Ok, sorry all you aunts, cousins and friends out there who have been waiting for this post. We have had a few bumpy nights and some crazy days over the last week, but we are home.
We left our hotel at 6am on Thursday morning. There was a lot of fog that morning and when we arrived at the airport, our flight had been cancelled. Well, our facilitator, Helen, got right to work to get us another flight. She was running all over to other airlines that had flights and finally got us on a plane that was about to leave. We had to get our baggage checked, go through security and get to the gate. A representative of China Southern Airlines came with us all the way to the gate to make sure that we arrived. All the passengers were in their seats and the plane was ready to go. We took our seats (not together - but it was only a 2 hour flight) and took off. Lydia did pretty good during take off and fell asleep for most of the flight. When we got to Beijing, we went to get our bags, but they hadn't made it on the flight. We were expecting that, since we were late. The agent told us that if they didn't get on our flight, they would be on the next one. Well, we really didn't think about what that meant when we were getting on the flight, but that meant that our bags would not be in Beijing until 3pm. Our international flight in another terminal left at 4:30pm...We left without our bags and went over to the international terminal. The people at United were helpful and said they would do whatever they could to get our bags from one terminal to another and onto our plane. Unfortunately nothing happens very quickly in China and our bags once again did not get on our flight. : (
The flight went amazingly well for being over 12 hours long. Lydia slept a lot of the way and woke up to eat when they brought us food. I didn't let her get unbuckled, so she just slept in her seat in all sorts of strange positions. Brian and I unfortunately weren't so lucky. We both slept less than an hour. It's just so hard to get comfortable in those seats. At least we were in economy plus so we had a little more room. We watched a lot of movies - including The Muppets - which I must say was great!!! I think Brian read a little and listened to music.
We arrived in Chicago almost an hour ahead of schedule, thanks to the strong tailwinds that we had. That was good because the line for customs and immigration was really long!!! Lydia was a trooper though and we got through there. We turned in her paperwork and she is now a US citizen. : ) Of course we didn't have any bags to recheck, so that saved us time. But we did have to trek all the way across the Chicago airport with 2 backpacks, a diaper/toy bag, a carry-on suitcase and a 2 year old. We arrived at our gate just in time to use the bathroom before getting on the flight to Milwaukee. That flight only takes 15 minutes, but Lydia fell asleep. She was so worn out from all the travel and the time change.
When we arrived in Milwaukee, my parents were there to pick us up. We had to fill out a lost baggage claim, so that took a while, but we were finally home!!! We were starving, so we headed to my favorite pizza place, Marty's where Lydia met her other Grandma and Grandpa and her Aunt Heidi, Uncle Jared and cousins. She ate spaghetti while the rest of us ate pizza. She has yet to acquire the taste for pizza. : ) I thought I was going to fall over after having just a few hours of sleep over the last 48, so we quickly headed home. Lydia fell asleep right away and so did Brian, but even after feeling so tired, I couldn't sleep. I was really worried about our bags. We packed as many things as we could in our carry-ons, but a lot of the gifts we bought in China were in our checked luggage. We got Lydia a present for each year for 10 years on her "Gotcha Day", but we only have about 3 of them. : ( We are still waiting to hear about our bags. United called yesterday and said they might be in customs in Chicago, but we are still not sure of their whereabouts.
The first four days back, Lydia woke up at 2am and wouldn't got to sleep. Brian got up with her and played the first night. I had gotten sick on the plane, so I was feeling horrible. He came in and got me about 7am because Lydia discovered that I wasn't around. We laid around most of the morning and then headed to Target to get some essentials like a potty seat and stool for the bathroom. : )
My parents left on Sunday morning and Brian's parents and sister came for lunch that afternoon. We tried to be low key all weekend.
On Monday I discovered that Lydia loves going outside. She wanted to be outside all day. We didn't get much done in the house, but we did get a few sections of the garden weeded. For not liking to be dirty, she is a great gardener. She wanted to take all the weeds that I pulled and put them in the bucket. She also used her broom to sweep the sidewalk.
Yesterday we went to the doctor. From the first look everything is good. She has to have a bunch of tests run, just to make sure there's no surprises that we are looking at. All the blood tests that she needed required 7 tubes of blood. The lab tech at the doctor's office was not too excited to have to take that much blood from a 2 year old. She called down to the lab to check on the minimum amount of blood that they needed and had a nurse come in to hold Lydia down. I told her that I thought that she would be ok, but the tech was very nervous. She told me that if she didn't see a good vein, she was just going to send us to the hospital to have the blood drawn. Well, she found a vein and Lydia was as still and quiet as if nothing was happening. The tech got done and pulled out the box of stickers and told Lydia she could have as many as she wanted. Lydia wasn't phased at all. The nurse commented that there are many adults who aren't as calm. I'm sure she has been taught that you just deal with whatever comes your way...but still...she's two!!!
Well, she's taking a nap now, so I finally have time to blog a little. It's almost time to wake her up though, so anyone who comes to visit my house, sorry about the mess, but I'm sure you aren't coming to see my clean house. : )
Just let us know if you want to stop by...a pizza is always welcome. : ) Just kidding, but we would love to have you stop for a few minutes. Lydia enjoys being the center of attention!!!