Yes! We finally got our hands on a computer again, so here we are checking in from Shamian Island, Guangzhou, China ...
Wynn's first plane ride was a breeze. She took all the checking in and waiting in lines completely in stride and slept through the entire flight. When the wheels touched down as we landed, she didn't even open her eyes. We realize that she's not going to sleep all the way from Guangzhou to Tokyo to Minneapolis, but we were relieved to learn that air travel doesn't turn her into a howling beast.
Scott had a couple rough days as we left Nanning. Whatever attacked his stomach was quickly killed by the antibiotics we brought with. Both Wynn and I escaped unscathed. He's back on track now and enjoying every minute of the breakfast buffet - they have tater tots! :-)
Wynn is showing more and more personality every day. She's very outgoing - waving bye-bye to the doorman when we leave and charming the girls who work at the elevator bay on our floor. Though she's warm and friendly to others, she shakes her head NO whenever they want to pick her up or touch her face. We take this as a very good sign, because she's figured out that we're her family and has bonded herself to us.
We had her medical exam today. She has only gained one pound since the last update we got in March; at 17 months, she only weighs 18 pounds. She is, however, strong and vigorous. The way we describe her is as "underfed" rather than "malnourished". She is passionate about eating, and we've figured out a system for getting the whole family through a restaurant meal. We order something for Wynn (congee, oatmeal, noodles, a soft scrambled egg, etc.) and feed it to her. When she's polished her food off, we give her a small plate of her own; that's for what she can beg off our plates. (I can't think of ANYTHING she's said no to; today she insisted on eating all the tomatoes off my sandwich at Starbuck's.) She feeds herself what we give her on the "begging plate" while we eat. Tonight at dinner we noticed that she's made a leap in her trust of us: instead of shoving every morsel of food we give her into her mouth immediately, she let food pile up on her plate and ate at a more leisurely pace. She trusts that when we give her food, it's hers - we're not going to take it away. That's a big deal.
I don't know where to begin in describing her personality. She's a bit of a clown and has the most amazing giggle, which she unleashed on us as she and Scott played slow-speed "chase" around the hotel room. She figured out that she can cruise from one end of our room to the other, so she stands inside the door and stamps her feet (like she's revving up her engine) and then todddles the full length of the room with this enormous grin on her face. She still LOVES to take things out of boxes and put them back in, and she figured out that it was easier to get her sorting blocks off their pegs by turning the whole toy upsidedown rather than lifting the blocks off one by one.
The one thing we've found that she hates is wearing shoes. She kicks her feet and fights us when we try to put them on her. We'll catch her later taking them off in her stroller. She even went so far as to ditch one of them in front of the 7-11 this afternoon; luckily, another family from our group recognized the shoe and brought it back to us. What she does love about shoes is bringing ours to us. She'll carry my slippers across the room and hand them to me; then she'll go get Scott's and bring them to him. What amazes us is that she KNOWS which shoes belong to whom. How'd she figure that out so fast?
Tomorrow we're going to have our group picture taken on the world famous red couch here at the White Swan. In the evening our whole group in going to go on a dinner cruise on the Pearl River. It should be cool to see the view from the river; the parks along the banks are lit up different colors, and a few of the hotels have laser light shows in the sky every night. (On our walk last night we discovered that they also play patriotic anthems and "The Beer Barrel Polka" over a PA system outside. I can actually hear it outside our window right now.)
I'm not sure if we'll be able to post again before we leave, but that's just a few days away anyway. :-) We've had a great time, and we especially love how accessible things are here on Shamian, but we're homesick. We miss our house, family, friends, dog, and COOL AIR. Please arrange for highs in the mid-70's for the first week we're home; we're cookin' over here.
See you soon!