The park, purse shopping and a playdate.

So today (Friday, Feb 9) was a nice day. We began the day around 7:30 when Kylie began to stir in her crib. Once again we spent some time playing in bed before bottles and showers. This little one can be a bit cranky later in the day before nap time, but she shines in the morning! We got ready and headed to breakfast to meet up with the group and go to a park (no, not the one you guys saw Adam & Traci).

We left the hotel for Yuntai Gardens around 10. It is built onto the side of a "mountain" ~ elevation 342 meters ~ and is quite beautiful. Many of the trees and bushes were trimmed into the shape of animals and there were flowers everywhere. Folks were strolling, snapping pictures, and sitting in the shade ~ today was a hot one, the heat index was 91 degrees!

It is really hard to blend in here. Ian and I had found when we lived in France that as long as we didn't open our mouths that no one seemed to notice that we "didn't belong." Yeah, that doesn't happen here. Most of the time people are in such a hurry that they don't pay us too much attention, but every now and then they really give long stares. And that has made us wonder what the general person on the street thinks about foreigners coming to China to take children home with us. As I sat on the edge of the steps this older couple slowly passed by. The man obviously only knew a few words of English, but leaned over, smiled, made the peace sign and said, "Very good, very good." That warmed my heart!

A bit later these older folks passed by while we were standing with two other families from our group. The woman is getting a kick out of our sleeping princess who is sucking her thumb for all she is worth with one hand and tightly gripping her pacifier with the other. (I offered her the pacifier thinking that it is easier to take away one day, but she thinks it is just a toy. The thumb sucking seems to be her self soothing technique, so we're gonna let it go.) Then she was pointing to Sarah's cheeks and nose structure and gesturing that she looked like her daddy in that way. And you know what, she really does. These kids were handpicked for our families ~ Kylie even has a funny little sneeze!

While these three were "talking" to us ~ they spoke no English, but there was a lot of gestures going both ways ~ a group of young women came up and were making over the three babies. Ian caught that on the camcorder. It's a blast.

Ian and I walked alone for a while and found a fountain ~ I almost wished it would have unexpectedly come on, I was carrying a sweet little sleeping oven ~ decorated with the signs of the zodiac. Again, we don't believe in it, but felt a compulsion to photo Kylie next to the dog. It is part of where she comes from...

The park really was quite beautiful. It was one of those places that made you forget that you were in the middle of a city bustling with 10 million people. Here it was calm and serene. We are really enjoying getting to know the other families, here Kylie and I are walking with Jenny and baby Olivia.Ralf, I know that you aren't actually from Frankfurt, but Frankfurt is a sister city to Guangzhou, so I had to take picture for my German brother.

They were getting the park ready for Chinese New Year.

Umm, about snow? And we thought it was funny that the 7 dwarfs were considered part of winter decorations...

Kylie is fascinated with flowers. We wonder if she just has never really been exposed to them before. For the Wesley crowd, note the shirt our little one is sporting!

While we were waiting for the other families to come out, several of us stood under the shade of a palm tree and held our girls. Kylie isn't a fan of being confined in a tight space on a bus (oh dear the plane ride should be fun...). These kids really started hamming it up and trying to play better when they knew the cameras were on them.

Amy had told us on the way to the park that we would probably see some people dressed in wedding clothes. And just when we were getting ready to leave a white limo pulls up and out steps the bride and groom. We actually learned that it is custom here in China to take the wedding photos months before the wedding (I guess like our bridal portraits) and have the pictures sitting around at the wedding reception. We were pretty sure that this couple was here for photos and not the wedding ceremony.

When we got back from the park, Ian and I both ate a slice of our leftover pizza from Pizza Hut yesterday and played with our little angel. She was quite playful and we recorded most of that with the camcorder because she got the giggles again. Let me tell you that is the sweetest sound I've ever heard! Then she was showing us how well she can stand by herself and even take guided steps (sigh, I guess she's gonna be walking soon). After about an hour and a half, it was nap time (both for Kylie and Ian).

While they slept, I went with a group of 10 for a walk to a "fake purse" mall. It was quite an experience, both the walk there and the mall itself. Thank goodness we only had to cross one major road, they don't really stop for pedestrians here like we do at home ~ even when we were following the "walk/don't walk" signs at a pedestrian crossing. Then there was the mall. It was a crazy maze of stores, offering Gucci, LV, Coach, and every other expensive brand of purse you can imagine. Apparently there are different grades of knockoffs, ranging from A to D. I tried to haggle over a big, pink, Gucci bag that was going to be a diaper bag for me, but the guy wouldn't come down on the price so I came back empty handed. It was fun though and I'll try again!

When I got back we made some phone calls and decided to have a little play date in the room again. Ian and I ordered from Danny's Bagel. Then the Freemans (Doug, Natalie, Nathaniel and Alexandra ~ their youngest two children are home in Kansas City with grandparents) arrived with Marisa. When our food arrived (He got the chicken Parmesan sub and I had spaghetti with sun dried tomatoes and feta cheese. Man was that good!) Kylie was really wanting to be held, so Doug offered to walk her for a minute while Ian and I ate. Funny thing was Marisa started to get jealous that her daddy was holding someone else, so he had double duty for a while.

Shortly after we had finished eating, Cindy and Jon (from Indianapolis) arrived with Caroline. Their three kids, Mindy, Abby, and Mickey stayed in their apartment with their Grandma doing homework and having some down time. Cindy is a shutter bug and as she was capturing Kylie looking at herself in a little mirror, Caroline was on the attack. She is very spirited and is fun to watch!

Now that it was finally cooler, Daddy put on his Hokie colors for a daddy and baby shot. You can see that she is continuing to warm up to us.

And I leave you with one parting shot for the day. Isn't she beautiful! Good night!


LaoLao Shultz said...

Yes, she is beautiful!! This makes me cry. It was so hard to leave her yesterday or two days ago or however long it was. Just know that Traci realized when we reached Charlotte that it was after 5pm which meant we had been traveling for over 24 hours! Yikes My body is so wacked that I'm not sure if it is day or night let alone know what day it is haha

There were many babies on our plane and they actually did very well. Many sat between their parents (parents had put up the armrest between them) and played, or slept on one of their parents, one even slept on a little pallet on the floor. Kylie will do well.

Can't wait until next week to see all of you again. God be with you.
LaoLao - Grandma Shultz

Allison said...

We have a picture of Maggie by her zodiac sign as well!
And on the plane ride never hurts to use the Flyer's Friend, if Kylie needs to be "coaxed" to sleep. :)

Anonymous said...

Love the Hokie shirt!! We need to get one of those for Sara!! :) Can't wait to see all of you! So glad to hear things are going well.
Love, Gladhill's