Family picture

Family picture

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A meal to remember

I think we have finally finished the last birthday celebration for Philip's 5th birthday. This child has had so many parties that even he became confused, asking me the other day if after his friends' party, would he still be five!!

Wouldn't you like to know what he is thinking at this moment?

Surveying all of the treats as we sing "Happy Birthday."

Our big boy wanted to see if he still fit into the high chair.
Isn't he cute??

Ok, so after Philip's last birthday celebration, we were just plain tuckered out. We went to Pizza Hut/Taco Bell combo thinking it would be a safe bet for Eli. When Eli is tired or grouchy, taking him out to eat can be a disaster.

Well, even though it was a fast food restraurant and a little noisy, we were still stared at . . . although not because we were a mixed family this time, but for another reason tonight.

Eli is a voracious eater. Did I mention that he out-eats us many a time?? And he really wants his food f.a.s.t! Or else!

Tonight with him being tired and grouchy from having spent the last several hours with lots of other children at Philip's party (which, by the way, was really fun), Eli was demanding his food pronto! We couldn't keep it coming fast enough. Kevin and I were shoveling in our food as well to keep up with Eli needing food. We looked a sight especially when I looked over at Eli and saw grease and food stuck to his fingers and face as he gulped down his meal. The grossest sight was when he took his Matchbox truck and ran it through the sour cream. Ew, yuck!

People were definitely staring.

Our floor and table were a mess.

And then a group of teenage boys sauntered in and began to talk loudly, even cussing a little to show off.

Was it wrong of us that we were grateful to them for taking the heat off of us?

We kind of hated to see them leave!


Friday, March 19, 2010

Philip is officially 5 today!

Philip celebrated his second birthday home and turned five today. At lunch he excitedly shared with me that he would be so glad when he finally turned five. I told him he already was five - that he didn't have to wait anymore! His eyes grew as big as could be with wonder when he realized he wasn't four any longer!

We started the evening with a trip to the store to pick up plates and napkins for
the big family party tomorrow. He chose "Me Nimo" (as he likes to call
Finding Nemo) items and a Curious George balloon.

Then it was on to Steak n' Shake for a delicious birthday dinner.

Here's a picture of a dude with a "tude"

My, what a happy little birthday boy!

Cool way to wear the Steak n' Shake hat

The little boys enjoyed the ride home. Notice our "big" boy
hiding in the backseat!

Happy 5th Birthday Philip Bao. We are so happy
God gave us you to love forever.

We think you are wonderful!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Birthday Eve

Today was the eve before Philip's fifth birthday (2nd one he has celebrated with us!)

What did he do today?

He took in treats for his preschool class, and they celebrated with him!

But first, a run down the hallway playing a fun game!

Singing and making a cake with Mrs. B.

Getting his birthday hug from Mrs. D.

Sharing birthday treats with everyone

Passing out goodie bags as the children were leaving

Elijah playing after eating the classroom treats

Thinking he is one of the older kids!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Not gonna lie - it has been rough

Wow! The honeymoon faded with Elijah, and then came the tantrums.

Tantrums if we weren't holding his hand just right or if we had turned the wrong way while sleeping with him.

Tantrums if we didn't feed him just the right food at the right time.

Tantrums if we even walked a couple of paces this way or that!

It's been rough.

Rough on Elijah.

Rough on us.

Nothing we tried worked to help him feel more secure. In fact, the harder we tried to help him, the angrier he became.

Finally with the blessing of his cardiologist, pediatrician, and my brother (who is a counsler who has worked with a fair amount of people experiencing attachment disorder) and our gut feeling, we tried a little tough love. It seemed that our little Elijah Jiehao was a bit of a tyrant, going way beyond any security issues (or because of them). Philip couldn't even sleep in his own room, the room he shared with Eli because of the all-night tantrums (whether we were in there or not).

We moved Philip to our room once again and kept Elijah in his room with the benefit of a baby gate since he absolutely refused to stay in bed or in the bedroom for that matter. He would even race us to the door to try to get out before the gate closed. Trying to ease out of the room gently while keeping a raging little two-year-old in was a huge feat each nap and bedtime. Whew!

