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Turkey’s – what you gotta know

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Photos

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In line for santa

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Basketball

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First day of school

It’s been a long time

I can’t believe that it has been since July. This is bad. There is a lot going on – some good, some not – but it is what it is.

Nathanael started Cornelia. It’s a good fit. Academically, he is stagnating a bit, but in other ways he is thriving. He is developing terrific leadership and centering skills. The best compliments I get:
>”Your son seems so confident.”
>”Your son checks in with everyone in the class and just has this quiet, kind leadership.”
>”Your son connects on a level beyond most 6 year olds.”

I am sure he will need therapy at some point, but if we can keep him on a trajectory where he feels comfortable with himself, we’ll be thrilled.

K was traumatic for him and us. We did get into the Spanish immersion and had planned on sending him. Two things held us back: he didn’t want to go (it’s very upsetting to see him so upset) and I was having some nasty work shit go down and I couldn’t get my head around it. Probably the driving factor – we wanted him to feel part of a local community and Cornelia is a community school. I didn’t want friends to be 20 minutes away. While everyone is deep in hibernation mode right now, I do see a community building and forming. I love the Cornelia parents. We went to a fund raiser and it was so much fun. The parents were cool, it was nice to step out of the bad work juju (and feel NORMAL) – loved it.

We totally followed the bus the second day. We were so nervous that he would get lost in the big school. It didn’t help that when the bus driver picked up the Lilly and N – he was like, nop – I have no record of K’s here. I wanted to get on that bus and put my arms around his face and speak to him very, very slowly. Fortunately, he eventually found them on the bus list (who knew?).

N is doing basketball. This may be his sport. As he brings the ball up the court, seems like a natural thing for him to do – he passes well and takes good shoots too. He got so many baskets last night that everyone STOPPED clapping which REALLY pissed me off. Hello? Everyone deserves their moment in the sun, let’s give it to a Kinder. N continues to dislike swimming intensely and gymnastics is a maybe.

Christmas was delightful. It was great to be at home for a few weeks and have everyone connect with one another. The down time was amazing. We all just thrived in it. To have moments to breath and just do simple stuff was amazing.

New Years we had friends over, was super fun and the kids went downstairs and played. I feel so fortunate to have so many wonderful people in our lives. It’s amazing.

January hit with a force. It’s been awful, awful cold. Not good. 5 snow days! Never does this happen. Work was crazy and at one point, I realized N hadn’t showered in 2 weeks. But, we are onto Feb now and hopefully things will be calmer.

3 months

I hope to someday look back at this blog and use it to jar my memories and I know I will need it. Because right now, I can barely remember our phone number.

What’s been going on . . .
>First tooth lost, some of the 6 year molars coming in, and baby teeth are looking tiny. All good, brushing teeth is a daily struggle but we are getting there. He likes going to the dentist.
>Baby talk regression. Quite a bit of it lately. I googled it, it seems to bug the crap out of many mothers (in addition to being a normal development stage). It doesn’t bug me and if he needs to step back, I’m happy to go along for the ride. Lots of – when I was a baby did I say dah for daddy etc. I get it – transitioning school, teeth coming out, rocking the academics – I’d revert as well. I think at times, we’d all like to be the baby. The good news is that I think he has lots of positive, nurturing baby impressions so that be all right by me.
>Learned to ride his bike without training wheels in May. This took about a week, we were all motivated (some boy teasing got him there faster . . .), he was a happy young man(baby).
>Lots more thoughtful, inquisitive questions e.g., mommy, how do babies get out of momma’s tummies? (I punted but need to google a better response.)
>did a week of camp kipi yapi and he adored it – full of mosquito bites, some color, and just big big fun.
>soccer this year went really well – not so much last year. He had a really nice team – great coaches, he loved it and I was so happy for him.
>temper is starting to be an issue. He gets pissed at me and pissed at himself when he can’t achieve self-defined goals. I think he is our Mayan warrior. He needs to learn to manage this better. He can go to the dark side.

School
Still on a wait list, Cornelia is the community school – I think we’ll really like the school if we end up there.

15 days of Montessori left – gonna break my heart. But he’ll get there.

Big 5

It’s been an exciting few weeks with Nathanael and watching him navigate has been a roller coaster.  

Look mom, no training wheels.
N can ride a bike with no training wheels.  We thought about doing it last summer but since he wasn’t pressing it, we didn’t press it.  But, he was starting to feel sheepish – we put it into high gear.  I’m glad we waited.  I am sure he could have mastered it last summer but I think the extra maturity made for a quick transition.  In less than a week he went from wobbling, mom running beside him, not figuring out how to stop with the pedals (I think someone misdirected him to put his feet down to stop vs using the pedals and then feet down) to pretty much having mastered it.  He def wanted a bit of help but was pretty quick to be adamant that he wanted to do it on his own.  The good news is that he was appropriately diligent – not freak out, blow a gasket crazy.  Last night he took a bit of spill but we’ve been lucky on the scraps.  Starting up provided to be a bit harder than the actual biking but we’re looking pretty good and N is pretty happy.

