15 July 2010

Baila Me (Dance with me)

I sit here in my office nestled warmly in my Snuggie thinking about how much my life has changed in the past 6-8 mos. Last year this time we were firmly entrenched with enjoying our yard, pool and Best Neighbors Ever. Life moved at a slower pace back then and we spent a lot of time in our back yards in the pool or around the fire contemplating life or the latest batch of beer. The four of us parents all hovered near the 40 year mark and our children were all in elementary or middle school and we talked about the desire to have just one more child. We talked about the Pros and Cons, but Scott and I always knew we'd take what God gave us.

In the Fall, the Best Neighbors Ever broke our hearts and announced that they were moving to another university town 6 states (or 7 depending on the route) away from us. We spent as much time as we could with them before they left, but in February, they were gone. ;.( We have new neighbors now and they are very nice and friendly but they can never take the place of our dear friends. Not long after they left, we experienced a warm spring like day and I was cleaning out my car. I had just texted Scott a picture of the inside of the Disco with all the seats folded down and tucked away - which allowed for maximum cleaning and yuck! - when I received a message from the director of the adoption agency we had used to adopt Emi 7 years ago. She wanted me to call her to talk about something. Soon after I got another message from her with some details asking if we might be interested in adopting 2 toddlers - she knew our past history with transracial open adoption and kept coming back to our family when considering options for these 2 kids. I called Scott to quickly discuss and the answer was of course "YES".

And from that sunny Saturday e-mail to the day the kids came to join our family it was only a little over 2 months time (and that much time has already passed since they joined the family). Because the kids were 18 mos and 2.5 yrs, we just had to get in there and start parenting immediately. From the start they've slept through the night comfortably at our house and soon after, their house. The routine was very easy to set because David likes to get up early, just after the dogs and we already knew their bedtime was 7:30 so that gave the rest of us time together before Emi's bedtime. The in-between time has worked its way into a nice routine both when I was able to work from home for much of the past few months, and now that I am back at the office too. That routine will change yet again in a month's time when school starts back up (yea!).

Today I am back at the office nursing the end of a summer cold and a raging case of Poison Ivy rash (oozing...ewww!) and reflecting on Life's Events of Late. Oy!

Recently we started in with the serious Potty Training with David. He's still trying to grasp the concepts and terminology along with the physical cues...i.e. last week he told Daddy that he need to pee out of his butt. The only thing I recall from potty training with Emi is a picture that we took of her next to her life sized (then) Mickey Mouse doll sitting on the potty. That's it! Sure we had a couple of motivational books for her and her own potty, but I don't recall the mechanics of the Big Girl underwear or any accidents during that time. I can tell you that I am an expert at knowing when David has to potty. I know it even before he knows it (unless I am not present) so I can help him see if he needs to go. Sometimes he protests that he absolutely does not need to pee even when pee is coming out of him (into the toilet - yea me!). Guess that comes from being the oldest and in control...which leads me to an issue...

We already have a first born (middle child in original family, but 1st born in our created family) and only 1 of those children can fill that role now. It makes for a lot of clashing when it comes to who's in charge around here. Mommy and Daddy have to remind the 2 older of the bunch who's really in charge and it really does roll downhill from there. When David and Emi aren't playing together they are busy keeping a watchful eye on what the other is doing. Each wants what the other has and delights in telling us when the other is bossing them around. Some days it's rather entertaining until they involve me or get too whiny. I have witnessed chickens sorting out their pecking order and it can be very violent indeed, not unlike the ongoing process at our house. I am just there to witness and minimize the injuries...

Life is chaotic at times. 3 little curly haired beings with different needs, hair textures, likes/dislikes, etc trying to vie for attention. Luckily the youngest one is oblivious of much of the competition of the 2 older ones. Aubri can usually be found hugging on or talking to the dogs, asking for another "bite, please?" or to be picked "up, please?" or trying to start up a game of "Ha Caw" with Daddy. Background: "Ha Caw" started out as a Karate chop game which can be started up by simply saying "Ha Caw" after making sure that your gut is good and tight. Beware that players will try to get you into the game whether you are innocently reading a book in the quiet corner of the living room or not. In the first month we had her, Aubri liked to bite and David liked to talk for her. She got by on a few words and was frustrated a lot when things didn't work out her way so she bit. Now she talks (and talks and talks!) and communicates what she wants...there is no more biting and David has been relieved of his job to represent Aubri.

I feel for David, I know it must be hard to go from being the Man, calling the shots and being in charge to just being a 2 year old going on 3 middle child, so he gets lots of hugs and praises. I try to do special things with just him, like last week we split a bag of Coconut M&Ms while the girls were still napping. It was to be our sweet little secret but on Saturday morning all of the kids crawled into bed with us and he remembered that this was where we shared CANDY and he made mention of it and started bragging about it to the girls...

These days I can't be more proud or more crazy. We are trying to soak up the chaos and appreciate those chaotic moments because it won't stay this way for long...and we want to remember our children in these, the good old days...

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