Sunday, January 31, 2010

A snowy day!

What a snowy day we had! We don't get much snow here in East Tenn, but we've had our share this winter. We had quite a bit of that fluffy white stuff come down Friday and Saturday, and it actually stuck! So of course we had to have a family tromp in the back yard.

Below is a picture of the yard in the morning. Lot's of snow!

Here's my girl ready to play

And my guys. Sammy wasn't quite sure about being out in this, but he seemed to like it. I don't think his feet touched the ground much though.
Ohhh...what a handsome guy!

And me trying to get him to laugh. As I said...he wasn't too sure why we were out romping in this cold weather!

And our makeshift sled. Hey, this is TN and we don't ever get enough snow to actually own a real sled. So the hubby got creative and we used the kiddie slide. Simone actually flew down the yard. Sammy just joined for the photo, as he was not interested in trying out our sled. she comes! The puppy dogs thought "chase the sled" was a great new game and got plenty of exercise yesterday!

And my three snow bunnies!
And I spotted a woodland snow creature in the yard....

Oh, it's just Ollie! Boy did he love to roll and dig in the snow. Good thing he has a full winter coat on.
So the snow is still all out there and we'll probably spend some time this afternoon romping around in it again! The street outside is a sheet of ice so there may not be much else we can do!
Happy Snow day to you!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Children's Museum day

Here's a few quick pics of our visit to the local Children's Museum we went to a few weekends ago.
It's a really great museum for the kiddos-completely "hands on" -and they always have a blast.
And I usually get a bunch more pics but with two to keep track of it sure is harder! Plus add Simone's school buddy and her sister into the mix...well they just never stayed still long enough for me to snap too many shots!

Although we have been there many times it was Sammy Wei's first time and he really enjoyed it. We will be going back many times in the future I am sure.

Fish tank...pure baby magic!

Below is Simone and pal. They had so much fun, we really enjoyed hanging out for the day.

There are several rooms in the museum, each with it's own theme. There's a spy room, a tugboat room, a puppet room, rain forest room and fantasy room to name a few. There are also several rooms showing time periods of this area going back to Native Americans and the first settlers in the region. All hands on!

One of our favorite rooms is the doll house. It is a huge child size doll house with kitchen, living room and bedrooms.

Here's Sammy & Simone in the living room. He was talking to me because I wouldn't let him eat the play food. The furniture is so cute, kid size!

There is also a train room with a cool train replica, a train table for the smaller kiddos and a humongous track behind glass that runs the length of the room and is really quite amazing! This is always the other favorite room and we spent lot's of time in here.

Meet the conductor...

And below is not at the museum but at home. Remember Simone loves to put hats on Sammy. Well here's another one. Funny thing is, he loves wearing them and I end up taking them off after a while, to both kids dismay!

So stinkin cute, even in lavender!

So just a few quick pics, it's been so cold and Sammy's been a bit sick so I haven't been taking so many photos. We're supposed to have a whopper of a snowstorm (it's a blowin out there already!) so maybe I'll have a good reason to take some!

I hope all of your weekends are grand! J

Monday, January 25, 2010

Got Sleep?

And if so, I'd love to borrow some. Just a little, really--- I'll take anything you can spare!

Ah yes, sleep issues and the adoptive family.

Sleep is definitely one of the big issues when adopting an older infant. There are many blog posts, chats on "the boards" and emails between friends on this one issue. The adoptive parent has different factors to take into account when trying to get a good nights sleep than a family that has had their child in the home from earlier on.

Literature written by adoptive specialists and doctors all agree that the "cry out method" is not in the best interest of an adoptive child who is learning to trust and bond with his new family. I've mentioned before that many even recommend "co-sleeping" with your newly adopted child to help with that process. Of course there are some children that find their cribs to be a safe and comfortable place, often almost craving that security. Like Simone, who slept in her crib from day one, through the night, and never gave even a second thought to sleeping with us. In fact when we did pull her into our bed for some morning snuggles she really was quite uncomfortable and did not want to stay.