He began trying to take over Philip's bed as well with Philip out of the room, so Kevin felt that if we moved the beds around, Elijah's bed would be the one that had a view of the hallway.

Lack of sleep began to make us very grouchy and not seeing the cuteness of Eli during the day. We didn't have such warm and fuzzy feelings about him when he ruled the nights.

Thanks to our God that he led us a different way to help Elijah realize he was safe and secure here. With the help of the doctors, our family, and many adoptive families we know who have been there, Kevin and I were able to come up with a way that suited Elijah (after about a week) and kept our sanity so that we could be the parents he needed to guide him through this tough time.

Finally, after a long, long week, Elijah began to sleep in his bed. Then on Saturday night, we moved Philip back into the bedroom the boys shared. It worked! Elijah was so happy to have someone in the room with him that he only cried two times before going to sleep. The next night he happily went into the room, kept saying "Nie nie" to us with a smile on his face, and promptly went to sleep the entire night, waking this morning at 8:30!

The huge benefits in all of this . . .

Elijah feels more secure because he saw that we didn't leave him (even during his tantrums in his room we reassured him that we were still there) . . .

And he is so much sweeter and nicer during the day. Boy can we see his cuteness now! And we are wowed by it!

Introducing Elijah to playdoh

Being coy with his smile

Concentrating hard on that playdoh

Whoa - this stuff is cool!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Exciting time on a Saturday morning

Well, we showed Elijah an exciting time today by doing some of Philip's favorite things.

First, there was the trip to Home Depot to make the kid's craft they sponsor once a month. Philip wore his handyman apron and worked intently to make a rain gauge. Elijah was content just to look upon the goings on.

Next, we took the boys to the combo Pizza Hut/Taco Bell. Oh boy, it doesn't get any classier than that for a noontime special!

Then we finished the fun time with a shopping trip to Walmart to buy . . .


Yes, for some reason Philip enjoys going along to grocery shop when we do our "big grocery shopping" for the payday period. He even writes a list as we go. He likes it as much as toy shopping!!

I am not sure if Elijah appreciated the finer things of the day, but he sure was tired after the morning excursions and took a two-hour nap later. That was the real bonus for us!!! LOL!

It has been so fun watching Elijah learn to play with Philip. Instead of just throwing the toys and walking around, he now engages in imaginative play like when the boys pack and pretend they are going on a trip. That is what they were doing in these pictures. So cute!

We are all beginning to get over the nasty upper respiratory illnesses we adults have all had and are feeling more like ourselves again even though we are now living a "new normal."

In fact, I was feeling so normal again that I actually was able to get myself to church this morning. Since Kevin was serving communion at both services, I took Philip with me and asked Ted to stay home to watch Eli. (We really don't think Elijah is ready to go to church yet since he tends to shut down in new situations still. Maybe next week we can go and trade off staying with him in the nursery. We'll just have to see how that plays out.)

Anyway, as I was saying, I was feeling pretty normal and almost giddy about getting out of the house without a two-year-old to fuss over. It was great to be back at church, and I spent a good deal of time talking to people who wanted to know how we were holding up. I assured them we were getting along fine. It was only after I returned home that I realized I might not have been as convincing as I thought when I saw I had worn two different types of earrings (and they were really different types of earrings - one little and one big). Oh boy, somehow I don't think all those people were fooled this morning. Maybe we aren't quite back to "normal" yet.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sleepless nights


The "Sit and Stand" stroller - what a stroller!

Riding into the wild blue yonder!

Oh, the sleepless nights! On top of that, Kevin and I returned home from China ill and needing medicine. Now, a little over two weeks later, Kevin is feeling fine and back at work, and I am feeling better each day but not quite there yet.

Our transition with Eli is going fairly well during the day with occasional tantrums, and this is expected. But oh the nights! We still haven't progressed very far on those, and most people in this household are extremely tired! Actually, I think the only one who doesn't look exhausted is Eli himself!

Yikes - this is a part of the transition I could do without! LOL!