Saturday, May 31, 2008

The kids crack me up!!!!!!

All 4 of the kids have their own funny personalities and little quirks about them.  Mia loves to talk on the phone and she will have full pretend conversations with people all of the time......sometimes she repeats things I say and sometimes she talks about what we did that day or just whatever comes to her mind!  Kaden is turning into a funny little man.......he makes up pretend words and then gets a big smile on his face b/c he knows he is not saying a real word. Joey likes to laugh and do silly things back and forth with people and he loves to wear shoes! Piper loves her feet right now, she jabbers and talks to them, tries to chew on them and smiles the whole time!  

Friday, May 30, 2008

She did it!

Mia did not throw a fit today!!!!!!  She was still scared and cried some but she did not throw a fit, she floated all by herself and even put her face in the water on her own!  I was soooooo proud of her.  I think she has turned a corner in learning to swim and in learning to control herself!

Joey and Kade share a room and nowadays when they wake up in the morning or from naptime, they play, laugh, and get into anything they can in the room!  I am just thrilled that they are really beginning to get along sooooo good and bond!

At night when we put the kids to bed, we all sing a couple songs together, its a really nice bonding time with the whole family.  Prior to the kids coming home, Tim usually put Kaden to bed and he would sing to Kaden or with Kaden, he would often sing the hymn "The Old Rugged Cross", so when it is Kaden's turn to pick a song for all of us to sing, he will often pick "The Old Rugged Cross".  It is the cutest thing in the world to hear him with his sweet little off key voice singing that hymn.  Melody usually wants to sing "In my heart their is a Melody......."

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Swim lessons........ARGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today at swim lessons, Kaden and Joey did excellent!  All I can say about Mia is that in addition to her previous behavior she added biting......yes, thats read it correctly, she tried biting as part of her fit about being in the water.  She is terrified of the water!  She is equally terrified of shots and unfortunately I have to take her to get blood work next week......that is going to be loads of fun!  I am actually not sure if I am strong enough to restrain her.....sounds crazy I know that a 27 lb. little girl could be that difficult but this is one scrappy and strong little girl when she wants to be!

Today we had bee's in the house.....we have a hive of bees swarming in the roof and 9 of them made their way into the house.  I never realized how terrified of bees I am, but when you have bees in your house, you don't know where they are coming from and you don't know if any of your kids are allergic, its unsettling!

Mia and her friend Ethan.

One of the guys in our church's band is named Ethan. I, Tim, taught Mia how to make the rock and roll sign with her forefinger and pinkey. After church one time, Mia came by Kaden and myself as we looked at the drums and the "good guitars" (Kaden's phrase). I told her to give Ethan the rock and roll sign, which she did, and she has been talking about him ever since. Last week she spoke repeatedly about going to church to see Ethan. At church Leala and I had to pry her little hand away from his because she didn't want to leave him.

This week she hasn't spoken too much about him apart from right after I told my parents about her friend. This was the result. This is only a short clip. She went on saying this exact same thing for about 10 minutes. If you can't understand what she is saying, she keeps saying, "Ethan. Ethan is my friend."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The new challenge of swimming lessons!

This week we started swim lessons......swimming lessons can be challenging for a lot of kids but it is especially challenging for two kids that have not been swimming very much.  At the beginning of the class the 3 kids are required to sit at the edge of pool and not get in until I give them the ok to get in....once in the pool, there is a large step they can walk around and play on until its time for Mrs. Erin to work with them individually.  They all sat at the edge patiently, they got in once I gave the ok but from the get go Melody was unsure about the water unless she was being held......tightly!  I began to encourage her to walk around on the big step and she acted as though she was taking steps for the first time.  As the class went on there was some crying but the class was shaping up to be much better than I had anticipated.  At the end of the class, we were working on teaching the kids to put their head under water and being that Melody is older and has never done that, she was having a hard time at grasping the concept of keeping her mouth closed and not swallowing the water........this was of course difficult for her to do b/c of the crying and small fit she was having.  That training session ended with her taking in one large gulp of water and then vomiting it up in the pool.  (sorry Erin)  After all the drama they were all proud of themselves and it was way better than I thought.  

Today was day 2 of swim class and the kids were excited to go swimming again.  They go into the water just as they had the day before but this time when Erin went to take Mia and then Joey they were a little resistant.  It was time for Mia to work on floating on her back and she did not want anything to do with that.......she cried, screamed, kicked her legs and arms all over the place and when that did not work she propelled her legs over her head so that she could flip herself up and grab onto Mrs. Erin......Joey's floating experience was similar but w/o the acrobat manuever.......the funny thing about the floating experience is that they both had floated a hundred times better the day before!  Erin worked on several more things later in the class with Mia that again ended with Mia screaming, crying and foaming at the mouth.  (when she is not comfortable with something, she can work herself into a hysteric fit like no other!)  Mia was not so enthusiastic after this class and once we were home, she told me she did not want to swim anymore.

