I can’t believe we’ve already been home for two weeks!! It seems like such a short amount of time and yet it feels like DoubleShot has been with us for much longer. We’re slowly finding our way and working toward being a family. This week, even though my husband has gone back to work, we’ve been creating lots of bonding opportunities. Jeff works from home so is always around, even if DoubleShot and I are keeping ourselves busy.
DoubleShot and I both enjoy Candy Crush. I downloaded a desktop version so that she can play her own game while I have mine on the Facebook app. We sit side by side and first use up all of her lives and then use up all of mine.
We’ve been playing lots of games! In Taiwan, we played hours and hours of Uno. I like Uno but I prefer the Euro style board games. We’ve discovered DoubleShot enjoys them as well!
This week we tried our hand at hotpot. DoubleShot was so excited to see us gathering all of the ingredients! She took this photo of us while we were waiting for the broth to be ready.
Unfortunately, the hotpot broth was way too spicy for her and she could only eat a little bit. The past couple days have been too hot for us to try again but today is overcast. We’ll make hotpot again tonight with just a simple broth and lots of veggies, jiaozi, and noodles. I can’t wait!
Yesterday I took DoubleShot to the library. We took her last week but it was still too early. She wasn’t feeling comfortable enough yet to ask for anything, so had just followed us around wide-eyed. But yesterday she picked out some of her own books. When we headed to the checkout counter, she grabbed my arm and gestured back toward the children’s department. I asked if she wanted more books so we headed back that way.
She picked out a ton! Between the two of us borrowing books, our library bag was overflowing. We will need to get DoubleShot her own library card and library bag for future use. The library is my favorite place in the world and I am thrilled that DoubleShot is enjoying it as well!
We’ve had a few challenges as well. When DoubleShot started warming up to me, she started getting aggressive. She’s very exuberant and energetic. When she wants my attention, she yells “hey!” and will grab my arm or punch me in the shoulder. She would shove me in the back or try to push me while we’re walking. I don’t believe it’s malicious. I think she’s crying out for attention in the only way she knows. We’ve been reminding her to be more gentle and redirecting her hands but that was only partially successful.
Finally, I sat down and wrote out the TBRI rules from the teen video (more on that later). I labeled them as our family rules and tried to translate them into Chinese. God sent me a gift and I was contacted by another homeschooling family who speaks Chinese and offered to communicate with DoubleShot if necessary. It was perfect timing! I emailed her the rules I had translated and she corrected my Chinese.
Our family rules:
1 – No hurts. Baba and Mama will not hurt you. You will not hurt Baba and Mama.
2 – We all stick together. We work together. We play together.
3 – We all have fun.
We showed them to DoubleShot and then put them on the fridge. Now whenever she gets physically aggressive, we can point to the family rules. So far it has helped!
Our other challenge was mentioned in my week one post, trying to balance DoubleShot’s emotional reliance on her MP5 player with her need for more sleep. We made the decision to allow DoubleShot to continue using the MP5 player at night and that we would curtail usage once we had reached the one month home milestone. Hopefully, by that time, DoubleShot will be bonded with us enough that the loss of her MP5 player would be a blip in the road instead of creating a major meltdown.
Well, yesterday that issue was resolved for us. The MP5 player was well loved but cheaply made. The power button on it broke off and Baba could not fix it. He made a genuine effort, showing DoubleShot that we care about her and want her to be taken care of. However, he was unable to repair the player and it has now been retired.
We spent extra time with DoubleShot last night before bed. We read a picture book aloud (she giggled through the whole thing), gave her a snack, and just spent time laying on our bed hanging out. She calmly went to bed. I passed out and didn’t wake up until 6 this morning but we never heard her moving around or crying. I’m headed downstairs in 15 minutes to wake her up for the day and we’ll see how she does today.
Overall things are still going really well and we love having her here! We’ve had challenging moments and moments of pure joy. My favorite moment this week was Tuesday night when DoubleShot and I lay on my bed while chatting with a friend on FaceBook. DoubleShot likes to send a bunch of stickers in the chat window and my friend is so awesome that she spent time sending a bunch of stickers back. DoubleShot got a huge kick out of that, especially when I let her take and send my friend several pictures. DoubleShot tried to get me to take a selfie but I insisted that she be in the photo as well. Here’s the resulting photo.
This is the first photo of DoubleShot and I where she is smiling without being prompted by the photographer. Genuine laughter!! It completely made my day.