Saturday, February 26, 2011

Diet Root Beer

"Mom, this is GOOD root beer," Eli just told me. We don't typically have any type of "pop" as we call it in the Midwest in our home. Tom came home with a couple of 12 packs the other night. Eli considers any type of carbonated beverage a huge treat. After giving him permission to have it, he is swizzling it down with reckless abandon. He just informed me with all most too much excitement, it is 4 oz from being a pound. To be a kid again.

Sidney and I spent another day attempting the potty train. I find stubborness is a learned behavior. I am pulling out every once of patience, however it is taking everything in me. She knows what to do. She just doesn't want to do it. For so many months, she used to comply to our requests simply going through the motions. I remember there were times I knew fiestiness was inside her somewhere, so I guess I should be happy she is refusing to comply. Instead of feeling defeated, I am going to choose a positive attitude. Unlike a few days ago with four accidents in a morning alone, we had only two today. This is a huge improvement!

During the last part of the afternoon, as Sidney snoozed taking a late nap, I got to enjoy time with Eli. Those rare moments when he and I can resume the joking around that I so enjoy as a mom. He decided we should watch reruns of the Cosby Show again on Netflix. Who was I to refuse? I had spent the better part of the morning running to tae kwon do practice, cleaning, and attempting to uncover the reason my 2 year old dishwasher is not working. We were hooting at Peter and the episode about the dentist.

After several calls from Tom with a "I will be late" the humor was more than needed. These are words which I have grown accustomed too over the last fifteen years with someone in the trades. So now, we are listening to the annoying voice of Caillou and Eli singing in the shower.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


The big reveal! Sidney was elated to receive her second haircut since coming home. Our first was more of a trim to even it out. This took a couple of inches off if you look between the last post and this post. As the stylist put the finishing touches on the cut, Sidney was more than happy to allow her to blow it dry, tilting her head dramatically in the mirror. Unlike her tomboy mother, Sidney is all girl. She couldn't get enough of being in the beauticians chair.I am slowly learning.

Today was dropoff day at daycare. Mom runs errands, goes to the gym, and in those three hours generally finds sanity. It is also time for me to get things done around the house which I cannot accomplish with Sidney here. I know that sounds strange. She goes through various stages of clingy behavior based on who is home. If she is here with only one parent, she tends to follow us wherever we go. This is fine, I have waited years to have that little voice finding me. However, many times, it is not enough to simply find us but to want to be held. It is like she is releived we are still here. I don't know why this was surprising after all the reading I completed on attachment prior to travel.

I think I was under the assumption that by now, this might have all magically disappeared. Either that or I thought she was really young when she came home at 15 months, and the emotional impact would have gone away for the most part. There is no schedule or clock for emotional issues to resolve themselves. And if I think about all that she has gone through with uprooting her from the orphange, bringing her home, and completing two reconstructive surgeries on her hands in the first six months home, I would also be clingy and unsure. As with all other emotional issues, if I think back over the last 19 months, we have seen incredible strides.

As I write this, the kids are watching the Cosby Show on Netflix. It is the anniversary episode when the enitre family starts dancing. Sidney is mesmorized by Rudy. Hilarious! I can't say enough about the good lessons written into the stories. This is great, because I have noticed a lot of negative references on popular kids channels to elderly people and few choice words I don't appreciate. This is in reference to the shows Eli watches more than Sidney. When one child is six years older than the youger child, a parent has to pay particular attention to not allowing the youngest to grow up too quickly from the influences the oldest brings into the family. This is just another way we can help that not to happen.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Few Deep Thoughts By Cara

Still cleaning.
Sidney is arguing with a large stuffed repile Tom's parents picked up for Eli at a resort a few years ago, telling it "no, you not snake" while Eli is yammering on about someone holding the worlds record for the most eggs held in one hand. A typical day in our home.
Hopefully, my next post will not be from an Acer. This little refurbished gem was worth every penny when we traveled. And it is worth every penny while the keyboard (not the motherboard!!!) is replaced in my largerlaptop. Forgive my gramatical errors, nothing is easy to see on this very tiny screen!

We turned in Sidney's registration for preschool next fall. Filling out the forms for Eli, I breezed through without writing any kind of health ailment. Any parent of a child with a special need realizes, there is never enough space on the form. I had to ask for another set of forms, to correct the first, quickly realizing I was running out of space, only listing very basic information. It occurred to me, it was a better idea to write a letter, let the school keep it on file, and update the letter as necessary. More on this in another post with my normal laptop.

With it being morning, I am reminded I have woken up to a small gift the past few days. For some reason, morning has always been an extremely difficult time for her. After over a year home, we have determined she is much like her mother in the morning, grouchy!

Giving mom his cheesy photo grin.
Here is a picture of my Boy Scout. I can't say enough good about this program, in general. It helps that Eli has a leader whose goal is to get them all to Eagle Scouts. I can't think of a much better way to teach Eli all the things we value. And even better, his leader has prioritized the different patches and merits (I know this is the incorrect name!!!), which are regiligously oriented.

