Hubei Provincial Museum and the morning

So right now the kids are napping... (sweet little angels, aren't they?)

and I decided to get a jump start on blogging today. I was so tired last night that I actually fell asleep in the middle of typing several sentences. This way I'll have less to do tonight. And no, don't worry, I'm not blogging just for my audience (though I was threatened with bodily harm by some family members if I didn't post at least once a day. I'm sorta kidding...) but rather to try and capture all my thoughts and feelings about this amazing experience. Even just after 21 months, I'm amazed how much I had forgotten about our trip with Kylie until I go back and read it on here.

I wanted to go back and add a few pictures from yesterday's walk along the Yangtze first. At the entrance to the park (which stretches about 18 km along the river) there were many kite vendors set up. The Chinese love the kite and we've seen them flying in most parks that we've come across. I'm not sure right now why we didn't buy one for Kylie while we were there, but I'm sure we'll pick one up before we head home.
There were also a number of brides and grooms there to have their photos taken. Zoey told us that it is custom to have the photos taken weeks to months before the wedding so that you can send pictures in the invitations. She also said that pictures along the Yangtze are considered very lucky. We saw six couples there having pictures made.
I left a lot of the sky in the picture above so that you can see the smog. Wuhan is a very beautiful city, but I have been somewhat taken aback by the amount of air pollution. Yesterday was pretty much a clear day, but there was still a haze in the air. For those of you on the trip last year, it is even worse than the smoggy day in Beijing. I hope that they take some measures in the near future to deal with the air pollution because it is a lovely city! Our three mile walk back brought us into the twilight hours and it was fun to see the neon come on and the night markets on the side streets come to life. The main part of our walk was down a pedestrian shopping street that reminded Ian and I of an area in Frankfurt, Germany that we visited with my former exchange student (now considered German brother) Ralf.

I forgot to say last night that Ian gave the kids their bath. Caleb didn't even whimper once until he was pulled out of the water and got chilled. Then Daddy wouldn't do and he cried for me. One amazing thing about this little kiddo is that he has been trained well to go to sleep. All you have to do is lay him down on his back and he is out in less than 5 minutes! Thank goodness because if putting him to sleep was like Kylie then we'd have a real problem on our hands!

Okay, on to this morning. So it makes me laugh how long it takes us as a family to get ready now... We finally made it to breakfast and feasted! I'm gonna miss having a buffet with everything from Chinese dim sum dumplings to eggs and bacon on it. A buffet makes feeding a child you barely know so much easier!

After Caleb's appetite was finally sated, we went down to the lobby and met Zoey. Then it was on to the Hubei Provincial Museum. Riding in the van still seems to unsettle Caleb. I have to wonder if he now associates riding in a car to the sudden change in his life? Overall Kylie is doing well with the change in her life, but does exhibit that "I want Mommy to hold me" jealousy when I'm holding Caleb. (The good news is that she doesn't say, "No, that's my mommy!" like she does when I hold other kids sometimes. She has stated out loud ~ perhaps as a reminder to herself ~ that I am "Ta-eb's mommy AND Ty-ie's mommy!") Ian tried to hold Caleb this morning and the little turkey screamed. We don't want to cause a scene, so we made a quick switch off much to Kylie's dismay. Luckily Zoey is an acceptable substitution for me in Kylie's eyes (I suppose she just wants a woman) so Zoey got to carry her for a while.
The museum courtyard is quite beautiful!

Our main focus was to see the unearthed stuff from the tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng. It was quite fascinating to see artifacts from 2,400 years ago! Until today I had thought that it was just the Egyptians that had the elaborate tombs for royalty. The Marquis had quite an impressive cache of treasure buried with him. The Chinese people of those days were so creative and even had primitive refrigeration systems! The most impressive artifact was the carillon bells.

click on the picture to enlarge it.
After a brief history lesson from Zoey, we went to hear a concert of music primarily using a replica of the carillon bells. There was traditional music from Hubei Province, folk music from the Guangdong Province, some with dancing, and then they used the bells to play "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's 9th Symphony. Kylie LOVED the music. Caleb did too, but got VERY vocal halfway through it, so Zoey took him outside the theatre so that I could stay and listen. It thrilled my soul when he practically lept out of her arms when he saw me come out! He likes Zoey and runs to give her hugs whenever we meet her in the lobby, but he knew his Mama!

