Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Hodgepodge

I spent the morning trying to organize the photos and videos I took for our China trip to adopt Katie. It's quite a task, maybe a Sisyphean one. In the process, I've unearthed a couple of other pictures and videos from my cell phone that may be of at least passing interest.

Here is a video of the lobby of the White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou:

video

This is a "jade" junk (Chinese sailing vessel), entirely hand carved at about 7 feet long by 6 feet high. I doubt it's actually made of jade, which by our shopping expedition proved it to be a very pricy stone, even for one the size and shape of a lifesaver. In any case, it's beautiful and intricate, and must have taken someone a year to carve.

By the way, a traditional Chinese first birthday gift (which of course we got for Katie) is in fact the above mentioned lifesaver shaped piece of jade. You tie a loop of red thread (red for good luck) around the jade and hang it around your baby's neck as a sign of good luck and long life (pretty much all the gifts given in China signify good luck, long life, and/or prosperity). Of course you take the jade necklace off almost as soon as you tie it on her neck, since a one year old isn't likely to leave such a pricy bauble around her neck for long.



Maybe Katie would though: one thing I've noticed about her is that she has a significant jewelery fetish, starting with the silver bracelet that the orphanage director gave her, and moving on to almost anything Soulmate or I happen to be wearing. I've worn this chain for almost 3 years, with a cross and 2 pendants to remind me of the three people I cherish most: God, Soulmate, and Katie.

Katie has obviously picked up on the meaning, since she can't keep her hands off the chain, even pulling it out of my shirt when she wants to play with it. Or maybe she just wants to add it to her growing collection.

I've noticed with growing discomfort that she is quite happy shopping. Soulmate, Katie, and I were running errands after Katie's doctor visit today, and she was a little fussy in the car seat. But going into Target, the bike shop, and T.J. Maxx she brightened up and began to "talk" a mile a minute. A shopaholic at age one--my VISA card is already throbbing.

Lunchtime is always fun. Today Katie discovered pureed prunes, and took an immediate liking to them, showing her pleasure by spreading them all over my shirt. Privately, I've always enjoyed prunes, but with their, er, reputation, I've never really consumed them publicly, not wanting to appear to have a certain, er, difficulty. Anyway, Katie doesn't have any of the same kind of squeamishness.

Here's Katie in the Chariot. We took our first real bike ride today, going for 40 minutes with nary a whimper. I think she's already dialed in to the whole biking thing, especially when she leaves the sweating to me.

The wind played havoc with the sound on this video (and the sound quality on my cell phone is marginal on a good day, but here we are on the Beaver Islands trail:
video

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