And then you have Sammy.

Sammy likes to co-sleep, cuddle, lay on top of you...all of it. He sure falls asleep easy enough- bath, book, bottle...night night little boy. And he'll go down into his crib. Until he wakes up and realizes he is not in as close of proximity to you as he'd like! Nap time is pretty much the same, now as I type he lays across my lap as happy and cozy as can be.
But nap time, as difficult as it is to put aside the things I need to get done, is not the problem. No it's really the night time. We've tried to keep Sammy in his crib all night...every time he wakes I go rushing down the hall to pat and rub his back, maybe rock him for a bit and once he's back asleep he goes back into the crib.
Until he wakes up a short time later and then back I go rushing back again to pat, rub and rock. So I'm exhausted in the morning and I know he's not getting a full nights sleep. Not to mention our little girl in the room across the hall...she gets woken up as well by his cries. After the third time I usually give up and bring him back into our bed until morning. And finally he sleeps...good sleep too.

So now I ask it worth it to just give in and co-sleep? He obviously craves closeness and feels safer in my arms. I know he is sure of his place in our family and I know the trust is completely there, but I also know he is just more comfortable and happier being cuddled. So I find myself crossing sides, from the person against co-sleeping to...well to one who is sort of okay with it.

This week we've moved his crib into our bedroom with the plan of trying to get him in there through the night. He decided to get sick though (yucky bout of RSV & ear infection...poor baby!) so he's been in with me anyway- so I can make sure he's okay. But once this is over we'll go back to trying to get him in his own space -partially in our space still. A compromise I suppose.

And until we get it all sorted out and everyone is in their respective beds I'll be asking....
got sleep?

Friday, January 15, 2010

A day in the life....

Oh yes....

a day in the life of one "Sammy Wei". I am exhausted by the end of each one-he sure is keeping me on my toes. And in ways that Simone never even attempted. He is like a force of nature...sometimes a path of destruction and sometimes as precious as the most beautiful rainbow ever. But each action is always full of everything he feels is the right thing to do at that exact moment, no matter what his Mama may say to the contrary!

He prefers to be held most of the time, but I can see his new found independence taking over and he is toddling around the house like crazy. His personality has definitely come out, usually very happy but with a stubborn streak like I have never seen! And boy does he tell you when he when he is feeling either way...

But oh yes, I am loving this little guy so very much- we all are. And I truly know he feels the same! When I leave the room for even a moment and come back in I am greeted with a very loud shriek of joy followed by "Mama Mama"! And while he'll play by himself for a bit he always comes over to tug on my leg or climb in my lap for some cuddling and loving-which I so very gladly give.
And when Daddy comes home at the end of the day he is like a little bull, knocking over anything in his way, crawling or toddling to get to Adam...again screaming "Dada Dada"!

So Sammy's big sis loves to adorn her baby bro with any hat that comes into the house. Here's him posing as our "New Year Baby"....
And the "glam" girls as they are called around here...I have no idea why Simone chose to wear a bathing cap, or why J is wearing a headband in 60's fashion but this is how they roll.... And what do we have here? Fine dining at it's best....

"No no" I say.

Huh? Too busy eating dog food to hear ya Mama...

Oh...who couldn't love this little diaper baby? It's been so cold here Sammy rarely gets a chance to go natural, but he sure does love it!

And we end our day at the park. He was thrilled to be able to go outdoors today. It's been too cold for that as well and I can tell he is a nature boy. Like the drool on the sweatshirt? Yep, two more teeth are breaking through.Big sis had a great time at the park too! Of course she brought a new toy that was perfect for going down slides.
And slides are good for more than just sliding. Yum yum....
Only Simone can make Sammy laugh like this. The two of them can crack each other up for sure. I pushed him for 10 min and barely got a grin, big sis comes over and squeals and laughs can be heard throughout the playground!

And speaking of "new found freedom" little girl has decided she's far to big to walk with Mommy & baby. Off she goes back to the playground after our nature walk, stopping only to check for passing cars.

