Thursday, April 19, 2012

Party of Four

We are all busy settling into our new normal - 'Wilson, Party of Four,' as Daddy described it.  Here is our first photo as a foursome, compliments of Zander's teachers during his birthday party on Tuesday:
Mommy and Daddy are adjusting pretty well, still running sleep deficits, but getting readjusted to the timezone.  We're getting a little better at managing two pumpkins - so far using a straight man-to-man approach, with Daddy getting Zander ready in the morning, and Kiana ready at night.  We still have plenty to learn about how to juggle everything, but feel we are making good progress!

It is so fun to see the kids play together - here they are Monday morning hanging out in the play hut:
Kiana really likes to be held, but once she enters 'play mode,' she is quite comfortable and independent, cruising around checking things out:
We can hardly believe that we've only known Kiana for one week!  She continues to be a delight and is quickly warming up to things such as her car seat and highchair (after lots of protesting at first).  She does well in the baby carrier (although sometimes fusses if you are standing still!) - we have not yet tried the stroller.  We still have a long way to go with bathing - Kiana screams and cries in the toddler tub, so we bathe her as quickly as possible.  We look forward to her warming up to bath time very soon!
When we picked up Kiana last Friday in Seoul, we received a brief travel report that provided helpful information on her eating, sleeping, and bathing routines among other things.  The report was translated by our social worker who asked Kiana's foster mother all sorts of questions at our first meeting last Thursday.  We loved the comment that "Kiana likes to push buttons."  We are still wondering whether or not this was strictly a literal description - smile.  Here she is pressing buttons on Zander's laptop:
Back to Zander's birthday on Tuesday... Mommy was excited to get a turn wearing the silly hat in Zander's classroom:
Nana Pat joined us for Zander's birthday dinner.  We let Zander pick the menu - he requested his favorite, shrimp!  Not yet being fully unpacked or settled, we opted for takeout from our favorite local Chinese restaurant.  Here's Zander showing off his Pororo chopsticks during the meal.  We saw a lot of Pororo (Korean Penguin cartoon character) in Seoul - he is very popular with children!
After dinner, Zander's cousins joined us for the festivities.  Zander's sport-themed birthday party was supposed to have been last Saturday, but unfortunately we had to postpone since we weren't yet home from Korea.  Zander received many wonderful gifts on his big day - here he is opening a fun Nerf basketball hoop (which has somehow already worked its way into his bedtime routine) - thanks Nana!
Zander loves hanging out with his cousins - he studies their every move and looks up to them.  He was delighted to sit between Brady and Luke (in their fun baseball hats) when it was cake time:
Zander had requested cake with strawberries, so Mommy tried to deliver.  And speaking of delivery, we received the lovely (and scrumptious) edible arrangement pictured in the lower left corner below as a 'Welcome New Arrival' gift from Zander's school - how thoughtful!  We think Zander ate about 2/3 of the pineapple in the arrangement (in one sitting) - unbelievable!
The boys had a hearty wrapping/tissue paper fight - we were amazed by how unfazed Kiana was by the all of the laughing, yelling, and commotion:
Zander having a blast:
Zander is off to a great start as a big brother!  He happily shared the spotlight with Kiana who received some adorable welcome gifts that evening - here she is with her first baby doll from her cousins:
Zander was the first to test drive Kiana's new 'Princess Ride-On' - a very generous gift from Aunt Heather's parents who are in town visiting and joined the festivities:
Everyone has told me, and it couldn't be more true, little girl clothes are SO MUCH more fun than little boy clothes!  I previously mentioned how generous some of Aunt Heather's friends have been in making sure Kiana had plenty of clothes to wear on such short notice.  Although it was really fun to wash/sort the cute clothes, nothing compares to seeing the little outfits on Miss Kiana!  Here she models one dress in front of our Learning House (recently moved out of storage) - she really enjoys it!
Showing off her belly in some cute heart PJs:
No, she's not always smiling!  Sporting some sweet hot pink ruffles:
Kiana was used to sleeping on a mattress on the floor in her foster home, so, to make her comfortable, we started her on her crib mattress on the floor in our bedroom.  We learned that she moves around - a lot!  She fell of the mattress several times, into crevices between her mattress and our bed and dresser.  We found her a few times with her head on the mattress, but her body off.  My favorite was when Daddy checked on her at one point, "It took me a while to find her," as she had migrated to another area of the floor.  The crib mattress was not working!  So we progressed to a Pack N Play in our room, what a great decision!  The past two days have been much smoother.  Here is Kiana snoozing at nap time:
Kiana's Foster mother was wonderful, and we so appreciated the clothes, toys, and food that she sent home with us to ease the transition.  For the trip home, we received a few servings of rice porridge, yogurt, cheese, snack puffs, and, most surprising to us, a box of Kiana's favorite cookies which came from the bakery Paris Baguette.  (We visited Paris Baguette several times during our first stay in Seoul, and once this trip as well.)  Here is Kiana enjoying one of her 'brownie' cookies:
Trying out Zander's chair - love the cute pink vest!
Zander has been doing fantastic on his green Strider bike, and has started asking for a 'big boy bike' with pedals.  So that was his big birthday present - he picked it out himself at Target. Daddy had to negotiate with our little guy a bit at the store - Zander was insisting that he wanted the 16" pink princess bike.  Here is his 12" Cars bike - he is still learning how to use the pedals:
Making 'spaghetti' with his new Cookie Play-doh set from Uncle Ryan and family:
We've enjoyed taking the edge off of our fatigue and jet lag by laughing with these sweet children.  We love them dearly and they mean the world to us! 

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