"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance.The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break." -Chinese proverb

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Cruisin'- day 12

We slept in this morning and it was lovely! Erik has been playing musical beds lately because his back has been killing him. Here is the set up in our room: in one room is a king size bed and the crib for Charlotte, the other room has a couch that Liana sleeps on, a portable bed for Ella, and we bought a blow up mattress for Ethan. There are also two bathrooms, one in our room with a bath and a shower and the other in the kids' room with just a toilet. It's pretty wonderful that we can shut the door and have the kids in a different room, however, Erik's back is not loving the bed in our room so he has tried switching with Liana but the couch is small and it didn't help. Then he tried switching with Ethan and his back did fine on the air mattress one night but not the next night. He has been working out semi regularly while we're here because that helps a lot but it hasn't helped enough. Not sure who will be sleeping with me tonight but I don't care, as long as they don't keep me or Charlotte awake!

So while Erik was working out this morning, the kids and I went to the outdoor play area and Charlotte actually played this time! She went straight for the play set and climbed in and even followed Ethan in the climb through tunnel. This doesn't sound like much but it shows a lot of growth for her because the last time we tried it, she just paced around, curious but too nervous to actually play. As she shows her personality more and more, we can see that she has a great sense of humor. She LOVES when she makes someone laugh and looks all pleased with herself. Erik said she likes "physical comedy" and it is so true! This is why the kids are falling all over themselves to get a giggle out of her.

Tonight, we went on the Pearl River Cruise. We missed out on it last time because they cancelled it due to rain in the forecast that didn't end up happening. So we were really glad to have another chance because we had heard that it is a lot of fun. The kids were thrilled when they saw the ship because the front is shaped like a dragon. Ethan was dancing and singing, "We're going on a pirate ship, we're going on a pirate ship!" It was just an hour cruise up the Pearl River and back but it was beautiful! There are a lot of amazing buildings all lit up and they have the bridges lit up. The weather was perfect and we all loved it!

She is using her voice more and more. I was worried for a while because she never said a thing or made any noises with her mouth unless she cried or laughed until the day I first heard her say "mama." I asked the director of the orphanage and she said that she is a very quiet girl and I wasn't sure if she was saying that "mama" was her only word or not. Luckily, I was reassured by a lot of parents on a Facebook group I'm on who have also adopted children with cleft lip/cleft palates that their children didn't speak much for a while either. So we might not have many words until after her palate is repaired. Her palate has a very large cleft although I haven't had a lot of chances to see it yet. She is making more and more sounds the more comfortable that she gets with us so we'll see what she's capable of as time goes on and we will obviously have her first palate surgery as soon as we can after being home a bit.

Well, we have an early morning tomorrow so I will get to the pics!

  An accurate depiction of how she felt about me taking pictures 

Prettiest piggies

The many expressions of Charlotte

Our "pirate ship"

Monday, March 27, 2017

Pandamonium- day 11

We woke up nice and early this morning so that we could eat at the amazing breakfast buffet before we met up with a bunch of other Holt families in the lobby to go to the Chimelong Safari Park. The drive to the safari park take close to an hour and we had a lot of kids with motion sickness on our bus. 3 or 4 kids got sick, including Charlotte, on the bus. Guess who chose to sit by each other instead of sitting by Mommy and Charlotte on the way home? Everybody.

Anyhoo, we got to the safari park and got straight into line for...well, a safari. We rode on these train looking things to see the animals and Charlotte loved it! Thank God! I was worried she might get sick again but it was in open air and that made all the difference. She didn't care about the animals one little bit but she loved the ride.

After the safari, we ditched our guide and walked around the rest of the park. Ethan was thrilled that the first part was a Dinosaur Trail with all of these animatronic dinosaurs. He acted like a little know it all because he, Daddy and Ella had run through the rain to see it the last time we came 4 years ago while the rest of our group waited in a gift shop. Never mind, he was only 2 then, he acted like he remembered it all. What a goofball! Of course, the most important part of the safari park was the PANDAS!! Apparently, this park holds the only living panda triplets. It's a BIG deal and they play it up big time. The pandas were very cool because pandas always are. The park was fun but exhausting! The drive home was very quiet and I think all of the kids were too busy sleeping to throw up.

Charlotte was so good at the safari park! She opens up to us more and more every day. She has her times where she avoids me but I'm also the one she wants for comfort. Always. She only wants Mommy when she's tired or grumpy, which is fine by me! But she loves all of the kids and she loves her Daddy too! She is showing some sass more and more, thinking she's funny. It's too cute when she gets in one of her silly moods. But then she also kind of stands around avoiding eye contact with any of us other times. She definitely has a long ways to go but she's come a long way already. I know this has to be so confusing and crazy to her but she's tough like her big sis, Liana, and she will make it through.

I don't think they're dead...?

 Sorry Buddy, don't think that's going to work.

Apparently we really like the "scared" pose

This is the face she made when she drank Sprite

She slept through the pandas! :-(

She's passed out here too but I put her in the picture anyway. Haha

The triplets...one...

two and three

Silly girl making silly faces at Ella