Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Keeping Busy (Long Update Post)

You may be under the impression that I have been busy with three young children who now fill my house. That impression isn't really the truth of things in fact.

See, Handsome has some time off this month. We've been able to have him home since we left for Ukraine, so I can't say that I've been handling three small children on my own yet. Sounds like Monday I will be flying solo though, so then if you see a steady increase in empty Nutella jars in my garbage can...well, you will know to send in professional help.

This all being preparation for the change to becoming a family of six in a couple of months. We like to move quickly in our family.

So, we are doing quite well and that might have to do with being able to have Handsome home so that we have all of us under the same roof. Even if he is going nuts because he wasn't built to be an at home parent, though he very much enjoys our children.

The kids all love being with eachother and it truly and honestly feels like Ana has been part of our family forever. It feels nearly as it would if we added a new baby through birth. There are moments when things aren't perfect, but it's not that different than the issues that arise with any new child. They almost all have to do with sleep =). And do you get less sleep when a baby comes? You better bet you get less than I am getting right now!

Smiles and Ana (who needs a blog name even though you know her real name because it feels weird to have her be the only one with a real name)- they get along great. They are similar in their development level, though Ana is a bit beyond him. This makes for some great play and laughter caused by the same really random stuff. Don't ask me because they laugh at things all the time that I don't have any idea about. Smiles still plays a little more destructively than Ana would like, so he gets told to "get outa here" from time to time. That's nothing he doesn't hear from Curly all the time though, so he doesn't mind much.

These two also like to trade cups all the time. That part is annoying! No matter what cup I give either one of them they always want to trade. I suppose I should just get over it, but I don't really like to have shared cups. I get uptight about germ sharing, okay.

Ana seems to love her new home and family. She enjoys meeting the people that are part of our lives and is very unlike her big sister in the area of shyness. Curly is extremely shy with people. Ana is very much NOT. She likes to climb up in laps and give hugs. I have been told that this shouldn't be allowed for attachment, but it's hard to say no when these people are like part of our family. It seems clear that she still knows who is her family, so I'm not sure it's as big of an issue for her. Maybe I just don't know much. It's possible you know =). We are a family that spends a lot of time at home and we don't go out much at all. Because of this, we get lots of time for bonding at home too. She never has issues with coming up for hugs or kisses and will walk up and "ask" for them plenty often if Handsome or I am just sitting on the couch and she wants a hug.

She does have a little bit more need for time to play on her own during the day. She plays with the other kids, but also likes to have some time in a different area of the room playing alone. She doesn't need to be in a different room, just playing something simple by herself. The other two can be a bit overwhelming to her if it's constant. Although she needs her alone time, she also does enjoy play directed by her big sister. Curly is a good "director of play" (read- bossy) and it seems that Ana responds well to this mothering. I think it's funny because Ana is a bit on the "mothering" side herself. She tells Ben what to do plenty often, which he is used to. I often wish that I could understand what she is saying to him because it's so cute with her little finger pointed at him telling him what he needs to know.

I mentioned (I think) that sleep has been our only real issue. While our new little pumpkin is still not perfect in behavior, as in she does plenty of smile at mom and do what she just told me not to do even though I know very well what she said, it's all normal stuff. She listens most of the time and I am floored at how much she understands. It seems that anything I say to her or tell her to do is understood. She may not know how to speak to me in words, but we communicate just fine. Sleep...well, she tells me that she doesn't like it in her new bed. She slept in a crib all her life and we have her in a bunk bed on the bottom bunk. When she first got home she was in a play-pen because we kept her in our room (partially because she was so sick). Later she moved to the bunk, but only after we made (Chalupa actually) some railing for her so that she wouldn't fall out or feel like she was going to. She is a crazy sleeper.

Bottom bunk came with a lot of crying at first. She didn't like it. She stayed in the bed, but she would cry for a long while when we put her to bed at night. Nap was pretty rough too. The girl still needs a nap for sure because if we skip it then she is falling asleep in her afternoon snack, literally. And in case you didn't know people- my kids are 6 PM bedtime it's not like we were keeping her up late. (An hour nap does her well just like Curly and then the go to bed at 6.)

Later, the crying was quite less but it's still there. Unfortunately, she learned that she could climb out of bed. Then it was out every few minutes after we put her in bed for a little while. At first we would put her back in bed, but then we realized that she was getting out of bed to get time with mom and dad too. I am happy to give this attention during the day, but not when it's sleep time. So, we changed to open the door and have her get back in by herself. (Bossy Miss Curly is good at informing us of the getting out of bed.) This made the getting out of bed less and it would take us about 15 minutes of "Get back in your bed." until she would stay for the night.

