March 21


Today was medical check up day for all the new daughters (and one son) in the group. We went to a clinic called Vista Pediatric and for the very reasonable price of $70USD, we had five seconds of a doctor's time who did a very cursory exam, declared Stephanie fine and that was that! Seriously, though, Stephanie is now 8.8 kg and 73cm tall. She's right where she should be size-wise, and only slightly delayed in her fine motor skills. For the record, a nurse weighed and measured her and the assessment of her delay is mine. The doctor tested none of these things.

Anyway, we've now completed all the necessary steps to get Stephanie an entrance visa for Canada and the last couple of days in Beijing are basically waiting and touring.

This afternoon, the group was going to take the tour bus to the Pearl Market for shopping but we decided to do our own thing, and we hopped in a taxi and headed for Wangfujing. This is a famous and huge pedestrian shopping district that also has wonderful back-alley shopping and eating establishments. Both girls were really terrific and Emily even let daddy carry her in her carrier (this is a first). Stephanie enjoyed being outside too, and as usual, we ended up being the centre of attention. Mostly older women stop us and wanted to fuss over the girls, tell us they're not dressed up warm enough, ask us questions or just generally admire our family!! You can see in the photo that the girls are not lacking in attention.

We went to one of Beijing's most famous duck restaurants for dinner. It turns out that in addition to eating pigeon, Emily loves duck meat. Not much else, though, other than a few spoonfuls of plain white rice.
Meanwhile, Stephanie continues to out-eat her by half. Stephanie loves anything that resembles food and anything that comes to her on a fork, in a spoon, or between chopsticks. She'd probably chew our fingers off if we let her!!!

Things have been going really smoothly this trip so far. Emily has really been good, other than the odd meltdown. Considering she's just 2.5 years old, this has been really great for her. There have been a few tough episodes where I've felt guilty that she isn't getting enough of my attention, but she has matured a lot during the past three weeks. She has been kind and gentle with Stephanie and shown fairly little jealousy.

Stephanie is doing great, too. She has become even more beautiful just in the time we've had her. Her face has filled in, and her cheeks are now chubby and red, since we've been out in the fresh air and wind. She smiles more often and even baths and diaper changes aren't causing the screaming that they were at the beginning. She is much more settled now and is a really good sleeper most of the time!!!