And the afternoon comes to an end.... Some of us were just plum tuckered.
But Sammy took this "mini nap" and by the time the car pulled into the garage he was ready for another round of running around the house till it was time for bed. And that is a day in the life of my sweet Sammy Wei!
Phew, Mama sure sleeps good that night!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

How sad

During the course of our adoption of Sammy Wei we've been very open about the process with Simone's school, her teacher and even the children in her classroom- partly because she is so open about it and partly to help her with any questions or comments arising from this new baby coming into our lives.

As you may know, I like to try to have lunch with Simone at her school a couple of times a month. I so enjoy seeing her "in her element" with her friends and in a completely Mom-free zone. So when I started showing up with Sammy for lunch and school events all of the kids pretty much knew who he was and partially how he came to be in our family. Most knew his name but still had tons of questions ranging from "where's he from" to "how old is he" and "does he eat real food" and "can he talk yet". We always let Simone lead the responses but step in whenever she wants us to. We also have let her know it's okay to say "I don't feel like talking about that" or "that's too personal" about both Sammy's adoption and her own.

Well there is a new girl in Simone's class, we'll call her M, and she and Simone have become good friends. Since she is fairly new to the classroom I don't think she knew the whole story of how Sammy, and Simone, came to be part of our family.

So one day I had gone in to help with a classroom event and brought Sammy. All the kiddos fawned over him and were just tickled every time he smiled or even made so any type of noise. Simone was in heaven, being the obviously adored big sis.
And naturally all sorts of those questions came up. Nothing too deep, mostly just innocent surface questions.

Nothing from our little M except giggles and words about how cute he was. We soon left and later when we picked up Simone she was thrilled that we had come, that she could show off her Wei-Che.

A few days later Sammy and I went to have lunch with Simone. And joining us at our table was little M. On this day there were just two simple questions from our new friend.

"Was Sammy really adopted?" she asked first.

I said "Oh yes, he really was."

She appeared to mull that over for a moment and then asked "Was Simone adopted too?"

I looked at Simone, who happily said "Yes".

A moment more of inner thinking for M, while I silently waited for the next round of obvious questions.

"How sad." was all that she finally said.

Huh, what? I thought.

So I said "Huh, what?" I feel like I've been saying those words lately...must be all of the intellectual stimulation I've been having....

And so I went on to say "No, no sadness here. We are thrilled with how our family was made."

M looked at me for a moment and then said "How sad that their parents couldn't keep them I mean."


And yes folks, yours truly was at a loss for words. Complete loss, utterly stumped.
I had to think this through, process was for sure a first for me. My mind was going through it all. Was this something she had heard from her parents, did she go home and mention the "new baby". Or were her thoughts truly that deep? Either way I was really moved that a 6 year old could appropriately apply that kind of thinking.

Because in my mind and my heart I've echoed those words as well, thought that thought and felt a pang of grief, maybe even remorse. How Sad is right. Adoption is an amazing and beautiful way to form a family, but it comes with a price- there is an element of sadness behind the rainbow ending.

So I've found myself wondering who really feels that pain, and for how long?

Well my dear child gave her answer at that moment, leaving me feeling like the sadness has passed for her, at least for now.

She said "It's really not that sad. How else would we have gotten our Mom & Dad? I don't even miss them anymore."
And went on to ask which boy M was planning to chase that day.

Well, nothing more to say, now is there.

I tried to talk to Simone later about it, to make sure she didn't have any questions or thoughts, but she wasn't very interested. To her it was just something a friend said, like "mashed potatoes are better with cheese on them". Just an opinion uttered that hasn't much to do with her except a like/dislike of cheesy taters.

But I still go back to those words...How sad....
I wonder when and/or if those feelings and thoughts will enter my babies minds. And how will I respond when a part of me agrees?

The very idea that my sweet children could feel sadness over their coming into their forever families is not one I like to think of...and yet that is an emotion they are fully entitled to feel. Each day I hope I can instill the right message to my children- that adoption is a natural and beautiful way to become a family. And yet, yes there still is an element of sadness that may be felt by each person at different times during this journey we are taking together.
And that's okay, because at the end of the day we have each other-our wonderful family- and there is nothing sad about that.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Chasing Boys

Yes, chasing boys....

