Yellow Crane Tower and the joy of summer travel


We were so grateful that the weather cooperated for us so we could visit the Yellow Crane Tower yesterday. Well, I guess I should clarify that "cooperated" would be no rain. But my goodness, it was hot. No different than a summer day at Disney...lots of people and being hot and sticky. We had a lot of stairs to hike (just like you said, Melissa). And that is certainly made more challenging when you are wearing a little munchkin on your chest in a carrier. While Caleb does great climbing up stairs, he's still apprehensive when climbing down. So Patrick had to carry him on and off.

After climbing about half way up the tower, Madeline decided she didn't want to be in the carrier anymore. While that made us both cooler, it meant I had to carry her in my arms the rest of the way up. And that was not easy. At each level, there were balconies to walk on and look out over the city. Madeline really enjoyed standing on the decorated "guardrail" (for lack of a better word) and looking out. I was afraid she was going to loose her bracelet or sippy cup a few times. But it was clear the little munchkin has no fear.

At one point, a young lady with her daughter (who looked about 7 years old) asked me if Madeline Bei was my daughter. I told her yes. Then she saw Caleb and asked if he was my son, to which I also said yes. I told her that Patrick and I adopted both of them. And she told me we had much kindness. I could tell that she really adored Madeline (whom we're still calling Jin Bei). She followed us around for a bit. Then all of a sudden we had a crowd of people around us, wanting to take pictures of Madeline Bei and give her candy. Later Patrick told me that they were really wanting to take pictures of her shortened arm.

When we had hiked high enough, we decided it was time to head back down. But Patrick had already headed down with Caleb to take him to the bathroom. So I carried my precious girl all the way down to the bottom. I haven't had a work out like that since I use to go to the gym! At the bottom, I chatted with our guide, Eric, for a while. He was very curious about whether or not we are going to get Madeline fitted with a prosthetic arm. He seemed to think it was best for us to do that for her quickly. But since we don't plan on doing that, I tried my best to listen without poo pooing his suggestion. He had also picked up on the fact that something wasn't quite right with Caleb's left hand. He asked me if we were going to have surgery for him. So I explained that he had a birth injury, and we've already done one surgery and are considering another. He was happy to hear about all that we have done for Caleb.

We eventually caught up with some of the Drewes family. I learned that somehow I walked past Patrick and Caleb. So Eric went back to get them. In the meantime, my precious girl started tapping her little hiney and saying "pa pa". At that point, I knew we couldn't make it back to the bathroom. So I dropped her pants right there, hoping and praying it was just #1 and not #2 (because she says it no matter which one she means). And to my great relief, it was just #1. All I had on me was a paper towel to clean my eye glasses with because Patrick had my bag. Oh well. Sometimes you do what ya gotta do.

Once again, after we got back to the hotel soaking wet in our own sweat, we headed downstairs to have lunch. Although we order Jin Bei some mashed potatoes and mashed carrots, she wouldn't touch them. Instead I was greatly relieved when I decided against the Tai*wanese beef noodle and got a BLT with fries instead. That little girl of mine sat so quietly on my lap and just ate most of my fries! She's really trying hard to keep up with cousin Leah. I think the two of them are going to have french fry parties instead of tea parties when we get home.

After lunch, we headed back to our room and determined that today was going to be bath day for Jin Bei. I cleverly gave her a new toy (the stacking cups which we hadn't taken out yet). It was just enough to keep her from getting too anxious. She didn't fuss (all 8 cups in hand) when I put her in the baby tub inside the enormous bathtub we have in the room. I finally got to wash that hair of hers! Woopie. And her neck...oh my goodness, even Eric commented on how dirty it was. I tried to get her to sit so she could play with her cups better in the water, but she fussed. I continued to fill one of her cups, and she would dump it out. She actually laughed and enjoyed it. And when I picked her up to take her out and dry her off, she whined! So we made great progress there. I also attempted to take a shower (and wash my hair!) while she was awake but she cried the whole time she watched me. She only stopped when I finally turned the water off. I was also determined to dry my ratty hair. And I thought it would mean another meltdown. But she saw Caleb playing on the huge window ledge in our room and actually asked Patrick to put her up there. So I finally got to wash AND dry my hair. Wow, I felt like a new woman. LOL. Madeline actually did quite well while we were packing. She played independently with her toys, engaged Caleb in playing with her too...scared the dickens out of Patrick when I told him she was using her teeth to pop off of the cap to the lip balm. Then she proceed to drop it in the toliet. But after what happened with the chapstick and big Hannah on Caleb's adoption trip, I knew I had to fish the lip balm out of the toliet in order to avoid another meltdown. It was quite funny. She was totally unphased and went on like nothing ever happened. Oh the things we do...

Anyway, we finished packing up and are bracing ourselves for potentially the greatest tantrum of the ages on our flight to Guang*zhou. We will first head back to the civil affairs office to pick up our documents. We will then drive one hour to the train station to drop off the Drewes. We will then have to drive another hour to get to the airport for our 3pm flight. The flight will only be 1.5 hours. But then we have another one hour drive to the hotel. So....all this means we expect to have one precious yet cranky girl to love on and cuddle with all day.

I just have to say how much we love our precious children. Caleb has been the best big brother. He still wants to be held in the carrier every time I hold Madeline in hers. But he plays so well with her and loves to get her to laugh. We are so so very blessed. We can't believe our trip is half way over. Next post will be from Guang*zhou!

This was taken in the front of the tower, however one of my lenses stopped autofocusing. So I had to give my camera to our guide Eric with my fixed lens....really, the tower is behind us but not visible. This is our first family of four photo, drenched beyond drenched in our own sweat

A very important statue you'll have to ask Patrick about

My two favorite guys

A beautiful lotus bloom

Playing on the bed

Playing with the light switch

Sheer sweetness

6 sweet words:

Melissa Thursday, July 22, 2010  

Sounds like a great day! Funny what a shower and hair dry can do for the soul. I can't tell you how much we have been enjoying your posts. Hard to believe your trip is half way over.

Fliss and Mike Adventures Thursday, July 22, 2010  

I adored seeing the photos and what you have been up to... oh she is so precious... then again so is Caleb :) Hugs to you all...

Deb Thursday, July 22, 2010  

Glad you guys were able to enjoy the outdoors. Praying for your flight. Lovin' the photos!

Patty Thursday, July 22, 2010  

What a great day!!!!! Prayers for you as you continue on to Guangzhou! You are almost home!!

Barbara Friday, July 23, 2010  

Grammy in Connecticut can't wait to meet you, Jin Bei!!! My new granddaughter is so beautiful - can't wait to paint your lovely face!!

Mom2Four Friday, July 23, 2010  

Yeah!!! I'm so excited things are going so well. The kids love looking at the pictures and they all think Madeline is adorable. Can't wait till you get home and we can all meet Madeline in person.

P.S. Fall ball signups start Sat!


About This Blog

This blog is a place where we have shared our lives with family and friends while we waited to bring our daughter, Madeline, home from China and while we actually traveled to China for her. It is also a place where we will continue to share our life experiences, as we try to glorify God and raise our two precious dumplings from China.

And now we wait to bring Havi home from China.

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