Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Lily meets Ty for the first time (Ty fell asleep on the couch.. when Jeff relocated him to his bed the couch pillow went along with them)

The proud big sister

Ty baby

Sharing some snacks with Lily (whether he wants to or not)

Mama and Ty (not my favorite picture of me but I love Ty's cute smile)

Lily & Ty laughing

They both LOVE snacks

Having 2 toddlers so close in age is a challenge no doubt and CHAOS is a good way to describe it.

Ty slept in his bed all night last night. He did need some attention every few hours. Sort of like he wants to make sure we are still here and that all is ok. Jeff and I are working in shifts because even though Jeff is tired he is still not on our time schedule either. So at 2 or 3 am he is wide awake.
Ty seemed to be getting closer to our schedule today and I am praying that tonight will be a night full of sleep for this family of 4.

I don't know why but when I see Lily and Ty together the words "the littles" comes to my mind. So "the littles'' are done with their honeymoon and they have entered the real world of being siblings.
They are still so funny because Lily runs in Ty's room this morning to give him a wake up call.... she practically stands on his head, kisses him, hugs him, turns the light on, and yells WAKE UP TY BABY.
You can just imagine how well the Ty Baby likes this.

Ty and Lily are laughing with each other one minute and pushing each other the other minute. Ty actually never pushed Lily until she did it to him about 3 times. Then he thought that was the norm and decided he could push her right back. The waterworks begin for her and then five minutes later they were running around laughing with each other.
At one point tonight... Ty let out the biggest cry... he was irritated to be sitting at the dinner table..
Well Lily decided she needed to do the same... because (in her words) he scared her....
It was a symphony of cries.... we should have grabbed the video camera for this memory.
Jeff held Ty and Lily was in my lap... they were both crying the loudest of cries and Jeff and I were just laughing our heads off. For some reason it was just comical.
I think it is safe to say that life will never be quiet, boring, or uneventful with these 2.

I was able to get out of the house for an hour and 1/2 this evening to get my hair done.... it was so sweet when I came home because I heard Lily yell "MOMMY MOMMY and then Ty try to say MAMA MAMA just as loud and in the same tone..... they both came flying down the stairs and hugged me.
Sure made my day...
In addition to the fact that Ty loves for me to take his picture.... he might even like it more than Lily..... the verdict is still out on that....

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Day 15 x 2 and a home update

From Jeff~

It's day 15x2 because we traveled over the International Dateline on Easter, allowing us to experience that day twice.

When we woke up in Beijing I was feeling pretty bad - stomach, fever, headache, all of that. Grandpa got us some continental breakfast sent to the room which was just right to get us going. We were surprised to see a crisp clean day outside in Beijing - the first day like that since we got to China.

We got to the airport 3 hours before the flight left, and of course we had to do battle at the check in counter for another 45 min. Ty was REALLY tired of hanging around check in counters and he let us know this time. We finally got squared away and the next 12-14 hours is a big blur in my memory stick - all I know is my Dad really stepped up when I needed him and took care of Ty on the long flight to San Fran. I was taking cold medicine to reduce the searing sinus pressure when flying while sick, so I was out of it. (What I remember reminds me of when Galndalf fought Balrog, but for 10 hours.)

747s seating is 3-4-3 across, and those wonderful UA people couldn't give us a set of 3 together. I felt bad for the Chinese scientist who sat beside me - he was the unlucky guy on the flight. Ty did well over all - an 11 hour flight for any 2.5 year old is a bad idea.

I actually felt better when we landed in San Fran and we all sat down for smoothies and pizza to celebrate our re-entry into the US. Going through customs with all our paperwork went smooth. We were glad to be back - so many things we take for granted on a daily basis.

We all slept the majority of our last flight - I told Ty to enjoy this flight because he wasn’t going to see another airplane for a long time. We landed in Chicago exactly 24 hours after we woke up in Beijing. After collecting luggage and then walking the 7 miles dragging our luggage to the shuttle area, we felt pretty good about the drive back to Grandpa's house.

Ty wasn't expecting the car seat. He was all excited when he saw us loading the car, but when all his buckles where suddenly clicked in, he was stuck. He cried and screamed off and on all the way to Grandpa's house. If he was eating, drawing, or watching family videos, he was OK. He was better if the light was left on too. Never fell asleep on that trip.

