Monday, January 09, 2012

Yes, we're back!

Yes, we are back! We've been back since the middle of December, but everything's been a little crazy since then. We got back on Thursday night, and by Saturday I had a terrible case of bronchitis, probably due to all the pollution I was exposed to in China. Even though I was pretty sick I managed to make it to our appointment with PD at the international adoption clinic (two hours away from our house) on the following Monday. He got a good review, and the doctor mentioned that one of PD's ears looked a little red. That night, he spiked a fever of 103.3, so on Tuesday we were at the new local pediatrician...who had never heard of us since I hadn't had a chance to call her yet. She handled her new patient emergency well. Two days later she also had to prescribe medication for the giardia that PD came home with. And we had to find a compounding pharmacy - this is not a prescription that Walgreens can fill. Basically, the first week back was Mommy and PD feeling miserable, spiking fevers regularly, and no-one sleeping thru the night. Please prepare yourself for jet lag. JET LAG SUCKS. PD would sleep until about 2am, then get up for two to four hours, and then sleep until 7am. Let's just say it wasn't pretty. I had not arranged for help during the day, and was just desperate for a relative that would be a caretaker in the future to come over and let me get some sleep. I was also holding PD alllll the time then (his being sick probably exacerbated the situation) so actually getting anything done was nearly impossible. But! Things are much better now. We just needed to get past the first 10 days. PD is doing really well. It was so hard to see the look on his face on the first day we met him in Zhengzhou. He was very confused and just shutting down. We barely heard a noise out of him on the first day, until I tickled his tummy while I was changing his diaper and he laughed. That was so wonderful to hear. He was also quite tiny. He had been 10 kilos according to our update from August, and we figured he had gained *some* weight since. Nope. He was actually a little less than 10 kilo. None of the pants we had brought actually fit him, and we had to go shopping immediately. It was hard to undress him for the first time and feel his ribs and other bones. Today, he can just about fit into 18 month clothes and he's gained at least half a kilo and a nice little tummy. He eats really well and I try to feed him very nutritious food. He loves the organic whole milk! I also continue the bedtime formula bottle that the orphanage was giving him. I wanted to continue his routine, and I also think the extra nutrition is helpful. Wherever we go (not that many places yet, but we've been out a bit), he's the center of attention. The cuteness factor is high! He has a really fun and loving personality. He's picking up new English words every day, and even combined two words last week. I think he's on the cusp of combining more words over the next few days. What he does is work on words. I'll see him take interest in a word, either something he likes or a word I'm encouraging, and I'll catch him practicing it, kind of mouthing it. When he's ready, he'll say it out loud. He knows that we'll usually do a happy dance when we hear a new word, which I'm sure encourages him! PD also is picking up new physical skills. When we first got home the stairs from our first floor too the second floor were terrifying me. I was ready to buy safety gates since he *wanted* to navigate the stairs, but just could not do well. But, within two days he had learned to comedown the stairs safely. We still have to watch him,but I'm not nearly as worried about him getting near the stairs unsupervised. From day one, PD wanted Mommy. On day one he would walk between me and my husband, holding our hands. By day two, I had him in my Ergo carrier, since he absoutely refused to walk. He only wanted Mommy to carry him. By the end or our stay in Zhengzhou he would agree to have Daddy carry him sometimes. I encouraged it by giving them some alone time. We had no wifi in the room, and only an iPad, and the wifi router I thought I was going to bring was not configured properly, so I left it behind. (This is why the blog was not updated.) We had to go to the lobby to get wifi, which was difficult. We would usually just need some downtime when we got back to our hotel room and had no energy to takean active toddler to the lobby. I ended up leaving the two of them in the room while I went to the lobby to try to email updated to family, and provide pictures to the demanding hordes on Facebook. (VPN, people. Get a VPN and you'll have Facebook). We finally purchased a stroller on day 3 or 4, but he would only stay in it for a short while before crying for Mommy again. I'm not complaining! These were all excellent attachment milestones, but it was very draining on my part. Today, he's attached to both of us thankfully, and will even reject Mommy for Daddy sometimes. I don't take it personally ;). We managed to host a small second birthday party for PD at the end of December with the grandparents attending. Mommy even wore some makeup. PD dug into the chocolate cake with glee, and then seemed extra active for the next few hours. Hmmmm.... We also enjoyed lighting Chanuka candles each night, with PD in Daddy's arms, and he enjoyed seeing dreidels spinning. He also likes potato latkes. Mommy needs to go to sleep now, but I'll provide a few pictures for your enjoyment. Other updates to follow.

Still figuring us out on the first day. Not a happy camper.

Scarfing down a banana. He was totally addicted to them, and we had to hide them when it wasn't time to eat one. My husband also refer to them as "yellow fruit", as he knows quite well what bananas are!

Trashing the waiting room at the Physical Examination Center in Guangzhou.

Enjoying the playground on Shamian Island.

Happy Chanukah!