Wednesday, May 13, 2009

hey ya'll that knows something about something...? Yeah, I'm talkin' to you!

QUESTION for the BTDT folks...

Can you tell me what items you purchased in China? I feel like I should have a plan, a list or something that I need to buy, but my brain just doesn't care about the goods right now....all I want is our girl. So I'd like to try and get a list together of things that make great gifts for grandparents, teachers, her friends, my friends...thoughts?

What are things you bought for what occasion and what do you wish you would have bought more of? Come on, hook a girl up with some suggestions. Please.

8 days to go!!!!


Anonymous said...

squeaky shoes! occasion dresses. a gift for hs graduation.

Stacy said...

Pearls, jade, teapot, traditional dresses in every size, cool piece of Chinese Folk Art (have it framed in my daughter's room - very cool and very cheap- wish I had bought a few more!). The best store in Guangzhou is called "A gift from China". Proceeds benefit orphans and their items are lovely! I bought little egg shaped Chinese Christmas ornaments. I think they were $2/each and have been such a great gift for teachers, sitters, neighbors, hostesses, etc. I bought LOTS of them! Have fun:)

We bought one of those little jars where they hand paint your daughter;s picture on the outside. Ours turned our terrible and it wasn't cheap. Our girl is much prettier than the painting!

Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

I sooo can not wait to hear all the suggestions..
Have fun shopping..
I think 18 gifts is a great idea...
Have fun girly.. I know you have TONS to do..

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

Will be checking out your BTDT list...

Jboo said...

Wishing that I would have bought MORE pearls (necklaces, bracelets, earrings), more shoes for my girl. One mom bought loads of shoes in bigger sizes, I thought she was crazy at the time, but really wish I had done that. You will see the most adorable little girl shoes ever! And also wish I would have bought more folk art or pictures to frame at home. Only 8 days -- so exciting!!

Michele said...

I bought small gifts to give her on her Family Day each year. I bought jade, pearls, silks in all sizes, squeaky shoes (you can take the squeakies out when that noise gets old).
I also bought a little silver bangle bracelet that parents give their children when they are born. I also bought "wedding boxes." They are beautiful mohagony boxes (sort of like jewlery boxes). They are traditionally given by the parents when the girl gets married. I also bought a variety of brightly colored umbrellas for photo props.
I also bought "chop" with their chinese names. Marble etchings are popular too. If you bring pictures of the boys, they can do one with all four kids on one etching. Have fun. The shopping is FUN.

3 Peanuts said...

Pearls for necklaces, bracelets, earrings......they are so reasonable.... Dave got me black pearls too. We did not get a strand for each of the boys to give to their future wife and I was sad so a friend picked up more when she traveled.

I wish Dave had ought some more traditional clothes for CNY's down the road....I also wish he had bought more trinket type gifts for us to give Kate on her Forever Family anniversaries ((dolls, tea sets, silk bags/purses, little things) He bought some but not many.

I heard that you can get sterling silver chopsticks very reasonably priced and I really wanted them. Dave never saw them but I think they would be awesome to have. In fact, if you did see some and brought home an extra set.....I'd send you $$$:)

Tradition is that Mom buys a jade bangle and wears it until daughter's wedding day when she passes it on to her. I got one but rarely wear it.

Oh this is so exciting for you!!!!!


P.S. You look SO cute in the video when you get the 1st look like Elizabeth Hasselback. I know some people don't like her but I think she is really pretty.

JoAnn in NJ said...

We bought pearls, the silver bracelet with the little balls on it, the 100 day jade pendant, her baptism chongsham and some squeaky shoes. I also bought the grannies jade pendants with grandmother engraved in silver. I got the one with Mother and Daughter on it. I bought her Godmother a lavendar jade bracelet with sterling silver and bought every single person in my office a small token. We also got her a chop, a scroll with her adoption date, a vase and a special white silk hankie with blue embroidery from her province (old, blue and Chinese for her wedding), a small hand drum with her zodiac sign, and a tiny tea set in porcelain a tote bag to handcarry all the gifts in and a stroller.

What I wished I bought:
special event outfits in larger sizes, more regular Chinese everyday outfits, and gifts until she reached 18 (but I rationalized that I could order them)
More stuff from her province (Hunan) and more jewelry - the jade was gorgeous and the pearls!

Also, my friend Margie bought enough Christmas ornaments to have a complete Chinese Christmas tree. I ended up ordering a lot after the fact from ebay and China Sprout.

Hope this helps!

Kristine said...

