Monday, April 28, 2014

Operation Preschool

While we consider whether to put Katie in some kind of preschool for the fall, I'm working on a few items for our homeschool/preschool...

Most importantly, we bought a nice bookshelf for storing/organizing all the homeschool stuff!  Always good to start out organized...

These will eventually be frogs and toads (for counting/math activities).  

Katie is sorting the shells into big and little--I drew a small circle on the paper for her to size them.

I was thinking of getting a basic all-in-one preschool/pre-K workbook for her to use, but they are all designed for right-handed letter formation.  Annoying.  So I'll have to find a left-handed writing workbook for her, and then decide whether to still get an all-in-one workbook for the rest of the activities, or just gather up some different things.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Back to Life

There's nothing like going through the second half of your day with the faint aroma of vomit around you.  The upside of Liz being super fussy this morning is that I fed her early and had her down for a nap before Luke threw up all over the couch, floor, himself, and me.  Poor guy.  He gamely made it through a brief rinse on my part before sitting in the bathtub himself, and now he's asleep on the floor (I've consigned the throw pillow to the trash after this bout).  Don't worry, I've called in the cavalry.

In the meantime, here are some of our super cute pics from yesterday!  There are two kinds of sunrise services--I prefer the ones that end as the sun is rising, but there were none to be found in Albuquerque this year.  The one we attended started as the sun was rising, but it was still really nice, and at least we didn't have to wake up as early.  We went home and ate breakfast, had a little easter egg hunt, and headed to church.  The kids enjoyed ringing their bells for the call and response, "He is risen...Alleluia, He is risen indeed!"  The brisket was pretty good, although next time I'll make it the day before so I can keep a better eye on it.  I think it was a little dry/overcooked, but the bacon/onion delicousness at the bottom tasted fantastic on it.

My favorite!



Saturday, April 19, 2014

Our Easter Traditions

The last week and a half has been weighted more to the "slightly overwhelming" side than "things are going great!"  The first two weeks at church, when people asked me how things were going, I said more than once, "I don't want to sugar coat adoption, but everything is going so well!"  Last Sunday our pastor asked again, and we had a nice chat about how adding a third child is one of the harder transitions to make.  It would be way harder if David didn't do everything he could to make my evenings a little easier, though.  He's a great guy.  

A few highlights from the week:  

--Liz has added "Pippin" to her words, and has dubbed David "Gaga."  We are working on making "L" sounds, and she can now make them when she sticks her tongue out.  

--When we first got Liz, she would cry in her crib after waking until I picked her up and calmed her down.  Now, she cries/whines until one of us comes in, and as soon as she sees us, she gets super excited.

--I went running on Monday after dinner!  Two miles without stopping, and my pace wasn't too bad either (first time since Christmas).  I'm planning to go again today...still haven't gone with the kids.  :)  Although the weather is super nice, it's still a little cold in the mornings.

We've also enjoyed sharing some of our Easter traditions with Liz.  It all starts with our Maundy Thursday celebration.  We always eat lamb for dinner, to remember Jesus' sacrifice as the Lamb of God.  This year, I took David's advice and got everything from our favorite Turkish deli--even the lamb and beef shawarma.  After dinner, we read John 13-17 aloud.  At the appropriate time during the reading, we paused and washed each other's feet.  Katie's been asking since last year when we'd wash feet again, so I think it's pretty memorable.  Every time, we go over how washing each other's feet reminds us that we are supposed to love and serve each other.  

After reading, we take communion, and then our fast begins.  We've done everything from bread and water to just going vegetarian (when I was pregnant).  This year we are eating a vegan diet.  I'm pretty sure if we'd just told the kids "no milk," that would have been enough to have an impact.   :)  The fast lasts from communion on Thursday through the sunrise service on Sunday.  This is what we're having for Easter dinner: Braised Beef Brisket

Luke washing Liz's feet

Katie washing Luke's feet.

Liz was supposed to wash David's feet, but after spilling the first basin of water, we passed that duty on to the other two kids.  :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Family Picture?

Our adoption agency sent us matching T-shirts, so I tried to get a family picture to send them.  Definitely not the greatest spot, and despite taking lots of pictures, I'm not sure we have a single 'good' one.  I'm thinking we'll have to do this again in a more controlled setting.  :)

E:  Why are your hands up there?

E:  Okay, I'll do it too!

E:  What, I'm not supposed to do that?

K:  It's too bright!!!

M:  Just look at the camera, we'll be done soon.

The winner?

Monday, April 7, 2014

3 weeks

Taking a break during Hope for the City.  Two of these little troopers worked very hard and helped pick up leaves and trash at a local elementary school.  The third was an excellent supervisor.  

(I attempted to get a family picture...notice the matching shirts.  Does anyone know how to make a composite photo?)

It's hard to believe we've had Liz with us for over a month now (counting time in China), and that we've only been home for 3+ weeks.  In a lot of ways, it seems like much longer.  At the same time, oops, here's another week gone with nary a blog post in sight.

This past week was an exercise in continuing to adjust my expectations.  Some adoption books present the idea of biological age vs. "family age" as a way to think about how your adopted child is adjusting and integrating into the family.  So while Liz is now 19 months, her family age is only one month.  That's helped me a lot, since it reminds me that just picking up where we left off is kind of ridiculous.

When you have a newborn, it's easier to remember that you are more tired, and maybe you shouldn't dive into a big project, and your home cleanliness/tidiness level may dip a bit, and your weekly routine will be shaken up until everyone settles in.  And then the napping schedule changes, or there's a growth spurt, or the baby starts teething/crawling/walking/eating solids...really, it takes a while before your routine is really set and predictable.  In the meantime, you are learning your baby's moods and faces and triggers and everything else that helps with non-verbal communication.

So, yeah, I had some pretty unrealistic expectations that first week on my own.  :)  Because it's harder to move through all those stages starting with a twenty-two pound 19 month old.  She's heavy to carry around!

Some things that have helped:

--I'm rebuilding/remembering my "19 month old" arsenal of activities.  :)  Liz may be happily playing in the living room, but as soon as I get up to empty the dishwasher/clear the table/make lunch, she's at my knees, begging to get up.  I had forgotten about the kitchen cabinet in the corner filled with random things for playing, and that cabinet usually buys me at least a few minutes to get something done now.

--I'm not attempting to rearrange the kids rooms by myself any more, or even contemplating big house projects.

--I'm putting things down more.  It's only been three weeks!  She's attaching/bonding so well, I forget that bonding should still be a top priority right now.  The first week didn't even really count since we were all jet lagged.

--I'm celebrating the things that make it easier with a 19 month old, like self feeding and walking and first words!  She learned to say Mama last week...and she calls everyone that.  :)