Sunday, July 24, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Actually, child #4 does nap. But this is the work of Child #3, capable of doing more disaster in five minutes than all the other children combined throughout a full day. What you don't see in the photo is that she also painted the walls, the windows (apparently taking the time to lift the shades, paint the glass, then politely put the shades back down), and dripped all over the carpet. I'm not entirely sure how she did that without painting the shades themselves. I was able to remove the paint from the shelf, the windows, and the carpet, but the upholstery has me stumped. Any suggestions?
So to recap, fifteen minute nap = four hours cleaning up (and still not done yet).
Monday, February 7, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
And by the way, this week has been MUCH better than last week.
Monday, January 17, 2011
I could say it's because I have been crazy busy and overwhelmed and exhausted at the end of every day, and that would all be true. But it's mostly that my brain just hasn't had enough cells to work with for writing anything worth reading. That may still be true, but I'll give it a try anyway.
Our first few weeks were the hardest, but even at the hardest, it wasn't unbearable. Child #4 was almost fifteen months old when she joined our family, and she only weighed 16 pounds. She attached to me right away, and those first few weeks she didn't like to be set down. She had a fairly easy time adjusting to sleep schedules, and she took two naps a day for a month or two, like she had to catch up. Now she takes one nap in the afternoon. She was sleeping in our room at first, but we moved her to Child #3's bedroom a couple months ago. I think it has been better for both of them. Instead of competing for my attention, they can team up being mischevious. One of the harder parts for my husband was that she liked him holding her in the very beginning, but then within a week, she developed a major aversion for him. It was to the point that she wouldn't be in a room with him if I wasn't holding her. She liked him okay if it was morning and he was the only one awake to feed her. It felt like a really long time (really just a couple months) before she liked having him hold her. Now of course, she runs to greet him when he walks in the door and loves having him pick her up and make her giggle. Even our daily routine has gone way better than planned. The chaos level is not near what I was expecting. The hardest part has been dealing with her daily moods, some days she's cheerful and smiley, other days she is whiny and cranky. On the bad days she has to be held most of the day. She has had about six teeth come in since coming home, four of them molars. One of those is not quite out yet. I'm hoping that is what the bulk of her cranky days stems from. She is nineteen months old now and she weighs about twenty pounds. (Other kids are Child #1: 8 1/2 yob, Child #2: 6 yob, Child #3: 3 1/2 yog). Most of our days are chock full of food, noise, playing, learning, food, laundry, food, noise and sleeping, not nessacarily in that order. That is also where all my energy goes. I'm just thankful that I usually get a couple of hours at night to watch Hulu or read a book. I think I would be cross eyed and slightly unstable if I didn't have a little time at night to collect my wits. My good days are when everything on my list gets done AND my children all listened to me without debating or talking back AND my husband came home in a good mood AND I actually cooked a home made dinner before 6:30 pm AND I get a compliment. I might have that kind of day once a week, and it's what keeps me going. My average day has about two out of five of those elements. I also usually get about one or two BAD days a week, and I wash those days out my hair because they are far too demoralizing. And since I know you all love hearing about the bad days ;), they usually include at least three of these elements -
- I have to strip and change Child #3's bed because that nighttime cup of water was one too many.
- I spend the entire day looking for Child #2's favorite book (currently Wacky Wednesday) and listening to him ask me if I've found it yet "No, I'm still looking". (This specific scenario went on for three weeks daily to the point where I was debating between getting it off Ebay or Amazon. Then it appeared today, under Child #1's bed, where I'd already checked twice!)
- Child #1 decides to assert his #1 status by questioning the legitimacy of school work, cleaning and getting out of pajamas. He may carry this on all day and into a second or third day, thereby losing electronic priveleges and being periodically banished to his room. All of which is my fault for making it "the WORST day ever". Oh, you know it!
- I have to strip and change Child #4's bedding because she figured out to get out of her clothes again. That is the number one factor when deciding what she will wear, "Can she figure out how to take this off?" And it always has to been when she pooped because she just loves to spread that crap around. So we do spontaneous bathtimes for that too. Everyone in the house is on alert for it now. If someone hears Child #4 awake, they peak in and it is either, "MOMMY, She's only wearing A DIAPER." (level orange alert) or "MOMMY, SHE TOOK ALL HER CLOTHES OFF." (level red alert).
- I spend an hour working on dinner only to find out that an integral ingredient in the recipe is missing or is unuseable. Thankfully, I have a lot of experience in adapting recipes. I get better at improv cooking every year.
- My husband walks in the door, sees seven things on the floor and three dishes in the sink and some school books still on the table and wonders what I did all day. This means he is in a bad mood and he will spend the evening being dissatisfied and possibly vacumning and doing dishes. I love it when he cleans, but it's usually because he's cranky. Not a great trade off.
- Somebody has a fever, stomach flu, or nasty cough, thereby cancelling all activities for the next few days, like cub scouts or Bible study, and turning us into groundhogs.
