Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Daring Rescue

No the grandparents aren't back in town and I really don't have time to blog. This story, however, is just so good that I had to find the time to chronicle this latest adventure in Mamaland. Today, I was giving the girls a bath and took off my wedding ring as I often do before I shower. During the bath, Junia, who is prone to all things dramatic, got a tiny bit of soap in her right eye and all hell broke loose. I had to pull her out of the tub to calm her down even after I had washed her eye out many many times. I then had to pull the Little Bear out too even though her bath wasn't really done because I couldn't leave her in there alone while I dressed the Big Bear. That's not the end of this blog-worthy story though.

After dinner, we were getting the girls ready for bed. Davis was dealing with the potty business while I turned down beds, made the bottle, etc. From the bathroom, Davis called me and said "I think I know what your next blog post is about..." Davis happened to do a poop check when Big Bear got finished doing her thing (why he did this, we don't know ... he normally doesn't do this). Underneath a nice big poopie was something very sparkly. That struck my very observant husband as a bit odd. He asked me if I had anything sparkly that was missing. It was at that point that I had a "Oh #@!$" (literally and figuratively) moment as I looked at my naked left hand.

My wonderful husband then turned the toddler teeth brushing over to me (also quite a challenge) and proceeded to pilfer the garage for suitable tools to play "Go Fish" for diamonds in a pond of Baby Ruths. He triumphed victoriously thanks to a thin dowel rod he found. He managed to fish the ring out without having to actually touch the poopie. He also cleaned and disinfected my ring before giving me the spoils from his valiant toilet raid.

Did I mention that I know Little Bear has a fascination with toilets? I am constantly saying "NO TOUCH" in every restroom we find ourselves in. And yet I left my wedding ring at toddler height near an open commode. Not a smart mommy. Thanks to Superdad for the daring rescue.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

At Least It's Not Wiggling...

I'm sneaking in another 10 minutes when I really should be working. It's difficult when you are so dog tired at the end of the day to force yourself to then start "job #2". Such is life as a working mommy. Here are a few more nuggets...

Ethiopian Adventure: Love At First Sight ... Or Something Like That.
When we got married, we opted to take pictures before our wedding. I remember that it was so important to me how Davis' first viewing of me in my wedding dress was staged. I wanted that moment to be so special and memorable. In many ways, I think I had similar feelings and emotions as we prepared to stage meeting the girls for the first time. It just felt so monumental. Luckily, we were prepared to not be greeted as warmly as blushing bride by our new children. If Davis had burst into tears and screamed when he saw me on our wedding day, that might have been cause for concern. In an adoption situation, this is often the normal type of welcome you get from your new child who doesn't know you from the stranger on the corner. We got to gradually introduce ourselves to the girls because we came a week prior to our placement. The first time we saw them, Junia was really scared and not very interested in us. The second time we saw Eden, she screamed her head off the entire time we tried to hold her (a precursor of things to come). On our third visit, we actually took them back to the guesthouse with us. They screamed a fair bit on the way out but finally calmed down once we got back to the guesthouse. The day after we brought them to the guesthouse they both came down with acute gastroenteritis. Both of the little ladies threw up and had diarrhea all over everything for days. I am totally serious when I say that we were basically trapped (because you can't leave your guesthouse in Ethiopia until you actually leave the country if your kids are under age 4) in a room and covered in barf for a week. All I did was wash out puke-covered clothing in the sink for days. Talk about a crash course in parenting. At one point, we thought we had hit a lull in the storm and decided to take a family nap on the bed. As our exhausted clan drifted off to sleep, Eden abruptly pulled herself up off my chest and threw up on my face. Thank God my mouth was closed. Poor Eden was in such bad shape that the doctor gave us some suppositories for her to stop her fever. Try to picture two yuppie newbie parents who had to Google whether or not to use baby powder when changing a diaper sitting on the floor in the middle of the night with a barf soaked baby trying to figure what to put where and how to make what you put where stay there. It was an absolutely crazy and trying time and one we won't soon forget. '

Yuppie Goes Mama - C+
I'm finishing up this blog post almost a week after I started it. Such is life in the toddler time warp where "free time" is a nonexistent commodity. Thank God we have had grandparents here over the last week or so. Free childcare rocks (and means that the forsaken blog might get another 10 minutes of action)! I've now inhabited Mamaland for 1 month. We brought the girls home exactly one month today. I can't even begin to describe how blessed we have been to have children that have transitioned so easily and so smoothly. I know there are lots of adoption horror stories out there but thankfully that has not been our story. Our girls are very bonded to us and yet they have also been able to develop appropriate relationships with other important adults. (They LOVE their grandparents!) They "play well with others" as the report cards say and are generally two very happy little girls. Junia has recently learned the word "hug" and will often look at me with the sweetest look on her face and say "Mommy...Hug!" and stretch her arms out to me from her carseat while I'm driving. It makes me want to pull the car over! Eden is the bravest little girl you will ever meet and she will try anything. She epitomizes the idea of "no fear" (we're not sure if we'll always find this charming!). Bottom line: The girls are doing great.

When I reflect on how I'm doing, I am finding that being a mom can be very difficult for an overachieving, type-A personality (this is not a huge surprise). There are the obvious control and mess issues (those actually aren't too bad and my house is not the trash can everyone warned me it would become), but another significant issue has been the constant exposure to failure. It's hard to end a long day and feel like you didn't do as well as you would have hoped and to have this happen more often than not. I find myself getting C+ grades in my own mind and that's hard if C pretty much means F (that's how we type-A's think). I'm trying to be more prayerful as I approach mothering in the hope that God will transform my meager efforts for "the least of these" into something beautiful for Him. The main thing I have to pray for is patience. I've always lacked that and that lack is painfully obvious now. The hard thing is that with two toddlers, finding God can be pretty tough too. His voice seems to get drowned out by the "Mommy" Chorus more often than not. One other funny thing I've noticed about being a mom is that you are sweaty a lot. When you are hoisting 50 pounds up and down all the time, you seem to go just about everywhere sweaty. Weird. Maybe it's just me.

Here's one final funny story since who knows when I'll blog again (that's really up to the grandparents!). A quick bit of background to this story is that we had a friend who came back from an African mission trip with a small bump on his arm. When he squeezed it, a worm crawled out. Enough said. So here's the story. The other day a friend and I took the girls to the park. Junia and Eden were on the last day of their anti-parasite meds (aka "deworming pills") at this point with no creepy crawlies to speak of. Junia bumped her lip going down the slide and I noticed a few minutes later that she had some blood on her top row of teeth. I proceeded to examine her mouth and noticed this nasty white "thing" hanging off her top lip. I tried pulling on it - nothing. I tried to scratch it off - no go. I asked my friend Christy if we should go see the doctor. As we looked again at "the thing", my response to Christy (who was more alarmed than I was at that point) was "at least it's not wiggling". I guess that's the point you get to sometimes. You are grateful for the little things.

(No, it wasn't a worm. It turns out it was nothing more than a bit of skin hanging off of a little bump on her lip that had ruptured in the slide malfunction.)

Here are some pics from Easter Sunday with the little ladies.