Nervous and Other Thoughts Right Now

  Both D and I are nervous these days.  It doesn't keep us up at night but we have a bit of apprehension about how our lives will be changing soon.  We fervently hope that the change will be for the better but there's so many unknowns right now.  Auntie, Uncle, and the kids are flying back to Majuro next week, so that Uncle can go to the hospital there and plead his case directly with the referral board.  If his referral is denied or put off, their son in America is working towards flying them to Indiana to stay with him, so hopefully soon Uncle will be getting the dialysis he needs.
  Any day now, Fire's birth mother Elizabeth and his sisters (Ilani and Susan, I think) will be arriving.  They'll be staying in Jobe in Auntie and Uncle's house here, so that they can be with Jobe and near Fire. 
  Please don't misunderstand me, we are happy that Fire will get to spend time with his birth parents and more of his siblings, but their moving here does make D and I a little nervous.  We have no idea what kind of relationship we'll have with them.  D is concerned that they'll ask us for things like phones or money- they did once in a letter, so there is a little precedence for it.  Funny story about that: the letter was mailed to me but written in Marshallese so I had to have Auntie and Uncle translate it for me.  They were reading it in Marshallese and then telling me what it said in English but then stopped translating what they were reading and their faces got really angry looking.  They wouldn't tell me what it said so I took the letter back and figured out for myself that they were asking for a PSP or an Iphone.  When I asked Auntie and Uncle to confirm that that's what the letter said, they said over and over how mad that made them.  They were mortified that they would ask us for something like that.  I know from later conversations that they called Elizabeth and Jobe and gave them a bit of talking to about the letter, but I don't know how that will affect things after Auntie and Uncle go to Majuro.
  Another concern for me is the fact that Elizabeth doesn't speak any English.  Jobe does but it's not entirely appropriate for me to talk to him all the time.  Plus, I want to be able to have my own relationship with her, not one that's filtered through someone else.  I'm doing my best to see this as a positive opportunity to encourage me to really get back into learning Marshallese.  I've started studying with the LDS missionary sisters again but because of the holidays, we haven't been getting together lately.
  A big joy in the family's move to Ebeye is that Fire's birth-sisters will be coming.  I think Susan is the younger one and she's only a year older than Sky (I think Ilani is around 7).  It will be great to have more kids Sky's age for her to interact with and I think it will help encourage her to start responding in Marshallese as well, especially with Auntie and Uncle to translate for her.
  Life is a journey, a move from one season to another, and the best we can do is make the best of every one of those season and journeys.

In other news:

-Fire learned how to climb out of his crib, so we took a side off and put up a rail to keep him from falling out.  He's gradually learning to stay in his bed and leave his sister alone but sometimes he ends up sleeping with her.  That's a pretty sweet thing to find when I go in to wake them up in the morning.

-Fire has also started potty training.  No!!!  Okay, not really, but I did want to wait longer to start him.  Ms Carmen at the daycare thinks he's ready so we're sending him with pullups.  Hopefully since we've got one potty training battle under our belts, this one will go smoother (and less like a battle?).

-Sky is *this* close to learning to ride a bike without training wheels.  We're going to practice again this weekend and then maybe take off one wheel next week.

-Sky's behavior has been fabulous lately!  Fire is really trying to provoke her these days (because it's fun to poke a lion with a stick, right!?) and she's doing a great job of ignoring him and using her words instead of fighting back.  We're trying to make a point of telling her how proud that makes us.  We're still giving pennies for good behavior and we added two for getting herself ready in the morning.  Sky's not much of a morning person so that one is a struggle.  She just earned another prize for getting all 44 pennies from our penny jar this morning: a half-hour playing on my tablet.  I'm so happy that we've found a positive way to motivate good behavior.

-D and I are both happy that we made it through 2013.  Not that it was ever in doubt that we would, but man, that was a tough year for us.  It turns out that we're not very good at "just being".  We've got two big trips planned this year and we're going to be making some big decisions this year too so that puts us back on some familiar footing.

-The kids' Malaysian visas were approved and hopefully their passports are on their way back to us.  We're flying to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur for a two week vacation in March.  We'll be seeing shows, going to Universal Studios, visiting zoos and aquariums, camping in the jungle, and shopping.  Look out south east Asia, we are coming!


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