Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I'm ALIVE...

Uh...I mean we are alive. In short, we had a FABULOUS time in China. All of the Yahoos did AMAZINGLY well. The newest Cherry Tomato -- HooHaa is doing just great. He is a happy happy boy. He is 110% boy with two modes of operation. Fully caffeinated and asleep.
Last night was the first night since we got home this past weekend that we ALL sleep through the night. I have not sleep more than 2 hours at a time since last Wednesday (china time). I am starting to come out of the fog and get back into the routine. Once I have uploaded my pictures off my camera, I will post some to share....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 Adoption Day (tuesday)He Likes us He Really Likes us He woke up a happy guy with no issues. We took Tobbers along with us to the adoption signing while the girls stayed back at the hotel. I expected major tears like the hour after gotcha once he saw the orphanage staff...but NO..nothing. He told the guide and the director that he had a very good time yesterday and really liked us and wanted to stay with us. That he thought we were fun and he liked that he went to a restaurant, ate ice cream and played at the pool---that is our life on a regular basis. He spend the afternoon singing NON STOP...the guy is a budding Karaoke singer...little does he know what waits for him at home. He is very sweet. Loves to share with everyone. He constantly is cleaning and organizing the room and his things. He is a cleaning machine....we will see how long that lasts until the other yahoos corrupt him. He loves to eat, he loves to clean, he loves to sing and dance. The nannies said he was a very sweet boy that is kind to all and is well loved and liked by the other children. They said he is very easy going and never causes probelms. We discover he has been in kindergarten and knows his letters and numbers and colors...albeit in chinese. We learned that he speaks Wuxi but can understand Mandarin. This is be very helpful for him as he transitions since we have access to Mandarin services at school and home. He has been picking up new words in the past 24 hours and has all of the kids names down already. he is a very smart boy. All of the kids are really pitching in to help him. They have been amazing. Tomorrow we go out touring.
Sunday- Arrived in Nanjing We made it to Nanjing on Sunday but my laptop did not. It is dead as dead can be. I am pleased but not as pleased as the kids to have a larger hotel room. Blogger is blocked as is face book, youtube and any other information self posting sites. So so much for keeping folks up to date. This should all change (except my computer) when we leave Friday for Guangzhou and arrive at the White Swan hotel. Gotcha Day (monday) a nutshell...we have it and it went amazing well...he likes us a lot. We arrived at the offical province office and found out selves sitting with around 11 other families. We were the "Duggers" of the group with family in tow. We started watching babies arrive and I was leaning out the window to gawk when everyone announced that he "hooHaa" was here. Me, leaning now all the way out the window cannot find him. Finally they grab me from out the window to turn me around to find a little man sitting in front of me wearing his silk traditional blue dragon pajamas and a CAL berkley hat. He was smiling, and content to sit with us and show us his photo book that we sent him of us. Everything was fine until his nannies decided to leave. Then the flood gates broke loose. There was not a dry eye in the house. He cried through our adoption family photo,,,,he cried on the van back to the hotel he wimpered back to the hotel room and the typical Tomato family tradition, we brought out the food. Within 2 hours of him being with us he was laughing, smiling, singing and dancing. Yep this little guy is one of us. Flashy clothes and all. By the time dinner came around he was singing his name then each name of our family. Hong Hong...Baba...Hong Hong...mama....Hong Hong...meimei...everyone of us. This is a happy boy.

gotcha day photo link

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I'll have a Sampan, a wild monkey with some Hot chili's on the side...

Hong Kong Day 2 - the Yahoos and Mr T started their day at 2:45 in the morning. Those of us in the sorority room woke up at a blissful 6am. I was glad not to be in the Yahoo room. We spent the day touring the standard Hong Kong sites. Tram up to Victory Peak, Sampan Rides in the South China Sea, shopping at the Stanley Market, visiting the crazy priced jewelery store, and eating at the Bee Cafe (Aunt Bee photo to follow when I can figure out how to upload) followed by hot blinding chili sauce in the eye. Yep...the food was so good that not only did I inhale it I decided to apply it as eyeliner. My eye swelled, my face swelled, my nasal cavities swelled and my children's bladders emptied with laughter at me! Yes I think the whole restaurant and walkers by on the street were all watching me withering in pain and embarrassment.
I went back to the room to put the Yahoos down for a siesta and an ice pack for me. Mr T, Jinjit and KC trekked off to the 10,000 Buddas temple. (I will ask Linjet and KC to provide a guest editoral on their quite exciting afternoon jaunt) Tonight we head down to the Harbor to watch the Hong Kong light show on the water that makes Las Vegas look like a back yard party.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

What's Bigger than a Breadbox but smaller than a Queen Sized Bed?

I'll tell ya...a hotel room at the Regal Riverside in Hong Kong. Okay I am so NOT joking here. This is the smallest hotel room. We cannot stop laughing about it. Now, mind you, I have stayed in my share of dive hotel/motel/hostel rooms in Europe where you could not open the door to the room because it hit the bed, but this room is a side splitter. It is soooooo stinking small that we call keep laughing when we look at ourselves in it. Thank god we will be also occupying the room next door when it is clean. Yes is it snazzy with a view...but an all white hotel room with three yahoos under the age of 9? Yeah right? These are the days that memories are made of... Here is photo to show you just how small a room can be.

