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.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Learning about Locks on Doors

Vivi locked herself (on accident) into Tonito's bedroom when she was supposed to be taking a nap. I heard screaming, so I ran down and she told me the door was stuck. I tried and tried to explain to her how you have to turn the little knob from up and down to sideways- to no avail. After her hysterical crying subsided, I convinced her that as soon as Papi came home he would be able to "fix it." So I gave her library books under the door, fruit roll-ups, and we held each others' fingers. When she got scared I would tell her to go look out the window and I would go outside and wave to her. She was being so cute- "Mommy, I really miss you. Remember when I wasn't stuck? Remember when you read books to me?" (this was only after 10 minutes, which must have felt like an eternity to a 3 year who expects the entire world to run on her time). When Tonio came home an hour and a half later, he tried the same tricks I tried with the little metal stick tool to poke out the release latch. No luck. Finally we got the bright idea to call kwikset and the 1800 operator told us the tool for these doors was not the one we were using, but rather a skinny flathead screwdriver. We found it within minutes and opened the door and tearstained Vivi came out and gave us a huge hug and said "I promise I not close the door ever never again in the whole wide world" (that is her new phrase). Then she went on to say she didn't like stuck doors, and that her nap was all done and she wanted to go play. We tried to teach her how to unlock the doors and also to never touch the locks again, 2 conflicting messages, neither one she grasped fully. Then we overheard her relate the story to Tonito about being stuck, and candy under the door, and her juice wouldn't fit, and mommy held her fingers, and waving out the window and papi saved her and fixed it. Tonito just looked at her and smiled and said "I Lightning McQueen!" and Vivi said "I a fa-fa!" (fa-fa= giraffe) and they ran off and played.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ode to Drew

Tonito and Drew were obviously really good buddies as they grew up together in Urumqi- and it was amazing to see how they just fell into place when we got back together. We have talked on the phone several times (more the mamas than the boys since Tonito just smiles and nods his head;), I had told Tonito how Drew was with his new mommy and papi, and he lived in another house...but it made it more real to actually see him and play with him. So Sunday morning we drove to the Miller's house and the boys got to play some more. Here they are on the "vroom vroom" as Drew calls it, and you can see from Tonito's face he is in heaven!

Vivi played with the kitties the entire time, saying that she was "protecting" them from Copper the puppy. She begged Kim to let her take one home, and I think Kim would have let her! I made Tonio tell Vivi that we couldn't because I couldn't look into those big brown eyes and say no!

The boys and their boy toys:)...

Look at Maya's smile!!! I never expected Maya to love going fast (Tonio pressed the gas pedal and would run next to her)!!! Vivi wouldn't even go on it because she was too involved with the kitties (and I think she was secretly a little scared), but Maya couldn't stop laughing, and then would scream if Tonio stopped or took her off! We're going to have to watch this little one:).

Tonito still talks about playing with the dump trucks with Drew.

Since we've been home, Tonito is very nostalgic about our weekend with Drew. The other day Tonito was kind-of down, and all of a sudden he started to cry. He never has told us why he is crying, unless it is an owie, mainly because he doesn't have the language to tell us. So this time I said, "What's wrong?"
T: I sad.
Me: What's making you sad?
T: I crying.
Me: Why is Tonito crying?
T: drrro.
We repeated this several times, and then I asked Vivi to come and translate. She asked him "Are you sad for the door?" (it sounded like door) Tonito sadly shook his head. "Are you sad for Drew?" And he shook his head yes. Then Vivi told me "Mommy, Tonito is sad for Drew. (=are you sad because of Drew). He misses Drew." I was so proud of him for being able to communicate his feelings.

A couple of days later we were talking about China and I was trying to see if he could remember anything. I asked him if he took a bath in China, and he said yes. I asked if the bath was warm or cold, and he said cold. And then I asked if his nai nai (foster mom) bathed him or his aiyi (auntie- orphanage worker) and he said his nai nai. And then he said something about his ge ge (older brother). I asked him his ge ge's name (meaning his foster brother's name) and he smiled and said ge ge Xin Suo (Drew!). Since that day he keeps talking about how he wants to see his ge ge Xin Suo.

Urumqi Reunion 2008! (missing our beloved friend Gillian!!)

Luke (Xin Tian Bo), Tonito (Xin Zhu), Drew (Xin Suo)

Here I am FINALLY posting pictures from our weekend in Missouri with Tonito's 2 buddies from Urumqi! You may remember that there were 4 CHI families that travelled at the same time to adopt 4 awesome kiddos: Drew , Luke, Tonito, and Gillian (Sha Sha). Cutie-pie Gillian and her wonderful family live in Florida and obviously couldn't drive in for the weekend, so I think next time we need to all meet in the warm FL sunshine to include all 4 of the kids!

Relaxing on the beautiful deck over looking the river

while the kids play in the hot tub!

We drove down on Friday, and what was supposed to be a 7 hour trip took more like 10 hours because we got devastating news in the car on the way. Our buyer's financing fell through and they were no longer able to purchase our house. Our realtor told us this at 5:20, and at 6pm our option period was over (to back out of our contract on the house we were buying). So we quickly called Houston and told them our financing fell through and we would not be able to buy the house. Boooooooo. Our movers were scheduled for Wednesday and we were set to go- can you believe this? We couldn't. We had to print, sign, and fax various documents to different people and so we luckily found a hotel that had a conference room you could rent (actually the first one's servers was down so we had to get back on the highway and look for another one!). Anyway, many bathroom breaks later we finally arrived in Doniphan, MO to the beautiful house of Kim's parents who graciously let us stay there for the weekend. The kids started to play with each other right away- it was like we had just seen each other! Tonito was just in heaven playing with everyone. It is so fun to see them giggle and run around together. We set up sleeping bags and they all started in the room together (although in the morning it was only Tonito and Drew as the other kids had drifted back to their parents:).

In the morning the kids got wild jumping on the air mattress, played in the hot tub for a while (with Drew helping Tonito to get on and off the benches), and explored the back yard. They loved Drew's new puppy Copper, whose paws didn't touch the ground the whole weekend being passed between Lily and Vivi.

We rode on the boat up and down the river and admired the beautiful scenery- it was so relaxing and totally helped us forget about our house problems. The kids rode in the "vroom vroom" as Drew likes to call it:

Drew's good friends came for the day and fit right in- 8 kids around the same age having fun outside (missing from thie picture are Lily and Maya):

In the afternoon the kids filled the pinata that Karen brought, and had a blast beating it open. For dinner Scott made Boston butt in his smoker- yum!!!!! I'm normally not an enormous meat eater, but I could have eaten just meat for dinner. The smokiness and the tender meat, yum. We had corn on the cob, salad, potatoes- thank you so much Kim for feeding all of us with such delicious food!! After dinner the kids collected firewood and we had s'mores for dessert! Vivi and Tonito LOVE s'mores (who doesn't?) and kept sneaking marshmellows out of the bags. Like Karen and Kim mentioned on their blogs- not one injury even though we were in pitch blackness next to the drop-down to the swiftly moving river. After I read that Karen wrote that---why didn't I worry about that until right now!?? :) Thank goodness we had a fantastic and safe weekend!

I took a million pictures, and Kim sent me another million:), so I had to post a lot because there were so many good ones!! Here's a sample of our weekend...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Riverwalk Field Trip

We are going to miss our cousins when we move!!! We went to the Riverwalk with them and *loved* running around together, feeding the ducks (except when they started to attack us for the bread), and playing at the park. Maya really, really likes Nate and couldn't stop kissing him. Nate is about 4 months younger, but definitely outweighs and out-cheeks Maya;).