Saturday, May 21, 2011


Well, I've been told that a few of you have had blog withdrawals...  Sorry about leaving you all hanging!  Well, we have been home for 6 days and just last night I finished unpacking the 10 suitcases and 5 backpacks that we took with us to China.   It feels so good to have everything put away!  Today, I cleaned floors and am working on the laundry.  Our flight home was very easy!  Gwyndolin did beautifully!  And, of course the boys did well too!  We were sad to leave China but excited to get back to the comforts of home.  The boys are already talking about going back to China - guess we should start saving...  So, lets see, what's new...  Well, you may remember that Trayton came down with a fever the night before we left so we had been pumping him full of Advil and Tylenol the whole flight home.  He still complained of a very sore throat.  When we landed and got to the car, I got the flashlight out and looked at his throat and he had big white patches all over, so I started him on his antibiotics.  The good news is everyone is well now!  These last 6 days have been a blur.  Dealing with the time difference and jet lag has been challenging especially with a baby.  I seriously feel like I've given birth in the exhaustion department.  We are getting on schedule though.  Last night Gwyndolin slept from 8:50pm until 6:00am - perfect!  This was so nice!  We have had a couple nights of Gwyndolin up wanting to play and other nights where she would fuss for 2-3 hours.  Ugh, hopefully those nights are behind us and we are in this time zone now!  The boys went back to school on Thursday.  They have still been a little tired.  Todd went back to work on Tuesday and started training for Triathlons the day after we got home.  Today, he just rode 73 miles on his bike... Me, well, I'm just trying to survive.  I pride myself on the days when I can keep everyone fed and the dishes done!  It is so nice to have a baby in the house again.  Gwyndolin is such a joy!  We got her some Chinese Children's CD's for her in China and I have been playing them today and she likes to "dance" to them.  So, I hold her and we dance.  It feels so good to have a little one in my arms again!  She is simply delicious!  She had her first doctors appointment and it went well.  Our Dr. said she looks great.  She weighs 19lbs.  It's been nice to be home so I can cook for her.  She eats great.  She likes scrambled eggs (but only if they have salt and pepper in them), pancakes, yogurt, broccoli, cauliflour, carrots, peas, asparagus, rice, tofu, chicken, pears, strawberries, oranges, grapes, cherries etc.  So far the only thing she won't eat is watermelon - interesting...  Well, here are some photos of our last 6 days.  Enjoy...

At the Hong Kong airport.

The plane that flew us home!

Gwyndolin playing on the floor at the airport - waiting for boarding.

Our family on the flight home.

The boys - flying home.

Daddy and Gwyndolin

Our route...  I love watching these things!

Gwyndolin and I at the SF airport.  This was when Gwyndolin became an American Citizen - the first time her feet touched ground!  Yay!

Todd and Gwyndolin at the SF airport.  Waiting for our hotel shuttle to take us back to the hotel to get our car.

Gwyndolin on the drive home.

Deklan on the drive home.

Trayton on the drive home.

Kallen on the drive home - we had 4 TIRED kids!

Gwyndolin enjoying a meal at home.

All buckled up and heading to her welcome home doctor's appointment.

Dr. Deklan

Deklan checking Gwyndolin out!  I was SO tired!

Gwyndolin playing in her room.  She LOVES playing in her room!

Kallen on his 12th birthday - 4 days after we got home.

