Tuesday, June 26, 2012

girl time


two scoops of cuteness


It's hard being a new big sister. It's especially hard when the new baby brother is 18 months old. The big sister has to share kid items like a kid's table, kid's plates, and play kitchen that were once her own. Little brother plays with everything and pushes every button he can get his hands own. He breaks the house rules because he doesn't know the rules, and that drives big sister batty.

We had some girl time together shopping, out for dinner, and met up with girlfriends for a movie, ice cream, and a play date. Good times!  I'm still giggling about Gabriella's mommy texting me before our meet up.  Her four year old going on fourteen wanted to know what Hannah was wearing!

back blogged Hudson Day tonight

Only took me two weeks to get to it, but Hudson Day was blogged tonight.  I get tired just reading and remembering that day.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

weekend update

Just today we've conquered jet leg.  I think I could get over it in 3 days if it wasn't for kids, but when they wake up at 3am and want breakfast and rocking time... you do it.

On Saturday Hannah got some one-on-one time with her Nana.  I hear they made cupcakes.  Hannah oozed about how much fun it was.  I decided we should go get Hudson's feet measured at a Stride Rite store.  We had a really hard time trying to find shoes for him at Target, realizing that his feet are really, really, really wide.  I was checking out Facebook, and realized that the Matilda Jane Art Fair was going on, and because of their 15 item limit... it sounded like there were several good pieces left to choose from.  We loaded up the car and Kevin dropped me off to get in line while the boys went shoe shopping.  Kevin came back with size 7.5 extra wide for Hudson.  Any other recommendations for brands that come in extra wide sizes?  Hannah is a 7.5 regular as she has narrow feet.

Oh my, the pretties!  So many dresses, so little budget!  My favorite dress is in the middle.  I didn't think I'd like that collar, but it looks so cute on!  The styles with a sash that tie bit her better, I think.  The dress on the right will look cute in the fall with a cream long sleeved tee-shirt under it, I think.

Did a lot of hanging out at home, last of the unpacking of suitcases, and trying to settle in to a "new normal." New normal also involves additional door locks to make certain rooms of the house unavailable to Hudson and a baby gated play yard where he can play safely while we can cook dinner, do laundry, and know that he's not getting into something he shouldn't. Little Mr. Curious wants to touch every button and open every door, drawer, and box he can get his hands on. He turned on the shop vac in the garage while we were chatting with the neighbor and got quite a fright! He ran pretty quickly to me and grabbed onto my legs for dear life!

We also figured out that Hudson's occasionally excitedly shouting dog in Chinese to Sedona.  It sounds like "go go."  So thankful he's using expressive language!  I wish I knew what other words we're missing.  Foster mama told us he just used their family's names, but obviously there's more if we can pick out "thank you" and "dog" from his happy baby jibber jabber.

I go back to work tomorrow morning.  It's been three weeks.  I hope I remember what it is I do there.

Friday, June 22, 2012

day four at home - language over yogurt

And we have language! Over 4am strawberry Greek yogurt Hudson said "maaaaah" when he signed for more yogurt. Twenty seconds later he waved and said "hi" twice back to me when I waved and said hi to his reflection in the window. Then he sneezed and spit yogurt all over both of us as I celebrated, bringing me back down to reality.

Maybe we'll go to the swimming pool today.  That would be fun.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

back blogging

This afternoon I back blogged this post: part 2 of a travel day in Kaohsiung while our jet lagged family napped.  This post contains my favorite travel photos from our adventure.

Tonight I back blogged day 6, our beach photos from day 7, and travel to Tainan to pick up Hudson on day 8.

day three at home - library time

Daddy has been up since 3:30am with Hudson and 4:30am with Hannah.  When I woke up at 9:30am I could hear them all happily playing in the living room.  That is, until I came in.  Hudson whine cries if I'm not holding him, but he plays happily if I'm not around.  Sigh.