Got to pop in and meet Grandma, we got there at the stroke of midnight - finally the day was over! TY and Grandma hit it off pretty good - snacks and plush toys are his weak spot.

We wondered how it would go leaving Grandpa - I think things were coming together for Ty. I told him this was Grandma and Grandpa's house, and we needed to go home to Mom and Lily. He took his bag of Cheerios and didn't say one peep getting into his seat, or when we left. He was awake another 15 min into the trip - traffic was light at 1am on a Monday morning. We made it in good time and Mom was still up.

It was like no other homecoming, being gone for so long away from Tiffany and Lily was hard. Ty and Mom hit it off really well right off the bat. As tired as we were, Ty stayed up until 8am. When I laid down I decided this journey to China was over.

From Tiffany HOME UPDATE~

Well...... on Sunday night I should have gone to bed when Lily did (8:30pm) because I would have had about 6 hours of sleep. It was one of those times when you feel exhausted but also wide awake.

Jeff and Ty arrived at 2:30am on Monday.

I heard the garage door open and I peeked out to see Ty looking so cute in the back seat.

He looked like he knew who I was but he was so tired, in very unfamiliar territory and therefore he was hanging on to dad pretty tight.

He did come to me after about 30 minutes but really wanted to be with Jeff so I didn't push it. This meant that Jeff was up even longer.

Lily slept through everything. When she woke on Monday morning she was SOOOOOOOOOO excited when dad came in to get her up. She knew Ty was here and immediately ran to his room to see him sleeping (Jeff just got him to sleep only 15 minutes earlier).

As hard as it was not to wake him she let him sleep. Of course I had to take a picture of her looking at him and she was more than happy to pose for that.

It worked out perfectly because Ty sleeping right then allowed us to have a little bit of time with Jeff... so nice after 2 weeks.

After a few hours the excitement was getting the best of off we went to wake up Ty. She jumped up and down in his bed, kissed him, hugged him, and pretty well smothered him until he woke up. Hee hee

He wasn't quite sure what to make of all this attention from a VERY excited Lily. But decided some lunch and playing would be a good idea.

We weren't sure how the whole Lily and Ty thing would go but so far it has been better than we thought it would be. She LOVES him. She thinks everything he does is so funny... She tells him "YOU ARE SO FUNNY TY BABY". He is trying to repeat everything she says and she tries to say whatever language he is speaking in (seems to be a mixture of Chinese and Ty's own language). Lily is a combination of being a little mom and also a big sister.

MUCH to our surprise she shares MOST of her toys and books with him. She even lets him in her room (AKA The Pink Palace) and he is allowed to pick up all of her Hello Kitties. He has a rough side to him but has been very gentle with her toys SO FAR. He actually seems to like her room better than his own and loves all of her stuffed animals. He put all of his stuffed animals in his bed like she has some of hers. They seem to be watching what the other one does and they want to do what the other one is doing.

Lily doesn't mind when we hold him or do things for him. She did make it clear to him that we are Lily's mom and dad. When we explained that we are now also his mom and dad she didn't care to hear that.

How are mom and Ty doing..... Ty is letting me do things for him and will now come to me on his own. This is a huge step considering how close he is to Jeff. I am sure you could all see it in the pictures. Today he ran back and forth between the two of us giving us hugs. He even let me put him in bed for his nap (today) and in bed tonight. We were a little worried because he has no use for getting in his bed. I sang him the same songs I sing to Lily and within 5 minutes he is fast asleep. We are praying that continues. Sleep has been an issue because he is still very much on China time. He has been up ALL night the last 2 nights.
SO other than an afternoon nap today we've kept him up all day. That was not an easy task but it worked with Lily and so we are trying it with Ty.

We took a ride in the car today and as long as Ty was loaded with snacks he was just fine. They each had snacks and cups. When we got home the back seat looked like we just went on a cross country road trip.
They were a riot... laughing, taking their shoes off, eating snacks, talking NON STOP, and just being silly.
Ty takes a handful of Cheerios and puts them up to his mouth. About 3/10 make it in his mouth. The rest go all over him and the floor. Lily tells him he is making a mess and that he is so funny.

