Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Have patience with me!

We still are not moved in! I lost the cable to the computer! There is so much to say! Come on over and help us paint! Please stand by for further transmissions...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Our guide, Ike likes Mei Mei too!

Our guide, Ike likes Mei Mei too!

Everyone Likes Mei Mei! She likes everyone too! Such an easygoing baby...

Isn't my brother silly?

Isn't my brother silly?

I like to pinch him because he makes silly faces and noises! My brother squeels, squeeks and laughs at the things that I do! He makes me laugh also. I giggle when he picks me up and make him proud. I like my big brother!

Mei Mei likes grandma too!

Mei Mei likes grandma too!

Gramma feeds me, cuddles me, carries me everywhere and loves me a lot, I can tell! Gramma is very good to me and I like her too.

Two too tired!

Two too tired!

And not blurry! Sheesh! Doesn't she look like me though? That's what they tell me...

our little girl Wonder

our little girl Wonder

Hello everybody! My name is Qu Le Mei! Everyone just calls me Mei Mei though! Mommy and Daddy said that my full name is Catarina Nicole Le Mei Morales but that is a mouthfull for me! I prefer bao bao or some other Chinese word please! I'll be seeing you all soon!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Remember THIS look?

Remember THIS look?

Oh yes, the one from our referral photo! It's a classic!

We present to the world - Catarina Nicole Le Mei Morales!

We present to the world - Catarina Nicole Le Mei Morales!

Hear me roar! I am cute! I am adorable! I can cry and cry with the best of them! I'm gonna give my parents heck! They're gonna love the tar outta me!

Gotcha Day!

Gotcha Day!

This was the first time that we saw her live, for real and in person! We were all in tears, especially Mei Mei! She is absolutely perfect! She could not be any cuter! She is so much better looking than in the little pictures that we got! How adorable! What a blessing!
ex GTRacer wannabe: now a father, mentor - FAMILY MAN!


Because I am in pain! Because when I finally downloaded my camera files onto my computer and viewed my precious pictures, well, of the 400 taken, at least HALF are blurry!!!! AAAAAAAAAARGH!!! This is atrocious! Was it that I was shaking? Bad lighting? All of the above? This is absolutely disastrous! I want to do a 'slide show' for friends and family but what the heck are they gonna see? This stinks on a monumental scale. I am not happy. I suck at picture taking. No wait. I need a better, more expensive camera with image stabilization technology! That's it! Eureka! Let me tell Kim... (I return with a bruised arm) Anyway. We are not even 1/10 of the way into this moving thing and I hurt already. Luckily, I had Brendan lend an excellent and very welcome hand and truck! Please stand by for another call please! This is going to be a major undertaking! I am extremely thankful that I have another two weeks off as we are going to need all of that time, and then some. Our biological clocks have been reset! A little bit of work will do that to ya. Mei Mei on the other hand, is a little overwhelmed, we think so Kim will slow down some and spend more time with her in one place instead of toting her here and there, all over creation. Enough of that. The poor tike needs to settle down! I am hoarse. Tired. Sun tanned. (soon to be burned, I can tell) Happy. Let me upload a picture or two...

little girl Wonder

i love this girl more and more each day! how is that possible? she is SO darn cute! her and her little mellon head, her little feet, little hands, little butt, little ears, little everything! how cute is that? she is such a good little girl! definitely mommies girl though... she is easy to change her diapers, easy to give a bath (loves it!) but def. NOT easy to feed! Not easy to put to bed either! fights them both for awhile before she gives in to her basic needs. too funny! i love the facial contortions that she does when she is complaining! she is very vocal about it too! what was that, Mei Mei? ma ma? oh no! she isn't saving you either! in fact, little girl Wonder, ma ma is much better at this than i am! she makes it look easy! little girl Wonder loves to look around at her surroundings in utter amazement. get her close to something and it will magically appear in her bitty little fingers and almost just as quickly, pop it in her mouth. i thought that i was pretty observant but not observant enough for the little mellon head! she's fast! i am in such trouble here! what a wonderful daughter we have! i absolutely love our little precious daughter. listen to her talk! too cute! everything but The Atomic Diapers are cute! My little girl Wonder...

