Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Switching Over to Canadian Time

To quote my father: "I am amazed how Keira settled in as if she'd always lived there, pets and all. What a little charmer."

That indeed, she is. It is true. Whether the skyping helped, or the photo album I put together, or the little book I took with me about kittens and puppies. Maybe it was her intro to chickens at the Ancient Village? Who knows? But  Keira came into the house with me, looked at all of the animals, was fascinated by them and wanted to touch them. The animals seemed to know right away that she is here to stay. Usually, when other children are here for a visit, the cats scatter. With Keira, they stick around. Othello was actually in her room the other day sitting, staring up at the crib as though willing for her to wake up (usually her door is closed - it was open in an attempt to get her to wake up), and Emma joins me in the middle of the night during Keira's nightly "still on China time escapades". It's fascinating.

Last night I actually locked Emma in Keira's room by accident. She didn't mew or ask to get out. She simply curled up on the rocking chair and went to sleep until I opened the door. Not a peep.

During bath time, Titan actually lies with his chin resting on the tub so he can keep an eye on what's going on. He is most concerned that Keira is alright.

Keira seems to take two steps forward and one step back in terms of switching to Canadian time. She is on a schedule but night times are hit and miss. Beggars can't be choosers though! It is only Tuesday and she is sleeping in her own crib, in her own room so I'll take the nights that she's up three times. I've gradually moved her bedtime earlier each night. On Friday/Saturday she slept from 3:00 in the morning to 2:00 in the afternoon. I figured she'd had quite the grueling night before so let her sleep. Saturday was a pretty good night but Sunday night she slept for four hours but was then up at 2:00 and again at 4:30 at which time she decided she (meaning WE) were UP. Last night we were up three times, the last time being 3:00, then she slept through to 8:30. We'll see what tonight brings. She was in bed at 8:45. In China she was sleeping through the night no problem......wonder if we'll get back to that eventually? I have to be strict about her napping schedule during the day otherwise she'd sleep the day away at the moment. On more than one occasion she has fallen asleep in the exersaucer. It's hard work all this play and exercise plus being in a totally different time zone!

Everyday I see progress. She mimics like you wouldn't believe and will sit on her own for almost ten minutes at a time. Problem is, she doesn't know how to get herself out of the sitting position! ;-)

What else is there to do at 4:30 in the morning? Mom's folding my laundry while I'm playing. I think that's a pretty good deal - don't you?

When I have a moment I will post more pictures from our time spent in China. Until now, enjoy some pics of Keira, finally in her own home.

Little Traveller Extraordinaire!

Yes, I have a little traveller in the making. Keira was an absolute trooper. For a little wee thing who, in the span of not even two weeks had experienced as many firsts as she had, she was incredible. We managed to get lunch and a nap before we left the hotel, and I packed pjs for the flight as it was an overnighter. We went through security with no hassles and just before we boarded the plane (which was almost an hour late), I changed her so she'd be ready for the night. At the airport in Beijing they have hot water dispensers throughout the airport (and I mean boiling hot water!) so I filled my thermos and was ready to go. I had bought her a seat to give us ample room. She played for a bit, ate dinner just prior to take off, played again, had her bottle, went for a wee walk to see her friends and, once in her sleeping bag, was out for the count, sleeping soundly from approximately 8:30 through to 6:15 the following morning. That left us just enough time for a quick breakfast before landing on the same day at approximately the same time we had left on the other side of the world!

Immigration was kind enough to allow adoptive families and babies to the front of the line. Keira is now officially a landed immigrant awaiting her permanent residency card so I may apply for her citizenship. Whew...we then had to pick up luggage and go through security once again for our flight home to Ottawa. Again, she was a little trooper. She chowed down on a mum mum when we were initially on the plane, then once we started heading down the runway and I had her in my arms, she crashed for what she probably thought was her morning nap. She didn't wake up until we landed almost an hour later. A quick change out of pjs and into an outfit - we were ready to meet some special family and friends who and made the trek out to the airport to welcome us home.

What a treat to step out of the elevator to such a warm and loving welcome. She is one very lucky little girl!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Homeward Bound!

I have so much more to post but we've been busy, busy, busy! We're
pretty much packed and ready to go. Bus leaves at 2:00 airport bound
for the very long flight home. This has been an incredible experience
but we're all ready to come home and start the next chapter of our
lives. I can't wait to bring this little treasure to Canada. When I
was handed her passport and it had her Canadian VISA stating that she
was an "immigrant", I have to admit, I got chills of excitement. Oh,
to finally get her home and into her own crib!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Birthday Pics Cont'd

Some little milestones: Keira is now sitting on her own for a couple
of minutes or so at a time before she starts to topple over. Sometimes
she can go for five minutes before she loses her balance. As of
yesterday she has also started pushing with her feet and will now
bounce if you hold her in the standing position. She thinks she is
absolutely hilarious. I, on the other hand, am getting quite the

What a Day!