Well we certainly know that this little "honeymoon" time could change as the days go on. But for now we are really enjoying being a family of 4.
A VERY TIRED family of 4. (3 of us are tired... Lily is well rested... thank goodness)

I'll post pictures in the next day or two.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter... Ty's Room.. They are on the way home

Well, I thought we would be spending the day as a family of 4. But as you all know PLANS CHANGE. Yesterday Lily and I had brunch with Grandma K. So much fun!
Today we went to our annual brunch with my family!
While it was a disappointment yesterday to find out Jeff and Ty wouldn't be home Lily and I still had a great weekend.

Jeff, Grandpa Ed, and Ty are driving home (from Chicago) as we speak. Ty was eating french fries and chicken nuggets... after all it is almost lunch in China.
I think Jeff and Ty will be here around 2am. Lily is sound asleep and I honestly hope she stays that way.

I don't think the reality has quite hit me that Ty will be here in just hours.
I have the same feeling in my stomach that I did on our Gotcha Day for Lily. Understandable since today is my Gotcha Day.
It is sort of nice and different all at the same time to experience Gotcha Day in the comforts of your own home. Same nerves but more comfortable setting.

Thank you to everyone for following our journey!!!!!!! Your comments, prayers, and support have been so wonderful and mean so much to us! I will post some updates as soon as time allows.

In the meantime... here are some Easter pictures....

Brunch with Grandma

Easter Goodies... the frog basket is for Ty

Tulips that Grandma sent Lily and I... Godiva's came with it...YUM

Lily meets Lily

Lily with the Easter Bunny... believe it or not she loved this Easter Bunny... you'd never know it from the pictures. She hopped up to him... asked him if he liked her Tilda Jane dress
(Matilda Jane) and then told him good job bunny when she left....
He patted her on the back and she told me that he was petting her.... followed by NICE BUNNY

Ty's room... keeping it simple at first... we didn't want to overwhelm him and I know how quickly these little rooms fill up... since I took these pictures 2 days ago he has several new books, stuffed animals, and toys
Lily and I made the fabric squares with Ty's name (SO EASY and she thought it was great fun)
We are really hoping that he sleeps in his bed... a crib is on stand by if necessary. However, the orphanage and Jeff both say how much he doesn't like a crib.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Day 14 Update from Jeff.... They are STILL in China

From Tiffany~
Getting home with Lily in July 2006 was no picnic.... due to thunderstorms and other bad weather reasons our flight coming from Beijing to Newark couldn't land. So they took us to Baltimore to refuel and sit for 3 hours (on the plane). They couldn't let anyone off the plane because we were on an International flight and we could only get off in Newark. So after 3 hours of sitting on a HOT plane we finally made our way to Newark. Of course by that time we missed our connection to Ohio. Well, with the bad weather they canceled ALL flights.

All hotels and rental cars in the area were sold out ..... so we were stuck overnight in the Newark airport (out of baby food and just about out of diapers).

12 hours later we finally made it on a flight to Ohio.

By the time we made it home and finally saw a bed it was 52 hours awake for Jeff and I.

Then you all know how the departure for this trip took place (with this recent blizzard).

So when it came time for the guys to leave China yesterday I had an odd feeling (that I was hoping would pass) that they were going to be delayed in some form or another.

I spoke with Jeff when they were still in Guangzhou and knew they were having trouble with their tickets. But all was taken care of and they were getting on the next flight to Beijing.
I woke up this morning thinking that on this day or very early Easter Morning the guys would be coming home.

I wasn't going to set foot in my office but had a feeling I should check my email. I was surprised to get this update from Jeff.....


We got off to a decent start this morning except I woke up with a full-fledged head cold. The worst one I've had all year - just in time to fly. When we got to the airport and tried to check in, Air China (Never, ever fly Air China) said there was a change in our tickets and we needed to produce paper tickets. Arguing here is a blast. Our guide was helping us check in and after and hour of standing there and arguing and cell phone calls zinging all over the world and Ty destroying his pull-up we missed our 9:25 flight to Beijing. They got us on the 11:55 flight but it didn't leave until 1:00.

