Monday, August 31, 2009

The Impossible

Getting a picture with all three kids looking at the camera and with their eyes open is next to impossible. So this picture is a rare gem indeed:Each time we come home from somewhere the kids now have the ritual of sitting by the front door while they wait for us to get the baby and multiple diaper bags, shopping bags, and whatever else is still loaded in the van. I've tried countless time to get a picture and yesterday was the first time I succeeded. Can't wait to try it with all four!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I'm Still Here

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. Life is great right now, it's just exhausting. A month of interrupted sleep is taking its toll. I'd forgotten what the feeling was like. (And how on earth did we do this with TWO infants??) This week Daniel and Mikea decided it was time they started climbing out of their cribs during naptime. They end up in Joe's bed, which is cute, but then they don't sleep, and I'm not ready for that. I've moved Daniel out of their room a couple of times, and that seems to help. Although then when Mikea wakes up she's screams because Dan's not there.

The house has been on the market now for six weeks. We've had a few showings, the latest one Friday evening. I spent all day Friday getting the house ready (and letting the kids watch way too much TV), but when we came home there was no evidence that anyone had been there. Usually the lights or off or you can tell a shower curtain was moved. It's frustrating, but what else can you do? It also wouldn't be as bad if we could actually go do something during the showings, but we have to bring the dogs with us so we just drive around all crammed into the minivan: Two dogs. Two adults. Three toddlers. One infant. Infinite fun!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back to School

Today is the first day of school at newly-constructed James L. Masters Elementary School. My husband has the privilege of being one of the teachers to open this new school. Construction was behind schedule (plus two entire wings of the building were left off and will have to be constructed while school is going on, meaning they might need to set up portables already) The teachers only had a few days to get moved in and set up, but Billy's an old pro at this by now and I think his room looks great.

Friday I took the kids over to see where Daddy goes to work every day. Here they are goofing around in his classroom library.

This is the computer area. Everything is brand-new. Note the plastic on the filing cabinets.

One of my favorite features of his classroom is the giant window. In my eight years of teaching I had a room with a window only one time. The window faces east providing gorgeous views of the sunrise every morning. Since it wasn't sunrise when we went, I'll give you a gorgeous view of Joe instead.
Another one of my favorite areas of Billy's room is his display of family pictures. (It appears I need to give him some updated pictures of us. Hmmm, maybe I'll do that for his birthday. Oh, you want to know when it is? This Wednesday, August 26. Oh, and he's turning 30. I'm not poking fun at him, mind you. It's just that I've had to endure my fair share of age-mockery considering I turned 30 half a decade ago. Seriously.)

Daniel and Mikea trying out the desks. If you're thinking it looks like they fit pretty well in those chairs it's because the small chairs and desks were mistakenly ordered instead of large ones.

Future Masters Elementary School student.

The kids had a blast running up and down the halls and it was great to see many old friends who moved over from our previous school to Masters.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Proud Of My Big Sister!

It's not often that you read the news and stumble upon an article about your own sibling. But that's exactly what just happened to me. Click here to read about my big sis and the work she does with seniors. It takes an extra measure of patience and caring to work with the elderly and Sarah is blessed with an abundance of both!

Update on Baby Brother A.

Friday we finally had a visit from Baby A.'s caseworker and found out a little more about the direction the case is going. The judge decided to allow A.'s mother to work services to regain custody of him. Because he is an infant, she will have weekly visits with him. She will be given a year to "work services". However, if she does not make any attempt to participate for six months, she may lose her chance.

This is not the news we were hoping to hear. I have a lot of strong feelings about the situation, but this probably isn't the right venue. We just ask for your prayers again. I am optimistic about our chances of adoption Baby A., but it looks like it could be another long road before that happens.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Little Mother

Mikea is already practicing for the day when she has 500 babies of her own. Yesterday she figured out how to carry two babies at once. The baby on her back is tucked into her shirt. (Several weeks ago we saw a monkey on TV carrying a baby on her back and Mikea and Joe both wanted to try it.) I don't know about feeding a baby with a screwdriver, but you have to give Mikea credit for multi-tasking. (By the way, it is an extremely realistic-looking TOY screwdriver for those of you questioning my parenting choices right now!) :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Celebrating An Adopt-iversary

Saturday marked the one-year anniversary of our adoption of Joe and Daniel. It was also Baby A.'s one-month "birthday", so of course we had to celebrate!