One night when we were going through the rough stage of getting out of bed, we heard her wake EARLY in the when it's still called middle of the night. She got into bed with his crib. He was NOT happy. We had arranged things with a sleep room and a play room because it was a good fit for our family in our very small house. We have about 1350 sq. ft. of house with three bedrooms. It's tight and gonna be tighter for 4 kids, but you make do with what you got. This was not going to work though. We couldn't have her climb in his crib for his safety and also because it's not fair to mess with his sleep. He requires a lot of sleep. (And if you don't believe me ask his grandma who didn't necessarily agree with my sleep schedule and early bedtimes until she watched them for 4 weeks and saw how much it really effects them. She will tell you he needs it.)

SO- some rearranging was in order. The girls got moved back into the old girl room, Smiles got his own room back, and the living room switched from playroom to living room again. Now the office has to be inside of the master bedroom. Toys in rooms will do for now.

Busy? Well, yes I have been. But not with adjustment. What's one more kid really? Ask me after baby comes and we will see what I say, but for now it's not much trouble with Ana. (Daddy is still home too, so that helps I'm sure. I suppose I should say ask me when he goes back to work in February.) I have been busy with rearranging and cleaning every room in our house. Including painting Smiles a new room. Here are some pictures for you.

Stars and Stripes.

I think I have an issue with stripes. Like an obsessed issue. Curly was growing in my womb- we painted stripes on her wall. Far more challenging stripes than this. I will show you photos. Pink and green and white stripes that are vertical and go through the entire room. It took Handsome's mom and I days. Smiles was growing in my womb- we painted stripes in my room. Slightly less complicated, but still vertical and going through the entire room. It was only two colors and only took two or three days. Baby number four is growing in my womb (well, third in the womb because someone else grew Ana for me)- I paint stripes in Smiles' room. FAR less complex than the others. Horizontal stripes and there are only two. Still took two days with drying times and stars that complicated things a little, but it was much easier than the others.

I think I have stripes down =). This round turned out with zero bleed through! I was so happy. Because they worked so well, I am planning on giving you instructions on how to get the perfect stripes with no bleed through- NO touch up paint sisters! Perfect stripes the first time. I even have photos for you. Also, I will tell you how to get straight stripes that are level too. It's not as hard as it might look.

Now that you have fallen asleep six times because this post is too long, I will end for now.


Vicky said...

Well, when Tom goes back to work, you know you need not be all "on your own" on Wednesdays. I'd be HAPPY to lend a hand :D

Thanks for the long update. It's fun to hear the details of how Ana's doing, what her personality is like, and how all 3 kids are adjusting and getting along. Looking forward to meeting the real Ana (as opposed to the "I'm sick, jetlagged, and exhausted" Ana).

Jenilee said...

Curly, Smiles and Sunshine :) That's my vote.

the stripes are super cute. enjoy your nutella!

Jenilee said...

and you need a name for the little sweet one in your tummy. I'll be thinking on that one. :)

Mom said...

I like "Sunshine" too! it suits her personality. I am excited for the tutorial on stripes as I have tons of painting to do at my house. It's been 12 years for some of these rooms and it shows!

Reynolds Unwrapped said...

We were also warned about attachment issues and all the "indiscriminate affection" that our first adopted daughter wanted to dole out to strangers she'd never met before! It took a long time for us to work with her, and now at age 12, she is doing beautifully well! Ana is still so young (our daughter was 5 when we first got her), and I'm sure it won't be an issue with Ana! She is darling!

Vicky said...

Oooh, I like Sunshine!!! Go Jenilee! :)

Laurel said...

I think when you get to 3 kids you are on the verge of "big family" ... when #4 comes, you'll definitely be there. So, just one encouragement from one big family mama to another ... get over the germs worries. :) It'll be next to impossible to keep 4 little ones from sharing germs with one another.

Oh ... and don't worry about the "small house". We lived in a 3 bedroom, 1400 sq. ft. house when we had 7 kids. You've got plenty of room. Now ... we are in about 1,000 sq. ft. with 6 bigger kids (incl. 2 teens).

Love the stripes. Can't wait for the tutorial. I'm planning decor for our little farm house that we are hoping to buy real soon. (oh yea ... that house is even smaller than this one.)


Laurel :)

Bethany said...

LOL we have lots of stripes here too. The nursery (was Payton's and is now Nika's) has pink - 3 shades/green vertical stripes. Finished it as I went into labor. LOL. And my son's old room had horizontal navy and white stripes on green paint ... so fun!