Sunday, June 27, 2010

true happiness

Things seem to be settling down here. Doctor appointments are over for now. Andy is home for the summer.   We escaped to the beach for a few days and feel relaxed and rejuvenated .  Suddenly I feel normal again. At least I think this is what normal feels like.  The every second of the day worrying and stressing about the adoption is over. Every other free worry space in my brain consumed with how on earth I'm going to finish school is over. And while I still have one major stress in my life right now pertaining to my career (i.e passing the NCLEX and finding a job) it seems ok to put it to the back burner for a while. Ever if just for the next month, to truly enjoy this feeling of life. Life as a mom and nothing else.

In this time, as just a mom, I'm finding true happiness. I'm also finding time to do things like 
1. Brush my dogs so I at least don't have to see the hair flying off their bodies as my floors get hairier by the minute
2. Wash the dog's bed...see #1
3. Grow vegetables and herbs and even flowers
4. vaccum the hairy floors ...see #1
5.make sandwiches into shapes like stars and moons for the kids
6.provide more than a bag of goldfish as snacks for the kids
7. cook Ethiopian food with my hubby
8. enjoy the food with my hubby
9. Swim in my neighbors eye sore ( I mean above ground "pool')
10. kiss lots of boo boos

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Belay's 1st birthday

Do any one year olds ever enjoy their birthday party?
The cake. 4 layers. Red velvet & vanilla, thank you Betty Crocker. Cream cheese frosting. Frosting made and cake decorated by yours truly. The picture didn't come out great, but the cake was pretty stinkin cute.All the kids got to take home the little animals, which was a hit.
Belay went down for a nap right when the fun started
                                     My niece watching her balloon float away.
                         And look who woke up to join his party after everyone left
An awesome birthday gift from good friend. Handmade soft leather shoes with Daddy's team Oakland A's. Which is especially great because we have had a tough time finding shoes for this little guy since most feet his size aren't walking yet. He loved them and didn't want to take them off all day.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

moments we learn from

I don't think the scares will ever stop when it comes to our kids.  The kind of scares that really make your heart stop.  That make you wonder "what if". What if I had been too late.  The kind of scare that you won't ever forget, and hopefully will never do again. 

The first one I remember was when Adi was about 4 weeks old. We had gone out to breakfast with some friends.  She was still in the "bucket" car seat.  The ones that snap into a base in your car, but can be toted along like a handbag when the baby is sleeping.  So naturally we tucked her sleeping self under our arm, seat and all, and headed to breakfast. We unbuckled her and passed her around, being that she was the new baby and all, everyone wanted to hold her. Then we tossed her back in the bucket, snapped the bucket into the base in the car and headed the 7 minutes home.  Once at home, we realized that while we snapped the seat into the base but we failed to actually buckle Adi into the carseat itself. One little fender bender, or worse, could have sent her flying, I thought. It's funny, 2 1/2 yrs later, that I'm actually blogging about this.  For months after that I couldn't tell anyone about the incident. I didn't want to admit what maladjusted parents I thought we were. However,as far as I know, we have never done that again.

 Last summer, Adi and I headed to the grocery store. It was 8:30 am and getting hot.  Somehow when I put Adi back into her carseat (hmmm the car seats keep being involved....I swear I learn my lessons) she clicked the lock on my key that caused the car to lock, but the door was still open.  I didn't know she clicked the button at the time. I thought it'd be easiest to just  leave the purse/diaper bag in the car to be "quick" then ended up juggling a toddler, keys, wallet, cellphone, 2 bags of food in one hand, a jug of milk in the other and a bottle of wine under my arm. So I tossed my keys on the front seat as I often used to do, one less thing in my hands. Then, once Adi was buckled in I shut the door. All four doors shut and locked. Adi inside. My keys inside. Summer sun getting hot. Sh*t. Then I cried and screamed and called my husband on my phone, which luckily was not in the car. He didn't answer. 15 calls later still no answer. Turns out he was in the shower. I called my neighbor and she could barely understand me as I tried to explain that Adi was locked in the car. She came over and got Andy's attention. He came and saved the day (it was probably about 10 min total but felt like an hour)Meanwhile Adi sat happily in her seat and I made funny faces at her and sang songs through the shut glass in between turning my head to cry and scream (so of course she didn't see me panic). I NEVER shut all four doors of any car now without the keys in my hand, even if I am positive the car is unlocked and the keys are in my bag, Never.

