Thursday, July 16, 2009
Gotch-Ya Day+2 (Wed, 15 Jul 09)
Today was our first full official day as Olivia’s parents and decided to stretch and test our parenting skills and patience to the max. It was also our first day with no official appointments--we are now waiting for Olivia’s passport to be processed. So we were to be tourists and our target site was the Terra Cotta Soldiers dig site located about 50 min drive outside the city. As usual, were up and going to breakfast so we could leave by 8:30 am--we wanted to beat the heat and be back for a late lunch. Olivia was bright and cheerful as well as playful in the morning. She beamed when we entered the restaurant…she was really enjoying her meals. All appeared well and so off we were with our personnal driver and guide. The drive was very interesting, again dodging everthing from cars, bikes, scooters and people with a degree of skill that left you almost speechless--or was that from fear? Prior to visiting the dig site we toured a factory where they craft modern terra cotta soldiers using the same methods used to build the originals. Quite interesting. When we arrived at the dig site our guide told us that the driver was “connected” and we would therefore be able to forego the very long walk from the parking lot…he literally dropped us at the front gate--received lots of stares as we entered…not sure what they were thinking. The first part of the tour was to take a brief look at the initial dig site and then view the 360 degree movies (in English) that reenacted the making of the soldiers, the rebellion that happen 4 years later…and finally the discovery in the 1970s of the soldiers by local farmers. We had purchased a stroller for Olivia on the first day we met her and decided it would be best to see if she would allow to use it versus carry her everywhere. Although she had demonstrated for us at the Civil Affairs office the day before that she could walk, she still appeared somewhat unstable and preferred for us to carry her everywhere as well as only play on the bed when in the hotel. Life was about to change. Olivia appeared content for the most part in the stroller and really was captivated by the film. However, when we left the theater and proceeded to the 2 dig sites she decided she was not happy to be strolled, nor carried…she wanted to walk…first she was content hold my hand and walk, but soon she only wanted to go her way…she even crossed her arms and turned her back on me when she was starting to throw a tantrum refusing to voluntarily let me pick her up. Then the complete melt down happen . . . for the rest of the tour she was was not happy period and proceeded to cry at the top of her lungs the rest of the tour--funnnn! It was not until we were back outside and walking toward the car that I put her down and tears immediately stopped--she was definitely tired, but she was also trying to play us for everything we had. In the car she proceeded to scream until she passed out … it wasn’t a long nap…but made the difference. When we arrived back at the hotel room she was back to normal--fatigue, heat and over stimulation probably spurred on this melt down. The rest of the afternoon was much better but different. We now had a little girl that now felt comfortable to get off the bed and walk around exploring the room and playing with her toys and anything else she could find. We capped off the evening with a stroll back down to the Bell Tower to a high end mall where we did mostly window shopping except for buying Olivia a pair of red shoes--very cute. We also stopped by McDonalds for dinner…she was very happy--Fries were a hit again. For desert we stopped by New Zealand Ice Cream--not bad…Olivia really liked the banna ice cream. Then we were off for the hotel, more play time, bath time (which she really loves--big splasher, not afraid of getting her face wet), and then to bed--that was the rough part. She just doesn’t like being put to bed…she screamed a good twenty minutes--refused to be comforted and even made enough noise to have hotel management to knock on our door--at least that is why I think they knocked--at that moment I was not sure and didn’t care--we survived…great set of lungs like her sister Alexa. Well tomorrow is an On-your-own day…more bonding time.