Sunday, September 30, 2012

May 10, 2012

We've been home 4 1/2 months.  Sweet Pea is 14 months old now.  It is amazing how much she has grown and changed in the last 4 months.
4 new teeth, a bit more hair, walking, and not many words, but babbling a lot (she was almost completely silent in China except when crying or laughing).  Before she gets much bigger, I do want to finish going through my photos from China.  

On May 10th we visited the SWI which I already blogged about here and here, but that was only the morning.

On the way home from the SWI we went to lunch with our guide and driver.  Traditionally after a visit you would have lunch with the SWI director or staff, but they were unable to do that this time, so they told our guide to take us to lunch and they would pay her back.  We actually drove all the way back to Nanchang and had lunch in the city.  I believe it was at a restaurant attached to one of the other big hotels in Nanchang, but I can't remember the name (I have it somewhere, because Sweet Pea came to us clutching a package of napkins from this restaurant).  But it was very, very nice. 
The food was great.  The roasted chicken had the most divine flavor and was so tender.  Our guide intersected it before it came to the table and removed the head, feet, and possibly some other parts to spare us.  Then she expertly tore off pieces with her chopsticks and served us.  It felt awkward letting her serve, but it would have taken us forever to do what she could do in seconds with her chopsticks.

I don't remember all else that we had.  I believe there was a delicious sweet and sour chicken, but the roast chicken was even better.  There was a tofu dish I didn't try, but Oak and Huckleberry seemed to really like it.  There was also an eggplant dish...just strips of eggplant sauteed in some oil.  The flavor was very good, but long, limp, purple strips made me think of snakes and I couldn't eat very many...though again the boys gobbled it up.
Sweet Pea did great sitting on Oak's lap and eating little bits from the chopsticks.  Good thing we had 6 years to perfect our chopstick usage.  The only issue came up when it became clear the meal was only going to continue being enjoyable after a diaper change.  Even though we'd been in China a week at this time, Oak and I wondered if there would be a changing table in the restroom.  It was a very nice place...but the answer would still be a no.  Oak was just going to take her to the restroom and try there anyway, but our guide was horrified at the idea.

"No, no!  That is dirty!  Here is where you would change her!"
Yes, on the restaurant chairs around where other people are eating.  It was the fastest diaper change we've ever done.  And to be fair, she would have had us just do it at our table, but since that seemed to bother us, she pulled up two chairs from an empty alcove next to where we were sitting.
We put down the pad from our diaper bag; I promise.
Then we had the afternoon in the hotel...hopefully for naps.  Unfortunately Sweet Pea didn't nap until about 15 minutes before it was time to leave for dinner, but she did seem happy and we all had fun playing.
She still loves this picture book that has pictures of all her siblings and us.
Then around 5:30 we met our guide and the other family with which we were sharing her for our evening adventure.  Since we'd monopolized her attention all morning we let them pick it was McDonalds.  They had two little boys and wanted the comforts of home; since McDonalds in China doesn't even carry the more expensive crispy chicken sandwich that is my comfort food, I still wish we'd eaten somewhere at the dim sum place that was in the same complex.  But moving on...
After dinner our guide took us to the park for the evening light show on the river.  She says it happens every evening and all of the large cities have one.  She said the best show is in Shanghai, but we enjoyed the Nanchang one just fine.
 I did not take a tripod with me to China and was mostly busy with a baby who had fallen asleep in Oak's arms but then woke when he shifted to a more comfortable position, so my pictures can't do the show justice.  Perhaps the video at the end of the post will give you a better taste of the show. 
Once Sweet Pea was awake she wanted me to hold her, but she was fairly content to just sit and watch the show and listen to the music.  Now we know she loves music and Oak will play her Chinese videos some mornings--bringing him lots of cuddle time...oh, the power of the internet.
I'd love to go again and see the shows in other cities.  I imagine people don't go every evening, but the idea of a whole country having a similar relaxing experience at the end of their work day...that was a little higher class than reality TV...made me pleased to be a part of it.  I am thankful our guide took the time to take us.
Our guide had us sit this far away because one time they'd been there her clients had gotten very wet with their new children. She didn't think that would be a good thing.

1 comment:

No Greater Love said...

Oh, that is cool. :) I enjoyed watching the video.

And I love hearing more about your time in China. :) I can't believe it has only been 4 1/2 months you've been home. It feels a lot longer to me.