Later, when I was telling a friend about my horrifying experience she told me she knew people who had done that before. When I asked her what they did she said "cried, screamed and called 911." So I guess I wasn't too far off.

In the last 2 1/2 years, lots of these things have happened. Incidents that leave your heart racing and your nights haunted with dreams of being locked behind bars for leaving your child to swelter in the car in July. And today I did it again. This one was bad! While I never hope this happens to any moms out there, please reassure me that it has and its okay. Because I'm having trouble shaking this one.

We headed to the pool with some friends for a fun "real pool" play date. It was one of those pools that has the kiddie side where the water starts on flat ground and gradually gets deeper. It's really fun and actually manageable for little ones who can't swim yet. The day was going great. Between all of us there are 4 moms and 1 dad, not including the lifeguard and all the other moms standing in the wading area.

I walked about 10 feet away into the grass to change Belay's diaper and asked my friends to keep their eyes on Adi. I also kept my eye on her the whole time I was in the grass with Belay. I watched as she wadded into the pool and keep walking as the water got deeper. She was literally in a circle of adults. Then I watched as she tripped, or so that's how it looked, and fell face first into the pool. Then she didnt get up. I was already halfway to her shouting "get Adi get Adi "over and over again. She honestly looked like she had already drowned. I grabbed her and she screamed and all the moms and I cried and screamed.  Then, when we all calmed down and replayed it one mom said, " when I looked down and saw her, her eyes where open and she was just looking around." It was true, she wasn't flailing her arms or splashing trying to get up. She was floating face down looking in the water.  I'm not sure if this is a good thing or bad. If she was drowning and had I not got to her would she have known to splash and flail and lift her head so someone would notice. Or, was she totally content watching the water, not knowing yet that she couldn't breath under there. Either way I got to her in probably less than 3 seconds. She may not have gotten so upset had we all not been hysterical.  No wonder no one noticed her. She was totally still and silent (not that that is an excuse because the way I was screaming was pretty hard to ignore). After a few minutes of snuggling and crying she asked if she could "go swimming like a fish again." And when we got home, she told daddy that she "saw fishies while she was swimming like a fish, and it was a little scary." Was she drowning or just "swimming like a fish?" Either way it was terrifying and if I had not been watching her like a hawk and left Belay midway through diaper change to sprint into the pool and grab her what would have happened. I'm so glad I didn't find out and I hope I never will again.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The mud pit

Here's the "before" shots of the front yard, aka "mud pit". 
Hoping for an "after" shot pretty soon .
The kids thought they'd add to the shock value by pulling out all the real junky toys for the photos
walked into see this during nap time. (No, they don't share a crib)       

Father and son


Who needs a pool membership when you've got this

Monday, June 7, 2010

a new look

It was about time. Also, I am not patient and this was the only "family photo" we have so far. I say "family" because it was, in fact, a group shot.  It was taken on the roof deck of the guest house we stayed of all 4 traveling families together. Its a cute picture and I feel bad cropping it. But I couldn't wait, I needed to update our family photo. Belay had to be included.

As I am still making my way through learning to blog, my blog may change often. But for now, this will due.

The title had to change too, of course.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Our big adventure

Andy has had a long last week of school, including many evening commitments. I am  totally not used to him coming home so late, so I have had quite an adjustment. But tonight I was bound and determined to venture out and have an adult conversation with someone other than Adi. While lately she seems more like 16 than 2, I have to remember that there is more to the world than her pink tricycle and Dora the Explorer.
So, I packed up Belay in the sling and put Adi in the backpack on my back and headed down the trail behind my neighbors house to the local Highland Brewery . It's about a 5 minute walk from my front door to beer in hand. We head there most friday nights. But walking solo with 2 kids plus a bag to hold bottles, sippy cups, diapers, cell phone, wallet, you get the point, was a first.

It went great. We had a blast. I met up with "adult" friends and got to have "adult conversations" about our kids. Hey, what else is there to talk about, right?

