One day this past week ~ I'd say which one, but much of the week with Ian back at work was a blur ~ I was chatting with a mom of three (her youngest was a newborn) at the park.  After we compared ages of our kids and figured out that both of our oldest will be starting kindergarten at the same school next month (and no, I don't want to talk about that anymore right now...) she asked, "So what's it like with four?"

Loaded question for sure.

Depends on if you are talking about day or night right now.  By day we are finding our new groove.  Daniel adores his brother and sisters and plays near them most of the time.  He and I find time to read simple books and play with cars together when the older set is off in their imaginative play world.  He can happily play on his own for a few minutes at a time though he does seek me when he gets a boo-boo (which is frequent).  Meal times are the hardest part day right now.  Those four feed off each other when one starts complaining of being hungry and you'd think that they hadn't eaten for weeks.  I am so, so very thankful for the blessing of having friends bringing dinner right now so that post nap doesn't turn into the question of 'how am I going to make dinner tonight.'

But by night?  I've earned these dark circles under my eyes.  We're continuing to have more sleepless nights than restful ones, but in the past four nights he's actually slept completely through two of them (though one of those nights all three of his siblings were up at different times) and two nights he has actually allowed me to pick him up immediately when he's reaching.  So we're moving in the right direction.  It just takes time ~ thankfully we have all the time in the world to give our little guy!

A few things about him at just under two weeks home.  With the influence of his brother, he can now name almost every single one of the Cars characters.  Oh if you could only hear his voice as he calls "yite-nen' a-khweem."  So. Cute!  When he plays with cars by himself while I try to do a minimal amount of housework, he will lay down on the floor on his side and whisper to the car as he drives it around.  He loves to be outside and has laid claim to one of the Cozy Coupe cars.  Thankfully Ky thinks she is far too sophisticated for one now or else I'd be hitting the garage sales to find a fourth for our little fleet of red and yellow cars.  He also loves to get on the tricycle and would totally be riding Caleb's bike if his feet would reach the pedals.  He continues to be a daredevil and the grey hairs on my head are increasing at an alarming speed.  At this rate I'm likely going to be at least to the "salt and pepper" stage by the time I reach 40.  If we didn't insist on trying to force some grains and protein on him, Daniel would totally live off watermelon, berries, apples, tomatoes, cucumbers and avocados (finally got someone else in the family that likes them as well as I do!).  Thankfully he does have an affection for peanut butter and will happily munch on a slice of whole grain bread smeared with the stuff.  It's a bit messy, but heck, four preschoolers in a house is messy.

And now, some pictures of the rest of our first weekend home.

What's better than riding in a Cozy Coupe?  Why having your adoring (and I do mean adoring) jie jie push you around in it of course.

Don't worry, that bar he's slipping off of is quite low.  His feet were only about three inches off the ground.  I just love his excited expression to be doing what his big siblings were doing.

First swing action.

DQ can turn just about anything into a fire pole.

My little band making music together.

Someone tell me that I can freeze time and that she doesn't have to go to kindergarten next month.  And we're not going to talk about school anymore for a while, 'kay?

Sweet moment between youngest and oldest.

With Daddy by his side he can do ANYTHING!

Our neighbors had us over for a cookout lunch and cotton candy.  Yeah, our neighbors have their own cotton candy machine, doesn't everyone?

A little sprinkler time was the perfect finish to the cookout.  
Another sweet friend brought us dinner on Sunday night.  We were so tired that it was a struggle to get to the table to eat, but the meal was so yummy that we all woke up enough to enjoy it.  A delicious chocolate dessert was followed by bath time, new books that were discovered during our move, and an early bed time.  I had an optimistic view that we had turned the corner.

Then Monday came.  Y'all, there should be a support group for stay at home moms on Mondays.  Seriously.  Especially after your husband has been home (or in China with your) for three weeks AND you are jet lagged AND you have a child who is up for at least 1 1/2 to 3 hours through the night.  Thankfully Ian helped get breakfast for the kids Monday - Wednesday which eased the transition a little.  I don't have any pictures for Monday or Tuesday.  I know we played outside and rode bikes and trikes in the cul-de-sac and broke out our little shark pool, but beyond that, I'm not sure how we passed those days.  We lived though, so I guess that says something...

Starting Wednesday I began to feel more confident so we ventured out on "Ms. Leslie day" to meet up at an indoor playground that is typically pretty empty.  The big kids scampered through the tunnels and slides, but Daniel was fascinated with the twins.  His technique needs a little polishing, but he sure wanted to make sure that Miles and Vivienne stayed hydrated.

I think you need some water little buddy.

And you too little girl, drink up.
Daniel sure has enjoyed meeting some of his new friends!


Laurie said...

Bless you for finding a bit of time to update. I so LOVE to hear how the transition is going.. the good and the bad. Cause that's just real!! Daniel is just as cute as he can be!! Now I've just got to get you to put up some videos so we can hear his sweet voice! :)

Heather said...

Yes .. exactly what Laurie said!!! He is as cute as a gumdrop and I too would love to hear his sweet little voice. ;)

Rachelle said...

Prayers for sleep to come sooner rather than later. He is a precious one! Hugs!

Jenn said...

Yes!! I'm with Laurie!! We need to hear his voice!!

He sounds so precious! Loving all the pictures of him and his bright and happy face right there in the mix!

Amy said...

I'm so happy I stumbled onto your blog!! You have a beautiful family! My husband & I had actually seen Daniel's picture & brief description about him over a year ago. We briefly discussed trying to get him, but we weren't quite to that stage in our adoption paperwork. We just returned from China with our son about 2 months ago. I'm so happy that Daniel found such a wonderful family (or you found him- however it is that fate works!)! Congrats!!

Julie said...

It sounds like you all are doing as well as can be expected. Praying you get some sleep too! And Daniel has the sweetest, most expressive face :)

Glenda said...

Hang in there, it will get better. I see changes, good changes, every time I see him. I love the picture of Kylie pushing him. She's such a sweetie!

anything but LoKEY said...

I gotta say...that Daniel is a cute-tey! :)

Traci said...

Oh my gosh I remember the first few days home! I definitely needed a support group! And a maid, and a cook, and some sleep, and...
You get the point!
I am so glad you guys are doing so well! LOVE YOU

Anonymous said...

I bet Kylie is gonna love Kindergarten!! I enjoyed both years that my girls were in Kindergarten so much! They had a great time and I really enjoyed getting to help with parties and go on field trips from time to time! I bet you are gonna love having kids in school . . .

Amanda P

Jenny Wheelis said...

Awesome to see you all settling into your new routine and life and home. Bless you friend.... stay steady. Praying that with all the sleeplessness comes all the sweetness from God! Hugs to all!

jasnjoj said...

I've been lurking for 9 months or so...and really enjoy your writing and following your family. Y'all remind me alot of our brood (4 VERY closely spaced cuties from China). I totally get not wanting to talk about sending your precious child off to kindergarten...I didn't either! Enter "homeschooling"! Love it. You seem like you'd be a natural at it, Kristi!