Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter

Easter pics.  No words, I’m sure you can imagine how loud and chaotic it was.  All that candy that was consumed Sunday = wild kids!

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Friday, March 29, 2013

green eggs?

Pass the ham because I guess we are celebrating Dr Seuss rather than Easter around here….

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This was the result of our first-ever egg dying. We started out with the normal pastel colors.  Then they started double dipping the eggs.  And then cups started spilling and then the kids started making “combos” and all the colors became brown or green.  They loved their dinosaur colored easter eggs though.

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Ella was a bit shocked at her black stained fingers.  It really made her pink nail polish stand out.

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Wyatt was smiling so big about his “pretty” egg….his eyes squeezed shut.

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After, with the kids all cleaned up….minus their brown/green stained hands.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

how it goes

To follow up on the I Love You from Ella……I need to give an update on our progress.

There is no quick way to sum up what the last four months have included. But if you are truly curious, go HERE and look at the list of attachment activities.  We have attempted most of the things on the list, at least in one form or another. And somehow it works.  And when I say “I” I really mean me.  Not Chris or anyone else.  Just me.  But yes, it works.
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I have to prove to her that I am here to stay. That I will not fail her like all the women in her life have previously.  And to earn her trust, to help her build healthy relationships, to show her that I AM here for her.  For whatever she needs ….significant needs or insignificant wants.  I will do everything in my power to help her. But I am still a weary mom of three preschoolers and some days I am not the best version of my self. Thank goodness she doesn’t hold that against me.

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But something must be working because we are seeing some progress.  Fewer tears, breakdowns, tantrums.

You can see that Ella is settled a bit more.  More comfortable.  More joyful.  More expressive.  Even her speech started improving once we started implementing these changes. 

We still have a long ways to go.  And I imagine we will always be parenting a bit differently (not better or worse….just differently).  But it so worth it to have a daughter that feels safe, and secure, and confident at her place in this family.SONY DSC

A big thanks to my Mom who takes Wyatt twice a week, while Will is in school, so that Ella and I can have quality time together.  That along with the time we get together Sunday mornings while everyone else is at church has helped tremendously.  It does take a village!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

just another week….

Another one for my memory bank. And the pictures have nothing to do with this post.

With a 2, 3, 4 year old (and a milk loving hubby) we go thru a gallon of milk every 36 hours.  So I buy 2-3 gallons every time we go to the store. Very thankful to have an extra fridge in the garage to store the extras!  We use probably a gallon of cranberry juice every 3 days.....and we water it down! (though Chris drinks it too.) We’re trying to cut back on the juice but its hard! Thankfully I can stock up on it when it's on sale.  And then there’s the two couple of loaves of bread we use each week too!
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Most days we eat 2-3 apples and 3-4 cuties/oranges and a banana or two. And countless pretzels daily.

The dishwasher is run daily. And paper plates are used more often than I'd like. The number of napkins we go thru is insane. Wy and E are obsessive users, in addition to just being plain ole messy.
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A typical week includes 15 loads of laundry. Not sure if that's normal for families of five (plus dog).  [I googled it, it’s kinda high. We have a lot of middle of the night diaper leaks/potty accidents. Plus 1 messy kid, 1 kid that refuses to wear clothes that are dirty, plus one who likes costume changes. ]

Not all those loads get put away that quickly though.  And I’m not one to do a load a day, and then put it away.  I just do them as I can…..or whenever we run out of undies.  Whichever happens first.2013-01-25 (5)With two potty trained, we no longer go thru a box of diapers a week. Thank goodness!  And now Wyatt is potty-training himself (I do not even want to talk about this….) so he only gets 3-4 diapers a day now. And I don't remember the last time I bought wipes.  But we are forever running out of toilet paper now!

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A quick glimpse into our week with 3 preschoolers. :)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

oh, stanley

We had a very important visitor last week, Flat Stanley!  We didn’t get around to reading the book before he arrived but we did find a few you tube videos to help the kids learn who he was. 

He arrived bright and early last weekend.

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We quickly took him out for the grand tour.  The vet, sonic, Little Debbies and some farm life.

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Later in the week he made the rounds at preschool and speech.

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speech classSpeech for Ella with Mrs JennyOff to school with Wilson and Mrs. Amy

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Poor guy even had to help pump gas.  We did a lot of traveling, and he seemed to enjoy it all.  Thanks Macy for letting Stanley visit us.  I hope he sends back a good report! (and I hope he helps you get a good grade on the project!)

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

3 little words

Back in November we sought help from an adoption therapist.  We had a follow-up visit in February.  They were amazed at the progress we have made in such a short time.  To be honest, so are we. 

We can see so many areas that have improved greatly.  And so many areas that we are only scratching the surface on.  We have miles ahead of us on this parenting journey.  But are thrilled to be headed in a positive direction.

