Formerly "To China For Kelly"

When I originally set up this blog, it was to chronicle our trip to China to adopt our daughter, Kelly; thus the title, "To China For Kelly." But now that I've decided to keep it up as my on-line scrapbook/journal, the title needs updating.
Inspired by my girls, who, despite their ten year age difference, both love lollipops and lip gloss; it is now titled, "From Lollipops to Lip Gloss." This is not to leave my son out, who also loves lollipops, but isn't too big on lip gloss, understandably!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!


Clint has had a happy one this year- thanks for all your lovely wishes. I’m sure the only thing that would have made it better was being able to spend it with all of his children. We do miss Caleb and Camryn so, and long to be together again… SOON!!

We spent the morning relaxing at Starbucks after Skyping with my sister and the kids, which has been SO WONDERFUL and I’m sure without it, I would be missing them more than I miss having a good hair day! My sister is taking such great care of everyone and everything and to hear what a wonderful time they’re all sharing together makes my heart so full. She has been awesome and I’m just so glad my kids are getting this special time with their precious auntie. I know they’re making memories and forging bonds that will last a lifetime. So Starbucks is where we are in those couple of pictures. It’s a really nice Starbucks and the coffee is great- just like home. (There’s a reason the Chinese are known for their tea- because they suck at making coffee! BUT thank God for Starbucks, because it’s the ONLY place in China to get a decent cup of coffee!) The setting at Starbucks, although extremely humid, is really, very beautiful. I had to snap a few pictures for you to see.
Clint studied while Kelly and I hung out and played patty-cake, itsy-bitsy spider, and the like. You might wonder how I could walk away far enough to get a picture of her in that chair without worrying she would fall out. I was actually pretty close, but I’m learning Kelly is quite a cautious baby who seems to be pretty aware of her surroundings. I’ve noticed that when she’s sitting on the bed, she rarely gets close to the edges. I’m not taking this for granted though, so I still stay within arms reach, but I’m impressed and grateful that she’s got that awareness. Having said that, we know falls are an inevitable part of being a baby, so when she does have her falls, we’ll be there to give her kisses on her boo-boos and make them all better.
You might also notice in the pictures from Starbucks that there is a bottle on the table with orange juice in it. That’s actually mango juice, and it’s yummy! We were thrilled Kelly actually tried it and liked it. She’ll just sip on it now and again, but it’s nice to know she’ll drink something besides formula. One thing we’re learning about Kelly is that she does not like to try anything new! She LOVES her bottle, but she won’t eat anything else- she won’t even try a Cheerio! She has NO interest whatsoever. That’s okay- I’m sure it’ll come in time. It’s just so funny- she’s so different from her big sister, Camryn, who, at that age, was a birdie mouth anytime we ate anything in her presence. She would try anything!
Shamain Island really is so beautiful. You can see the European influences in the architecture and the trees with the moss really add to its charm. One of the ladies in a shop here was telling us that Europeans settled here over 100 years ago, just long enough to build these beautiful buildings and leave their mark on this little section of China before they moved on to bigger and better things. She said it is very expensive to live on Shamain Island- most people live across the bridge in Guangzhou. I took that photo of the housing from the 5th floor lobby in our hotel. It’s just across the river. Quite a difference, isn’t it?
I also snapped a picture of this little Chinese family- it looks like it might be grandma and grandpa taking a picture of their adorable little grandson with these picturesque little statues. The island is sprinkled with these statues and you often see people posing for pictures with them. I will have to see if I can get Kelly to stand with this particular one- it makes such a cute photo, doesn’t it?
Speaking of Kelly standing- Nancy, I have to tell you, she will not wear shoes! I don’t think she ever has, because we were in a shop that sold squeaky shoes the other day, and when we tried them on her, she screamed in terror. She got over it quickly, but you could tell she did not like having those strange things on her feet, so we took them off. We bought some anyway, for her and her soon to be best buddy, Liberty, and I’m sure eventually she’ll decide they’re pretty cool. It’s okay with me that she doesn’t want to wear shoes though- her feet are so yummy I love to keep them out in the open so I’m free to smother them with kisses whenever I’m so inclined-- and besides, she’s not really into walking so they never touch the ground anyway!

