Monday, January 31, 2011

Happy 6 Month Anniversary!

Its common in the adoption community to say that you shouldn't really evaluate your new family until the kids have been home for six months. Well, I can hardly believe it but Des and Bri have been home for six months. In many ways it feels like they have always been a part of our family and other times it seems like yesterday that I was meeting them in Ethiopia.

In the beginning, I had a very rough time. And when Mama has a rough time, the rest of the family has rough time. Luckily, the post adoption depression is being held at bay and life is (mostly) good.

Jack has had major life changes in the past six months and he has struggled. That has been hard for this mama to watch. He started kindergarten which meant a few things...he was no longer a big fish in a small comfortable pond but a tiny fish in an unfamiliar huge pond. He no longer shared a classroom and friends with Logan and myself. Add to that a much longer school day, homework, making new friends, and a major change in his homelife and we've got one stressed out 5 year old on our hands.

As with Jack, this is Logan's first time being separated from his brother. But he still has me around a lot and his daily routine hasn't changed much. Plus he loves telling everyone that he is a big brother. He has really turned into the middle child...frequently forgotten to be fed breakfast but rarely complaining about it.

As for Des and Bri, I'm planning a separate post for the girls because their changes over the past six months have been profound.

Overall, our family definitely feels like it has jelled over the six months. Our routines have solidified. I can go out with all four kids without imagining the worst happening. We can finally all go out to eat again, something we did very frequently before the girls came home. We can co-exist within this house that is a bit too small for six people (and all their stuff). I have learned embrace the fact that having four kids is way different than having two kids. Jack and Logan help look out for their sisters. Des and Bri understand more and communicate better. Scott and I have a better idea of what to expect in most situations.

Over the course of these six months, we've always felt like a family. But now, we feel more like a unit, a team...working together and moving in the same direction. I'm looking forward to the next six months and the next and the next. But even more, I'm enjoying right now.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Who's who?

Which little monkey:
  • Is the only one of our kids to always sleep soundly through the night, every night?
  • Loves to be read to and learn new things?
  • Declined to participate in his school's "mixed-up clothes day" because he can't conceive of wearing his clothes backwards or incorrectly?

Which little lovebug:
  • Takes credit for every single new thing his sisters do (even the naughty ones) by saying, "Yep, I taught her that!"?
  • Wakes up in the middle of the night in a full blown tantrum because he was unfinished with it when he fell asleep?
  • Likes to wear sleeveless shirts so everyone can see his big muscles?

Which little peanut:
  • With the help of her sister, gets a bowl and messily serves herself a snack from the pantry when Mama is preoccupied?
  • Does a happy dance every time she spots a baby?
  • Carefully watches my lips when she is trying to say a new word and grossly (and adorably) over exaggerates her lips to mimic mine?
  • Absolutely hates to smile for the camera (see below)?

Which little chickpea:
  • When is injured, has me kiss her hand instead of wherever her boo-boo is actually?
  • Wakes up several times every night and now realizes that if she stays quiet she can sleep in bed with Mama and Papa all to herself?
  • Has recently learned to say "no!" and is making good use of the word?
  • Loves, loves, loves to dance?

And yes, these are current photos. Our weather has been crazy good in January...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Beautiful girls with beautiful curls

I don't know if anyone has noticed but...I'm white. And my daughters...aren't. I have straight hair and my daughters...don't. I know that Des and Bri will have stunning hair once I figure out what I am doing. But I have no idea what I am doing. Curly hair care is complex, really complex.

My girls have far less hair than I do but way more products. In the course of a week I have four different products that I might use on my hair. Here is the girls' shelf of products...and they have only been home for a little over five months and had hair for even less time and use almost all of these products multiple times a week:

(And since taking this picture I've bought three more things; the Tangle Teezer, jojoba oil and a Nudred (which I'm waiting to get in the mail)!)

Last weekend, after much research, I drove quite a distance to get the girls' hair cut by a curly hair specialist that gets rave reviews. I wish I had cute before and after pics but I don't. Here is their before pic in the fancy salon:

Unfortunately, I hate what the stylist did to their hair. I just wanted it evened out with a trim but instead she made it so much more uneven and the curls that were finally getting well-defined on the top of their head lost all definition...sigh...

It just confirms to me that, though that my hair is so different from Des and Bri's hair, I should trust my instincts...and less is more. Now that I am finally getting comfortable knowing what works and doesn't for their hair I'm going to weed out some of the above products. It is definitely all a learning process!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

You know you are a mom when... look forward to an upcoming surgery because it means you might get a little quiet and might get a brief break from the kids climbing on you. go shopping for clothes for yourself that are patterned because it will hide the stains your kids make. get quizzical looks from the employee at the drive-through because you've pulled up the the window where you collect your food but you forgot to place an order. head straight to the park when you find out you have a flat tire (and a car full of kids) because there is no place you'd rather be stranded than your favorite playground. realize all of the above craziness is worth it for this:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Who's who?

Which little monkey:
  • Frequently asks which food choice is healthier?
  • Wanted to start on his birthday wishlist before he even opened his Christmas presents?
  • Offers Des his earlobe to calm her down when she is upset?

Which little lovebug:
  • Can eat his weight in broccoli?
  • Regularly shreds and destroys cardboard boxes, crayon wrappers,
  • Would stay home all day in his pjs (just like his mama) if he could?

Which little peanut:
  • Says, "More, more, more!," when looking at pictures of herself on her mama's computer?
  • Can sit and "read" books for hours using sign language to label everything she sees?
  • Asks me to swaddle every doll and stuffed animal we have (including the hippo) several times a day?

Which little chickpea:
  • Does a 'happy dance' every time she is nekked?
  • Looks at her mama directly in the eye and smiles sweetly as she openly breaks rules?
  • Runs to Jack's classroom door every day after school to scream and jump up and down the moment she sees her brother?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Once Upon A Time...

Ten years ago, on New Year's Day, a boy and girl kissed for the first time.

Eight years ago, they married...

Six years ago, they went to Hawaii on a babymoon...

Five years ago...

Four years ago...

Three years ago...

Two years ago...

One year ago...


What a difference a kiss makes!