Gwyndolin at bath time.  She loves her baths!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Day 15 - Hong Kong

Well, we all slept in this morning which is nice!  It was so nice to wake up and know that we were in Hong Kong and that things would be just a little bit easier here (more English speaking and western comforts.)  We had breakfast at our hotel and then headed out for our day.  We walked to the Fairy terminal and took it across to the other side of HK.  Then, we took a bus to Aberdeen Harbor.  We took a sampan boat on a little tour around the harbor.  It was just like we had remembered it when Todd and I were here in 1998.  It was fun to show the kids where we had been.  We saw many house boats and fishing boats.  We saw the ice delivery boat, a food/restaurant boat that would stop at the fishing boats and give them lunch, we saw the garbage boat, police boat and fire boat.  It is like a little city.  The kids got a kick out of seeing people's pet dogs and cats on their boats.  Our boat driver dropped us off at the Jumbo restaurant where we had a lunch of dim sum and it was wonderful!  They had fun drinking their tea too like Grandma Nan has shown them with their pinky finger up in the air.  After lunch (which was at more like 2:30) we took the bus back to the fairy area and sent back to our hotel.  Kallen and I then made our way by taxi back to the train station as we had left a Chinese embroidered picture on the train last night.  Our hotel was nice enough to call the station and organize things for us so all we had to do was go and pick it up.  This evening, we went out and got Haagen Daz icecream bars and then came back and ordered room service.  A little backwards, but that's what vacation is for.  Gwyndolin is doing great still.  She is a happy little girl!  She has a ton of energy and is a little wiggle worm.  She will have no problem keeping up with the boys!  Tonight when I tucked the boys into bed, I noticed Trayton felt hot.  Now, he has a fever.  He was only 100.8, but with as high as the other boys had gotten, I gave him a hefty dose of Motrin.  Hopefully we can keep him comfortable on the plane ride home.  I also hope our own home country won't give us grief if he is running a fever when we go through immigration.  I will be "on top of it" though!  So, this is our last post from China.  Thank you for all the support you have given us over the last few weeks!  We love you all!

Here are some pictures of our last day...

We watched this cruise ship go by this morning from our room.

Trayton on the ferry.

Deklan and Todd on the ferry.

Gwyndolin and I on the ferry.  She is asleep.

Our family

Aberdeen Harbor

Kallen on the sampan boat in Aberdeen Harbor.

A dry dock - Aberdeen Harbor

Gwyndolin being wiggly on the sampan - Aberdeen Harbor

The garbage boat.  It goes around and fishes garbage up out of the harbor.  There is a $10,000 (HK dollar) fine and 6 months imprisonment if you litter.  

A house boat.

A dog on a house boat.

Our family on the sampan in front of the Jumbo Restaurant.

Gwyndolin, Todd and I infront of the Jumbo Restaurant.

The boys in front of the Jumbo Restaurant.

Gwyndolin having lunch at the Jumbo Restaurant.

Trayton enjoying his tea at the Jumbo.

Kallen modeling his perfect tea form at the Jumbo.

Kallen and I - Jumbo.

Trayton at the Jumbo.

Deklan enjoying his tea at the Jumbo.

Day 13 and 14 - Guangzhou and Hong Kong

Well, from the title of this post, you could probably guess that we made it to Hong Kong - but barely!  Here is the story.  We had hotel reservations in Hong Kong for Thurs., Fri., and Sat. nights.  We had purchased train tickets for us to leave Thursday morning on the 10:39am train.  Well, since we didn't get our visa on Wednesday like we were suppose to, we had to "eat" the train tickets and buy new tickets for later that day.  So, Thursday rolls around and we are ALL packed up - this is a HUGE task too with all the things we have!  THE visa doesn't come - AGAIN!  At this point, we had to pay for an extra night in Gunagzhou AND eat the room in Hong Kong because it was too late to cancel as well as "eat" a second set of train tickets.  So, we go back to our room and I notice that Kallen and Deklan don't look so good so I took their temperature and Deklan had a 103 degree fever and Kallen had a fever of 102.3 degrees - NICE.  I put them both to bed, dosed them both up with Motrin and Tylenol.  They both had bad headaches.  No stomach issues, just fever and headache...  There was NO way we were going to unpack again, we we all slept in our shirts we were going to wear the next day, we used hotel toothbrushes, combs, soap, shampoo etc.  Friday comes around and we get a call from our coordinator and he tells us that Washington DC STILL hadn't resolved the problem and that it's not just US that it's effecting - ANYONE trying to get a visa wasn't getting one.  It wasn't looking good that we were going to get them Friday...this would mean we would have to "eat" 3 nights of hotel in Hong Kong, pay for extra days in Guangzhou and miss our return flight.  We decided that Todd would fly home with the boys and I would stay in China with Gwyndolin while we waited for her visa.  Just as Todd was getting ready to get in the van to go to the train station with the boys, our coordinator called the front desk frantically looking for us - HE GOT GWYNDOLIN'S VISA!!!!!  I was so relieved as I didn't really want our family to be separated in foreign countries.  But, we got her visa, so we all went to the train station.  The train ride was wonderful and such a comfortable way to travel - much nicer than an airplane.  The seats were very comforable and there was a lot of leg room and such!  There was a dining car too that reminded me of the dining car at the Sacramento train museum - it was so cute.  I tried to take a picture but they wouldn't let me.  When we got to Hong Kong, it felt so good.  There is just a different feel here.  It's exactly how Todd and I remember it from 1998.  There isn't honking like in China - it is just a much quieter city in that department.