We keep on moving stuff today also. Some of the horses and cats are over and today we will work on painting and moving birds! This should prove to be very interesting. We took a nap yesterday while working at the house as we are still not used to being back in Central Standard Time! Sheesh. We all slept better last night though! Even Mei Mei slept most of the night! I need to wake up Dallas though. Lazy bum! He'll go back to school tomorrow for the few remaining days to hang out with his friends and tell them all about his adventures. Time to post some pictures, huh? I'm working on getting them on Flickr and a few choice ones here so please stand by and check back later! It's good to be back!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

We've arrived...

it's tough to type with a baby on your lap! we got in around 2 this morning and i slept until noon, dallas till 2, catarina? she's got it all backwards too! this is gonna take awhile to readjust our clocks! speedy here is into everything! such a curious lil tyke. gotta love her. i love her now much more than i ever did! she's real now and on my lap making happy sounds as she grabs at everything and shoves them in her mouth. i love the way she talks - now she is saying 'da da' and 'ma ma', her attention shifts so quickly! i should be sleeping now, i am so thoroughly exhausted! i'll catch up soon as we now have to move to another town! i'll be back, gotta go now and pay full attention to this little dynamo doing the alligator death roll on my lap! she's one fast little girl...

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Lessons learned!

Well let me tell you something! I've tried to learn as much as I possibly could while travelling out here and it is obvious to me that I need a few more years time to learn a little bit of the culture, history and its' people! What a fascinating place this is! I absolutely love it. I thought that Florida was a melting pot of people and culture!? Yeah right. I am extremely thankful that I started learning Mandarin! It's taken me to places that I would never have imagined! It makes it much easier to haggle prices with the merchants and to pick up on what is going on around you. Everyone is much more inclined to help you and befriend you. I have been able to help people with their English and they in turn help me with my Chinese pronounciations. Small differences in the inflection and intonation of the words can mean the difference between total disaster/embarassement or total joy and admiration. Please don't try to ask for chicken in Mandarin unless you are extremely sure of yourself lest you ask for a prostitute! I did. Lucky for me, I was speaking to a gentleman who has come to know all of us very well and he simply took me aside and explained my 'small' mistake! We had a good laugh but I considered myself lucky to escape a possible 'problem'. My mother in law and son were with me at that point! We simply explained to them what had just transpired and she just laughed and Dallas looked on rather perplexed. Wear comfortable clothing! It is very hot and humid at this time of year! Waterproof hiking boots/shoes come in handy! Look around as much as you can! Don't focus on just looking ahead of you as you will miss about 80% of what is going on around you, including traffic coming at you from everywhere! Walk around as much as possible and ask many questions. Education, or rather, knowledge is power! Much respect comes with this knowledge also. Try not to come on an adoption trip with small children! They have fun and can tolerate most things but we are all a little strained just a little from the schedule that must be kept every day. The days are long and demanding and the heat doesn't help things much! The food is also something that most kids can't adapt to very well unless you stick to western restaurants, hotels, etc. and even then there are no gaurantees as the cooks are not American. The food is wonderful but different, obviously. If you order chicken (wink, wink), be prepared to find the legs and head in your dish! Just ask my friend from Fiji! Take many pictures and/or keep a journal everyday as you will realize just exactly how much you have done/accomplished and it allows you to streamline yourself better and be more efficient and therefore enjoy everything better. Don't bring a stroller, baby seat, tons of formula and diapers as they are easily found everywhere out here. All that extra stuff will get in the way. Save it for when you actually have the bambino with you and on your trip back! Medicines? Don't really need much! We have been eating virtually everything and drinking everything to no ill effect. No fresh (tap) water though! Washing your mouth with tap water is O.K. as you are not going to swallow it, right? Same thing with showers and pools. Just don't swallow! Fruit? Peel it! If it is already peeled, you are safe. When you are at a western style 4 or 5 star hotel, don't worry about a thing! They are used to it all and can help in ways that you can't imagine! Exchanging money can be an ordeal! Try to do it at the hotel if you can. The airports will con you if you don't use official chanels - ask security to help you out. Gosh, I could go on and on but I am drenched in sweat at the back of a merchants shop here and hungry. Virtually all of the merchants are women! You will find bossman lurking somewhere though! Get to know your local merchant girls well as they will help with money matters, directions, hints, etc. They know more than they let on! That is why brushing up on your Putunghua skills is essential folks! We swear in tomorrow and leave for L.A. later in the evening. This has been a most educational, wonderful, and just plain fun experience that we will definitely undertake again in 2 or 3 years time. What a blessing. The addition of Le Mei to our family has brought us all together in ways that are yet to be described. I will miss this all but look forward to our new beginnings with great anticipation. njm

