Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Joshua Day!

Waiting in the lobby of the hotel, anxious to walk over to the Civil Affairs Office building, I thought about the day we received Kai. I remember how BIG she was, and how active she was, but most especially how happy she was. I kept preparing myself for the worst this time, for there's no way we could end up with 2 "smiling, happy, Buddha babies" (this was the term Marie used for Kai 5 years ago)! As we rode up the elevator, I became short of breath, and I could feel my heart racing. There were only 3 families this trip, as opposed to 13 the last time, so I knew it would be less chaotic in the Civil Affairs Office. What I didn't realize was that it was still going to take a long time to get my baby, because the hand-off of the babies was long and drawn out, allowing the new parents to ask questions of the nanny, through our guide. Our turn was last! While we waited we kept trying to get Joshua's attention, waving at him and saying Ni Hao. The same thing happened with him as with Kai; He was active and looking around everywhere, moving his glance quickly to all the unfamiliar things in this room, but when he finally made eye contact with me he stopped and stared, and then smiled at me. Just as with Kai, I think he somehow knew who I was. I believe in this long red thread that the Chinese say connect souls. I believe my children were destined to be mine

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Arriving in Chongqing

Days ago, when we received our travel itinerary we were disappointed that the CCAI representative that would be with us all week in Chongqing would not be Marie, the same guide we had 5 years ago. We were pleasantly surprised to be greeted at the CQ airport by her! Though she would not be our rep this week, she welcomed us with hugs and rode the bus with us over to the hotel. I was very sad to see her go. She took such good care of us the last time!

Our guide for the week, Eva, took us on a tour around the hotel area. This is the most populated city in all of China... home to over 30 million people, so the crowded streets make NYC seem small. A couple of times we had to remind Eva to slow down because some of the families traveling with us have kids with them and had trouble keeping up. We went all through the downtown square, where she pointed out McDonald's, KFC, and even Starbucks! She said that Chongqing is growing so fast that they have to create a new city map every 3 months. I know that Starbucks was NOT there 5 years ago... this I would have known! We walked through an underground mall, which was a nice reprieve from the heat. The gocery market was similar to the one we visited before in CQ - lots of interesting sights and smells. The local "massage center" was pointed out, which I DO plan on taking advantage of this time! And there is a community pool in this underground mall, which we do NOT plan on swimming in! Easy access up to the hotel will make this mall a very convenient amenity for us this week! But don't count on us buying any of the chicken feet, rabbits, or pig snout that we saw in the market!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

We Are in China!

We arrived in Beijing at 2:40 pm today, which was 2:40 am to our bodies and minds. We almost went into panic mode at the airport because we couldn't find our driver... we searched the crowd of signs for our name for a good 25 minutes before we finally found him! He wove us through the streets of Beijing, beeping every 2 minutes and swerving to avoid many accidents. Joel reminded me that the lines on the streets here are merely suggestions! We got very little sleep during the last 22 hours, so we completely crashed once we checked into our hotel. After our nap we ventured out to a restaurant we were told had an English menu. The tofu and pickled eggs I ordered was delivered to our table at least 20 minutes before Joel's fried pork. In the states it is customary for wait staff to deliver everyone's food at once, however, often we get limp and/or cold meals that have been sitting under a heat lamp waiting for the rest of the table's meal to be ready... I can't say our way is better! We would head to Joshua's hometown the next morning, so though we decided not to arrive earlier in the week for touring, we tried to at least do a little touring of our own of downtown. The last time we visited Beijing we toured The Great Wall, The Forbidden City, Tienamen Square, and many temples and gardens of old China... quite the contrast to this modern, booming downtown area. We walked around soaking in the sights (and smells, yuck) until 11 or so, and then decided we better try to get some rest for our trip to Chongqing.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Visas have been applied for.. almost time to schedule flights!

