Sunday, September 26, 2010

Comical Chaos

One thing I'm learning about having 4 kiddos is picture taking is crazy impossible. Yesterday I tried so hard to get the 4 of these guys to smile and simultaneously look at the camera. My attempts were not fruitful. But, when I went back through some of the pictures I found these. Watch what happens...
Here is when mom starts to say "can you guys look at me and smile"... Everything seems to be going good.
Take a look at Belle... she has the devious look in her eye. She spots the jumping water fountain heading towards her brothers. Does she warn them?
Nope... Now Sweet M* realizes the water is going to get him. Oh, no. Captain Crazy doesn't seem to mind. Cuddlebear is obviously done with the photo session.
The boys get doused... Belle tries her best to not get a single drop on her.
Sweet success!!! Brothers are soaked and the princess is dry and happy!
Not the pictures I had in mind. But, definitely good memories.
Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Okay... so I talk a lot about the kids adjustment in the past few months. But, just recently I have been realizing how hard the adjustment has also been on myself. For the past 158 1/2 days (yes I counted) everything in my life has been about Sweet M* or Sweet M*'s adjustment into our family. If it wasn't about him than it was caring for our other 3 kiddos or working. There was just no way around it. There was so much that I prepared for before we came home, but also so much that I had to just learn as we went. My husband helped me realize last week just how drained I was both physically and mentally (yes he is awesome). I didn't believe him but then he told me to go off and spend some me time and I could not think of a single fun thing to do. How sad is that? I couldn't think of a tv show to watch, I didn't want to go shopping, nothing seemed interesting online... blech...

Then I realized that it was bc I have not had that opportunity (or I haven't allowed myself the opportunity) to escape and go have fun since the day we stepped on the airplane headed to Ethiopia. So, I am taking at least an hour everyday to re-charge my batteries now and I am already feeling a million times better. I am so thankful that I was strong enough to make it through the initial months and I am so so so very thankful that our family is starting to get back to a "normal" routine. I even have all of the kids in their own room sleeping, well... at least that is where they start. Most of them make into our room at some point during the night. But, hey baby steps in the right direction are fine by me ;)

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Magical Day!!!

This past Saturday was a very magical day. When we were in the adoption process I had this vision or dream of what our family of 6 would look like. The past 4 months we have all been transitioning into being a family though and that image that I had held in my dreams seemed like a far off reality. I think I was honestly even losing hope. But, thankfully the past week has brought some major changes.

Sweet M* has made another huge jump in behavior and attachment. We are able to discipline and say no without having a HUGE tantrum or screaming fit. Which means I am not as stressed out about every outing bc I know that M* can handle it. This is a HUGE relief for me. I think the change happened when Hubby and I started understanding M*'s story and how it effects his daily thought process and behavior. It sounds silly (we should know this) but it is hard to remember his past when you are completely drained both physically and emotionally.

After realizing our error we started finding fun ways to engage him and we also started using a lot of distraction to ward off the fits. I think really M* could feel our closeness and I believe he is beginning to understand that when we say no it doesn't mean we don't love him or he is not a good kid... it just means we can't do that. I also think he is starting to get a hang of what being a part of our family means. He is starting to feel like he knows his place.

We went to Disneyland this past weekend and we had a blast. We were tantrum free the entire day. Sweet M* was great with the animals in the petting zoo and he even starred in the parade. As I watched him dancing the conga line with Pluto I just laughed. Here it was... that image where we are all laughing and having a blast just being together. If someone had told me 4 1/2 months ago that we would be where we are today with our son I would have thought they were crazy! Things are definitely looking up!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Melkam Addis Amet!! (a recap)

Enkutatash is the Ethiopian New Year and we rang in 2003 with a fun campfire sing along and some delicious injera.

I had read on another blog that families in Ethiopia enjoy singing around a fire on New Year's Eve and then they following day they get dressed in their traditional clothing to go to church followed by a delicious Ethiopian meal. Our take on that this year was to hang out as a family together and enjoy a little backyard s'mores session this past Saturday followed by a meet up at an Ethiopian restaurant with our nearby Ethiopian Adoptive community. And, it was a great weekend!!!

I am excited that Sweet M* has come to a point where he feels comfortable talking to us about Ethiopia. When he came home he had very conflicting feelings when I would even mention Ethiopia or anything that would remind him of his life prior to living with us. M* was very mad at Ethiopia (understandably) and he wanted nothing to do with it. But, recently his attitude started to change, so when I was invited to celebration I thought we would give it a try.

I talked to him everyday the week prior to the New Year about visiting the restaurant and teaching his family about eating with no fork... he liked that. We talked about how we were going to eat as a family and then we would come home as a family. It was a little confusing to him that you could eat Ethiopian food and not be in Ethiopia. I also pulled out the traditional Ethiopian outfit that we had bought for him in Ethiopia (he used to despise it) and to my surprise for the first time he was excited. He quickly put it on jumped in front of the mirror in my closet and declared how handsome he was. I obviously agreed.

I was still nervous (and I could tell he was too) as we drove to the restaurant, but it was magic watching him eat injera in his outfit and play with his Ethiopian buddies. I am so thankful that we have an active Ethiopian community nearby so that Sweet M* can get glimpses of his beautiful birth country and to help foster a sense of culture and belonging.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Belle's 3rd Birthday!!!

My baby girl turned 3 yesterday. I cannot believe how fast time flies. I can remember looking at her for the first time in awe because I couldn't believe she was a girl. And, now her she is a sweet, sassy, funny, beautiful 3 year old girl.
This year we are trying something new... on each of the kids actual birthdays they get a special day with mom and dad all to themselves. We will do everything that they want to do and they have our full attention. We are doing this because with 4 kids it is very hard to get share all of the attention. This way they are guaranteed at least one day a year where EVERYTHING is about them!!
So, the princess awoke to her gift from mom and dad...
Then we dressed her up like the princess she is...
and we wisked her away to her favorite place!!!
She took her time looking in each window bc brothers are usually too impatient ;)
She pretended to be a princess and she wanted us to snap pictures while she posed.

She LOVED having ALL of our attention.
She met some of her favorite princesses and got to eat lunch with them.
Her princess lunch ended with a special treat and song.
She was so excited to blow out the candle.
She rode her favorite ride... yes Matterhorn???
She ate her favorite treat... yum!
I think the day was a success. We had such a fun time together!!!