If You Give a Sky a Camera

May 30, 2014

If you give a Sky a camera, you'll end up with some great pictures of Mama, Daddy, and Fire...


... a picture of our vacuum...

...a picture of the chips Sky wants for a snack...

...the makings of lunch...

...and your brother's favortist thing in the world right now!

If You Give a Sky a Camera

If you give a Sky a camera, you'll end up with some great pictures of Mama, Daddy, and Fire...

... a picture of our vacuum...

...a picture of the chips Sky wants for a snack...

...the makings of lunch...

...and her brother's favortist thing in the world right now!

Sky Plays Soccer

May 27, 2014

Sky played soccer again this year. Kwaj has great programs to start kids in sports early and we've done the soccer program before. Sky enjoys it because it's something that she and I do together and because she's watched me play soccer for two years. D came along and got some pictures of her last practice:

One of Sky's favorite parts of soccer practice was shooting goals because I would play goalie for her. She loved trying to kick the ball past Mama!
Recieving her certificate from Coach Jason

D brought Fire along to Sky's practice- turns out that along with being ridiculously photogenic, that kid is a natural with a soccer ball. He watched the big kids kick the ball for a little bit then grabbed one and dribbled off. He had really amazing ball control! Guess who's going to be in soccer next year?!


I Wish

May 23, 2014

  We are just starting the process of potty training Fire- not by our choice but at the encouragement of his pre-school teachers.  As with sky, Ms Carmen thinks that Fire is ready and since she spends all day with him, we're letting her go ahead with it.  Unlike Sky's potty training, we're not pushing it at home.  I should have stood my ground and waited to potty train her like I wanted to.  We were still in the process of attaching and going through her terrible twos at the same time, what was I thinking trying to add potty training to it?  It became our battleground and I hated it.  Unfortunately, by the time we got deep enough for it to be that battle, we felt that we had to stand our ground.  And we did eventually win, but at such a cost that the relief in the house when Sky did decide to use the toilet was so overwhelming that it felt like a giant weight had been lifted. 
  I wish. I wish I'd trusted my instincts more with Sky, at least when it came to potty training.  I wish I'd been easier on her about a lot of things.  I laugh a lot more about things now and when Fire acts out, throwing, hitting, spitting, and shouting "No!", I take it much more in stride.  We were so strict with Sky and just didn't know how normal that was.  I always thought it seemed so purposeful and called it defiance.  Not that Sky hasn't always seemed older than her age and more self-aware than Fire, but now I'm questioning how much of that was her just being two and how much of that I caused with my behavior.
  I wish.  I wish I hadn't had such high expectations of her and taken her behavior so personally.  I wish I had been more understanding of her and babied her longer.  I feel like I made so many mistakes with her.  Believe me, we have let go of many of the expectations that we held over her, and over ourselves, and we're trying harder to just be.  Sky is fine, really perfectly normal, despite my pushing, strictness, and anger.  But I look at pictures of her when she first came home and want to kick myself for not babying her more, not loving on her as much as I should have, not letting her have her way when it really didn't matter.
  I wish there were more ways to make it up to her.  I'm trying to go easier on things that don't really matter.  I'm trying not to nag her and to find better ways to correct behaviors that we want to change.  I'm trying not to push her to grow up too fast and to not expect more from her than I should.  Old habits are falling away but I still wish...

Adoption and Citizenship Update

May 22, 2014

  We're getting closer to starting the Big Wait, the wait to be chosen for our next child.  We had our homestudy last weekend and it's ready to be sent to our coordinator.  We took advantage of a great deal on Shutterfly and went ahead and ordered our profile books.  Our background check and fingerprint request was recieved by the FBI and is in process.  When I called them the other day, they said that our coordinator should get the results in about three weeks.  We're so close!
  We're also in the process of filing for Sky and Fire's US citizenship through the N600K process.  We have all the paperwork ready- all that's left is to print the photos and get the paperwork notarized.  I hope to get the package in the mail next week.  Family friends that have gone through the process have told us that it'll be about nine months until we get our appointment date, which will be about three months after that.  All together, that means that Sky and Fire could be US citizens by this time next year! 

Falling Back in Love with Kwaj

May 19, 2014

  D and I have been having a hard time appreciating Kwaj lately.  I think a big part of it is our itchy feet and desire for a challenge.  We haven't had one for a while and we're starting to get a little more irritated at the little things here.  But lately, things have been really good and we've been starting to remember why we love living here so much.
  This past weekend was a perfect Kwaj weekend.  On Saturday evening we had friends over for dinner and really fun card game called Cards Against Humanity (it's really terrible, you should try it!).  We had so much fun just laughing and talking, telling stories, and just spending time together.  Sunday morning was church for me and the kids and beer-brewing and meat-smoking for D.  Both kids took naps after lunch so at about three in the afternoon, I found myself doing the last of the cleaning I wanted to get done before our homestudy, with nothing else left to do.  The notion of free time is still pretty strange so it took me a little bit to decided what to do.  I finally settled on paddleboarding.  It was a beautiful day, sharp, clear, and hot,with just a puff of a breeze.  It felt so good to be out on the water, to be able to kind of center myself before the homestudy, which I was pretty nervous about since it was our first.
  Of course, there was no real reason for me to be nervous about the homestudy- even that was done Kwaj style.  I  had asked the counselor here to come over for dinner, both because we like to feed people and because I thought that would give her the best opportunity to actually see us parent.  It went really well, no deep probing questions that we couldn't answer, just a new friend over for dinner.  Marion said that she would email us with any questions and that she'd have the homestudy written up by the end of the week.
 Monday started pretty early so by about 8:30 the kids were listless and whiny.  D had something to do that morning but before he left, he got out the bounce house and the kids and I set out around the neighborhood to invite all the other kids that live nearby to come play at our house.  We ended up with a crowd of five 4-year-old girls, one 4-year-old boy, and Fire running around playing chase and jumping in the bounce house.  When the morning got hot, I rolled up the bounce house and pulled out our slip and slide (still the best $17 I've ever spent).  All the kids ran home to put on swim suits and then came back and played for another couple hours.  It was so great to have Sky and Fire occupied and having so much fun with their friends.  I love that that kind of morning was so easy to put together and that it went so well. 
  Monday evening was the last Kwaj Running Club fun run of the season.  Sky ran the half-mile again and did great.  She came in at 5:04, effectively running half of a 10 minute mile.  Have you ever been so proud that you thought your heart was going to explode?  That's how I feel when I see my big girl do something like that.  She did it by herself too- D ran behind her but didn't hold her hand or coach her and she ran the whole way, never stopping.  Such a big girl!  A few minutes after Sky's race finished, I settled her and Fire into our dually jogger and ran the 2-mile fun run with them while D did the 4-mile run.  It felt like my legs were made of lead and like I was practically walking but the clock said 19:02 when I crossed the finish line, which means that I pushed 63 pounds of babies for two miles at a 9.5-minute pace.  A great end to a great day!
  There are still thing that bother us about Kwaj: how slow mail can be sometimes, the lack of variety at the stores, and the fact that pretty much everything is run by the company here, but there are so many great things about this place... it was nice to see them with new eyes again this weekend.


May 13, 2014

D had a little helper while making beer...

and again while making my Mother's Day breakfast
The yacht club here had their annual Sunfish Day, where they take out the 1-2 person boats and take people out on rides.  The kids are getting a little bigger and we were really excited for this event- it seemed like a great way to introduce the kids to sailing.

Fire and D heading out with our friends Dan and Karen in the Hobie cat

This sweet girl was not happy about having to wait her turn

but decided she didn't wnat to go when her turn came.

The kids LOVE helping me vacuum!  And they though vacuuming inside the dryer was really fun.  I sense a weekly chore in the making...
Goop!  Sky has been having some anxious moments lately and we're working with her teachers at school to find ways to help her deal with them  One of their suggestions was to give her some more tactile activities, so one afternoon after quiet time, I made goop for her out of water, cornstarch, and food coloring.  She had a great time so I think we'll do that again soon.

Happy Mother's Day!

May 12, 2014

Silly Kids and a Silly Mom

May 6, 2014

These days, when it's quiet you start to wonder what the kids are up to.  Sometimes they're playing quietly or looking at books.  And sometimes they're doing headstands.


Sky is learning to swim with a mask and snorkel and the (still too large) child-sized one we ordered arrived in the mail the other day

  So that's my silly kids, now for the silly mom.  Thank you, wonderful readers who've signed up to keep on reading when we took the blog private!  I really do love knowing who's reading and I'm over the moon about the reasons we decided to go private (hooray for more babies!) but... vanity, thy name is Amber.  I'm sure a lot of the page hits and reader numbers were fake but it was pretty neat to see them creep up, from 4 readers a day to over 100.  It's been hard for me to see them go back down and I have to keep reminding myself why I have this blog: to help remember our family moments and to celebrate adoption and connect with other adoptive families not so that I can extra special or popular.  The realization that my blogging here was such a validation for me has been a bitter pill to swallow and I'm having trouble making myself blog without it.   Please be patient with me, my friends, as I get back into the swing of blogging and back to doing it for the right reasons.

Fire's Family Day

May 3, 2014

Happy Family Day, Fire! I can't believe it's been two years already. You make all our lives brighter!

Family Day 2013

Meeting our boy for the first time in 2012

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