Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fall Update

I'm not much of a writer. I can hardly keep up with the things that need doing around the house. We are doing well. We are moved into the new, old house and are still unpacking and getting rid of a lot of stuff. It is so liberating to remove things from your life.

Aiden grows big and stronger each day. I am so proud of him. Emma is walking. She is also a climber. She is a great communicator. It is amazing how much one can communicate by knowing how to point. She is talking constantly. I don't understand everything that she is saying, but I know it has meaning. I do understand Daddy, cat, Bella, dog, bird, cracker, book. I think she will be an early reader like her big brother. She doesn't have much interest in her toys, but she will flip the pages of every book, catalog, and magazine she can grab.

Here are some pictures of the kids.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Final Adoption Hearing

We had our final adoption hearing yesterday in Jacksonville. It was quite an informal process, and we are nonetheless glad we made the trip. The judge was very kind, and gave Emma a little stuffed toy that Emma loves. Our son, Aiden, acted as judge and banged the gavel to make it official. He even wore the judge robes at the desk.

This ends our four and a half year adoption journey, although the journey of our family of four continues.

Friday, May 7, 2010

I'm Just Not Ready For It

I'm just not ready for this. How does a mother know to wake up because she needs to wake up? That happened to me two weeks ago. I looked over at Emma's crib, and she was staring at me....from over the crib. Yes, she was standing up, and started laughing when I opened my eyes and saw her. Yikes, where did that come from? She wasn't even eight months old yet, and I never saw it coming. Now she is standing everywhere. Her feet have flattened out over the last couple weeks, and she can walk forward if her arms/hands are held. She doesn't even have a tooth yet! This is just too soon for me.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Just Another Day

Things are not too exciting lately. The weather is warming up here in Florida, and I finally broke down and turn the air conditioner on in the late afternoon. Our temporary apartment faces west, and we have no air flow. We are just waiting for the electrician to finish the rewiring on the house before we move in. We will clean first, but paint after we move.

Aiden is absorbed in the series, "Liberty's Kids". It is a cartoon series on the America Revolution. He is learning more than I ever learned the traditional way (and I'm learning too!). I hope they show this good stuff in school.

He is also taking off in math. I though we would never finish addition, and he is zooming past subtraction and working on multiplication. We will try a new math program, "MEP", or Mathematic Enhancement Program.

For grammar we tried First Language Lessons, by Susan Wise, but he said it was repetitive and boring. I'm going to try MCT, Michael Clay Thompson's language arts program. If that doesn't work now, we will just wait another six months. His academics abilities are greater than his desire and a willingness to sit still, so waiting another six months isn't a problem. We started Sequential Spelling, and I love it. Aiden does very well with it, but the writing is too much at one time. I think we will work on spelling the dolch sight words this summer, and try Sequential Spelling again in fall. History Odyssey will continue over the summer, and we will continue with our free-form science. Since Aiden has a gift with language, I picked up some beginner French material we will try.

Aiden made some stilts a week ago. He spent the afternoon with a good friend, who has as many tools as my husband. Aiden loved building them himself.

Emma is growing, but not quickly. She isn't going to be a big girl. Her birthmother wasn't tall either. She is doing well developmentally. She is doing a modified crawl, where she uses her arms to propel herself forward and pushes with her back legs. She claps, and waves, and loves getting lots of attention from strangers. She is very attracted to books and magazines, so I give her some heavy paper brochures to mess up. She also loves going after the cat. Babies are not new to Bella, the cat. Aiden used to go after Bella too, so Bella is having nothing to do with Emma.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Easter 2010

We don't make holidays a big celebration. We try to keep things simple, and enjoy the day. We didn't race to the photo centers for fancy pictures, and we didn't participate in the community egg gatherings.

Instead, we dyed eggs with onions skins the Saturday before Easter. The bunny hid eggs with quarters in them around the house, and left a small basket of healthier treats. Emma received a stuffed chick in a shell, and a few dollars from Grandma. We enjoyed the rest of the day together.

I'm glad a few eggs scattered around the house is enough to create excitement for the preceding two weeks. There is joy in simplicity.

Friday, March 5, 2010

We Are Moving

We ended up purchasing a bigger house. Did I write about this before? Anyway, that is where we have focused a lot of our attention (and money, my goodness). Emma will need her own bedroom one day, and kids need room to move around. This house comes with an empty lot, so they will have plenty of room to run.

I have been scraping rotten carpet padding (from original bright, red shag carpeting no less) in the dining room. Emma is two feet away from me in her Pack N Play, but I can only get about an hour of work done (which includes a brief nap for Emma). She is all of six months old now, so her separation anxiety has kicked in. I know that is a good thing, but it doesn't allow me to be much help. Drew has done some removal of kitchen weirdness, and is now replacing a floor joist (2 x 4) that is holding up a water heater on the back porch. We already can't agree on a future floorplan for the kitchen. The rest of the house needs a serious cleaning, and paint.

Emma is rolling around now to get wherever she wants to be. She is quite proficient at rolling. She eats egg yolk, banana, avocado. She isn't too fond of liver (can you blame her?). She adores her big brother, and laughs at all his silliness. This just makes him act even sillier. Emma still sleeps through the night. She has developed eczema due to the cold, dry weather. It should go away when our Florida humidity returns.

Aiden lost one of his upper front teeth. It was wiggly anyway, and he climbed up on the counter in the kitchen to get something out of an upper cabinet. Anyway, he lost his footing, and came down on his chin on the countertop. A couple of bites into his dinner, his tooth of out. The tooth fairy was very generous because she didn't have any change that evening.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

No Sympathy for the Weary (Emma update too)

Conethia doesn't want to hear my daily woes (smile), so I'll just move on to talking about Emma.

We are most fortunate to have a baby that sleeps through the night. She is now 4.5 months old. She doesn't take a long nap during the day, but does cat nap. I think this helps for sleeping through the night, although it doesn't give me much of a break during the day for schooling.

Emma is a really easy baby though. When she is tired she throws her arms up and arches her back. She smiles a lot, and has a very pleasant disposition. She is teething, but doesn't cry about it. She makes cute raspberries. She does this crazy monkey yell when she wants your attention. It sounds like, "eh, eh, eh, eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhh". Stupid to write that, I know. She loves watching her uber energetic brother bounce off the walls and ceiling. Emma is also very alert. Aiden has been a good helper, and he hasn't had anything near the amount of sibling jealousy I expected.

We think her birthmother did a really fantastic job the first three months, and have a great deal of respect and admiration for her.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Going Crazy

I have a very active and demanding 6.5 year old, and now a 4 month old. I homeschool our very smart boy. I work with our contractor on remodeling our house so that we can put it up for sale, and try to keep up our temporary apartment in some order. I am trying to find us a larger home now that we have a girl. I still have our holiday decorations up, and the laundry could be folded. The cat is almost out of food, and my mother needs me to run some errands for her. Oh, I am also going crazy.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Republishing Old Posts from Ukraine

When we signed on with an agency to adopt from Kyrgyzstan, we edited our blog and removed several posts about our unsuccessful Ukrainian adoption attempt. It feels great not to have to jump through any hoops set up by international adoption agencies. Our entire Ukrainian experience is here now for anyone that wants to know what can happen.