Sunday, August 22, 2010

Can you believe these 2 sweet peas have been with us for 6 months??

I know, I know...I am breaking the cardinal rule of blogging (post a pic of your little ones in the tub). But seriously, does it get any cuter than this? Melt my heart. It is so hard to get a picture where Tate is looking at the camera and these photos represent such a happy moment for the boys. I filled the big tub and let them both play in the water one night. Water was everywhere but so were the giggles. These two boys have such a precious bond and I want them to someday know what a deep connection they have to each other.

These 2 sweet peas have brought such JOY into our lives in the last 6 months. Each day, we laugh together over such adorable moments. I can hardly believe 6 months have already passed. For the days seem long, but when you lump them all together it really has gone by quickly. And being home 6 months is HUGE to the adoptive family. A mile stone of sorts. We are halfway done with our first year. Everyone says the first year is just full of adjustments. And we have adjusted really very well.

  • It takes us longer to get ready to go places.
  • We fill out the van and don't have room for extra riders.
  • Tally and Tissy have become experts in buckling the car seat.
  • Tyce will now respond with "yes ma'am" if you ask him something (remember, we live in the south where that is appropriate).
  • Tate is sleeping in his own crib (still co-sleeping with mom in the same room).
  • Tate is almost dry every night and is fully potty trained in the day (even naps).
  • Tate can play independently with toys, books, balls.
  • Tate continues with his own made up language for some words. (bobo - paper or coloring, day - music, yaya - hands for washing or holding his hand, bidah - sit down...)
  • Tyce has started his MDO program and had a great first day.
  • Tyce doesn't like when other kids don't follow the rules or do what's right.
  • Tyce is doing better with structure and close supervision when we are at stimulating events though we still are opting to stay home and not bring the boys to many things.
  • Tate still doesn't go to the nursery at church and we haven't left the boys with anyone as a sitter.
  • Tyce is starting the blend in with his behavior and appear to be more acclimated.
  • Tate still will shut down for meals or eating when we are around others and go on a food strike.
  • When we are outside of our routine, it continues to be a challenge.
  • Tyce still doesn't enjoy toys. He continues to struggle with finding things to do and ways to play when he has free time.
  • The tantrums continue to be less frequent. Though, both boys do not like when their behavior is curbed by either Chuck or I.
  • When my attention is diverted from the boys (like visiting with someone), Tate can last about 30 - 45 min until he starts demanding my attention with his behavior.
  • I am able to come up with quick meals for dinner each night and am able to keep a better handle on my house keeping chores.
  • Tyce still struggles with impulse control and getting really wild and silly when it is time to settle down (like at night time tuck ins).
  • Tyce is starting to make friends and seems to be playing well with others.
  • Tyce doesn't seem to be trying to control each and every situation as much.
  • The girls have learned to "hold their own" with the boys. They both have gained some much needed confidence in the conflict resolution department.

Like I said...these 2 sweet boys have brought much JOY into our lives. I keep these lists here so I can see how far we have come and hopefully be an encouragement to others. The transition is slow. The progress is slow. But...oh...look how far we have come. We have seen great strides in the boys attaching and bonding with us. God has been good. He has given us the grace that we have needed in each and every moment. We have all grown and hopefully, become more like Christ in the process.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ever heard of a "HAIR BUCKET"?

If you have a counter full of hair supplies that you use on your child, you may be like me and move them around from one room to the next. Sometimes I "do hair" in the family room if we are heading out the door to church. Or I may "do hair" in the bed room after bath at night. What ever it may be, I have my little collection of what I am currently using on their hair each day. And I would cart these items around and tend to misplace one of them. So I finally decided to put them all in one container and move it from place to place when I do their hair.

So....what's in my hair bucket???