Another milestone reached: I sent our applications for Chinese visas today. I had to pay extra to expedite it because I'm a little late in the timeline, no surprise to those of you who know me well! So hopefully we will get our visas and travel approval around the same time and be ready to schedule flights! I will try my best to schedule a flight into Charlotte that arrives at a good time for people to meet us there. When we returned home with Kai, it was a Friday afternoon, and there were over 50 people there greeting us. It was absolutely awesome, and so special to see so many people welcoming Kai into the family and into the community. Afterwards I realized that several people would have been there if they knew it was an open invitation, so this time I'm extending it to everyone I know! I'm a huge advocate of adoption, and I am not very private about my feelings toward the subject. I am so lucky to have so many friends and family members who embrace our children, both biological and adopted. We just watched the video of Kai's homecoming a few weeks ago. The love and emotion in that airport is unbelievable and overwhelming, and an experience everyone should witness at least one time in their life. Adoption is a beautiful, beautiful thing!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Big Brother is Waiting

Eli is very excited about his baby brother, Joshua. I don't think he totally gets it, but he loves babies in general and gets very excited when we look at pictures of Joshua or talk about him coming home. One of our travel group friends from our first trip to China sent us a a small mylar balloon on which she had Joshua's referral picture printed. When we first received it both Kai and Eli were excited and fought over it. We finally put it in Joshua's new room, on his dresser, but it didn't stay there long. Little Eli likes to carry it around the house all day long, every day, and it has even made a few trips in the car with us. He loves saying, "Baby Jah-ooh-uh" with pauses inbetween each syllable. I love that they are exactly a year apart and share the same birthday. It will hopefully give them a special bond quite different from the Chinese bond Joshua will share with his sister.

Waiting... AGAIN!!!

And the wait goes on... this time we're waiting for travel approval from China. I've been going nuts for the last 4 days checking my e-mail and my agency website every 20 minutes or less, sometimes rushing home from being out and about! I don't remember the wait for travel approval being this long with Kai. And you would think that these updated pictures would help me get through this wait... but it actually just makes it worse. It validates that Joshua is getting older and bigger, and I can't stand the thought of him being motherless any longer.

We did get some preliminary information today stating that we would more than likely get travel approval within the next few days, and be traveling on the July 14th or July 21st. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it turns out to be the 14th for two reasons. 1) I will be away from my kids an extra week if we don't go until the 21st due to a family reunion they will be attending with my family, and 2) I can't wait to have my baby boy in my arms! 

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Waiting for His Irish Twin

Eli is very excited about his baby brother, Joshua. I don't think he totally gets it, but he loves babies in general and gets very excited when we look at pictures of Joshua or talk about him coming home. One of our travel group friends from our first trip to China sent us a a small mylar balloon on a stick on which she had Joshua's referral picture printed. When we first received it both Kai and Eli were excited and fought over it. We finally put it in Joshua's new room, on his dresser, but it didn't stay there for too long once Little Eli located it. He now likes to carry it around the house all day long, every day, and it has even made a few trips in the car with us. He loves saying, "Baby Jah-ooh-uh" with pauses inbetween each syllable. I love that they are exactly a year apart and share the same birthday. It will hopefully give them a special bond quite different from the racial bond Joshua will share with his Chinese sister.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Forget Your Plans!!!

Joshua... it was a name my husband and I always said we would use for a boy when we first started "planning" our family. I put that word in quotes because you think your plan sets the story, or at least the backdrop, but as we all learn at some point in our lives, life happens, regardless of your plan. When I decided I wanted to adopt, my husband was not quite as prepared as I was to embrace the thought. I gave him time to ponder it, and I even agreed to one more attempt on the infertility rollercoaster. Once that last ride stopped, I got off for good and started my research of the adoption process. I started looking at the international programs that were offered by an organization affiliated with my church. At the time they had programs in Russia and China only. When I nonchalantly shared what I had researched with my husband, he told me he would be more interested in China, but still wasn't ready to start the process. I dropped it, and gave him space. I continued to research Chinese adoption anyway, collecting information about the different agencies and how the process worked, but not sharing any of this with my husband. After a couple of months, we were out to dinner at a Chinese restaurant and he said to me, "You know what I've been thinking about lately? A little Chinese boy named Joshua." He did not know about the cultural preference for sons who will take care of their elderly parents, so he was not aware of the abundance of girls in the orphanages. It wasn't the right time to educate, so I let it go and celebrated our readiness to start the process.  A year later we had a referral for a beautiful 11-month-old little girl, who is now 6 years old, and brings so much joy to our life. We started the process for baby #2 less than a year later because we wanted them close in age. We submitted our paperwork just a few months after we celebrated our first adoption day anniversary, and we were "planning" on returning to China in about a year. Fast forward 2 and a half years... the wait for our 2nd child had lengthened, and was getting further away with each new batch of referrals. I was becoming more and more depressed. My daughter was now getting ready to turn 4 and my plan of having kids close in age was no longer a reality, for our referral was still years away from getting here. Both of my sisters were pregnant at the time, and my daughter told me I had a baby in my tummy too. "No," I explained, "Remember, Mommy and Daddy adopt our babies. Your little sister is going to come from China like you did." She argued with me, and became adamant that I was pregnant... and three weeks later I realized she was right. When she told me it was a boy, I believed her! And her baby brother was born 9 months later. We talked about names at length, as most couples do. "Joshua" and "Elijah" were at the top of our boy list, and "Josephine" and "Isabella" were at the top of our girl list. For some reason, when our son was born, we decided on "Elijah". And now, I know why. We were destined to have that little Chinese boy my husband spoke of 7 years ago, named Joshua. He will walk into our lives and hearts in about a month, and I'm trying my hardest to remember that plans rarely work... of course a good reminder is the lilac and pink nursery we are re-painting and re-decorating this week!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fu Le Kun - Our new baby boy!

