Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Happy Anniversary

Nine years ago I married my best friend. I can't say that the last year of marriage has been the most romantic in our history; between trying to complete a seemingly impossible adoption and then - holy cow - actually parenting four children it's been an endurance test. Paul has been juggling working full-time at a demanding job while also going to school. His schedule has been bone-crushingly exhausting. We've had at least one child in bed with us almost every night. Lots of nights one of us ends up sleeping as a refugee in one of the kids' beds so that there's room in our bed for a parent and child(ren). It's been a wonderful year and I'm so grateful for all the blessings we have, but it hasn't exactly been a pleasure cruise.

However, going through these tests has just made me love Paul even more. He's exactly the right person to be married to when the rubber meets the road. Did you know that Tiruye had some pretty strong parental favoritism when she came home? At 21 months-old, we were her fifth home and she'd always had female caregivers. She latched onto me quite quickly as her life raft. She didn't have a very big vocabulary, but if she'd had there would have been a lot of four-letter words directed in Paul's direction. She was having none of it. It was painful for both of us, but especially for Paul. I've read about parents who have responded to rejection by pulling away emotionally. It's understandable. Paul, however, worked so hard to love her through it. Someday when both of us are gone, I hope Tiruye inherits his wedding band, because the number of games of Find Papa's Ring that he played while bonding with her was monumental. He danced to "Call Me Maybe" about five thousand times while bouncing around with her because it made her laugh. The poor man walked around barefoot an awful lot just because his daughter loved taking off his shoes and socks and allowing her to do so was a way of meeting her at her own comfort level. Now, ten months after coming home, Tiruye is Paul's biggest fan and she loses her mind with excitement when he walks in the door. How could I not be madly in love with someone who would go to those lengths to strengthen his family?

Paul devotes himself passionately to our family and is a faithful friend. Even with his punishingly busy schedule, he spends quality time with the children and checks up on people he's worried about. He sometimes comes home from working all day and volunteers to take care of the dishes and nightly cleanup so that I can get to bed. That is true romance. I look back and think that we were practically babies when we started dating at eighteen, but I'm so glad we did. He is exactly the type of partner I hoped for when I imagined living out the rest of my life in partnership with someone. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Tubing



I'm not proud to admit it, but I seem to get more cautious with each year that passes. I once loved sledding and skiing (terribly) and now the thought of hurtling down a slippery slope makes me terribly apprehensive about possible injury. Atticus and Norah have been begging to go tubing this winter, however, and I'm so glad we went today. Tegegn and Tiruye fell into naps simultaneously (an extremely rare occurrence) and the big kids and I hurried to sneak out of the house to the park. We had an awesomely fun time and the kiddos even climbed up the snowy hill carrying their innertubes without any problems. It was such a nice afternoon that I wouldn't mind if we have a few more snowy weekends this winter to repeat the adventure.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

I'm So Far Behind...




















Have I really let two months go by since I last posted to this blog? The blog that is my only form of baby book for any of the kids? I guess I really have been a little bit busy. My apologies to Facebook friends and Instagram followers who will surely recognize all the photos above. My real camera lies dusty on a shelf and I'm hurting for new original pictures to post.

Imagine I blogged all about Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and a handful of birthdays. We gave Atticus and Norah Razor scooters and Tegegn and Tiruye received balance bikes. To combat the craziness that comes from being cooped up inside during the winter, we're letting them use their vehicles in the house. It's been a very popular decision, but visitors enter at their own peril. This is a heavy traffic zone.

Completely unrelated to his beloved bicycle, Tegegn tumbled off the couch and bonked his head on the coffee table and needed three stitches a couple of weeks ago. I thought the emergency room doctor was being exceedingly tolerant searching up and down the arm Tegegn presented to him seeking the boo-boo, and then, after several minutes of looking, the doctor realized that the chart had indicated that the wound was on Tegegn's eyebrow NOT elbow. It wasn't the most confidence-inducing moment I've experienced in the ER - especially since Tegegn's forehead was caked in blood -  but the stitches came out with hardly a scar, so the doctor must have done a good job after all.

The big kids are losing teeth at an alarming rate. Norah has declared that she is going to be a tooth fairy when she grows up.

The little kids were not at all pleased by snow when it first fell. Tegegn stuck his finger in it, pulled it out, and exclaimed, "Mama, YUCK!" Tiruye hated how the snow stuck to her mittens and made them dirty. Both kiddos insisted on being carried outside for the first few days. They've adjusted, however, and now enjoy the twenty minute process of getting bundled up so that they can wander around in the snow for five minutes and then come inside to have hot chocolate.

Life is very busy and loud. Too busy and too loud sometimes. However, there are so many moments every day that melt my heart and make me grateful to be raising the family we have. The sibling dynamic that has developed between all four children is remarkable to see. For the first few months after they got home, Tiruye was not at all keen on her older brother and sister. Now she routinely follows them around and requests that they help her with tasks like getting dressed. All four of them are generally very good about playing together and the love they have for each other is evident. I can't adequately express how happy that makes me. They are a very good crew and we are very lucky parents.