I was going to take both kids out by myself for the first time to the library for story hour for Hannah, a trip to work so everyone could meet Hudson, and then out to lunch with Papa.  Kevin decided that he wanted to go, too.  At the library I tried to read some baby books to Hudson while he tried to run away from me, wanted to screech and be chased.  He doesn't want to get away from me... he just wants me to play and chase after him.  When we did get away he'd run down isles of children's books.  A couple of times he crabbed books off the shelves, threw them, and then kept on running.  I was relieved to leave the library.  He thought he was having a great time.

We said hi to my peeps at work and the kids each got TWO suckers and were overjoyed.  We had a great lunch with Papa sharing grilled cheese, green beans, salad crackers, ice out of my ice water.  Home for a bottle and NAPS for everybody!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

day two at home - international adoption clinic

We were all up at 4:30am this morning with screaming in stereo. The crying was for the following reasons: adoption loss, jet lag, 2 insects located near the kitchen table, gagging on phlegm, crying because the other sibling was crying, poopy diaper, unknown reason for crying (self admitted), hunger, and wanting the other parent instead of the parent that is trying to comfort said child. The crying resolved at 7:30am and the little boogers all settled down to eating a breakfast of eating pancakes and strawberries with real maple syrup.  I didn't have much hope for the rest of the day.  Unfortunately, a road trip international adoption clinic for both kids was scheduled for the day.  We went ahead and left the house extra early, knowing we could stop at a Super Target along the way.

Hudson stayed awake for most of the trip, alternating between whines and happy monkey sounds.  Hannah snoozed.  Once at Target we tried on shoes for Hudson.  We had no idea what size of shoes to get him.  We figured out that his feet are much wider than usual size 6.  Most styles wouldn't work for his width, but some Circo brand skater style shoes fit well.  Hannah asked for a hot dog, and I realized that I hadn't planned on time for lunch.  Whoops!  Looks like it's hot dog time for everyone at the Target cafe.

We were now low on time to get to our appointment.  We hit traffic because of a car accident and were now running a few minutes late.  And then... the sound of puke.  Hannah gagged and threw up her lunch mostly in a cup but also all down her clothes and in her car seat.  We could not stop.  We were driving over two hours to go to this appointment and had to be there, like now.  Kevin dropped me off at the door five minutes late and I rushed in to registration with Hudson while Kevin took care of Hannah.  Luckily I had bought two summer rompers for Hudson at Target in 2T, and I knew they'd barely fit Hannah.  I registered the kids for the appointments with screeching monkey boy that wanted to run and be chased while daddy cleaned up Hannah.  I do believe I got the better end of that deal.  We were called back for our appointments right after Kevin and Hannah arrived.  I hate being late and was frazzled and really upset.

Hudson was deemed to be extremely well developed and happy as a horse.  We were told not to worry about language for him for at least six months.  He's already mimicking our sounds and he learned to baby sign "more" last night with cheesy puffs.  I'm very confident in his health.  It's just going to be hard on him and the rest of the family while we try to be patient when teaching him the rules of living in a family with us.

The doctor had evaluated Hannah right when we brought her home.  I was really interested in her evaluation of Hannah's development.  She's keeping her own own little curve on the growth chart, barely on for height and just under the chart for weight.  We're to keep doing what we're doing encouraging her to eat and slip in extra calories when we can.  We talked a lot about the spitting out of food and occasional vomiting and a speech therapist was brought in for an evaluation.  It sounds like Hannah's low tone may also be true for the chewing muscles.  When asked how Hannah would eat a pretzle, she would bite it with her front teeth and suck on it, not chew it from the side.  She avoids chewy bread and can not handle chewing a fruit roll up.  We have been prescribed chewing exercises.  We're to use a food like a cheese puff or vegetable straw and make a game out of biting it with back teeth.  If that goes well we are to start using thin pretzel sticks for chewing exercises, eating about five a a time.  We're to email the speech therapist back in two weeks with how we're doing.  It makes me wonder if Hannah doesn't eat much at one time because her chewing muscles get tired... and that's why she wants to graze just eating a few bites at a time all during the day.