It's a BOY!!! OMG, we better get to redecorating! His room is lavender and his bedding is pink, green and lavender! I'm in such disbelief right now! There are two more big ironies in this story, if you believe in coincidences. (I don't!) He was born on his big brother's birthday, and he is living in the same orphanage that his big sister lived in for the first year of her life! So he and Eli are EXACTLY one year apart, and he is being loved and taken care of by probably some of the same nannies that loved KaiLi! My heart is swelling with joy! We will name him Joshua LeKun, and we'll get to hold him in about 6 weeks! We are all very ecstatic, to say the least!!!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you, tomorrow! You're only a day away!

Tomorrow we get our phone call from our agency!!!!! I just read on their website that they received matches today! We will learn all about our little one probably in the afternoon, and actually get to see her face for the first time! Yay!

Names, names, names... what do you think?

Okay, I just posted a message on my adoption waiting group wall, and actually included the name we are really thinking we are going to use for our new addition. It felt very weird typing it, and then when I proofread my message, it felt REALLY weird reading it! I even got a little choked up. OMG, I have so much to do, and here I sit blogging about names!

KaiLi Anne...  a lot of thought went into this name for our first daughter. Kai means "generous" in Chinese, and Li means "strength". Anne was my grandmother's name, and also the middle name of my mom, my sisters and me.

Elijah John... we have liked the name Joshua since we first decided to start a family, but now, 10 years later, I felt like every time I turned around there was another Joshua. We decided on another strong biblical name that was less common, so Elijah was born. John is my grandfather's middle name, and another strong biblical name.

If this next baby just so happens to be a boy, he will be Joshua. After all, it's still a name we love, and the chances of a boy from China are slim. A baby girl will be Josie. Wow, it still seems so weird to see it in print.  Her real name wil be Josephine, a nice Italian name, and a form of Joseph, Joel's dad's name. Her middle name will of course be after a saint, but that's still in the air. I like the name Kate, because of St. Katherine and I call my little sister "Kate" all the time. But hubby wants a full name, not a shortened version, for a middle name. I really like how "Josie Kate" and "Josephine Kate" sound. Think about how hard it would be to write out Josephine Katherine all the time, and that's such a mouthful!

The time is ticking now, and we need to make a decision...what do you think? Weigh in, please! (Unless you're going to tell me that you don't like the names Joshua or Josephine... I don't want to know if that's the case! LOL.)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

We're Gonna Have a Baby soon!

I've been telling people for months that as we get closer to the end of our wait, the timeline becomes more predictable, and that it looks like June is when we will get our referral. It's June, people! When did it get here? Wow, I hadn't even thought about the actual referral in over a month. I mean, I have been preparing little by little for our little one, and I know in the back of my mind that the referral is getting close, but wow. My friend, who started following the rumors online a few months ago, just pointed out to me that "Rumor Queen" (http://chinaadopttalk.com/) is getting rumors of referrals and what dates are included. The cut-off date looks like it's going to be April 26, which includes our LID.  I couldn't even think straight when this was brought to my attention. My heart started pounding immediately. I shouldn't have been surprised because I knew it was coming. I just kind of lost track of time, I guess. Poor 3rd child! During our wait for Kai, I was on the rumor sites daily, and I knew to the hour when we would be receiving our call. I didn't have swim team, and soccer, and playdates then to keep me busy and thinking about other things. I guess I need to clean out the guest room this week, and get hubby to paint it next weekend... because we're gonna have a baby soon!!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I Am Real

