Monday, June 28, 2010

Progress & Tidbits

Things are most definitely different around here and although it may be too early say, we are making progress as a family.  We are savoring every moment of parenthood.  I haven't written specifically about the boys yet, so I thought it might be nice to share some fun tidbits.

From the pictures we had before traveling to Ethiopia, I would never have suspected that Boy O had such a sense of humor!  He loves to joke around and fill the house with laughter.

Baby O can hold and control his own bottle now.  Hallelujah!

Boy O is learning English so fast-his first full sentence was "Daddy, you are stinky!"  (In Daddy O's defense, we had just run 14 miles).

We are not sure if Baby O recognizes us yet as his parents, so we have instituted a rule that no one else besides us and immediate family members hold him.  This combined with more time spent together, we have noticed that he can recognize our voices,  is smiling more for us & less for strangers, and is finally reaching for us.

Someone actually (I'm not pulling your chain!) asked me if Daddy O and I planned on telling the boys that they were adopted.  In hindsight, instead answering with laughter, I wish I had said something like "No-don't say anything to anyone!-they have no idea."  Anyone else have any funny/interesting comments they have gotten on this subject?

This family has a serious addiction to cheerios!  You know it's bad when the dog even recognizes the big yellow box and they are mentioned before meals when we give thanks.

Daddy O's motorcycle is a constant topic of discussion for Boy O.  He wants to see his Daddy ride it so badly and when he was told that it needed a new battery, he immediately ran into the kitchen and retrieved 2 triple A batteries from the junk drawer.

Baby O is pulling himself up and standing-he climbs over everything.  I am finding it hard to keep up....

We have a 'thing' after dinner now-if Boy O eats a big meal, he demonstrates how strong he is and struts around until you feel how big his stomach has gotten.  This is really cute at home but has proven embarrassing in public ("Mommy, look-BIG stomach!).

At some point in the future, I'm sure Daddy O will look back on the day that Boy O locked the bathroom door with no one on the other side as humorous.  Of course the key was nowhere to be found, so a trip to the local home improvement store ensued.

We can't tell what Baby O's future profession might be just yet, but are sure that 'negotiator' would fit Boy O perfectly.

Baby O has 5 teeth completely in and 2 more are on the cusp of coming through.  He loves to chew on everything except his teething toys.

The first trip to the dentist went great-Boy O does not have any cavities and he did great for the X-rays and cleaning.

We have slept through the night for the last week now without Baby O getting up once-of course I probably just jinxed it.

The training wheels on Boy O's bike have come off!  He also loves to accessorize his bike-it has a tall orange flag, license plate, spiderman bell as well as all the earphones from the plane trip wrapped around the handle bars.  I like to refer to it as boy streamers or  boy glitter.

I would say that the sprinkler in the back yard was a success! I just hope he doesn't catch a glimpse of the neighbor's pool.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Speed Demon

Who needs a garmin to pace us during our runs when Boy O is always looking behind him and saying, "C'mon Mommy! C'mon Daddy!".  I admit that trying to push a stroller, run, and take a picture at the same time slows me down a bit.

Can you believe that he stayed on his bicycle for 3 + miles while we ran?  Even more amazing was that he was disappointed we didn't go further.  This is definitely our son!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Chip on My Shoulder

It hit me like a ton of bricks on Tuesday night-Daddy O's absence that is.

He began his overnight trip at 3:30 that morning and by 5:30 that evening, I was exhausted, had cheerios in my hair, banana on my shirt and seriously questioning my sanity.  I hadn't been overly concerned about the upcoming trip and really hadn't had any doubts about being able to handle things. I realized that evening that I had been going about my daily business-playing with the kids, making sure their stomachs were full, doing dishes, laundry...etc with a chip on my shoulder, thinking I was doing everything.  That chip could not have been further from the truth and as I lay in bed that night between bouts of Baby O crying and cleaning up after Doggy O's cheerio laden sickness. 

To my husband, partner in crime, and best friend (aka Daddy O)-you are an amazing father, you do so much and sometimes I don't let you know that enough.  Just as you pace me in our long runs, you seem to pace me through each day when I speed up or start lagging behind.  The last seven weeks has only been the beginning of a crazy, wonderful adventure and I've loved every minute of sharing it with you. 

Happy Father's Day.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Running with Children

We didn't start out as that crazy, obsessive running husband and wife duo, but over the last few years and three marathons later, I have a feeling we have probably earned that title.  So it probably isn't a huge surprise that purchasing a jogging stroller took months of research.  There were so many things to consider:  Did we want a double jogging stroller? Fixed wheel?  Brand?  Online or in-store?  After going back and forth and looking at jogging strollers A-Z, we finally decided on one jogging stroller-having reasoned that:

1.  Boy O might not like the jogging stroller (Baby O might not either, but at least he would not have the ability to unhook himself).