We stopped by to see the Cole family on our way home.  Hannah and Allie had not seen each other for months and a play date was long overdue.  The girls had both missed each other so much.  Lora told me that Allie had cried, worried that her Hannah Claire would forget her.  Awwww!  The girls played and played, and when we left we had to pry Hannah out of Allie's closet.  They were "camping" and had both curled up in Allie's sleeping bag.  Is is an understatement to say that Miss Lora was excited to see Hudson.  She was very very very very excited to see our little guy!  Unfortunately, Hudson had had a big day and was just too tuckered to wake up much.  We enjoyed a casual dinner together and all got to take turns holding Hudson as he slept.  Lora took some photos.  I'm sure she'll share.  Hint hint!


Kevin and I took turns driving home.  We were just so exhausted.  I gave Hudson and bottle and a snack and laid down on the floor next to his bed until he was asleep.

Hi, Mom! I know you think I'm pretty cute.

I think I can find a quicker way to get more milk out of this cup.

Look! It comes out fast if I shake it up and down!

Using Mobile Phones in Taiwan

Sarah has been getting a lot of requests for instructions on how to use your cell phone in Taiwan without using your US provider's costly roaming plans.

She has asked me to write up a guide because dealing with technology is one of the things listed in my household job description.
Taiwan Mobile's "Iridium" Logo
Taiwan Mobile / 台灣大哥大 is my provider of choice because of the coverage area and speed. You could also use Chunghwa Telecom or FarEasTone for your provider.

1.) First, and most important. Your phone *MUST NOT* be SIM Locked. AT&T or T-Mobile customers can usually call customer service and request a SIM Unlock for international travel. Verizon customers can do the same, but not all of Verizon's phones will work on Taiwan Mobile's network.

2.) You have to have a mobile phone that is GSM compatible. If you are a AT&T or T-Mobile user you very likely have a GSM phone. Verizon users will need a "Dual Band" phone. Some of which are listed here. If your phone isn't on this list you might call Verizon and ask them if it is a Dual Band phone.

3.) If you arrive in Taiwan during normal business hours, you can find Taiwan Mobile's counter right after you exit immigration. Take a left outside immigration, down the main hall, then left again.
Taiwan Taoyuan Airport
 Or watch this video with with Nicole Scott from netbooknews.com. The video is 2 years old, but the information is still correct as of this post.

You must provide TWO forms of government issued identification to buy a prepaid SIM card. Use your passport and driver's license.

Upon successful activation, you will have a Taiwan cell phone number instead of your US phone number. Your phone number will be written on the package the new SIM card came in.  

IMPORTANT! Save your original SIM card! You'll need it when you come back home.

If you have a Smartphone, unlimited internet usage is available as well for an additional cost. It is a lot cheaper than paying your US provider's roaming fee. You can purchase up to 5 days of unlimited internet at a time. When 5 days is up, you must return to a Taiwan Mobile retailer and buy more. If there is a way to do it via internet or calling customer support, I don't know. My agent told me I had to come back.

4.) Dialing or Texting:

To call a phone in United States from Taiwan use the following dialing format:


To call a mobile phone in Taiwan from United States use the following dialing format:

011 + 886 + 9 + LOCAL NUMBER

Test dial someone back home to make sure it works before you leave the store. TIP: When the party you call asks you if you have any idea what time it is, make sure you reply with Taiwan local time, pretending you have no idea that there is +12 hour difference. This works best if local time is between 1-5pm.

5.) I ran out of minutes!: No worries. Go to your local 7-Eleven. Walk 2 blocks from wherever you are and you will likely find one.

I'm not kidding. 7-Eleven is EVERYWHERE in Taiwan.

Go to the cashier, take NT$300 out of your wallet, hold up your mobile phone, point to it and say "Taiwan Da Ge Da". They will give you a Taiwan Mobile recharge card.

Isn't it cute?
Turn the card over and scratch off the silver strip with one of the multitude of NT$1 coins you have rattling in your pocket or purse. Other coins work as well, I just was happy to finally have a use for one of those little things.

