About Me

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Maine, United States
Happily married for 14 years- celebrating the reality that our children are home

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Healing for Old Ouchies

In Uganda after nap Hayden and Mom posing w/the hippo's head
One day this week at lunch, Hayden and I had an intimate moment.  This may not be a remarkable statement for some parents, I suppose.  I know that most mothers have a fairly high level of intimacy with their young children.  I would think that those who breastfeed etc. have few boundaries between themselves and their children in many ways.  Imagine meeting your children when they are about 3 years old.  All of that "by default" intimacy doesn't exist and you have to wait for it to develop over time like you do when making a new friend.  Don't misunderstand me.  I am not saying that there is an awkwardness between us.  I am their Mommy and they are happy to have me take care of their needs. 
My cutting up Hayden's food reminded him of a time when he was cut with a knife on his finger.  It seemed to be a sudden rush of memory.  I believe his auntie was cutting up his food when he tried to snatch a piece and she accidentally cut his hand.  He seemed to be reliving the moment in a way.  He was cradling his hand as if it was in pain as he passionately recounted the details as best he could.  I actively listened by asking as many questions as I could to keep the details coming.  He tried to show me where the cut was but I could not see a scar.  I told him that I was so very sorry and took his little hand and kissed it gently several times where he had indicated the "ouchie" had been.  His eyes were welling up with tears and so were mine.  There was this sweetness in the air between us like I have felt before only while listening to or making beautiful music or when praying and my spirit is really open.  I didn't quite know how to transition back to our meal.  [kinda like when you don't want a worship song to end] I just told him that I loved him and that he had "no more ouchies" for today.  He felt really safe and a bit more whole than he had minutes before and, honestly, so did I.
As I recounted that story to a very dear and wise friend this weekend, she reminded me that my Father in Heaven wanted to heal my "old ouchies" too.  Even the ones that don't bear a scar that I can point to.  It won't be the same as if it never happened but it will be healed.  Beautiful.  I have received much beauty in my spirit  this week and am very thankful.

on parenting

In my long tenure as a parent [ha ha], I have already learned some very profound and wonderful things.
I will not attempt to summarize them in one blog post as most people don't have that much time to sit and read.  However, I am struck by how much I am learning.  Not just procedurally as in "when he does that, I should do this and not that" but also about myself and my God.  I am sure that you parents reading this have already made the same discoveries that I am referring to.

When I hear myself say things like "do it now and not when you feel like it or after you've played around a while longer" I think to myself "hummm how many times could God say that to you based on your actions."  Or when they are throwing a fit about a decision I am making but I know that there is no point in explaining it to them.  I know that they can't understand my reasons but I am doing what is best for them.  I know they will get over it as far as the tears go.  I am often struck by how I am the same way always wanting my answers and reasons for what is happening in my life.  Sometimes I even throw a little fit and cry when what is happening to me isn't what I was hoping for.  God must be siting up there going, "I know best, Little Girl, and you don't. Accept it and move on."
H&G playing "Momma and Baby". Garak is Hayden's baby who has to sit on his lap and do what he's told etc.
About myself I am finding our where my weak spots are in my personal growth.  I have come very far in many areas. Some of the things that still need to work on are surfacing and it is interesting to see.  Here is just another reason to be thankful for my children. They will take my further in my personal and spiritual growth than I have come to this point.  This comes back to the compassion and love that I am shown everyday by other people and God as well.  What a huge blessing, and an honor really, to be allowed to grow along side these cool little people!

Monday, November 21, 2011

priceless moments with the "greats"

the Washington county fair T-shirt

sharin' an OJ

breakfast w/great gramma

and great-auntie

good foodu!

at gramma's house

such a familiar scene, just with new babies!

