Live...laugh...love Life with 4 kids 6 and under. Our trip to pick up Tonito in China is: mid-March 2008 through April 12. Our trips to pick up Ricky in Ethiopia are in June and August of 2010.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Grandma took all 3 kids to the nearby splash park so mommy could get ready for Tonito's welcome home party. It was so much fun!!!! In China Tonito HATED when we poured water on his head (to wash his hair) and we had to convince him it wouldn't hurt. Now, it's a different story. On the first (FIRST) day of swim lessons the instructor told the class to do different things, while showing them how: "blow bubbles!" (and Tonito would blow bubbles). "Put your ear in the water" (and Tonito would put his ear in). "Now go underwater!" (and Tonito went underwater). "OK Tonito, come up!" (and he stands up). The instructor turned to me and said "He's either really obedient, or really brave." Pobrecito, he probably just thought you had to do exactly what the teacher said, which he did loyally. But now he loves the water!!! He can't actually swim yet, but he kicks at the edge, goes under with his eyes open, lets you hold him to float or swim, etc. He actually "graduated" tot he next level while Vivi needs to repeat it because she won't go underwater!
One other heart-stopping story from the first day of swim lessons. I had Vivi and Tonito in the same class, and we met at the baby pool with 5 other little kids and 2 teachers, ie college kids. I am not knocking their age because for 7 years I was a responsible camp counselor. (responsible is the key difference). A parent asked the instructors if the parents should stay and watch, or leave, and the instructor suggested that we all leave because usually the kids perform better and will do more things in the water without the performance anxiety of having mommy and daddy there. So I introduced them again to the teacher, told them that Tonito might be scared, doesn't speak a lot, blah blah the whole story. I walked away and looked back and he was fine, holding Vivi's hand and doing stretches with the teacher. Perfect, I had time to run to the supermarket for dinner.
I come back 20 minutes later and walk into the pool to see Tonito, wrapped up in a towel in the arms of a lifeguard. "Oh my gosh, is he OK? Did he get hurt?" They looked at me confused, and I realized they didn't know I was his mom. We cleared it up and I explained he was supposed to be in swim lessons. "Oh, we found him wandering around in the locker room and didn't know where he was supposed to be." In shock I grab Tonito and bring him back to his class, fuming. "This is my son Tonito, he was supposed to be in your swim class..." As they began to explain how they accidentally lost the whole class (of 3 year olds) while walking from the baby pool to the big pool, I realized Vivi was not in the class. "Where is my daughter!?" I shrieked frantically looking for Vivi. I began to run around the pool (still holding Maya) and found Vivi in water over her head, clinging to the edge, talking to another little girl and her mom.
I won't get into the details of what I said, but the adrenaline that was trapped in my body after 2 scares and then dealing with the instructors, manager, etc. Anything could have happened- poor Tonito who doesn't know his full name, I don't even want to think about it.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
We had a wonderful welcome home party for Tonito with all of our family and friends!! It was an Open House with people coming in and out throughout the whole afternoon and evening. There were so many kids running around, and the weather turned out perfectly. We made a LOT of food, my aunts and cousins brought a lot of food, and then we had a lot of snacks around for the kids, including tons of chocolate dipped pretzel sticks that Vivi and my sister Emily helped me make:). Tonito had so much fun playing (and eating chocolate pretzels all day!) I think he w
Friday, June 20, 2008
Tonito has been learning more English and can say useful phrases like "That's mine," "Can I see it?" (which sounds like 1 word: caiseeit?), "Can you help me?", and one he hears Vivi repeat 1000 times a day, "I can do it." It has been perfect to have our little chatterbox Vivi playing with Tonito all day because he gets nonstop stream of English, Spanish, and made-up Vivi-isms from which he can pick and choose as he needs. They make up little games together like their game "choo-choo," which involves one kid pulling the back of the tshirt of the other, while the kid in front tries to run around in circles on the trampoline. You "win" if you can pull the back kid down, and then you get to switch. For some reason this game can go on for an hour, alternating turns and laughing hysterically the entire time. Note to self: the perfect time to make dinner!
Sunday, June 15, 2008
After riding many, many rides on the horses (zebras, giraffes, fish) we walked around in Navy Pier and found a singing magician guy who was performing for the little kids. He called up all 3, 4, and 5 year olds to the stage, and Tonito marched right up there with the kids and tried to do what the guy said. Vivi went up too, but she is a little more shy in front of crowds, so she stood in the back VERY embarrassed:). We were so proud of both of them.