Hopefully day 3 will be better!

Melody ain't afraid of no dogs!!!

We went to friends' house on Memorial day for a barbecue. From the picuture you can see they have a large dog. They actually have two dogs. You can read in the previous post how we recalled at breakfast that morning that our friends had two dogs. We were really nervous the kids were going to be screaming frantic messes with the dogs. Although there was a little screaming -- mostly from Joey throughout the day whenever the dog would even look at him -- they did great. Indeed, Melody even pet the bigger dog, as you can see in the picture, more than once.

At one point the patio screen was closed with Melody on one side and this dog on the other. The dog was around the corner and Melody was feeling especially tough talking through the door. The dog came around the corner and Melody fled screaming. She is really getting more and more comfortable with things around here. Leala took the kids to swimming lessons yesterday -- look forward to that blog from Leala -- but needless to say, as with everything else we do, it was an adventure.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Breakfast this morning.

This morning we were eating breakfast and explaining to the kids what we were going to be doing today. We told them we were going over to our friends', Chad and Collette's, house this afternoon. Kade looked at me and said, "Chad and Collette are coming over?" I responded "no," and told him we were going over there. He then said, "Oh. We get to see the doggies!" Leala and I laughingly looked at each other and both said, "Yeah, we get to see the dooooooooohhhhhh no!" We had totally forgotten they had two large dogs and realized that this afternoon is going to likely be consumed by screaming, running frantic, and utterly hysterical Joey and Mia when they see these dogs. Leala then launched into a long discussion with Mia and Joey regarding the dogs and how harmless they are. We'll see how it goes.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The ladybug . . .

Yesterday, while at work, I received a call from Kaden. He told me in a very sad voice, "Daddy, the ladybug broke." I asked him what happened and he said that Joey stepped on the ladybug and it broke. He was upset that they couldn't fix it. He freely informed me that Joey was not sad the ladybug broke.

Leala stepped in to explain: Leala, Mia, Joey and Kaden were watching a small ladybug walk along the cement curbing in our backyard when all of a sudden, Joey, not watching where he was going, stepped squarely on the ladybug. She said that Kaden was very upset at first. When I talked to him, he was no longer upset.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Melody pet the cat!!!!!

As you can see from the picture, Melody has overcome her intense fear of the cats and pet Jobe. Now she is all over the cats. She loves to pet them and sometimes has to be told to give the cat a break.

Joey, on the other hand, is not a big fan of the cat. In fact, shortly after the above picture was taken, Joey threw a massive fit because his foot touched Jobe. He's not comfortable with the cats, to say the least.

As Leala said, this month has gone by quickly and well. The kids are adjusting extremely well. Our adoption social worker came by and said that she was very surprised. In our prior conversatoins with her, she thought our expectations were not quite with what we would experience. The other day, she said she was amazed to see how well the kids were doing and they were much better adjusted than she would ever have expected. All of them are really good kids. We are very blessed.

It has been 1 month

Wow, it has been 1 month and it has flown by!  Each week has been better than the week before and everyone is doing amazingly well.  I think that adopting 2 small children and going from being a family of 3 to a family of 6 within 6 months is kind of a shock but I honestly do not feel like it has been as difficult as I thought it might be.  We have had our fair share of moments where I felt like crying, the kids crying, the kids fighting, some impatient moments, some blank looks, a whole lot of questions, a lot of change, a whole new routine and on and on......but there are many great and unexpected things!  Here are just a few things:
- Kaden telling Joey he does a good job at coloring
- Joey bringing Mia and Kaden their cups all of the time
- Mia being a very good helper
- Piper cracking up just watching the other 3
- Kaden asking me where his green card is
- all 3 of the bigger kids constantly wanting to ring the dinner bell
- Mia asking a gazillion questions and always wanting to know about everything
- Joey always wearing shoes around the house, no matter who they belong to
- Kaden waking up from nap time and excitedly saying to Mia and Joey "hey guys, want to play"
- Joey always carrying around Mia's dolls
- the kids always giving Piper her toys that fall on the ground
- all 3 kids calling "mom" from their rooms when they wake up ridiculously early in the morning
- all 3 kids laughing like crazy as they run in circles in the living room
- Mia petting the cat
- Kaden learning to pray "thank you for our aunties......and what else?"
- Joey loving to sit on anyone's lap
- Piper just being the sweet and easy baby she is

Those are just a few things from this month!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What a typical day is like.....(This is a post for all of those who might be curious what life is like with 4 small kids)

The first week the kids were home was complete craziness and each week gets better.  The kids are adjusting in their own ways and there is more to come I am sure, but they are all doing really well.  One of the bigger challenges of having 4 small kids is meeting their desire and need for time with us.  Kids love attention, they love to be affirmed, they love the be held and at times when they do not get as much of any of those as they would like, their little sin natures open up full force!  It can be tough to try to meet each of their needs without any favoritism and then having the wisdom for the times when I am not able to meet their little desires.  I am very thankful that the Lord gave us a very laid back baby!  Piper is happy, smiley, loves to laugh and is just sooooo enjoyable......she only cries when tired or hungry, she is fun!

