Settling into our new normal

It’s hard to believe we have only been home almost 2 weeks!  We battled jet lag for almost a week.  I was being the schedule warrior and trying to get everyone back on track as quickly as possible. Then mama hit a wall 4 days later which also happened to be Macey’s birthday. I sat down in the living room for the big present opening craziness and I literally couldn’t get up for the next hour and a half. Crashed!  So needless to say, her celebration was and will be a long one.  I’ve yet to put her in the birthday tutu outfit and take “official” birthday photos.  BUT!  She did get presents, of which her favorite is her fancy, new plasma car.  AND!  She did get her first Colvin family cupcake.  The boys like to call them “Mommy’s special delicious rainbow cupcakes.”  Amazing how far a little food coloring will go!  Macey thoroughly enjoyed her cupcake.  She would close her eyes as she took bites.  Soooo good.  We all had a great time watching and celebrating with her.

Now almost two weeks later, we’re finally over the jet lag and I think the Chinese pollution has officially and finally left my lungs and skin.  Reason #2,458 I’m happy to be home!  The boys are back on track at school and Parker is back at work and hitting the school board campaign trail hard.  Macey and I are getting in our girly groove while the boys are off doing their things during the day.  It’s so different starting out at 2 years old.  Different in a good way, but also different with inherent challenges.  She is still a little hesitant to wander far from me, but getting more courageous every day.  She is also very small for her age, a little unsteady on her feet and not very strong .. all things that make climbing playground equipment for the first time a little tough.  But with the amount of food she’s consuming and the running around she’s getting better at every day, she’ll get there soon.  We started kindergym (think gymboree at a very neighborhoody/small towny level) last week and she loves it!  I need to find some other 2 year old chicks for her to hang out with.  Playgroup here we come!  I’m so out of touch.  I did a couple of playgoups when the big kid was a babe, nothing, of course, for the second kid, but with 5 days on my hands, mama needs some interaction .. for my sanity and hers.

To say Macey is thriving is an understatement.  She’s babbling up a storm, copying many words and phrases, and loves to sing, and sing loudly!  Drives the boys bananas.  She also mastered the spoon in about 2 days.  My observations are that 1) she is fiercely independant 2) She hates to get her hands dirty.  We go through about a dozen napkins at every meal. No joke.  She is constantly reaching for the napkins or shoving her grubby paws at me for help.  She’s sleeping like a little champ.  We read her a story, sing twinkle twinkle as we snuggle and then toss her into bed. Yes, we toss her.  She loves it.  She loves nothing more than to be tossed in the air, chased after and to rough house – 2 year old tiny girl style – with the boys and Parker.  I still have to wake her most mornings.  However, yesterday morning we went in and she was sitting on the pile of pillows on the floor next to her bed (??) sucking her thumb. I have no idea if that’s where she slept or if she slithered off the bed and set up camp there to wait for me to come in and get her.  She has fallen out of bed twice.  One time I heard it, went in and put her back into bed without her really even waking up.  The other time, I didn’t hear it happen and only found out when I went in to get her the next morning and there she was, sound asleep on top of the pile of pillows on the floor.  That was probably a week ago so we aren’t doing too bad.  She’s also fine in the car now. It only took 3 trips for her to get it.  She even tries to help do her buckles and gets mad if I don’t let her.  She’s a very calm, happy girl most of the time. She’s starting to throw fits here, which is actually a good thing as it’s a very developmentally normal thing for a 2 year old.  She’s smart about when to throw them too.  And she’s also quickly learning that they don’t really work all that well.  Her food issues have rapidly improved as by now I think she realizes she will always get fed and there’s no need to rush as she can have more if she wants it.  I’m very relieved for this one as it was so sad to watch her in the early days.  How upsetting to think of what “meal” times were like for her before she joined our family.  And furthermore, how many other children have to endure much of the same until they get their forever families. If they ever do.

Our trip to China was an eyeopening experience on so many levels.  As difficult as it was, I’m so happy to have shared it as a family.  Parker and I came home with much greater appreciation for all that we have.  Not just the stuff we own or otherwise have.  But on a grander scale.  We have opportunity. We have freedom.  We have rights. It doesn’t take long in a place far from the big cities in China to realize how good we have it as Americans.  Don’t get me wrong, China is not all bad!  Deeply rooted customs and beliefs that are rich and unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.  So much natural beauty that it makes the walls of smog even more saddening to look out at.  However, I will just say that having a taste of life in a communist country was just the dose of reality I needed to come back, especially during an election year, and have a much better outlook on what a gift it is to have the life we have and to be able to share it with another human being whose life probably wouldn’t have mattered to anyone, or who would have otherwise not have amounted to anything.

Top Ten Reasons I’m Glad to be HOME!

  1. 1. I no longer have to witness men dropping trou and peeing anywhere, anytime.
  2. 2. If anybody touches my kids’ hair, face, arm, they will clearly understand and comprehend when I say back the f off and not just keep on with their inappropriateness!
  3. 3. I missed my seatbelt. A lot!
  4. 4. Traffic laws – those who abide by them and those who enforce them.
  5. 5. Mirror, signal, blindspot
  6. 6. Non-smoking establishments instead of “sections” (aka a non-smoking table right next to a smoking table)
  7. 7. Produce!  Fresh, crisp, non-diarrhea inducing produce!
  8. 8. Drinking and brushing my teeth with water that comes right out of the tap.  My teeth are happy too as they saw firsthand what non-fluoridated water can do to a mouth!
  9. 9. 2 lane roads and not a car in sight as far as the eye can see (nothing scarier than a 10 lane road but yet nobody’s driving fully in their own lane!)
  10. 10. Our beautiful girl is finally home!
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