Monday, November 16, 2009

The First Weekend

Looks like we are gonna have a lot of "firsts."

The First Weekend with JJ is over. And we all survived it intact.

We had a lot of visitors. Joseph's parents stayed over (Thank God!) and left yesterday afternoon. We didn't know how JJ would take the news that Nai Nai and Ye Ye didn't live with us. But we explained right before they left and he took the news well. I thought he was a bit surprised at first, though. Yup, kid. You're stuck with just Mama and Baba. I think the fact that he is a "only" will hit him hard later.

My friend H left yesterday morning. I told her that my calls to her will be shifting from my having a brain tumor to JJ getting Ebola or something. She said she expected that. LOL.

Joseoph's sister Judy, her husband Paul and their son Luke came over for lunch. Caroline (their daughter) was at a school event. Anyway, we had an American cook out with burgers and hot dogs and potato chips. JJ had a hot dog and fell in love with potato chips. Which is great because we're a potato-chip-kinda-family! Judy also finished up the curtains and now JJ's room is complete. Luke made a Lego car for JJ and JJ helped. It was nice to see Luke take JJ in hand and help him out. Luke's comment was that JJ is tall!

[We now pause briefly for this service announcement : "Thank God for Judy."]
Our friend Nicole came to visit as did our friend Jacqui. Nicole came bearing gifts and I understand that JJ got to talk to Jason on the phone. I had to go into work for a few hours so I missed this part. But Joseph said that JJ had a good time with Aunt Nik.

JJ also got a phone call from his First Friend Niles. I looked up at one point and JJ was on the phone. So I ran upstairs to Joseph to find out what was going on and Niles had called. Nai Nai said she handed him the phone and he didn't know what to do! LOL. But he seemed to settle in because they had a long conversation!

After a weekend of American food, we showed JJ the art of Thai Takeout. We called it in, walked up to get it as a family. At dinner, he ate a lot. We got his favorite - noodles (pad thai) - and he even wanted some rice! I bet he thought he was never going to get Chinese (or Asian) food ever again. The difference in food was startling. I never really consciously noticed it before but the Thai food was all veggies. And he LOVED it. I mean, he CHOWED. He patted his belly and kept saying "delicious, delicious." Poor kid. I was worried about his digestion going to an high white-carb American diet with comparatively little veggies after a high fiber veggie diet. We will get him Thai take out regularly or we will make a lot of stir fry.

I hope I lose weight as a result of his healthy eating!

JJ has issues with his jaw and lack of development/strength. It could also be that his teeth are not aligned right. And if you add the fact that he probably ended up getting mostly "softer" foods in China, he has a tough time chewing any piece of meat that is not super softened. Forget about steak! Jeez. I hate to tell him that's one of Mama and Baba's favorite foods! Anyway, I keep saying it. "Lots O' Speech Therapy!". Poor kid. The great news is that he continues to try everything I put on his plate at least once. And he repeats words over and over to try and say them right. And he is very disciplined. If he is full, he stops eating. It doesn't matter how much he likes the food. What a concept! Again, Mama could learn from this! LOL!

JJ continues to teach us Chinese. I find I have to really FOCUS on what he is saying. Last night, he taught me to say "lamb" in Chinese. He asked if we were having lamb for dinner. I told him it was chicken and he seemed very satisfied with that answer. That's good because Mama is allergic and there will never be lamb in this house! LOL.

JJ has an array of toys from all his aunts and uncles and cousins and friends. He is amazingly NOT selfish. Unless we give him a present, he ignores it. There was a gift on the front foyer all weekend (still there) and he hasn't given it a second look. Of course, I am not sure he knows what "present" and "gift wrap" and "gift giving" is all about. I think the whole intense concept of "gift giving" and "all about the child" so openly is not that Asian or Chinese and certainly not at the orphanage most likely.

JJ also talked to our Chinese teacher, Li Laoshi, through Skype. Again, I was at the office so I'm just getting this second hand. He basically said that he has a lot of toys and we can't understand him (or that he can't understand us - Joseph wasn't sure). I think he really needs someone to talk to that he can have free dialog with. It wouldn't be so bad if he were slow and a dullard. But he is smart and quick thinking. I can't imagine how frustrating it must be for him to be plopped into a place where no one looks or talks like him. Not to mention not having control of your own destiny. I know all that is not lost on JJ. Anyway, Ms Chen the Nanny is coming this afternoon for much needed talking in Chinese!

JJ also discovered the Pleasure of a Plush Robe, courtesy of his Aunt Abby. Joseph had shower duty last night and Joseph showed him the robe. He put it on and was so excited. He came running downstairs yelling for me, and show me how soft and warm and wonderful it is! OMG. It was hilarious watching him model it!

Joseph also took him to a local half marathon where he saw all the runners. After a while, JJ stood out there slapping the hands of the runners and cheering them on. Joseph also said that when they were driving back in the car, JJ saw the last runners and he was clapping for them in the car!

Speaking of running, he runs everywhere. In the house. Up and down the stairs. On the way to Thai takeout. We watched him from the back. He has a big back kick and these long legs that go forever. He will definitely join the high school cross country team one day! He is made for running.

We basically didn't leave the house much to speak of. As far as JJ knows, America looks like our house, our neighborhood, our cars, and our yard. After visiting the stores in China, we decided that Target was NOT a good introduction to America and that Good Old Fashioned American Consumerism can wait. Especially since he seems to have gotten over the "hand out, gimme money" thing he did in China. So we left him home with Nai Nai and Ye Ye while we picked up clothes for him.

This week he will leave the house to get tested at the school to determine placement.

Joseph and I managed to get out to Joseph's tri team's social event for an hour after Target since it was so close. Much needed social time with adults! I think if we had to, JJ is so well-behaved that we could have brought him with us if we had to.

This week we have a lot of other cleaning up to do - more doctor's appointments, finish JJ's closet, etc.

Ok. That's it for now.

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