This post length will be determined by Cassie. It's 6:29am and she's almost awake.
1. Tip -- eat a large breakfast while in China. You never know what dinner will be. Two nights ago it was two bites of oatmeal -- that Cassie won't eat. Last night it was Hot Pot. Water and fish heads boiled on your table for 10 minutes then you throw in many other food like pieces -- why did I call them food like pieces -- because I'm not sure what half of them were -- yummy. Then once they boil for a couple of minutes you fish them back out -- pun intended. I fed Cassie a piece of chicken from the witches brew and I think some tofu. She also ate two dumplings. Mommy had 3 pieces of potatoes.
2. Cassie is amazing.
3. To clarify an earlier post about the squat potty, mine didn't have TP like the one Sonny used and took a picture of. I had to fish out a pack of tissues from the pocket of my pants - the pocket by my knee - that was buttoned. Once I got the tissues out -- after peeing so I had to be extra careful -- I stored the pack of tissues in my mouth. Cassie thought it was funny to try and push the tissues farther in my mouth until mommy was making gaging sounds from the tissues and from the 'business' that was going on in the potty next to me. They did however have a sink with running water and soap. (This was at the tea house). But nothing to dry your hands on.
4. That brings me to my next tip. It's better to stay a little dehydrated while in China. See item 3 above to understand why.
5. According to the Chinese, if I lose some weight -- the 20th time I've been told this in a nice-ish way -- I could get a Jade bracelet over my wide knuckles. Weight loss must work different in this side of the world.
6. That's my segue to the Jade store experience. It was this huge department-type store with only Jade in it. It's a government store, so there is no bartering over the prices. However, the prices seemed fair to me and then after paying for the pieces we selected, we went to desk that weighed and certified the Jade for us. We got little cards with each piece. I don't know what card goes with each but I have them all. At this store, all the Jade is grade A Jade but different qualities. Grade A means all real -- no acrylic fillers added to it. Also this Jade is from Myanmar (spell?) -- which according to Jerry is the best Jade in the world. It's suppose to be cheaper in Kunming -- because we are so close to Myanmar. Also per Jerry, this is where all the Jade in China comes from.
7. According to the Chinese Zodiac, babies born in 2008 are "rats". So, we bought Cassie a Jade mouse pendant (really a rat -- but mommy likes to call her a mouse baby -- and so do the locals). It's very light in color and very translucent -- which means it's really good -- or so I'm told. It's a mouse sitting on a heart and then two hearts are carved on the back of the pendant too. She also got two Jade bracelets for when she's older. One is two-tone white and green in color and more of an oval shape. We were told that this shape used to be able to only be worn by the princesses. So of course she got that bracelet because she's our little princess. Then she also got a yellow Jade bracelet because mommy thought it was pretty.
8. I bought a really cheap -- Grade A but not a great quality bracelet for myself. It's white and light green. I really wanted a purple one -- they had a few of them -- but my knuckles were too big to get them on. That's when I was told to lose some weight and then next time when I come they will fit. I also tried on some pretty other bracelets that fit. Or so I was told they fit -- they lubed up my hand with soap and folded my hand in half -- the best they could -- then they pushed the bracelets over my big knuckles -- all the while telling me to relax. I think it was like giving birth in reverse. I got one on -- they forced it on -- that I liked but wasn't sure I would ever be able to get it on or off once I left the store. They said I could just wear it forever then. Great sales people. So my cheap bracelet is a little too big according to the sales people but with lots of soap I can get it off and on all by myself. Maybe I'll have better luck in GZ with a purple one. Or I'll just keeping skipping dinner and my knuckles with get smaller, and then I can buy one. :)
9. There are also mullets in China.
10. Did I tell you yet that Cassie is amazing and beautiful and has really long eyelashes.
11. Lays potato chips have MSG in them. However, the moon pies here have no preservatives in them.
12. I'm so used to being stared at that I kind of like it -- I'm going to feel so common once we get home. Redheaded American women with a Chinese baby is very interesting here.
13. Speaking of hair -- Cassie is fascinated by mine. I'm sure she has never seem red hair before.
14. Deciding to not have laundry done until we get to GZ should never be discussed in front of a 13 month old. That's the day she decides to spill/throw/spit-out every meal on mommy's pants.
15. I love being Cassie's mommy. She's amazing -- did I tell you that already?
16. Even though we have named our little princess Cassie, we are calling her Zhen-Zhen (pronounced "jin-jin"). This was her nickname at the foster family and at the orphanage. We also happen to think it's really cute. Some time in the future, we will start calling her Cassie, but the Zhen-Zhen nickname will probably stick.
17. As everyone can see from the pictures, Cassie's cleft lip has been repaired. However, the repair that was done simply closed the opening. No cosmetic work was done. She needs a little shape to her lip, and perhaps a little bulge softened on her left upper lip, and her left nostril needs to be opened a bit more. We are already prepared for this - we have a surgeon lined up - and will take care of this a few months after we return home.
18. This just in from the Department of Redundancy Department: Cassie is Amazing!
Time to run -- my amazing, beautiful, needs-her-mommy, baby girl is waking.
6 hours ago