Thursday, October 18, 2012

Four Months Later...

Our life changed forever four months ago today.  On June 18th we met a sweet, scared, tiny little boy that was in complete shock.  He is still just as sweet but today he isn't scared of anything!

We have done so much in the past four months.  Probably too much, but hindsight is always 20/20.  We had company at our house from the day we got home from China in early July until early September, save a few days here and there.  It was great to see everyone and watch Cooper get to know his new family; however, it has been so nice to get in our own routine.  We have done quite a bit of traveling in our short time home.  

Uncle Cam & Cousin Kate in Estes Park, CO

We were able to take Coop to see his first baseball game in Denver.  We were lucky enough to see our San Francisco Giants win!

My Mom, sister Christy, niece Kayla and her husband Nick came for a week in late August to visit.  It was great for Cooper to be able to bond with them and for them to get to know the newest addition to the family. 

In late September, we went to Jodee's (Ryan's sister), wedding in Pacific City, Oregon, for five days.  Ryan's entire family was there!  Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, parents, and family friends.   We had such a wonderful time and Cooper loved being the hit of the show.  He was an absolute monster on the plane ride to Oregon, but was great on the ride home.

Newly Married Aunt Jodee & Uncle Casey

In early October, we drove to Omaha, Nebraska, to visit our niece, Kayla, and her husband Nick.  Nick is in the Air Force and they are stationed at Offut Air Force Base.  We enjoyed the nine hour car ride through eastern Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska, and Cooper gave us play-by-play as he watched the fields and animals along the way.  We were pleasantly surprised with Omaha - it turned out much different than expected.  We found some cool local restaurants, had some great meals, and had time to explore the Farmer's Market and the Omaha Zoo.  The zoo was amazing!  We also spent some time with friends who used to live in Colorado. They took us to a great pumpkin patch near Bellevue, Nebraska where we took some great "pumpkin photos" and Cooper experienced his first tractor ride.  We are definitely looking forward to visiting Omaha again.  Cooper loves his cousin, Kayla!  The ride home to Colorado was long and Cooper wasn't quiet for more than two minutes the whole NINE hours.  Not crying or whimpering, just giving his narrative from the back seat - his version of talking!  We thought that if we turned on a movie he might quiet down for a bit.  No - oh no, that made him so excited he screamed at the screen!  He is so very dramatic!

Kayla & Coop at the Omaha Zoo

Last week we had an appointment at the Denver Children's Hospital with Cooper's surgeon.  The good news is that Cooper has put on five pounds and grown two full inches in four months.  He now is actually on a U.S. growth chart!  The doctor said he was pleasantly surprised at Cooper's progress and that he has done better than he ever expected.  That being said, Cooper is still not big enough for surgery.  The doctor was very frank with us and used phrases like, "this is a very big deal," and "this is a potentially life-threatening surgery."  We agreed that we should wait and decided that after tax season will be a good time to do the surgery - probably next May.  We found out more details on the recovery as well.  Cooper will be in the hospital for a minimum of two weeks and he will go straight from surgery to the intensive care unit (ICU), where he will be placed on a ventilator.  The surgeon explained that Cooper may need more than one surgery, depending on how much he can "close him up" during the first procedure.  Once he gets released from the hospital it will be a 10-12 week recovery at home.  We left the appointment scared to death but thankful that the doctor was so honest with us.  We now know what we are dealing with so we can at least try to prepare for May.
 We have lots planned in the upcoming months.  Tomorrow Cooper gets to celebrate his Daddy's birthday and believe me we have so much to celebrate!  We are planning our annual trip Phoenix, Arizona for Thanksgiving to see Ryan's best friend, Ben, and his family.  This will be our fifth trip to Phoenix for Thanksgiving.  We can't wait for Cooper to meet them!  Two days ago Ryan emailed me from work and asked, "If you HAD to fly home from Hawaii, would you rather do it during the day or night?"  What??  Hawaii???  Ryan has a work meeting he has been asked to attend in Honolulu.  We did some research and discovered that we could get me a ticket using miles (China miles!) and Cooper will fly for free since he is still under two years old.  We will be staying at the Hale Koa on Waikiki.  It is the DoD hotel right on the beach!  I am so excited.  We have never been to Hawaii! 

