Monday, June 30, 2008

Day 16 - We're Going Home!!

We are checking out of the hotel after breakfast and heading for the airport. The next time we post, we'll be at home! Yeah!!

We'll try to takes pictures of the trip home and I'll post them as soon as I can.

Day 15 - Visa Appointment

After breakfast this morning we were playing with Ana Kate in our room and I decided to put her in the stroller again. She cried for a second, but when I put toys in with her and started pushing it, she seemed happy. So we pushed her up and down the hallway about 5 or 6 times, then went down to the lobby and back up to our room. By midway through she was kicking her legs and bouncing...she actually liked it!! Yeah!! After that we went with Laura and the kids to walk around the lake behind the was a nice walk, but very hot. We all met around 1:30 to head to the embassy for our visa interview. Everything went fine and everyone was very nice. They told us to come back at 4:00 for the visa.

So....Doug and Randy decided to walk to the embassy to pick up the visas and they left around 3:30....I still hadn't heard anything at 5:00. So I called Laura to see if they had called and she said apparently they were waiting because there was an issue with the printer. So long story short around 5:40 Doug and Randy showed up at the hotel with the visas!! Yeah!! So, we are coming home tomorrow!! We can't wait!

We didn't take many pictures...but here are the stroller pics of Ana Kate.

Ana Kate happy in her stroller:

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Day 14 - Even More Shopping

Yes, we are filling most of our remaining time here shopping. You can stay in a small hotel room with an active baby for only so we shop.

Today after breakfast we walked to Dan's Shop & Bistro (just down from the hotel) and we bought a few snacks to take on the plane to hopefully occupy Ana Kate. When we got back to the hotel we met up with the Templeton's and decided to do more shopping in the old quarter. We decided to buy a stroller to help us during the layovers and the we got one for a good price. We tried to put Ana Kate in it and she absolutely hated it. So I guess she'll either learn to like it...or we have a cute little stroller to push our backpacks around the airport. :) We only bought a couple other little things then took a break at Highland's Coffee before heading back to the hotel.

We watched a movie in the room while baby girl napped and then walked back to Dan's Shop and Bistro for dinner. We got chicken and pineapple fried rice and a hamburger with fries. Everything was really good and they are very nice there. Now we're back at the hotel hanging out....we're hoping Ana Kate will sleep good tonight. She did better last night...she only woke 3 or 4 times, so hopefully that will continue. We didn't take many pictures today, but I've posted what we have. Enjoy.

Our little sweet pea...

Views from the 18th floor balcony at our hotel:

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Day 13 - Rainy Day in Hanoi

It rained on and off all day today. After breakfast we gave baby girl a bath and then headed out with Laura (Templeton) to see the Vietnam Ethnology Museum. It was very interesting, but hard to see everything in just one visit (when you have two babies and 4 year old along). All the kids were very good, but as it got close to lunch time we decided to head back to the hotel. We ate some snacks while Ana Kate napped and then we headed downtown for some more shopping. You would think we would be tired of shopping by now, but there are so many interesting things here. We bought a couple of gifts and a conical hat for Ana Kate. She looks so cute in it. We got very wet, but had a good time. We watched a movie when we got back to the hotel and then had dinner. The pictures below are mostly of baby girl from today. Laura taught her how to stick her tongue out yesterday, so we had to get a picture of that.

Baby girl after her bath.

800 fish baskets on a bike...from the Ethnology Museum.

Ana Kate looking adorable in her conical hat.

Ana Kate sticking out her tongue.

Ana Kate trying to get the camera.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Day 12 - More Shopping

Today breakfast was very crowded. All the Miss Universe contestants were down at the same time and so it was hard to find a seat. At one point during breakfast Doug took a picture of the Templeton's with Miss USA. It turned out really good. I thought about getting a picture, but Ana Kate had just started to eat and I figured it would be chaos if I tried to get her out of the high chair. After breakfast we headed out with the Templeton's to do more shopping. We found a street with several small shops that had some really nice of course we bought some things. It was relatively mild today with a nice breeze, so it was a great day for shopping. We came back to the hotel and the lobby was crowded once again as the pagent girls were should see all the luggage these girls travel with....the elevators were completely packed. We hung out in the room and I took a nap with Ana Kate. We really haven't done much else today....we got room service because it is pouring rain outside and we didn't feel like going out. Enjoy the pictures of baby girl.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Day 11 - Paperwork & Miss Universe

