Today was the second big test for Aidan of family get-togethers.  The first was my great niece's birthday party and he made it about 40 minutes.  He had no choice but to stay longer at PB's house for Thanksgiving, but he alternated between having fun playing and hanging his head and wanting to leave.  Of course, he ate very little-a couple of spoonfuls of vegetables and two more of squash.  So once we got home LB made a big bowl of Ramen noodles for him with garlic and butter.

Tomorrow he could be in love with turkey; that's just how it is sometimes.  In this photo, below, he is licking the bowl after helping me make chocolate chip cookies.  He loved the dough but refused to eat the cookies (again).  Then the next day when I packed some for tot time and also packed Nilla wafers for him, he wanted the homemade cookies.  He even asked for more when we got home.

 
 

I am part of the best support group that there is-a yahoo! group just for people who adopted, or will adopt, from Beijing SWI.  If you do not have a group for your specific region, you should form one.

Here are some of the things that we discuss:

Food.  Aidan still likes to eat spaghetti for breakfast.  Another parent told me that their kid loves Spam.  So I tried it.  Yep, he does.  One parent gives her child pancakes with ketchup  because that's what the child will eat.  Aidan eats pancakes with syrup on the side.  All of the kids love fruit and vegetables.  Aidan will still not drink milk, though he drinks yogurt.

Sleep.  Aidan wakes frequently during the night and is most comfortable when in bed with me.  He often says he has to use the bathroom, but really doesn't need to most of the time.  I've learned that the kids his age did sleep in a ward with three or four rows of a few beds per row.  The room was dark and they were not allowed to use the bathroom after bedtime, but the nannies were often watching t.v. in an adjoining room.  So they never saw sleeping adults and this kind of makes them nervous when their parents here at home have their eyes closed.  Some of the kids need some noise, some are afraid of the dark, some need nightlights.  Aidan sleeps in the dark, I leave a light on between his room and ours, and he seems fine with or without noise.  During the day he sleeps much better than during the night-probably because he knows that I am awake and watching over him.  I imagine he will continue to wake during the night for a while.

Grief.  Some of the kids have night terrors.  Some wet the bed.  Many are fine for the first fews months at home and then their behaviors change, reflecting their grief.  Aidan rarely but occasionally will cry in his sleep.  He does not wake up, but there are tears pouring down his cheeks.  It seems to be related to times when he is confused like when he got his leg caught between his mattress and the wall, and when he has had a headache and fever.  But he has also expressed some profound grief when uncomfortable in social settings.  Yesterday he went to see our doctor.  The exam was fine.  The waiting room, and then waiting in the room for the doctor, were very traumatic to him and he rolled around on the floor and sobbed.  He even knew before getting out of the car because he didn't want to get out-usually he unbuckles himself and jumps out.  So I expect to see more of this as time goes on, especially while his language skills are still developing.

 
 

RB comes over, gives his exuberant kisses and hugs, then asks, "Where's Aidan?"   Aidan is upstairs watching tv, cups his hand and gestures, saying, "C'mere, c'mere".  Together they decide to watch the Cars DVD which holds Aidan's attention for about five minutes (unlike  Tom & Jerry, which he could watch all day) while RB knows the movie just about by heart (he doesn't have cable or satellite, so it's a favorite at his house).  So RB watches while Aidan makes puzzle squares on the floor.  Then they both end up in G's model room checking out car models and parts before eventually settling down to good old-fashioned Play-Doh.

 
 

Aidan was very excited to receive his own gift wrapped package in the mail this week-a Mickey Mouse backpack filled with his own Mickey and other goodies.  This came from our friends in FL and he couldn't have been more thrilled.  He loves both Dora and Mickey and talks volumes about both of them whenever he sees their image!

Then came the unwanted gift.  LB and I have been sick for the last few days, so it was inevitable that Aidan should come down with a fever as well.

However, he bounced back this morning at the sight of snow falling again.

 
 

Sorry, I know that there are some odd things in the posting below, but when I try to edit it, I get a blank screen.  There was some glitch that actually posted this entry more than 10 times when I was trying to save it.  If I figure it out, I'll remove the empty stuff-in the meantime, please enjoy what is there.

 
 

Yesterday we spent very little time outside, but needed it, so this morning we walked up to Mom's house and then up into the field to see the cows.

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Last night was a rough night for sleep.  I am going through a migraine cycle (if you get them, you know what I mean) and Aidan simply took too long a nap yesterday, so the night was broken up repeatedly with him waking.  Finally this morning I was in that dead sleep zone when he came running into my room, pointed at the window and yelled excitedly at the top of his lungs.  Snow!  (Of course, he was speaking in Chinese, but some things really don't need translation).  Among other things, he likes to burp loudly after eating and laugh at himself, stick his tongue out at the camera, watch snow fall, go to the mailbox, play with dogs, play with cars and trucks, build things, eat junk food if he can get away with it, etc.  Just like any other four year old.

 
 

I am thinking of adding some upgrades to my site, and I'm curious about who is checking it out.  If you could please tell me how often you've visited (first time?  once in a while?  regularly?) and why (pre-adoptive, post-adoptive, friend/family?) I'd have a better idea of what to add.  Thanks!

 

Tot Time

11/13/2008

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Aidan's not exactly a tot, but there is no preschool in our town, so I took he and RB to the tot time at the community center in the town next to us.  He was hesitant to play, at first, but got into it eventually.  He really wants to play "big kid" games, though, like basketball-he brought the ball to me and pointed to the hoop.  We ended up playing air hockey instead and he is very good at it.  He plays left handed.  There are more pictures under photos.

 
 

Yesterday our case manager/social worker came for her first visit since our return home on October 31.  Her first comment about Aidan was, "Wow, he is tall."  That is the general response to meeting him both by people in China and here.  In China most people guessed him to be about seven years old.  Back when I got his referral, I printed the US growth charts and tracked his height and weight.  He was in the top 2% for both, and I would estimate that he is going to be about six feet tall or a little taller when he is done growing.

I think she saw a pretty happy little guy-he was sitting on my lap, then sword fighting with his sister when she got home from school.  I told her about the things he likes to play with-a Mickey Mouse computer game from my sister, swords and trucks and anything mechanical, balls of all kinds, Play-Doh.  He recognizes Dora (he goes on and on about her!), Mickey Mouse, and Spider-Man from home, though their names are different here.

He has slept at night for two nights in a row now and naps after lunch for less than his three-four hours that he was doing back in China.  Food is still experimental, though I found out yesterday he likes raw hot dogs, he has re-discovered his love of bananas, and he won't eat meatballs (at least not now-sometimes he rejects foods and then takes to them later).  He likes egg noodles, but not the way that I cook them, and he'll dig through food for snow peas until he has eaten every last one of them.

Oh, and the band-aid?  I replaced it once, accompanied by many tears and sobs, and then he wouldn't let me touch it.  I think he thought it was a sticker.  So I finally took the second one off in his sleep.  About two days later he realized it was gone and I just made a big deal about the boo-boo being all better now.