Archive for the 'Adoption' Category

Home, at last

Sunday, November 11th, 2007

It was a long, hard, 32 hours straight of travel, door to door, but at least we’re finally here, all in one piece. 

I’ll try to post more tomorrow, but for now, just wanted to let everyone know we’re home. 

Leaving soon

Friday, November 9th, 2007

This will be my last post from China. I have some nice photos of the kids playing today, but it got too late with all our frantic packing to put a post together, so it will have to wait. We leave the hotel at 6:50 AM tomorrow, and arrive in Manchester about 29 hours later. Ugh. Lots of long layovers to get through.

We did some playing in the White Swan playroom, hunted for McDonalds only to learn that the close one just off the island was closed for renovations, ended up at Lucy’s yet again for lunch, got some last minute shopping in, bought an extra suitcase, ordered in Papa John’s pizza, and packed. And packed. And packed. Finally, we have 4 suitcases, all under the 44 pound in-China flight limit, so we shouldn’t have to pay any extra fees. Yahoo, yahoo yippee! (More Backyardigans!)

You probably won’t hear from us for a couple of days, so don’t panic. “Don’t panic!” as Anna says when baba is getting upset. “It’s alright!” She’s a sweet kid. Will is coming around. He did have a couple of time-outs in the playroom over possessiveness of toys that were most certainly not his, but he had an OK afternoon and evening. I’m just wearing out my shusher trying to keep him civilized in the hotel room. I’ll be so glad when we’re home and he can go outside and become the 4th dog if he wants to. Howl at the moon, little man!

See you soon!

Swearing an oath

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

After the zoo, we went over to Lucy’s for lunch, and then Anna and Auntie Nicki stayed in to watch movies while mama and baba and Will headed over to the US Consulate to swear the infamous oath and get his visa to enter the USA as a legal immigrant. I have no pictures because you’re not allowed to take in cameras. You might be tempted to post photos of what a ridiculous farcical formality this cattle call is if they let you bring in your camera. All we swear is that all the information we provided during the adoption process was correct to the best of our knowlege. Woo hoo! After the oath, we get the child’s immigration packet, sealed in a plastic sheath, which we are not allowed to open. It will be given to the immigration officer in our port city in the US. There is a cover sheet on the front with all the critical information which we are to check over.

Of course, Will’s new name is listed incorrectly there as “Winter, Casciari William Joseph.” How idiotic. I have no idea is this is just on the cover sheet they made up for our envelope, or if he is officially in the USCIS computer system that way, and his Certificate of Citizenship will be issued like that. I immediately approached Jason about it, and he swears it will be OK, but that I have to make sure the immigration officer in Newark knows it’s wrong. Apparently they can’t fix it here in GZ. ???!!!!???!??!**!*%%&&##?!?! They are the ones that messed it up, but they can’t fix it?!?!?! I sat on my butt on the floor in a poorly lit hotel room for over an hour painstakingly filling out 1000 forms CORRECTLY, and this is what they do with them? I will not be paying anyone to legally change my son’s name if they do this wrong. Fur will be flying at home.

So now, not only do I have to be responsible for getting my family with 2 toddlers, a cranky husband and 18,635 pieces of luggage weighing approximately 3 tons all the way through the Beijing airport, claiming our luggage, rechecking it, rechecking ourselves in, waiting 5 hours in Beijing, then flying for another 13 hours, but I have to maintain enough alertness after a solid 24 hours of travel to remember to badger an immigration officer into making necessary changes in my child’s paperwork. Good thing they don’t let you carry shotguns on planes. It probably won’t faze the immigration people. They probably have to deal with hundreds of irate mama bears with no sleep every single day. Grrrrrrr.

To finish the day, we got back to the hotel. Anna met us at the door crying. Nicki swears she just started 2 minutes before we got back, but we really think she was torturing Anna for the entire time we were gone. Just wait until that child can talk! Anna fell asleep almost immediately in my lap, and she’s still asleep now 6 hours later. Baba had gotten motion sick on the ride to and from the consulate, so he wasn’t interested in dinner. Nicki and Will and I headed back over to Lucy’s to eat with the Krys and the Berters, since Teresa and her family are flying out early tomorrow. Will did really well overall, but he did have to spend a few minutes in time out on a bench outside the eating area (I was with him) because he kept clamboring that the spoon and fork were his after I took them away from him (the big silverware from the restaurant) because he was preparing to use them as drumsticks on the glass-topped table. He says something like “wa ca” or “wa ta” which means “mine”. I don’t like that possessive behavior, because frankly, it’s all MINE! He just wouldn’t quit yammering about it, even after I shushed him several times, so we had a little time out. We just went off to the side and sat for 2 minutes, then I explained to him that he was not to say that anymore this evening. He didn’t. Good boy! He ate quite well, and didn’t even melt down when he dropped one of his corn cobs on the ground and I had to throw it away.