Shoes, more cute shoes. I also would have bought more tea and cloisine chopsticks but we were sick that day and didn't.
I bought silk pillows and a duvet that we LOVE as well as outfits for Annie. Things are not as inexpensive as we would have liked but Shawn bought himself a rolex and I bought lots of pearls because I love them too!! I have photos of Annie watching the ladies string her pearls- she was fascinated.
We also went to the artists section of Beijing on a side trip and I didn't bring enough cash but they had wonderful artwork and "antiques". I bought old posters of advertisements, a shadow puppet to frame and a beautiful watercolour. I wish that I had bought the lotus shoes and childrens boots as well as a beautiful teapot with a silver handle. When we go back someday and that area will be our first destination - it was a suggestion of one of the family's friends who lives there.

Kudo said...

I got her chinese outfits in different sizes for years to come and had them make me a matching dress and a few outfits. There are cuite little purses for a buck that made great gifts. I did all my Christmas shopping and did not need to get a thing come the holidays. If you plan thing right you will only need to get a few suit cases to bring your lute home.

Mya said...

I second what Stacy said! I bought trinket types.. an ornament thingy with her name written inside in the year of the dog among other things. Each province will have some neat stuff especially when on all the tours. There is just so much....if you like it, buy it! I was so overwhelmed, shopping came second. But I wish I had bought more dresses, some of the ones I got are already too small, they grow fast!

skm said...

The most memorable purchase for us was the traditional Mandarin dress for our daughters christening. We were told that white clothing signifies death in China and it was a challenge to find one! Alas, we found a beautiful white dress with red piping in Beijing. It is glad we went all out to find it!
Can't wait to follow your journey!
Sharon in NH

Kristy said...

Cant give you any advice yet but I can tell you that I am so excited for you!! I just can't wait to see Emerson in your arms!
Love, Kristy

Sandra said...

Chinese dresses in every color and every size. Seriously, they are so inexpensive and they will be great to celebrate Chinese holidays.

Jazzie is from Hunan and embroidery is what they are famous for. We bought handkerchiefs with blue embroidery for her wedding day (something blue).


Christmas ornaments. We bought many ornaments to give as gifts for teachers, but also enough to fill a special "China Tree" that we put up every year in honor of Jazzie's and Tahlia's birth country.

Colorful prints that you can frame and hang in her room.

Scrolls. We bought four big ones and they hang in our living room. They make for great conversation pieces and look beautiful.

Jade jewelry.

Hair accesories. They have the cutest little scrunchies for little girls.

What I would suggest is this: if you like it, buy it. I bought a LOT of stuff (jewelry, clothes and stuff for our home), but I still wish I would have bought more.

Sugar Momma said...

I can't believe you are traveling so soon after TA!! That is some quick travel arranging.

We bought both our girls what I think are called scrolls. They are paintings and you will see them in just about every shop in GZ. You can have them paint her Chinese name on them. They generally don't offer to do it but they sure will. My girls love them and they hang in their room. We chose paintings with signifigance to their birth name/location. We also bought the silk traditional dresses and the porcelain figures specific to the province they were each born. Of course, jewlery is a fun buy too. Those little tea sets are precious as well. There is so much to choose from, you won't go wrong. The etchings are around some are better than others. Also, you may want to bring a photo of your three boys that are smiling...lips closed, the ones with open smiles with teeth are a little odd most of the time and have them take Emerson's photo to blend her into the etching. As you know, each time you add another person the shot gets more difficult.

Another thing we did was buy the postcard packs with photos of the province. They are much better than anything we would capture and fun to show your daughter as she ages and starts questioning where she was born. My almost 5 year old loves them.

stephanie and scott said...

I have to agree with everyone has said about what to buy. We also got the granite etching made of our three kids which was neat to see how they did it. (Guanzhou)
You are only a week away! I remember that feeling of excitement!

Mindi said...

Everyone has already given you the suggestions I would. We bought a tea set from her province, a matching set of sterling silver chopsticks to give her & her husband, pearls for her wedding day. We did the marble etching of Lily and her sister, it is beautiful. We got her chinese dresses, jade bracelets, and squeaky shoes galore!! You will fall in love with the squeaky shoes and can take out the squeaker if you want. I wish I would have purchased more shoes in bigger sizes. We bought folk art for our home, as well as her room.

You can buy jade bracelets in bulk to give as gifts. Also, there are these balls that they paint from the inside with pandas, great wall, etc...that make great gifts.

Don't fret too much over what to get...once you get there and see all there is to buy you will be amazed!!

Dawn said...

