Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Water Puppet Show

Tuesday, September 30th

Halong Bay is without question one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Cathy and I, along with Eric, Joelle, Alex, Jack, Johanna, and Sam spent the day cruising around the bay on a private Junk. We also visited a cave that rivals, while not as big, Carlsbad Caverns. Emma was so well behaved (as she has been since we got her) all day. We had a gourmet seafood lunch and our guide Han, was outstanding! Tomorrow we will go to pick up Emma's passport and take her to get a medical exam that is required by the U.S. Embassy. We are also going to the Hanoi zoo tomorrow.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday, September 29

Cathy and I want to thank everyone for all their wonderful comments on this blog. We apologize that we don't have the opportunity to reply to every one. We do read them all and they are much appreciated! Today we made some real progress with Emma letting me interact with her. I got to hold her several times, although for short times. I have also been playing games with her and she is responding better. We ventured back to Big C today with Jack and Sam. We bought some groceries and a few other items. Tomorrow is our big trip to Halong Bay. We also went swimming this afternoon as you can tell from the pics and three videos. She absolutely loves the water which is great considering her dad has a pool business! We are doing well overall but we miss everyone. We just can'twait for you all to see her in person! Next report will be about our trip to Halong Bay. Until then.... T, C, and Little E.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday, September 28th

Not alot to report today. She did sleep until almost 9am. That is after what was our roughest episode so far. We played with her last evening and she was great. We put her to bed with a bottle and we both layed on the bed with her. After the bottle she became restless and after a few minutes begam to cry. It wasn't a cry like she was hurting, it was a sad cry. We think maybe she was just grieving over not being with her foster family any more. She cried for half an hour and nothing we did would console her. She finally just wore her self out and went to sleep in Cathy's arms. We both felt so helpless and sorry for her. She slept well after that and woke up in great mood. Our favorite time of the day is when she wakes up. She is so cheery and playful. We haven't done much today, but we are going to the water puppet show this evening. I listened to the OSU game this morning, we went to the play room with Eric, Joelle, and Alex, as well as Jack, Johanna, and Sam. Both kids and adults had a great time, then we had lunch together here at the hotel. We did venture just up the street from the hotel. I posted pictures. They sell everything from baby formula to raw, unrefrigerated meat right on the curb. Our hotel is super nice and everything about it is first class, but you can venture 30 yards away and it's a third world country. We are still waiting on Emma's passport which should be ready Wednesday. Until then we are just hanging out and getting to know our daughter better. Until next time, T, C, and Little E.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday, September 27th

Technology is amazing. This morning I got to listen to the PCN - Norman N. football game live, while texting people from my computer, all while being 9,000 miles away from home! Tomorrow morning I will get to do the same with my OSU Cowboys.
We are all doing well. Emma has been sleeping soundly, usually about 9 hours a night. She wakes up in a great mood and we have so much fun playing with her then. She has eaten everything we have given her except tomatoes. She still takes a bottle 3 or 4 times a day. We are not kidding when we say this child is almost always in a happy mood. She catches on to things so quick. She responds when we call her name. She can say something similar to da da and ma ma. She makes the funniest sounds, our favorite is coo coo coo. She can blow kisses, play paddy cake, and says "Aaahh" and smacks her lips after drinking something. She loves to pretend. She is always mixing something in a bowl and pretending she is eating or preparing food. Cathy says we have to get her a play kitchen. She is not a "wiggly" child in that she sits in a chair when eating and always cooperates with whatever we are trying to get her to do.
Progress with letting me deal with her is still extremely slow, but we are inching along. It just takes time and I am patient about it. We did discover that it's not just me, she seems to act that way towards all men.
We had alot of fun today. We at at Pepperoni's which has good pizza, pasta, and salad, although Cathy ordered chicken fried rice which was really good. We then went to "Just Massage!" a school that trains the legally blind to be massage therapists. We each got an hour massage for 130,ooo dong, which is about $8.00! The place was very nice and clean, and the people very professional and friendly. We then went back to the Old Quarter for more shopping and finished out our day by taking Emma to the play room. The above video was taken there. That's all for now. Until tomorrow..... T, C, and E.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday, September 26th

Two words to describe Vietnam, hot, and humid! It is impossible to just go outside for more than five minutes and not be drenched in sweat. However, we just go with it and change clothes a few times a day. We had lunch at a great Vietnamese place in the Old Quarter, The three of us had garlic fried rice, spring rolls, and a bowl of chicken Pho (soup). The grand total with drinks and tip, about $9.00! We also played at the indoor playground here with Alex and Sam. We were scheduled to go to Halong Bay, but bad weather there delayed us until next week. I finally got to hold her today, of course she was asleep, but it was still an awesome feeling. We still have quite a few things we want to do before we leave. More shopping in the Old Quarter, visit the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, tour the army museum, and go to the Water Puppet show. We are still on schedule to leave here October 8th so we have plenty of time. Below is a short video of her first experience at the pool.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hanoi, September 25th

The strange looking fruit you see is called a Dragon Fruit. I had never heard of it until Jack introduced it to us. It tastes alot like Kiwi fruit. We visited the Old Quarter in Hanoi today with Jack, Johanna, and Sam. We had lunch at a great little Italian restaraunt there. We also bought tickets for the famous Water Puppet show which we will see on Sunday. Tomorrow we are going on a day trip to Halong Bay. It is a 3 hour drive from Hanoi. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth. If you don't believe me, google it and see.
Everyday with Emma Reese is a new adventure. She is the happiest child we have ever seen. She smiles, talks, and laughs all the time, at least until you get a camera out. Then she goes into serious mode. Tomorrow or Saturday I am going to write about all the things she has learned this week. She mimics everything we do. She still won't let me hold her, but plays with me if Cathy is around. Like I said previously, it really doesn't bother me that she won't let me hold her, I just feel sorry for Cathy because Emma won't let me help her. We hope everyone is well back home. We are really enjoying our time over here. It is an amazing place and we really have alot of respect for the people. Until next time, Thomas, Cathy, and Emma.