We got to Beijing and had to get our bags in baggage claim, then race over to check in again. The sign said "check-in closes 25 min prior to flight take off". Well, we were 15 min early, not 25 and that wonderful customer service representative wouldn't budge. She offered us a flight to Chicago connecting in San Francisco tomorrow, for $200. We almost hit the roof - there were other people with us - but they backed down and we don't have to pay, but we are stuck in Beijing one more night.

We are trying to make the best of it - we got a nice room, but it was a business room with a king size bed. We had a good dinner that Ty didn't touch, then ate crackers before bed. I think the buffets have him spoiled - he thinks something better is always coming. I can't hear out of my right side because of this head cold and the pressure literally messing with my head. We are weary, and the longest day is not yet behind us.

Ty was good for a 2 year old today - it was long and tiring. He really likes the light switches in our new room - he can reach them and he turns them on and off.

Please keep the guys in your prayers! They still have a long flight ahead of them and then a long drive from Chicago.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Day 13 Update from Jeff... Last day in China

Today is Friday and our last full day in China. It is an extra day as we didn't have anything on our schedule except a short sightseeing tour to a fancy park. We walked around the park in a big circle along with all the elementary students visiting there too. There was a big pond in the center with fountains and lots of flora to enjoy. Ty had a major blowout in his diaper.

We had a choice on our ride back: to get out and walk through a local market; or to stay on the bus and go right back to the Swan. Since Ty had to ride back in his diaper, we stayed on the bus and Grandpa got off. Ty really had a hard time with that - I think he thought Grandpa was gone for good. He had a very healthy cry for an extended period. I calmed him down and gave him a bath to feel better. It was funny when Grandpa came in the door Ty peeked around with a smile, but didn't go give him a hug or anything - he still played it cool around him but was a lot more relaxed when he was back.

We went to lunch (at Lucy's of course) and then finished up some shopping. Ty and I took a short nap and then we started to pack. We are having dinner with a family friend from China and we are really looking forward to that.

This is my last update from China - We are getting up at 5:30am to make a 9:30 flight to Beijing, and then our flight leaves at 4:25 to Chicago, only to land 10 minutes before we left -supposed to be a 13 hour flight (Chicago is one hour behind). We can't wait to get home.

Do they look like best buds or what?

Looks as though Ty likes his grandpa......

Kids at the park

The group

I wonder if these are some of the souvenirs the guys purchased?

Our little Emporer on the famous White Swan hotel red couch....
This is an adoption tradition... Lily screamed her head off.... Ty looks pretty happy on this throne in his silk outfit.

Family Friend.. Frank... and Grandpa Ed



Thursday, March 20, 2008

Day 12 Update from Jeff

Our trip is winding down and we are mostly killing time. Today was our consulate appointment where we go and stand holding our right hand up and "swear or affirm" that everything we've done so far is true. That only takes about 19 seconds, but that's like the crowning jewel in this whole process. We got his visa to come home so that means it's over. We just have to come home now.

We ate our super breakfast buffet a little late this morning but we had a window seat for Ty to see the boats passing by. We thought he would like the congee here, but no. He's getting to be more comfortable in his surroundings and with us so he's becoming a little more picky at the table. Tater tots and scrambled eggs and drinkable yogurt always are on his good list.

We went shopping after breakfast. The area around the Swan is changing due to fewer families being here at one time. The Swan used to be full of families, now it's more business people. The shops outside who catered to those adopting families are having a hard time, and some are already gone. One store is going out of business next week, so we shopped there first.

Since Lucy's was right next door and it was lunch time, we stopped for lunch. Tried congee again for Ty, no deal. He knew they have good fries and he held out. Grandpa joined the locals in a game of hackeysack-type kicking thing that had a feather on it. Somewhere between hackeysack and badminton with no rackets. After lunch we took a walk along the river, then Ty took a short nap before we needed to leave.

Our consulate appointment was for 4pm so we were loaded on the bus by 3. This was the first bus ride since being in Xi'an, and he was ready to go. We got to ride through the amazing and wild and crowded city of Guangzhou.

