Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Chengdu Pandas!

 Its super fun dressing our little man Hudson. We get some pretty amazing hand-me-downs. Especially after the fire our community sure took good care of us! So this little guy is the best dressed baby boy in China!

 I took this sweet picture of Hudson cuddling up with Garrett. After I snapped the first shot I noticed the back of the Cheerios box on the table next to them. It says A LOT in one word...

We got an early start to go see the pandas. Nora took us to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda breeding. They are trying to breed and care for the pandas to increase the Panda population. I can't remember the exact numbers but ballpark, there were less than 1000 pandas left in the world and now they have almost doubled their population.

You can see an example of the thick fog around Chengdu. The same fog that delayed our Gotcha moment a few hours...
This is our Chengdu facilitator Nora. She lives locally with her husband and her two year old son who is only a few days younger than our son Brock. So we had lots to chat about and we shared photos of our family. She was very good about answering our questions about Chinese culture. We asked her a lot of questions about China and her personal life. She told us all about the day of the earthquake as well. It was interesting to hear it from a civilians perspective. She also enjoyed hearing about our life in America.

Mommy and Daddy with three of our four boys. Can't wait to be home with the other kids and be united as a family of EIGHT!

We learned that Pandas are kind of lazy. The older they get the more energy they need to conserve. They eat mostly bamboo. It takes a lot of bamboo to get them the nutrients that they need. So they aren't very active.

We all thought that this Panda looked like "Po" from the movie Kung Fu Panda

Aren't they cute and cuddly! The Pandas behind them are too bad either!

This section has younger Pandas. Most are under a 2 years old here. The panda breeding season is during April, May and June. They are only pregnant for 3-5 months. So most of the Pandas are born in August and September. So there were Pandas with birthdays very close to both Lindsey and Hudson!

The younger pandas are much more active and a lot more fun to watch. Kinda like humans!

You can see the tiny newborn pandas. They look like rats actually! They are only a couple of pounds when they are born and are very fragile. When they get a little older their fur starts to come in with the black and white coloring. The Panda center has been carefully caring for the newborns to ensure they survive to be full grown. Many of the mama pandas don't know how to care for their babies and end up injuring them if they are left to deal with them on their own.

I can't read this picture very well but I think this is the Panda that has a birthday almost the same as Hudson.

Here is a Red Panda up in a tree above us... honestly I was a little creeped out!
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 Heading towards the "Red Panda" section. Tom had read up on them before we left... they are not very nice! As we got closer there were signs about how vicious they are and right near the sign there were holes in the fence! It said not to chase them either!

 Here is one up close but still behind the fence...
 Then we came around the corner to find one sitting right by the steps that we needed to pass...freaky!
 We got close enough to get some pictures, I was praying he would stay asleep the entire time! He did... until the loud silly group behind us came up the steps... we decided to move along! Below are a few of the signs we saw that caused me to want to keep moving!

We watched a movie at a different section of the center and then we also went in to check out some of the "interesting" info. Both the movie and the science center were VERY informative on the breeding of Pandas... honestly a little too informative in my opinion. Kind of awkward actually!

It really is a small world... while we were at the Panda research center we had a lady notice Trevor's white sox hat and ask if we were from Chicago. We were surprised to hear her speak to us in English honestly because she appeared to be Chinese. Turns out she was there on a return trip tour for some 16 year old adoptees and their moms... they are from Barrington, Elgin and Libertyville ILLINOIS! About 40 mintues from our home!
After a very long morning at the Panda center we asked Nora to take us for some traditional Chengdu, Sichuan food. The restaurant was about to go on break between lunch and breakfast at this time but they took our order and served us. Once we were served about 20 or more of the employees came out to enjoy their break at the tables near by. A few young guys were on their smart phones, a few ladies were doing knitting and needlepoint (absolutely beautiful work) I wish I would have taken their photo! Then in sets of four people were sitting at tables playing Mahjong. There were about 4 or 5 tables of games going. They let the boys and Tom stand and watch for a little while but once our meal was over I went to take a photo and they did NOT like that and shooed me away. So sorry. No photo. It was a really great atmosphere and we were all glad that we got to experience seeing the locals on their break, even it they were a little mean when I tried to take a picture. Plus the food was delicious! So all in all it was a great experience.
I have been so proud of my boys trying all kinds of food! Especially Trevor who has always been a little on the picky side. He's been very adventurous. Today he even tried bean curd and squid!
These were kind of like pita pockets with meat inside.
These were a little a soft hallow corn roll and we put a corn mixture with a bit of a soy sauce flavor inside.

Watching Cars 2 with big brother Garrett
Falling asleep in mommy's arms. He won't go to sleep on his own in the crib. So he's being spoiled and rocked to sleep. In time he will learn to soothe himself to sleep but bonding takes priority for the time being. I love holding a sleeping baby! Especially when he's so cute and MINE!
Tom and I have been joking around about how I am a big wimp and give into Hudson for anything and Tom, although very nurturing is really good at the tough love. We call it our good cop, bad cop way of parenting. I am very thankful for Tom and his tough love and patience. He has been working with Hudson on keeping the bottle in his mouth and swallowing as we squeeze water or formula into his mouth. Hudson would only eat and drink off of a baby spoon. It was messy and took forever. He was not given a bottle or anything hard since his surgery. After checking in with a friend who has just gone through the surgeries with her daughter we have decided to start working with him to eat more and take the bottle. Our friend Jill was amazing... she even called the cleft clinic for us and told them the details. They remembered me calling to set up our appointment about a month ago and gave some advice on what to do. Since the surgery was almost 6 months we got the go ahead to offer him more food options and he LOVES it! It will still be wonderful to get him home and checked out to be sure everything healed properly and find out what is ahead for him. We will see the cleft team on January 23rd.
Daddy and his handsome boy! Seeing the picture doesn't really look like tough love does it! More like the sweet love of a father for his son!


  1. Oh the snuggle pics with his brother are SO sweet!

  2. I'm so so happy that he loves to be held. It's beautiful to see him all cuddled up with you- the bonding process is so special.

  3. Love the pics! Can't wait for our turn in about 6 weeks! He is sooo precious;o)