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.

Monday, June 30, 2008

June 23-30: "China" playgroup and caterpillars

June 23: We had a fantastic time at yet another nearby spray park. This time we met a bunch of other families who have also adopted from China. The thing I love about spray parks is that Maya can crawl around and the kids can run around and I don't have to worry about anyone drowning:). After getting wet the kids like to "sunbathe" on the warm pavement to dry off. This park had a nice sandbox (or as Vivi calls it, a "beach") where Tonito confiscated someone's abandoned bulldozer and scooped and dumper to his heart's content. Tonito was oblivious that he was the only boy in the playgroup- most families who have adopted from China have little girls, so I will have to work on getting him some wrestling buddies! At this age it doesn't matter- he just played and played until it was time to go home.

June 28: We had such a fun time taking the kids on a nature hike by a nearby creek and nature center!! When I was growing up in Minnesota we lived across the street from a huge forest preserve and Hyland Lake and also close to the bike trails to Bush Lake Beach. I remember taking walks all the time on the trails and visiting nature centers, etc. We also had a smaller pond directly across the street from our house. We would try to "stock" the pond with fish and frogs from the big lake by making my mom and dad carry them in huge buckets the water through the forest and then releasing them in our pond (I guess we didn't think the frogs could just hop back) . Anyway, one time we caught a ton of frogs from Bush Lake Beach and had them in a big buckets in our car with just a screen laid over the top. We had to stop for ice cream on the way home, and left them in the car. When we came back to the car (of course!) they had escaped from the bucket and were all over the car, and unfortunately some had succumbed to the heat (think frog jerky) and others were really hyper and hard to re-catch. Poor froggies! We did let the survivors go in our pond and I think we hoped the tadpoles we caught the next spring were theirs:).

Anyway, on this hike we found colonies of fuzzy caterpillars on all the oak trees in this one area of the forest. At first the kids were scared, but once Tonio and I picked some up and let them crawl on our arms, they LOVED it!! There were hundreds of them just hanging out- weird.

The last picture here is of Vivi: she is has a hard time going to bed when she knows we are awake. At night, she is very, very quiet, but gets out of bed and watches us (from the upstairs hallway you can look down into the family room). Sometimes we hear her and send her back to bed, sometimes we don't know she's there until we go up to bed, and we find her sleeping on the floor in the hallway. This is a real picture of where I found her the other day- I had been cooking in the kitchen and she was supposed to be sleeping. How did she not fall!?

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