Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Little Break

In an effort to maintain our sanity we spent the last couple of days at one of our state parks. The good thing about this park is that it has an indoor pool! All the boys love to swim and Juan must ask almost everyday if he can go - somehow he doesn't get the connection that it's too cold at -3 to go swimming outside! So we took a little trip so that they could go swimming and we could get away from the daily routine. It went reasonably well all things considered. We were off looking for Andrew a couple of times because he slipped out of our sight inside the Inn. He is a quick little thing when he has an idea about checking out other parts of the building on his own! They of course didn't sleep very well the first night, but were out quickly the second night. We got to eat a breakfast buffet and I could have all the crispy bacon I wanted. Dan got to work on one of those 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles for hours. So everyone got to enjoy something a little special. The boys got to help put out seed for the birds to eat. They have a great viewing area to watch the birds and squirrels come to eat. We walked outside a little, but at barely 20 degrees it's just not that much fun. And the best part is it's 2 nights for the price of 1! Now it's back to reality - work for the Mom and Dad and school for the ninos.
Here are a few pictures of the trip and a couple of other things.

Andrew is not much of a vegetable eater, so we have been encouraging him in that department. He will put about anything in his mouth, but if he doesn't like it it will come right back out. Yuck! Anyway, we had stirfry tonight and he actually ate a few pieces of broccoli. If you look very closely you can see a small piece in his hand. I of course had to bribe him with cookies and he washed it down with chocolate milk, but I still think that's progress.
Putting out seed for the birds and squirrels.

The boys in their new robes. Maicol had been requesting a robe for Christmas, but I just couldn't bring myself to pay $20 for a robe for a 9 year old. We were at Target last week and they were marked down to about $4, so they all got one. They think they are quite handsome in them. Maicol wants to wear his all day and Juan wants to sleep in his. We're still working on robe etiquette.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Proud Parents

I'm just so proud I had to share with you a special event from today's adventures. I usually let Karen do most of the blogging, but she's busy putting batteries in new toys. We all went out to eat lunch today and found some great clearance buys at Kroger (as usual). We then went to Target to check out some kids clothes that were being clearanced. It was a leap of faith, but I put underwear on Andrew this morning instead of a diaper. He agreed to let me know if he needed to go to the restroom because he wanted to be a "big boy" and only babies wear diapers. Half way through our visit to Target, Andrew said he needed to go to the restroom. We just barely made it in time, but he was proud that he didn't get his underwear wet. We went on to find some great buys on some toys so it was almost as good as Christmas but for half the price. As we were getting ready to leave the store Juan Pablo and Andrew ran out ahead of us. We were about to go out the door when I looked up and saw Andrew with his own little toy out and watering the sidewalk just outside the door where everyone has to walk! He just looked up and smiled as if to say, "Look, I didn't wet my pants!" I pointed out the event to Karen who promptly turned away as if to say "Whose child is that?" She couldn't stop laughing when we got back to the car. I seem to be the only one who can put on a stern face during those humorous yet embarassing times when one of the kids needs to be straightened out. I never thought I would say this, but I would much rather have had wet pants on Andrew. Fortunately, Karen and I have babysitting co-op tonight so Karen and I will have a few hours to ourselves to contemplate how fortunate we are that Andrew is almost potty trained.
Sorry, but no pictures available for this post.
Have a good day!

PS: If only we had been assigned girls! :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Our Life in Pictures

Since pictures are the most interesting part of the blog - here's a post with lots of them.

A drawing by Juan Pablo. I know the upper part is Santa and a reindeer. I think the bottom part is a bus, but I'm not sure.

These next three are in reverse order, but I'm too lazy to change it. :)
I read something recently about having a "Candy Cane Hunt" for Christmas. With my boys and my sisters boys going to Grandma's for Christmas in January an outside activity seemed like a good idea. Fortunately it wasn't too cold and it turned out very well. They actually hunted for them twice. The first time I had them give me the candy canes and we hid them again. At the end of the second round I gave each of them a dollar for their efforts. So the first picture is Andrew with his treasure, the second is a "hidden" candy cane and the third is the boys racing to find them.

Do you see it?

This is my Mom and the boys making reindeer's out of Nutter Butter cookies. They turned out very cute. Then we got a little more creative and made other animals and Juan even figured out how to make a car with a seat. He is the most creative of the three.



Juan Pablo

All of the boys in a big sycamore tree at Grandma's. My brother, sister and I had a picture taken in this tree when we were kids. A few years ago we recreated that, but it was alot more work to get all of us up there (and we don't quite fit like we used to)! :) So now we take pictures of our kids in the tree.

The week after Christmas we tried to go to the Children's Museum, but it was very crowded so we looked for something else to do. Jonathan's fiance suggested this park and it was wonderful! They had great playground/climbing equipment and a nature center. We can't wait to go back when it's a little warmer and not so muddy. We passed a tree that looked climbable, so of course they had to give it a try.

We're still looking for a decent snowfall. This is still a daily topic of conversation and watching the weather report on the news at least twice a day. I sure hope this isn't the first winter I can remember where we didn't get at least one decent snow.
We still see glimpses of what's going on inside their minds and that they are still trying to figure out this whole adoption/forever family thing. On the way to Grandma's last weekend for Christmas Juan asked if his foster mother was still his Mami. I told him that I was his Mami now. It's been over a year now and it seems he's still processing what it means to be adopted and having us as his Mom and Dad forever. Maicol had a dream this week in which he was taken away and placed in a different home. They were told by their foster family that if they weren't good they would be sent back, so to him I think this is still a very real possibility. He has had that on his mind alot the last couple of days. I guess the good part is that the possibility of that made him very unhappy, so he is happy to be here with us. But, I hate that he thinks that it could even be possible that he is not here forever. He has also recently been asking/stating he is our son forever and will be here forever. We've reiterated that message with all of them alot the last few days. While to us their permanence with us is so obvious to them it isn't. I think for them all the talking in the world doesn't mean much - it's the day-to-day living with us and seeing that nothing changes that is very slowly beginning to seal it in their heads and hearts.
Time for a little shut-eye. Enjoy your weekend and for those of you with snow - know that we are very jealous!