We visited a little more of the museum and did a little shopping in the gift shop to pick up some lacquered boxes (something Hubei Province is known for) and turquoise jewelry ~ considered lucky and found here in Hubei. (As if a woman needs an excuse to buy a new necklace and bracelet, right?)

The kids were hungry in the van on the way back to the hotel, so we busted out a bag of Lay's chips. Don't worry, we aren't totally falling back on food from home ~ the flavors here are quite interesting. This was a bag ~ we as a family killed them on the way back, it is a smaller size than our bags in the states though~ of "Fragrant Red Chili Flavor" and yesterday we had "Roasted Mexican Tomato and Chicken." Both were quite good! Cindy Martens, I'm sure you'll appreciate the knowledge that Caleb himself probably put down about 1/2 of the bag! He loves his chips! These had just a little kick to them (reminded me of Trader Joe's Hawaiian BBQ with a little more spice) and Kylie kept saying, "Dese a lil bit picy!" but her hand kept going back in the bag...

And now before the kids wake up, I think I'll join them for a few minutes...

Oh yeah, forgot to comment on my little sleeping mover. This morning around 4 I woke up and looked over at the kids' bed. Only one child in it... I had a moment of panic before I turned on the light and found Caleb scrunched up in the corner of the room about 4 feet from the edge of the bed. I'm thinking that the crib when we get home may be necessary for a little while?


Laurie said...

Yeah- more fun picture and details- LOVE IT! So glad that Caleb is starting to warm up to Ian- that's wonderful! Keep those pictures coming- he is precious, and I'm so happy to hear that Kylie is accepting him as her brother- awesome!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh how fun to see what you guys have been up to. I know you must be thrilled to have him run to you! That warms my heart!
I love the pictures of them sleeping! I could look at those all day!
Aunt Cici and Uncle Adam

Anonymous said...

Hello!! we continue to be delighted by your updates and pictures. So exciting to see and hear about other parts of amazing China!! And yes..delighted to hear about Caleb ready to jump back in your arms!!...priceless!!!


Mom of Triple As said...

It looks and sounds like you are all having so much fun together. I agree with Traci, it's fun to see what you have been up to, and I too love the pictures of the kids sleeping together. There's nothing like looking at sleeping children. Aunt Carolyn has printed out your posts and has delivered them to the non-computer using Ohioans. :)

bbeatley said...

I love seeing the pictures of the kids together - they are so happy and peaceful (I know it probably isn't peaceful all the time, but these are too precious).

I am sending you this comment to let you know I have tagged you. I have never done this before so I hope you are OK with me doing it. I know many of you are very busy (either caring for sick spouses or in China bringing home your beautiful children) so please don’t feel obligated to do this. I just wanted to pass it on in hopes of meeting more people and learning more about everybody. I am very happy to be a part of blogspot, the people on here are so much more real to me then my friends and family on Myspace. I hope you all have a great day.

Anonymous said...

Sounds so good to hear you talking about the "kids" - plural. I feel like I'm on a field trip seeing pictures of another part of China and taking in every word of your commentary. It surely is God's working in advance that Caleb is doing so well and that Kylie is such a little trooper with her new brodder. It took my breath when you said he came running to you when you came out the door when he was with Zoey.
Love you, miss you, LaoLao

Jordan Carl said...

I love the pictures of the kids sleeping! Sounds like you all are having a wonderful time, I hope it continues to go well. I love you all.

Nancy said...

The blog is great and will be such a gift to both your children (doesn't that sound cool to say "children"?)!

Caleb is such a little man! He is gonna eat you out of your house when he's a teen! Watch out!

Cindy M said...

I KNEW I loved that kid! I'll be waiting with my bag of chips when I finally see him! Yes! The Millers have a junk food junkie!!!

Those flavors sound mighty tasty, oh, by the way...great, now I'm hungry...

And I am ever so happy to hear he's a good sleeper...maybe he'll be a good influence on Kylie... :-)