It still boggles my mind that somehow our family has gone from zero to four children in less than two years. I look at the three toddlers growing up together, laughing and learning and I feel so indescribably blessed to be their mom. And then I look at little Baby A., and think how perfectly natural it feels to have him with us in our family. I can't say it enough: God has been so good to us!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Better than New

Dan's procedure went smoothly Friday morning. We went to the hospital at 6:30 and were home by 9:45. After his ID bracelets were attached he kept holding out his arm as if he couldn't use it. He even tried holding and reading a book with one had. It was too funny.

When Dan woke up from the anesthesia he was quite the grouch. He was crying and kicking and hitting and demanding more juice every time he finished a cup. Poor little guy. I didn't want to give him too much because the anesthesiologist said he might throw up, but the nurses kept bringing me more. I think they wanted him to stop screaming and for us to leave. But once I got him dressed and he understood we were leaving the hospital he calmed down.

Now he's on the mend with the assistance of some pain meds and should be better than new in a few days!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Top 3 Signs You Are Sleep-Deprived

3. You discover a box of aluminum foil in your refrigerator.

2. You try to feed an infant with the non-nipple end of the bottle.

1. In the middle of the night you think you see a pig carcass on the floor. Turns out to be a shirt.

From past experience, it's clear that my mind plays unusual tricks on me when I'm sleep-deprived. See Return of the Phantom Baby for an example. But a pig carcass? That's just bizarre. I don't read creepy books or watch horror movies so it's very puzzling as to why that image came to mind. There was a dead bird on our sidewalk recently, so maybe that had something to do with it. Or maybe I'm just weird.

This May Be TMI, But I Had To Share

This Friday Daniel is undergoing a minor surgical procedure that his doctor recommended we get done. I'll spare the details other than to say that had Daniel been born Jewish, this procedure would probably have taken place when he was eight days old.

A nurse called today to obtain Daniel's medical history. She asked if he's had any procedures done before and when I said no, she said somewhat excitedly, "Oh, this is his first one?" as if it were his first tooth or something. It also struck me as funny because, I'm no expert, but I think this procedure can only be done once. (I know she was talking about all surgical procedures in general, but it still made me laugh.)

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Lineup

Now, if you're not smiling you either need to get another cup of coffee or go back to bed.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Birthdays, Bowling, and Blessings

I don't know why summer days are called lazy. Crazy is more like it! Last week was no exception. On Monday alone Baby Brother A. had no less than three appointments! But we managed to squeeze in as much fun as possible the rest of the week.

We played in the backyard.

Joe sneezed on his birthday cake.
We made S'mores.
We went bowling.

And Daniel bowled a strike!

The week ended with two surprises: Aunt Sarah came over Saturday morning to play with the kids while Billy and I went shopping with Baby A. It was amazingly leisurely being out with only one baby. Then Saturday evening the Truwe's brought dinner over to our house. Lasagna and salad and bread and chocolate cake! Yum! It made us realize how amazingly blessed we are to have such incredible family and friends!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, Joe!

Joe turns 3 today! I can hardly believe it. It seems like just yesterday he was a 15-month-old eating dirt,

bathing in soup,
hanging out in boxes,
and contacting aliens with foil hats.
Now he is a computer programmer.

Wow! I can't wait to see what age 4 brings!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Fun with Aunt Kellie

We were all sad to see Aunt Kellie leave this past Sunday after a fun week together. The timing of her visit was perfect because she gave Joe, Dan, and Mikea the extra attention they needed as Billy and I reacquainted ourselves to life with a newborn. I know she must have gotten tired of the kids constantly trying to sit on her lap, but she never complained.

Hopefully Kellie can convince her parents to take a trip down to Texas so they can see for themselves how great these kiddos are! (Hint, Hint)