Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thursday Night Fun

Please note that there is a perfectly good pool right next to this mud puddle.

Homemade popsicles are very popular at our house right now. Their favorite recipe includes spinach, which is awesome since they don't generally like vegetables.
Recipe: Put several handfuls of frozen spinach in the blender (about 1/3 of the blender). Add several more handfuls of blueberries. Top with yogurt. Splash in enough milk or fruit juice to make the blender work. Blend. Pour into popsicle molds. Delicious! (You can't taste the spinach at all.)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Pictures of the Child Who Wasn't Naked

They were painting our fence with water. Other weekend activities included playing with dirt, eating dirt, adding water to dirt, dumping mud in their own hair, chasing the dog with mud... I think you get the picture. We also went to the beach (hooray!) and did a lot of gardening. I buried some peas and Atticus dug them up and returned them to me. I planted some marigolds and Norah picked them to present to me. On Saturday, Paul went out of town to visit his grandmother and I was in charge of putting the kids to bed by myself. After a brief period of scampering feet, they were quiet, which I took to mean that they must be cuddling and falling asleep (complete and utter optimism on my part). Closer inspection revealed that they had stripped off their jammies and diapers, locked themselves in our bedroom (we really need to remove that lock) and had dumped all the clean laundry out of the three laundry bins so that they could put the baskets over their heads while jumping on our bed.
Our lives were so boring before we had kids. Seriously, what did we do all day?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Lock Picking: An Underrated Parenting Skill

The last two nights, Paul and I have gone up to bed to find our bedroom locked and, once we've fumbled around with a hairpin in the doorknob for several minutes, Atticus sound asleep on our bed. When I asked Atticus about it this morning, he burst into laughter because it's such a funny trick to play. I think we will be removing our doorknob tonight

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Backyard Adventures

Grandpa Terry and Paul were hard at work this weekend assembling the playhouse that GiGi bought the kids for their birthday. As you might imagine, Atticus and Norah were a big help during the construction project.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Paul Won the Lottery!

The travel lottery at work, that is. The company will be paying for him to travel to Uganda and South Africa in July! If I'm not mistaken, the purpose of the trip is to do some work with Invisible Children and they will also have some time to sightsee. I'm so excited for him!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Step One

If you watched your children take this much joy in making mud and digging in it, you too might encourage their grandparents to buy a sandbox for your son's birthday.Atticus is a little bit obsessed with car washes right now. They simultaneously terrify and delight him. Here he reenacts the sublime in our own kitchen sink. We took the first step toward adding more children to our family tonight. (After reviewing that last sentence, I hope everyone who reads this blog will assume that I'm talking about adopting again. Otherwise, this would be a very strange thing for me to blog about.) Our new social worker (SW2) came to visit to begin updating our homestudy. Even though we've been through this process before, I still found the idea of someone coming to evaluate our home and family to be incredibly intimidating. Just like last time, I made sure the whole house was presentable and clean. Of course, our definitions of "presentable" and "clean" have changed a lot in the years since we became parents. The last time I worried because the baseboards in our unused spare bedrooms hadn't been dusted in a while. This time, I fretted a little bit about not having time to wash the sheets before the SW got here - just on the off chance that she decided to stick her hands under the comforters and discovered the havoc our new sandbox has wrought on our bedding.
At any rate, this new social worker was very friendly and chatty. She was enthusiastic and seems motivated to help us get our homestudy done quickly. She received an emergency call from another client the moment she walked in our door and by the time she was done calming down that family, half an hour later, Atticus and Norah had removed every single toy from their toy boxes, run around like crazy people playing "monster hands", and moved onto their crabby pre-dinner phase. Still, they kept all their clothing on, which I read as a minor triumph.
The visit went just fine. Perhaps because our first homestudy document contains just about all the information there is to know about us, she didn't really ask us any personal questions. She didn't even go upstairs to see our bedrooms. There were no white gloves run across our furniture, tests of our smoke alarms, or peeks inside our medicine cabinets. In fact, there was very little to write about. I didn't start this blog until we were well underway with our last adoption, however, and I've always regretted that we don't have more recorded memories of that process. So, for the sake of better documentation, here it is: She came. She saw. She didn't declare us to be unsuitable as parents. She gave us more paperwork to fill out. She left.
In answer to the most common questions, I'll say that we're hoping to adopt two more children between the ages of 0-24 months and then we will be done adding to our family. We don't know whether we'll be asked to adopt boys, girls, or one of each. Our hope is to have our dossier ready to turn in by early this fall and then we're currently being told that it will take about four to eight months for us to receive referrals (when you find out who your kids are). The Ethiopian government is currently in the process of moving to require adoptive parents to travel twice (once for the Ethiopian court date when the children are legally adopted and once for the American embassy date). Nobody knows yet how that will affect the speed of the process or the time that elapses between the referral and when the children can go home. Paul and I would like very much to be able to take Atticus and Norah to Ethiopia with us for the court date and then stay there until the embassy date, but we'll have to see how events unfold for other families before assessing how feasible that will be for us.
Fasten your seatbelts, everybody. We're in for an exciting ride!