Thursday, August 14, 2008

catching up...Monday, July 14 Hanoi

Sadie woke up, as always, in a great mood.  We played for a bit and then went down to breakfast.  Afterwards, we walked up the street from our hotel to explore a bit.  The people here are very interested in Sadie.  They ask if she is Vietnamese and "How many months is she?"   Everyone smiles when they see her and the hotel staff is constantly fawning over her.  They literally leave the front desk to come over and see her and ask about her.  It's very sweet.  It was different in HCMC.  No one really seemed to notice. There were some little shops that we weren't interested in then we found a supermarket that had Gerber's puffs.  You should have heard me squeal when we walked in.  Sadie has come to love the puffs as much as Cheerios but we are quickly running out.  We bought 3 cans and also bought some different baby foods to expand her palate a bit.  Then we found a restaurant that I thought looked nice.  (My dad later read in the travel book that the food there is "spectacular!")  We peeked in the window and they invited us in to look around.  We planned to meet another couple from my agency with their little boy for dinner tonight so we made a reservation for all of us.  Then, as we turned down the street to go back to the hotel, we found this darling little store and I bought a couple of gifts and Sadie got 2 stuffed animals and a dress.  Spoiled much?!  After that, we went back to the room to cool down a bit.  I really can't explain just how hot it is.  The moment you walk outside you are hit in the face with this humidity that is overwhelming.  I haven't worn any moisturizer or makeup since we arrived because shortly after we go outside, my face is wet.  It is hotter here than it was in HCMC but we aren't going to let it stop us from doing the things we want to do. 


A little later we took a $3 cab ride to the Old Quarter to look around and do some shopping.  The hotel has some amazing artwork and we learned that all of it is for sale.  We went to the gallery that provides the artwork and all of us fell in love with different pieces.  I just adore this picture of a young Vietnamese girl with braids.  It is lacquer on wood and it is called "Waiting for Mum."  It's about $1300 plus several hundred to ship.  I'm not sure I can swing it right now but I would love for it to be my first official piece of art.  My folks fell in love with a painting of a girl in a red Ao Dai holding a red lantern.  The background is all black so she stands out in the painting.  It's really beautiful.  We walked to a bunch of galleries and then bought some little things here and there.  We really wanted to get Sadie a pair of shoes now that she is a walking machine but we couldn't find any in her size.  We bought one cute pair that should fit her soon though. 

After a couple of hours, once we had enough of the heat, we grabbed a cab back to the hotel.  I honestly don't think I have ever sweat that much in my life and I lived in Arizona for 4 years!  I was wearing Sadie in the front carrier and her little back was soaked with sweat.  We came back to the room, once again, to cool down.  My dad was getting antsy so he went to work out in the gym while my mom and I played with Sadie in the room.  I can't tell you how much energy she has.  She's a dynamo.  She will be sitting on the bed, stand up, and just start running.  She'd go right off the side if we weren't there to catch her.  So, we are constantly on watch when she is playing.  She's no better on the floor.   She tries to climb up on the bed and chair. 

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She scares us all to death several times a day with her daredevil antics, but it is so good to see her so active and having fun! 

We had dinner at Vine at 7:30pm.  Unfortunately, the other couple couldn't make dinner that late so we are going to meet them for lunch tomorrow.  The restaurant was so nice.  They had a highchair and toys.


I can't tell you what a difference the highchair made.  I was able to eat with both hands and didn't have to sit an arms length away from the table.  The wait staff doted on Sadie.  She would drop a toy and they would rush over to pick it up.  She was amazing.  Such a good girl for her first time restrained in a highchair.  I decided to try giving her carrots but she was not a fan.  She spit them out immediately.  So, we  stuck to Cheerios and bananas and pears.  Dinner was delicious.  I actually had a glass of wine - splurge for momma!  I had prawns wrapped in bacon served over gnocchi and tiramisu for dessert.  The young girl who was our waitress LOVED Sadie.  At first she said, "She looks Asian."  I told her she is Vietnamese.  Then she asked if I adopted her when she was very little. I told her I adopted her less than a week ago.  She spoke about young women (students and factory workers) who get pregnant and don't have the money to raise a child.  She told me it was so nice of me to adopt her.  I told her I was the lucky one and I was so grateful that the government entrusted her to me.  She was very sweet and every time she would walk by, she would touch Sadie's face or hands.  We'll definitely be going back again before we leave. 

On the two minute walk back to the hotel, Sadie started looking tired.  She has some tells that let me know she is ready to sleep.  She rubs her face, kicks her left leg and sticks her fingers in her nose (very ladylike).  I desperately wanted to get her to the room, change her diaper, get her in her pjs and give her a bottle before she fell asleep.  It was a true test against the clock.  I got her changed and she took 5oz before falling asleep in my arms.  Woo hoo!  About an hour later, she got on her knees to rock in her sleep and hit her head on the crib.  I think it just scared her, but she started to cry.  I picked her up and rocked her but every time I would try to put her back in the crib, she would start to cry again.  This was not a cry I've heard before.  She usually only cries for a minute but this was different.  It broke my heart.  I just laid down on the bed and held her in my arms until 12:45am, when I was finally able to get her down.  It's now 1:30am and she's tossing and turning in the crib.  I guess I should go to bed.  I have a bad feeling we'll be up a couple more times tonight. 

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