  • hand towel (not pictured - as it is in the wash) I need a towel to wipe my hands off and I also use it to protect their clothes when I spritz with water.
  • water bottle - I moved to good one (not a cheap junky one from the dollar store). Mine is actually a garden sprayer for plants. Sometimes I fill it with water and lemon juice, other times, just water.
  • spray leave in conditioner/tonic - I have some stuff from Biolage, but once it's gone, I am going try making one from flax seeds.
  • hair butter - I like the one called Second Life (notice my little guy on their site). All natural. I have tried making my own and haven't come upon the right ratio yet.
  • tea tree oil - gives a little shine when we are all done with fixing the hair.
  • skin lotion - anything that gets the ashy look off their legs. They have some thirsty skin. I have found when I used a natural soap, we don't need as much lotion.
So....what have I learned about hair? I think every adoptive mama is on the look out for the best hair care product. We are always hopeful that something will work better than what we are currently using. I like natural products. I have a hard time putting lots of chemicals on their hair. I've also learned I will probably try more items out there and they might make their way into our hair bucket as we try them out. My boys have different textures of hair and different kinds of curls so we are still learning. I have also learned...I don't have the heart to cut their hair off short and go with the buzz yet. So...we will have the hair bucket around to keep their hair full of moisture and shine.

Friday, August 6, 2010

amazing what you can do with a baby on your hip

At first my little man was scared to death of the vacuum. Who can blame him? It is loud and sucks up little toys that have been left on the floor. So...out comes the sling and we can actually get some work done.
It's a little harder to move around when I am carrying Tate, but I am still able to get my chores done. He is 2 years old and I still "wear" him almost every day. I don't go anywhere with out my trusty sling. Baby wearing is a great way to promote bonding with your new little ones.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Finding the JOY in today

If you know me at all, you know that I try really hard to focus on the positive. I seek to search for the silver lining. I aim at dwelling on the good. The reality is, adoption is hard. It's a hard transition for a family. It's hard on the new kiddos. It's hard on the big siblings. And as hard as it is, I still find JOY in our day. It is too easy to get down or discouraged when you have a little bump in the journey. So to encourage our family to concentrate on all the good and joyful things, I am keeping a list.

Each day I jot down things that cause me to smile. Things that I want to remember. These are the blessings that I noticed yesterday. Everything from Tyson's tender heart to Tatum's made up words. These boys are precious. Absolutely precious. It is a JOY to have them as part of our family. Seeing my list made me smile yesterday and hopefully the boys are able to see what a JOY they bring to our family.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Welcoming friends home from Africa

Oh how we love our airport moments. It is so fun to gather together and welcome home a family with their new child. What makes it extra fun is when it is a family that was there for your airport homecoming.

Friday night we piled the kids in the car and welcomed home my friend Amy (filled with praise). They brought home their little man from Ethiopia. Our boys were all from the same transition home (Hannah's Hope). What a little cutie pie.

We are so fortunate to live in an area that is abundant with adoptive families. Seriously...we have it good here. I met a new friend who is also with AGCI and she was there for her first airport homecoming. Alison shared how lucky we are to have all these families around. She said they have only found about 4 adoptive families in their area. It just takes one family to cause the ripple affect. It will keep growing...and if not...why not move here. (wink wink)

I love when the Ethiopian workers come out and talk with the kids. One man said he remembers when we came home and chatted with us for a while. He commented on how big the boys are growing and even remembered that our boys are from the southern region. He told us..."they grow them tall there in the south".

Looking forward to the next airport homecoming.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Wow oh wow...what a picnic

We had a fantastic weekend celebrating our agency and all the precious children that have found their forever home. What an absolute blessing to part of such a great agency. Families drove from all around to be part of this celebration. We invited our friends the Pratts to stay with us.

They got to know our boys when they were at
HH. It was our first time having overnight company stay with us. Let's just say we were glad that it was another adoptive family that understands the dynamics of how our family functions. No judgement passed for tantrums or fussy kids. =)

I am posting pics from Sara's blog (or random pics from
fb). She took great pictures and I had my hands full. I will probably try and post some of my own pictures, but for now I want to record these for our boys to look at some day.
Let's just start off by saying...this was a HOT day. Were talking, I looked red as a beet and was so sweaty. Not to mention, I had my little man strapped to me most of the day. The kids all enjoyed the water play and the jumpy house.

My little guy still gets over stimulated in large crowds and tends to shut down. So, out comes the sling and I pop him into it and we wandered around to give him some space. Thanks again Sara for this picture.

I'm thinking there were about 200 people there. What a great group of families. I felt like it was a family reunion (the kind you WANT to go to). These dear precious families all with the passion and heartbeat for the children.

And...speaking of children. Here they are. Precious children welcomed into loving families.

My crew is in the middle. Tyson is taking care of baby
Mekele (Whitney's little one).