And now that I've figured out how to use the video option on the picture camera, I'm loving it!!! Here we are outside:
We started the morning off by making red jello: Then we went on a hunt for red items in the house. I'm not sure if John Eyob is showing me the handle is red or if he just wants to play with Play Dough!And this is a completely posed photo. I totally told Ryan Ephrem to point at these bags!
Playing with red balloons (we LOVE balloons):
* There is nothing like being called "Mommy" (or in my case
"Mommy-a") by your own children.
* There is not better picture than two smiling boys, smiling simply because they are happy.
* Nothing sounds better in our house than children's laughter and running feet.
* When the train lets out, it is a great time to watch out the window for "mock-e-naws": * It is okay if the television is on in both the living room and the playroom with nobody watching it (because as soon as it gets turned off, a little hand will turn it back on!).
* It takes a few days to establish a routine.
* When restarting the computer, check to make sure the volume is turned back down.
* It's hilarious to wear Mommy and Daddy's slippers:* Walks outside should last a looooong time simply because there are so many things to stop and look at.
* Ryan Ephrem likes bananas and grapes but John Eyob only likes grapes (Eyob no bananas Mommy-a!).
* Clementines are fun (and easy) for little boys to peel.
* John Eyob is great a seeing something and then doing it himself. This is his version of Uncle Don, Sami, Maddy, Gramma, and Bompa riding in Gramma's car (drawn after Mike drew a picture of it first):
* John Eyob and I put this alphabet puzzle together one afternoon. I would give him the next piece, telling him the letter and naming the picture. the next day, he spent over 20 minutes working on this and only asked for and needed a little help at the end:
* Socks can double as hand puppets:* Lots of things can wait until tomorrow.
* The first week home is really, really hard but then everything starts to get a lot easier.
* There are big melt downs and mini meltdowns. This is a mini melt down over have to come inside for dinner, no-bones-boy lying on the kitchen floor:* This is his younger brother who thought it would be funny to imitate his older brother and lay on the floor too:* Cuddling after nap time is one of my favorite times. And I know it won't last forever.
* The bottom of the slide is called the 'window'- "Stand at the window, Mommy-a!"
* The boys love setting the table.
* There is slight confusion over 'garbage' being throw out and 'dirty' clothes which are washed. ("Oh, garbage Mommy'a" as dirty clothes are but in the laundry basket.
* The word the biys know for shoes is 'jama.' What must they have thought the first bedtime when we said we are putting out 'pajamas' on!
* Pretending to sleep in a box is a great photo opportunity:* Pretending to sleep on the back of the cough like Scout is another great photo opportunity:
* It is amazing how many hundreds (literally!) of people have been part of our adoption journey - that's a lot of joy to share!!
The boys LOVE the CD "African Playground" and it was playing the other night. These videos show off their dance moves! Mommy used the video feature on the picture camera for the first time and realized you can't turn the camera sideways! (I have tried to get the boys to dance again but nothing was as cute as this. So you might want to tilt your head to the left to view the videos.) You might wonder when Ryan Ephrem has socks on his hands - or maybe not! - he helped me fold the laundry, which entails his handing me one item at a time from the dryer to fold. I love it! he found Daddy's socks and came up with the idea to put them on his hands and make them talk like puppets. If you know my and Mike's connection to puppets, you'll know how great that is!
Week One - It's all about survival baby, both for us and the boys!! lots of meltdowns as the boys learn what is okay and what is not okay, have to share, and don't like being told no - regular kid stuff, hum? Establishing a routine takes a few days (because it's not a routine on the first day, is it?) Mike was figuring out how to sleep during the day (he works third shift) with two boys in the house and I was fighting a TERRIBLE cold. By the end of the week though the boys seem to be getting into the swing of life here: the realize they can color or play in the play room first thing after coming downstairs in the morning. I still spend most of my time watching everything they do because I don't trust them not to get into something they shouldn't!! And thank you Tracy and Geralyn for the play date that first week! Doctor visits and blood drawn this week - both boys are totally healthy - PRAISE GOD!
Week Two: By the end of this week John Eyob is understanding almost everything we are saying to him or asking him to do - WOW! I make my first trek to the grocery store with the boys. They love the shopping cart mock-e-naws (don't know how to spell it but it's Amharic for car) and we only buy about six items at two different stores but it is a success! We also try a few different projects involving gluing, cutting, and coloring on big pieces of poster board. I even have a few moments a day, while the boys are awake, to check email and the Yahoo Group!
Week Three: The weather is nice enough to get outside and the boys LOVE it! And they seem to have been home long enough that they are not running out of our yard and into the street. We have established consistent days we take tubs (which they could stay in for hours), which day of the week we run errands (note to self: always make the post office the first stop and not the last), and an approximate time for daily naps. And I am not completely exhausted at nap and bedtimes. I even make it to 9:30pm a couple of times! John Eyob has a dentist appointment this week (lots of decay, eight cavities in all). Kids Dentists will become great friends as we schedule the first four of eight appointments to remove, cap, and crown teeth.
Week Four: The boys are really understanding what we are saying. John Eyob is beginning to carry on basic conversations and Ryan Ephrem is super at repeating words. They play and act silly. They ask questions to verify when we are doing what (especially John Eyob). They are happy! Ryan Ephrem has his dentist appointment and wasn't too excited about opening his mouth. But the doctor gets a chance to look inside (and he was screaming) and things look MUCH better than his brother so we don't need to come back for six months.
One month down - a life time to go!
This picture is after our first day grocery shopping (and I use the term grocery shopping loosely - we went to two stores and only got about half a dozen items at each). John Eyob has a paid for sticker on his forehead. Each boy received one at the store!
Once on the plane with the seat belts on was another story! As we had been warned, they DID NOT like the seat belts and let the entire plane know it by screaming bloody murder! However, our children were not the only unhappy children, so I didn't feel all that bad!! Once the seat belt light went off, things got much better and once they fell asleep, they were great:
Ryan Ephrem discovering the music on his MP3 player. Our friend Emily downloaded hours of children's songs and the boys LOVED listening to them!
This picture is right before the start of a melt down: