Monday, July 30, 2012

Coffee Break. Now with extra exclamation points!

Jon took the kids to the zoo today.  We got a membership on our last visit, since it turns out that if you visit twice a year, it's cheaper that way.  I said I would stay home and vacuum.  And I will, I will!  But first I had to make a latte!  And check my email! And read everyone's posts on facebook!  And put on some music! 

When the kids first got home, they couldn't stop themselves from pushing buttons.  I don't mean that they were purposefully annoying us--although that's somewhat true as well--I mean that the coffeepot, the dishwasher, the Kitchenaid, the lights, remote controls, EVERYTHING with a button, a  switch, or on/off button had to be repeatedly tested.  For example, it took about 10 days before I was successfully able to run the dishwasher, because they couldn't stop themselves from pressing the buttons again while it was running, which would cause it to cycle off.  And after Sasha's first encounter with the vacuum cleaner (it makes noise!  it has attachments that can be swung at one's sister! it can grab shoelaces!), we hid it, and I only bring it out when they're gone.  As for the latte maker, they keep asking what it is, and I keep saying, "Nothing."  Or, "It's broken."  Or, my personal favorite, "I don't know.  Hey! Who wants some yogurt?"  And since the first morning home, Inesa was trying to help me make regular coffee, and dropped the pot, which shattered, we've not been making coffee at home at all.  Today is the first time I had the presence of mind to actually USE the latte maker while they were out.  I am happy.  And peppy!  Turns out when you go from having several cups of coffee daily to having it a few times a week, the whole "caffeine is a drug" thing becomes more obvious.  But hey!  I will vacuum faster! 

Let's add a few photos, shall we? These will be repeats from facebook, but I know not everyone is addicted to is on there. On my birthday last week, we took a hike on the Salmon River Trail, then drove up to Timberline and walked uphill to play in the snow. And then we had dinner in Government Camp with our friends who live up on the mountain. It was a great day. I am so glad they enjoy the outdoors. And while not perfect, their listening was good enough that we feel comfortable taking them out again. As I told Jon, I've taken middle schoolers hiking who struggled more with following directions and being responsible.

I can't even tell you how happy this photo makes me.

They both like to ride on Daddy's shoulders.

After dipping our toes in the river.

He likes to climb.

Friday, July 20, 2012

photographic evidence that Jon is the better parent

Jon and Sasha making me a birthday present.

In the meantime, Inesa is playing games on my phone.

MIldly Brutal Honesty

Okay, we've posted here and on FB about the cute things the kids do (and their photos--they really are adorable, am I right?) and the fun activities we've been up to.  But it's not all like that, as any parent knows, then imagine the added complications of not being able to communicate, not knowing what "family" means, etc.  So I'm just going to share a few of the "other" truths about our lives right now.  Not all of them, because we value our privacy around here.  But for example...

Our kids have too much screen time.  Because it gives us a break.  I think this is true of many families I know, but it BUGS me, having been raised without a TV and having aspirations to not fall back on that so much.  The first thing they want in the morning is not breakfast, but our smart phones.

The only forms of meat they eat are hotdogs and Tyson breaded chicken.  Both of these are disgusting in their own right, of questionable healthiness, and completely ignore any values we have regarding how meat is raised.  However, I serve one or both of these daily, because otherwise all they'll eat is fruit and ice cream and yogurt. 

I'll spare you the random peeing stories, but just be aware that we have random peeing stories.

Oh, and other than the kids' two forms of meat, Jon and I are living on food our AMAZING friends have given us.  It is so wonderful to have heat and serve meals ready that are tasty and healthy and made with love, without actually having to make them with love.  Basically, I have no idea how single parents do it.  Right now we have two adults at home full time, and we are barely keeping ourselves in clean clothes and dishes, the house is a mess, we're not really cooking, we're not socializing (except for play dates, where our kids start out shy and cute and wind up kind of wild and overwhelming), and the only time we have to ourselves is during our weekly therapy appointments, while our kids terrorize whatever family member we've persuaded to babysit. 

Next: back to our regularly scheduled reports on our cute kids and the fun times we're having with them.  It's true too, just wanted to pull back the curtain a bit on "the rest of the story." 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Appreciating the huge leaves at Tualatin Nature Park.

Noticing that dogs give kisses with their tongues!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Starting to begin to think about possibly starting to begin to settle in.

Just to let you know how we're doing now...

The first day home was really rough.  We got in at 1:30 in the morning and got home close to 3:00, I think.  The kids did not go to bed until 3:45 the next afternoon.  We were completely wiped out and they were completely out of control.  My saint of a mother-in-law came and stood guard for a few hours so we could get to sleep, but I'm afraid it was not the best introduction to her new grandchildren.  The jet lag is way too slow in ending for them--the slept 12 hours that first night, which means, yes, they woke up at 3:45 am.  Yesterday they went to sleep at 5:30, then got restless around 2:30 am and got up at 4:30 am.  Today Inesa fell asleep at 6:30 and Sasha at 7:00, so I'm hoping we'll actually get to sleep until dawn tomorrow.  In the meantime, Jon has some sort of vicious stomach thing going on and has been confined to bed the last two days. 

Nonetheless, the past two days have been better than that first.  We've taken walks on the nearby nature trail, and it's clear that once they are more able to follow directions like "Don't get too close to that steep dropoff" and "Don't push your sister into the fire," they will LOVE hiking and camping.  They've met their (same-age) cousin twice and are thrilled with her.  Yesterday we all got together at a playground and had lunch, and today I took the kids to meet their cousin and her dad at Gabriel Park's kid pool.  They practiced their little bits of English, and in the car on the way home asked me a few questions about vocabulary.  We made cookies today, and Inesa said, "Mama, you know how to make soup AND pancakes AND cookies!"  Inesa went to Winco with Jon yesterday, and Sasha went to Fred Meyers with me today.  They both do well in the store, lobbying for items that catch their eye, but not whining or trying to grab things.  We went to the library yesterday, where they were thrilled to check out a stack of books.  They each checked out a pre-school kit, and today realized that Sasha's contains 3 magnifying glasses.  They invented a game where I hid both of their new stuffed dogs (presents from their cousin) in different places in the living room, then led out a series of real and false trails to them, using our stash of corks we keep meaning to recycle.  Then the kids would come in with their magnifying glasses and use them to follow the trail.  Later, they both took their dogs up to Papa, to guard him and keep him company while he was feeling sick.

The lawn is mowed, our dear friend dropped off a stack of freezer meals this evening, and the general level of mess and grime in the house is high, but livable.  The kids fell asleep on the couch, and then Sasha slid off.  I left them their portable nightlights, so when they inevitably wake in the night, they can light their way up to our bed, and clamber in and elbow and kick us, and we will be glad to let them.