I think we’ll be OK once we get home. Tomorrow is just a shopping and packing day for us, thank heavens. No more field trips. I leave you tonight with a photo of my son’s attempt to put his own shoes on. He normally does much better than this, but he must have been in a hurry.

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Wrong feet, tongue pushed up, what more could a boy want?

Teacher let the monkeys out

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

Today, we went to the Guangzhou Zoo.  It’s not the San Diego Zoo by any means, but the animals appear to be well-cared for, and it was something the kids really enjoyed.  Anna has never been to a zoo, and I doubt Will has, either.  OK, I have to confess, I like zoos, too. 

I have to back up for a minute.  Will did not start the day out well.  He woke up, refused to give me a hug, and lost his favorite truck.  He continued to refuse to give me hugs as we were getting ready for breakfast (you don’t refuse the mama hugs around here! Ask the baba!) and lost more and more toy privileges.  He wasn’t just refusing to give me a hug, he was sticking an arm out behind him and squalling.   This, after I had snuggled him to sleep last night.  Hmph.  So, we were annoyed with each other, and we didn’t have a good breakfast, either.  He did manage to produce an acceptable hug after breakfast, and earned his beloved truck back.  Yes, I know I’m a mean mama.  Requiring a hug from my child.  How terrible.

We got out to the bus, and traveled to the zoo.  Kathy herded us around all morning.  We had about 2 hours to spend there, and we booked around, looking at all the animals.  We saw monkeys, tigers, lions, elephants, rhinos, hippos, giraffes, a panda, other bears, and various other large cats.

11-7-07-1.jpg The chimpanzee house – we didn’t actually see any chimps

11-07-07-2.jpg 11-07-07-3.jpg Some other monkeys

11-07-07-4.jpg Yet another monkey, looking at a bear

11-07-07-5.jpg Anna and Baba shortly after they had fed the bear their zoo map

11-07-07-6.jpg Yet more monkeys – the place was crawling with them!

11-07-07-7.jpg Is that the hippo or the mama?

11-07-07-8.jpg Oh, wait, maybe that’s the mama!

11-07-07-9.jpg There’s the mama, and she belongs in the zoo!  She matches!

There was a cute kangaroo statue with a pocket that a kid could stand in and pretend to be the joey.  Isabella would have none of that! 11-07-07-10.jpg

Of course, my little ham bone had no problem with it!

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11-07-07-15.jpg The lone panda seemed a little sad

11-07-07-16.jpg Anna was worried about him

11-07-07-17.jpg But she got over it when we got to Monkey Hill!

For the amazingly low price of only 10 yuan per adult, you could go in with the monkeys and feed them.  Joe and Nicki beat me to it, so I had to stay up top and take pictures of the festivities.  Nicki tried to get them to keep Will, but the handler told her that would cost WAY more than a lousy 10 yuan.


11-07-07-18.jpg Recovering from the monkey adventure with Kevin and Carson, and Trish and Isabella

11-07-07-19.jpg 11-07-07-20.jpg There was a beautiful tiger, and we were very careful not to upset him by “striding over”

This was the cutest thing at the zoo.  There were several groups of preschool aged children visiting, and they were all lined up so neatly, and all holding on to each other’s shirts, and there was no pushing or shoving or yelling.  I can’t imagine a group of American kids of any age behaving that well.

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11-07-07-23.jpg I included this picture, not because I thought the water rats were cute, but to remind me that this is the precise point at which Will announced he needed to niao niao, pulled down his pants right next to me, and thought he was going to pee.  I know they let little ones do that here in China, but we DO NOT do that in Vermont or New Hampshire, and we’re going to get out of that habit ASAP.  I scolded, yanked his pants back up (which started the squalling again, of course) and called over the baba.  He helped find a more secluded spot for Will to relieve himself. 

11-07-07-24.jpg And yet, immediately after this incident, here’s the baba allowing both his children to stomp and splash around in a small puddle on the pavement.  It didn’t rain last night or this morning.  Hmmm….

