Monday, April 30, 2012

a tree fit for a swing

The new house has a huge old tree, perfect for a swing. Poppy & Mimi gave the kids a tire swing. Technically it was for Will’s birthday but since he is pretty literal we didn’t tell him that for fear he would not share the swing.  That said, the box has a picture of 1 girl and 1 boy and Will is pretty adamant that the swing is only meant for him and Ella. <sigh>2012-04-22 Ella's dedication (54)

Thankfully he forgot about his 1 boy and 1 girl rule by the time we hung the swing up.  And I guess Will got lucky, so far Wyatt is not a fan of the swing. 

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Ella kinda enjoys it but not if we swing too high.  Will LOVES it.  He has a high pitch scream/giggle when you first send him swinging.  And then he just laughs and laughs and randomly yells “Superheroes!”.  His excitement is contagious. 

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The swing has come in handy since we have been spending many weekends at the new house painting.  And thankfully Will has been somewhat content to hang out on his swing all alone….hoping someone will stop for a few minutes to give him a push.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

can’t we just hold hands?!

When Wyatt gets excited, or extra friendly, he likes to hit.  I guess it’s better than the biting stage Will went thru but it’s no fun for anyone near him.  Ella becomes his target often so we had to move him to the middle seat (even though he’s way heavier, and harder to lift up and over….).  In the middle it’s much harder for him to reach anyone, though he can still pinch.  In an attempt to stop the pinching we encouraged holding hands instead.  Ella is usually in the mood and both happily scream my name until I notice their hand holding.  They are so proud of themselves.  Occasionally they will get Will to join in, though he usually gets mad at the idea.  (there is a pic of all 3 but I cannot find it now!)
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(ella switches seats when Will isn’t with us….laziness on my part….they both fit in the same seat for now.)
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This might be my favorite ever.  I’m guessing she agreed to holding hands before falling asleep.  But I love that Wyatt is twirling his hair, like always.  I think he was in his happy place.


And to show off their smugness, here are 2 very short videos…..if no one else watches, I know the grandparents and aunts will.

Friday, April 27, 2012

the long awaited red chair

Several people have been worried asked when Ella is getting her own red chair.  I have been meaning to take the plunge but was convinced I would wait for a coupon first.  Then we decided to move and I figured we’d wait till we moved….one less thing to move.  BUT the other day we were playing and Will and Wyatt were using their chairs as trains and Ella stopped and looked at Will’s chair and then at Wyatt’s and about that time Will declared “No, Ella.  No girls allowed.”  and her face crumbled a bit.  I know she didn’t understand what Will was saying but her look was one that said “where’s my chair?”.  We got her a red rocking chair but she was not too happy that her chair didn’t match exactly.  I was so mad at myself for not getting her chair sooner.  I don’t think my kids need everything equal and matching, but there are a few things that I think should be equal….the red chair is one of them. 

Today was the day that the red chair arrived.  Chris carried it upstairs and Will quickly told Ella her red chair was here.  We quickly put it together and took it for a spin or a jump or two.

And you know I was dying to change her clothes before taking pics….the red dress and chair match a little too well.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

helmet head

Will got a bike for his birthday….and he insisted on safety first before taking a spin.  Helmet, elbow and knee pads, and gloves! 

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He did really well on his bike.  I can’t wait until he can venture further than our driveway (hopefully in a few weeks he can try it out in our new driveway).

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And in other helmet news, all the kids enjoy wearing the helmet.  I guess it’s almost time to buy 2 more.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

baking time

(this was a few weeks/months ago….)

Ella and I took a few minutes to bake the other day.  It was so quick I didn’t have time to put on our aprons!  But we whipped up some brownies together.  She is a great pourer and stirrer.  (Much neater than Will)

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She was super careful when it came to spreading the batter.

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She didn’t much care for the waiting part.

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But she LOVED every single bite!

Of course, she wants to help me every single time I get out a bowl or spoon now.  Looks like I have a little helper on my hands :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ella day

We had Ella’s parent dedication at church this past Sunday. It went very smooth, and was a great day overall. None of the kids cried, and all of them were wide awake and calm. However, Mr. Wilson decided he’d rather sit down between Julie and I than stand up, but that’s nothing to complain about. When we were up there in front of everyone, which was just a couple minutes or so, I started thinking about all those that had been praying for us while we were on our trip, and was reminded just how much God has had His hand in this from the very beginning. I mentioned that none of the kids cried; can’t say the same for myself.

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God continues to reveal bits and pieces of information to us about Ella’s past, when we least expect it. Just Sunday night, He revealed something huge about her first couple years in the orphanage, and something we will definitely be touching on in a future post.

Thanks again to everyone for praying for our little family.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Will-isms & family day

oranges that stay cut apart - this is what he says when he wants the oranges that come in a cup instead of a real orange.  He does not like real ones.  I think it’s the pith on the outside.

the baby kids - referring to Wy and Ella.  He says this so much that I say it now. 