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

I'm in love with a new girl...

Yes, I can no longer deny it or keep it a secret! The whole world needs to know! This special girl that has taken my heart and soul by storm is the best thing that has happened to me since, well, Kim came into my life! This particular doll is very precious. She is perfect in every way! She smiles all the time, dances, crawls around everywhere, is into everything, talks and drools up a storm! She eats like there is no tomorrow also. She is Catarina Nicole Le Mei Morales! She prefers to be called 'Mei Mei' though! She tells me all the time! She can say 'mama' and I believe that she says 'mei mei' too! You have got to see her dancing! She just loves to clap her hands, bounce around, smile and talk her little baby talk that is so charming and endearing to me! She now has 4 teeth! (teething is no fun, she'll tell you!) All of the children have adjusted well to their families! We are all ecstatic and so in love with our children, very happy and satisfied indeed. We went to their orphanage yesterday and some families were apprehensive that the children would get upset or depressed or something when they saw their old and familiar environment but that was not the case! Take Mei Mei for instance, she was placed in a walker and she just laughed and took off! She was running over toes, toys and other children! They watched some t.v., listened to some childrens songs and then the nannies prepared some special congee for them which they absolutely scarfed up like there was no tomorrow! Congee is like a overcooked and watered down rice porridge thing. They love it! Yes, it needs to be very warm - hot really. So does the water they drink and the bottle of formula, it all needs to be pretty hot, you'd be surprised. We are having such a good time with this precious child! She is perfect! Everything that I thought that she would be and then some! I have so much to learn! My arms ache, my back hurts, my legs are sore... Who would've thought that a 17lb package could be so painful? Of course, if I handed her off more often, I could relieve some of the pain now, right? Yes, we have other ways of transporting her included a stroller that we bought locally (don't bring one!) but what fun is that? There is NO Wal-Mart here! We've asked and looked around extensively! We haven't looked extensively for the walmart, we've just gone walking and shopping everywhere! this has been so incredibly awesome that i just can't possibly explain it all! wait till we get home and give a slide show of the hundreds of pictures that we've taken and maybe THEN you can get an idea of what it's like! this has been a huge blessing to us! We can't wait to get home. For now I need to go as other families are waiting to write home too! Most shops have internet capabilities, it's just a matter of finding the time! We are all so busy all the time! We leave tomorrow, Friday. It is now 10:30 A.M. on Thursday, 9:30 P.M. Wedsday Kansas time. What a great experience! See you all later!

Monday, May 09, 2005

She smelled like rice!

