- Yesterday WanYing said her first unprompted (non-mimicking) word that we've heard. We were in the car looking at a picture book of animals and she saw a doggie photo and started chanting, "Wuh wuh wuh," which is the sound dogs make in Chinese. Perhaps we have another dog lover in the family?
- Sasha has been working very hard on her eyebrow articulation. She can now raise them at will, and is *very* pleased with the results.
- I am officially the Garden Hotel's #1 fan. Often adoptive parents stay at the White Swan hotel while in Guangzhou, and I'm sure it's lovely, but I wouldn't trade our Garden Hotel "deluxe" room for anything. A door between the sitting area and bedroom is an *astounding* luxury. What will we do when we go home and only have to sleep 2 people per room?!? We'll be spoiled rotten.
- Nobody puked today. Another luxury that's easy to take for granted.
- I like China's Pizza Hut Stuffed Crust Pizza about a million times more than the US's. Each piece has a puff filled with cheese and one filled with shrimp toast stuff. Fabulous.
- WanYing has mastered drinking out of a straw. We had forgotten how easy straws make it for little ones to drink, since Sasha only recently started to use them effectively (remember, kids with clefts can't form suction and even after surgery Sasha didn't really get the straw concept).
- Stir-sticks are the best-designed toy ever for WanYing. They fit right in her sticky hand nook, they are replenished in each hotel room every day, they seem to present less of a choking hazard than most of the things in our hotel room, and she loves them!
Sam discovered the beauties of bargaining today and is starting to get the hang of it. He was very proud of his two purchases - a chess set and a remote controlled helicopter - and I expect great things from him as his shrewdness matures.
As for Sasha, she was a shopping maniac! When the rest of the kids went back to the hotel with Steve to nap and enjoy their new toys, Sasha stuck it out with me in Shamian for a few more hours to try to collect 16 gifts for WanYing. Our tradition is to give each girl something from their birth country every birthday - it's been a lot of fun with Sasha so far and souvenirs are so much more plentiful in China than they were in Kazakhstan!
Sasha was rewarded for her super-shopper efforts with her very own pair of squeaky shoes, or "squeakers" as she calls them. As the name implies, they're shoes with squeakers in each heel that make a noise with each step. Steve and I think they're hilarious, the boys are already sick of them, and Sasha couldn't be happier. Her new hobby is standing in place and either jumping up and down or stomping rapidly to make as much noise as possible. I can't imagine why the boys are annoyed.
Today's prayer request:
Everybody's doing so well, but 2 1/2 weeks is a long time for the 3 older kids to be away from home. I'm so glad that we have Hong Kong Disneyland at the end of the trip to keep everybody excited!
Please pray with us that even as we miss the comfort and familiarity of home we will each be able to stay present and engaged and content in whatever each day brings.