We got back and started wandering around looking for somewhere to eat dinner and ended up again at Lucy's. I tried their Mexican fare, not so good. We had a nice time sitting outside among palm trees dressed up in Christmas lights. The weather here is perfect now. After dinner we walked down a few streets and ran into a park full of people exercising. People of all ages using the playground equipment working out. The equipment wasn't just for kids either, and it looked like the equipment was well used, but not in bad shape. Many people, kids, dogs, and some kind of boot-camp going on all in the dark. "Everything at Once" should be China's motto.

I (tiffany) forgot to post this yesterday... this is Jeff's favorite Minced Pork dish at Lucy's

Lucy's for dinner

Ty ready to eat

Time to play

Time to go

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Day 11 Update from Jeff

About the updates.....
So far everyone thinks that Jeff is doing a great job with the updates and I TOTALLY agree. From someone that loves to record all the details and take TOOOOOOO many pictures I am so proud of him. He knows that means the world to me. The fact that he finds the time to do it while taking care of Mr. Ty might not be the easiest thing in the world.

SO here is our little system in case anyone wonders....
Jeff updates a document for each day with the daily journal and pictures. I take the update and pictures and put it on the blog. I add all the comments to the pictures. That is our system. China has what some refer to as the Great Firewall when it comes to accessing blogs. You can't access a blog in China.

Here is the daily update.... from Guangzhou...

We got to sleep in this morning and had a late breakfast looking over the Pearl River watching the barges go by. Ty ate a bunch of scrambled eggs and yogurt. We met our new bigger group at 10am and went to the physical examination and visa photo shoot. The photo shoot was first and went great - Ty was last so he watched the others and knew just what to do when it was his turn. The medical exam was an exercise in screaming and tears. They were really nice and gentle and barely touched him. When they weighed him they put him on a small scale but if you could only hear what was going on you might have thought he was in a torture chamber. He is 33" tall and 28+ lbs.

We went back to the Swan and did our paperwork together in the lower lobby on red couches. Many soft-rock renditions of your favorite 80s hits were piped in for our listening pleasures. Ty and Grandpa walked out by the pool and enjoyed at great lengths the parakeets in the big cage. Ty likes the big goldfish too - we have to hang on because I think he would jump in and try to catch one.

Had lunch at Lucy's and I FINALLY got to eat what I've been waiting for: spicy minced pork. It was as good as I remember, and I hope to have it one more time before I go. I took a close up picture to take back and show the fine Chinese establishments to see if their chefs can replicate it.

We went down to the freezing pool but couldn't go in - Grandpa did, but I was afraid Ty would turn blue.

This afternoon playing with Ty he's really talking to us (in Chinese).

We went to the Cow and Bridge Thai restaurant (for Ty food, of course) and the food was great, the service was slightly difficult, and Ty made a nest of rice, congee, spring rolls, and watermelon beautifying juice under his high chair. I caught him taking handfuls of rice and reaching under his tray and dropping them on the floor. He saw me watching and he tried to say "hot!".

The Wrights were with us and they ordered Lily beef congee. That sounds really gross but we found out Ty is a congee monger. He ate every bit she didn't want, tipped the bowl and licked it clean and asked for more. After that we walked to the honorable 7/11 store and got ice cream bars. Ty is in favor of those too. Then we walked back to the Swan to enjoy the nightly light show but the display was disappointing compared to what I remember. It was July, and I'm sure they crank it up in the high season.

*** FROM TIFFANY..Jeff mentions this nightly light show and music. I must say that when we were in Guangzhou and staying at the White Swan Hotel for almost 2 weeks I started to look forward to this nightly display. The whole River lights up and the music is blaring.

It always amazed me that Lily would sleep right through it (it didn't start until almost 9pm and lasted almost an hour). At first I thought it was the most annoying thing but after a few days I was singing along to songs (not very well by the way.... they were all in Chinese) and when we went home I surprised myself when I actually missed it.

Are you sure I can't get one of those big fish

Let me just look over here...

Oh boy does he ever look cute and like he is up to something...

The lobby at the White Swan Hotel... That is Jeff and Ty down there with their backpacks

Certainly not a fun picture for a mom to see... especially one on the other side of the world just waiting to see and hold this cutie for the first time...
Then I reminded myself they are only taking his weight....

So cute holding Dad's hand.... I love it!

Getting a bit tired..... I could fall asleep sitting up....
OK a lot tired....