Hi gang! I am now at a small shop (very hot, humid - sweaty!) in Shamian Island in Guangzhou! What a crazy ride this has been! Brush up on your Cantonese as this area speaks Cantonese! Long story. Mei Mei is everything that we thought she would be and then some. She is adorable, perfect, cute, curious, hungry, well behaved, in excellent health and finally our daughter! Well, almost. We just had her physical done and came out well, of course. She has a bit of a cough but no one is worried. We also have Omnicef which some caring person helped us out with and that is the first thing that we put her on. Where is the guaifenesin? I need an expectorant! Forgive me if my thougts wander but there is SO MUCH to tell! My last entry from Beijing was at an internet cafe where there were multiple rooms all filled with kids playing role playing games and what not, too cool. We have just been going and going and, well, you get the picture. Today, Le Mei smells like Jasmine, Kim tells me. I saw the Victory Hotel where some of you other folk will be staying and it looks awesome! This place is extremely crowded and busy all the time. Seen the National Geographic documentaries on China? Yup. You get the picture. We will go to Mei's orphanage on Wednesday! What day is it today? It is almost 5 P.M. Monday, 4:50A.M. Kansas time. I wonder what everyone back home is dreaming about right about now... We are going to have a feast tonight at a local restaurant! I've been eating just a bit more than usual! I've liked everything so far although I haven't had anything too exotic like pigeon, snake, etc. Perhaps later! I've tried other things from buffet lines that I could not tell what it was though. There are plants, trees and birds everywhere! Beijing and Guangzhou are very different. Beijing, being much further north is much cooler. Down here is subtropical - steamy! The amount of stores and trinkets everywhere is astounding. We've gone nuts snapping up silk clothing & shoes for Mei Mei, Jade items, well lot's of stuff. I like the crafts made from bamboo, bone, tusk, etc. Extremely intricate works of art abound everywhere. This has been such an awesome trip/experience. We will definitely do this again, perhaps to adopt an older child? A boy perhaps? Who knows.

Oh crap, i just lost my post! what the heck happened? How did i recover this much? uh oh. i had a whole lot more written than this...

I'll try to read any comments that anyone has posted to see if you have any questions but everything is in Chinese! I'll try to check my email too. We'll see. I'm gonna go now as I have totally lost my train of thought with this glitch. Gang, this has been absolutely wonderful. We have met many other families doing the same thing. Some from Kansas close by, some from Orlando, many interesting stories have been told but all of them positive so far. This has been absolutely great. We will be home soon

Love always

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Duibuqi! Sorry Gang! In Beijing now...

What a whirlwind! Unbelievable the events that have transpired so far! I will not be able to put it all down right now as I am short on time! I am in Beijing now and it is just past 6P.M. on Saturday. In less than 24 hours, we will have our daughter! We were told that by tomorrow at 3P.M. will be the ceremony in Guangzhoa. We leave Beijing tomorrow at 0700 and it will be a 2.5 hour flight back to Guangzhoa. Wow. We were in the air for about 25 hours total time. 4 flights. We almost missed one of those flights due to a 'disturbance' at the airport! There were some very angry people that were blocking the entrance to the terminal with some shouting and pushing going on. The locals could care less and just pushed past, if they could. We had no clue as to what was going on so we hung back until we saw a break on the corner of the hall and jumped the seats and cords that were blocking the way! Crazy stuff! Today we went sightseeing! We went to Tian' Anmen Square, which was huge by the way and then straight to the Forbidden City. Now THAT was an enormous place! The pictures that I took could not possibly capture the shear size and grandour of the place! Can you imagine what the place looked like when there weren't millions of people passing through the place? I was just in awe of the place and we could only see a small fraction of the palace. I really have no idea how many pictures I have taken so far, perhaps close to 200 and one battery swap. We then proceeded to eat at a nice restaurant/shopping center where we proceeded to stuff ourselves with the local fare. Mmmmmm... So good! Great food, great beer (tasted like sparkling apple juice!) and great company. We are travelling now with the 10 families that are adopting even though not all of them will be adopting from Qujiang SWI. It's a great group. Anywayz! After the stuffing, we were taken to the Great Wall which we tried to climb to the highes part but I seriously doubt that anyone made it! It is STEEP!!! Big steps and little steps make for a difficult climb. It's been super windy also so lot's of trash, dust and whatnot were obscuring the vista. It's also a little overcast and makes for tough picture taking. Beijing is incredibly large and crowded! Tons of people and animals everywhere! No traffic etiquette! What a wild ride! It's good to have a tour guide! We could've used the tour guide when we were at the airport in Guangzhoa though! That was such a mess. A ticket attendant even took our tickets and we didn't even know that we were missing our tickets! How could that happen? We were travelling at that point with some other American people that were adopting Asian children too so we swapped all manner of stories. This has been an incredible experience so far like you cannot imagine. We will def. be doing this again. I am very tired but very excited. I am going to get a massage now, go to the heated pool and have a big dinner. Yes I am. Tomorrow we wake up early! It is THE DAY!!! Gonna run for now... Love you all!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

