Sunday, August 30, 2009

Life happens

I am lacking in spare time right now. And some things take the back seat when you have less time. Like a frivolous blog. One of these days I'll get back to posting on a regular basis. Right now I am just happy if everyone is fed, dressed in clean clothes and within sight. Somedays I'm happy if they are within yelling distance. But most of the time they stay where I can spot them.

Life has settled into a nice normal once again. It will be switched up soon with Judah starting school and me teaching Shane but all the same it will be a nice routine. I love summer but I start longing for more routine and structure that comes with school. My children have started getting slightly cantankerous lately and it makes a mother begin to wonder what insanity looks like. I look in the mirror and wonder........

Most of our days have lots of laughter but seems like equal amounts of yelling, hitting, punching, biting, etc. I hold onto the hope that they will not be biting and punching when they are 30. At least I don't think any of my siblings still act that way.

Heidi has turned into a completely different child over the past month. She has become a champion napper, Happy to just lay on the floor and watch the mayhem unfold around her. Smiley all the time. Rarely cries! Just all around sweet. In fact her nickname is sugar!! I do not ever remember feeling the depth of love so early for any of my children. I think it happened quicker with each child. But my feelings have caught me off guard. She has herself a case of pink eye right now but it is clearing up beautifully with the eyedrops.

Eden is high energy, high volume, high speed.....all day long! We are continuing to work with her on her demanding little self. She has been responding beautifully to us through this process. She is learning how to make a good choice when given the chance and we are watching her behaviour change. doesn't work all the time but we are seeing enough change to be very happy. She brings so much joy to our house and also brings lots of yelling. Tristan and Judah seem to fall for her antagonistic ways very quickly which brings her much delight. Example: first thing in the morning at the breakfast table. She will be eating some cereal and Judah will come to the table to get some food. She will say to him, "Not lots Judah. Not lots." To which he graciously responds, "Eden. You can't tell me how much food I can have."

Tristan just had his 3 year check up this week. He weighed in at 30 pounds which is 5 pounds lighter than either of his brothers at the same age. He is a little guy and takes after my side of the family more. Exceedingly sweet! We had a little success this week with the whole realm of going on the potty. M & M's and matchbox cars are a good incentive for a little boy. We are making progress. Conversation between Tristan and his dad this week: While at a playground Mark noticed a piece of broken playground equipment. He said, "Oh no Tristan. It's broken. What should we do?" Tristan responded, "We need to fix it." Mark said, "I don't have the tools to fix that, buddy." Tristan said, "We need to get a new one." Mark: "Where will we get a new one?" Tristan: "At the yard sale." And then Tristan stood, looked around and said, "I don't see the yard sale."

Shane has been more than abundant on the energy front. He just seems to roll, tumble and wrestle his way from outside to inside, upstairs to downstairs, from one side of the living room to the other get the idea. After being crabby those three weeks while on medicine he seems to be back to his endearing little self. My favorite conversation with Shane lately was this: I was telling him that he is going to be an amazing father someday (premature possibly but he is so caring with the little ones). I told him that it would be best if he found a good woman first. I then started talking to him and Judah about what I want to see in the woman they marry - kind hearted, caring, love Jesus, love them tons, etc. etc. I told Shane that if he needs help finding a girl that I'm sure his daddy and I can find a good one when he gets older. He said, "Maybe you can find her at a restaurant." Huh? Mark said maybe he remembers having a waitress that he thought was pretty. I think it has to do with his love of food and he just figures that if he finds a girl at a restaurant he will get to eat chicken fingers and fries for the rest of his life.

Judah is getting both excited and a bit apprehensive about school. Mostly excited though. We had a picnic this past week with his teacher and both third grade classes. We met some parents and he met some new friends. His teacher is amazing and is very high energy! I think he will thrive in school especially with his friend Luke by his side. Judah told me today that he thinks one of the gifts God gave him is creativity. I think he may be right. He then said he thinks Tristan's gift is whining. Uh, that isn't really a gift but yes. He does tend to whine a bit too much.