I remember when Caleb was this little and now he's the "big person" in this picture!

cuddling with great grampa


Garak was touching Grampa's face and then his own head and saying "Grampa's got a fuzzy face and Garak's got a fuzzy head!"

holdin' hands

Rachel and "Grampopo"
I can picture so many cousins playing right here too!

gigggling on Grampa's lap. note the boots

Caleb carefully instructing the building of the proper ramp for the matchbox cars.

and then the toddlers knocked it down. I love the facial expressions on everyone in this shot!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Silly Head

over heard from the play room:
HAYDEN: ouchie! [in a commanding voice] Garak! gamba [say] sorry Hayden for bump you head!
GARAK: Soory 'Ayden
HAYDEN: [still in commanding voice] for bump you head!
GARAK: sorry for bump you silly head [this is from the 5 little monkeys song they have on a recording.  it says "One fell off and bumped his silly head"]
HAYDEN: silly head!? silly head?! [sigh of resignation] I forgive you, Silly Head.
do these PJ's make me look fat?

after nap yesterday
GARAK: crying/calling out "Momma!" [this very rarely if ever happens so I race upstairs]
ME: hey there! did you have good sleeping?
GARAK: [half awake muttering] ouchie eyes!
ME: I'm sorry. why ouchie?
GARAK: food ona eyes...cake ona eyes! rubbing his eyes
ME: oh you had cake on your eyes while you were sleeping?
GARAK: yah!
I think he has pretty vivid dreams.  He woke up crying that there was a snake in their room the other day.
So we head downstairs and I get him a drink and he still seems a bit sad or upset about his dream so I give him a bunch of silly kisses all over his face and he says "Tank Tu Momma for kisses." This little guy will melt your heart!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

videos: ooo & ahhh

Cute-isms & pix


Hayden singing "Snuggle Puppy" to/with daddy

drumming along with daddy's playing

music is over. time for bed in matching PJ's

how many toddlers do you know who are this happy at bedtime?

the naughty monkey. he is always in time out for jumping on the bed. (the song 5 little monkeys in their fav.)

beautiful bedtime smile. in case you think they're big. this is a pack 'n play

Hayden's monkey is also in trouble for eating his gummie vitamin (we pretend that every night and it never gets old)
GARAK: Benny lika dis [tapping my leg]
ME: what's dis?
GARAK: Gawak lika sity downy onna Momma
ME: you do?
GARAK: yes, you do
 today at the park
HAYDEN: Hayden smell somping. [really exaggerated sniffing motion].
ME: is it something good?
HAYDEN: yech. smell lika good foodu. I fink chicken.  I fink ich Gramma Brimer's houch.
 on potty training
[both boys wear underwear during the day now.  Hayden is always dry even through nap. Both wear a diaper at night and Garak still does for nap and often has daytime accidents.]
GARAK: [after going to the bathroom. standing there looking down into the bowl. this is said in a "well well what have we here" tone of voice] good-a-boy Beeenny sou sou no messy! ie fie! (translation: good boy for peeing into the toilet and not making a mess. high five!)  he will often waddle out of the bathroom with his pants around his ankles shouting for a high 5. it is pretty stinkin' cute.
Hayden does everything himself, or at least tries to.  He is very independent.
 HAYDEN: look Hayden do it! Hayden is cho biiig! No mamma help you! [that last part means: Hayden is so big. Mamma didn't have to help him]
On Missing Uganda [this was a breakfast conversation today 11/17]
HAYDEN: Momma Johnny is coming to our house?
ME: Do you want her to come to our house?
HAYDEN: yech
ME: I don't think she is coming because it is so far to come on the airplane.  Remember when we went on the airplane with Grampa and we had to go on so many airplanes for a long time?

HAYDEN: yech
ME: Momma Johnny has to stay home and take care of her babies (twin girls 8 mos)
HAYDEN: Hayden helwp babies [demonstrates holding/rocking a baby].
ME: Did you help Momma Johnny with the babies?
HAYDEN: yech. an babies going poo poo [making a yucky face like he's smelling poop]
ME: Did you help Momma Johnny wash the babies?
HAYDEN: yech. an ah washing poo poo. yech! [laughing] whey-diz [where is] Momma Johnny?
ME: you mean where is her picture?
HAYDEN: yech
ME: okay let's get it. [they each have a laminated photo of them with their guardians that they can look at whenever without destroying it.  This morning we went to Walgreen's and printed out some more pix of the goodbye day in Uganda so they can have a book of different photos when they want to look.]