Well, wee Keira had a great first birthday, albeit a busy one! It
started with being sung Happy Birthday to via Skype at 8:00 this
morning. We then bundled up, boarded the bus, and headed to the
Forbidden City, but not before taking a detour to drive around Tian'an
Men Square.

As a tourist, we had to enter via the South Gate and exit via the
North Gate. You are not allowed to turn around. Once you're in, you
keep going until you reach the North Gate and can exit. It was cold
and damp today, probably the coldest day since we've arrived. The City
itself is most impressive and one can only imagine what it was like so
many years ago. There is so much history and so many traditions
embedded within the walls of the city, it truly is fascinating. My
favourite section was the imperial garden. Unfortunately it was cold
and by the time we reached that area, children were tired and hungry,
and many members of the group simply wanted to get a move on and get
to the bus. Keira had already decided at 11:35 that it was lunch time,
and I had taken advantage of the clean, warm bathroom area earlier on
to get her fed so we were okay to keep going. When you're with a group
though, you go with the flow, so go with the flow we did.

After a nap break for Keira back at the hotel and a lunch break for
Oma and Mom, we were back out again shortly after 4:00 to head to one
of the biggest tea houses in Beijing with some of the other group
members. What a neat experience. Again, when we walked into the
building, it was like stepping back in time. We sampled different teas
and were given a lesson as to some of the culture behind the wheres
and whys of tea. Again, very interesting. Keira was extremely good and
drew the attention of many of the girls who worked in the tea house.

Once done at the tea house, our bus driver drove us to a Peking Duck
restaurant to meet up with the other members of our group to enjoy an
awesome dinner. All in all, it was a very good day.

Keira is now sound asleep and I can officially say I have a one year old.

A Very Important First

Today is Keira's first birthday. One year old today - January 18,
2012. I will never know the details of her birth, how big she was,
exactly where she was born, who her birth parents are. But this I do
know. She is one incredibly loved little girl and I am extremely
blessed to be able to call her my daughter.

On Sunday, our guide brought three birthday cakes to our lunch at the
Jade Factory. One for Tieran who turned eight on Sunday. She was
adopted seven years ago and is here with her family to adopt her baby
sister, and one cake each for the two babies who were to be turning
one today, on the 18th of January, one of them being Keira.

For a little one who had never seen cake before, she was curious and
before I could blink, she had a fist full of whipped cream which ended
up all over her hand and on her snowsuit. Keira then helped Lily cut
the cake and shared it with all of her friends. She has quite the
reach, I tell you! Once the pieces were handed out and I was eating
mine, she grabbed a hold of my paper plate and gave it a yank. Just
like a magic trick, Keira was left holding the plate, and I was left
eating my cake off the table cloth. The rest of group at the table was
in stitches. They couldn't believe she had moved so quickly. Gotta
love her!

I'm looking forward to celebrating quietly with family when we get
home. The countdown is now on.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Back in Time - Ancient Village (2)

Back in Time - Ancient Village (1)

Erin emailed me these pictures she took while we were at the Ancient
Village. My guess is that until Keira had been with me, she had never
been outside, nor had she been exposed to animals. She was curious
about the chickens. This was probably the closest she's ever been to
an animal and it was a good first introduction. We'll see how she
handles the entire crew waiting for her back at home!

When it came to lunch time, there were two little girls who were most
intrigued as I fed her. She was having a concoction of squash, apples
and pears. The little girls knew enough English to voice their opinion
which was a resounding, "yuck!".

Jade Factory

China is extremely well known for their Jade. On Sunday, after
climbing the Great Wall, we then headed to a Jade Factory for a well
earned lunch followed by a tour and jade shopping spree. It was quite
something to see and learn about how the pieces of art were created. I
didn't know, for example, that true jade, when hit together, sounds
dull, whereas fake jade actually makes a pinging sound like glass. So,
the next time you're out shopping for jade, pick the pieces up and
give them a whack against each other. If they sound like glass, you're
being scammed!

We also drove by the Olympic Village. The picture you see of the hotel
which looks like a torch, is apparently the most expensive hotel in

And, of course, the last two pics are to appease Keira's fan club. I
get it, who wants to see pictures of scenery and other "stuff" when
there's a cute baby around? ;-)