I am trying to enjoy my days and not think so much about the future. I can get excited thinking about what life will be like in a year or two and miss the fun moments now. Somehow the demands and screaming of little children don't equate as fun for me. But this time is fleeting and I don't want to miss the snippets of joy in my children's eyes even on the long days. I want them to see joy in my eyes, hear love in my voice and feel a peace in our home.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Do I need to say anything more? Slightly terrifying! When did my son become big enough to ride a huge four wheeler? If he is big enough is still up for debate. His father didn't think it necessary to consult me first. Upon seeing my expression he told me why he felt things were okay. He had the four wheeler in low, couldn't go much more than 15 mph, etc. etc.
Just look how happy he is!! So incredibly proud of himself. And his father is equally as proud!

And this is how the rest of them roll. Yes....I am aware that none of them have helmets. Please do not beat me up!! They go quite slow and are pretty safe - as far as I can tell. Wouldn't be my first choice but at least it keeps them off of the trampoline. I wish I could convince Mark to pack the trampoline up and get it out of our yard. Anyone want to send any scary stories our way that will help with my attempts? I'm sure anyone in the medical profession can help me out. Elam? Lana? Olivia? Anyone?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Things are Changin'

I was all ready to upload some photos and realized the camera is with my husband. He took Judah and Shane fishing for the day and that is why I am actually having a few moments to sit down. I have only one child who is awake and in action right now. Feels kind of strange but oh so lovely!!

First of all I will fill you in on the change that is coming. We deliberated, discussed and decided to enroll Judah in school this year. We are very confident this is the best decision at this point since I am still in a bit of survival mode. Although things are evening out quite beautifully here as of late. Still....I do not have 4 hours a day to sit and help, teach and monitor Judah as he works. We took him in to visit the elementary school and he was hooked!! It helps that one of his dear friends (our neighbors grandson) will be in his class! There are two 3rd grade classes at the school and both classes have only 12 or 13 kids in them! Private school size classes!! We were blown away by how informative, helpful and excited the principal and teachers were to meet him. They came in special to show him and us around the school. As much as I love teaching the boys I was feeling this weight bearing down on me that I knew was not going to be productive both in my teaching and most importantly in my ability to mother my children. I feel like I can breathe deeply again.

As a result of enrolling him in school I will have a bit of extra time throughout the day which I am hoping to spend with the little munchkins. I will still be doing first grade with Shane but he has an entirely different learning style than Judah and tends to run with things with very little instruction. I am hoping to spend a little more quality time with Eden as we are noticing some behavioral things with her that just need some tweaking.

As I have been mothering Heidi I have realized how much bonding does take place in those first few months. I look at Heidi and think, "What would happen if suddenly I was taken out of her life and misplaced with random strangers?" Eden was almost 3 months old when her mother passed away and for the next 2 months we really do not know who was taking care of her. I am sure the care she received while adequate was not the same as having a mother who was connecting, loving and nurturing her. And then for the next 5 months she had numerous caregivers at the orphanage. I talked extensively with another adoptive mother (who is a dear friend) who has been doing research and studying attachments issues and disorders for her masters. I was explaining some of the behaviors we were noticing in Eden and she confirmed that yes.....we need to really work on the bond. Eden is very secure and knows she is loved. But sometimes I think she views women in general as "mom". She knows I am her mom and I operate as her mother but she gravitates towards other women when she perceives me as being distant. That can be from enforcing boundaries with her or simply from helping one of the other children with something. This is really hard to explain in writing since it sounds almost petty. But trust me when I say there are definitely things I am encountering with her that I haven't with our other children. Nothing horrible but things that still need some attention and redirection. I think she will benefit greatly from having her mom "freed up" a little more.

I had Heidi to the doctor last week for her 4 month check up. She weighed in at 14 lbs 14 ozs and 25 inches long. She isn't a tiny little peanut anymore! We are noticing similarities in her and Judah at this point. Both very sensitive as babies. She prefers to be home and does a lot of screaming anytime we go to someone else's house. We were at my sister's house on Saturday for my nephews graduation/going away party and she cried almost the entire time! As soon as we got home she was her happy, smiley self. Last night I tried to go play bunko with my friends and she started screaming as soon as I walked into the house. I decided it wasn't worth listening to her scream all night, left and she was happy as a clam upon entering our house. Someone made the comment that I must feel so trapped. You know.....I don't feel trapped at all! I fortunately enjoy being home plus I know she will be running around in a matter of months and those quiet moments of her snuggling with me will be over.

