Friday, January 25, 2008

The flip side of the coin...

I'm doing the happy dance this morning and can't concentrate on anything...ever have something someone said affect you so profoundly that you can't think? Well, that is where I am today.

In my previous post, I talked about some issues with my middle son R. and wondered if it was adoption and or attachment related - And he is the one who I have always felt was securely attached!

Now my older son M. is another story. Our first two years together were filled with ups and downs and we had times where we didn't like each other very much. Well, both of us have grown and changed and our love has really blossomed. I have noticed the last year that he seems so secure in me and that I will be (and am) there for him in all things. The comparison to his brother - who is much less secure about that all of a sudden - is huge. (Well, even I can notice it).

Last night I had to give a lecture which I was doing free of charge and when I negotiated it with the sponsors, they said that they would have someone to babysit (so I didn't get a double whammy of having to pay for a sitter and giving up one of my nights at home!). Well, on Wednesday they emailed me to make sure everything was on for the next night. I wrote back to say that I was ready and to confirm that my kids would be okay to be there guessed it, they wrote back and said they didn't have anyone to stay with the kids during it.

My project coordinator/right hand/sanity maker at work has offered to watch them in a pinch before so I asked if she wouldn't mind coming over on short notice and she did. The kids were real excited about it - of course their only experience with her was when she and her husband brought us our big screen TV - and I think they thought they might get another one! Everything went well with the lecture and the babysitting.

So today, at work, she tells me how she got a real kick out of M. last night because around 9 when he knew I was coming home, he started getting up from his chair and saying..."I really love my mommy, I can't wait till she comes home and I can hug her" and then going back to what he was doing for a few minutes and then getting up again and repeating it. She said he must have done it about 6 times.

So, WOW!

I have tears in my eyes and I know that love does triumph.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Behavior Issues

R. has been having a tough time the last few months. He has become velcro boy...doesn't want me to be out of his sight for a minute. He also has become more defiant and trying to get away with things that he knows he isn't supposed to do.

Of course, in my anxiety, I have been worried if this is (suddenly) some manifestation of adoption. He certainly was the easiest (and the youngest) of my kids and has always been sweet and compliant. I can't really pin point when all of this happened, but I recognize it more since I went away for a weekend in October - though his anxiety about me going out of his sight preceded the trip.

Last week, he was telling me that his bus driver was letting he and another boy ride in the back of the bus. This is exciting because it is a rule that Kindergarten kids ride in the front seats in our county...but, since this is the special Ed bus and there are only 13 kids on the large sized bus, I guess the driver wasn't worried about the K'er getting into trouble.

One day last week, he had a bad morning and I went to the bus and told the bus driver that he had "gotten up on the wrong side of the bed" and I didn't want him to get the privilege of riding in the back of the bus. The driver assured me that he was good on the bus and it wasn't a problem, but I guess he got my drift later in the ride.

Anyway, R. keeps asking me (the last 3 mornings) if he woke up on the right side of the bed - and honestly, he has! He is the earliest riser in our family and he usually can be counted on to go downstairs and raid the food and watch TV...and occasionally coerce his sister to be an accomplice in his activities so he can then say that "L. told me to do it!". But the last couple of days, he has gotten dressed (complete with socks, sneakers, and coat on), made his lunch (lunchable plus 2 fruits), and been very good about no unacceptable sweets.

Today, he came into my room as I got out of the shower and said...Did I wake up on the right side of the bed? could I answer anything but yes? And he scurried away saying how he got to ride in the back of the bus! It took me about 20 minutes to put all of this together but I guess he has been telling the bus driver how his morning went (or better yet, how I thought his morning went) before he got on in the morning - maybe this is progress!?

What have I been doing? I've been trying to give him extra mommy time (when he wants it...he is getting to be a big boy after all (LOL)). He has developed a fascination with our treadmill so we have been exercising on the treadmill together every night while dinner is cooking. The first night, all of the kids wanted a try but the rest have been lured away by Diego. I've been talking to him when he isn't stressed about me being here and that I will take care of him and trying to reassure him.

