Wednesday, July 1, 2009

First Trip to the Beach!

We like to make an annual stop at the beach to unwind, and Gulf Shores is one of our favorite stops. I tried to prepare Jack, who has never seen the ocean, by checking out some books at the library. My efforts were in vain, however, because he was convinced that the beach was a building! Every so often he would point at a building and ask, "Is that beach?"

When we finally hit the strip that runs parallel to the ocean and he got a good look, he said, "Jack no lika that big water." Have I said that he sounds a little Italian at times? :0) He got over that fear very quickly and loved his time at the beach. He especially loved digging in the sand. He loves to dig at our house, and this provided him the opportunity of endless digging .... and with no restrictions!! Could life be any grander?

We are delighted to follow along with some friends of ours who are currently in flight to China right now to get their little boy in their first adoption. We will be checking on them for the next couple of weeks as they make the journey that is so familiar to our family. Hold on, Jacob, your family is on their way!!

Jack's English is coming along just fine. He is still working on his fine motor skills and, as we suspected, has a little "catching up" to do developmentally, but we have a plan in place for him to assist with that. He will attend preschool in the fall and has a weekly "play class" with an occupational therapist. We've already witnessed progress from his play dates with Miss Karen. His need for sensory input has become more controlled.

We really do take so many things for granted sometimes. I've watched as Jack looked curiously at his cupcake trying to figure out what to do with the paper liner and how he didn't have a clue just how to walk in his new flip flops. What resulted was mighty funny. Little things like these he must be shown how to do. He didn't even know how to crawl - we're speculating that there never was an opportunity to do so since he probably went from a crib to a walker. Can he learn how to do these things? You betcha. He's as smart as a whip and catches onto things quickly; he simply was never exposed to them before. BTW, he's doing just fine in his flip flops and wears them every chance he gets!

His eating, I think, is finally beginning to slow down. He was forever eating 3 servings at dinner until his little belly would stick out. He also wanted to eat really fast, which probably contributed to the amount he wanted to eat. Would you believe that for the longest he didn't gain any weight? Gosh, I wish I could do that? Apparently, he, as many orphans do, had some nutritional deficits that needed to be filled before his body could even begin to think about growing. I remember that with Jenna - all of a sudden, boom, up she grew. Jenna, who was always shorter than Jack in China, now "towers" over him by 2 inches. He can't stand it and insists that he is bigger. Just like a man.

Anyway, enjoy the photos! (BTW, we do have 2 other children, but one of them is a teenage girl and avoids the camera like the plague. Sam is the one graciously allowing Jack and Jenna to bury him in the sand! And, if you look carefully at Jenna's legs, you can see the scars from her hip surgeries. It looks pretty ouchy, but all I see are 2 very strong and able legs that belong to a very determined little girl - our Peanut.)


Sharon said...

Michelle, Good to see pictures of Jenna and Jack. Hudson sounds similiar to Jack..he didn't crawl either (really ONLY walked), didn't roll over, couldn't stand from a sitting position, sit from standing, run, jump, climb. etc. He was only 2 1/2 when we brought him home and it was amazing how quickly he learned things given the opportunity. He also gorged himself for a few months and didn't gain but we just had to buy him new shoes again!!! His feet have grown 5 sizes since a year ago!!!! I know you feel as we do, grateful and humbled every day to have the honor of parenting them!!! (And yes, Hudson's scars don't phase us either, they represent GREAT things!!!)

teri said...

Michelle, So many ways your Jack reminds us of our Andy. He too can eat and eat and burns it off. I often wish I could see one meal at the orphange to understand better. He likes to crawl sometimes now even though he is purely capable of walking and running. I liked what you said about taking things for granted. I think of it daily and with speech therapy now I think of it all the time. How many times do I look at him and thank God for him and just can't believe he is here and is as much a part of our family and anyone. My husbands family loves Golf Shores! So great to see your pictures of all those great kids you have! How lucky we are to all be connected!

Gayle and Tony said...

Very cute pictures. Funny, Alex makes that same pose that Jack is making standing over his brother in the sand. Oh - those Pingliang boys:)