It is 9:09 p.m. I have five kids upstairs in bed and asleep. The kitchen is minimally cleaned up, but I still have to make three of the four lunches for school tomorrow because Sauce decided to make his own tonight (he also put away his clean laundry without being asked - who is that kid???).
It feels like 11:45 p.m.
I ran into a friend at the park today (on account of the rare warm spell) who joked with me that she is stalking my blog for an update.
There is such a mixed bag of what goes on each day, and it is against my nature not to share both. So, I'll start with the sucky, and because we are all focusing on the good, I will end with that.
Thanks for sticking with me.
- I had to get out of bed ten times last night. Maybe more. She wakes up scared to death - anywhere between two and ten times each night.
- Sleep apnea might be contributing to her night troubles and we're investigating that medically.
- I had to work hard to muster a smile for anyone this morning and there was more than one tear.
- Squirt's adjustment has manifested in fear of bad guys and often being sad when I drop him off at school.
- I am ready to fire the housekeeper. Wait, I don't have one. I cannot keep my house clean for the life of me - even to my sadly low standards.
- My new state of family-cocoon works to prevent me from seeing friends socially. I saw a couple of preschool parents by chance at the park this morning as I was trying to exhaust my daughter enough to submit to a long(er) nap (failed by the way). I realized that this has to be the new normal for now.
- I don't answer a lot of phone calls or initiate them either.
- For now, I can't handle more than finding my balance in my new normal.
- Our boys ADORE their sister. They have been the loft to my balloon when I'm discouraged. Even when she is rotten to them, they are nothing but devoted to her.
- She goes to bed without protest and has adapted to a bedtime routine beautifully.
- We are still getting meals from loving friends (we've been home since 3/29). I have already announced to all dependent parties that I have forgotten how to cook.
- Every day I take tags off of new items of clothing for Joya. And I haven't purchased a thing on my own dime.
- She lets me put "pretties" in her hair and we admire my work together.
- Through our pre-bedtime rocking chair time, she has learned where her nose, ears, eyes, hair, mouth, and fingers are. We work on more each night.
- She understands everything we say in English. I'm sure she's going to start spouting out sentences when we least expect it.
- Normally not ticklish or physically playful, today I got some full blown belly laughs when I gobbled on her armpits during a diaper change. And she wanted more. Smile.
- Despite my Beloved's busy travel schedule, I have been able to keep up with the Taxi-Mom demands of the boys' schedules.
- I take great joy in my boys' enjoying their interests. We have spring soccer going on and The Hunter and my man both read The H^nger Game$ series together (I read them last year). I know there is controversy surrounding exposing kids to this series, but for this boy it was a great opportunity to connect and talk about big life topics and I'm glad we encouraged him.
- I have great adoptive moms in my life who only need a one-sentence text from me before they call to encourage me through the tough stuff. No offense, but now I know you have to go through it to understand.
- Last weekend I was able to go to Denver to the "Empowered to Connect" conference based on the book "The Connected Child" and the work of Dr. Karyn Purvis, PhD. and Director of the TCU Institute of Child Development. I learned more about investing in my home-grown kids than I ever imagined and came home encouraged and ready to start fresh. Plus I slept without interruption for TWO nights while I was away.
- My neighbor brought me a beautiful potted orchid yesterday and wasn't offended in the least when I had to cut our visit short to put my tired girl down for her too-short nap.
- One of my very best friends here knows I'm sleep deprived and struggling to ride the waves of this new journey. Each morning she texts me an encouragement from scripture and asks how she can pray for me and if she can help me by doing a grocery run or other tangible task. Did I mention that she has six kids of her own??? I am one lucky lady.
- I could go on with the good, but I will end with the fact that this "trial" which is really such joy mixed with adjustment, has enriched my marriage to a wonderful new level. My Beloved has been transformed by the emotion/struggle/joy/fullness of our experience. He is more tender and passionate about all of us. He is quick to find humor as well as flexible to our unpredictable needs despite the demands on him to provide financially for this family of seven. Next month we will celebrate 15 years of marriage. He is the rock that keeps us all centered and I simply adore him.