Underneath that will be a 14 digit code. Call 867 from your mobile phone and press 2 for English. Yes, in Taiwan 2 is for English, not Spanish. Go figure. You will be prompted to enter the 14 digit code from your keypad and your account will be credited. You can also buy NT$600 and NT$1000 cards, but if you aren't making many calls, get the NT$300 one.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

day one at home with Max and Ruby

Living with Hudson and Hannah is a lot like an episode of Max and Ruby. Older sister Ruby tries to boss Max around, direct his play, tattle on him... and Max gets into everything and irritates Ruby. Ruby loves Max, but doesn't want him touching her things or playing with her toys

Hannah was given the honor of opening a package that was sent to Hudson and Hannah by another Taiwan adoptive family. Hannah was really excited about the Hello Kitty crafts for herself and wanted to play with Hudson's Lego set. I let her go ahead and open it with the understanding that his was baby brother's

"Mom! Look! Look, Mom! I'm building Taipei 101!" Untitled

Kevin hadn't had much sleep yet, so he went to bed and I was alone with both of them. Nearing 3pm I realized I hadn't showered yet and needed to go to work briefly and run to the bank to deposit some checks. I didn't want to wake Kevin up, so I called my mom to see if she would like to come over and play while I had a shower and ran an errand. Nana was more than happy to come over and play! I told Hudson good bye when I left. My mom said that he didn't cry but watched out the window for several minutes after I left. When I returned he wanted picked up and laid his shoulder down on me for awhile. I made him a bottle but he didn't want it. Guess he just missed me. That was nice!

When my mom came she brought our dog Sedona home. Hudson held my hand and walked behind me for 20-30 seconds while he checked her out... all the while "talking" to her with his baby/monkey like speech. He was delighted to touch her. The 5th touch or so turned into a grab and Sedona was not so delighted. We're working on "nice touches." Most touches are nice, but every once in awhile Hudson goes in for a grab that is not acceptable.

After my mom left I decided that I should make a since kid friendly dinner... and we could all sit at the table as a FAMILY. I warmed up the oven and was going to bake some chicken fingers. While I went out to the deep freezer to choose a chosen vegetable I heard Ruby Hannah screech, "Mom!!! Come look!!!" with a horrified tone.  I ran in and discovered Hudson squatting near the dog bowl.  Oh explative!  He's eating dog food on his first day home!!!  I put my hand below his chin to encourage him to spit it out like he would a piece of food he didn't like.  Hudson wasn't giving up this tasty bit of kibble.  I took a deep breath, inserted my pointer finger like a fish hook to fish out the bit of dog food.  I found one piece that had started to soften and one dry piece.  On their way out, Hudson bit down hard.  Ouch!  I let out a scream and he let my finger go.

I sat Hudson down in his high chair, microwaved some turkey and noodles my mom had made for us, threw in some canned mandarin oranges, a few grapes sliced in half, and let him have at it.  He's happiest when he's in his high chair, and I'm happy because he's well contained.  A few minutes later the chicken fingers were done and he downed three of those.  I prepared a plate for Hannah.  She had been snacking on strawberries and told me "No thanks.  I don't want any."  I told her she could eat dinner while watching TV (hey, kid #2 just ate dog food in my first day home with him... don't judge) or she could go to bed.  Hannah chose to go to bed with out any dinner.  Had to follow through with that choice I gave child #1.

By 7:30pm Max Hudson was rubbing his eyes and I was more than happy relieved grateful to be able to lay him down for bed.  I patted his back and he was out in less than three minutes.  Score one for mama today!

