The past few days we've been enjoying not having to meet until 11:30 and taking our time to get ready. After some play time in the room this morning we went down to breakfast around 9:00. Today we learned that Lily has been spending her free time learning to be a magician, and she demonstrated her "yank the tablecloth out from under breakable objects" trick. Turns out she needs more practice, and we needed some help cleaning up the broken glass and orange juice that ended up on the floor. After breakfast we of course visited the fish, where both Matthew and Caroline took a spill and needed bandaids. We were planning to go to the playground, but we stopped by the room first for some first aid. Turns out, they were cleaning it and we couldn't get in. That's another interesting thing here, when they're cleaning your room they close the door and lock you out. Completely. Like you can't get in with your key. Why are you allowed to be in my room with all of my stuff and the door locked? What exactly are you doing that is so secretive? And no joke, as I'm writing this with Lily asleep on me in the Ergo, they just came to clean the room so I have been kicked out to mom's room across the hall.
Anyway, back to the playground. No bandaids, so the kids were tough and we headed up to the hotel playground. We met another family up there who we have seen and talked to several times throughout our stay here. Their daughter is from Guangdong province too, so we saw them at Gotcha Day, Adoption Day, and even on most of our sightseeing adventures. It was so great to actually be able to talk to them for a while and share stories. Their daughter loved watching Matthew go down the slide and would laugh hilariously at him. And you know Matthew, all he needs is an audience! Meanwhile Lily was enjoying climbing up and around the stairs and watching the other kids play. We got some adorable pictures of all three of our kids playing on the bulldozer thingy (no idea what these are called, but you can see it in the picture below). Once we had worn them out and they were tired of getting shocked by the static electricity from the slide, we got ready for today's outing.
Our adventure today was to the Yuntai Garden. Since China is so full of buildings and concrete, they take extra care of their parks and green areas. This one was no different. It had lots of beautiful plants and flowers, Chinese statues, and Dutch figures and buildings? Not quite sure what wooden shoes, windmills, swans, and milking cows have to do with China, but they sure made for some cute photo ops!
I know I have mentioned a few times how people just love taking pictures of and with Caroline over here. Well today I think was the worst. Not because there were lots of people doing it, but because this time they weren't polite or discreet. One girl asked and Caroline was scared so we said no, and then she proceeded to follow us around the garden, standing conspicuously close to Caroline while her boyfriend stood nearby taking pictures. But the worst one happened when this older woman took the stroller away from Matthew (Caroline was in it at the time) and started pushing it like Caroline was her child. Umm, excuse me, no! I mean, what exactly are you going to put as your caption in your photo scrapbook - I had a blond baby, or Look what I bought at the store today? I'm pretty sure no one is going to believe you. And it's just weird. Then when Brian went to take the stroller back from her, she wouldn't let go! Finally he forcefully took it and we continued on our way.
We had another dinner outing with the Dusseaults later that evening. (We actually got home early enough for a normal naptime and didn't have to wake the kids up for dinner!) We decided to try the Irish pub since we thought they could more easily accommodate all 11 of us. We put Lily and James next to each other again, and Amanda and I were thoroughly entertained by them. Lily would chuck something on the floor, and poor James would get very concerned and point to it like, aren't you going to pick that up? He was also very kind to share his Cheerios with Lily since we were out and that's pretty much the only thing that will keep her occupied in a high chair. At one point Lily actually pointed at James and said "Guo Guo" which is his Chinese name! So cute! But I think my favorite moment was when we were still waiting for our food and all three of my kids started crying at the same time. Does anyone else hear that noise? No? Good. I'll just continue to look over here as if none of this is happening right now. Thankfully our food arrived shortly after, and it was amazing how quiet it got!
Something that I wasn't expecting in China but that I'm loving is the fact that they have Christmas stuff everywhere. There's a huge tree in our hotel lobby, decorations all over the place, and they play Christmas music in the elevators and in the speakers around the hotel. And I believe I even heard a Christmas hymn the other day! I'm definitely still thankful that we will be home soon though, and able to have all sorts of Christmas fun when we get back. I didn't really want to spend Christmas in China ;o)