We have also started the process looking for daycare for Cooper during tax season (Jan-Apr).  We are weighing all the options and have found local, private places, and we are also considering using the child care on Peterson Air Force Base where Ryan works.  We have our first interview tonight.  We shall see what happens!

I ask myself on a daily basis, how did I get so lucky?  God is good.  That's the only answer!  He knew the perfect little boy our family needed.  He made us wait six years - a looooong time!  Nothing has ever been more worth the wait!  Thank you to everyone who has helped us along this journey.  Here's a little bit about Cooper you may not already know:

He loves to dance!
He loves to eat!
He loves to make people smile!

He loves to play in the dirt and rocks
He smiles all of the time
He has about 10 words - Baby, Papa, Bye, Dog (every animal is a dog), Mama, Dada, Uh-oh, Snack... and a few more when he makes them up.
He understands absolutely everything we say
He loves to eat
He makes us laugh
His favorite foods are broccoli, sweet potatoes, mac & cheese, pb & j, french fries, veggie fries, and apples

He climbs on everything
He loves the bath
He is sooo funny
His favorite toy is... our shoes!
and, he loves to eat!

Papa Jim and Cooper at the Beach

Great Grandma, Grizzy and Coop in Oregon

Cooper's New Buddy

Omaha Zoo

Pumpkin Patch - Super Heavy Pumpkin!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Five Weeks Home!

Ahhh, the fresh Wyoming air!
We have been home now for five weeks!  The time has flown by, and we have done so much it feels like much longer.  Cooper is doing amazing in his new digs.  He has met his grandparents, his great-grandma, cousins, aunts, uncles, and his dogs.  He loves Tucker (the English Bulldog) and George (the Great Dane) and likes to let everyone in the room know when he "spots" them.  "DAT! DAT! DAT!" he will yell to get everyone's attention, and then point at the dog.  He does that with a lot of things, but he is most excited when a new dog enters the picture.  I call him our little "dog spotter."  He has started helping me feed them by taking the bowl of food and putting it on the ground, then backing away!

Cooper and George
Cooper and George
He is starting to play with toys a little more and really enjoys dragging everything from his room into the living room to be on display.  He also really likes shoes, and every night when I come home, there are at least two of my shoes in the living room. We have done one long trip in the car - we went to Montana/Wyoming to visit family a few weeks ago.  Cooper did great and fussed about the same amount I would if I was strapped into the back seat for that long.

He also has learned a few words, including "more" which means "more" and "nose," interchangeably;  he says the word "bubble" a lot - that one seems easy for him to say; and he says "dada."  Ronda and Aunt Kearsley have worked on some sign language with him, so he can sign "please," "thank-you," "more," "water," and he is working on "up."  Genius!

Bath time!
Bath time!
We have come a long way in the bath tub from that first bath in China.  Now he claws and scratches to get IN the bathtub.  He loves bath time and still loves the water!

Before we left for China, we made appointments with our Pediatrician and the surgeon at Denver Children's Hospital, so when we got home to Colorado, those were two of the first things we did.  First, at the pediatrician's office, we learned that he was "normal" for a kid his age in both head circumference and height, but didn't even make the weight chart.  As we expected, the surgeon echoed our pediatrician by telling us that we wouldn't be able to have his stomach repaired until he put on some weight.  The surgeon estimated 6-12 months.  We made an appointment to meet with him in October to see what progress has been made. Last week (one-month home) we went back to the pediatrician and learned that Cooper had gained 3 pounds and grew one inch!  In a month!  We may surprise the surgeon in October if he keeps up that growth!

Cooper eats like a kid on a mission.  He loves pasta, oatmeal, apple sauce, veggie straws, and dried apples.  Sometimes we find a dumpling as an appetizer at a restaurant and when he tastes them he does a little wiggle dance... so he still likes dumplings too!  We have had such good luck with his diet, and Ronda does an amazing job of keeping him eating foods that give him the best calories possible.

Let's see, can he work a room?  Umm, yes!  We have had a few occasions like family get togethers and one event at CCAI where he is in a crowd and initially is taken aback by the number of people.  However, that shyness quickly fades and he starts to sparkle... and introduce himself to everyone.  He likes to wave and play jokes on people, like hey - want to shake my hand?  Too slow buddy!  He also thinks that it is funny to call himself "dada," but he will point at me sometimes and say it too.  That's good enough for me at this point.
Strike a pose!