Hopefully this will be a phase and some of the simple things I've implemented will work.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

No boys allowed!

My L. turned three yesterday and she is becoming such a smart girl (not biased or anything!). M. & R. have been ganging up on her the last few days trying to torture her by going into a room and not letting her in and saying "no girls allowed". Now those of you who know her, know that she doesn't take "no" very well. And she certainly isn't going to be boxed out of any fun time! So, this has been quite distressing for her. Usually she runs to me and cries and whines and I have to talk to the boys about playing nice.

Well, this morning, as I was getting dressed and ready for work, she ran into the bathroom and shut and locked the door and said..."no boys allowed, right mommy!" She had the biggest smile on her face like she had figured out the answer to the worlds biggest question. I'm glad I let her figure it out for herself. Unfortunately, it is not going to be a great thing for me to be her partner in crime against the boys...Hope that our anticipated "baby sister" as the kids affectionately call her will give her someone to conspire against the boys with!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Basketball and a Saturday afternoon

The two boys are on a Kindergarten basketball league thru our local YMCA. It is one of the funniest things. First of all, they have 14 teams of 10 boys and girls. Mostly boys (our team has one girl) - who haven't done any basketball before. They alternate from double dribbling to traveling and all smiles the whole time. R. has been anticipating this for a long time. We signed up in like September - right as soccer was starting up for the fall season. The first practice/game was the 2nd Saturday in January. Both boys got new sneakers and a ball for Christmas.

Yesterday they had pictures at 9:20AM. It was fun seeing about 5 groups of 10 Kindergarteners in one room trying to make space for individual and then team pictures. Matthew has taken to holding his head in this awkward upward turn in pictures...Don't know if it has to do with his strabismus surgery or not. I don't remember him doing it beforehand, but the photographer was able to get him keep it down for the second it took to take the picture. Then, they were great during the team picture and we left to stop rapidly at Food Lion to pick up more food coloring cuz I was going to try my hand at decorating Logan's Dora the Explorer birthday cake.

Their practice /game session was at 10 am. They practice for a half hour and then they have a game against another team. There are no fouls, no score-keeping, no blocking shots...they do (on occasion) call traveling and the teams try and do throw ins from the sides after turn overs. But, mostly there is running back and forth and occasional shooting and rare baskets. Riley was able to score once. Matthew got a couple of time, he got the rebound just as the whistle was blown to do substitutions. Boy was he mad that he had to give the ball to someone else and couldn't run down to the other side.

I'm amazed that after 3 sessions, both of the boys have made a lot of progress with teamwork (passing the ball NEVER happened in soccer), with understanding offense and defense, and are having a great time.

Today one of the coaches met the kids at the YMCA for a practice session. It was a great idea. The kids loved the practice session, they did a lot of shooting (and scoring) and then the coach took them to the track above the gym and they did laps. Hopefully they will all fall asleep after dinner.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Blanket Party

I was reading one of my favorite bloggers today. She has several children she has adopted from Ethiopia and was talking about how her mother and father are going to Ethiopia this summer to volunteer at a hospital. The mother is an OB nurse and had asked the volunteer organization about what they could do...

The volunteer said that when women come to the hospital to give birth, they often come with nothing — absolutely nothing — for their babies. The staff at the hospital would love to be able to give those mothers one baby blanket each, so they could wrap their babies up before they take them home.

Can you imagine being so desperately poor that you could not afford a scrap of cloth in which to wrap your baby?

I cannot.

And so I want to send blankets to Africa.

Would you like to help me?

On February 1st I am hosting a blanket party here on my blog. If you would like to help me wrap up a few babies, I hope you’ll come and help me out. There will be a paypal link on the blog that day to make it easy for you to donate. Every penny of your money will go straight to Ethiopia. If you think your readers might be interested in wrapping a few babies themselves, I hope you’ll consider mentioning the party on your blog too, OK?
February 1st. Let’s see how many babies we can wrap

This is such a cool thing. I am posting this for you to consider visiting her blog on Feb 1st. The site is

I know that I will be visiting.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Funny sayings...

