Saturday, May 28, 2011

Baby of the Family

So we haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth as some people have suggested. We are just a little busy with everyone’s schedules and end of the school year activities. I am enjoying my time at home so much. I am very disappointed that on Tuesday I have to return to work for a few weeks to finish out my contract. It seems as though all of the new routines we have established will all be undone in this short period of time. I am trying my best to just focus on the positive and remember how lucky I am to be able stay at home after I finish this last little stretch of work. It is a little surprising to me how well being a stay-at-home mom suits me (although there is very little staying at home).

Boston is changing so fast. He rarely throws fits anymore. He is a quick learner and it didn’t take him long to figure out that throwing a fit was not in his best interest. He is learning so many new words and phrases. He is even showing his sense of humor! Justin and I were commenting just the other day that now we realize how there becomes ‘the baby of the family’. We agree that because we know that this is the last time we be going through the toddler stage we are cherishing it so much. We are ‘those parents’ that find every new thing that Boston does just as cute as can be. Instead of people telling us to enjoy every moment because it goes fast we know from firsthand experience that it goes wayyyy to fast. So we are really enjoying having the baby of the family to help us remember to slow down any chance we can to enjoy each of our four children in the stage that they are currently in – even with the challenges each stage brings.

I still want to do a post about our donation to orphanage and share some information about the Orphans at Play organization that is being started up by another family that has been blessed with a little boy from the Vladivostok region of Russia. After that I will just post on our family blog.

Thanks to everyone who has checked in on us. We really are doing well and giving God the glory for taking us on an amazing journey that challenges us every day!

Here are a few pictures from tonight.  We went to Madison's circus performance!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Photo Update

Things are really going well here now that we have some routines established.  Boston has been dealing with croup and that is no fun though.

On Mother's Day we quickly snapped a few pictures before heading out to Brady and Maddie's piano recital.  Boy it is hard to get a good one of all 4 kiddos at the same time.  Here are my babies!!
Boston got his first tractor ride.  It was good for about 10 minutes and then he was ready to go do something else.

Baby B loves to put on things he finds laying around.  He especially likes glasses!

Shoes and hats are fun too!

Just about anything in the house can become a toy. The laundry basket can become a car on most days!


Monday, May 9, 2011

Adjusting and readjusting continued…

(If this ends up appearing in tiny font - sorry! I can't figure out what is wrong with the copy and paste feature.)

Things are still crazy busy around here and a lot of adjusting is still taking place, but we have also established some new routines and that has helped out TONS!  In fact, as I reflect on the day, Boston did not throw a single temper tantrum all day (and no he did not get his way all day!).  I would love to type about what all has been going on and share pictures of Mother’s Day, piano and dance recitals, soccer game, Blake registering for kindergarten, Boston’s doctor visits, but honestly I can’t find the time.  So instead of stress about what I can’t type about I am going to enjoy the little bit that I do get to get off my chest.  I think after this I will do a post full of photos to update you on how we are doing and then I will probably just blog on our family blog (more about that later though).

So what was the big turning point?  Two weeks ago this Wednesday I was racing home to try to beat the people that would be coming to our house for our small group (book study).  I was at my wits end with all of the running around, things not in order, and adjusting to life with a two year old.  All of the sudden about two miles from home I felt like God just knocked my upside the head.  Kinda like, ‘would you get over yourself already geeze?!?!’ First of all look at the things I was complaining about, my schedule was not established, my calendar was not in order, our house wasn’t all picked up, two-year old tantrums from a little boy that just has his whole world turned upside down.  If that is all I have to complain about then my life is pretty darn good.  I decided to stop basking in my self pity and began to look at all that was right with my world.  We made it through another successful Russian adoption (no easy feat); Justin’s father is doing well; Boston is attaching to our family in very healthy ways; he loves to cuddle with me and shows affection; Brady, Madison, and Blake love having their little brother around – most of the time.  So really I was sweating the small stuff.  And even more importantly I thought about how I needed to open my eyes to what God is trying to do in our lives as our journey continued.  Justin and I both felt called down this path and if we can just stop trying to control every step of the way we know, from experience, some real amazing things can happen.

So my new approach to each day (some days more successful than others) is to extend a little grace to myself.  Not everything has to be in order every single day.  I don’t have to have the entire week planned out and know exactly what is happening every minute of every day.  It is ok to stop in the middle of the day and cuddle with Boston and help him fall asleep for his nap.  It is ok to not get as many of the closets and shelves cleaned because we played patty cake and went outside to play with the dog.  However the two areas of my life where I cannot be so forgiving are in my personal and spiritual health.  I hate that these are the first two areas to suffer when chaos settles in.  I am trying to force myself back to healthy eating and exercise both of which take time and time is what I am short of.  But I know that other things will fall into place if I can get that area back under control.  And of course I must make time for my spiritual journey.  I know when I take time out for bible reading, small group, and such all of the other areas of my life seems to go much smoother.  So this is all still a work in progress, but I am realizing this is the recipe for success for my day to day living.  Sometimes the recipe flops but other times it turns out perfect.