Do we think that his development is amazing?  Yes!  But we aren't experts.  We look forward to getting his surgery done and can't wait for him to start saying a few more words, but most of all we are sooooo happy to be at home with our little guy.  He's the best and we are both in love with him!

Last week we got an email from our agency telling us that there are financial savings to repeating the adoption process within a year... hmmmmmmmmmm..... more to follow on that.

Until next time, Ryan.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July

Cooper's California Family

Today we are celebrating the 4th in the park with family in Escondido, CA. Cooper is having a great time with family and friends, and he loves watching the kids run around and play in the grass. We are ready for the fireworks. Tomorrow we leave California for Colorado, where we will start the next chapter!

Much love to all those in Cali, and get ready Colorado, Cooper is coming!

Until next time, Ryan.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Back in the USA!

Ronda, Cooper, and Grizzy Outside Hong Kong Airport

This morning (Monday), we checked out of our hotel in Hong Kong and caught the bus for the airport at 8:00. We arrived at the United counter and stood in line for about 20 minutes before we checked in all of our luggage and crossed our fingers that we would see it again in the USA. We had breakfast at McDonald's and then made way for our gate. After spilling coffee on Cooper while riding the escalator, and having our water taken from us prior to boarding (apparently they won't let you purchase a bottle of water in the airport and take it on the plane with you in Hong Kong), we boarded and luckily got Cooper his bottle prior to take off. We were really trying to avoid being "those parents" with a cranky 17 month old on a long flight.

Cooper getting some Z's on the plane home

He fell asleep and we had a few naps during the fight. We made it to San Francisco with no delays and passed through immigration very smoothly. The brown envelope that the US consulate in Guangzhou prepared was exactly what the officer needed to process his immigrant status. We passed through, and Cooper was officially a US citizen.

We picked up our bags and were met by a customs inspection beagle (scent dog) who decided that the pork buns and dumplings that we had brought for Cooper's lunch were not allowed in the USA, so we had to throw them out. We cleared customs, re-checked our bags, cleared security, and made it to the gate for our final leg to San Diego.

In San Diego, we picked up the rental car and Ronda's brother and sister, Joel and Christy, were waiting with a car seat for Cooper. We loaded the car with all the luggage, installed the car seat, and headed north for Escondido. We arrived at Ronda's brother, Cameron's house at around 2:30. Around 4:30, Joel, his wife Martha, and Christy arrived with Cooper's cousin, Maya! The two played, although neither really knew who each other were... But it was awesome to see them together. It was something we had talked about for a long time. Cooper also got to meet his Grandma Letha, who he kept smiling and talking to all night while she tried to get him to sit still to take a photo. Cameron's amazing wife, Barb, made dinner for everyone and we sat and ate and talked, really still dizzy from the traveling we had done the previous 30 hours.

Cooper playing with his cousin (not pictured)

Cooper got a bath and bottle and went to bed, and we did some laundry. Tomorrow we are going to the beach for his first ocean visit, and Wednesday we are planning to celebrate the 4th of July for the first time with our son.

We are so blessed to have such great families and friends, and we keep thinking about all the amazing friends we have made along this journey to Cooper. If you are reading this, we are thinking of you, and hope you have made it home to your families and are relishing the time with your newest family members with your loved ones like we are.

Until next time, Ryan.

Location:San Diego, CA

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Hong Kong Day 2

We had a very full day in Hong Kong. We left the hotel at 8:30 to have breakfast at McDonalds. The breakfast here at the hotel cost $30 a person so we opted for something a tad bit more reasonably priced. The breakfast sandwiches tasted just like home and Cooper liked everything. After, we decided to brave the subway and it actually ended up to be quite easy. We took it to a large bus station in HK then boarded a bus for Stanley Market. The ride on the double decker bus was on a very crazy road and it took us about 30 minutes to get there. HK is another very large city with 9 million people.

We walked around the market for a couple hours. It was enjoyable but kind of hard to maneuver with a stroller. We had lunch at an Italian restaurant along the oceanfront and it was delicious. When it was time to leave the market we decided to take a taxi to our next destination, Nan Lian Garden. It took about 45 minutes to get there and Cooper was a mess the entire ride. With that being said I was trying to hide my camera from him and I forgot it in the taxi. Once I realized what I had done I got so upset. The good news is that we have backed up all of our pictures every night and I only lost the pictures from today. The bad news is I'm out my brand new camera. At the garden we found a man who works there who spoke excellent english and told him what happened. We were hoping that we could somehow contact the taxi company and have the driver return. The man called the police and they came and we had to file a police report about our missing camera. Ryan remembered the drivers name but didn't remember his number. There are so many taxi drivers here that unless the driver turns the camera in to lost and found we are out our camera. I hate when I do things like this!