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Ella offered up her first unprompted I Love You recently.  And did it again, and again, and again. 

She has said it before, but only in response to us saying it.  And always with zero emotion or inflection.

Last week, she came up to me, when I wasn’t exactly being my best self, and said “I Love You Mama”.  Since then, Chris and I have both been the recipient of many I Love Yous. 

It was well worth the 14 month wait to hear that.

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We love you too Ella Wei!

Monday, March 18, 2013

say what? {Wilson}

from Mister Wilson:

Mean old foot flies get in my feet sometimes.  They bother me all the time.  They get in the secret passages behind my toenails and get in my feet.  Do you hear them?  Listen! [Insert foot to my ear]

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I think he was trying to tell me his foot itches.
This child and his imagination.  I will never cease to be amazed.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

lest I forget

A song came on while I was cooking and the chorus was “lest we forget”.  I was quickly reminded that I did not want to forget how hard I prayed for these three.  That there were so many quiet weekends where we longed for just one.  And now we have three preschoolers!

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There are many days that I am physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually deflated by these three.  Two with baggage and grief they don’t know how to express and one just trying to find his place in the chaos.

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So while I’m cooking dinner in a quiet house, watching Chris play outside with the trio (going on 5 hours!) I am thankful that God trusted us to help them find their way in this world.

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And I am thankful for the friends who talk me off the ledge when things get crazy.  It does indeed take a village to be a mother.

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Going to sit and bask in the stillness before chaos comes back in the door.

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

do you like your name?

This is an old story, but everyone gets a kick out of it, and it deserves to be documented.

In the fall we met a friend at a new [to us] park.  It was very crowded, my least favorite trait in a park. Lots of little families around. And easy to lose your kids so I had to be right in the midst of the chaos to keep tabs on everyone.

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Will was doing good so I was bouncing between Wyatt and Ella.  They were kinda playing together.  Ella would occasionally come up to me to check in and then go on to play. I’m not sure that she called me “Mom” but she certainly acted like I was her mom.  There was an Asian lady nearby with her baby toddling around. (I later found out she was Chinese.) I was watching out for the baby because Wyatt was close by and likes to ambush babies in his loving way. I smiled at her and commented how cute her son was.  She smiled back and pointed at Wyatt and asked if he was mine. I nodded yes. All the while Ella keeps coming up to me checking in. Finally the lady asked where Ella’s mom was, while looking around. I told her I was her mom.  She said “no, her real mom.” to which I replied “I’m it.”. She looked utterly confused so I felt the need to offer up the fact that I had adopted her.  Still looking confused she asked “from China?”  to which I said yes.  Finally she looked a little uncomfortable. She went on to ask where in China and when I answered she quickly replied that Ella must be a spicy girl then.  (This is something that is well known about the part of China E is from. Spicy food = spicy people.And she is a spicy girl)

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We randomly had snippets of conversation as we chased our wayward kids.  She asked if we lived in China (this is not the first time we’ve been asked this….).  I told her no, we just felt called to adopt from China.  Then she said she said maybe she should adopt from China since she keeps having boys.  She went on to ask Ella’s name.  I said her name was Ella.  She shrugged.  I cannot remember if I told her Wei Wei was her Chinese name. 

Later, while I was helping one of the boys with something I noticed that Ella was near her.  Curious to see how Ella reacted I watched (Ella had zero reaction).  It was then I overheard the woman ask Ella if she liked her name.  Ella nodded yes and went on with playing. {that is the part everyone finds funny}

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A few days later Ella was having an emotional moment.  Can’t remember about what but I think there was some grieving going on. She got her China book out and we looked at the pictures.  A bit later, I was still holding her, I asked her which name she liked best, Ella or Wei Wei.  She said Ella.  I told her I’d call her Wei Wei if it made her happy.  She shook her head no.  I then asked her if Wei Wei was a happy or sad name, she said sad.  I asked her the same thing about Ella, she said happy. 

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We’ve had similar conversations since then and the answers are always the same.  I did ask her if it was okay to call her Ella Wei and she said yes.  I asked her if I could call her Ellie and she said no.  So she does have an opinion :)

So for now it’s still Ella.  And sometimes Ella Wei.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

wormy worm

I don’t have a problem with a random worm or two. But a pile of worms kinda gives me the creeps.  Not so for Wilson. And surprisingly, not for Ella. (Wyatt was napping….)  They had the best time playing with a pile of worms.
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Will said they tickled.
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A direct quote from Will: “Let me introduce you to my motorcycle.”
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Will and Ella carried them safely back to nature on this leaf.  Placed them in a muddy hole.  They were both disappointed to find they were gone the next day. 
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It doesn’t take much to entertain these two.