Thursday, July 31, 2014

6 Week Update: Photos, Videos, And A Confession

It's been 6 weeks since we got home.  Sometimes it feels more like 6 months, honestly.  We have done so much, and the kids have made more progress than I ever thought possible.

Both kids go down to nap and sleep with virtually no fussing.  We have the same routine every day: Up, breakfast, activity (running with Mama, shopping, etc), pre-lunch, lunch, nap, play time, pre-dinner, dinner, play, snack, teeth brushing, bed, with liberal potty visits intermixed.  The exact timing of the routine is pretty loose, but the order of events stays the same.  It seems to work pretty well.  The kids are still sleeping in our room at night.  It makes for a nice "unit" feeling for them, I think, and we are right there if they need anything.  Probably in the next month or so we will try to get them to sleep upstairs for nap, and gradually help them feel comfortable sleeping in a different room.  It will be nice to have my bedroom back at some point.

Both kids do great with visitors now.  The perfect quantity of visitors seems to be no more than 2.  More than that and the kiddos seem overwhelmed with all the activity and extra bodies in the house.  However, we started having Tuesday night Bible study here again, and they did pretty well last week and again last night.

Some fun activities in the last few weeks:

My friend and I took the kiddos to the zoo for the first time.  The kids did great, but were less enthusiastic (read: not an iota of enthusiasm) about the elephants and cheetahs and bears and lions than we had hoped.  In fact, their favorite part were the ducks and statues.  Oh, and people-watching the other kiddos.  I was super thankful that my friend came with me, since I would have gone crazy otherwise.  Let me share a few of my favorite pics.

Anya at the petting-zoo part, petting a goat
The 4 of us at the giraffe enclosure

Anya was less than thrilled that there
was a bird on my hand.  She peed through her
jeans moments after.

Jayce sitting in a lion cub statue

The flamingos.  I would think that pink birds would
be a little more exciting.

DUCKS!  Look!  DUCKS!!!!  (very exotic. ::facepalm::)

Cheetah.  Spots.  Ok, next?

Amy has been such a great friend for about 15 years now,
maid of honor at my wedding, and she and her twin are
pretty much as "sister" to me as you can get.  We even look alike!

At the vulture area.  We overheard a parent freaking
out that they would put something "D-E-A-D!!!" where
kids could see it.  Um, what are vultures expected to eat?
Goldfish crackers???
We have been blessed with a few play-dates with other families.  My kids are still a novelty to the other kiddos, their skin being dark and all.  Jayce and Anya have taken it in stride, but I think they were getting a little tired of being the center of attention for other kids.  Here are some cute pics from that, though:

Katie and Jayce

Jayce's first experience with baseball

Anya holding a ball.  She was less than thrilled with such boy-ish
past times as baseball.

How many kiddos can we fit on a wagon?

Rylea and Anya

A few more fun pics:

Jayce inside his first cardboard fort.  I had to crawl
in first to show him what do to with it, but then he
got the idea and booted me out.

Anya with the kids' favorite outdoor toy, a gift from Miss Paula

Anya figured out how to put crayons back in the box!
This is a great accomplishment, since this feat was
previously elusive.

Daddy tickling the Little Man.  I love to hear him

Jayce helping Daddy at the warehouse.  Philip
took him to work today and Jayce had a blast.
A whole warehouse full of (dog) toys (that squeak!)
Yes, that is a box cutter in his hand.  Yes, he still
has all his fingers.

Anya having Aunt Juli sniff the flower
In the last few days, Anya has really blossomed and progressed.  She is much more attentive to her surroundings, more observant of what Philip and I are doing, more communicative about her needs, and more willing to interact.  She even indicated to me that she needed a diaper change the other day.  She is more attached to Philip than to me (which is fine for starters), so I've been working on loving on her and spending some time with just her.  She's responded so well to that, and I feel as though there is a connection there that wasn't before.

**new day!**

Even thinking that I can accomplish an entire blog post in a day is kinda a joke.

A few developments: Jayce is talking!  Sorta.  He is saying "banana" and "water" and "all done!" and a few other things I can't remember at the moment.  Here's a video of him saying "banana" (which kinda sounds like "ba-my-yah" which is rather adorable.

And, yesterday, Jayce showed just how much of our child he is.  He initiated pouring water on his sister.  Then, he asked for more water.  And poured it on Anya again, as I took a picture.  He seemed kinda mystified that she was not pleased with his wet offering, but then giggled as he pointed and rubbed her wet curly hair.  Seeing that Anya was not overly upset by the administrations, I asked him to do it again, and caught it on video.  He is soooooo my son!

