Friday, May 29, 2009

Google Wave

Ok, I'm a geek, but this looks really cool, and I'm not even done watching the whole demo!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, Amy!

Yes, it is true! It is my dear wife's birthday. She has survived another year of me, and has done an incredible job with two and then three children. She is the highlight of every day, and I want to take this opportunity to say

"Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!"

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A few fun photos

For those that love to see photos of the kids (oh, that's me!) here are a few taken the weekend after we got home, including a few when the kids were in outfits we bought in China. I think the pictures speak for themselves.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Catching up

So we've been back home for over a week now, and still have not posted much information about the end of our trip and our time at home so far. This post should make up for that in spades!

The first four photos below are of the last day in Chongqing, including some group photos we took in the lobby of our hotel and a fountain next to our hotel where a light show with music captivated Sydney every evening. One is of the buffet area where breakfast was served every morning, and one is our agency rep, Anita, with the three girls in the group.

We loved our time in Chongqing, but has been the case on both trips for us, we spend so long in the provincial capital that by the time we leave, we are dying to start the trip home. The hotel and surrounding area were great, with big shopping and dining areas in underground tunnels, parks, etc. If I had to go back to Chongqing, I wouldn't mind a bit. Not that I would choose to do it with an infant again...

Once we left Chongqing, we went to Guangzhou, of which we have not yet posted photos. We stayed at the famous (among adopting families) White Swan hotel. Last time we were there, you couldn't get on an elevator or walk through the lobby without running into other adopting families. While there were still a lot of families adopting, the numbers were down due to the slowdown in the process. The hotel is an oasis of scenery and beautiful artwork, more than our photos can convey. You'll see the pool (there were actually two) below, both from our floor and when Sydney was enjoying a swim. The water was still a bit cold to take Kate in, but we'll make up for that this summer.

While we were in Guangzhou, we did the same routine as last time, with a physical exam, the famous Red Couch photos of the babies and the group, and plenty of shopping around the hotel, even if most of the stores around the hotel sell pretty souvenir-ish stuff. The highlight (adoption-wise) was the trip to the U.S. Consulate, but of course no cameras were allowed so we have no pictures to show you of the waiting room or the many families there to receive visas and take the oath they had us swear regarding the truthfulness of all information submitted.

The group also took tours of a Buddhist temple and a couple other sites. We had dinner at the same Thai restaurant where we had dinner four years ago with Sydney, and Sydney loved playing on the playground that was between the hotel and most places we walked.

After a few days there, we bade farewell to Kathy, our guide, and the rest of our group as we headed back on various flights at various times to our homes. Below is a photo taken primarily for Peter's benefit of the 747 we flew home on. Shiny...

Once home, we did pretty well with jet-lag and getting over the sleep interruptions that go with it. We all slept very well the first night, but continued to be sleepy/tired/wired at odd times, and we kept waking up at 4 and 5am for a number of days. My mom blessed us tremendously by staying with us for the first few days to help us get over the transition period of having four people on China time and Peter being still on Dallas time. She left after a few days, but may come back to help Amy when I go back to work on Monday. It is such a blessing to have grandparents nearby!!!

We had a number of firsts, like the first bath with all three kids in the tub, first family worship time with three kids, etc. By this point, it feels like we have gotten back into the rhythm of life, but that rhythm is a little faster paced and more demanding than it was a month ago.

Kate has been to several doctor's appointments, though there will be more in the coming weeks for shots, etc. It looks like she will need to be fitted for a cranial band (a helmet-like device) to help her head grow into it's natural shape. The best guess is that her head got a bit misshapen before she was born, and it will need some TLC to grow back into a normal shape to prevent sinus and jaw issues that can come from that kind of thing.

Otherwise, she is doing very well showing the developmental signs we need to see. She fought having anything put in her mouth (including a bottle) at first, though now she is starting to show interest in teething on toys. She is fighting the bottle less, though she still gets fussy when she's made to sit up or do something she doesn't want to do. She needs plenty more lessons in how to cuddle, but we're getting to be pro's at that! She does still love her sister and brother, and they are probably the best therapy to help her adjust and figure out what's what.

Well, I think that's about it. I'm sure Amy will think of a few things I did not post, but this time I'll tell her she has to post them herself!

Thank you all for your prayers and support while we were gone. If you would like to meet Kate in person, please give us a call and find a time to stop by!