Tuesday, June 19, 2012

One month home!

Wow, has it really been a month?  How time has flown and stood still at the same time!  Everything I'm writing seems so cliche, but it really does feel like John has been with us much longer.  He's just doing beautifully and fits seamlessly into our family.  This has been the easiest transition yet for a new addition!  Of all the kids, Henry and Vivian have given him the most attention.  Vivian was constantly in his face at first, hanging on every little thing he said or did.  He would say something in Chinese and she would somehow turn it into an English word!

Speaking of language, John is picking up English very quickly.  He understands most of what we say and has many English words that he uses.  I think he's finally figured out that "No" and "John" are 2 separate words.  ;)

We think that John had the flu his plane ride home and first week home.  He ran a fever for 5-6 days and the cough persisted a few days after that.  Noone else became ill in the family!  Amazing!  Remember when we ALL had the flu back in February...well I call that Divine Wisdom!!  Had no idea why we were suffering then...better THEN than NOW!  Also, his being sick helped with his sleeping schedule.  It didn't take long for him to be on central time.  I think he was up one night wide awake for a few hours in the middle of the night.  Now, the coughing kept us awake a lot of nights, but he settled into sleeping at night and taking a nap in the afternoon quite easily.

He is also doing well with attachment.  My mom has had to stay with the kids for me to get someone to an appointment or two, and he's been a little anxious about that.  I've tried to keep that to a minimum but some things just could not have been done otherwise.  He won't go to anyone else but us, and he's gradually warming up to grandparents and extended family.  This is a good thing!  We haven't had to explain to anyone why they can't hold him because he hasn't let anyone.  :)

We have his appointment with the Spina Bifida Clinic next week.  I'm anxious to see what the first treatment is for his clubbed foot.  I'm hoping they will be able to do the Ponseti method.  We'll also see a urologist and a neurosurgeon.  I'm not sure what tests will be done on our first visit.  One great thing is that John peed in the potty tonight!  He has shown some awareness of his bodily functions so we're hopeful that he will be fully continent.  I know that even if he is continent, sometimes cathing is necessary because of increased bladder pressures, incomplete emptying, etc., but it's great that he does have some sensation.  I don't expect we'll have all of our questions answered next week, but it will be a start.
Let's see if I can tell the month's story through pictures...it's been fairly busy!

First morning home...Vivian and Ellen imitating John's thumb-sucking.  :)  Note the pillows on the sofa...I slept about 3 hours and then couldn't sleep a wink!  Jet lag stinks...  A little Sunday afternoon nap got me back on schedule.  Go figure.

Finishing up the last week of school.  I drug poor sick John to the kids' awards day at school.  Couldn't miss it!  Here is Henry receiving his gold medal for the Recommended Reading List.  He also received a History Hounds award.   I did have to miss the 2nd grade field trip to Sci-Quest the next day.  :(

Rebecca receiving a History Hounds award!

When the fever subsided, it was time for a haircut!

How wonderful to see pure joy in his face again!  He was so pitiful when he was sick.  He loves this riding toy because it will GO!  He's not so great at steering.

Family pic at Nannie and PawPaw's house!

Annual Memorial Day Camp-out.  (Well, John and I didn't actually stay and sleep in tents and all that, but I'm told I have to participate next year.)  A creek full of kids!

Trip to the park.  What a great big brother there to push him in the swing!

June 4th was Vivian's and Ellen's dance recital.  Ellen's class did a routine to the "Bunny Hop," and Vivian's class did a tap number to "Little Bitty Pretty One" and a jazz/ballet number to the Chipmunks' "Vacation."  They both did fabulous!

Our backyard paradise.  :)

Just hanging out.  The kids were all playing Charades and "Doggy, Doggy, Where's Your Bone?"in the yard.  John was catching on to the latter very well. 

Vivian lost her first tooth.  She could not have been prouder!

O.K., so John wanted to put on Vivian's tutu and Ellen's bunny ears and dance with the girls...  Henry was quite amused, although did not approve.  :)

Getting his turn on the lawnmower with Daddy.  Oh, how he loves his Daddy!  He cries for him when he leaves for work in the mornings and is SO excited to see him when he gets home.

Oh, my goodness, this girl is growing up on me! 

Sisters and BFF's

Nothing like cold watermelon on a hot day!  And he put away more than anyone!

My child who hates to be photographed!  :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Homecoming

So, finally I've got around to posting a few pics of the airport.  I have no idea why other people seem to be such great photographers.  I LOVE pictures, but I can't for the life of me figure out how they have the time.  I'm O.K. with the "every day" pictures, but when there's a major event it's always the last thing on my mind to take pictures.

Back to the flight...we could hardly contain ourselves on the flight from Chicago to Huntsville.  We were almost HOME.  There were 3 seats across on the small plane, one on one side of the aisle, and two on the other side.  Billy and John were seated across from me.  Since Billy was the one having to deal with our sick little boy, I was in charge of "the backpack."  I was constantly handing wipes across the aisle, etc.

As we approached Huntsville and we felt the plane descending, my stomach was just doing flip-flops.  The time away from the other children had been way too long, and I couldn't wait to see their little faces and just touch and hold them all.  The emotion that was welling up inside me was hardly containable, and as we landed it was just an amazing feeling to be at the end of this long journey.  Now, we could begin the best part, living as a family of 8.

After we gathered the carry-on suitcase and the stroller from the valet, we made our way down the elevator to be greeted by all the children, holding balloons and handmade signs, along with my mom, step-dad, dad, step-mom, brother, sister-in-law, neice, nephew, and many of our church family.  They were holding a huge banner signed by all of our church family!  A very warm welcome!

The first thing I did was give each of the kids a hug.  I don't remember much after that.  :)

 Billy checking on our sick little guy.  He didn't want to be held, but was pretty content in the stroller.

Back with Mommy.  She's such a Mommy's girl.  I'm so proud of how she handled my being away.  She was very brave.  :) 
I guess this was around midnight, just before everyone went to bed.  The kids were so excited!  It was wonderful to be together again, all under one roof.