The Consulate Appointment

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

I quit. This is my third try at posting this today, and I’m too irritated to do it again. Our consulate appointment was today, and everything went fine. We swear an oath that we didn’t lie on our son’s visa application tomorrow.

We went to the pearl market today, and got some excellent DVDs as well. Nothing photo-worthy happened, but tomorrow we go to the zoo, so I’m hoping that will yield something more interesting.

Sorry for the brevity, but I’ve written the same post twice, and due to 2 different computer vagaries, I’ve lost both of them. I have lost patience with it. I can only be funny so many times!

Oh, and I suppose I should mention that we’re all doing well. Will continues to pick up bits of English, and he and Anna got along well, I thought. They play some when they’re not arguing over whose bit of paper this is, or whose book that is.

The Touring Day and Medical Exam

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

Have to get caught up here, or you all will never know what’s going on! Today was our big GZ tour; the same tour we did last year. Somehow, this year, it did not seem nearly so long or arduous as last year, even though we had to ride herd on a rampaging 3-year old boy! Speaking of which, Joe and Will got along much better today. Joe is easing up on him a bit, and Will is responding well. He’s still thinking Ayi Nicki is the best thing he’s got going, but he tolerated mama and baba better today. Almost no crying jags. He’s really done well in that regard. A few very small episodes of crying, but nothing we couldn’t stop easily. In fact, he and baba were bonding in the bathroom tonight, singing loudly, “We are men of Coleman-esque stature,” referring to some Syracuse basketball player from about 298 years ago when Joe was in grad school in Rochester, NY. Baba even consented to clean out Will’s ears, although it was “not a very manly thing to do.” I’m not sure whether it was the cleaning itself, or the being cleaned that was not manly.

Soooo, back to the tour…

We went with a bus load of CCAI families, many of them with very young NSN babies. (That’s non-special needs, for those of you not in the acronym game.) We began with the Temple of the 6 Banyan Trees, a very old Buddhist temple built about 1500 years ago (yeah, I’m just making that up – there was something today about 1500 years, but I’m not sure what! Please do not take my words as any sort of accurate representation of Chinese history. Just in case you hadn’t already figured that out.)

11-5-07-1.jpg 11-5-07-2.jpg 11-5-07-3.jpg This was some kind of outdoor brazier with octagonal holes on each side.  You are supposed to throw a coin through the correct hole, and then you will have good fortune.  It took me several tries, but I finally got it, and then I did the required dance about the big urn touching all the dragons’ heads.  Perhaps it was longevity, not good fortune.  I suppose it doesn’t work if you don’t actually know what you’re trying to achieve, huh?

11-5-07-4.jpg Some of the children from our group getting blesssed by a monk.

11-5-07-5.jpg One of the monks stopped to chat for a moment to thank us for taking care of the Chinese orphans.

11-5-07-6.jpg Anna and Jason.  Can 2 year olds have crushes?  She’s so silly.  She talks and talks about Jason, wondering where he is, but when he shows up, she won’t talk to him at all.  It was hard to get her to pose for this picture, but she did it.  Sure enough, as soon as he walked away, it was “where’s Jason?!”

Then we moved on to the Chen Family Museum.  We got off the bus in a little different place this year, and walked past a beautiful floral dragon sculpture.

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This museum is where we took the famous “tree” picture of Anna, which some of you may remember.   I love this picture, and I use it as a family photo all the time.  anna-10.JPG We thought it would be really fun to recreate that photo a year later.  Here’s how the attempts went:

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I never even made it into the pictures, Anna was so distraught at the idea of sitting in that tree.  Oh, the horror.

11-5-07-12.jpg 11-5-07-13.jpg You all may remember the beautiful embroidery at the Chen museum.  The displays this year were a little different, but still very impressive.

11-5-07-14.jpg I still do not quite comprehend how the Chinese government could have see our photos, allowed us to be matched with this little beauty, and then let us leave the country with her.  What were they thinking!

11-5-07-15.jpg My two brilliant children trying to make the stone lion eat their flyers.  Yeah, they’re pretty, but…

11-5-07-16.jpg I spoke too soon.  They aren’t pretty all the time.