When KaiLi kissed me good night tonight, she hugged me an extra long time, and said, "You're the best mom I ever had... even better than the one who got me out of her tummy." I hugged her tight, and tried to gather my thoughts. She didn't give me long enough and continued on this subject with, "I'll never know my real mom, will I?" Ouch, the first time those words were uttered from her mouth hurt more than I ever imagined it would. I grabbed her little hands, got down on my knees, and explained to her that I am her real mom. I am the one who takes care of her, and loves her with all my heart, and that no matter what anyone says, I am her REAL mother. "Then what do I call that lady in China?" she replied. "You can call her your birthmother," I said. I have always been open with her about her adoption story, and given her as much information as I think she can handle at each stage. I knew eventually I would have to teach her the word "birth mother", even though I'm not a huge fan of it. She accepted this term willingly, and asked me more questions about her story. As always, I answered honestly. I told her that her birthmother must have been a really wonderful person. She asked me why I thought that, and I said, "Because you came from her, and you are a really wonderful person." This made her smile. I really am very thankful for Kai's birthmother. I think of her often, and the hard decision she had to make for Kai. I'm so thankful that she brought this beautiful baby to an orphange, where she knew she would be cared for and hopefully given a second chance at a family. I know this must have been difficult. I don't know, and never will know, the reasons for this decision, but she had other options that absolutely kill me to think about. It was rather risky to bring her to an orphanage, so she must have really loved her and wanted the best for her. I always imagine the day she left her there. I imagine her kissing Kai's fat little cheeks, and crying as she bid this 3-day-old baby a forever farewell. I'm sitting here crying right now thinking about the pain she has to endure for the rest of her life, not knowing what was to come of this child. I often think about what she is missing out on. Kai is the most wonderful daughter I could have ever dreamed of having. I'm just so, so, so thankful that she is mine. DNA or not, I am her REAL mother.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Kai's Triathlon

Kai participated in a kid's triathlon today. It was awesome! I must admit that we were supposed to be training together for this day, and I dropped out for several reasons, which I might get to later. The distances for the kids were definitely attainable, but I'm just so proud of the effort that Kai put into the whole thing. Once we got to the event, I really wish I was participating. The energy there is just so contagious, and the athlete in me misses this competitive environment.  I guess I might be living vicariously through my daughter, but really, I think she enjoys this kind of thing just as I do. I would say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, but I forget sometimes that the saying doesn't even apply. No genetic relation, but this kid is just like me! All four of us were there, and we were all pretty anxious for our little triathlete. She and I both thought it was pretty cool when she got her racer number and age "marked" on her legs and arms by one of the race officials, and pinning her number onto her bike and her t-shirt were exciting too. After the announcer went through the expectations and process of the transition areas, the race was about to begin. Because she was one of the younger participants, she and a handful of other kids got to go first. I could feel her heart pounding through her chest when I hugged her good luck, and stood by her as she jumped into the pool for her 25 meter swim. She was so nervous and breathing so hard that she dog paddled the last third of the swim. She climbed out of the pool where I waited and we ran to the bike transition area. Hubby had laid out her towel, clothes and shoes by her bike before the race, so we were all set. Realizing a towel was a ridiculous item to have in this area, she threw on her t-shirt and shorts while I put her shoes on and tied her shoe-laces. Glasses and helmet came next, and dripping wet she clambered onto her bike. Her old bike was too small for her, but it was a better choice than her new bike, which was too big for her. She had to pedal extra fast on this bike to go as fast as some of the kids she was grouped with, and that she did. Her little feet went around and around, 3 times around the track, all while Joel and I were running from side to side taking pictures and cheering her on. And then it was time to run. I have never seen her run that fast, really, ever! More pictures, this time only 1 lap around the track and Baby Girl was done with her first triathlon! She was beaming as they put a medal around her neck at the finish line. She was so tired, but truly proud of herself. Later that day she played in a soccer game, and so she slept really hard that night. Surprisingly, the next morning she was asking when the next kid triathlon was going to be. I hope to be there as a participant. I would really like for this to be something we do together. I just wish the adult distances were more like the kid race. Training for the running and biking I can do in my neighborhood, with Baby Boy in tow, but the pool part is a little difficult, not to mention my lower back issues. I really do miss the competition; getting nervous at the beginning, and feeling victorious at the end of races and games... I'm so happy to see that my daughter enjoys those same feelings. I look forward to being a spectator for lots of sporting events in which my daughter is out there, loving life like I used to. I still love life, in a very different way.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