Well today after breakfast we headed out to take our paperwork to the US embassy prior to our visa interview on Monday. It went we are done until our interview on Monday afternoon. Hopefully we will be able to come home on July 1st. After that we came back to hotel. There was a lot of press and security as the Miss Universe contestants are staying at the hotel and were just arriving. We watched them all come in and took a few pictures. Ana Kate waved at them and was quite the little cutie. Later in the afternoon we ran into Miss Mexico by the elevators and she said something to Ana Kate. We think she was telling her how cute she is. We definitely agree. We went to dinner at Luna d' Autuno which is Italian. They had homemade pasta and I got the spinach and ricotta ravioli in a fresh tomato sauce. It was SO good....we really enjoyed it. That was about it for our day....we hung out the rest of the night at the hotel and went to bed early.

Ana Kate playing.

Miss USA

Miss Costa Rica & Miss Mexico

Miss China & Miss Singapore

Miss Trinidad & Tobago

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Day 10 - Passport & SOS Appointment

Today at breakfast Ana Kate ate just about everything we gave her. Her favorites were the egg dumplings and fried noodles. We had to take a picture of the huge mess she was making. We tried to clean up after her, but it was pretty bad. After breakfast we went to the business center to print out copies of paperwork that we needed. Around 1:00 we headed out to get Ana Kate's passport and then to the SOS clinic for her medical check. We got a couple of pictures of the weird looks Ana Kate gave the doctor, but she was great during her exam. The doctor mentioned that she was one of the healthiest adopted babies he's seen and he also commented that she was very advanced in her development for her age. This was very good news....we were expecting some delays in development, but that isn't the case at all. She weighed in at 18 pounds....I knew she was heavy. She is wearing 9 months clothes though, so the weight is a little deceiving. She definitely looks lighter than she feels. After that we came back to the hotel and made a bottle then went out to dinner. Not very exciting tonight, but we did get a cute picture of Ana Kate in the taxi...remember they don't use car seats here. It was really scary the first couple of days, but now I'm getting used to the traffic here. Enjoy the pictures.

Messy girl at breakfast.

Getting her medical exam.

The 'hold' and the 'face' while getting her ears checked.

More funny faces.

Ana Kate in the taxi.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Day 9 - Swimming with Ana Kate

We didn't do much today. After breakfast we went to the Big C to buy more diapers and things and when we got back Ana Kate took a nap. After her nap we got ready and went down to the pool. She LOVED the water.....she liked mommy getting in with her, so it was definitely a big hit. I even put her under a few times to see if she'd hold her breath and she didn't get mad....she just blinked the water out of her eyes. I think we have a water baby. We will definitely spend more time in the pool now. After swimming we all took a long nap (which was really nice). Around 5:00 we walked to the laundry to pick up our clothes and they found our missing things....yeah...we were very happy. We also stopped by a little place called The Deli and got take out. I got fried rice and Ana Kate ate about 15 - 20 big she's definitely wanting more solid food. That was about it. Tomorrow we get Ana Kate's passport and have our SOS clinic appointment. Enjoy the pictures.

Sleepy baby at nap time.

Ana Kate loving the water.

Ana Kate in the water with Mommy.

Ana Kate trying to splash the water.

Ana Kate hanging out in her floaty toy.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Day 8 - More Shopping & Water Puppet Theater

This morning after breakfast we went to Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton) and walked around. It was interesting to see and we took a few pictures. We also went to the Trang Tien Plaza to do some shopping and I finally bought a swimsuit. It was more of a mall than the other shopping experiences, and it was air conditioned which was a huge plus today. It was so hot we could barely walk outside for more than 5 or 10 minutes at a time. We also bought some toys for Ana is hard to keep her entertained in a hotel room so any distraction helps.

Tonight we went to the Water Puppet Theater with the Templeton's. It was very good and Ana Kate behaved herself throughout the performace, but I was worried for a while. She jumped up and down in my lap and clapped her hands, but it didn't keep her attention the entire time. Thank goodness the family sitting behind us kept her occupied the rest of the time by playing with her. After the show we went to an ice cream shop to eat (I don't remember the name), but the sandwiches and ice cream were great and we just missed being caught in a huge downpour. As soon as it started raining the temperature immediately dropped and it felt great outside.

We plan on hanging out at the hotel and swimming tomorrow....assuming Ana Kate will stay in the pool. If not we'll have to think of something else. We are a bit tired of hotel living after a week of it. Hopefully we'll hear something about our visa appointment soon.

Water Puppet Theater

Ana Kate with her toys.

Ana Kate walking to Mama and laughing.

Ana Kate up close...making faces.