We're Heeeeerrrrrrreeeeeee

Well boarded Cathay Pacific's red eye to HongKong last...uhhh.. Whenever...the last 24 hours have been a blur... & Tomato's seven suitcases and we all arrived awake, happy and all in one piece.
The flight was uneventful, which is EXACTLY what one wants when they fly halfway across the world. A word to those who who will be flying to China after us...Let me make this very simple---SINGAPORE AIR. Which is NOT the airlines we flew this time around. As a former traveling girl pre kids, I got to be rather familiar with the various airlines. And I learned whenever a choice is even, never choose an american airline. Now, I can hear some of you...I love being an American and am proud to represent my country when I leave it...but man US airlines are not the happiest places in air. This time we flew Cathay Pacific a Hong Kong based airline that came recommended by our Chinese travel agency, and they did just fine. I mean most of all they got us here in one piece---which says alot. But they were not SINGAPORE AIR. Next trip to Asia...will be using the WORLDS BEST AIRLINE---SINGAPORE AIR.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

24 hours and counting till we head out...

Well my laundry has been released from washing machine lock down and my clothes are packed. Linjit arrived this afternoon. KC will be flying in from Las Vegas tomorrow night and will meet up with us at SFO. By this time tomorrow night the whole basket of Tomato's will be sitting together waiting to catch a plane to Hong Kong. This will be the first time we have all traveled together in a long time and the first time overseas as a group. The energy level is running quite high with the yahoos both young and old.

We will be heading out shortly for a salad extravaganza for dinner since we know it will be a while since we will get to eat any...and I have found it quite interesting that whether I am traveling to Europe or Asia...the only food that I miss is eating a really good salad with blue cheese.

We are looking forward as usual to eating our way through the country. I'm confident all of us will be in hog heaven with the food in China that is with the exception of Tobbers. It will be quite interesting what boring carbo boy will be eating. I secretly am quite happy to submerge him in a sea of vegetables where he will have limited carbo choices. With any luck we will be able to convert him into being an adventurous eater like the rest of us. Hey a mom can wish can't she?

I cannot believe that after TWO years this is really going to happen...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

3 Days till Departure...

Three days till we leave. Boys are packed. Mr T is packed. Girls are packed. And my clothes are being held hostage locked inside my STUPID washing machine that will not let me open the door. Yes, this is what I get for waiting till the last minute to pack MY clothes... You see I bought this fancy pants with all of the bells and whistles washing machine and it is POSSESSED. It starts a load and then halfway through it stops the load defaults and then holds my clothes locked inside for a couple days. I have spend over 400 dollars replacing parts to FPWasher. Now I am ready to take a sledgehammer to it. I tell you know if I was not leaving the country in three days I would be out today buying a new CHEAP PLAIN JANE washing machine--that offers one the ability to open the door at will and use manual buttons.
So at this point I only see two options: 1) travel to China naked (it will be hot ya'know) or go out and buy new clothes. Hummm which one shall it be?? I know which option Mr T would choose.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


FIVE DAYS... and still I am not packed... Boys are packed and everytime I start packing for the girls they take it back out and tell want to pack something else. I think I am going to just have to pack and tell them they will just have to be surpized. While I would like to empower them to learn to pack. I am also a realist to know that five swimsuits, one pair of underwear and three sets of PJ's is not enough clothing for a two week trip.

A Post From Mr T

A posting from Mr Tomato ...

Finally - It feels like we are really going to do this thing. I am so happy to be going on a world class adventure with you guys (the yahoos) that at times I skip over the fact that we are adding a new little guy to the family. Hua Hong (Han) - Now that is a name not easily forgotten or necessarily easily remembered.

We are all on an adventure - but just think of his adventure . . . ours pales in scope compared to what he is facing. Loss of all things familiar with this very funny looking tribe of giants, that are so dumb that I can not understand one word they say nor they me. Did I mention they smell funny and laugh all the time at who knows what. It is likely he has never been in a car, or a bus, or a train, or a boat, or a plane and this crazy group will take him on all of them in the first week of meeting. He has likely been bathed in a sink - it is possible he may enjoy his very first bath or shower - not to mention the opportunity to go swimming in the gigantic pool at the Regal Riverside - Are you kidding me - they want me to go in that pond ?? They are nuts. Oh and the food - my, my, my - they eat a lot - as much as we like - when ever we like - this part is not so bad. (What is a special treat?) I wonder where they are taking me and why ?? I really want to go back to the center and see my friends - tomorrow is peserved egg congee and fish broth (my favorite) breakfast - I hope they take me back before that. No such luck. This candy stuff tastes awful ---much too sweet - why would they think I would like it? And where are my clothes ? These clothes are ridiculous - there are no split seat to PO PO and Wee at will - I guess they want me to do that in these dumb tight cloths with no holes. They never make me wear my coat - Nanny, would have me in two padded jackets today. Where is she anyway ? I miss her. I miss the kids and my buddy Chen. Another bus trip - Oh my stomach - I think I'll puke - maybe I should puke on the fat guy who always trying to hold my hand. Lie Lie Sou yourself pal. You wear too much smelly stuff.

And so the adventure will continue - we will go to Temples (sending up many prayers in smoke) and gain blessings and wishes of good fortune, prosperity, success and do the best we can to all have a most wondrous harmonious adventure. Much to learn , much to be aware of, much to share. Let's do it. I am ready to Go.

To quote the MeiMei " We need to go now - he is waiting and waiting for his family ! Let's go now

" Note: the wisdom of a child that has taken the same journey - things that make you say HHHMMMMMMMMmmmmmm. Love daddeo