Okay, these other pictures of Kelly were so fun to look at for me- they have a story…

The ones with the green hair bow were too funny. That was my 3rd or 4th attempt to get that hair bow to stay in her hair; obviously, to no avail! I was trying to distract her with the toothbrush, which is another story, but Kelly just doesn’t have enough hair for those kinds of clips to stay in, so it was precariously hanging on; but then Kelly couldn’t resist pulling it out, so either way, it just wasn’t meant to be. Oh well, at least you got to see a few pictures of how darling she looks with a bow in her hair, even if it was only in there for 10 seconds!

Okay, the toothbrush!
Unfortunately, I don’t think Kelly has ever had her teeth brushed, and you can already see the beginning of some decay on them, even as young as she is. So we wanted to start brushing them as soon as possible, but we knew it might be tricky since she’d never had anyone brush her teeth before. Sure enough, the first time we tried, after looking at us like we were crazy and pulling her head back, she tightened her lips so tight it felt like it was going to take a crow bar to pry them open! We managed to hold her arms down and brush them once she began to scream and cry, thus opening her mouth. But we knew that’s no good way to brush your teeth, screaming and crying, so we had to put on our thinking caps. How could we make brushing her teeth something she might actually like? We decided to make a game of it- we would brush our teeth in front of Kelly, and give her our toothbrushes and let her brush our teeth. Well, she thought that was great. Then we tried to see if she would let us brush her teeth. Uh-uh… she was not fooled so easily. So we had another day of holding her arms down, brushing her teeth while she cried.

Today, we decided to let her see us brushing our teeth again, then give her our toothbrushes to let her brush ours. She did, and seemed to enjoy it. THEN we gave her her toothbrush and just watched to see what she did. After playing with it a little as she investigated it, she started brushing her teeth! Now she didn’t do such a good job, of course, but just the fact that her association with the toothbrush is taking a turn for the positive is a wonderful triumph! She let me brush her teeth ever so quickly without fussing, so that was fine with me. To end on a good note was more important to me than getting her teeth well scrubbed, although I do admit, I’m dying to give them a good brushing!
The other ones of her against that wall were just funny. It was as if she was trying to figure out if she could actually climb it! “Watch Mom- I’m Spiderman!” She was so adorable as she finally conceded to staying put, and as she sat there and stared at me, I couldn’t resist snapping a few more pictures. I am amazed at her beauty- her skin is so sweet and yummy, as are her lips, her nose, her cheeks, neck, and ears- and who could forget those mysterious, dark, almond eyes.
Okay, one last thing- I just have to comment on the hair thing, even though I know my sister was just playing with that hair gel comment!
So in order to get Kelly’s short, fine hair to even think about taking a hair bow, I had to put some hair product in it. It’s called KMS Hair Play, and it’s actually kind of got a glue-like texture to it, but it’s soft and moisturizing. I have to say, the stuff is awesome, AND it smells GREAT. I actually use it for braiding Camryn’s hair because it helps the hairs stick together so you don’t get all those flyaways and escapees in the braids. I like it too, because it doesn’t make the hair stiff, so you can brush it out without any painful pulling or breaking of the hair.
So after I had used the Hair Play that day to get that pink hair bow in Kelly’s hair, I realized how it really helped to soften her hair and helped it to lie down so she didn’t look so much like a little boy sporting a spikey crew cut! Well, then, I also realized, after bathing her two days in a row, that Asian skin dries out VERY easily, so I had inadvertently given her a slight case of cradle cap with washing her hair two days in a row. I noticed how the Hair Play really helped to moisturize her scalp, believe it or not, so that stuff has served its purpose is more ways than one!
SO, all that to say, THERE, Sissy! I am not gelling her hair and there is actually a very good reason besides plain vanity that I have put styling products in my 13 month-old’s hair! LOL!
I miss you all so much. Thank you for making this special time all the more wonderful as we are able to share it with you. It’s so fun to read your comments and to know you’re feeling the wonder of it all with us. We praise God with you for how magnificently He has brought Kelly into our lives- she’s just perfect. She is a joy, a gift, and a blessing beyond our wildest dreams. Can’t wait for you all to meet her!!


fourlittlehawks said...