Just before the winter break my sweet five year old came home from Kindergarten exclaimed that she was "just exhausted".

Naturally I ask..."why?"

"From chasing boys" she tells me in such a nonchalant tone.

Huh? From what???

So I say to her "Huh? From what???"

To which she replies " From chasing all the boys, Mom. That's what I do. And I'm going to need better shoes if I'm gonna keep catching them".

Oh my, my. Chasing boys already! And we've worn out our shoes doing this? Already?
So of course I have to ask "Why are you chasing boys, honey?'

"To catch em Mama" ....duh!

I cringe as I ask her if one is perhaps her boyfriend or if maybe she likes one of them.
I got just the response I needed to hear...
"Oh no, Mama. I'm not ready to decide who I'll marry yet. We just like to chase them because they like to run away from us."

Okay, phew. Now I feel a wee bit better. She chases them because they run, and apparently there is more than just her chasing. She goes on to name all the "team players" and tells me who her favorite boy to chase is..."cause he's the easiest to catch".

Poppa later asked if she ever kissed them when she caught one...
She quickly replied "Oh no Poppa, I chase them to catch em, not to love them!"

Chasing boys....
I guess at least she's getting good exercise!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

No No

I think the video speaks for itself...

Needless to say, we have this battle over the dog's water bowl a lot.... And I guess he's learned the words "no no"....


Friday, January 1, 2010

Christmas in Vermont

Well this Christmas was surely one of the best!
I had my two sweet dumplings and got to travel "home" to Vermont to spend the holiday with my parents. The only down side was that Adam had to work, so he was not able to join us. The airplane trip was a bit hectic, me with two kids and a flight change in Philly. Thankfully I have the bestest travel companions and we made it pretty easily! I must say, Simone is such a great helper and made all the difference for traveling!

So below is a recap of our days in Vermont. We were busy, and yet never seemed to get anything accomplished...other than just hanging out and enjoying the company of each other! My parents were so excited to finally meet the newest grandchild and Sammy just fell in love with both of them! And of course Simone was in her glory, all that grandparent spoiling was just great for her!

Below are my two sweeties on Christmas morning. I love this pictures, it captures the newfound sibling love they have found for eachother!

And my snow angel romping through the snow. Sorry Lauren, no "snow dudes" were made on this was so cold the snow wouldn't even stick. It was so cold we didn't stick around either!

And he had so much fun with the bedroom mirror. It was fully slobbered on by the time we left for home. He thought it was great to see himself and give lots of wet kisses to his mirror image!

And Santa left a note for Simone and Sammy after gobbling up all of the cookies and milk. Very impressive! Poppa wanted to leave Santa some celery and a diet soda since he looks like he may need to lose a few pounds....Simone promptly nixed that idea and Santa got just what he wanted!
And heres a family photo, just missing my dear hubby and my sis in-law since she was taking the picture! Next year it'll be all of us!
And I love this one of Grammie and Sammy. He was so happy to be in both their arms anytime they wanted to hold him!

And what girl doesn't have some straw glasses? Perfect for drinking a cold cup of milk, juice or even water. Pretty cool, huh?
And one of my favorite presents under the tree!

Christmas wouldn't be complete without the making of reindeet food too! Once again those deer got fed a very special treat made by two very special girls under the watchful instruction of one big elf!

The girls in matching nightgowns. Oh and in the picture is the other addition to our family...Cocoa the puppy! She was very cute and was quite taken with Sammy!

And in other exciting news, Sammy took his first steps in Vermont. He has been taking 3-5 steps at a time and is pleased as punch every time he goes a few feet. He'll be zooming around the house before we know it, YIKES!
I hope all of you had wonderful Christmas holidays and all of your wishes came true! I look forward to checking out all of my blog buddies posts to get a glimpse into their holidays too!