This is IT!!!

O.K. kids! We are going to bed now! When we wake up, heck, it's time to GO! Drive to Wichita, fly to Houston then on to California where we will finally make the jump to China! I can't believe that after so long, the moment is finally here... On Sunday, Mothers day, will be the MAIN EVENT! Believe me I will be thinking of my close friends and family too! I wish you could all come and share this wonderful experience but we shall return soon with journals, blogs and pictures for all to see and read. This has been absolutely fantastic! Thank you all for your help, support and prayers!

See you soon!


I feel MUCH better!

now isn't THAT interesting? i watch a movie that isn't supposed to make one feel mushy, but it does. then i watch a movie that is very emotional and deep but i feel great! the cloud has been lifted! i feel at peace now... whew. the movie was absolutely wonderful! i even started watching it in Chinese so that i could continue practicing and listening to the language. yeah, it's a little late but that's o.k.! all is well in the world. tomorrow's problems are yet to come. so what? let em! i am going to practice writing Catarina's name in Chinese a few times before i go to bed. this will be fun!

Monday, May 02, 2005

A Little Moody Right Now...

I just finished watching the movie 'Elektra' and I got moody... The movie 'Hero' made me cry. I also rented 'House of Flying Daggers'. I don't know if I can keep doing this to myself! I'll watch Alien Vs Predator first, I know, but I will definitely finish tonight with 'HFD'. Maybe cry myself to sleep. I heard that it is also a chick-flick. The epic battles between good and evil, right versus wrong and my own inner demons wage their own wars within me and make me moody. I want to be a good father. I want to be a good husband. I want to be an innately good person but deep down inside, I always feel somehow not worthy. Not good enough. I have personal issues with religion and the premise to always do the best that we can even though we know that we can never be perfect. Strive for perfection? Why? I just want to be a good dad! Am I good enough? I don't feel like I do enough. I adore my family. I really do. Do they feel that I am adequate? Do they feel like I am doing a good job? I certainly hope so and time will tell.

I am headed to China in two days time. Growing up, I have always wanted to be a Kung-Fu master! I wanted to travel to the original Shaolin temples in the remote mountains of China and live there for years learning their ancient ways. Their beliefs have always intrigued me. The American movies that I have seen have fueled my imagination even though I know that those things are just mysticism and tall tales. Nevertheless, I am in awe of traveling to this far and distant enchanted and exotic place. The birthplace of my daughter Le Mei. What treasures will she hold? What kind of happiness will she bring with her enchanting smile? Will I be good enough? I will be there for only ten short days and I plan to make the most of it! I will immerse myself in its culture and learn as much as I can. I feel that I am at the beginning of a new and exciting journey! Perhaps I am. Time will tell. Nothing can stop me know. I feel almost invincible! Catarina Nicole Le Mei Morales will show me the way! Kim and Dallas will stand by my side! I can do no wrong with them by my side. The religion part will fall into place in due time, I know. I will vanquish my inner demons and finally be at peace with myself. I am not perfect but I will certainly do my best. I owe my family at least that much.

I am Nixy Jose Morales