China: Part 6 Shayman Island and Swimming

Finally, the last weekend in China everyone was healthy AND the kids slept through the night!  Dan and I actually  had an hour to ourselves once we put the kids to bed- before this we were passing out with them around 6 or 7 because we usually were up with them at 3 or 4am.  However, we also were sad because we knew in two days we would be throwing them off their schedule again- but at least we would be doing it in our own home with a separate room with toys and not a hotel lobby to run around in :)

Because it was such a nice day we explored Shamian Island- this was actually part of the tour that we missed with our agency the previous week because we were all recovering from being sick. It was a beautiful city and had a Charleston feel to it. We were able to do some shopping, eat lunch outside, and walk around the city. We also attempted to go to the pool but it was SUPER cold. Being from Chicago I figured we could handle it, but we just waded in the kiddy pool and the kids were shivering! Even though we couldn't dive in they still had a lot of fun splashing around- especially Ben! He had a blast and it's so cute to see him playing with his brothers.  Each day on our trip he got more and more comfortable even though he was super shy around almost everyone else. He's got a very silly personality and loves to play, be tickled, chase after Jake, and yelling "Cole!" (Probably because he heard all of us yelling Cole's name haha)  I love that we were able to document all these "firsts" with Ben.  It was so fun getting to know him in China :)


China Part 5: Boat Tour, Zoo, & Consulate Appointment

Sadly, something I REALLY was praying wouldn't happen this trip happened .... Jake got the stomach bug right after our boat tour.  :/  At first I thought it was something he ate but then Dan got it, and Larry got it, and I eventually got it.  It was pretty awful- everything you can imagine for 5 sick people in a hotel room sharing a bathroom and bed.  Thankfully we survived but that definitely put a damper on the trip.  I can be SO thankful however that Cole and Ben both stayed healthy! So there is some silver lining to that situation :) 

Day 2 of Ben's sputum test actually went better than expected! It only took them about 5ish minutes to get the sample then we were done.   That same day we were supposed to go to an island to do some shopping but decided to stay back and get some rest especially with Jake being sick.  Like I mentioned earlier we went on a boat tour and it was so fun! Ben loved feeling the wind when we went on the deck and it was so fun to watch him and Jake get excited when we went under a tunnel. There was also a lady who juggled and spun a basketball and even let the kids have a turn at spinning it on their finger! Larry stayed back with Cole since we wouldn't get back until later- we were so thankful for him being our "Cole sitter" pretty much the whole time! 

We also visited another zoo with our Lifeline group and the kids had a blast. Cole is obsessed with all animals ESPECIALLY feeding the giraffes (there are some super fun pictures of that below!) and Ben was fascinated with the tigers and hippo! He never wanted to leave one animal and move onto the next! I was trying to explain to him that there were more animals ahead - after being there for about a half an hour he started to understand a little bit more how the zoo works :)

And the last three pictures are from our consulate appointment which is essentially the last of our paperwork!  We received news at the US consulate that we probably could get Ben's visa early, but after researching flights we realized it would cost about 3,000 extra dollars to leave early :/  We were pretty bummed because we were VERY ready to be home, however the weather was beautiful so we stayed and toured around a bit- you'll see those pictures next :)