Friday, December 4, 2015

December 4, 2015

Today was a scheduled sightseeing day with our guide Cordelia. Since we've already managed to get around pretty well on our own, we decided to have her take us shopping someplace that it may be more difficult to do without a native speaker. We met at the One Link Plaza Shopping Mall- 5+ stories of tiny booths of all that stuff that says 'made in China.'  Toys, stationary, homewares, accessories, dried flowers, wooden beads- it was a bit overwhelming. We managed to find a few treasures (I say 'treasures' loosely) before Cordelia needed to pick up our notary documents and Mila needed a nap. 

Back at the hotel we put Mila down and ate instant noodles for lunch in our hotel room. After nap, we headed to a large government store down the street to stock back up on diapers and formula. I have been in dozens of government stores exactly like this one except that all the signage was in Romanian or Hungarian!  Items are neatly displayed but you can't touch!  To purchase something you must signal a uniformed worker (there are dozens of them tailing you so it isn't hard to get their attention) and then they write up your item on a little receipt and send you to a cashier. You pay and then take another ticket back to the original worker and they give you what you purchased. Not entirely efficient.

We dropped our purchases off and picked up Mila's stroller for a walk to a stationary market a few blocks away. We found it but there wasn't too much of interest for us so we stopped back at the western shopping mall we had discovered previously. We found a children's store at the very top level that was part indoor playground (but very strange- like merry go rounds with inflatable dolphins for babies to ride on and puffy clouds on the ground... I may have nightmares actually...) and part clothing/ toy store. I went off in search of tiny pants for our tiny girl. I found a couple when an eager sales girl approached me with a clipboard. I must have looked like I needed a store discount card because soon I had two sales girls, a stock boy, and a random shopper who spoke a little bit of English trying to get me to give them a Chinese phone number so that I could get "big discounts!"  I finally convinced them that I really didn't have a Chinese phone number and that I was ok skipping the "big discount."  I gave the original eager sales girl a thumbs up and a "good job for trying!" as I left. While I was confusing random Chinese workers, Austin had taken Mila over to a bunch of toys they had set out where little kids were playing. She stood frozen in the aisle- obviously sensory overload- until Austin dragged her to a light up baby toy. He had to take her hand to push the buttons. I'm sure she had never seen a store like that ever or that many toys. A little boy came over and they were able to play a bit and Mila seemed to be more at ease around him. We think she misses her friends and could use some play time with other kids. 

We wandered the mall a bit looking at food options. We decided on a hot pot restaurant.  I guess we were feeling particularly brave since this was the menu.

They did gave us an English menu and with a little matching, we managed to order. Soon our hot pot arrived and all of the yummy stuff to go in.  They had an awesome DIY sauce table and everything was delicious. And Mila got some more nutritious bone broth for dinner again!

Mila was in such a good mood- maybe the antibiotics are kicking in or she's just starting to come out of her shell- that she happily interacted with me at dinner and even let me feed her again!  It's such a seemingly small thing, but this little girl CHOSE to let me in on an intimate thing for her- feeding. It's huge!

Yes- I always open my mouth when I'm feeding someone else...

I kept it together and played cool with it all even though everything in me was torn between wanting to burst into tears or shout for joy. 

We walked back to the pedestrian street by our hotel and Mila continued to be happy so we stopped in a few stores. Salesgirls surrounded Mila and cooed over her- she ate it up!  We're wondering if we are finally starting to see a bit of her personality. She gave high fives, waved good bye, pointed at police officers and 'yelled' at us to get us to look at things- it was pretty cute.  

We got back to the hotel, gave Mila a bath (she still tolerates me helping with that) and got her ready for bed. A little ritual I've started with her is to rub lavender scented lotion on her after her bath. She really likes it and it's really good for sensory and bonding. 

We gave her some Benadryl to help with this runny nose/ cold she's battling but we're staring to worry that she's part of the population that gets riled up from it since she's talking to her doll and not acting very sleepy. Drat.  Austin's off to rock her to sleep for a bit- hoping it works!

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