I knew last night, as soon as I shut his door, that I left the phone from my bedroom in my 1-yr-old's bedroom. I thought about going back in to retrieve it, but knew that his restful state would be disturbed, and we would have to start all over with the whole bedtime routine, so I chose to leave it there. Besides, at this time of night, the only person who would likely call would be my husnband to say he was on his way home. So I called him from another phone to tell him not to call the house. I then tucked my daughter into bed and settled down myself for a quiet evening of getting some things done. When I went to bed, the snow was piling up on my front lawn, so I took the den phone to bed with me in case the school system should happen to call in the morning announcing a canceled or delayed school day. Ahh, a delay would be so nice... no snow day to make up, but a relaxed morning of sleeping in... a nice thought to end my day, as my head hit the pillow. At 5:30 this morning I heard my son crying, which was way too early for him, so I turned the monitor off and waited for him to go back to sleep. 30 minutes later my alarm clock went off, and habitually I crawled out of bed and headed down to Kai's room, dreading the morning routine of dragging her out of bed. As I was nudging her and saying her name over and over, I started waking up myself and remembering the weather... and that my bedroom phone was in Eli's room. I hurried back to my room to check the kitchen phone I brought in there last night. It was dead. I ran downstairs to see if the voice mail light was blinking. It was. The message was left by the school at 5:30am stating that school would be delayed. I ran upstairs to tell Kai to go back to sleep, but by then she was wide awake, and I heard Little Man crying still. So here it was, a delayed school day and we're all wide awake at 6am, all because I forgot my phone in the baby's room. Well, at least there would be no rushing around like usual... we had an extra 2 hours!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A poem I wrote after Kai's adoption...

by Kerry Dale Long

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

Tears of every emotion swelled my eyes
As the sea of yellow and lime green washed up the elevator
To the lobby on the 4th floor.

The lobby where men and women become parents
Where orphan girls become daughters,
The lobby where families become whole.

My limbs trembled with excitement
Trying to weather the storm of people rushing
Onto the crowded elevator at your heels.

Where are you going? I kept wondering
Worried that the glimpse of you may be the last
Not a rational thought in my mind.

Finally seeing you sitting there
Not truly understanding the chaos within
Made the swelling become a flood.

And then my first eye contact with you
Outside of the gazing at your picture
And clarity came quickly, followed by your smile.

Your gesture simply meant “hi”
But to me it translated into much more
It meant, I know you somehow.

Maybe during some of those moments
You were with me
Clutching that long red thread,
drawing it near.

When they placed you in my arms
And you looked into my eyes,
The red thread embraced my heart
The place I had carried you for years.

Every emotion I have ever experienced
Drenched my cheeks and chin
While your almond eyes danced with love.

Tears for my feeling of completeness
for her feeling of emptiness
for your innocence and sweetness.

Tears for my prayers finally being answered
the closing of a dark chapter of my life
watching Daddy hold you for the first time.

Tears for the shortening of that long red thread.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Happy Adoption Day!

Today we celebrated the 5th anniversary of our daughter's adoption day. As always, it brought back wonderful memories of my journey to motherhood. Many of the events and emotions during that journey are so fresh... I can't believe we will be embarking on a similar adventure soon. In honor of our oldest daughter's adoption day, I will share her Adoption Day story here:


Our bus, filled with every emotion possible, and 11 families, pulled up to the Office of Civil Affairs, the place where our dreams would finally come true. Coincidentally, the babies arrived at the same time, so as we departed the bus, a wave of orphanage workers swept the babies inside from the van in which they arrived. Anxiously we waited for the tiny elevator to take several trips up and down, until we finally made it to the lobby where we would meet our daughter. Two couches cradled 11 babies, all dressed in matching lime-colored outfits. The babies sat there very alert to the chaos around them. I immediately found the face of our daughter, whom we had seen for the first time in an e-mail just 5 weeks before this day. We made so many copies of that picture when we received it...one for our den, one for each of us to keep at work, and one for each of the grandparents, aunts and uncles. We even put one in an ornament frame on our Christmas tree... being just a couple weeks before Christmas, her referral was the best Christmas present we had ever received. And now, about a month later, I was seeing her face to face for the first time. It was the most beautiful face I had ever seen. I waved my husband over, who kept asking me, "Are you sure that's her?" I had no doubt in my mind. I so wanted to run over there and scoop her up, but we waited as the director started calling out family names. We kept taking pictures of her, and listening impatiently for our name. We stood there, beyond arms reach, waving and crying, and then it happened - her eyes met mine and she smiled, as if she knew who I was. One by one the babies were placed in the arms of their new families. I thought they were never going to call our name. When they finally called our name and put KaiLi in our arms, tears ran down my cheeks. KaiLi just smiled at me as if to say, "It's okay Mommy, we're together at last!"

