Monday, November 30, 2009

Um, Jay... I'm gonna need your wallet..

Today started off with a big sleep-in and an even bigger breakfast. It was just what we needed :) Lots of playing, book reading, tickling, and overall goofing around! We had a walk around the island and did the purchasing of necessities (you know... necessities like silk outfits for the red couch photos!).

Our guide picked us up at 1:30 and we headed out to the medical clinic to get Catherine's TB test read. It was .1mm too big (ugh!) so she had to get 2 x-rays done. The doctor declared her to be TB free before he even read the films (just looked at the digital image on the computer while he was taking the pictures) and we were outta there quickly. From what I heard almost all of the kids who were there for their exams on Saturday were positive and needed x-rays. All of them were given the all-clear to come to get their visas to come home. No pictures from this... Catherine clearly remembered the scene of the crime from Saturday and freaked out... I think rightfully so!

After the clinic we visited the Six Banyan Temple. It is a working temple (so there are many monks around) and it has a very tall and beautiful pagoda. This is something we did with Ben and it was really the only thing in Guangzhou that we really wanted to do this time around. We did not spend alot of time looking around (even though it is beautiful we had been there before 2 years ago) so we went straight to the monks for a blessing. There, underneath the Buddha statues representing the past, present, and future, Catherine was giving a blessing of good wishes by a Buddhist monk. Jay and I both feel like it is a proper and important send-off from one culture to another... Catherine's way (though she obviously does not understand it right now) of saying goodbye to China.

After we left the Banyan Temple we headed over to a shopping street with a special mall just for jewelry. When I say mall, I mean mall... it is just hundreds of stores selling the same things. Think of your local mall with 100 Gap stores and nothing else :) We had a pearl necklace made for Catherine from pearls harvested from her province. We picked out the string that we wanted and then watched them hand tie the pearls into place... cool! The clasp of the necklace is the Chinese symbol for longevity and happiness. We wanted her to have an heirloom piece that she could hand down to her daughter someday. We are so excited to give it to her... when she is older :)

These are the Jiangsu freshwater pearls we were choosing from

She is stringing the pearls that we chose

She is hand knotting the pearls into place... she doesn't even look down because her hands know what to do

After we shopped we grabbed some ice cream for Catherine. As far as we know this was her first time to try it. She tried a bite and had a huge look of pain on her face. I thought at first that she was going to cry (like Ben did) but instead she grabbed my wrist to shove the spoon back into her mouth... it was so cute! She downed the whole cup and then whined when it was all gone :) That's my girl!

We were able to come back to the hotel for about an hour before we headed out to our dinner cruise on the Pearl River. It was actually pretty nice (though Gluten Free Girl could only eat the squid dish which I normally like but it was a little much for a whole dinner!) and exceeded my expectations. I do not have such a high opinion of the beauty of Guangzhou (in case you have not noticed... wink!) but I will say that from the perspective of the boat at night the city really is quite beautiful. They light up all the buildings along the river and it is a spectacular scene. I was not really looking forward to the cruise but I am so glad that I went.

Catherine just loved it... can you tell????

Catherine had another excellent day. She is highly opinionated (especially when it comes to food or walking... she either wants it or she DOESN'T!) and not afraid to share her views but she is also so sweet and loveable... you just want to eat her up. She reveals more and more to us everyday and while there are definite delays, she is also very smart and tries to figure things out by herself. She still hates being indoors (especially in the elevator which we have nicknamed "The Tiny Room") and having her picture taken (she is so stubborn she will NOT turn her head around if she sees a camera... we have had to get really good at snapping the pic right when she looks up to see what is going on). She loves to play and she will go up to Jay and try to egg him on in the hopes that she will be picked up and tickled. She is still eating like a horse (I cannot keep up... she is an animal!). Before we came to China we were afraid that we would have to cut back our touring schedule because of her delays and dislike of crowds. Much to our delight and surprise she LOVES to tour around, see new things, and experience new people. She just soaks it all in. She is so adaptable and easy going that she just goes with the flow. We have thoroughly enjoyed touring China with her (if only we could get her to turn around for the pictures!).

(more photos on


  1. Loved reading that post especially all those Catherine details. What a great update ;-)

  2. Great pictures! We can't wait to meet her!

  3. Jen,

    Sorry I haven't responded to the last few posts. I have been able to catch up and read about all your sight seeing. You have been blessed to have a little one who wants to go as you've seen some beautiful sights. Lotus Mountain was beautiful (maybe a little scary). Thanks for sharing what you've been able to see as it gives us ideas. So glad that Catherine has adapted so well and is enjoying her time with mommy and daddy in China. Can't wait to see how she does when she meets her siblings!



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