So, here is a typical day in our house.....just add diaper changes multiple times a day, lots of clean ups, crying at several points, a little whining, some laughing and smiles and its what life looks like with 4 small kids in our house:
6:00 - all of the kids wake up
6:15 - 6:40 Cartoon (usually Dora) while I read my Bible
6:40 - 7:20 breakfast and I am picking up the house, etc.
7:25 - 8:00 getting the kids new diapers, clothed and lotioned for the day
8:05 - 8:40 kids play in the play area while I am getting ready
8:45 - 9:15 Blanket time (kids sit on their own blanket and play with toys and rotate blankets                         every 10 min. or so) I am usually feeding Piper during this time.
9:20 - 10:00 Snacktime and coloring time at the table
10:05 - 11:25 playtime inside and outside
11:30 - noon lunch
12:05 - 12:30 cleanup from lunch, diaper changes
12:40 Take the kids up for nap/quiet time and read a story
1:00 - 3:30 Nap/quiet time, I get things done around the house and spend time with Piper
3:40 Kids come down from nap time
3:45 - 4:20 play outside
4:25 - 5:00 play inside
5:00 - 5:30 cartoon time while I prepare dinner
5:35 - 6:15 Dinner time
6:20 - 7:00 family play time
7:05 - 7:30 Bathtime and getting ready for bed
7:35 - 7:40 Storytime for bed
7:45 - 8:00 Kids go up to bed and we do our nightime prayer/singing routine
After that Piper usually goes to sleep with one final feeding, Tim and I spend some time and then the day is done!

The Lord is good and gracious to us in helping us all to adjust to all the changes!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Shout out to Eyemaginations, Leala, and Tim's co-worker Helen.

We wanted to get the kids sunglasses, so we went to a very good glass shop we had been to before for my glasses, Eyemaginations in Mesa near Alma School and Southern. Just before I went to Uganda to pick up the kids, I had to get new glasses and that led Leala and I to Eyemaginations. During our time there, we told Maureen, the lady that runs Eyemaginatoins, and Steven, another Eyemaginations employee, about our pending adoption. They were very encouraging and had a ton of fun with Kade and Piper.

Fast forward to last week, we went back to Eyemaginations to get glasses for Kade, Mia, and Joey. Eyemaginations sells sunglasses for kids under the name Julba. The glasses are molded rubber with 100% UV protection. The other nice thing is there is a band on the glasses to keep them on and they are the same right side up or upside down so it doesn't matter if the kids put them on wrong. Maureen and Steven helped us fit them and took excellent care of us. It was a bunch of fun for the kids and they love their sunglasses.

On a separate note, Leala did Mia's hair by herself for the first time. Although Melody will say that it is not quite the same as when Mama Rukiya does it, it came out great. Leala had a lot of fun and Melody seemed to be real proud of her hair. It took quite a long time but came out really great.

One of my co-workers, Helen, came over one night to help us with Mia's hair. She taught us some things and showed us how to quickly, easily, and (for the most part and for Mia's benefit) painlessly do Mia's hair. It was fun learning about the differences in our hair and Mia's hair and also how easy it can be to do her hair when you have the right products. She was so helpful and we really appreciated her time.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sunday morning. . .

Activated charcoal and 6 hours in the emergency room. All was fine and we probably did not have to go, however, better safe than sorry.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Shout out

Everyone is doing really well and the household just gets more and more fun as the kids settle in. Here is a little info about each little one:  
Kaden - loves applejuice and the other two don't, loves having friends to play with, likes to pull the kids around the yard in a wagon, spends a lot of time in time out, loves cheese and the other two don't, loves to laugh, loves his green blanket and is soooooo good at telling mommy and daddy he loves us.
Mia - loves to have our attention, does not like to be by herself, likes her hair, likes girlie things, has a really infectious laugh, has super cute dimples, loves to be tickled, loves to take her anti-parasite medicine,  can throw a royal fit but that is not very often and likes to go to "our house".
Joey - has a sweet little smile but also has a mischievous smile, often bumbles around the house pushing a cart or barbie van or something like that, can eat a ton, loves to be picked up, loves to go outside, loves to wear shoes around the house, loves bathtime, and can also throw a royal fit.
So, Tim has been home most of the week as everyone gets used to here is my shoutout for my hubby who has been really great!  He is very good with the kids, is great at putting the kids to bed, giving baths, lotioning the kids up at night and pulling the kids around the yard and neighborhood in the big wagon.  He is getting really good at taking Mia's hair out of cornrows and is excellent at keeping the kids cups full!  He has a passion for Africa......specifically Uganda and is growing more and more in patience!  I am very thankful for him!