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10.27.2008

Siblings

Today has been emotionally tough for each of us in one way or another. For Caleb I think it is rather obvious. He has been with a foster family for 23 months now and today his entire world drastically changed. Kylie has had some "mommy jealousy" issues and is upset when Caleb cries because she isn't always successful in soothing him. Ian has been "on the fringe" with Caleb as Caleb decided to bond with me and completely falls apart if Ian touches him. (Ian hasn't been able to hold him yet, please join with me in prayer that Caleb will begin to warm up to his father quickly). For me it has been physically exhausting to try and hold two kids anytime I'm standing and also emotionally exhausting trying to figure out what will soothe Caleb.

And yet it has been one of the best days of my life! While it changes the dynamic of our family, what a blessing it is to welcome a new member! It hasn't been completely smooth, but I didn't expect it to be. And we have had moments of promise!

Shortly after we got back to the hotel my children began to interact. Kylie was showing Caleb some of his new toys and then suddenly they began investigating the light switches and radio controls that are built into the nightstand.

Can you say, "I'm doomed when it comes to them tag teaming me?" They had the clock changed and lights on within minutes ~ Ian and I got the lights just fine, but we are having a problem figuring out how to get the clock reset...

We headed up to the hotel restaurant for lunch. It is great food and it is a revolving room, so you get a panorama view of the city while you eat! Caleb showed that he is a robust eater and polished off an amazing amount of rice, noodles, fruit and vegetables. If they had seen how much he ate, they may have changed their minds about kids eating free. A few things I learned about his eating: You've got to shovel it in FAST with chopsticks! When I'd slow down he'd try to eat off the plate by himself and if I used a fork he looked at me like I was trying to kill him. Also, he is adept at using a cup (no lid!) with two hands and hasn't made a spill yet. I'm thinking that the bottle I brought him will not make the trip home to the states as it is not needed!

Early this afternoon we went with Zoe over to the RT Mart ~ much like the Carrefour in Beijing, but with a shopping mall attached. We got a few drinks, snacks, and a hair straightener for me. Notice that I said no diapers. Caleb appears to be potty trained for real! Maybe this will raise the bar for Kylie to get back on the bandwagon when we get home.

Following our trip to the store, the rest of the family took a nap. Nap time was followed with about a 30 minute crying spell from Caleb. I think he opened his eyes and realized that this morning hadn't been just a bad dream. Luckily he did soothe somewhat as promised from our last update with some sweets ~ he's now a big fan of gummy fruit snacks! Once we got calmed down, we had some play time here in the room for about an hour. Then we got ready to head out to dinner. Kylie wanted to wear her green jacket because, "It mach Ta-eb's geen jaket!"

Dinner was most delicious ~ we went to a place Zoe recommended called Mr. Xie. Grant, Ian, the kids and I shared four dishes that were all so yummy, we had three bottles of water, and it cost less than $20 for more food than we could eat. The other great thing about Mr. Xie is that it is very loud inside which helped cover up the fact that when I wasn't shoveling food in Caleb's mouth fast enough, he was pretty much yelling at me! I was really trying, but cut up carrot pieces are really slippery in plastic chopsticks! Add to the fact that his mouth was a moving target because he was flirting like crazy with the waitresses and I was feeling quite humbled in my mothering ability. (And it wasn't like I could politely ask him to sit still or be quiet because he doesn't understand me...) Anyway, we had our most humbling moment of the day when we got ready to leave. Kylie was really tired and started crying because she wanted me to hold her. So I went ahead and put her in the hip hammock that we borrowed from friends. Dumb move! You see, Kylie in the hip hammock immobilizes one of my arms, and Caleb is too heavy to lift out of the high chair with just one arm. So Ian steps in and tries to lift him out. Let the wailing begin... Yes, it was one of those moments when you want to press the magic button to fall through the floor and disappear. And I'd just say, "Oh, they'll never see me again," but I want to eat at Mr. Xie again...

Anyway, we came back and Kylie had been begging to take a bath with Caleb all day. She wanted to show him how to "wash the spots off the puppies" ~ thanks Traci for those amazing bath toys! Another funny moment was when I put Caleb on the potty. Kylie was already in the bath and when she saw him sitting there she suddenly realized that she needed to go. She was standing up doing the "pee pee dance" and he had been there for a few minutes, so I held him up halfway in the sink while Ian put Kylie on the potty. Well, Caleb must have decided that he was sitting over a hollow area, because he chose that moment to pee pee himself, only he wasn't completely over the sink, so it went all over the floor ~ and my feet. Ian and I had a belly laugh over that one! The good news is that the "group therapy" bath session went well. Caleb was a little apprehensive at first, but Kylie showed him one of the puppies and then he sat down and began to play.
When the water was pretty much cold and both kids were shivering, we got pajamas on and got ready for bed. Kylie wanted a fruit bar and of course offered one to her brother too. At first he wasn't too sure, but he quickly decided that dried, smashed raspberries were pretty delicious!

