Thursday, February 15, 2007

Sea World

Rather than go back to the post about our visitors from this past weekend, I thought I'd post a whole series of photos from the experience. So this is the first of those posts. To remind you of what I'm talking about, two of Marcie's "first sisters"-- girls she lived in Yunyang Chenxiang Social Welfare Institute with-- came to visit from Colorado this past weekend (with their families, of course). They arrived on a Thursday and on Friday we headed out to Sea World, in an effort to beat the rain that was forecast for the weekend.

Joia, Ava's mom, brought a cool gift for the girls! You can see her treat in this photo:

Now, for those of you who don't know, girls from the Municipality of Chongqing are known for having firecracker personalities and beautiful, fair skin. Marcie is certainly no exception to either of these stereotypes (just last night when I told her to "come here," she smiled, said "no" and ran the other way!-- I can tell the "terrible twos" are going to be a lot of fun when they hit!). Anyway, Joia had these cute shirts made that say Spicy Girl, so we dressed the girls in them and hit the town. This is the best photo I could get of all three of them in the shirts (actually, Larry took the photo-- that's Cassidy's mom). In the picture, I'm to the far left with Marcie, Kyndra is in the middle with her daughter Cassidy, and Joia is on the right with Ava.

For the most part, everyone was very well behaved. Everyone, that is, except Casey. He just couldn't help himself, I guess. When you are accustomed to always having your way, it's gotta be hard to suddenly have to take someone else's desires and schedule into consideration. And Casey just isn't used to that yet. Despite his less-than-stellar behavior (which resulted in my snapping him into the stroller at one point in a time out while he screamed and cried and carried on like he was losing his left foot on one occassion and resulted in Larry booking after him as he took off chasing birds on another occassion), I think he had fun. He got to see the dolphin show and the Shamu show, and we got to see these beautiful dolphins (which look like miniature killer whales, but of course are not). He also got to touch sea stars and view the sharks, which he really wanted to do.

And Kyndra took Casey to see the polar bears. Marcie and I had to stay behind with Larry and Cassidy because the girls were sleeping and they don't allow strollers anymore (they did the last time I was at Sea World, so I'm not sure why the change, but whatever. I was actually quite impressed that Cassidy and Marcie slept so well. Marcie isn't a great napper-- and it turns out neither are Cassidy and Ava! I guess all the information we got from the orphanage about the three naps a day just meant they put the girls in the cribs three times a day-- doesn't necessarily mean they slept!

In the meantime, Ava was wide awake with her brother Caedmon, but she sure was quiet in her stroller. Ava is three months older than her younger brother.

After the polar bears, we headed home. It was almost 5pm, and even if the girls weren't tired, their parents were exhausted. Even Casey slept on the way home-- though he wasn't willing to let go of that popcorn!

On the way home from Sea World, we picked up Gene to join us for dinner. All I can say is that I'm so very grateful Gene was with me for the drive home. Despite the peaceful sleepy look of Casey in the photo, Marcie screamed the entire ride home. I'm not sure how Casey slept through it. It was a total repeat of the Automobile Meltdown post from a while ago, only this time we had company in the car. Of course I apologized every 3 minutes or so for her screaming, but I knew the only thing that would calm her would be me holding her-- and we needed to get home to do that. So a special thank you to Gene for (literally) talking me through the situation and helping me hold on to my sanity during the 30 minute ride home!

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