Monday, November 14, 2011

Warm Redefined

You may think of good play outside days in the 70's but not anymore. There is a children's book where all the mice store things up for the winter except for one who doesn't seem to be helping, but then when winter comes he is the one who remembers the sunny days and what it felt like to be warm. He warms everyone's hearts with his great stories of the summer.  I am attempting to store up as much summer as possible.  If winter feels long to me, think of what it will feel like for 2 little guys from the equator.

58 degrees F [that's 14.4 in C] is now warm enough to play at the park and go to the beach which is also at the park.  We played on the swings and slide and then headed down to the ocean where we all walked in the water with our shoes on of course [mom stayed mostly dry...] while we searched for treasures in the water, threw rocks, fished wild apples out of the stream and chased them down to the "big water" aka: ocean.  We walked across a log bridge, jumped off of big rocks and came home to have apples and cheese.  What a nice day!
waiting his turn

Garak up Hayden down

They just keep going up and down

no fear. no help.

back at it again

inspecting the wheel

when's it gonna be my turn to drive?

all abord! let's go!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

the beach at 59 degrees

We stopped by the beach yesterday on our way home from applying for the boys SS#'s and it was so glorious and warm [keep in mind that "warm" is relative and that is keeps moving lower on the temperature gauge as we progress towards the winter. think: the opposite of the frog in the pot] and fun that we decided to plan our day around the beach today. So we were at the beach by 10:30 this AM and we arrived home around 1pm. The boys were snoring by 2pm and the day could not have been better!  We packed lots of snacks and drinks and toys along with our camera and a blanket.  The results were as follows:

Friday, November 4, 2011

7 weeks

Well, we've been home for almost 7 weeks now.  People are wondering if we are settled and how the boys are adjusting and all.  Well, they continue to amaze everyone with how wonderful they are.  What are some of the major differences between them and their American peers?  Not having been a parent yet myself, I couldn't say definitively.  However: They take "no" for an answer, unlike their American-born counterparts.  This is truly a delightful aspect of our lives.  They are very polite and easy to redirect.  Also they rarely cry.  They go to bed without incident on a regular schedule for naps and bedtime.  They eat anything and everything that they are served for meals and often have 3rds (or 4ths...).  They love to clean and enjoy cleaning up their toys and doing chores along with Mommy and Daddy.  What are some things we have a tough time with?  Not listening, selectively listening, getting out of bed when they should be napping (well Garak gets out of bed but he is sometimes being called by his brother to come out and play in his bed...) wetting pants because they are distracted by playing, being naughty to get attention...hummm sounds familiar?  My point is the things they are doing are completely normal for their developmental stage.  How are they doing with English?  Their vocabularies are rapidly expanding.  This is very exciting.  They understand most of what they are told (I am learning to require eye contact when I am making a request and this has helped tremendously).  I talk to them constantly so they are always practicing their words.  At meals we play a game where we play with language.  For example, I'll say "Hayden likes dirty ice cream on his shoes" and then he will feign disgust and say "Momma likes baby doggies on-a be-wy [on her belly]" and I'll say "baby doggies on my belly! No thank YOU!"  Then I'll say "Garak likes..." and so the game continues all through breakfast and lunch so we practice sentence structure while laughing.  Are they bothered by being around only white people?  No signs of it if they are.  More often get get stared at by people here who aren't used to seeing people who look like they do.

OK If you don't already pray with your kids before nap, I HIGHLY recommend it just for the fact that it is the CUTEST thing EVER!!  They pray for their friends (so far their neighbor baby Jay and the little girl we played with today at the park, Ava and her baby "brozer") and for each other and Momma and Daddy and blankets and juice and baby dollies [what they call their stuffed animals] and for daddy coming home from "werk" ...good stuff.  It really melts your heart.