Next, it was on to the provincial, government-sponsored local arts and crafts store.  I picked up a few knick knacks this year, but restrained myself a bit better than last year.  We got back to the hotel, and had just enough time to run over to the Deli for a bit of lunch before Will’s medical exam for his visa.  Right before we left, Jason told us that there was a problem with both Will’s and Isabella’s paperwork that was done in province.  Something about the names being listed in the wrong order on the adoption decree.  We had gone round and round about this in Ningxia, and they insisted they had done it correctly.  Well, USCIS has different ideas about correct, I guess.  Turns out the woman in charge of the adoption unit at the consulate ultimately said it was OK, but not without implying she was really letting something slide, this time.  We’d better get it right next time!  Whooo, I’m scared…

On to Will’s medical exam 11-5-07-18.jpg

11-5-07-17.jpg Waiting with our group.  Will was very well-behaved over all.  We managed to sneak out while Anna was watching the Backyardigans with Auntie Nicki, so she didn’t have to come to this. 

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Neither Will nor Joe cried much during the exam, although Will did take some offense to the procedure to determine that he was not cryptorchid.  Joe thought that was understandable.  I thought that “men of Coleman-esque stature” ought to be able to handle that without crying.   I can’t imagine what would happen if a speculum appeared. 

After we got back from the exam, Joe was feigning a headache, so we tried to get everyone to take a nap, but Anna had fallen asleep during the tour and napped for about an hour, so she was having none of that.  Will only naps when all other stimulation has ceased for at least an hour, and since Anna was still bouncing around, there was no napping for anyone.  So, Auntie Nicki and I decided to take the kids out for a run around the little riverside park by Lucy’s.

11-5-07-22.jpg Nicki demonstrating hopscotch faster than the speed of light!

11-5-07-23.jpg 11-5-07-24.jpg The two biggest imps in China!

After all of this, we went over with a large group of CCAI families for a dinner at the Cow and Bridge Thai restaurant.  I was tired of taking pictures at this point, so I don’t have any to share.  The kids were tired and didn’t eat well, and Anna melted down a time or two.  We got them back to the room and bathed and they were both asleep within a few minutes, giving me all this time to blog before I drop dead for the night.  I think that already happened but my fingers just don’t know it yet!

Tomorrow morning is our consulate appointment, which we do not actually go to.  Jason will go and just call us if there’s a problem.  In the afternoon, we have our trip to the pearl market.  I don’t REALLY need any more pearls…..

The Pearl River Cruise

Monday, November 5th, 2007

I got the final pictures from my beloved Fuji Finepix F20 uploaded onto my computer today, so I’m posting some of the shots from our Pearl River Cruise last night. It was a very pleasant excursion, even though I think our guides were a bit worried about it. They mother-henned us all over the place, trying to make sure we didn’t come to any harm. I keep wondering what CCAI would do to them if one of us were to get lost. It must be something far worse than simply losing their jobs. They take a lot of pride in their work, and it shows in the way they take care of us. Kathy even went so far as to hand write a slip of paper for each family with both destinations listed: the Pearl River Cruise and the White Swan Hotel, in English and in Mandarin characters, for us to show the taxi drivers in case we got lost. This was in addition to Bruce hailing each taxi for us, telling the driver where to take us, and closing us in securely before allowing the driver to take off. Needless to say, we all made it.

It was a very nice night. I had my fleece on, but probably didn’t really need it. The banks of the Pearl River are brightly decorated, and motoring along the river makes for a beautiful show.

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11-4-07-14.jpg It was very cool to cruise past our hotel on Shamian Island.

11-4-07-7.jpg Baba said Anna had a fantastic time enjoying all the lights.

11-4-07-15.jpg The girls.  Note the angelic rays emanating from both of our heads.

11-4-07-13.jpg My impish son with Ayi Nicki, who is apparently sleeping on the job yet again.

11-4-07-12.jpg This pic is for Trish, to show that Izzy B isn’t always thrilled to be with her baba, either!

11-4-07-111.jpg Some of our friends from CCAI – Carson, Sheila, Teresa, Meggie on the floor, Eric, and just a bit of Violet.

11-4-07-16.jpg The last shot taken with my camera, and the last photo of me you’ll see from this trip, since Joe no longer has a camera.

Go, go, go, go, GO!!!

Sunday, November 4th, 2007

That’s from a Backyardigans episode (Racing Day), for those of you who don’t hear their soundtracks playing in your head all day long. This is actually my second attempt at posting today; I started in late afternoon, but a computer glitch ate my post and the pictures I had laboriously uploaded. So, I had to abandon ship and run off to our next activity. Back to work.

We arrived yesterday afternoon, and rested a while, then we met for visa photos for the new kiddos, and then wandered over to the infamous Lucy’s for a nice dinner. Ahh, American food… We ate with our Ningxia companions, the Krys, and the Berter and Schultz families who we know from our on-line community. What fun to get to meet people in person! The kids got to run around a bit outdoors, and the adults got to drink beer, so a good time was had by all.

