Life with 4 kids 6 and under. Our trip to pick up Tonito in China is: mid-March 2008 through April 12. Our trips to pick up Ricky in Ethiopia are in June and August of 2010.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Our First Week Home!

We had a very fun first week at home!!

Sunday: Grandma and Grandpa came over and Tia Didi to play! We hardly noticed the suitcases strewn around the house- in fact if you squint your eyes, you can practice mountain climbing reminiscing the hike by Heavenly Lake. Hey, we unpacked enough to hand out some souvenirs!:)

Monday: My first day alone with 3 kids went better than I expected, but a lot of work..especially after having slept only 3 hours (Vivi was up crying, who then woke up Maya). Tonito doesn't believe in jet-lag, and he slept from 8pm until 10am. We went to the park today by our house!!! Although he is a little wobbly at climbing, Tonito LOVES parks. He is working on balance, and it is hard for him to step up onto a different level. On the bouncy bridge, he can only cross it scooting on his bottom, but always with a smile!!

The laundry has been moved out of the suitcases and onto piles on the floor, which are fun to jump in (think autumn leaf piles).

Tuesday: Today we went to our first play group! Vivi had a couple of girls her age to have fun with, but the little boy Tonito's age wasn't here today. Nonetheless there were lots of toys and Tonito enjoyed discovering them! After the playdate Tonito was kind-of quiet. He went down for his nap really well, but then when he got up to go potty he seemed sad. When I put him back in his bed he was silently crying:(. I asked him "niao niao ma?- potty? He shook his head no. Shui?- water? But he said no. My short list of vital Chinese was dwindling. I asked him "nai nai?" (grandma, his name for his foster mom) and he shook his head yes with tears running down his face:(. Then I asked him "ge ge?" (older brother) and he also shook his head yes. He misses his foster family. I rocked him to sleep and kept repeating "wo ai ni"= I love you. When he woke up he was his happy self, but maybe a little more huggy. It is so sad to see someone grieve, especially when there is nothing you can say or do to alleviate it. I am sure he misses them, his house, his food, and language so much!!!

Wednesday: Today Vivi had school, and so Tonito came in to say hi to the wonderful teachers. He walked right into the classroom, like he knew he belonged in school and started playing with the other kids and toys with no hesitation!! The other family from Vivi's preschool who also just got home with their 3 year old daughter from China, was also visiting. How fun would that be to get the four 3 year olds together to play!! Both Ming and Tonito were sad to leave this fun classroom, and couldn't understand why their siblings got to stay (needless to say I won't bring him up there next week when I drop off Vivi!). So instead of getting to go to preschool and play for 2 hours, Tonito got to come with Maya and I to the grocery store and buy badly needed food! I bought so much fruit and vegetables, chicken, milk, yogurt- and I plan on pumping up Tonito's diet with as much healthy food as I can to build his muscles and bones, and just make him stronger. He is so teeny tiny, and you can tell he gets tired very easily. Not for long!:) This is summertime!!! Time to play outside all day!! And we did- after naptime we played outside until Tonio got home at almost 7pm: basketballs, cars, chalk, soccer, t-ball, you name it, Tonito found it in our garage and dragged it out to play. He and Vivi were TIRED going to bed tonight!

We moved the piles of laundry to the basement (out of sight, out of mind). I broke down and did a couple of loads since Vivi and I were out of socks!

Thursday: In the morning, we visited Grandma and Grandpa's house. Grandma was at work, and Grandpa got to watch all 3 kids BY HIMSELF while Mommy when to the clothing resale. I bought some clothes for Tonito, Maya, and their cousin Iñaki, but most of it was for Vivi. She had been using 24 months and 2T the last two summers (though towards the end of the summer her t-shirts were becoming midriffs!). When packing for China I realized she had NOTHING that fit her! We skipped 3T's altogether and I found a lot of cute 4Ts for the summer. Just a plug for clothing resales- cheaper prices, on cute clothes, people (sellers) get to make money, the school holding the sale takes a percentage (easy fundraiser!) and its way better for the environment (cutting consumerism!).

