Monday, March 17, 2014

California

It's been a whirlwind here and I've been neglecting the blog.  I love reading blogs of other families once they're home because it seems like so many bloggers stop once they've arrived home with their kids.  I hope I can keep up, posting at least occasionally.  I'm typing as we fly home from California, so this might turn out to be rather long.  All the children are happily occupied and the flight attendants are plying them with snacks.

We've had a flurry of medical appointments, some anticipated and some not, for our new son.  Plus our olders were due for physicals and we are going to try for our girl, so there is paperwork to do/update!  

Transition-wise everything has been going well. It's been hard to get into a real routine since we've had so many appointments but we're getting there.  A. is bonding well and has started asserting himself more, so we take that as a good sign that he's feeling more comfortable.  We see some very typical attention seeking behaviors day-to-day and have surely had our share of time-ins.  In some ways, A. is very typically his age and in other ways, more mature and yet in other ways much younger.  (Imagine a two year old discovering a light switch and flicking it off and on for fun, then discovering that it is annoying to everyone else in the room and continuing to flick it just because he knows how irritating it is!  Now imagine a four year old doing this - or similar!)  I'm glad we already had our older boys and have the transition experience of growing our family already.  I think that has made things pretty smooth.  My husband and I know what to expect, how to take care of each other and we have also seen the other, brighter side of a rough transition (child #2) so we have some perspective.   I also should say that my hubby has been on paternity leave which has been amazing!  Without all of his hard work and support, life would be hard.  Thank you, sweetheart! 

This past week, before Mr. I. goes back to work, we visited my brother in California.  It was really a nice trip...I hadn't seen my brother in two years and he and his wife now have three kids!  I was out to California twice right before their twins were born and then also to visit my grandmother as she was dying.  So, after three coast-to-coast trips over two months it took me while to get back!  I am so glad we did it!  The kids had an awesome time together and while it was crazy with four adults and six kids in a three bedroom house, it was a lot of fun.  Leaving was bittersweet.  C., our middle son really bonded with his baby cousin and I., our oldest, loved spending time chasing after his twin cousins.  C. is convinced that he now wants to move to California...but then again, he felt the same way when we left China!  He asked me on more than one occasion why America couldn't be more like China.  He also liked that he got a lot of "junk food" while we traveled in China.  When I questioned him further on this, he told me that he meant eggs and bacon at the breakfast buffets in China,"'cause you know you can't eat that every day- it's like a treat."  Haha!  Then again, he also didn't know about pop-tarts until last week, so we are either doing something right or we are totally depriving him!  Hahaha! 

After the long ride home from China, six hours from home to California and back seemed entirely do-able!  We really limit our kids screen time (Kindle time excepted) so when we travel and let them plug in, they are happy as clams (and so are their fellow travelers).  Our new son, A., did great traveling on this trip.  Luckily he loves trains and airplanes.  His nannies in China had told him that he would get to his new home by train and plane and had talked a lot about it.  We made sure before this trip to California to prepare him well that this trip was "just a visit" and we would "only stay for a few days and then come home".  He would tell us about getting on the plane then car then home so he clearly understood.  

A. is such a high energy kid but also so happy and flexible and game for anything.  He was really excited about the boat ride we took out to the Channel Islands, though he did have a tantrum once we got to the destination (island).  We saw dolphins, sea lions and gray whales and myriad sea birds at close range while we were on the boat.  All the boys were thrilled by this.  

And...here are a few of the lovely photos from our trip, cause I know that's why everyone is really looking at the blog.  :)  

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