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This morning was a paperwork morning for us.  We ate breakfast at the overwhelmingly extensive White Swan buffet, then I had to go fill out all the visa application paperwork.  Joe and Nicki and the kids sorted our laundry so we could take it over to Sherry’s Place for cleaning.  I got the paperwork done, and then learned, much to my dismay, that our flight from GZ to Beijing on Friday is considered a domestic flight, and is thus subject to domestic luggage allowances.  That means only 1-44 pound suitcase per person.  We were at that limit on the way here, and we haven’t even begun to shop!  I’m very concerned about that, in addition to the fact that I learned that we will not be able to check our luggage all the way through to Newark from GZ, so we’ll have to claim it in Beijing and then recheck it.  I was hoping to avoid doing all that with 2 toddlers in tow.  I’m actually upset enough about it that I’m considering changing our tickets to fly out of Hong Kong instead, and just buying new tickets from GZ to HK.  It would add to our expense quite a bit, but would reduct my stress level by a lot.  I can’t believe I didn’t know this!  I just assumed the rules would be the same as when we fly out of Hong Kong.  That was stupid of me, I guess.  Frustration number 1 of the day.

After that, we ventured over to Sherry’s Place to drop off the laundry and start the shopping.  We picked out some matching outfits for Anna and Will, and got some nice PJ’s for mama and baba.  I managed to bargain a bit, even though I’m not great at it.  Then we came back and shot the infamous Red Couch photos!

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It took 2 different shots of our family to get everyone looking reasonably nice.  The whole group did pretty well.

We finally got the kids to nap for a bit after that, and then it was go go go again to get ready for our Pearl River cruise.  Our guides had decided the dinner cruise was too dangerous for us (food not safe, I think) so we went on an after dinner cruise.  It was very pleasant – beautiful lights all along the way, and we got to cruise past the White Swan!  I took lots of photos; I’ll try to edit and post some tomorrow.  The cruise is where disaster number 2 struck.  Somehow, in transfering Anna from my arms to Joe’s, he managed to hit my arm hard enough to fling my camera to the ground and break the lens apparatus.  Yes, my carefully chosen and now, much-beloved Fuji F20 is now defunct.  I’m now stuck with Joe’s Canon.  At least we have another camera.  I’m quite disappointed though.  I’m trying to decide whether just to go ahead and order another one, or let Joe try to get this one fixed.  Sigh.

Tomorrow, we go on the big GZ tour that we enjoyed so much last year, and then we have Will’s medical exam for his visa in the afternoon.  We have a group dinner at the Thai restaurant tomorrow evening.  They have excellent food!

I will try to talk a little more about Will as the week goes on, if life ever slows down a bit.  He is a nice, smart little boy, but he does have a lot of behavior issues.  It’s impossible to tell at this point if they’re real, or if he’s just testing us, or if these are just institutional behaviors.  He’s very moody, and will choose one of us, and then blatantly snub, or even run away from the others and cry when we try to touch him.  The favored adult changes about twice a day.  He also has rather manic episodes where it’s very difficult to calm him down.  Not mean episodes, more just wild play with screaming and out of controlness.  I think we’ll have to get him home and established in our routine with a sense of our version of order before we can tell what’s real and what isn’t.

Quick Hello from Guangzhou

Saturday, November 3rd, 2007

Hooray! Back in civilization! We had 3 hours of flying to get here, I had a squatty potty experience with Anna in the airport I hope NEVER to repeat, and Will is a bit out of control. But, life is better already. We’ve already got our first lunch from the WS Deli Shoppe, we’re planning dinner at Lucy’s, and Anna seems to be feeling completely normal. I’m going to keep dosing her with ibuprofen today, because I fear the fever will return tonight, but I know what to do about it here. And I have Diet Coke. Sigh….

Jason met us at the airport, and greeted me with a big hug. Anna seems to remember him as well. He had to meet another group, so he sent us and the Krys on to the hotel. We met his roommate Bruce who helped us check in. He seems very nice as well, but he is working with another group. We have Jason and Kathy.

We are so happy to be here and NOT in Yinchuan. The only thing better would be being home…

The last day in Yinchuan

Saturday, November 3rd, 2007

It’s late, and we have to be out of the hotel by 6AM tomorrow to fly to Guangzhou, so this will be a short post with few photos.

