Sunday, September 23, 2012

Good Morning Kisses

This morning was a great one. John and Kate came to cuddle as they do every morning, which I love. Today though, John showered me with kisses. Up till now instead of kisses he has been blowing on us instead of puckering up and kissing. It was so tender. This little guy melted my heart.

Stop it! He is so cute!
The last few days have been so much better. I think we have turned a BIG corner. After my last post, I started to see some really marked differences with my two little puppies. They actually started doing kind things with each other. I watched them share a juice. I've seen them give hugs for no apparent reason. I've seen them comfort each other when one is hurt. There is still fighting, but there is love too! They do not seemed as threatened by each other's presence and sometimes it seems like they actually like each other. I'll take it! It is a beautiful blessing and so well timed!

Here are some things about John that are really sweet.

He LOVES being in a family. He is always talking to me about everyone in our  family. It is like he is reviewing and solidifying everyone's role in our family - including his own. He really likes that he is a big brother.

His english is really coming along. He can say some three word sentences ... impressive!

He is all boy. He loves running, riding bikes, throwing - he is a little athlete.

He is a sweet and loving boy who is loved by many. He is a blessing.

Here are some pictures from our fun week.

Fun at the park with John and Kate
John the gentleman - pulling his sister and cousin in a wagon

How John has fun in the hospital lab waiting area
Glamorous Kate!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Thoughts on Two Year Olds

So .... this has been an enormous reality check. And by this I mean two two-year olds. I'm not kidding when I say that having two little two-year olds is probably the hardest thing I have ever done. That is either a beautiful reflection on how easy my life has been so far or it shows that despite everything else in my 41 years - this has been the hardest thing. It could also be a reflection on my age and the reality that little people are easier when you are younger - energy and such. There you go - I said it - this is hard.

Things I miss:

I miss using my right hand. They seriously don't like it when I do anything with my right hand. I remember really liking doing things with my right hand - typing .... cooking ... writing ... signing ... you name it - it used to be fun .... I think, it has been a long time.

Walking. I also like being able to walk freely. It seems like there is usually someone hanging on one or both legs. I used to like mobility.

Quiet - I sort of remember what it was like to have some quiet. Today they fell asleep in the car, and I wasn't sure what was wrong until I realized it was quiet .... ahhhhhhh ..... naps are good!

Additions I don't really appreciate:

Fighting. I really hate it. I like peaceful loving environments - call me crazy. I also firmly believe that our home should be safe from insult and injury. Oh well - so much for old ways. These two are serious fighters. The fighting is bad enough but they fight dirty. It is like they are using prison rules or cage fighting rules. If there was a folding chair close, I'm sure they would use it as a weapon. One will be sitting nicely and the other will sneak up out of the blue and whack and run. It is a pretty smart tactic, but it is driving me crazy.

Someone asked me the other day why I thought this was hard - wow really? I'll show you. Today for a few moments instead of trying to teach love and teach how we don't hit each other, I stood back and took a few pictures so that anyone who wonders what life is like with two year olds will get a little better picture .... enjoy!
Someone is generally upset about something
This is how the conflict usually starts - someone hits -
Then here is a retaliation of sorts

Those are my legs to which they are desperately clinging

Chasing me - although I am usually not running
from them - but for the sake of photography

And in case you were wondering how this 3 minute
interaction ends ....
We are a happy and loving family ...
even though there are many hiccups throughout the day!

Here is a 2 minute video that has a feature from our own
famous John. It is from Eagle's Wings and it shows the
recently adopted kids. So cute.So proud. So grateful!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Silver Lake with our John

Today we introduced the mountains to John. It is about time! Let's be honest though - we have been out of sorts and just barely feeling normal. I've been able to sleep two nights in a row now without the aid of some sleeping aid. Rick and I even went on a date Friday night. We are back baby!

I think this picture is so sweet. If only all my kids were there.

