After a very busy travel day on Saturday, we needed to take Sunday as a day of rest for our family. We opted out of the excursion and stayed around the hotel all day. Took time this morning to chill and I finally got a workout in! It felt so good to sweat and move more than just walking around with toddler weight! We do walk a lot here, and climb stairs, but it’s just not the same. So, Mia had her first experience of what Mama does for a living: workout! She looked at me like I was crazy, but then just played and did her own thing. I got a shower and we headed to breakfast together late. We have a lounge area where we can get a great breakfast and dinner if we want. It is nice to have an option that is only one floor away.
I also had the opportunity to drink my Shakeology with milk and ice for the first time since we have been to China! This was a special treat. Normally we are drinking it mixed only with water, and lucky if it is cold water. If you don’t know, Shakeology is a meal replacement full of over 70 superfoods and has the nutritional value of six salads. We normally make it in the blender and it tastes like a milkshake, but here, we don’t have that option. John and I have been drinking it daily to balance out the other things we have to eat so that we are filling in the gaps and keeping our bodies healthy. It is also the one constant food that we have been able to get. So, I make sure to never miss a day.
After breakfast, we walked around our hotel. It is a very big and fancy place with lots of shops and probably the biggest Starbucks I have seen! There are two side rooms where you can sit and enjoy coffee, too! We walked through a jade store and looked in some clothing stores as well. At the other hotel in Zhengzhou, we exchanged money at the front desk. Here, there are bank machines to do that. There is also a business center where you can make copies of papers for free, which has been helpful.
We made a play date with the other family who also did not go on the excursion. Their baby is 15 months old and super cute! Mia loves sharing snacks with baby Emmy. So, we took the girls to the little playground on the 4th floor. It was already super hot and humid outside. We stayed for quite a while and then moved inside to an air conditioned playroom. She seemed to like the little kitchen and legos! She will love all the legos we have at home and I’m sure her brothers will be more than happy to show her everything! It was super nice to have that play time and let Mia run around. It was also great conversation with our new friends.
After play time we took a walk and went to lunch together at a nearby noodle restaurant. Another family had gone there the night before and recommended it. They were right, it was VERY good and great prices for so much food. I got a dish that had garlic shoots and beef (I love garlic shoots the best and it was nice to have beef instead of pork for once) and it came with noodles, which are Mia’s favorite. I took a picture of the menu so you can see how we order. You basically point to what you want and hold up one finger if you want one, or two fingers if you want two, etc.
Mia ate a LOT of noodles and prefered to eat them with a giant spoon! I have NO idea how she managed that, but it was easier for her to feed herself than for us to feed her noodles with chopsticks! Her dress will probably remain stained, but oh well. She was entertained and happy and full. #Winning.
After lunch was naptime. YAY! Mia didn’t want to cuddle with me in bed, she actually wanted her crib! Another victory! We are so so blessed by this girl. God made her perfectly for our family. She is on a schedule that is very similar to how we have always done things with Owen and Camden. I am just amazed at how well she fits in. She loves her Memaw blankie and her special pink blankie we bought her, too. While it takes her a few minutes to fall asleep (and she usually sings a lot), she is a sound sleeper and takes a great nap. Today was about two hours.
There was a meeting at 4:00pm for parents, but only one needed to go. John had been doing all the meetings up to this point, so we decided to switch roles. The meeting was mostly to get all the paperwork ready for the U.S. Consulate appointment on 4/27. There was a lot to fill out, but Kathy made sure to go over everything step by step. She makes things super easy for all of us. We also went over the schedule for the next few days. Lots of fun things planned to pass the time, but first, we have the medical appointment for the kids tomorrow morning. This shouldn’t be too bad, except the kids over two years old need a TB test, which requires a blood draw. We are planning to pack lots of lollipops and snacks!
When I got back up to the room, I came into a whirlwind of Daddy/Mia fun! They had a blast while I was gone: tissues all over the room, stacking cups everywhere, and my little girl had two pairs of pants and a skirt on underneath her dress! John said she was having fun playing dress up! She also loved wearing my sunglasses. I am so glad that had that time together today. She really loves her Daddy a lot! I wish I had gotten a picture of this part!
It was time to meet the other families at a restaurant in the hotel. We asked her to put on her shoes and she just yelled at us in Chinese with a mischievous smile on her face. I decided to try the time-out thing again and she sat, but kept yelling. Eventually, she tried to get down and I put her back on on the time out couch and she started crying. When the tears ended, she got quiet and listened to us again. I talked quietly with her and then had her say “sorry” and we hugged and kissed and everything was better. We went down to dinner and everything was fine again.
We met Kathy in the elevator and when we told her what happened, she finally figured out Mia was saying “get away from me” or “leave me alone” in Chinese. She stooped down and spoke to her in Chinese about listening to Mama and Baba and how she should not yell, we are trying to help. By that point, Mia may not have remembered what happened back in the room, but she did seem to listen to Kathy. Kathy picked up on the fact that she was spoiled, and again commented about how beautiful she is, but she assured us that she is very smart and basically acting like any two-year-old, which we know is certainly the case. We are so blessed by our little girl. These moments are very normal, and we are simply trying to navigate the best way to teach her while gaining her trust and working through a language barrier.
Today was a much better day and I feel like we are making great strides with her and working as a team. Watching John interact with her makes my heart melt. We have felt the prayers of our family and friends, without a doubt. She has been bonding so well with both of us, but yet does not cry when one of us has to leave. God is SO good and we know that our family has been covered by prayer and protected in countless ways. John and I have been together 17 years now. This may be one of the most challenging and rewarding adventures we have ever undertaken. She is a JOY and we are so incredibly blessed to be her parents.