June 19, 2008

Brotherhood and Chinese casual dining

Psalm 133:1 – How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!


Today was rather uneventful. We started out by going to breakfast, which is absolutely my favorite time of the day. I don’t know what it is about the breakfast. The selection? The overly attentive staff (we literally have a person standing next to our table taking our debris away all the time, refilling our coffee, picking up the napkins, forks, spoons, etc. that the kids (and adults) drop.)? The not having to cook? It’s all good. But, it seems extra special in the morning.
I should also mention that the baked beans and corn on the cob that we made fun of on the first day has been on the Zhengzhou buffet every morning as well. In my American-centric mind, I think that everyone is supposed to cater to us. Maybe Chinese people actually enjoy these items for breakfast. I have enjoyed having fried rice for breakfast every morning. Yum!

After breakfast, we updated our blog and slides (via my mom and sister) and at 10am we met Miranda, who took us over to get our clothes laundered. It was about a 5 minute walk. We also picked up some diapers and a new bottle for Josiah and then came back. Then we played with the boys for a while, I did some of our other laundry, we ate noodle bowls in the hotel room for lunch and then took the boys swimming. Josiah preferred to sit on the side of the pool rather than be in it. At one point, I was taking pictures and Steve had turned around to attend to Sheehan and Josiah slipped right in the water. Yikes! He didn’t cry, but he definitely didn’t enjoy going completely under water. He’s pretty resilient. The water was much colder than a few days ago and the boys were getting cold (so were we), so we left.

Then the boys took a nap. At 3:45pm they woke up and we went downstairs to receive Josiah’s birth certificate, etc. from Miranda. Then we went to dinner at a Chinese chain restaurant (New Island Coffee) that serves western food.

Things we learned at dinner tonight:
  1. In Chinese restaurants you only get two napkins per table, unless you can speak Chinese.
  2. If you don’t know the language, you probably won’t get what you ordered.
  3. You don’t get any tableware other than a spoon and chopsticks. So, if you have two children and you order spaghetti and need to cut it up, plan on using your spoon or chopsticks to chop it b/c trying to communicate “knife” when you don’t know Chinese is futile.
  4. Eating dinner on a couch is not really kid-friendly.
  5. “Italian spaghetti” really means noodles with salty red sauce and when you say, “please put it on the side,” that really means give me extra on the side.
  6. Josiah doesn’t like the word “no”…and neither does Sheehan (but we already knew that).
  7. Josiah loves whipped cream…along with every other food … except for one exception below.
  8. Josiah doesn’t love hot red peppers. Katherine made the mistake of giving Josiah, what looked like a red bell pepper. Instead, it was a flaming hot red spicy pepper and Josiah immediately spit it out and started crying and screaming at the top of his lungs in the middle of the restaurant. We quickly gave him water and more fried rice to ease the pain. He’s been drinking water voraciously for the past two hours, probably still trying to get rid of the spiciness.
By the way, (I don’t think we mentioned this) we’ve been thinking that Josiah has been saying a lot of “baby talk” and nonsensical words, but it turns out he’s speaking Chinese. Miranda said that at one point he was reciting his numbers and then said, “let’s go home and play!” Today, she heard him singing. We’re oblivious. Our Chinese is so limited.

Also, the orphanage (Half the Sky foundation) gave us a booklet full of pictures of Josiah and journal entries for about every 2-3 weeks.

The boys are getting along fairly well. Sheehan is not as jealous of Josiah as I thought he would be. Praise God! Sheehan is still very possessive of his toys however and enjoys bossing Josiah around. On their bad days, Sheehan is the fighter and controller while Josiah is the sulker and manipulator. On their good days, Sheehan is the helper and reminder of anything forgotten while Josiah rolls with the punches and is extremely conversational (in fact he is talking and singing himself to sleep as we type J). What a pair. They are both our little munchkins and we love them very much!

Tomorrow, we will visit either a zoo or museum or both. It’s supposed to rain, so we may axe the zoo idea. We’ll see.

Sheehan is beginning to cough and has a slight fever and I think we all have scabies. We got a prescription from the pediatrician before we left. It’s pretty common in the orphanages here. We’ll treat ourselves tomorrow night before we leave. Other than that we’re all pretty healthy still. Praise God! Still we appreciate any prayers for continued good health.

P.S. We hope to add video to our blog as soon as we have access to it, hopefully in Guangzhou (Saturday). We haven’t been able to send those to my mom b/c they’re too big.

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