After the meeting with the police we visited the garden. It is a beautiful place and is attached to a nunnery. We toured the grounds and found our way to another subway station. To get back to our hotel we had to switch trains three times. Cooper did great. He loves to people watch and people love to stare at us wondering what we are doing with a Chinese baby. We get quite a few questions but mostly just odd looks.

Back at the hotel we decided to use up some more of Cooper's endless energy at the pool. When he saw the water he got so excited! We are super thrilled that he likes the water. We stayed in the pool until he started to shiver. At that point we thought we should get him in a warm tub and ready for bed. We tried to keep him up as long as possible because it would be nice if he would sleep on the plane tomorrow.

This is our last post from Asia. We fly from here to San Francisco tomorrow morning. It is a 12 hour flight. I have no idea what we are going to do with a squirmy little 17 month old boy on a plane for 12 hours. I feel sorry for the people around us! From San Francisco we fly to San Diego. We are staying there for a few days to visit my family. The adventure continues!


Two of Cooper's Favorite Things... Steam Buns and Pork Dumplings

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Hong Kong

Cooper enjoying his book at dinner

This morning we had our last breakfast in China at our hotel in Guangzhou and at 10:00, along with three other families, we boarded a van for Hong Kong. HK is a part of China but it is a special Economic Zone with its own legal system, currency, and the people of HK have their own passports. We had to go through the China border and show all of our documents and then a few yards later we had to go through the HK border and show all our documents again. Th border crossing took about 30 minutes and the entire trip was about two and a half hours. The vans were very nice and the air conditioning was excellent. They drive on the "other" side of the road in Hong Kong, so the van driver was on the right side of the van. It took some getting used to, and then all of a sudden, I looked up and we were on the wrong side of the road. I missed the crossover, and I've always wondered how that works. Ronda and I are both excited to he back to the US where we have car seats! Cooper sat on our laps, and took a nap in the baby carrier on Ronda's chest in the back of the van. A car seat would have been much easier, not to mention safer.

Ummm, wrong side?

We arrived at our hotel in Hong Kong around 1:00 and checked in. We had to change some money, because they use the Hong Kong Dollar and not the Chinese Yuan. I had some Chinese money left, so I tried to change it, but they only accept 50's and 100's. I only had one 100 and a bunch of 10's and 5's. So I was stuck with 80¥. Then I realized it's not that big of a deal since its only about 12 US dollars. Since we arrived before check-in, some of our group's rooms weren't ready yet. They gave the bellman their check-in luggage and brought their carry-ons to our room. Then three of the families, including ourselves, decided to take the hotel shuttle to the local shopping area recommended by the concierge.

Outlet shopping near the hotel

We are staying at the Marriott next to the airport. While it is going to be very easy to catch our flight on Monday morning, it really isn't that close to much else. So I was a little skeptical about what we were going to find at this "shopping area." Much to my surprise it was a huge outlet mall with a gondola and several stores we actually recognized. We settled on a Spaghetti restaurant for dinner, and got a table right as a huge storm was blowing in lots of rain. The food was very good, and everyone was excited about finding a place to eat that they really enjoyed!

Ronda and Grizzy at dinner

After dinner, we split up and two of the families (yes, us) decided to take the gondola. Ronda had read about a huge Buddha statue in Hong Kong and we saw some photos of the statue around th shopping mall. So, after some conversing with the gondola operators and ticket salespeople, we figured out that the gondola actually takes you over the bay and to the island where the Buddha statue is located.

Gondola ride!

Family photo on the gondola

It was still windy and a little rainy when we boarded the gondola, but halfway over the bay and up the mountain, the clouds cleared and blue sky appeared. It was really beautiful aand the sights were breathtaking! After about 20 minutes, we finally sighted the huge statue. It was so cool. We arrived at the end of the gondola about five minutes later and started walking towards the statue. The statue was closed and the last gondola left about 45 minutes after we got there, so we hurried to see as much as we could during our short time. It was one of the coolest things we have done on the trip so far! It is a Buddhist monastery and temple, and there are brahma bulls walking around, and sleeping dogs all over. Cooper really liked the animals. Since it is at the top of a mountain on the coast, the wind was whipping, and the flags were really flapping. We saw as much as we could, and then got back on the gondola. We got back to the bottom and took the hotel shuttle back to the airport hotel.