We started out slowly this morning, since Laura was able to pick up our passports, and we didn’t have to leave the hotel at any particular time. We finally had the experience in the restaurant that so many others have had, with the waitresses fawning over Will, talking to him in Chinese, fixing his napkin and plate, etc., and we had no idea what anyone was saying. It’s frustrating, and annoying. They were even unrolling his sleeves when we left (which I had laboriously rolled up earlier because his sleeves are too long!!!) Grrr. They only got away with it because we were the only ones in the restaurant at the time.

Anyhoo, we went out as a group to do a little last minute shopping and pick up some province-specific souvenirs. I can’t talk about it because some of them are gifts. We did get to go to the nice foreign language bookstore, and I picked up some cute books with English and Mandarin text. Dr. Seuss and things like that. Then we traversed to a little park, and let the kids go on the grass. It was their first opportunity to run since we got here. Will was only interested in pushing Buck and Trish’s stroller around until I got worried he was being too rough with it and made him stop. Then he started running around with Anna and Isabella.

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11-2-07-1.jpg Rough housing with baba

11-2-07-4.jpg The requisite photo that all the locals want to have taken with the very odd American tourists with Chinese babies.

After the park, we went over to KFC and had some lunch.  It was crowded today, and we ended up sitting on high stools at a counter.  I thought it would work OK, but after various spillings of drinks and dropping of corn, etc., it wasn’t such a success.  But we all got some food down, and then it was back to the hotel.

Anna and Will and Baba all went down for naps and Mama started plotting the packing.  Then things got scary, at least for me.   Anna woke up very fussy from her nap, and Baba thought she felt a little warm.  We took her temp, and it was 102.5!  102.5!  OK, time for Mama to panic!  I immediately gave her a dose of ibuprofen, started her on some apple juice, and high-tailed it down the hall to Trish’s room.  Trish is a nurse and has worked in the school system for 23 years, I believe.  She had me bring Anna down and examined her thoroughly, found no rashes or pustules anywhere, and pronounced it a virus.  We came up with a strategy to get her through the night and to GZ successfully tomorrow, where there will be western docs and western medicine in case we need it.  Trish, bless her heart, was able to keep me from calling a cab and taking Anna to the airport immediately to wait for the first flight home!

It took about an hour, but Anna started perking up, and by bedtime, she was acting completely normally.  She drank about 3 glasses of apple juice, ate a healthy portion of ramen noodles and some of the little bun crackers the kids like so much here, and watched Backyardigans.  I drifted back and forth between sanity and panic, trying to pack sensibly without losing my mind.  We never did retake her temp because she felt normal to the touch and was acting fine.   We took a lukewarm shower, and I gave her another dose of ibuprofen before bed.  I’ll repeat it again before we leave tomorrow, and that should hold us to GZ.   Auntie Nicki did yeoman’s work tonight, running over to the market, getting us more apple juice, trying to find us some tylenol to alternate with the ibuprofen if needed, and having a very interesting experience at the little pharmacy there, discussing Chinese herbal medicine with a very nice man who was doing translation for her on his computer.  She actually ended up talking to a friend of the pharmacist on the phone who was an English-speaking physician.  She recommended a particular herbal therapy in addition to the ibuprofen, so Nicki felt she had to buy it after they were all so nice to spend so much time helping her.  I packed it away.  I’ll show it to our guide and find out what it is.   Then Nicki came back and cooked us all ramen noodles since the mama was too loopy to do it successfully.  This was my biggest fear about this trip – that I would take Anna out of the country and then she would get sick, and I wouldn’t be able to get appropriate care for her.  So, I was all primed to panic.

We’re mostly packed, Anna seems to be fine and should make it to GZ without any problems, and hopefully this won’t be too nasty of a virus to ride out.  I don’t know if she got it from Will, or picked it up somewhere else in our travels, and will be passing it on to him in the next few days.  Yippee.  That’ll be just about the time we’re trying to travel home.  And he isn’t over his other cold yet.

Don’t worry about us – everyone except for me is sleeping peacefully, including Anna.  I will post when we get set up in GZ to let you know everyone is alright.  Trish also thought it was possible that Anna might have a temp just from dehydration since she wasn’t showing any other signs, so getting all that juice into her may have helped.  It is extremely dry here (you saw the desert!) and we did do lots of running around, and Anna did spill virtually all of her drink at KFC.  If the fever doesn’t recur tomorrow night, we may be out of the woods.