2.  A double jogging stroller would only last a year at most as Boy O would probably surpass 50 lbs soon.

Reason # 1 was unfounded-As we arrived at the guesthouse for the very first time with Boy O, he immediately spotted a battered old baby stroller that had long ago been donated for traveling families.  He had never seen such a contraption before, was instantly intrigued and being pushed in the stroller was one of his favorite activities besides soccer.  Once Daddy O and I tired of pushing him in the stroller, he convinced other children and eventually the guards to push him around the courtyard. 


Reason # 2 is still true-he still has about 10 more lbs before he reaches the stroller limit, but if he keeps eating the way he does, it will not be long.  Plus, running around with a single stroller is hard enough.  I cannot even imagine having to push a double.  So we bought a used one from one of our neighbors and it seems to be doing okay, although I don't think it would make it through training and a marathon.  We might just have to buy another one.

Finding the time to run has turned out harder than I expected, but we are trying to make time each afternoon and Saturday morning.  Finding the inspiration to run has been the most challenging aspect as this month has produced more rain than any other this year.  I thought at this point that I was over being a 'fair weather runner' but the motivation is just not there when you look out the window and see the gray, overcast sky and rain. I was reading a friend's blog a couple of weeks ago entitled 'Juneuary' and 'How things get done' and it really hit home.  It also helped me realize that I CANNOT let the weather get me down, I CANNOT teach my children that just because it's raining, we can't go outside and enjoy it and if we did activities that we enjoyed before children, we should keep doing them after (and with the) children.  So this week we found ourselves putting on our raincoats, zipping up the rain cover on the stroller and running.  I don't know if we can run a marathon as a family, but we sure are going to try!  So far our longest run has been 10 miles and with a bag of cheerios and a juice box, anything seems possible. I will keep you posted on our progress. 

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Back to the basics

In my previous life as a competitive gymnast, I remember the month of June as the month of 'going back to the bascis'.  After months of weekends on the road traveling from meet to meet, we finally ended our competition season (our parents breathing a sigh of relief) and instead of learning new tricks-we would work on the most basic and seemingly boring (to us at least) skills.  Forward & backward rolls, front & back walkovers, cartwheels and endless handstands.  We groaned at the thought of repeating a simple full turn on the balance beam and making sure our legs were straight and toes pointed as we transitioned to the high bar.  Only after thousands of these skills had been repeated to perfection and our bodies knew how to do the skills in our sleep could we begin to work on more difficult and thrilling skills. As basic as the drills were, our coach knew that in order to build on our old routines our bodies and minds needed a 'touch up' to prevent us from getting sloppy in our performance.  The discipline gained from the month of June allowed us to gain endurance and strength, learn new skills safely as well as prevent injuries.  It may have seemed redundant then, but as I reflect back on that time, I am reminded of the past few weeks.  Just as in years past, Family O has gone back to the basics.  Instead of rolls, cartwheels, and handstands-we are learning the skills and routine of being a family.  To everyone peering in, it may seem repetitive and somewhat odd that we seem so scheduled, but our basic routine has been so important in establishing a good relationship and bond with our children.  The last year or more has been in constant motion for these two.  I don't know if anything has been consistent or stable in their lives and the 'routine' has allowed us all to get to know each other better without wondering what is going to happen next.  It has allowed us to see what (very technically speaking) the 'baseline' behavior is.   Things have been working out wonderfully so far-I can see that there is a certain amount of comfort for the boys with our schedule.  Even so, I can tell that the trust isn't completely there yet-it's going to take time.  We have noticed that new people and new situations in and outside the home cause an increase in anxiety and we will need to monitor future interactions with others very carefully.  That being said, nearly one month to the day of arriving home-we let our hair down so to speak on Friday and deviated from the routine and it was as fun as learning a back handspring back in the day.  Instead of just the basics, we ordered pizza, rented a movie, stayed up a bit later than usual and although Baby O stuck to the regularly scheduled program, we had a fabulous time saying 'yes, you can eat this with your hands' and seriously rocked out to the movie Madagascar 2.  Who knew that hippos kissing could be so funny and Mommy and Daddy O dancing to 'I like to move it, move it' could induce such giggles?

Each day the basic skills we have been working on become old hat and we will be able to branch out more and more, but for now working on being a family is our number one priority.  It's going to take more than a month of the basics to learn that Mommy and Daddy O will be there for the long haul and that Family O is here to stay.