My son R. wants to be grown up in such a bad way...he is constantly trying out different word combinations without really knowing them.

Today his brother had a Nintendo game that he wanted to use. He sat down next to him with a quarter in his hand and said..."Okay M. if it lands on eagles, it is your game and if it lands on presidents it is mine!, Okay?"

I went over what is heads and what is tails and he seemed to get it. It was so cute!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Cleaning, repairing, and stuff...

I finally got things together last week and arranged to have my Saturn have an oil change and a state inspection - only 1 1/2 months late. Meanwhile the Tahoe is stuck in the driveway ...dead, juice. So, I get it towed to the shop on Tuesday. Turns out the battery is dead ...and oh by the way, "when we put it up on the lift, 3 of the tires have metal showing in the tread". So, I arranged to pick it up yesterday and then I went directly to Costco and got 4 new tires. When I picked it up, there was the WORST smell in it. Now, we have not driven it for about 3 months cuz I usually use the Saturn when the price of gas goes up too high and then the battery died and...

Anyway, 2 1/2 hours later I pick it up at Costco and can look in the back and what do I find...?...3 rotten (and I mean melting into the carpet...) PUMPKINS!!!

So, now we know when I last used it (right before Halloween)...I scooped it all up and threw out a bunch of towels and sweaters that were in the back with them and today after basketball practice we went to the Car Pool. For $100 my car is now clean and better smelling. Looks like I will be spraying febreeze on it ...maybe dumping a half a bottle of it.

So, lesson learned...don't leave pumpkins unattended for 3 months in the back of a car in the driveway. UGH!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Adoption news...

Well, essentially there is none! I received a referral for a special needs child in December that I couldn't accept and was told that I would get my next one in January. So, I used that time to complete the second phase of my paperwork. I got it all apostilled and sent in to my agency the Friday before Christmas. So I am just waiting for the holidays to be over and hoping that things will happen in the next couple of weeks.

On the good front, I spoke with a woman from my agency who went to Rostov over the week of Christmas on her first trip. She and I had spoken a couple of months ago when she was trying to decide on a region and the Cradle staff were trying to get her to go to Rostov and she wanted to know some about the city. Yesterday I opened my email to see a beautiful picture of her and her 15 month old daughter to be. We spent about an hour on the phone with her telling me her story. Sounds like things went pretty well.

She told me that she was told by the Rostov people and by the Cradle Chicago staff that I was the next in line to Rostov and that they don't have anyone in line for the region so she expects that I truly will get a referral shortly!

The bad news is that it looks like they are not waiving the 10 days much and so, for me, it will be 3 trips.

So, at least the paperwork is completed until after the first trip and then I just have to do all of the physical stuff.

Also on the adoption front...

I spent a good amount of time during the Christmas holiday organizing my paperwork from the three kids. Got everything together and separated to put back into my bank vault and got everything together to renew the two boys US and Russian passports. Now all I have to do is make an appointment at the post office and get passport pictures.

And since I am so organized, I am considering sending in the paperwork for their Certificate of Citizenship. The boys were adopted before it automatically was sent to them. I have to look up how much it will cost.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Well, we had a great week over the holidays with my sister and her two daughters. The kids are all around the same ages (6,6,5,4,3)so get along well. We filled the time up with alot of presents, family, food, and play. Here are some of my kids over the week. Hope your holiday was great.

Here are all of the kids. My sister's girls are in the purple. This was us hanging our stockings on Christmas eve night. Why won't my kids wear pjs?

Matthew and Logan stayed afterward and mugged for the camera. I love it.
Here's my cutie! He would either put his head into the air or down on his chest...nothing looking straight ahead.
Here's my beautiful girl. Isn't she gorgeous?