The leaves are changing colors here so we headed up Big Cottonwood Canyon to visit our favorite "hike". It really is just a nice walk around a lake, but the kids feel like they are hikers, and that is the goal.
Rick encouraging kids to stay out of the lake

John had a great time. The kids were either looking at the ducks in the lake or running. It seemed like there were so many children. Cora was even missing from our excursion, but it seemed like our children just kept going. Every time we add a new child to the family it feels like we have multiplied the amount of children, not added. John's addition is no different. I feel like we have 12 children right now. There are so many of us. I love it!

Lincoln and Lydia
Lydia, Brig, Linc and John

Looking at ducks

Cute Kate
Linc found a hole and jumped inside!

More running

Even more running
John loving every minute!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

One Month

Today marks the one month mark since we brought John into our family. It has been a great month, a hectic month, a crazy month, a loud month, a memorable month, an emotional month, a joyful month, and an unforgettable month. Thanks John! It is so nice to have him home and see him blend into our family like he has always been here. I love that he has started to feel really comfortable in our home. Last night he said, "Bye-bye mama" and he blew me kisses. No tears, no trauma, no heartbreak. I think we have turned a huge corner. This is his home and we want him to know it and feel it - never question it again.

John has come so far in his short life. He was abandoned at day two.

He lived for six months in this room.

He was loved and cared for at Eagles Wings for the next 2 years.

On August 13, 2012 his life changed forever.

And now he has a family who adore him. There was a gaping hole in our family that only John could fill. Thanks John, we love you!

These two cute little puppies

I caught their first and so far only hug on camera!

It seems like they are always in the bath tub

They are inseparable!

They never leave home without their backpacks.

Rough housing with his brother and gut laughing all the time.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Linky Boy!

Yesterday was Lincoln's 12th birthday. Holy cow, I'm getting old. 9/11 is a vey happy day in our home because this is when Linc joined our family.  I took him birthday shopping and it was so much fun to see him so happy and LOVING picking out his presents. He told me what he wanted for his birthday breakfast, his birthday dinner and what kind of cake he wanted. The only negative of the whole day is when I got a phone call saying that the school had lost him for 30 minutes and finally found him by the freeway "walking home." (That is an entirely different post.)

I love this boy. From day one he had me wrapped around his finger and that is where I remain today. Lincoln has taught me to see the world in a different way, and I am so thankful to him for that. He is a light in our family and in the world. I don't know what I did to deserve this cute boy who helps me love in a different way, see people with disabilities in a beautiful way, feel God's loving hand in my life,  and who helps me see miracles. What a cutie and what a blessing! I love you Lincoln.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Our New Normal

Wow - I think I am back to normal ... almost. This has taken so much longer than I anticipated to get back to normal. Many factors have contributed such as jet lag, our dog's death, sickness, no sleep, school starting, and two toddlers ... to name a few.

But I am happy to announce that I have had three nights sleep in a row and I am feeling better. Thank heavens! A mom of six with two toddlers and an 11 year old autistic son and three other busy kids schedule does not have time to be tired and sluggish and out of sorts. I think I am definitely on the road back to recovery though! YAY!
Cool Boy!

John's first time at church
Our cute John is doing amazingly well. He is adorable and this boy LOVES being in a family. He fits in beautifully and is equally loved. Kate is even warming up to him more. They fight much less than before and are starting to look out for each other. We still have an uphill climb in the toddler love department, but we are better than we were.

The Toddlers or the Puppies as I now loving refer to them
John is still having food issues. He eats what we lovingly refer to as "John's Personal Menu," which includes Ramen, dumplings, and bananas. He gets nervous when food is out of sight, however he is slowly but surely trying new foods. The reports we received from China were that he loved all food and was willing to try new things. So far we have never seen that, but are hopeful that he will start to give up some of his food power struggle.

Sleeping is going beautifully. He no longer cries at bed time and loves sharing a room with Kate and Lydia. I love watching him get more confident and less fearful of his new surroundings. He is amazing around extended family and seems to really love both sets of grandparents. We went to both sets yesterday, and he was amazing even around all those cousins and aunts and uncles. 

Wagon time with Brigham, John, Lydia and Kate
The kids are all doing great in school. Even Lincoln seems to be liking his new school. 

Cora - 8th Grade
Lincoln - 6th Grade

Brigham - 4th Grade
Lydia - 1st Grade