In the afternoon, we came back to our house with Grandma and Grandpa so they could babysit at night for our Chinese class. Yes, we are still taking the class, and no, we are not very good students. I am going to retake Chinese I this summer and maybe the second or third time around something will sink in!! We apparently support the "critical age theory" that it is harder to learn languages post-puberty:).

Friday: It is gorgeous weather out, so we took Tonito for his first of many walks to our public library. The kids section has a lot of puzzles, puppets, and other toys out, in addition to endless books. He doesn't really have an interest in books, and I wonder if he has ever been read to? When I try to read to him on the couch, he would rather do anything else... this is something we will be working on this summer! We love to read, and it is so crucial to him learning vocab and improving his language(in English and Spanish...and Chinese). At least he had a fun experience at the library playing with the puzzles!

After the library we walked over to the park, which he loved! It is much bigger than the one near our house, and this one has swings, etc. He is slowly gaining more confidence and trying to do "harder" things like climbing up a ladder instead of the stairs. For the first time I walked across the bridge (you know the ones that move and bounce when you walk? Earlier this week he would sit down and scoot across!:).

They were so tired after all the playing, so the naps lasted until around 4pm, when we headed outside again. We played until papi came home- with chalk, basketballs, collecting sticks. I love summer!! This time at the park, Tonito could climb up the ladder to reach the tall slide, and went slowly, slowy walking across the bridge!!! I was so proud of him- I can't believe he learned how to do that in less than 1 week? His large motor skills are visibly improving every day. Today he also walked up and down a step without holding onto anything- it is incredible to witness this improvement developing in front of me. He is doing so well!!! We have virtually no issues with hitting, he has had no temper tantrums since we've come home, and every day he seems to understand more. Tonito- you are amazing!!!

Saturday: Tonito and Vivi went to storytime with Tonio! Maya and I met them there after Maya woke up from her nap:). It was fun to introduce Tonito to the librarians, who knew we were adopting from China and were excited to meet him. (Vivi is starstruck by one of her favorite librarians- she just stares in awe, frozen whenever she see her. When she asked Vivi where she had been, Vivi could just barel answer "China," before shyly turning away).

In the afternoon I went to visit some good friends from college and Tonio got to play with the 3 kids! It was his first time alone with all 3, and he handled it fabulously! Tonito is definitely a "papi's boy," and his face lights up when Tonio walks in the room as he screams "baba" and flies into Tonio's arms. He beams with pride when Tonio carries him around and wants everyone to see that he is in papi's arms. He loves his papi so much!!!

Sunday: Today the kids were outside literally from when they woke up until they went to sleep (except for a minor hiatus during naps). They jumped on the trampoline (Tonito tries SO hard to jump with both feet leaving the ground!) laughing hysterically at each other, they rode in their little cars and trikes, they bathed the dogs with papi, helped to clean the garage, and visited with Uncle Bob, Auntie Pat, Uncle Tim, Auntie Colleen, awesome driver Tia Mimi (the lightpole is still crooked), Grandma and Grandpa. Nikki, Matt and Ewan came over to meet Tonito and play as well- it is so much fun to play with family and friends!!


Heather said...

Isn't it a joy to see how they blossom when they learn and laugh. Acer is a Baba's boy too. I still get jumps of joy when I come home, but Baba is the main man for Acer.
Acer was really upset the second day we were together and said while sobbing that the orphanage didn't want him. He'd been taken from his foster family and then spent a couple weeks at the orphanage, which was at least familiar, and then put into our arms. For Acer, more important than I love you from us, was I want you - wo yao ni. We still say it and add - forever in English because I don't know it in Mandarin.
So happy to see all the goings on in the family,
Heather BT

Anonymous said...

It's nice to see Tonito grow and adapt every day! He is such a sweetheart. So is Vivi, who has to share toys with someone new! I'm proud of all three grandchildren! Love, Grandma