And now I hear her waking up! So....I will run now, feed my child, change some diapers and confiscate the camera upon the fishermen's return. I have some cute pictures for you all!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Lot of Nothing

This will be very boring and flat because simply that is how I feel today. Boring and flat. Just blah! No reason in particular. I know enough by now to know that tomorrow will feel different. I think it has something to do with having my sleep disturbed so much over the past two weeks. I seem to be able to motor along ok for a while and then one morning I wake up and feel like I am toe to toe with a brick wall. Today was the brick wall.

I have been running around a lot more than normal this week which has been fun and good. We went swimming one day, had friends come for a visit one day, the boys had kick boxing, Judah had a dentist appointment, doctor's appointments, etc. etc. The boys went to a local ball game with their dad and Uncle Eric and tonight they are going to an outdoor movie just two miles up the road. I of course will stay home since the "little ones" will need their beds.

And really....that is all I am writing for now. Like I said, flat, boring....especially after almost two weeks of being silent. What is my problem?'s things like realizing Eden and Tristan are naked and playing in the baby pool although that couldn't possibly be happening right now. Could it? Oh yes!! It could and it is!! If only I could post pictures of them sliding down the little slide in their bare butts!! Too cute for words!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Medlam and Mayhem

My friend Tori came over this evening to try and take some pictures of all the kids and us as a family. The two older boys were so excited because she was bringing her daughter Lucia. They love playing with her and with the addition of Heidi this summer we haven't had any play dates or chances to hang out with them. Oh...and add to the mix that Tori's husband was in a motorcycle accident 10 weeks ago and still can't walk.

Tori arrived and things got into full swing. I wanted mostly candid shots of the kids with a few posed throughout. She got some great pictures!!! She snapped away for a long time and ended up with somewhere around 500 pictures. Now..I know only a small fraction of those will be usable but I was still excited.

I decided in the middle of picture taking that we can wait another two years to try this again. We hadn't had any family pictures taken for almost two years and there is a reason. Mayhem, people!!! Mayhem!! It isn't hard keeping track of the kids -I do that on a daily basis. It is the energy that is pouring out of them that makes me about crazy! This whole day was difficult and so the stress of trying to keep kids relatively happy and clean wasn't what I really wanted at the end of the day.

And we are learning that Heidi seems to sense the heightened excitement when people are around and does a lot of screaming when people are here. I think it is mostly that the other kids get so excited therefore the noise level goes up, the activity level goes up and so does my stress. All things that Heidi seems to sense. We had a hard time getting her to relax for the pictures but that is okay. It is who she is so we may as well capture those moments.

What could have been stressful today you ask? Hmmm....could it be Eden attempting to clean the toilet in the boys bathroom that hadn't been flushed so she was flinging pee on the walls and on the floor with the toilet brush? Or could it have been the fact that Tristan seems to not care at all that he pees down his leg and onto the floor when he has undies on? Or maybe it was the fact that I had all the kids clean and their skin moisturized for the pictures only to find Eden stripped down and playing in the kiddy pool? So much for moisturized skin! Or maybe it was finding Eden dumping orange juice into the beautiful basket that Mark's sisters just brought home from Rwanda for us? Thankfully the basket was fine since it is beautiful and one of a kind. Do you notice the reoccurring theme here? Eden is at the crux of a lot of mischievous behavior. I think she is needing some more mommy time. I will try and make that happen tomorrow and fill her little tank so she isn't feeling like negative attention is worth it!

Anyway.....I will share the pictures when Tori has them edited and passed onto me. I told her to photoshop me real good and take out the dark circles under my eyes! She's great! She will do that for me. And now I am thinking that if someone could encapsulate the euphoria I feel upon knowing my bed is calling my name they would be rich off of my purchases! I get so excited every night when I know I am going to bed to rest my weary body. I told Tristan tonight that his pillow was calling his name. I then said his name real softly and said, "Did you hear your pillow?" He looked at me with really big eyes and an almost scared expression on his face. I put him in his bed and said, "Your pillow really likes you." He said, " does?" It was so cute but I also realized I most certainly lied to my child. Oh great!