A few more cute pics:
My best friend told me to freeze sandwiches of banana and
peanut butter and give them to the kids as a treat. At first I thought
she was brilliant until I saw the (very adorable) mess I had to clean up.

Philip picked up the floor to vacuum, but Jayce still wanted to ride
his rocking moose.

Gotta say, my daughter is beautiful, even with
blue crayon on her face.  Love her more and more
every day!

This is actually a pic from a friend in Ethiopia right now.  Ship something
to a third world country by DHL?  This is how it is delivered, AND why
we bathe everything in prayer that is mailed.  Adoption dossiers
(basically your entire life) is carried in these things!

Doesn't smell nice.

Too hot for the fuzzy kitty

Jayce giggling inside his fort, this time with his ball

A flower.  Wha??  

My favorite pic right now.  Little Man is so calm
about his mischievousness!

Hey look, mom!  It's us!
Ok, back to reality.  Before I post this looooong post, I wanted to share.

You're welcome to stop reading here.  It's fine and probably best.

Maybe no one else can relate. These last few days have actually been kinda rough.  Probably 90% of it is just in my head, making a mountain out of a mole-hill in typical emotional-girl fashion.  I kinda feel tired of people, tired going-going-going, tired of making food, tired of being happy for the kids' sake, tired of expending more energy than I have, and tired of feeling inadequate for all the roles I now fill.  I had a bit of a cry-session with Philip last night, and some prayer and a nights' sleep helped.

Then, this morning, a stranger-to-me replied to Philip's correspondence about the kids, and commented on some things I had posted.  The feeling I got (a mountain-from-a-molehill thing) from her comments was "oh-how-cute, she tried, and is totally not up-to-par with what normal people should know and be capable of".  It was as if my inconsequential ineptness in this area was a source of humor to her.  I guess I hit on one of her pet peeves.

I threw a temper tantrum.  Ashamedly, I did.

After feeling sooooo on-edge for the last few days, a complete stranger points out that I again failed to get it right.  I'll refrain from sharing all my thoughts on the subject, but I did feel quite put out and my poor husband got an ear-full.  I'm a mom.  I'm barely keeping my head above water right now.  I'm going nuts, and feel overwhelmed at every turn.  Thank you, random stranger, for pointing out an area that I'm not as astute as you think I should be.

Let's just say that I needed some time alone, time with God, prayers and tears, and a good solid nap.  Again, I am super grateful for my husband who let me freak out and then abandon the family for a while (why yes, I felt inadequate for leaving my family when I should have super-human strength and never need time alone, right??  Right???  People's comments should never affect me, right?)

So, lest you think that everything is peachy here, and I'm "perfect" and doing fabulous all the time, and have all my ducks in a row, please be aware that I'm very, very human.  I won't share all my kids' dirt and the bumps in the road we have had with them, but I will occasionally share my shortcomings and the times I totally blow it.  Today was one of those days. 

On the flip side, we went to our martial art class again tonight.  I did not die, and the kids were amazing while we were in class.  One of the other students told me my kids were the second set of little kids that she actually liked.  I feel blessed to have such great kiddos.  God is so gracious to me.  My cousin put it well, that there is nothing like gearing up for a challenge, and then God gives you circumstances better than you ever could have dreamed.  He indeed is good.  All the time!

Oh, a few more videos if you're up for it.

Jayce setting the table for me:

Anya putting crayons back in the box:

And Jayce making scrambled eggs (and refusing to say eggs or banana):

Psalm 73:23-28
"...Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,

but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.


  1. Nothing like becoming a parent to make me aware of my desperate (truly) need for grace. Nothing like fatigue for making me cry out to God for help. Nothing like love to make us want to do it ALL. You can release others' expectations and even your own expectations. Lately I've narrowed my vision to just "today" as I cope with the hard parts and find joy in the little things. Unasked for advice to a new mom is just foolishness. Chocolate or dinner or some other sort of respite is a better idea. Love you! Appreciate your honesty.

  2. Really, who cares what other people think. You be the best you can be. Only God is perfect. As long as the Lord and love abounds, everything will work out. Love your posts.

  3. I remember feeling overwhelmed when the boys first came home. My mom suggested I go shopping just by myself for awhile. It felt so good, but after awhile, I missed my babies, and that was reassuring. Susan P.