Mom, Don’t be Blinded by the Sparkly Vest
N had a dance recital yesterday.  We decided to sign him up this year because a few of his other buddies were in the dance class.  He really rocked it.  I can’t say I’m in love with silver-sparkly vest they gave him (I took it off in the car at home, didn’t want the all-boy neighbors to mock him) but the routines were great.  He genuinely enjoyed the experience and it was really fun to see him on stage.  They had a rap routine (complete with break dancing), a sweet Cinderalla routine, and then a rock routine.  I loved that she did special things for the the boys but I would have wanted the girls to do the break dancing and air guitar as well.  

We’re lucky, N is actually quite easy to parent (so far) – but the bike riding and stage performance were real highlights for us.  I think both Joe and I wanted to cry when he rode the bike on his own. I think they may be bigger life moments for us!

Transitions

Soon N will be transitioning out of his lovely, amazing Montessori.  Well, in 3 months, but the end is nigh.  He gets that he is moving on, thrilled to be starting kindergarten and probably ready.  The school has a too-small playground and the posse gets a little too aggressive at times.  We were so fortunate that there are 7 boys who are less than 6 months apart in N’s class.  The boys had a great year and have good energy together. I’m not sure N really grasps that his buddies won’t be there next year.  And, he’s had an AMAZING teacher group the past 3 years.  It’s too much to hope that he’ll always have such rock start teachers but we know this sets him up for a good trajectory.  

But, as it relates to transitions, I think N knows he’s ready for the next thing.  When I went to college, I was READY.  My mother, who pretty much never cries, hugged me at the car and cried.  I was completely unprepared for this as I was just so jacked up to be at school.  I didn’t expect that from my mom, who is generally a very go with the flow kind of person.  Maybe that’s how N will feel.  He’ll be so jacked to go to K that perhaps he won’t think about the missing.  I hope this for him.  And I hope K that we end up sending him will get him be another experience where I see the sparks.  Lately, he’s been all sparks.  He does maps of the world – sparks.  He’s reading very well – more sparks.  He’ll ask what does X mean? Sparks. I see his brain churning, processing, and sometimes stopping (when it’s gulping too much).  

Our school choice is one that I’m not loving.  I am a bit wary of our local school (only because I’m not sure it’s a good fit for N, but I know it’s a good school and I think we’ll have to make it work).  If we had money to burn, I’d probably consider a private school.  And that’s odd coming from me as I am generally a huge believer in public schools.  However, this montessori experience has shown me the benefit of purposeful teaching.  It’s not just the montessori method that is great, but it’s how his teacher uses it to each child’s benefit.  She’s knows their minds and how they process things.  She knows their hearts.  She balanced the person N is with academics.  I’m not sure the way schools are run these days will allows for this.  I hope.

Almost

Nathanael is almost – almost done with Montessori, almost able to sort of swim, almost a kid (but still wanting him to be my “big boy”), almost so much.

We have a silent Ghandi on our hands. When I seem to have entirely pissed him off (for things like asking him to get dressed or eat breakfast in the morning), he goes into this sulk mode where all he will do is sit in the living room and not move or look at me. I try to ignore it but if I ignore it too long, a toy will start to get kicked across the room or I will hear a little “hrumph.” This will continue to escalate, albeit very slowly but methodically. Then I am torn between standing my ground and actually making it to work on time. At a certain point, I can put him on my lap and give him a hug. It’s interesting because I can tell he is of two minds – he loves the comfort but recognizes that I am the one who has pissed him off. I try to talk it out but it can be a lot of drama before breakfast.

N is usually a pretty even tempered kid but lately I am seeing more angst – it must be a developmental stage because he seems more tired and hungry. And a little bit bitchy. He even ate, and asked for, a plate of scrambled eggs yesterday. He hasn’t done that for years. I think it’s another sign of this “almost” stage.

I am glad we waited a year for K though I fear he’s in for a dull year (he is SO excited for K and I can only hope it isn’t too disappointing). Academically, he’s ahead but I can tell that new situations continue to unnerve him to his bones. I think this year is giving him the tools to start to learn how to manage new situations – though it just about kills me to see him so, we’ll, so freaked. I totally get it but I think we need to be more proactive in coping strategies.


Little E



This is an outfit we sent him!

Process

Application to agency: 2/7/07 Dossier to agency: 7/30/07
i171h: 9/6/07
Referral: 9/13/07
POA to Guatemala: 9/28/07
DNA auth: 11/29/07
Enter family court: 12/18/07
DNA test: 1/16/08
Birth mother interview: 1/16/08
DNA test results to embassy: 1/23/08
Registered with the CNA: 2/11 (grandfathered in)
Exit family court: 2/11/08
Pre-approval: 3/6/08
Enter PGN: 3/12/08
Exit PGN: 4/16/08
Adoption decree signed: 4/17/08
New birth certificate: 4/22/08
New passport: 4/25/08
Orange: 5/5/08
2nd DNA Test: 5/8/08
Pink: TBD
Embassy appt: