4, 3 And Under

December 26, 2012

   Four babies: a 3-year-old, a 2 1/2 -year-old, a 1 1/2-year-old and a 10-month-old, all in matching jammies.  Chaos ensues!

Merry Christmas, from our family to yours!

Road Trippin'

December 24, 2012

   From Omaha, we headed to my mom's in Iowa for Christmas.  This was our second big (4-hour) drive with the kids and we were hoping that it would go smoother than our last one.  On our way into Omaha, I spent the last half hour sitting in the back between the kids singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" to keep them quiet because they'd had enough.  By now, they'd spent a little more time in car seats and we were a little more used to it.  We had a late breakfast at a McDonald's with a playplace and then hit the road.  It took us about two hours longer than usual to  make the drive but all in all it went well.  Fire slept for most of it and Sky's able to entertain herself with the books and toys I had loaded in her backpack for her.  We've got quite a few more of these to go and hopefully they'll all go as well as this one did.

 So much for our "travel light" theme!  The combination of kids and winter put a pretty quick end to that.

 Look who got a lollypop for the drive

 Fire's version of road food

So far, Fire is about 60/35/5 for carseats: 60% of the time he sleeps, 35% of the time he fusses, and 5% of the time he's happy
Here's the 35%

 And here's the 5%

 D loving some gas station coffee

...to Grandmother's house we go!

D's New Tattoo

December 23, 2012

   D has an arm of tattoos for family and he added Fire it while we were in Omaha. His friend Dave K did the work (he's done most of D's tattoos) and it came out beautifully. We've been joking that the tattoo came out so big that we can't have any more kids because he doesn't have anymore room on his arm.

Sky's First Time Playing in the Snow

December 22, 2012

We made it to Omaha just before the roads got really awful. There were already a few inches of snow on the ground and Sky was antsy from sitting in the car for so long so D took her out to play in the snow. She'd been in a little bit of snow when we were in the states last time but now she's really old enough to play in it. She had a great time making tracks and throwing snowballs. I'm really looking forward to getting to my mom's house where she can get out and play in the snow more.


Catching Up in Omaha

  We've been pretty busy here in Omaha, seeing old friends, doing some Christmas shopping and finding fun things for the kids to do.  D got a new tattoo, we met friends for dinner and Sky and Dplayed at the hotel's indoor water park. 

 I think Fire needs a haircut if it's getting long enough for Sky to put barrettes in it

 What's missing from this picture?  My friend Andrea.  She was going to meet Fire and I for lunch but the roads were awful, so I had lunch with my best boy.  He's starting to eat real food and loved the cheddar biscuits at Red Lobster.

 Sky kept wanting to go to the water park but when she was there, she spent a lot of time standing in the water just looking at things.  She'd never seen anything like the water park before and didn't know what to make of if.

 D and Sky on the park's lazy river.

I took the kids to the Omaha Children's Museum today and Sky loved it.  Finally, a place where she could run around anywhere she wanted and touch everything!  She played there for two hours and even made a new friend.

 D's meeting some old friends this afternoon and tonight and the kids and I are going to see a friend I used to work with.  We're heading to my mom's in Iowa tomorrow.  The drive should only take about 4 hours but adding in extra time for kids and weather, I'm guessing we won't get in until dinner time.  Let the Christmas-ing begin!

Driving Ahead of the Snow

December 19, 2012

  D called me from town and said there was a big snow storm coming up north and that it might be a good idea to pack and leave this afternoon.  His folks live in the country and he and his dad had taken the kids into town to a playgroup.  D said he would look into renting a larger vehicle for us, since we were borrowing his step-mom's Versa, and I got right to work packing us up to go.
  It was actually way easier than I thought it would be and I had everything ready to go by the time they got back to the house.  D's dad had rented us a Jeep Grand Cherokee- not 4-wheel drive like D wanted but better than the Versa.  We had lunch together and then packed up the car and were on the road by two.
  This was our first big drive and it went pretty well, considering that the kids had never been in carseats for this long before.  Sky is big enough that she can see quite a bit from her seat, so she does okay but Fire can't stand to be in his for very long.  He did well enough until we hit the snow-slush south of Omaha.  Then, of course just when D had to concentrate on driving, he started crying and getting really mad.  I ended up climbing into the backseat and sitting between the kids to try and keep him occupied.  It only worked so well but we did finally make it to our hotel.
  We're doing several long (4 hour) drives this trip and we were a little anxious about how they would go.  Our kids just aren't used to sitting still for long periods of time and we didn't really have a way to prep them for it.  We were all ready for the drive to be over by the time we got to the hotel but I think we'll be able to do this a few more times.

Fire says, "Buckle up Mom, I got this!"

Happy Birthday Sky!