journey home

The one thing I dreaded the most about bringing Hannah along on this journey was how to handle two little ones on a long taxi ride with no car seats, 3 plane rides, and that first car seat ride for Hudson home from the airport. It's hard to haul all of the luggage for two parents and a new child, but holding hands or pushing a stroller for two kids... keeping them happy with out the parents going insane... AND handling all of that luggage is quite a challenge. We had hoped to bring another adult along but it didn't work out. It was very important to us for Hannah to come along, so we just decided to pack as lightly as possible and stick it out.
Taxi cab ride to the airport: Hannah: "He's touching my shoe!" "He's touching my side of the seat!" "Mom! Mommm! He's touching your bag!" "Are we going to be there soon?"
In the above photo is Hudson's doggie security blanket. We sent it in one of his care packages. Don't tell anyone, but it was a gift that someone gave Hannah when she came home from Taiwan and she never used it. Kid #2 started getting hand-me-downs from us before we was even hours! Hudson's foster mama told us not to loose his doggie blanket because he needs it. We didn't get a lot of directions with Hudson... but when foster mama says "this is important... don't loose it" she must mean it! We've been freaking out thinking that we lost doggie blanket about four times already on the way to the train station in Tainan, on the streets of Taipei, within our apartment in Taipei, and once again on air plane ride number 2. We even bought a strap that's like a pacifier clip to try to attach the beloved doggie blanket to the stroller or to Hudson. Unfortunately, Hudson doesn't understand the purpose for this clip and keeps removing the blanket from the clip. I fear for the future of doggie blanket, and have no idea where to get a duplicate... or even who gave us the beloved doggie blanket as a gift nearly four years ago.
Hudson did not seem to be scared of the plane ride at all. I have a feeling that he might be experienced in riding a bus. If so, the airplane most likely feels a lot like riding a bus. Kevin sat between the kids and I kept Hudson busy best I could. He's so strong! At times when he'd fight against me because he wanted down to run, I felt like it took everything I had to hold on. He runs as fast or faster than Hannah and eats three times as much. Hannah's iPad full of movies keeps her occupied for hours on end. She did cry a little bit when she was extra tired.
On the way home our flight from Tokyo to Detroit was diverted to another airport because Detroit was closed because of a thunderstorm. The plane didn't have enough gas to circle around, so we had to stop and refuel before going on to Detroit. Never had that happen before! It was really bad because the plane's speaker system was horrible and passengers, mostly Japanese, couldn't hear what the pilot was saying, didn't know where we were, and why we couldn't get off the plane. Our connection out of Detroit on to home was also delayed several hours, so we made our flight and all of our bags miraculously arrived as well. I was not a happy camper on my cell phone with the airline. I know that they can't control the weather, but after being awake for 24 hours traveling with two littles, getting home that night... no matter how... was a necessity. I was not going to be booking into a hotel room and waiting for the next morning!
We wanted the welcome home to be low key, as I wasn't sure how Hudson would react to more strangers. We were greeted by Nana, Papa, and two close family friends. I caught a cold from Hudson on the way home, and felt horrible. Nose plugged, running, sore throat, and feverish.
Untitled Untitled Untitled
Once at home we gave Hudson a bottle, had some dinner, and I went to bed while Nana and Papa played with the kids. Nana had decorated the outside of our house and living room in red, white, and blue. Hudson woke up in the middle of the night. While I was making him a bottle he opened up a cabinet and dumped out CDs all over the floor in about five seconds flat. I laid back down with Hudson on the floor next to his crib for a long time. I was exhausted, felt sick and dizzy, and Hudson was not one bit sleepy. Thankfully Kevin woke up. I told him, "Tag, you're it!"
When I woke up in the morning I checked my phone next to the bed and saw this pic below Kevin posted on Facebook this morning. "So, where do you go with your kids at 4am?" Haha!