When Will was gagging the other day I asked if he was going to throw up.  His response was “Do you know vomit is another word for throw up?"  Daddy taught me that.” 

collection - this refers to ANYTHING that Will is currently hoarding.  “Oh, that goes in my collection.”  He also uses it to describe certain toys.  My collection of army men, my collection of dinosaurs.  It just cracks me up that he uses it so often. 

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And I’m a few days late talking about family day (4/10). We managed to get a rare photo of the 3 of us on Will’s family day. He gladly cooperated for a few precious M & M’s.  He was saying “orangeasaurs” when the picture took.  Silly boy!

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

say what {Ella Wei}

Ella’s language is really starting to take off.  She is putting together words and making (mostly) complete sentences.  She understands 90% of what we say at home.  And will parrot anything back that we ask her too.  Outside of home she seems to only understand about 50% of what we say.  Not sure if it’s because we are using a whole different set of vocabulary words or just the distractions of new places. 

I’ve heard “Thank You Mama” a lot.  (love it!)

Mama, get it.

Recently she has been saying “got it” which can be good or bad, depending on what she got.

Mama, diaper poop.  Mama, diaper wet (this means her diaper has leaked!)

Were Daddy go? or Daddy go work?
Sadly Baba is quickly being replaced with Daddy.  Though Wyatt is starting to use Baba now.

Mama, Wyatt crying (we hear that one a lot)

She can say and sign “milk” and “juice”.  And she can say water….well, she says “no water”.  She’s not a fan of water.

She frequently says cheese, hot dog (the food or the song), crackers, cookies, banana, apples.

She can say and sign “all done”, “more” and “help”.

She says fork, spoon, bowl, cup.

She can identify horses (horsey), ducks (quack quack), pigs, dogs, cats, birds.

She still calls Will “Ge Ge” (guh guh) but she also calls him Wilson.  Which I think is funny, never Will, just Wilson.  Wyatt also calls Will “Ge Ge”.

She still calls herself Wei Wei most of the time.  And occasionally it seems that she wants us to call her that too.  But she also uses Ella too.  (pronounced El Na) I questioned her Wei Wei the other day….see, she pronounces it Yeah Yeah.  We have assumed that she was just pronouncing it differently.  However, I said both to her and she repeated Wei Wei perfectly so now I’m clueless.  She uses Yeah Yeah All.The.Time so I have started using it too.  Who knows what Miss Eleanor Chun Wei will end up being called?!

Basically, she is saying as many words as her little Chinese trained mind can come up with.  She rarely speaks in Chinese anymore, which is kinda sad.  I played a few Chinese kids songs and she got mad and requested Hot Dog instead (mickey mouse song) so I guess she has moved on.  Though if she talks in her sleep, she does it in Chines.


Friday, April 20, 2012

packing or unpacking?

The problem with packing with toddlers is that they are always behind you ready and waiting to unpack you!  I turned my back and they grabbed these books and were huddled up on the couch reading, seriously.  Will even cried when we took his book away because he wasn’t done “reading” yet and the book didn’t even have pictures!

Honest to goodness, this is how we found them.  All lined up side by side.


Here is what they are reading:
90 Minutes in Heaven, Siblings without Rivalry and a Baby Care Guide
Clearly we need all three!!!!!


And earlier this week Will told me to “come quick and take our picture”.  They were playing on a stack of boxes. 

Apparently moving is adding all kinds of excitement to their lives!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

an interview with Wilson, age 4

What is your favorite color? Red
What is your favorite toy? Batman
What is your favorite fruit? Banana
What is your favorite tv show? Mike the Knight
What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Goldfish and burgers
What is your favorite snack? Goldfish
What is your favorite animal? Birds
What is your favorite song? Insect Song (All My Friends are Insects)
What is your favorite book? Green Eggs and Ham
What is your favorite thing to do outside? Swing and play on my playground
What is your favorite drink? Milk
What do you like to take to bed with you at night? a toy (and Princess Frog)
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? pancakes
What do you want to be when you grow up? a police officer
What are you really good at? telling people new types of dinosaurs and insects
What makes you happy? a hug and kiss
What makes you sad? losing my toys
What do you and Daddy do together for fun? going out to play or taking a walk….those are my favorite things
What do you and Mommy do together for fun? I don’t know.  after much prompting The zoo? clearly I am not the fun one.
What does Daddy say all the time? silly faces
What does Mommy say all the time? no response. I guess that’s a good thing.

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Will pretending to take my picture with just the tripod.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

jingle bells, nursery rhymes

Will has been singing Jingle Bells since before we left for China.  And he has been singing the same exact lyrics over and over and over.

Jingle bells, Jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh what fun, a nursery rhyme
And a one horse full of sleigh (???)

And it's been decided I need a dashboard cam.  There is just too much good stuff happening in our car these days!

How’s it really going, now that we are 3 months in….