Sky is three! We celebrated throughout the day, with special pancakes for breakfast, noodles and edamame for dinner and presents from morning till night. It was a good day, happy but quiet.

The present landscape before Sky started opening them. Since she's the oldest and the only girl, she does pretty well on her birthday.

Sky insisted on changing into this dress before she opened any other presents. It's an up-cycled T-shirt that I bought from an adoption fundraiser (email me for info).

Presents are best displayed on our heads

Who's a princess? Sky's a princess!

Whoops, forgot to get a picture of the cake before we cut into it. Sky picked out the funfetti cake, pink vanilla icing, and white icing decorations. It also has star sprinkles around the outside (althoughthe don't really hide the fact that I forgot that it takes two cans of icing to ice a double-round cake)


I don't know if any cake made it in Fire's mouth but lots made it on his face and in his hair

Someone With Questions

Barbralisciously, I just found your comments from August.  They'd been moved to my spam box by blogger.  Please email me (my address is on my profile) and I'd be happy to share more with you about our adoption and about adopting from Ebeye vs Majuro.

Merry Christmas to Me

 D gave me my Christmas present early- a Galaxy Note tablet!  I love it!  D sent me into a BestBuy to pick out the one that I wanted.  He was a little sad that it wasn't a surprise but I'm happy just to have it.  I haven't had my own computer in years so it's nice to have something I can personalize and the Note is just the right size.  I'm getting a lot of use out of it here where we have internet and I'm looking forward to using it when we're traveling too.

Jet-lag, Monsters, and Grief

December 18, 2012

  The kids have been hit by jet-lag fairly bad the last two days and it's manifesting itself in different ways for each of them.  Sky is seeing monsters all over her room whenever we put her to bed.  Even our old trick of giving her a Leapfrog book to listen to in bed isn't helping.  We've had to take her back to bed about five times each night.  D can usually come up with something to make the monsters go away better than I can- last night he walked her around the room looking at everything that she thought was a monster and talking about what it really was.  He told me later that he even had to open the small fridge that his step-mom keeps clay in.  We'll try that again tonight but since it worked last night, we'll probably have to come up with something new for tonight.
  Fire of course can't vocalize anything that's wrong in any way besides crying yet so he's doing a lot of that.  Last night he was up until almost midnight. At first we thought it was because his nap schedule was off and he just wasn't sleepy yet but as it got later, we realised that wasn't really the problem.  He would alternate between dozing on my shoulder and jerking himself around in my arms and when I cradled him across my chest, he would sob like he was in pain.  We ended up setting his pack'n'play up in the laundry room and letting him cry himself to sleep.  He was so tired by then that it only took about five minutes.  Shortly after he fell asleep, I realized what we were really dealing with.  It wasn't teething or an off-kilter sleep schedule, it was grief.  We went through the same thing shortly after he came to us.  Once again, everything is wrong.  He misses home and Ms. Florina and he's telling us that by making himself inconsolable.  We don't really like having to let him cry it out so hopefully he'll start feeling better about things soon.

Dillon's Makes Me Want to Cry

December 17, 2012

   We stopped at a Dillon's Supermarket on our way home yesterday.  While it really hasn't been that long since we moved out of the country, I was still a little floored at everything you could buy there.  We hit their cheese section for some Irish Dark Beer Cheese and some Idiazabal, bought Kettle chips, Coke in glass bottles, baby food, chocolate milk for Sky and some wrapping paper.  D asked me before we checked out if I wanted anything else and I couldn't think of a single thing.  I don't miss the big-ness, the 10-of-everything-ness of stores like this but it was wonderful to be someplace where you could find pretty much everything you were looking for.  If you want a certain lotion, it'll be on the shelf.  If you run out of formula, they'll have your brand in three different sizes.  I've gotten used to not having that kind of availability but boy, do I miss it!

 Look at all that baby food!
All the oils available on Kwaj would fit on one of these shelves

 Now that's a produce section!

Sky says, "Hmm.  What should I pick?"

Coming Home

   We flew into Kansas on Thursday and have been having a great time at David's dad and step-mom's.  Their house has always felt like a home to us and we finally feel like we're on vacation.  With the exception of a doctor's appointment on Friday, we haven't had to be anywhere at any specific time.  The kids have played with Grandma and Grandpa, we've eaten out, we've taken naps.  We've been to grocery stores and to a Super Walmart and been overwhelmed by all the people and stuff here every day.  Fire has learned to crawl and Sky thinks there are monsters in her bedroom here.

Our babies in winter clothes:

 Thanks fairy godmother!

Fire napping on Grandma

 Sky spends a lot of time reading here

 She goes for walks with Grandma and Grandpa

Brachio, their Great Pyranese, loves Sky

A sweet moment on a drive

Our Charmed Life. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.