Baby girl crying for Mama.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Day 7 - Shopping

We started off the day with a stinky diaper at was lovely. It was bad enough that I had to change her clothes. On a good note, Ana Kate only woke up 4 times last we're making progress. After breakfast Doug found a store that had his size and bought some shorts...then we headed out to the Dong Xuan market. It was very crowded and extremely hot, but we found some neat things. After that we headed back to the hotel to cool off and let Ana Kate nap.

I thought I'd give a little summary of events of our 1st week with Ana Kate:

Hours in a car with an active baby girl and no car seat - 7
Bumps to baby girl's head - 4
Things I've had to fish out of baby girl's mouth - 3 (a flower, a leaf, and a staple...don't even ask...)
Diaper blowouts - 2
Number of times I've said 'No, no, no' - about 100 and now baby girl shakes her head 'no' every time I say it.

There are many more 'highlights' of our week...but those are some of the more memorable ones. Ana Kate does say 'Mama'....but we don't think she knows what it means....she babbles a lot and makes faces all the time. She is adorable and we love her. We can't wait to get her home to meet her big sister Whitney. We miss you Whitney and WE LOVE YOU!!

A few random pictures from today:

The pool at our hotel.

Lake behind our hotel.

Ana Kate playing peek-a-boo.

Baby girl.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Day 6 - Another Day in the Hotel

As I mentioned in my other post I was pretty sick last night, so we have stayed in the hotel room today and I've tried to catch up on my sleep. Doug took care of Ana Kate this morning and changed his first diaper. When I got out of the shower I realized that her diaper was on backwards....I'm not even sure how he did that, but it worked. I took a small nap and I think I may have a slight fever...I'm not really sure what's wrong, but if I don't start feeling better by tomorrow I'll start taking the medicine I brought.

Ana Kate got two more bumps on her head today...but she's still fearless. I think she's got a pretty tough head.

Around 6:00 we headed out with the Templeton's to pick up our laundry and eat dinner. We went to Al Fresco's which was pretty good. It's actually a late night for us as we didn't get back to the hotel until after 8:00pm. We started putting our laundry away and realized that we are missing about 4 pairs of shorts/pants. We didn't bring very many things to start with so we can't be losing anything at the laundry. We'll have to go back and see if they can find our missing things.

I didn't take any pictures today, so I promise to post several tomorrow. We will probably go shopping and then hang out at the pool.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Day 5 - Walking Tour

We went with the Templeton's on the walking tour of the old quarter today. We had a good time, but it was very hot. After about 3 hours we decided to come back to the hotel to swim. Ana Kate still won't get in the pool and she fell asleep on the lawn chairs out by the pool. We took another trip to the store and then hung out in the hotel. I must have eaten something that didn't agree with me because I was up all night vomiting. We figured it might have been the heat that made me sick. I felt so bad, but Doug took care of Ana Kate all that made it easier for me to rest. She still wakes up about 6 or 7 times a night to drink her bottle. The Templeton's baby does the same thing....we're not sure why. They go right back to sleep, they just don't sleep for very long stretches. I am hoping we can correct that when we get home.

It looks like we may not be able to come home until July 1st. We still don't know for sure, but that is a pretty good estimate. I will keep everyone updated as we get more information. Enjoy the pictures.

The old quarter in Vietnam

Doug was amazed at the wiring system here.

Ana Kate pulling up on the table....she looks like such a big girl.

Ana Kate standing by herself.

Ana Kate making silly faces at mommy.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Day 4 - Hanging out at the Hotel

We decided that we wanted to relax today and with rainy weather in the morning that seemed to be a good idea. We got up around 6:00 and went down to breakfast...the breakfast here at the Daewoo is great and they have highchairs! Yeah!! Ana Kate loved it and I actually got to eat. After breakfast we went back to the room and got our laundry together then walked about a mile from the hotel to drop it off. Ana Kate loved the walk and lots of people stopped to say 'Hi' to her. We then met with Mr. Le in the lobby to figure out our schedule. After that we headed to the pool. Ana Kate loved the water, but she wanted to be in the pool with mommy...not daddy. So I guess I'll have to buy a swimsuit because I didn't bring mine. We have spent the rest of the day in the room hanging out and we ordered room service for dinner while baby girl took another nap. She is getting restless now, so we'll probably go for a walk soon. Enjoy the pictures.

Ana Kate trying to get the camera.

Ana Kate being silly.

Ana Kate with Ms. Linh in the hotel lobby.

Ana Kate and Mr. Le.

Ana Kate's first swim.