Thank you to those that have left comments and emailed words of support and encouragement.  I love how most of you put ‘don’t feel obligated to reply’ like you didn’t want to add any more stress to my plate.  I really wish I could keep in touch with the people that have been so supportive in the blogging world.  It is an amazing network of support!

As I mentioned, the next post should come much sooner and have some pictures of what Boston is up to! I am a little biased, but he is so darn cute!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Adjusting and Readjusting

I am starting this post at 9:45 p.m. All four kiddos are asleep and Justin is still in his tractor planting (praise God!) As I look around my kitchen, I see a million other things that I would like to accomplish, but I am quickly learning that they will be there waiting for me tomorrow. I have so many thoughts I would like to share and I would like to organize them all and write a nice post. That is just not going to happen. So I am just going to ramble – sort of blogging therapy. Sorry if you get lost along the way as you read this, but I have a feeling when I am done I am going to feel accomplished. :o)

As of this morning Boston and I have been home for 2 weeks. The changes in him are amazing. I would almost say the changes are scary because I realize how quickly this time with him at home is going to go. I am dreading going back to work at all. I of course dare not complain. I only have to go back the day after Memorial Day and for the following three weeks. I will then be staying at home with Boston; running Brady, Blake and Madison around; and helping Justin with farming and rental paperwork (sounds like a full time job to me!). I am hearing great things about the person that will replace me as the Technology Director for our school district and that helps a lot. I just adore the members of our tech department so it makes leaving a lot easier knowing they are going to be in good hands.

So adjusting… first let me start with Boston. He has settled in quite nicely. He is getting into a routine and that has been helpful for both of us. He LOVES to be outside with our dog and to take baths/showers. If he doesn’t get to do both of those things each day he will express his feelings of frustration. He lights up when his big sister Madison walks into the room. He and Blake play together fine, but they quickly lose interest in what the other is doing and are on to something new. Brady loves Boston and is very patient with him. Boston will play close to Brady but not so much WITH Brady. He seems hesitant of males if they seem like they are going to hang around long. So far sleeping and eating have not been an issue for us at all. We are grateful for that. I don’t think sleep deprivation would help the family dynamics at all.

The person who really had to make some adjustments is me. The first week home was very difficult for me. In Russia Boston would cry periodically but he didn’t really throw temper tantrums. Everything was so slowly paced there and life was all about Boston. So when we got home and I tried to catch up from being gone and jump back in to the normal rat race we run each day, I met some resistance. For the first time I saw a true 2 year old tantrum complete with feet kicking, attempting to bite, screaming, etc… Brady and Madison were never really fit throwers – well of course they threw fits – but not full blown tantrums. Blake was a year and a half older when he got home and from day one his main goal has been to please Justin and me. He has gotten a little ornerier which is kind of good to see, but again no tantrums. So Boston’s fit throwing really heightened my anxiety. I especially had a hard time if he did it in public. I felt like everyone was watching me and the new child that we CHOSE to go get and bring into our family and how I was going to handle the situation. This went on for almost a week and a half, several times a day. I then realized that I was the prime trigger for most of the fits. I refuse to give Boston everything he wants and give in to whining but really that was not when the fits would flair up. It was when he would be playing and I would quickly scoop him up because we needed to run to get the kids from school or run some errand. He had no warning and this new fast paced life was overwhelming him. Also he would feed off my anxiety. The more anxious I got them more agitated he was getting. So I started to make a conscious effort to start getting ready to leave the house earlier and slowing down when putting on his jacket and shoes and talking about going paka paka or bye bye. Of course slowing down and starting earlier in turn eased my anxiety because we were not running late. And wouldn’t you know, the fit throwing decreased dramatically. Now we have about one real fit a day and usually it is because someone has gone out the door and he didn’t get to go out and see the dog, and these fits are not lasting as long as they were. I also am learning how to not react to the fit and that if it happens in public most people who look at me are taking pity on me and not being critical (at least that is what I choose to believe). Adjusting and readjusting….

Wow, I have so much more I want to type by my eyes are burning from being so tired. I guess I’ll have to continue this post later. Since I don’t know when later will be, I am going to go ahead and post this part of the entry.

Until next time...