Sunday, October 25, 2009

Rwanda Photos

Hard to choose pics to load onto the blog. The blue gate above is the entrance to the orphanage. Courtney, Heidi and I were given wraps to wear our babies- I confess that I am horrible at getting Zeke in, otherwise I'd opt to wear him to Hy-Vee every time, as it is very comfortable!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Etienne and Ezkiel make strides everyday, and sometimes I need to take a step back and look at the Big Picture. Just cause our nights are rough and we have lots of temper tantrums and daily battles, I tend to forget. My little guys are smiling, tolerate long sleves, eat everything, repeat words back, know their family members, wear shoes, identify McDonalds (to mama's dismay); they are an AMAZING gift from God. I deliver babies for a living, I am blessed to witness the miracle of birth but I think it is only a shadow of the beauty and awe and grace that goes into Adoption. We are humbled by our Creator's plan for our family.
A year ago we were taking adoptive parenting classes and I remember practicing my responses to inappropriate questions for in the grocery store line. Well we have officially lived those moments now. More than questions, I am bothered by the staring. I hope they stare because they are amazed that the boys are finally here, but many times I feel like they are a novelty to others. People we know, when meeting E and Z, stare and make comments like, "Look, he's eating popcorn!" Duh. He's a kid. This has been harder for me than I thought. I am also frequently asked if they are brothers, and I know it isn't meant as offensive, but as an adoptive family, Ryan and I both find this question stupid. Yes, all three of my sons are brothers.
I love dinner time, when Etienne and Blake sit on the bench together. They jabber, in English and in French, giggle and smile at each other. Rancher is on standby for clean up duty. I look at them and everything is right.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I think he likes me!

I came home from work yesterday, and Zeke came up to me, said "hi," AND smiled!!! It was the first time since we met that I thought he may like me. Going back to work a little bit has been good for the boys and especially for me. Reader discretion advised: the following story contains graphic, gross parenting details. So last night Ryan and I ventured to a "Kids Eat Free" night just the six of us (we have a spread sheet of kids eat free restaurants). We arrived back home a little late and Etienne really had to go, so we hurried to the bathroom by the laundry room; while there, stripped for bathtime. I also took Zeke's clothes off, leaving the diaper. Then on the way upstairs to the tub, the diaper FELL OFF. While he was pooing. Right at that moment of pooing, my hubby was convienently taking the recycling bin out. Pulling the diaper back on was a lost cause, so I lifted Zeke by his feet as he continued to poo. I flipped him upside down to keep the poo from going on the carpet. At that moment Ranger (our helpful doggy) began eating the poo. Blake and Etienne found that to be hilariously funny, even falling back down the stairs from laughter. I carried Zeke upside down to the bathroom and by the time he was in the tub, the poo was gone. Can dogs get giardia?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Transition from "Survival" to "Adjusting"

I feel like I can say that we are making steps out of the surival mode that has been the last few weeks of our lives. Zeke and Etienne are, for the most part, sleeping through the night as long as they share the crib! It is still a LONG battle for naps and going to bed, but we are physically feeling better going into it every night because we're more rested.
Etienne absorbs more English every day. An example of some of his vocab: collage (don't ask, Molly taught him), ready, please, potty, thank you, water, all done.
Zeke will begin his screaming and now as soon as we remind him "No screaming in our family," he usually subsides without us physically restraining him. Yippee!!
Molly continues to be glad to go get a break from the chaos at school, but is always equally excited to see her siblings. First grade is "mostly good, but wears me out," she says.
Blake is always attempting to find the balance between big brother and regulator, not easy for anyone. On good days when Etienne is taking a nap, Blake will check often on him, wanting him to wake up and play again.
Holding off on any preschool for any boy in this family right now. Maybe after the holidays....

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Baby Steps

Two possible solutions to Zeke's screaming:
1. Pile the food in. See photo on right. If I continuously stuff Zeke-y (as his siblings call him) with food (and of course its nutritious), then he yells less!
2. Invite company over. He seems to like to make his mama look like a liar regarding the yelling. So, company, come on over.
Sleeping update:
Finally occurred to us that maybe Etienne is lonely in a bed.Friday night we put him in the crib with Zeke and-poof!-he slept all night! Yippee!!
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I will attempt to take a picture of Blake and Etienne in one of the moments that they clearly belong together. These moments include in the backrow of the minivan, singing and grooving, usually to Michael W. Smith or Jack Johnson or sitting at the kithen bench together eating and giggling. He has just filled his spot perfectly.
We got to spend some time with our Kansas friends this weekend and I've included my dear friend Jen, who kept Zeke fed for about 3 hrs on Saturday. All my boys love Jen.
Saturday night was social bathtime for the Higgins kids with Langdon, Kevin and Carrie's little boy. We didn't mean to put 5 in the tub, but they just kept coming.