Thursday, March 8, 2012

March 8th- a quiet, rainy day!

Today has been slow and steady here in Xi'an. We woke up slowly, ate breakfast slowly, and have generally gone about our day leisurely. Jack has been keeping us all entertained with his singing all day- not only does he sing recognizable songs (twinkle twinkle little star, and an adorable version of the abc's) but he will also make up songs with people's names. He sang us an 'Amanda' song at breakfast this morning- his foster care director! Precious!

Both boys really love to eat rice and noodles, and are obsessed with apple juice. We finally figured out that the servers had straws on hand for kids, which greatly improved apple juice aim :) When he is full ("chebala") jack has taken to putting whatever leftover food is on His plate into his apple juice glass....ah, childhood. He also like to mash his rice with his hands. This morning, when I told him to stop playing with his food ("boo" means no), he mashed his hand into his bowl, cocked his head to the side, smiled at me and giggled "boo". Clearly, he uses his cuteness as manipulation. It worked.

Today was exciting for us because we finally got confirmation about our new consulate appointment- Monday morning! This means that we will leave for Guangzhou tomorrow night, have medical appointments on Saturday morning, consulate Monday, pick up paperwork, etc Tuesday, and leave for home on Wednesday! So hard to believe that we are in the final stretch. But, we are ready to get these boys home to their family!

After finalizing our travel arrangements and hanging around the room with the boys, Matt and I decided to take to the streets for lunch while the boys enjoyed some noodles in the room. This turned into a 2-hour street food adventure back in the Muslim quarter, where Christian took us last night. To toot my own horn for a second, I have to say that I navigated us to, around, and back from the quarter without using my map- okay, I know, I'm awesome.

A quick rundown of our street food experience:
-Chinese apple ginger cider for Matt, who is getting a cold
-soup-filled dumplings from the original third-brother restaurant (ask if you want the brother story)
-beef steaks on a stick caked with spices, delicious
-more rice cookie cake rolled in sugar things
-a round, deep fried pouch of beef and spiced cabbage that we will call Chinese Crunchwrap
-Baked quail eggs on a stick
-candied baby apples (called "haw") rolled in sunflower seeds, on a stick

This will be forever known as our adventure in stick food. To me, it will also be known as the two hours during which i stifled my inner diva that wanted to buy every knockoff Louis Vuitton I saw. Truth.

Shortly after arriving back at our hotel, Matt and I accompanied Angela out for a dinner food run- fried rice, steamed rice, fried green beans (the boys looooove these), sweet and sour pork, and a Chinese version of potato salad that looks like raw hash browns and is insanely spicy. I was still pretty full from our street excursion, but tried everything anyway. Great as always.

Since dinner we have all just been relaxing, singing along with either Jack or the Chinese cartoon commercials, whichever happens to be loudest. My personal favorite is one where the children climb aboard tubes of toothpaste that turn into rocket ships and they fly around brushing huge teeth. Innovation at its finest, clearly.

Dad told us a cute story from when we were out getting stick food- Jack loves to be picked up. Elijah, realizing this, has started to like being picked up as well. Dad was walking around with jack this afternoon when Elijah came over to him and held his arms up to be picked up, too. So dad walked around with both boys in his arms, eventually settling on the bed and watching tv holding his sons in his arms. So sweet!

We are all relaxing for the night now. The boys are in their pajamas (okay, Elijah has had his on since this afternoon, full disclosure) and we are all watching some funny chinese show where people have to move a certain part of the body as many times as possible in a minute, like shake their head or their leg. It's pretty comical to watch, especially when we have no idea what they are saying.

Tomorrow, to Guangzhou! We are thankful for a late flight (and late checkout from the Sofitel) and we are looking forward to arriving at the Holiday Inn Shifu, famous for huge rooms and executive floor of free and awesome food. Time for me to go start packing...I've got a lot of L'Occitane lotions and shampoos to pocket!

Night all :)

Sent with AGAPE LOVE from my iPad!