Monday, August 20, 2007

We Are Back!

Wow! What a journey this has been (and still is)! The older boys are back at school - I cannot believe that I have a middle schooler!! Aahh! Also one in 4th grade, and my baby is in Kindergarten. Time just goes by too fast! But I know everyone wants to know about the newest addition to our household - Sam! He is just wonderful. Things are going better than I ever dreamed they could. He is so sweet and obedient and so smart! He learns more and gets more comfortable every day!! The bonding has gone really well. In China, it was all about Daddy and now that we are at home, it is all about Mommy. Emma has adjusted well to being a big sister and of course Robbie, who is always full of joy, delights in having Sam for a little brother. Coleman and Jack continue to be amazing big brothers. The only issues we have relate to food, with the occasional potty/sanitary issue. It will all come in time. Sam wants to eat ALL THE TIME! Bless his heart, he eats (and poops) nonstop. It has become his security blanket. Instead of a lovey, he will carry around a sealed snack pack of Spiderman Cheez Its all day long. Just having it with him, knowing he could eat it at anytime, makes him feel comfortable. He calls me Mama already and when he dropped something the other day he said "Uh Oh!" He signs for more (when he wants more food) and has recently begun to say it too. He has a great sense of humor and laughs a lot. He is very loving and happy. He loves to go to the pantry and point out what he wants to eat. He gets so excited and will squeal and clap. He will say "Ni Hao" (very nasal sounding voice with the open palate) and wave, and then he will wave if someone says "Goodbye." He is potty trained, but we put him in Pull Ups because in China he had the freedom to relieve himself wherever he was. We decided with all of the flights and bus rides and the language barrier, not to mention some tummy issues, to go with Pull Ups. He still wears them here at home as we all try to get on a schedule. He will occasionally have an accident, usually during carpool when we don't have access to a potty and he is still not vocal enough to let us know. He doesn't seem to mind - I am hoping that he does not get used to it. He really is good about using the potty, but for the past 2 weeks, with the increased food intake, I feel like that we spend a good portion of the day pottying. And he does not have the potty etiquette issues (for lack of anything better to call it!) that we have so we are really working on that. Mommy will not compromise on sanitary issues. He is a really good listener, and he is not getting as upset anymore when I try to redirect him. He responds well to "No" and does not get upset (I wish the same were true for his sister). We had our first visit with the pediatrician who thinks he is great and really healthy. So far, we have gotten the results from one of his tests and everything looks great. We should receive results from the other tests soon. His motor skills were always good, but he did not have a lot of muscle strength. Now we can really see an improvement! I took Emma and Sam to the playground and they played on the swings, slides and stairs. They had a lot of fun, and it was great to see how far Sam has come in the past 2 weeks! We have our first appointment with the Cleft Team in November. At first, I was really upset that it was so far away, but I have realized that with our schedule, it is probably a blessing. This will allow us to get used to all of our activities and schedules before adding this very important aspect of our lives. He eats well and has learned how to adjust the way he eats and drinks to accommodate the unrepaired palate. Well, I am sure there are a thousand other things that I want to tell you, but there is plenty of time for that. Enjoy the pictures!


At 1:28 PM , Blogger Sophia's Mama said...

Julie, Sam is beautiful and he seems to be a very happy little boy. We really enjoyed following your story.

Emma looks so big next to him.


At 2:50 PM , Blogger Shelly & Family! said...

Oh Julie...the photos are breath-taking...I love them! And I have been waiting for this post for a long time now! I love hearing your story (and his) and I can't wait to hear more!

At 3:38 PM , Blogger Mama Of 2 said...

Beautiful photos and one beautiful Son you have!!!

He looks to be very happy. I also wanted to say thanks for letting me follow your journey.

You have a BEAUTIFUL FAMILY! and I am so happy for you!!


At 3:48 PM , Blogger Lily Kate's Mom said...

Wow Julie, he looks so happy and content. The photos with Emma are too sweet.

Glad you're back and posting - we have all been craving some news.

Susan Love

At 3:56 PM , Anonymous Colleen said...

Welcome back! Sam looks wonderful! Glad to hear the transition at home is going so smoothly. What a beautiful family you have.


At 8:58 PM , Blogger Sam said...

I'm so happy for your family!!! Sam is such a cutie! Love the photos of him with Emma. Thanks for the update!

At 9:19 PM , Blogger jiangxigirls said...

It is about time with the update!! LOL It sounds like all is going well and I just love the photos. I am still holding out hope that we can see each other this week. I am so excited to meet Sam and compare the pics of Olivia and Robbie from last year!


At 7:36 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Julie, I loved following along on your trip and it's wonderful to see you back home... I love the pics of Sam and Emma, they're both delicious... welcome home!!

Mommy to Thomas and Emma

At 6:47 PM , Anonymous Annette said...

Congratulations and welcome back home... Sam is a cutie! Love the photos of him and big sister Emma...very sweet.

At 1:39 AM , Blogger Anne said...

Sam is adorable! Welcome home!

At 12:20 PM , Blogger Hardin Family said...

well it's about time you updated. I was about to think you were me!!


Jennifer Hardin

At 3:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm so happy everything turned out so well. He is such a handsome fellow. We've been waiting for an update. Love to all.


At 10:46 AM , Blogger redmaryjanes said...

What a beautiful family. You are meeting up with a blogfriend of mine this weekend and she attached a link to your blog. It looks fantastic. Heather did some headers for my blog, she is the best. Have a great time this weekend.

At 12:05 PM , Blogger kris said...

First, I'm totally SHOCKED I've never seen your site, since we were pimped by the same person and follow many of the same blogs! (I actually met Stacy this summer at that GA blog bash). Anyway. That said, LOVE these pics, LOVE your kids- they are all adorable, and I'm so glad to see your littlest adjusting, even if for now he's having to use food to fill that void or feel secure.

Your site is awesome, I'm adding you to my blogroll!

At 7:24 PM , Blogger crazylady said...

Welcome home.
No words can make it any sweeter.

Incredibly beautiful family


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