I wish I had a photo of me with Belay strapped in the front and Adi on the back but no such luck .
I did manage to get this one photo of the night in the midst of wrangling the kids.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

One month with Belay

 As the school year winds down and summer begins I find myself excited for the long days of summer.  I just love coming back inside after being out in the sun, sweating, running, playing,swimming all day. And even more so when I'm doing it with my kids.  I love when the mid afternoon daily rain shower forces us in to read stories and cuddly, before running back outside.  I also love that my husband have 2 1/2 months home for summer break (ahhh the sweet life of teachers).

In just the last week summer has really come on strong. Between Adi's preschool end of the year program, my nieces preschool graduation, my husband's school's end of the year program, memorial day bbq's, and lots of pool and sandbox time, we are getting ready for 3 months of sweet summer.
The kid's even got new swim suits. Adi would have nothing to do with anything except a teal little mermaid suit made out of what looks like "mermaid"scales...really classy. It really adds to the class of the sand box, pool, and countless toys in our front yard mud pit (which so help me god better be a patio by the end of the summer, or I may be trading my husband in for one of those "handy" ones). Belay, bless his little heart, got a 3-6 month suit that falls right off its so big. I just couldn't bare to buy a 0-3 month swim suit for my 14 month old. Maybe with a really chunky cloth diaper under it, it will at least stay up.

 Adi in her spider shirt and pink skirt on the far left singing "itsy bitsy spider"

 Adi and her best friend at school hugging good bye for the summer.

      Adi and her teacher Ms. "kiki"
At daddy's end of the year program, belay had his tradition ET garb on too, but I couldn't manage to get them both at same time.

                                 proud daddy, proud brother. At Adi's play.
          Belay and his proud new uncle Tim at his cousin's preschool graduation.

                                                  Belay rockin the pink diaper cover.

Now onto whats been going on.
 Belay seems to be adjusting really well. It's like he has always been here. We, like most Adoptive parents, were worried about attachment.  We had heard advise such as, to not allow others to feed or change your baby, or put him to sleep. Such tasks should be left for Andy and I so he learns we are his parents. That we should lay low for a while, just the immediate family, and "bond". While both sets of grandparents were aware of such advise, we didn't choose to really enforce these rules.

It reminded me somewhat of after Adi was born.  In fact, it was  "suggested "by our midwife that we ask our friends to leave the hospital so we could concentrate just on our new family. Now, that's just not how we role. Our friends are like family and our family won't stay away even if we locked the doors and turn out the lights:)

Grant it, for the first few weeks home, we didn't see anyone. I blame my insanity on that.  With the jet lag finishing school combo I didn't want anyone wanted to see the true insane woman I had become. (Whose idea was that anyways?) But since I've pulled my head out of the clouds we have been carrying on with life just the same.  Belay has now meet just about everyone one in town. He has yet to meet his aunts and uncles on my side, but hopefully soon. 

My mom, who has been wonderfully supportive this whole time and has read as much  if not more about international adoption than me, has been waiting to "bond" once he has properly attached to Andy and I. She also put her extra love into Adi, making sure she did not feel left out of the oooing and aaaing. While I so very much appreciated all the attention and help she gave with Adi, I had begun to wonder when she and Belay would hit it off.  My worries we eased this weekend at her "40th" (which would have made my mom 7 when she birthed my oldest sister, but we all went along with it non the less:) birthday party this weekend.
 The birthday party kinda doubled as a "Welcome Belay" party too. It was a chance for all my parents friends to see their beautiful grandchildren. This is where and when I realized things were all going to be okay.  Belay knows I am mom.   He was all smiles to all the guests and was even happy to play with the other kids there, get passed around from one 7 yr old to the next as they giggled with glee at how cute he was, poke the other 8,9,10 month old babies in the eyes, and dance dance dance in front of the crowed with his Mem (gramma) while Apa (grampa )and his "band" played guitar. My mom saw what she needed to see too. She saw the love in his eyes and comfort and joy in his heart and knew it was now her turn to step in and fall in love.
While we still have and will continue to have our hard days, we are just a normal family now.  Adi loves her little brother and Belay loves his big sister. It is often showed in kisses that turn into bits and hugs that look more like head locks, but hey, thats what its like in any house with a 1 and 2 yr old right?