A side story... On Thursday while Kallen and Deklan were in bed sick, Trayton and I decided to brave the heat and go for a walk and we walked off Shamian Island and walked down the more traditional streets of China.  We came across the pet market area which was REALLY interesting to see.  There were dogs, cats, ducks, chipmunks (funny,) birds, fish, crabs, turtles, rabbits, and I'm sure I'm forgetting something else.  I felt badly for the animals though because it was SO hot.  There was one little puppy on the side of the road - probably a pet of one of the little stands, and I squatted down to take the puppy's pictures.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw that there was a truck parked on the road and they were unloading big crates.  As I bent down, I heard a really big thud.  I didn't think much about it - I just thought that were dropping things.  Then suddenly, this man runs out and starts yelling at me and motioning me to leave.  Of course we started walking away immediately, but I pointed to the puppy to show that I was just wanting to take a picture of the puppy.  The man didn't care and shushed me away.  Well, as we walked by the truck, I saw what they had in there...they had these huge lizards or alligators crammed into these crates.  It was a big struggle for 2 men to move one crate.  So, I'm assuming that we stumbled onto something illegal and they were afraid I might get it in my picture...  Kind of scary.  It was just odd though.  I would never photograph a person without asking, but I didn't think twice about an animal.  Yet, my children have been photographed hundreds (not kidding!) of times without being asked.  Oh well.

Kallen and Deklan woke up this morning (Saturday) fever free - Yay.  After 24 hours of high fevers, I started them on antibiotics.  Normally I wouldn't do this, but we can't take a chance and wait it out this time beings how we are traveling.  At every immigration point, they check your temperature.  I needed my boys well. Even going from China to Hong Kong, they check - it's like going to a completely different country.  So, on the train ride last night, I was pumping D and K with Tylenol and Motrin.  Luckily they didn't have a fever when they checked them - and they did check them...

Here are some pictures from these couple days...

Dried Lizard.  They were selling these by the bucket load on the street.  I have no idea what they do with them.

Tratyon next to stuffed dear.  Strange!


Tea Shop

Trayton holding a kitty.

Shiatsu dog.

Chipmunks and rabbit in the back.

mini crabs

This cat looked just like Ziggy - we miss Ziggy!

Trayton holding another kitty.  This kitten was so sweet!

Todd and Gwyndolin on the train.

Trayton and Kallen on the train.  You can tell Kallen doesn't feel good.

Deklan and I on the train.

Train potty.

Tiny sink inside the potty area.

Sinks outside the bathrooms.

We finally made it to our hotel in Hong Kong.  The boys were so happy.  Our hotel upgraded us to a suite with the best view on the top floor!!!

View out our window.



View - our suite has a curved wall and we can see all different areas - it is beautiful.