The statue

The flags we really flapping!

Bull lounge

We have one full day left here and we plan to make it count. We are planning to go to the Stanley Market tomorrow as well as a popular Asian garden in the center of Hong Kong. We may even attempt the metro! We leave here on Monday morning at 11:00. One more day and we are going to make it count!

Until next time, Ryan.


Friday, June 29, 2012

Last Day in Guangzhou

Today is our last night in mainland China. Tomorrow we take a three hour van ride to Hong Kong. That means we are almost home!

We had a very relaxed morning until 10:30am when we met in the garden for group pictures. We started by taking pictures of each individual family and then we did the whole group and then a picture of just the children. Everything was great until we put the babies together for their picture. Cooper has his first public meltdown! For some reason he was not happy and as you will see in the picture he is not a pretty crier! His entire face turns red. After the photo shoot I picked him up and he continued to sob so I took him to the room and gave him a bottle followed by a three hour nap. Our plan for the day was for the three of us to visit the fabric market. I volunteered to stay at the hotel with Cooper. Ryan was a good son and took his mom to buy some fabric. They came back and she had spent $4.00! Wow big spender!

While Cooper was still sleeping Ryan and I decided to go to the Guangzhou Museum. It is located in the big park we visited a few days ago. We had to hike up a huge hill to get there. I cannot stress enough how hot it is here. I thought I was going to die. This park is amazing though and after the museum we walked back to the hotel through the park. I would really love to visit this city in either the spring or fall.

At 4:00pm we had a meeting to pick up our child's visas and to say goodbye to the first family who left. We got Cooper's passport back with his US Visa allowing him to enter the United States. We also got a large brown envelope that has three seals on it and is also sealed in a plastic bag to give to US Immigration. We were given strict rules to not open the brown envelope or we will ave to go through these past two weeks again! The Immigration officer in San Francisco will know what to do with it.

We had heard about a few Irish pubs in the area so we joined another family and caught a cab to check on of them out. It was delicious! I wish we would have found this place sooner because we probably would have eaten every meal there.

We have almost everything packed. Check out is at 10:00am tomorrow morning so this is our last post from China! ~Ronda


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Consulate Appointment

On the Bus to the Consulate!

Today was the day we've been waiting for for a really long time!!! Today we met with the consular officer and took the oath for Cooper to become an American citizen! We started the day with another breakfast at our hotel, and then met our group in the hotel lobby at 9:00 to board the bus for the US Consulate in Guangzhou. Everyone dressed up a little bit for the day, and lots of people wore their red, white, and blue for the occasion. Cooper, Ronda, and I wore our coordinating flag colors like everyone else. We took some photos in the hotel lobby and then got on the bus.

Ready for the Consulate Appointment!

We arrived at the consulate and bypassed the lines of people waiting to get their US visas in order to travel to the United States. We were led to the fourth floor, where we had to leave our strollers, cameras, phones, and iPads and go through a metal detector. Once past the security check, we were led into a waiting room where we found a few other couple who were also waiting to meet with the consular officer, but they weren't part of our group. Once we were all seated, a woman (from behind a bulletproof window) introduced herself and explained how the process would work. Then she administered the "oath," which turned out to be more of a promise that we hadn't lied about anything we put in our adoption paperwork, and less like a citizenship oath. Then they started calling names, and Ronda, Cooper, and I were the last ones called. We approached the counter, handed the lady behind the glass our paperwork, and after two minutes of pap shuffling, she gave us a few forms back and that was it. Not a lot excitement for this much fanfare. Then we followed our group back past security, got our phones and cameras, and went back to the lobby, where we took some pictures withe the consulate sign and the flag. We got back to the hotel by 11:30. The morning went quick.

Lines to get US visas outside the Consulate

Appointment Complete!

We then decided to meet with some other families at the pool to hang out in the afternoon. We put Cooper down for a nap (Grizzy volunteered again to watch him) and got some quick takeout from Starbucks and McDonald's, and went to the hotel pool. We swam for about an hour, and then went back to the room and got Cooper and Grizzy and went back to the pool. Cooper loved the water. He swam, and swam, and swam!! He wore his new trunks that barely fit, and his little red swimming shirt to cover his belly. But he loved the pool. We stayed there for a couple more hours, just swimming and hanging out with our new friends.