The picture of her sitting in the chair at Starbucks laughing SO cracked me up. She is so sophisticated, joking over lattes and all. She's like "Oh, dah-ling, you are simply hil-ar-i-ous!"


Blomquist Blog said...

Hi Away Team China!
Happy Father's Day Clint. Jack and I hope you have a nice day and take some time for yourself (no studying allowed)!
Jack and I have both decided to cancel our trip to China as well. With as much as you have shared, we don't feel a trip is warranted. LOL! You are just so awesome keeping us in the loop. I really do feel like I am experiencing it with you all. I would love to get my hands on beautiful Kelly though--she is just so precious. I hope we will get to meet her before me move. Thanks for letting us journey with you all. It really means a lot to us. Enjoy this last week you are there. I am so excited for the Kneip 5 to be reunited. Love you all!


Debbie and Jack (and kids too)

Nana in Houston said...

Those are such cute photos and stories - great Father's Day reading for Bob. His prize gift was a small stuffed bear wearing a Texas A&M sweater. We are reminded of our own stories of Olivia who has never allowed ribbons or bands to stay in her hair for more than a few minutes and she is six years old! This morning when I "helped" her select a dress for church I insisted she wear a dressier dress for this special Father's Day Sunday and dress shoes and socks and flower barrettes in her hair. When I picked her up after Sunday School her shoes were off!!! The flower barettes and one sock were all stuffed in the other sock then all was stuffed inside one of the abandoned shoes. I wish for you better luck with Kelly. LOL Olivia does enjoy brushing her teeth so I'm grateful for the tradeoffs she offers - sounds like Kelly is getting there with the toothbrush also. Thank you for the good tip on the hair product. I've been wanting to French braid Olivia's hair but it is too whispy to control long enough to braid - now I have a solution. Countdown for returning home is quickly ticking away. As much fun and as interesting as this adventure has been, I know you ALL are more than ready!

Anonymous said...

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY, CLINT! I know it is a great one even though you don't get to be with Camryn and Caleb today (in the flesh, anyway). You looked mighty comfy though sprawled out on the bed with the REMOTE in your hand though! Bill was cheering you for that!!!
I have been keeping up with your posts and the posts of others...
I will have to try that KMS Hair Play! Or is it too heavy for me? Well, if KELLY'S baby hair can take it my baby hair surely can!
Looking forward to you coming home...even though I will not see you as soon as others I still will feel better when you are not so far away. I am so grateful though that you got this once in a lifetime chance. And even though I know you guys wanted to take the kids with you it is good that you guys have this little bit of time to bond together before all the hubbub (sp?) at home! You all have a lifetime to share!
I have been keeping your Gualala Baptist Church family up to date!Love you! Anna and Bill

Nanna in Victoria, Texas said...

Kelly's photos got many many "oo's and ah's" at our Father's Day celebration at the Obsta's yesterday!!I printed out almost all the photos and everyone was anxious to see each next photo. It was unanimous! She was voted, a "Keeper"! I do believe you guys have won her over. Good idea about the teeth brushing. Lots of new things for Boo to learn. You said she takes only her bottle and some sips of mango juice. Maybe you could comment about congee. Is that something that she may take in her bottle or only formula?
Laura, is going to be a Grandmother for the first time and Bruce wanted to know if Jess and Sara were getting their baby from China or from the hospital? You had to be there. It was quite funny coming from *no nonsense* nor *no humor* Bruce.
Will ya'll be going to Kelly's orphanage?
I wanted to comment on the statues. They are lovely. I was wondering if they were bronze? The picture of the little child amoung the statues was so sweet. The tropical gardens are just beautiful as is much of the architecture. I am waiting for you to get home, so much I want to ask. But I won't take up the space here. I love you and continue to pray for all good things for each of the Kneip Party of 5! Give Boo some loving squeezes and kisses from me.