Friday, June 15, 2012

reflections on being a second time adoptive mama

We're here! We're fine. Just BUSY running after Hudson and keeping Hannah happy as she adjusts to her patents splitting their attention between two children. Will have to do lots of back blogging once we're home and I have a real keyboard instead of pecking out posts on Hannah's iPad when she's sleeping or on my itty bitty iPhone. Our lives are like an episode of Max and Ruby, except the parents are hovering. Max gets into things and Rubby annoying but rightfully tattles on Max Yesterday on day two Kevin left me in the apt with Hudson while he took Hannah shoe shopping for some one-on-one time. When I was first left alone with Hannah as a baby I was so scared that I would break her and wanted Kevin with me. With Hudson, I was scared that he'd do something to hurt himself like stick a fork in the light socket. He wants to touch everything! He's tried to stick his fingers in light sockets, grabs for the crystals on the lampshades, climbs up on top the coffee table and dances, bangs his hands on the flat screen TV, eats paper napkins, etc. Anyway, I had just told him not to stick his finger in the light socket three times and he kept reaching for it. I picked him up, removed him from the situation, put our faces eye to eye just inches apart and said "no no" very firmly. The little stinker grabbed my face with his hands, kissed me squarely on the lips, and laughed out loud! My heart broke and I cried and hugged him! I sat him down so I could recover. He got away with getting an empty pizza box out of the trash, opening it up, and playing with it for a few minutes before moving onto something else. My little monkey doesn't stop moving unless he's sleeping, eating, or snuggling. He makes great eye contact, reaches to us for comfort, grabs my hand and shows me when his diaper is wet, and grabs my hand and pulls me when he wants to go somewhere. He's built. Solid muscle, especially in his thighs. Not a roll on him. He can eat and eat... and still want more. Not sure when I'll be able to post again, but I have more pics loaded onto my Flickr acct if you'd like to look.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Day 9 (Hudson Day!)

When I awoke in the morning, I instantly knew today was THE DAY.  HUDSON DAY!  I marveled again with how calm I felt.  I was a pile of nervous jitters three and a half years ago in the city of Tainan, waiting to meet my first child for the first time.

I really think having a Skype session with Hudson and his foster mama made a huge difference.  I knew that he was happy, safe, loved, certainly well fed... and just fine without me.  Except that he didn't have a permanent family, and that's why he needs us.


Hannah in the hotel lobby of the Shangri-La in Tainan.

Breakfast at the Shangri-La was much better than dinner.  Two thumbs up.
My breakfast.  Fresh squeezed orange juice, mango, Taiwanese pineapple, sausages,
steamed buns, sticky rice, vegetables, rolls, and congee with honey.  Nom nom nom!

Untitled Kevin's breakfast. Looks like he's a meat a potatoes kind of guy, isn't it?

We went back to our room and finished packing up our things.  We didn't have to meet our agency rep until 11:20am in the hotel lobby, so we had lots of time to burn.  We went ahead and checked out of the hotel, planning on walking about the mall next to the hotel... but it wasn't open for the day yet, so we just had to sit in the lobby and wait.  We were chatted up by a retired Taiwanese political science professor that was curious to know what we were doing in Tainan and if we had been to Tainan before.  He had all sorts of opinions, which he very readily shared with us!  LOL!  (I'm not making a political statement, I'm just sharing the conversation.)  He wanted to make sure that we understood that there were two sets of Taiwanese people.  The REAL Taiwanese people that had been there for hundreds of years (or thousands of years if you want to talk about the indigenous Taiwanese) or the Chinese people that came with Chiang Kai-Shek.  It was certainly interesting, and he was certainly opinionated!  Well, the political science professors I knew in college were certainly opinionated as well.  Anyway, what blew me away is that he began asking me questions about what I would think of Taiwan becoming the 52nd state, after Puerto Rico, of course.  And that discussion went on and on.  Woah.  That idea came out to me from left field, for sure.  The professor also spoke German, and he and I exchanged a few phrases in German.  Now that was interesting!  Using my high school beginner German with a Taiwanese professor!  I had much more to say in my bad German than in my very limited Mandarin.  Our agency rep arrived, we shook hands and had to break off the lively conversation.  We piled our luggage in the taxi and took off for the St. Lucy's Center.



Most of our photos contain the faces of multiple people in the family room (aka green couch room) where families are formed.  I will respect the privacy of these special people, so I do not have many to share publicly.

We had to wait awhile in the green couch room, as Hudson and his foster mother had not yet arrived.  We spent some time talking about Hannah and how she was going.  Hannah enjoyed playing with the toys, especially this huge teddy bear.  When Hudson arrived he was just waking up from a nap, so they spend some time waking him up and getting him to feel secure with his surroundings, happy, and playful before we would meet.  For those friends who were waiting up late at night for photos to be uploaded on facebook, this is part of the reason why it took so long.


Can't seem to stomach much lunch when waiting to see your child for the first time.


Hannah really liked the huge teddy bear in the green couch room.

