Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happiness is 3 smiling chillies!

Some holiday silliness with my DH - The Imperial Daddy - and the chillies. I don't think I need to explain much.. they are doing well, happy together and there is plenty of silliness to be had around here these days!!

Slowly but surely trying to get back in the swing of things.. still sort of tired and out of sorts.. but I know reality is quickly approaching (that is I must go back to work soon!) and my usual hectic schedule is about to hit full tilt! I hope I can manage. I love these kiddos.. they are the best thing that ever happened to this family!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Scenes from our lived life

The kids, as expected, are getting along pretty well. There are the usual bumps along the way.. misunderstandings, toy squabbles, requests for return trips, and in general the noise of siblings, but all in all the kids get along and seem to accept their new sibling with amazing grace. We have some issues to work on - but I still firmly believe that all will be well - though I foresee a few problems... one being the thumbsucking and two being ESP's unwillingness to try to explain her frustrations before she goes full tilt into tantrum. I am trying to give her a vocabulary - and of course she is smart so she knows more than she lets on, but it is coming. She has been somewhat more accepting of me as her mama - but is still definitely a Baba's girl for now. The tantrums HAVE cooled a bit in intensity and frequency - as she understands more and more of her new life. She adores her brother and sister but has learned none of the lessons we have tried so hard to instill in them.. sharing, caring, asking to borrow toys, saying sorry, being polite, etc. But her brother and sister are attempting to teach her (in high pitched squeals if nothing else works!) the basics of getting along and frankly their methods are more effective than my Mom's rationale! She does understand kid-speak!  Anyway some photos of  the new addition in her new habitat!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Home Sweeeeeeeeeet HOME!!!

Well - it was a long and arduous journey home.... made better with friends. I got a bad case of food poisoning.. thank you! Up all night sick as a dog, and who wants to be sick on a long airplane ride? Not me. Vicky took care of Empress Sassy Pants so I could get some rest - that worked out.  Only tantrum in JFK when she had to walk with me through immigration. Rude immigration officer asked ALL the obnoxious questions - how much did you pay, hear they hate boys.. yadda yadda.. but I was so out of it.. I just answered with much less attitude than I might have otherwise. Probably a mixed blessing to be sure.

Once we cleared customs and baggage (1 bag out of 7 lost) we were met with a GANG of friends... it was so welcome at this point. My two chillies ran under the barricade to get some hugs and kisses and never was I so happy to see my chillies. I missed them so much. ESP was happy to see them too. So far we are doing ok - limited tantrums.. thank goodness - but I do not think she is warming up to me much. The next few days are going to be insane!!   Between the holidays (totally NOT prepared!) and getting Miss Sassy prepared for everything.. .well, I have my work cut out for me. And my tummy is NOT behaving very well!!  I am so grateful to have such amazing friends and family!! I am sure things will get better and more settled soon!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A mostly good day........

I am exhausted so I won't post a lot of words... but we had some issues this morning but then a really good day wandering around the Island... she had a few bad moments but recovered quickly. I am not sure what set her off.. because she has been nagging me about not dressing her in adequate layers.. so I wanted to buy her a coat and she flipped out. It has been 5 Celsius here in Guangzhou  so we really needed much warmer clothes than I prepared.  After she got the coat she was better.. and we went on to have a delightful day Me, the Empress, Vicky, Lauren and Luke!! So here are a few shots of two very cheeky monkeys! By the way - anybody see a love connection happening here?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Two Steps forward.....................

Ten steps back. Ah the dance of the adoption trip with an older child. It has been a heck of a couple of days.. we went to the Safari Park (Xiang Jiang - Elephant River) and that was loads of fun.. China is all up hill I think! We saw more tigers than I thought possible... and had a train ride through the wild animal section where the animals could get up close and personal if they so chose. I saw a heard of Chanjinglu (Giraffe) Lao Hu (Regular Tiger) Bai Hu (White Tiger) Xiong Mao (Panda) and Koala (no translation) and it was quite a nice trip. I had my usual conflict about animal parks.... support the education and conservation efforts or boycott to make the statement that wild animals belong in the wild - what is left of it anyway. I was mildly upset by the Tiger show...  hard to tell if the animals are operating out of fear or hunger or both. But Emp Sassy Pants was up to her old tricks - flinging herself on the ground screaming etc. so it was neither pleasurable nor easy. 

 At one point - I put her on a small ledge so she could get a better look at the Chimpanzees and a very large male lunged at us and we both took a big step backward.. only she fell. Not my finest Mama moment... luckily she was not hurt (perhaps all the flinging herself on the floor makes her head super tough!) and I had to yell at the Chimp... twice. The second time he yelled back and shook a stick at me! Kind of freaked me out! Seems like maybe he has heard "Bad Monkey" before!!

Last night we had a temporary rapprochement and she ASKED me to give her a bath.. and put her to bed. I did so and we had a fine evening. She was sweet and kind.. let me kiss her goodnight and tuck her in. Today - it was up and down all day. One screaming fit before nap time - but I will say that if her worst was a 10.0 on the Richter Scale - this one barely breached a 6.5! Maybe I should consider that progress but the 13.5 hour flight is looming, I miss my kids so much it hurts and I am just overwhelmed with sadness that I am bringing this into our family and life.  I have some hope that the kids and Daddy will be a welcome change and that perhaps her interest and intelligence will be peaked by learning English and going to school etc. But I am not looking forward to having her tantrum in the States... she bangs herself around so much that I just don't know what to do about it. She is bruised head to toe at this point... 

Tonight we had a farewell dinner with all the families.. and it seems like ALL the kids are having some trouble. There are a lot of dynamics to be had... good and bad easy and tough. The older kids seemed to be doing  fairly well - but they are acting out also each in his/her way. My kid wins the Tantrum Topper award for sure.   Tomorrow we will try shopping on Shamian Island again.. but I really need to get to the pearl and jade markets.  I need to replace a pair of earrings (I lost a black pearl from the set I bought on our first trip) and I was hoping to get a ring made. Oh well... we will see how it goes.  I am enjoying this group quite a bit.. we have mostly hit it off well and everyone is nice to each other - the kids seem to get along well and one of the 15 yos has made quite an impression on my 6 yo.  The bigger kids are a big help with the little kids - trying to explain why they need to be good, nice to Mama or Baba, why they should be happy to travel to America etc. and tonight, turnabout being fairplay, my screaming mimi actually aided in talking to one of the little boys about his behavior and why he should be a good boy etc.! It was quite a site! Course - one of the girls that has been speaking to my daughter has had her fair share of tantrums... and another girl who hasn't had very great behavior has also counseled her to behave and be happy!! Oh how I wish it were so!

The photos are from our Pearl River Cruise and Safari park visit.... do not mistake the wild beasts for MY wild beast! She is the one in pink!

Empress Fussy Pants

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Emperor Big Brother

Lilypie Next Birthday Ticker