Ronda and Cooper at the Hotel Pool

We have really got to know some of the families really well, and we hope to stay in close contact once we part ways in a few days. It has been so awesome watching all of these kids get better and better acquainted with their parents and their surroundings over the past week. The difference from last week in all of these kids is night and day. It has been great to have other families that are going through the same sort of issues that we have, to talk to and bounce ideas back and forth, and we have really grown into one big family over the past 14 days!

We met our friends for dinner at a restaurant in our hotel called "Food Street" which is an attempt to capture Chinese street food favors in a large, loud restaurant setting. They got the large and loud part right, and it was a good thing that the restaurant was loud before we got there. We showed up with about 22 people for dinner and found two big tables in the back. We laughed, talked, and ate some Chinese food, and the kids were overall fairly happy in their kiddy seats. One of the couples ordered a Peking Duck for dinner. When they asked the waitress for the duck, she said that it came in two courses, and that would be too much for them to eat alone. So they agreed to only one course. When the duck came out, it looked spectacular, and they did a nice presentation. Then the waitress began to carve it and she only carved off the skin! That's the first course, just the skin. I guess the rest of the duck is the second course, and most people have it prepared in another dish once the skin has been removed. It was funny to watch, and the couple laughed about it, but I'm sure they went to McDonald's after the meal was over, because there was lots of leftover duck skin!

Carving the Peking Duck!

The Food Street Chefs

How Much is that Ducky in the Window?

We finished dinner and came back to the room, gave Cooper a bath, a bottle, and he went right to sleep. Very tired from a big day! I am so excited that he likes the water, and I can't wait to get him in the lake! Tomorrow we will take our group photo and then we are planning a trip to a fabric market for Grizzy. In the afternoon we will get Cooper's passport back with his US visa in it. Once we land in San Francisco, he will automatically become a US citizen, and we can apply for his new, blue US passport. We will leave Guangzhou on Saturday morning in a bus destined for Hong Kong. Our trip is nearing its end, but we have a few more exciting days ahead of us!

Until next time, Ryan.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pearl Market, Pet Market and Shamian Island

First I want to say that my heart is breaking for my city that I love. We have been trying to stay up to date with the fire. It is so very sad. I am sending my prayers.

Cooper at Breakfast

Today was a free day. Our guides organized a shopping trip for us so we left the hotel at 11:00am to head off to the Pearl Market. It is a six story shopping mall filled with pearls and any other kind of bead or stone imaginable. We went to a store on the top floor where we got a lesson on pearls. There are many classes of pearls and the price ranges depending on the quality of the pearl. I've read about this market before and knew I wanted to purchase a strand. My hope is to someday give them to Cooper's wife. I decided on a high quality stand (so they say) and they string them right there and add a beautiful clasp. I think they are beautiful and I'm very happy with my purchase.

Pearl Market

Strands of Pearls for Sale

We left the shopping mall to walk to the famous Shamian Island. Most all adopting families used to stay at The White Swan Hotel which is located on the island but it is now closed for renovations. The quaint island has many Western influences. We walked from the Pearl Market to get to the island. We passed a pet market and a spice market. They are two things that would never pass strict American health and safety codes but were quite interesting to see. Walking to the island I started to feel very dizzy and sick to my stomach. We decided to have lunch first at a restaurant called Lucy's. It is a popular eating establishment for adopting families because they serve American food. Before we got to the restaurant it started to downpour. The rain does not cool anything off here. It just makes it more humid. Have I mentioned its very hot and humid here? At the restaurant I started to feel worse so unfortunately we had to cut our time on the island short. I'm pretty sure I had heat exhaustion. We took a taxi back to our hotel and I slept all afternoon. We were in the taxi about 20 minutes and it only cost about $4.00!

Lizards on a Stick! Yummy!

Fish for Sale at the Pet Market

Spices on Wholesale

Ryan, Grizzy, and Cooper Cruising Through the Market

Ryan and Grizzy spent the afternoon entertaining Cooper while I slept. He is such a smart little guy. I really can't wait for everyone to meet him. Tomorrow is the day we have been waiting for, our US Consulate appointment. ~Ronda