I think it is going to be the beginning of a beautiful relationship between Kylie and Caleb! Oh, and for those of you who know her little "Top and bottom" song, she's been singing, "Ty-ie and Ta-eb, Ty-ie and Ta-eb, Ty-ie and Ta-eb ~ give a little clap!" all day long!

14 comments:

Melissa Wagner said...

Kristi...you mentioned tag-teaming...I hate to tell you that it doesn't get better. Try having 3 kiddos gang up on mom and dad! Liz and I talked this morning and we're just so thrilled to see your pictures! Seems like just yesterday we were in Wuhan getting our babies (who are now 5 years old!). Julia did't want anything to do with me, so I know how Ian feels. She would only let me play/bathe/feed her where as Wayne had to carry here everywhere! It was stressful. Hang in there, Caleb will come around!

Hugs!
Melissa

Anonymous said...

I'm doing a belly laugh just reading what you described! Tears of laughter in the midst of chaos! It sounds like the real adventure has begun! God has done this miraculous thing in your life...I know that Daddy / Son time is just around the corner! Give Ian a big hug from us!
Love, Jen

Laurie said...

OH man, I'm tired just reading it- how am I going to do this in a couple of months?? :) Seriously, though, I'm glad to hear you're having a "normal" experience. I do pray that Caleb will warm up to Ian soon. I remember Scott feeling like a Sherpa and nothing else when we were in China- no fun! :(

Keep up the great posts. I love reading all the details! And the pictures of your TWO kiddos are just precious!
Love ya!
Laurie

Amy Woods said...

OH, Kristi! We had that same issue with Adiah and Brian. If he even looked at her she would scream. It was very draining for him and for me. But with lots of consistency and patience we broke through. I think it took like 3 weeks before Brian could hold her with out her crying. It will get better!! Its so cool to see Kylie and Caleb in the same room!!! Praying....

Anonymous said...

Family of four! How wonderful to hear of all of your advertures. Know that Caleb will fall in love with Ian just like everyone else that he has ever met him has done. What a blessing it is for Caleb to have Kylie showing him the way! Sounds like that will go both ways with the potty training -bet she'll be back on that track quickly.
Thanks so much for the fast updates. I'm praying continuously for the four of you.
Love, Mama, dahman Shultz

Kimberly said...

Kristi--

It is so wonderful to see Caleb united with you, Ian, and Kylie at long last! He is such a cutie!! I know you have your hands really full, but I know you are just so, so happy. We'll keep praying for Caleb's adjustment to life with his new family.

Kimberly

Anonymous said...

Oh Wow, sounds like you guys have your hands full! I am so glad the puppies came in handy! I am sure Caleb will warm up to Ian in no time. He is such a calm person. I love the pictures! It is fun to see what is going on!
Love you,
Aunt Cici and Uncle Adam

NaiNai Miller said...

Thank you so much for the post. I almost feel like I am there. I hooted over the kids' antics. What a wonderful big sister Kylie is. And Caleb is soooo cute!!! I can just feel how happy you are. Ian is so good with everyone of every age that I know Caleb will come around soon. In the meantime I am giving Ian virtual hugs!! I feel so blessed to have all of you as my family.
Love Mom/NaiNai

Nicole said...

It does get better, each day gets better. Tell Ian that by day 7 Dan could touch and hold briefly Emmi. He just started playing fun games with me, which he could do with Kylie, throw a ball, have things fall off the bed and laugh, whatever works, it will get better. By GZ he could carry her around, though she didn't like it much she allowed it with out crying.
LOVE the bed time shot above, that is so sweet.

Nancy said...

Praying for you guys!

Anonymous said...

Wow! it sounds like Caleb is quite the little man...potty trained and no sippy cup!!! What a precious picture of the sleeping cherubs. oh!! we can't wait for your return ....Lottie can't wait to play with Kylie AND Caleb!!! And Graham and Noah are excited to meet him too!! Kylie and Caleb's antics together remind me of the boys when they were little. Yes life is an adventure..but oh so much fun!!! We will be praying for Ian's bonding with Caleb.In this matter time WILL heal!! Looking forward to many future play dates!! Love to ALL
Shannon

Cindy M said...

I don't EVEN know where to start! The first thing Mindy said when she saw the pictures of them sleeping (in the post after this one) was that they look exactly like each other!! And they DO! They are SOOOOO cute! Kylie looks so big next to him!

Now, I have to tell you that I had a chuckle over KYLIE hosting a bath therapy session! Boy, have times changed! She's such a great big sister!!!

And, again, I say, welcome to the world of man-to-man defense. And next time, you'll have to resort to zone defense. :-)

Mindy is screaming for the computer...more later!

Stephen said...

So happy to see all is going well...Kyle and Caleb are just precious!!

Angela said...

I am so glad that things are going well and that Caleb is adjusting. I will be praying for daddy/son time soon.
Love,
Angela