ONe of the favorite things I did was our guide took us to a seamstress in Guangzhou and I purchased material and had a tailored made jacket that I could wear on Chinese holidays with jeans or dress fits perfectly and was $50 and done in 24 hours!!! I too, bought dresses in every size (they are $8), I LOVE my jade bracelet and I do wear if often...I love the tradition of it!...I also love A Gift from China (on Shamian Island) and found the cutest cards there that everyone I have given them too LOVE!!!.......8 DAYS!!!!!!! Woo Hoo!!!!!!!!

tp said...

So excited that you are leaving soon to get Emerson!
The things that I really like are specific to my kids Provinces. I have rocks (there may be a rock museum) that are specific to their Province. Clayton's was the Crystathium rock and they are very beautiful. Also, try to get a small vial of soil from Province. (Customs may frown on that, but you can pack it with your makeup).
Camille, like Jazzie, is from Hunan, where the embroidery was exquisite. Find something that Emerson's Province is famous for. If you visit Museums or other "attractions" the books in the shops are very well done, they are not too large and have nice photos of highlighted interests.
Gift from China had cute doll sized furniture that was neat too.

A Beautiful Mess said...

For soph I bought a really cute handmade doll fro gift of china, as you know I didn't buy pearls and wished I had...oh I bought both the girls wedding boxes (google it:), jade crosses for first communion etc, pearl ring for sweet sixteen. I did not buy a chop, or do an etching thing. We did buys scrolls, and a few decorative items that are still in the closet. OOOOH the ONLY thing that Chris bought was a jade family ball...and it is actually even displayed in our house (he also bought me some black pearls that I love).


Lisa (Briana's Mom) said...

Let's see...I bought several Chinese outfits for Bri, two chops (one with her name and one with our last name), jade earrings, pearls for both Briana and me, a small teapot, a few cloisonne items (I bought a number of small Christmas ornaments as gifts) and several pair of squeaky shoes. We also got a small etching done of Briana. I know there is probably some more things, but I just can't think of them right now!

Anonymous said...

Don't know what ur plans are, but we went a few days early. My hubby traveled to China alot before our adoption. We were able to do a tour of hutongs, drum tower, summer palace and our favorite was a tea ceremony. Our girls age 11 and8 at the time went too. It was great! We still use the same guy for tour guide let me know if u need the info.
Take old clothes for you and ditch them when u come home(this makes room in suitcase for new stuff) We usually buy another suitcase there b/c they cost @ $15.
Bring socks for baby-the tour bus is cold even though it is hot there and a blanket
we bought little pearl necklaces to give her future friends at a special tea party $5 for 10 or more. We found a rock at both of our childrens' finding spot-that may or may not turn out to be something special-but I am glad we did it.
As soon as you get to GZ go order your "goods" any clothing being made, we had a beautiful painting done of our daughters name with peonies all around it. We did her english name with characters undrneath it. They had to ship it to us b/c I waited too late. Well worth it though.
Sorry this is soooo long we love China and can't wait to go back. Even our older daughters want to go for a visit this summer.
If you need the guides name and info let me know

Colleen said...

We got a pearl necklace to give to Hannah sometime down the road (wedding...?) Pearl bracelet that she is not wearing yet. Silver bracelt with the dangle balls (tee-hee), that I love. She wore it all in china and still does. We got the chop - still sitting in her drawer. Got Chinese dresses to wear on CNY until she is like 12. They were so cheap. We had a beautiful scroll made that we have in our living room. They came to the hotel in Nanchang and we had it made (same with the 2 "special" dresses - one of which you have. We got most of the goodies in Guangzhou. There is SO MUCH shopping. We got alot of the squeeky shoes, and I am glad we got them to have as memorabilia - but they are annoying as hell after a while. Hair stuff.. cute little wallets, lipstick holders, I wish I bought more. If you think of it and you see some of those "makeup bags" that I told you not to buy at the World market, buy me 2! I will give you the $$ - they are like $3.00!

We got an etching of her name with the Chinese characters that we have hanging in her playroom. I wish we got some ornaments.

If you see something you love GET IT. You will be happy you did.

Daisy Dreams said...

I bought the "wedding boxes" for all three girls to give them on their wedding days. I LOVE them. We bought most of the "touristy" type stuff and common adoption trip stuff you read about but a couple of my favorites are the watercolors of the four seasons that I framed and the portraits painted of the girls (they are 11 x 14 or so and just incredible). Also since you'll be in Nanchang and they're known for the porcelain, definitely buy a tea set made in that province.