridge. Wow, what a different place than main Guangzhou! It was so quiet and serene. Just strolling around was worth the time, Ian and I plan to go back at least one or two more times to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Turns out this island was once the living place for European and American traders in Guangzhou. There are statues scattered throughout the island depicting life as it was in the more colonial times. Ian and I got a kick out of this one as it seemed to show East meets West by depicting Confucius meets Lincoln.

After some very successful shopping (squeaky shoes, North Face coats, stamp sets carved in jade with Kylie's Chinese name characters, necklaces, a knockoff Burberry handbag, t-shirts...) we had lunch at Lucy's with the Freemans, Martens, Pages, and Orrisons. Let me tell you how darn good the grilled cheese sandwich tasted! After the report from a few others that had gone into the neighboring public restrooms, I decided the park bench would do for a diaper change. Kylie now just coos when I change her which is a great improvement over the screaming that we used to hear. You can see Wendy and baby Nellie talking with me.

We found the free day today to be refreshing. It was nice to aimlessly wander through the peaceful streets with no particular time to be anywhere. It was fun to snap photos of what we saw going on around us. These little boys were very excited to try out their English and say hello.

This group of older generation folks were playing cards on the street. I'm not sure what game they were playing, but they were drawing cards, looking at them, and passing them along at a quick pace. It sorta looked like spoons, I wanted to find out what game it was, but couldn't figure out how to linger without being obvious.

These two women were doing granite etchings. It is an amazingly detailed process! We are bringing them different photos of our family members to be combined into one etching. The three pictures are of Ian and I, one of Kylie, and of course, one of our sweet doggie Maya. (Sam ~ our friend who doubles as the dog sitter this trip ~ had sent an email saying only, "i threw snowballs at your dog." I'm sure that she loved it!) We do miss Maya a bunch and look forward to she and Kylie learning to play together!

Kylie opened up to us even a little bit more today. The following picture was taken around 3:45. At that point she had been in the carrier on my chest since 10. (She did nap twice, about one hour this morning and about 2 1/2 this afternoon). Look at that darling face. She is making much more eye contact with Ian and I and the smiles and giggles are coming more frequently and freely. Thank you for all of you that have been praying for smooth transition for the three of us! It is working. She will rub noses and even gave me a kiss for the first time tonight (one that she totally initiated ~ I was in heaven!)
Despite how well Kylie did today, we decided that she (and us for that matter) was in need of some down time. After we metroed back from the island with two other families we headed up to our apartment. Because I had carried the little sweetie for about 7 hours, I let daddy give her the evening bottle. Notice how she crosses her feet, isn't that the cutest!

After a few hours of quiet playtime and a bath, this little cutie was ready for bed! (Mama, apparently we bought her "highwater" pajamas. Luckily I had some socks that match perfectly, but we were cracking up at how short the legs are...) See you tomorrow big world!

ps ~ I just wanted to say a HUGE thanks to those of you that are leaving comments! It is good to hear from loved ones at home and we also look forward to sharing with Kylie one day all who followed along on the trip from home!


nai nai miller said...

Happy 11th birthday, Kylie. I can hardly wait until we can celebrate the big One Year with you. I love the closeup shots your mommy is taking - you really are the most beautiful child. And you are standing up so well now. I hated leaving you behind to go home, but am counting the hours until you are here too. Every day I figure the 13 hour time difference and imagine what you are doing. God Bless you.

EMILY said...

Kristi, I love the pic of you and Kylie nose to nose. It truly shows how much the two of you have bonded in just a few days. It is a blessing to see you and Ian with the family you dreamed of. I have enjoyed following your journey to china and can't wait for all of you to be home. God Bless,

lauracoleman said...


Everyday I love following the story of Kylie, Ian, and Kristi. I await the daily adventures. Being a mom, it tickles me to hear you talk about the fussiness of changing the diaper to the too short pj's. I have been there, but it gets better. You just have to cherish every moment, because they grow sooooo fast. Happy 11th Month Kylie. We can't wait to see her upon your arrival. Don't worry about being late for Sunday School, we have two and live two min down the road and are still late. You just have laugh, and think if we are a couple min late, noone will say anything. It is a part of parenthood. No matter how hard you try to be on time anywhere, you get spit up on, have a blowout that prevents you from leaving when you need to. This will be great for Kylie to read when she gets older. You should put this and all of the pictures in a book for her and call it Kylie's Adventures. Talk to you soon. Laura

stephanie k said...

Happy 11th month Kylie! Sarah and I are sitting here looking at Kylie's pictures and she want to BABYSIT! Sarah said, "she's so cute!" You can really tell there is quite a bond forming between ya'll by looking at the daily pictures you are taking. Thanks for sharing your journey. Gob Bless all of you...Stephanie & Sarah Keziah

Anonymous said...

Happy 11th month birthday Kylie!! I finally found the courage to blog for the 2nd time in my life. I am a woman of few written words (many spoken), but have been closely following your trip. Anah and Sera have enjoyed all the pictures and seem to be surprised at how much Kylie looks like you Kristi! They even log on themselves and show Kylie to everyone who comes over. They cannot wait to meet her and neither can I (or Tim)! We know first hand what wonderful parents you and Ian are and the love you guys poor out on Kylie are what is making the transition easy. Just remember there are always tough days, but in the end you find kids act like they should--like kids. It is just our job to love them no matter what and I can't think of a more blessed child in the world than Kylie to have not only the greatest parents in the world, but also the greatest grandmas, aunts, uncles, and extended family. If I were ever asked to describe your family in a single word from the first time I met them until now I would just say LOVE. You guys are awesome!! We love the close up pictures--they have always been my favorite. It provides better focus on the real subject of any picture from now on--Kylie!! Just know that your Hickory family misses you guys and are dying to meet Kylie!! The girls want to know when we are coming. Take care, be safe, and keep loving that little beautiful girl.


Lora said...

Happy 11th month Bday Kylie! You are so beautiful. When I was reading the blog today I thought about a song a friend of mine always sang at baptisms at my church. The song is by Sandi Patti I cant remember all of the words but its something like this:
"Before you had a name or opened up your eyes, Or anyone could recognize your face. You were being formed so delicate in size
Secluded in God’s safe and hidden place.With your tiny hands and
Little tiny feet And little eyes that shimmer like a pearl.
He breathed in you a song and to make it all complete He brought the msterpiece into the world.
You are a masterpiece…"
Kylie Miller you are a masterpiece created and brought into this world for the perfect plan God has for you! Happy Birthday to a beautiful child of God!
The Vanns send love!

Allison said...

Kylie, you are so beautiful!!!
Kristi and Ian--soak it all up. The trip is like nothing else in the world! I'm so glad everything is going well for ALL of you. Maggie picked out a "welcome home" present for Kylie yesterday. Oh yeah, and Maggie wears highwaters rather frequently. Gotta keep her a baby while I can!! :)

Aunt Traci said...

I love the picture of Kylie nose to nose with you Kristi... makes me giggle! I miss you guys already!
ps. that was so sweet of you to buy me a burburry purse! Gosh I don't know what to say... ;)

LaoLao Shultz said...

Well, we tried with the pajamas. Perhaps they are "cropped" pajamas! haha Hope the other pair fit better - they did look much longer! Happy 11 months, Kylie.
Remember that LaoLao loves you. Can hardly wait to see you Friday night or Saturday. Hope you make the connection in Chicago.

Birth Mom of Adoption said...

My daughter is 11 months too today. I like seeing what she could be doing by seeing you daughter at the same age.