Hannah wanted to take pictures, and took this one of me. :)

I had decided that I wanted to be hands-on with this meeting and not worry about photos. Others had cameras for us. We needed to live in the moment.  Hudson's foster mama brought him in.  He had a toy hammer in his hand and had lights and sound.  I need to start looking for one just like it to give to him.  He's all about buttons, bells, lights, and whistles.

I packed a bag full of toys to play with.  He seemed to like the slinky the best.  Hannah also had a gift bag containing Princess Celestia, a My Little Pony.

I got down on the floor and played for awhile with Hudson and Hannah.
Daddy was the first to pick him up.
He wasn't very happy about being held by strangers.  He indicated that he wanted his foster
 mother to hold him, but wasn't throwing a fit because he wanted to get away from us.  This is good!
We took lots of pictures together with Hudson's foster mama and talked with her for a long time.  She's a pretty special lady, and pleaded with us to come back to visit her, and that we must stay in her house.  She was very sincere, and wanted us to stay at her house because Hudson is family to her.  Lots of tears.  We'll be back.
We went for a walk around and showed Hannah where she lived as a baby, peeking in at the little baby room and the older baby room.  The nannies were told that Ching-Ling was there, and they were surprised and remembered Hannah as such a little baby, and were very excited to see her.  Hannah doesn't like attention from strangers and was very shy and uncomfortable with the nannies looking at her and remarking about her.  I had to remind her that these nannies were the nice ladies that rocked you, gave you bottles, changed your diapers, and loved you very much.  You don't remember them, but they remember you.  We talked about this at length before traveling, but it was still hard for Hannah to have strangers want to be very personal with her.

When it was time to head to the taxi, Hudson and Hannah were happily playing together with a ball popper toy.  Hannah uncharacteristically shouted loudly, "Come on, baby brother!!!  Let's go!!!"  It was so cute.




I have a similar pic from December 29, 2008 with a sleeping baby Hannah outside of St. Lucy's.  Happy mama!  We taxied to the HSR train station. Our agency rep was so helpful in holding Hannah's hand while we delt with our heavy luggage and I pushed Hudson's stroller.  Thankful that Hannah warmed up to her so quickly!

Hudson was understandably clingy and not very happy on the train.  He clung to his doggie blanket and needed his pacifier.  We sent this security blanket to him in one of his care packages.  His foster mother gave us strict instructions not to loose it.

On the train Kevin got to change Hudson's first wet diaper.  Unfortunately, they had a bad experience when a little hand turned on the automatic hand drier and horribly frightened Hudson with it's noise and blowing hot air into his face.  Daddy and Hudson were both pretty upset about the scary hand dryer experience.



We took some pics just for fun so the kids could see their faces
 on the iPhone screen while their photos were taken.




Back in Taipei, we checked back into an apartment with iTaipei Service Apartments.  We stayed in a Deluxe Triple at the beginning of our trip and in the end of our trip.  It was really nice to be able to do all of the laundry we wanted, sit at a real kitchen table, and have an extra bedroom where at least one parent could sleep away from crying child(ren).  Hannah showed Hudson the city, including Taipei 101 off in the distance.









Washer was out on the balcony.  We brought a box of Tide pods (packets) so we had a soap that we were familiar with and didn't have to worry about trying to buy some right away in Taiwan.  There was a bar to hang our clothes out to dry on the balcony, but no hangers.  Thankfully, our friends Katie and Howard told us to bring hangers.  Thanks for the tip, guys!



Hudson loves everything with buttons.  He and his daddy are
going to get along just fine.  Gonna have to get a second iPad!





There we go, there's a little smile!

We put the kids in bed at 9:15pm. Hannah slept her room with her iPad for a bit and Hudson between us. Hudson laid down right away with his doggie lovey blanket. He only cried for about five minutes before falling asleep. Woke up about 2am and cried just a little bit. Easy first night! Because we're such awesome parents (joke!) we took our kids to Mos Burgers downstairs after Hudson's bottle and he ate two chicken nuggets, a couple of French fries, and a few bites of banana ice cream. He is one big and solid kid, built like a football player. All muscle and not a roll on him.