Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sometimes crazy (with a rolled "r").

so after my previous 
"I'm okay, they are okay" blog post...
I realized I may be giving people an unrealistic view
of how things really are
over here in Chrissy-ville.

Please don't hear me saying I'm tripping over glittery unicorns
and blinded by the rainbows in my face all day long.


This is 12 kids.
Babycakes, this would be hard under normal,

But add to it...
three boys who have been parenting
two little girls,
two little girls who learned to manipulate and survive
with their crying and screeching...
and the cultural "okayness" of hitting,
and group-parenting...
and you've got me...
playing whack-a-mole
with the kids all day.

Stop it.
Don't hit.
Chew with your mouth closed.
You sound like cows.
Drink this.
No hit!
No cookie.
Eat, then banana.
Softee (toilet paper) NO basket (trash can).
Softee TOILET.
Use the towel.
No water on the floor.
For the love of all that is holy, aim that thing!
Don't eat playdoh.
No coffee for babies.

I'm thinking sometimes I win the whack-a-mole game....
sometimes I walk away thinking I needed extra hands.

Then there are the moments that take my breath away.

Walking outside and finding our oldest of the new kids
singing to Jesus, hands raised, eyes closed...
just worshiping.

An un-prompted hug and "I love you SO much, Mommy!" 
from two of the boys in one day!

One of the littles saying
"Mommy, I'm so glad you brought our brothers and sisters home!"

Our new 8 year old telling me I make "very good shiro!"
like Mommy is Habesha! (Ethiopian)

There was the day when our little girl squealed with delight when I made
scrambled eggs for lunch (which I thought was lazy lunch food).

There was a kiss that didn't get wiped off.

A child came to me for comfort when she fall down.

And a hundred other small things
that keep me going,
let me know it's all going to be okay,
that things are just exhausting now
because it's new,
we don't have our sea legs yet,
and lets face it...
I'm just getting the hang of this whole
dozen-kids thing!

So, don't hear me saying this is a piece of cake.
It's more like cafeteria pot roast...
sometimes hard to digest,
but ultimately...
good for everyone concerned.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Well, hello again!

Just a quick update 
while most of the family is at church
and I'm home with a couple of the littlest kiddos!

We are doing 

Granted, it's only been
9 days
since we got home...
and we are likely in a
"honeymoon" phase...
but I'll take it!!

The kids are adjusting well.
They are learning the house rules,
we've fought some battles
(that Mom and Dad have won),
and they've learned that
chewing with your mouth open
is akin to a federal offense.

They are learning to use towels in the bathroom
rather than shaking their hands and flicking water all over the walls/mirror/floor...
and they are learning that they don't need to find their shoes 
at 2am to go to the bathroom.

They are trying new foods...
figuring out that you must eat well if you want fruit after your meal...
and feeling secure that there will always be another meal coming.

We've visited the doctor with all 5...
had bone-age scans done with all 5...
are doing appropriate medications...
and have taken one to the dentist.

I've stayed only 2-loads of laundry behind all week
(which is better than I did most of the time before we came home)
and I'm figuring out the clothing situation with all 8 of the kids
that I still control clothing for.

They are learning more English,
learning to say "please",
and hitting a lot less.

We have been out to eat with just the 6 at home during the day,
and we've been to the park a couple of times.

We had a one-week visit from our favorite social worker in the world...
and I think even she thought it was anticlimactic.

So, how are we doing??

Better than I expected.

Better than I could imagine.

Better than we probably deserve.

Do we still have our "moments"?
kids will be kids.
They disobey, test limits, make bad choices,
fight and have temper tantrums.
we aren't seeing the major adjustment struggles I think I was
mentally preparing myself for.

Except for one thing.
And...this is pretty serious...
Sitting down??

Our new 8 year old
HATES chocolate.

We've been given chocolate cake,
cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, 
candies, etc...
and he makes a gagging face, wags his finger and tells me he will "vomit" if he eats it.

they love almost all protein, 
even asking for fish and eating a TON of it one night.
They love fruit and anything Italian.
After we got over the initial picky-ness,
scrunched-up faces,
finger wags and
"Mommy... this, me NO!"
at anything that they didn't want to eat...
we are having less stress at mealtimes.
Friday at lunch I had ENOUGH of the "Mommy... this, me NO." 
and I had a mini-conference with the 5 and said
"You, you, you, you, and you...
BACA 'Mommy...this, me no.'. 
THIS, you YES.
You EAT.

Oddly enough, they understood.

this rambling post is really just to say...
I don't have much blog-updating time, but I will try!
My kiddos are doing great, I'll post a full (decent) family picture soon!
Thank you all for your prayers, comments and concerns...
I'm not leaving...
just prioritizing! 

Love you all,

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Yes, we are home!

I don't have the chance right now to sit down and write what has been
going on, how well we are doing, how many people have blessed us with
food or gifts or prayers or a car seat...
And I don't have my thoughts together to write about the trip yet...
But I wanted to show you a photo taken at the airport on Friday night!