Mornin!

We miss America...

While we are really digging soaking up some Quinn, we long for fresh air, green grass, burgers, no staring and SPACE! Michaela has been developing a "Things I Take for Granted About the USA" list in her head. I told her she should write it down and give it to future adoptive families...

OK, enough whining.

We've had two really good days now and Quinn's little personality is shining through a little more each day. Here's a rundown of what's happened while you were all sleeping:

- First, just a note to underscore Abby's comments about how some of the older Chinese women feel about how Americans dress their babies. After our fairly relaxing day of McDonald's, park, nap, Wal-Mart and Pizza Hut (yeah - we inadvertently had as American a day as we could! I'll tell you more about the Pizza Hut experience in a little bit), we decided to make one last stop at a small store that sells bottled water, among other things, mainly because we didn't want to lug a 12 pack all the way from Wal-Mart (about a 20 minute walk). Anyway, as soon as we walked in, we saw the one person who was inside - a middle-aged Chinese woman who runs the store. My first thought - "here we go..." Sure enough, after smiling and exchanging pleasantries, she noticed that Quinn's outfit was not satisfactory, either because I was holding her and the pants were riding up and you could see her legs (I find myself constantly checking that as we walk down the street - ever aware of the constant staring, pointing and murmuring), or because it just wasn't what she would consider to be warm enough. Again, just to help y'all understand: we are dressing Quinn PLENTY warm enough. The disconnect comes from the fact that what the Chinese consider to be warm enough means dressing children in so many layers of clothes that they basically can't move. Think Ralphie's younger brother Randy in "A Christmas Story"...

So, she proceeded to get a pretty "snippy" with us, not that we had any inkling of what she was really saying, but we knew generally what it was about based on her repeated gestures toward Quinn's legs. Not really knowing what else to do, I just politely motioned toward the water and asked her how much (when all else fails, change the subject, right? Redirection works great for kids; why not try it on crabby adults who find it their place to scold you?) After we paid for our water and left, Michaela turned to me smiling and said, "I think we just got in trouble!" I said, yep, we did. We totally felt like we were in grade school and our mom had just caught us doing something we shouldn't have. Not our first rodeo by now but still so bizarre...

- Now I'll rewind a little bit to Pizza Hut. This was SO GREAT. So, first off - I totally missed the entrance because it looked WAAAY too nice to be the entrance to Pizza Hut. It was all modern and sheik. I was so convinced. Michaela, meanwhile is pointing to the words "Pizza Hut" on the door handles (and no, it was not written in Chinese). So we go in and we are immediately greeted by a nicely dressed Chinese girl who says in clear English "how many please?" Not only are we both silently screaming "THANK YOU JESUS" but when was the last time you walked into a Pizza Hut and someone seated you? So, we sit. We open the menu. They have Corona!!! I'm almost certain I heard angels singing the Hallelujah chorus in perfect harmony. Granted, it was hot (the Chinese don't care too much about their drinks being cold; I've heard that's better for you anyway, but come on, man - beer should be the one exception; what IS IT with the whole temparature thing anyway??? you'd think we would be used to it by now...) Didn't matter though. That was the best beer I've had in long time. And the pizza was the REAL THING y'all!!! I had a Big Mac for breakfast and a Corona and pepperoni pizza for dinner. We are lovin' life at this point.

Oh, and the absolute punchline? QUINN LOVES PIZZA!!!

She took her first bite and had kind of a perplexed, "what did you just put in my mouth? I feel a little violated..." look about her, but that quickly dissolved and turned into a "what are you waiting for? QUICK! MORE!" look.

After dinner, it was time to switch from momma wearing the kangaroo pouch (that's what I'm calling it because I don't really know the proper term) to me. This was an event too. We still had a 20 minute walk ahead of us and, remember that personality shining through part? Yeah. It comes complete with PLENTY of fits. At first, she was fine. But, after about the first five minutes, she was DONE. The problem was, she had absolutely NOWHERE to go and there was NOTHING she could do about it. I tried everything to calm her (and "redirect" her). What seemed to work best was, well - something that comes fairly natural to me: ACTING A FOOL. Wish y'all could've seen us. I found a way to do some kind of dance-walk thing (Quinn is a big fan of dancing we found out), and anyone who knows me knows that I can't dance to save anyone's life. I even make my dad look good. Yeah. It's that bad. But, the important thing here: my baby girl was ALL ABOUT IT. Man, I was REALLY giving those Chinese women (and men at this point) some GOOD MATERIAL. But, you know what? I think they probably thought I was so deranged, it kept them away. This is good! Baby happy, daddy happy. And when everybody's happy, momma's happy. It was GREAT! Unfortunately it too was short-lived. I guess all that moving and shaking didn't work too good with all the pizza little princess managed to shovel in and well, it.. um.. came out... Just a little though...

- Now, I'll fast foward to this morning (I'm doing updates during naptime now, in case you haven't figured out; my nights were getting too late and Michaela was starting to notice what a grouch I was becoming during the day...) This morning was another good day. Momma needed to do laundry (they don't have washeterias here, so you use a Tide bar and the hotel bathroom sink; our room is now nicely decorated with Michaela's pants... :-) so, Quinn and I took a stroll outside the hotel. I didn't really want to put up with more staring and ridicule, so we kept within the confines of the hotel parking lot. Plenty for her to see and experience since EVERYTHING is still so new for her sweet little mind. So new, in fact, that I didn't even realize how scary some of it can be...

We had traversed just about every step and set of stairs I could find (she loves stairs; she is SO PROUD of herself when she does them), and she had thrown several "throw my head back" fits along the way, mostly because she was so curious about the nasty inoperative water fountain we were walking around, and since this usually results in her doing this kinda spin move (because I always have at least one hand and when she throws that head back, she lets her legs go limp too, so I just tighten my grip and it makes her spin backwards and nearly onto her tummy; best way to keep her from nailing her head on the concrete), she was pretty much covered in dirt and grime from the waist down (this town is so dirty), so I thought, if she just HAS to waller, I'll let her waller in this one tiny patch of grass there is out here. Yeah, not a good idea. When she rolled over and realized where she was, she screamed and looked at me like I had just thrown her in a burning hot fire. She is MORTALLY AFRAID OF GRASS. She's never seen it or felt it before y'all. I have not yet seen this kind of fear in my daughter's eyes. I tried squatting down and showing her with my hand touching it lightly that it woudn't hurt her, but she was not interested in trying again at ALL. It will certainly be a slow process to get her acclimated to it but, like I said - just another one of those things you and I take for granted every day...

Needless to say, we were done with outside for a while. We came back up and helped momma with laundry. After she was done, we had some good quality floor time and it was during this that we had a breakthrough...

Quinn looked right at Michaela and said "MOMMA"!!!

It was just awesome y'all. Gave me chill bumps. We both went berserk about it, of course. And Quinn is looking at us like we're certifiable, like "What? That IS what you call her, anyway... What's the big deal?"

It was just perfect. She had actually said it on the car ride back from Zhoukhou but we didn't really think she was associating it with Kaylea so we didn't make too much of a deal about it. But today was official: Kaylea is Quinn's momma!

We love you sweet girl!

OK, nap time is over and I've got some bonding to do.

More to come tomorrow!
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Just put first bite in the mouth...