Last week marked 9 months home!
Boy, are our lives sure easier than they were 9 months ago. When I think back to those first few weeks/months home I get exhausted just thinking about it! Back then The Baby was nursing every 2 hours around the clock and the big kids needed CONSTANT entertainment. Now sometimes The Husband and I are actually able to sit down and eat dinner with the kids and occasionally we even get to talk to each other before the kids are in bed! It all seems pretty glorious and we know it’s only going to get better as The Baby gets more independent and the kids become more self-sufficient.
Here’s the latest on each kiddo:
This kid is on a rock-star basketball team! They clobber every team they play. One of his teammates has a distant relation to Michael Jordan and most of them have been playing together for years. This is both good and bad. Smiles enjoys all the wins and has been talking about playing in the championship since win #2, but he also sees that most of the kids are way better than he is (how could they not be?) and I think that makes him a little uncomfortable. He enjoys basketball but can’t wait for baseball to start again! Smiles’ reading is getting better and he’s really starting to sound out words now (up until recently he would just guess words that had nothing to do with the actual word). He really enjoyed the long break from school and didn’t want to go back. It came to our attention recently that he is getting picked on at school. Honestly, this didn’t surprise me because he is very outgoing and friendly but also very ignorant as far as cultural norms. Of course, he’s also significantly behind in all things school related. Still, it made us so sad to think that someone who values social interaction as much as he does could be mistreated. We talked to his teacher, are going to put him in self defense class, and are also trying really hard to make him feel loved and valued at home. This kid has so much energy and is so loud and boisterous. He doesn’t act like a 9-year-old and it’s not fair for us to expect him to, but sometimes we do. Too often we let him know that we were frustrated with him. No more. We’re trying really hard to be gracious to him and to make sure he knows he is cherished in our family.
This girl is so responsible. She sees something that needs to be done and she just does it without being asked. It doesn’t matter if it’s restocking the toilet paper rolls in the bathroom, wiping The Baby’s nose, or even cleaning up dog pee- this girl takes care of business. She loves school and she finally learned how to count! She can make it all the way to 99! When she gets to 99 (which takes FOREVER) she drags it out: “Niiiinnnneeetttyy-Niiiiiiiinnnnnnnee….Twenty”. Every. Single. Time. Still, she’s learning so fast and I don’t think she’ll be too far behind her grade level. We found a hairstyle we both agree on (cornrows ending in pigtails). She doesn’t get in trouble very often, but when she does it’s for being too silly or talking too much. She tells really really really long stories about, for example, being the line leader. If she gets a “X” it’s as if her whole entire world is crashing down. Considering her demeanor in Ethiopia I can’t really be mad at her for being too silly!
The husband pretty much summed Wiggles up perfectly when he said “He’s a sweet little jerk.” Wiggles will be 3 in April and he’s either charming us with the hilarious things he says or making us want to rip out our hair with his screaming/defiance/hitting. We must say “use your words” a hundred million times every day. He’s so independent; as far as he is concerned he has no need for us anymore. He likes to get his own snacks out of the fridge and pantry, pee by himself (Why OH WHY did I ever show him how to pee standing up??!!), brush his teeth by himself, pour himself glasses of water, today he even had a meltdown after I wouldn’t let him drive home from the grocery store by himself. Out of all the sibling combinations, Diva and Wiggles are the sweetest. They play for hours with their babies (teddy bears), dressing them up, feeding them with their boobs, making them food from their kitchen, and putting them down for naps. Diva’s tastes are also rubbing off on him as his current favorite show is “Strawberry Shortcake” and he just told me tonight that he wants Strawberry Shortcake big boy underwear when he’s ready for it.
After being snotty and sick for weeks I’m so glad to have my little smiley girl back! We need to put a pedometer on this one. She’s all over the place! Wiggles was an early walker- he took his first steps at about 9.5 months old, the age she is now. She’s not walking yet and won’t be anytime super soon, but she’s on her way. She walks well behind a walker and has started letting go of objects to stand on her own. She is babbling a lot and says “mama” and “dada” regularly, though I don’t think she knows what they mean. She can clap on command but her most important achievement is that she hasn’t choked on one of the many Barbie shoes or Legos laying in the hallway waiting to kill her.
We’re all excited for a new, more relaxing year. 2014 was about surviving- and we survived! Now it’s time for us to thrive!