Well, things were relatively easy for the first few months.  Well, as easy it can be when you add a toddler to your family who doesn’t speak English.  But things were easy enough, the kids mostly getting along and we were all surviving.  Once we hit the 3 month mark I celebrated that we were halfway to the 6 month mark (the magical amount of time where things just become easy, or so I’ve read).  But things have suddenly seem to have gotten a bit tougher.  I have said that Ella is getting more comfortable with us, and is starting to push the boundaries a bit. I totally expected that, she is 2 after all.  But we’ve entered unfamiliar territory, I’m calling it control-issues.  I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that she has these types of issues.  Children in orphanages rarely have any control and once they are in a home I’m sure they are ready to grab any type of control they can get. Or least that’s my guess, I don’t have the time to google “post-institutionalized children and control issues”. (for the record I am not a fan of the term “post-institutionalized”, I prefer “post-orphanage” but that is not the term the professionals use….) 

Anyway, our wheels are spinning at how best to handle this.  It mainly surfaces during meal time (like meal time isn’t stressful enough).  But it also pops up randomly during the day.  And yes, some days I just want to win.  I AM the Mom after all, but I know that some days she needs to win.  But it is such a fine line to walk!  And even though she “looks” like she is doing great, family life is still very new to her and I’m sure she’s wondering when someone else is going to swoop in and move her again. After all, she was only in her new home 3 months before we came into the picture.

I’m sure some of you adoption Moms (or soon-to-be) are wanting examples.  But I don’t think I can express in words exactly what’s going on.  The food issues are pretty typical…I want what he’s having, He’s done so I’m done, I need a pink fork not a yellow one…..none of this is new to us, Will did it and I’m sure Wyatt will too, typical toddler stuff with the added excitement of a new relationship. But then there’s some other stuff, like when she says she’s done and you take her plate away and she cries so you give it back and the cycle goes on and on.  Or when she drops a cracker on the floor and insists I pick it up right that second and if I don’t then she stops eating entirely.  (and we have a hoover dog so what’s the point of picking up dropped food?) Maybe these aren’t control issues, maybe it’s just a coping mechanism, or a security thing.  I don’t know.  I am really trying to be sympathetic. I just can’t figure out when to be the parent and went to let her be comforted with whatever odd-ball thing she wants/needs to do.  I have asked for (non-professional) opinions but only ended up more confused.  (Apparently all 3 kids should eat exactly the same thing at every single meal.  That doesn’t work in this house.  We all eat similar things, but every one has something on their plate that I know they will eat and like.)  I keep saying the kids should eat behind voter ballot boxes and everyone would be happy.  Anyway, we have a new game plan for this week, and another for the next if that doesn’t work, and on and on and on. 

So that is where we are at. Re-reading this it sounds like I’m being petty but I promise I’m not.  It’s something we deal with every hour of the day.  Is it difficult and tiring?  YES.  Will we get past this successfully?  YES.

I wrote this last week.  Since then Ella had a bit of a stomach bug so she was pretty limited on her food choices.  But that seems to be the fresh start we needed for meal time.  Praying this new change sticks around!

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Monday, April 16, 2012

outside time

No big story to go with these pictures.  A few weeks ago we headed out after dinner to pull weeds, blow bubbles, picked flowers dandelions, took pictures and visited with neighbors.  We just spent the evening enjoying our yard for one of the last times.

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

easter ‘12 (parts 1 and 2)

Sundays are always a busy day for us.  And Easter adds in an extra stop and meal.  It’s almost like Christmas but add in dressing up and chocolate.

My trio in their Easter duds.  Actually, we didn’t do any Easter shopping this year.  I just raided their closets for their fanciest church clothes and went with that.  Not too bad, but I think Will’s seersucker pants were a bit too big.  (and you should expect to see these outfits again when it’s time for Ella’s church dedication.)

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As you can imagine, getting a pic of the trio is nearly impossible.  This is as good as it gets.2012-04-08 Easter (Ella's first) (2)

These two cooperated for one last picture but I think they thought it was better than the alternative….getting buckled into their carseats.

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Will thought he was pretty silly smiling with a mouthful of candy.

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We had the traditional egg hunt at Mimi & Poppy’s house.  Ella was all about egg hunting, she catches on pretty quick.  Plus she had practiced at Will’s birthday party the previous day so she was an ole pro by this point.  Wyatt wanted nothing to do with hunting eggs.  He would pick them up, put them back where he found them and walk on.  If you put them in his basket he got mad and took them back out.  He had gotten 2 monster trucks in his basket that morning so he didn’t want anything else in there interfering with his trucks.

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After late naps we headed to Chris’s family for another egg hunt.  Wyatt had the same opinion about egg hunting as earlier so he just ran around checking things out.  Ella was on a mission, she does have a sweet tooth after all. Will also was a quick hunter, thanks to Hanna, the worlds best egg hunter.

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And then we hung out in the front yard watching other people love on our kiddos.  It was a nice break.

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And then the traditional family picture.  Surprisingly they all cooperated for it. 

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And we spent the rest of the evening perfecting our skateboarding skills.  Ella seemed to enjoy it, as did Will & Jack.2012-04 April8

We had a wonderful first Easter with Ella!  I can’t wait till next year when she can really understand and enjoy the Easter activities at church.  (we worked with the 4 year olds Sunday and she did great hanging out with all of those kids!)