More VBS planning today. When else does mom look over plans to make a whale out of two box fans and two pieces of 10'x25' plastic. Have I said I like planning for this event? It is ton of work, but it is so rewarding. There is a group of kids which always arrive and have never been in church. It is amazing to see them by the end of the week. I don't mean to go overboard, but if we can give them even that small amount of time, we have planted a seed. That and we have taught them it is not appropriate to run in church.

OK, off to my day. I hear Eli saying "I must dance." Good thing we are off to school in 10 minutes to get rid of some of that bottled up energy.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Houston We Have A Problem

I had a great post. My laptop is in computer ICU. I made a possible fatal error, spilling water on the keyboard. I am hoping not to hear the word "motherboard" tomorrow. This will  mean the keyboard can be replaced. No big deal and not a large dent in my wallet. We just purchased a new Dell Latitude. OK, so to tie over my devoted readers, here is our week in review. By the way, if I haven't said thanks for stopping by, thank you! I hope our family isn't too boring!

OK, that isn't going to work......I am on an old laptop. UG! OK, stay tuned for preschool registration. I will be back in a couple of days. We are getting over strep. Yuck!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Today was a Pillow Pet day. Snuggling on the couch with the ladybug was about as far as we went.  We are almost positive Sidney has strep throat; however I declined the swab test. She was sleeping soundly through the doctor’s visit, finally coming around when the doctor looked inside her ears. This was very unSidneylike behavior. She had a low fever, and I thought it was silly to put her through anymore. Clearly she felt awful, but despite being woken up, she was happy. We went next door to the pharmacy, and in her haze, she looked at me with droopy eyes. Listening to the music playing in the pharmacy, she asked “dance?”  I started to say something about her feeling poorly in time to see her swinging her feet in time to the music, shaking her shoulders.  

I am never happy she is sick, but it is a relief to know I can take care of her.  “Mommy, I sit-ah lap?”  is so great to hear when she is feeling poorly. It is so good to see her ask for care. I think one of the greatest joys of being an adoptive parent is these small triumphs.  

 Eli seems to have weathered the bug. He is back to normal, bounding around the living room. I am uncertain if he had the same thing. This was only after I saw Tom stretched out on the floor asking if it would be alright if he just stayed there the rest of the evening. Another has fallen.  With two of the family down, Eli and I are the last man(and woman) standing. These are the best times to chat with Eli without interruption. “Mom, do you think when I turn 18 I can go out late enough to go to cosmic bowling at 9:30?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Daddy Time

Two kids and two pairs of shoes later, and we were out of the store in less than a half an hour. I am always grateful to find something quickly, especially when the second pair is half off. Sidney has so much enthusiasm for the smallest of things. As I pulled them off the shelf, she yelled out “oh, thank you mama!” It is a constant reminder of the unrecognized abundance in our culture. She constantly humbles Tom and I. While I write this, Sidney is under her favorite blanket with her Pillow Pet and bunny with her new shoes under the blanket. Getting them away from her to go to the orthopedist for her lift should be interesting. Her lift size stays the same and is updated every year. It is half the total difference in length between feet. 

I realize as I share all of this about Sidney’s condition that Tom and I are quite open about her special need and her story. This is something I have thought a lot about after discussing it online with adoptive parents of different backgrounds. I realized if we don’t share, we can’t advocate for special needs adoption or adoption period. There are realities of China adoption which can never be changed. I believe Sidney will understand my motivation when she is old enough to completely understand. 

"No, you may not turn the channel Mom."
While I am writing this, I am pretending I can’t hear Barney’s voice. I would be lying to say I didn’t care if he is on. His introduction into our home is really my own fault. One day I was desperate, trying to get a lot accomplished. I try not to rely on television to occupy my kids. However, all of us break. In desperation, I succumbed to his sappy sweet demeanor. It’s all been downhill since. 

Tom is off for a three day weekend, burning up unused vacation time. It has been bliss. Mom had extra time to swim laps, play PayDay with Eli, and generally enjoy spending uninterrupted time as a family. Yesterday, Sidney went to drop off daycare for a few hours while Mom and Dad ate lunch with Eli and watched a talent show and raffle. All proceeds go to Haiti which so awesome. Last year, they broke their previous record for fundraising. I am hoping this year is the same as the people in Haiti need us now more than ever. 

Last night, we celebrated a belated Chinese New Year. We live in a small rural area, so there is no large celebration. Instead, we ate in our local restaurant and visited for a brief period with the owner. They have a very interesting story having overcome many hurdles to find success in the United States. I have mentioned in the past, Sidney becomes a bit overwhelmed if someone is speaking Chinese in her presence. This occurred when three women were speaking Chinese last time we visited. This time our experience was completely different. As the owner began talking to Sidney, she transitioned from English to Chinese. As she spoke Chinese, instead of the same clinging and confused behavior we normally witness, a large smile spread across Sidney’s face. This was a positive step. 

OK, I am off to start working on choosing activities from the vacation Bible school curriculum which arrived this week. I have my work cut out for me, directing, but I am thankful for having a role in nurturing my kid’s faith and those in my community.  

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What special needs?

If I had only listened to Tom saying (as he frequently does), "it will be fine."