Since I'm fairly used to the elements of a bad day, it makes the good parts of those days shine all the brighter. Compliments are sweet nectar to my ears and obedience honey to my heart. If you can't tell, today was a bad day. Yesterday was too, which is unusual. But that puts the odds in my favor for a super day tomorrow! Thank you Lord for the gift of optimism, I couldn't be a stay at home mom without it. So let me know if you spot any typos or mistakes because I'm too tired to proofread this, plus if I don't get in the shower now, my next chance won't be for another 22 hours.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Our week in Ethiopia was wonderful, but we didn't get out much. The first day we arrived, we were on our own, so we stayed at the wonderful Oziopia guesthouse. Abebe was the best guesthouse manager I have met yet. He took us around in the blue minibuses (that was a thrill! and only 2 birr each, unbelieveable), and he even suggested the once a month bazaar at the International Evangelical Church. They only have it the last Saturday of every month, but it was the best place to shop! When I post photos, I will put up a photo or two from there. We went to the agency guesthouse that night, and the next morning we traveled south to meet birth family. The drive south was so beautiful and it was priceless to see all the families outside of their tukuls going about their day to day lives. We even passed a soccer game with a huge ring of people watching. Meeting the birthfamily was difficult and wonderful and priceless, and I'm very thankful that I was allowed to record it. It was a long full day, and we fell asleep at 6:30 pm that night. The next morning we saw Child #4 and she was wary of us, like I expected. Just for reference, she is fifteen months old and weighed 16 pounds when we picked her up. She took to me easily again, so I was thankful for that. We didn't have her in our care full time until the next day (embassy day). I was really nervous about that, but she was fine as long as she was attached to me. We were at the embassy four hours and she didn't really cry. Rather unheard of in our family. We stayed at the guesthouse three more days and she started to relax a little. I still couldn't set her down though. She hated the guesthouse bedroom. She tensed up and cried everytime we went in there (maybe because it was small, dark and quiet?), so we stuck with the outdoors and dining room mostly. She slept through the night very well and still does.
It's been interesting to see the progress we make with Child #4 every day. In Addis, she was fine as long as I was holding her, but she didn't smile much at all. The plane ride was about as long as I imagined it to be, but it wasn't quite as awful as it could have been. Sure, I'm not positive I had more than two hours of sleep during twenty eight hours of travel. And sure, I ended up arriving in Houston with a giant mustard colored poop stain on my jeans and twelve various milk, banana and drool related stains on my shirt. But she didn't cry as much as other kids. Actually, she really only cried when she was tired and trying to stay awake. I will admit that I almost burst into tears in the Customs and Border Patrol office at the Houston airport where we sat waiting after already being in line for over an hour. All I wanted was to pick up my luggage and go home and see my kids and sleep, but the agents behind the counter were joking with each other and in absolutely no rush. That was the closest I came to crying during the whole trip. I was thinking how nice it was to finally be back in America with our efficiency and routines, but they were apparently running the office on Ethiopian time. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Anyway, I somehow lasted through a half hour there (in retrospect, that is still far shorter than the four hours we spent at the embassy), and we finally got to go home. I was a bit nervous of what Child #4 would think of our other children, but there was no need to be concerned. We had a brief mishap right after we got home. She was fast asleep in the car seat, so hubby set it on the floor when we got inside, unbeknowist to me. I noticed the same time as our sweet timid little dog started licking her toes thereby scaring her awake and into screaming, crying mode. She was in hyper vigilant mode for a little while after that, but she quickly warmed up to Child #2 and even let me walk four feet away while they played. The hardest part has been holding her all the time. She will occasionally have an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening where I can set her down as long as I sit on the floor and don't move while she explores within an eight foot radius. If she is hungry, tired, etc. then I have to be holding her and standing up. Although, she let hubby hold her the first couple of days, she has been wary and scared of him since. It's not uncommon, but it is difficult for both of us. Last Thursday was a horrible day, probably because she had just had shots and a double ear infection, but Friday was much better. I have to focus on the baby steps that we make each day. Count every smile and laugh and remember it during the bad times. Notice the moments of independence and exploration and remember it when she won't let me put her down. Today and yesterday have been great as far as her exploring more without me, and she's been smiling more often than not lately. On the other hand, we found out she has Giardia, and I'm having the dickens of a time trying to get her to swallow the medicine. Out of seven doses (only 1 ml each), I'm not sure I've gotten even a drop down her throat. I've put it in every manner of drinks, sugary syrups, fruit. I've used a medicine syringe to push it right at the back of her throat. But without fail, she has spit it on me, her clothing, the floor, dribbled it out the sides of her mouth and down her neck. I don't blame her, if it tastes half as bad as it smells. We've been relying on YL DiGize, and thankfully, that seems to be helping quite a bit. She has even gained a pound this last week! I'm just paranoid of having Giardia go throughout our family of six and making a permanant residence here. So now I carry a bottle of Purell with me everywhere. Today, we went in to have blood drawn (six tubes!) and she had the skin prick for the TB test. It was just awful, and I don't think she liked it much either... Hopefully, there won't be anything to worry about there.
I'll try to get around to posting some photos of our trip later...