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Please Let It Snow

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! I know, Christmas is over, so no caroling allowed, but I'm so excited about the possibility of snow here! It's actually been freezing temps here for several days, which is so unusual, so if we do get some of that fun white stuff tonight, it may just stick! Of course they're calling for anywhere from a dusting to 1 inch, but we've been surprised before (it's been a long, long time though!) Last year we got 2 different days where the schools closed due to a whole inch of slush on the ground. Yes, the roads were a little dangerous because temperatures did dip into the freezing range, but you would have thought we were in for a blizzard the way milk and bread flew off the grocery store shelves, and the town shut down. And it wasn't even fun snow. KaiKai went out for all of 20 minutes where she attempted to sled down a hill and build a snowman. She came home unhappy and a muddy mess. Hot chocolate and a movie were the highlights of her day. And my poor little man, he was only 4 months old, and we had to call it his "First Snow." This meant we had to mark this momentous occassion with a picture. I put him in a fleece bunting, stuck mittens and a hat on him, layed him in the snow right outside our door and snapped a few photos. Of course he smiled, he always does. I don't think he even layed eyes on the stuff! So, please let it snow! Bring us a fun day of sledding and snowman building. A day without a routine, and lots of hot chocolate, and legitimate pictures of the kids having fun! Ha ha!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Adoption Terms To Know

Just realizing that I need to familiarize some of you with common terms associated with China adoption...

·CCAI - Chinese Children Adoption International (our adoption agency in CO)
·Dossier - the collection of paperwork that is sent to China
·CCAA - China Center of Adoption Affairs
·LID - Log-in Date for the Dossier into the CCAA system
·Waiting Family - What we are after LID
·Referral - When the child is matched to the waiting parents
·SWI - Social Welfare Institute, orphanage
·Embassy Appt. - Appt. at U.S. embassy in China to get baby's visa
·TA - travel approval (to go pick child up)
·FCC - Families with Children from China

Happy 2010!!

We rung in the New Year with our little KaiKai. We played games, ate fondue, watched Kung Fu Panda (one of our favorites!) and played more games until the 10 minute countdown. Little Man was in bed by 7:00, and our last minute plans of having friends come over fell through, so KaiKai thoroughly enjoyed being the center of our attention all night. It brought back memories of how it was before her little brother joined us. She was our only child for almost four years, until she was almost five. She has struggled a little with sharing the spotlight with Little Man, but all in all, she has learned to be a good older sister. She's been helping me out since she's been on Christmas break by getting him out of his crib when he wakes up. It's funny how she lowers the crib side by herself and then holds out her arms for him to come to her. He smiles, and jumps in her arms as she heaves him down to the floor. (I have witnessed this by peeking through the crack of the door, unbeknownst to them.) Yesterday she called down to me asking if she could change his diaper - this was a first. She has watched me countless times, so I responded with, "Only if it's not a poopy one. You can do it on the floor." I figured it couldn't go too badly if it was just a wet one, but I didn't want her trying to put him up on the changing table - yikes! I anxiously waited downstairs to see the results of this attempted diaper change by my daughter who usually holds her nose while watching me perform the task. I didn't hear any of the usual whining or squirming noises from my one-year-old, which was a good sign. I kept imagining him just staring at his big sister in disbelief, and laying still, not quite sure what to think of her acting so old. A few minutes passed and I heard Little Man scooting down the steps, then rounded the corner towards the kitchen to find me, pantless. Shockingly the diaper was on him pretty good; only a quarter of one cheek hung out the side. Bouncing down the stairs came my very mature acting almost 6-year-old, (for the moment) smiling from ear to ear. I told her how proud I was of her, and what a good job she did, and she proceeded to tell me how it went as we all headed back upstairs. She said she used the baby doll changing table, and sure enough, there it was in the middle of his bedroom floor, draped with a fleece blanket for protection. Maybe this is a glimpse of what is to come for us. I sure could use help like this once we get home with MeiMei. Happy 2010 everyone!