Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Recap

Okay, so I can't believe that you guys haven't called me out on something. I started this post mentioning the boys and only then did I notice that the boys' initials are S&M. Seriously, I can't believe I never noticed this before! So there is no way I can continue to refer to my boys as S & M and from now on S will be known as Chipmunk (a nickname we call him because of his massive cheeks) and M will be Monkey (for those that know him, no explanation is necessary; this kid climbs on everything).
So it's has been 2 1/2 weeks since I last wrote. In between me being sick (2 of the last 3 weekends) we've had a blast. It's amazing how much happier the boys are (and me too) when they can get outside during the day. While Stu and Chipmunk's garden has been suffering from the lack of recent rain, the boys have been making the most of the dry weather, spending about 8 hours outside every day. Seriously. We've been swimming a lot too and Chipmunk is so close to swimming on his own. If he gained a little bit of confidence he would be a little fish. So I think next week we'll start the swimming lessons.
This past Tuesday, Monkey celebrated his 3rd birthday! I can't believe my baby is getting so big! We actually had the party for him 2 weeks ago because the in-laws were out of town on his actual birthday. So Tuesday we gathered several little cousins and headed to Chuck E. Cheese for lunch. It was a lot of fun and right up the Monkey's alley. He had never been before and LOVED being able to climb on everything and play the games. That night we had a little party for him with some family members and opened all of his presents. At the beginning of the day he wasn't quite sure what to think of the whole birthday idea. But by the end of the day he was loving it! Whenever anybody told him happy birthday he would tell them "happy birthday to you!" And I think Chipmunk had just as much fun as the birthday boy because Monkey doesn't grasp the fact that the presents were just for him. He would unwrap them and immediately hand them to Chipmunk so he could play with the new toys too. I love it that they are both so good at sharing (most of the time).
I'll add a few pictures of the birthday boy and big brother but you know the procedure - I'll take them down after a day or two.

*Photos removed

Onto the adoption front, we've had some news from our region. There have been some families that have been having difficulties in the region (not region problems, just isolated difficulties) so we've been holding our breath, waiting for some updates. We are thrilled to say that the problems have been fixed and there are several new happy families. However, we also heard that the MOE in our region is going to be virtually closed for July and August. Which means that it will be September at the earliest before we hear about a referral. I find this a bit funny for two reasons. First, when we started this journey we tossed around the idea of holding our dossier so we could get a referral around September but then decided to go ahead and submit to get a referral ASAP, thinking we would travel early summer. Ha! Also, with the Monkey's adoption and this adoption, Stu has tried to plan everything so we would not travel to Russia during winter. We've been to Russia 4 times: October, November, December, January. Stu does NOT like cold weather and tried everything to time this adoption so we would travel during warmer months this time. Doesn't look like that is going to happen. Double ha! (Sorry honey! But anybody that knows me knows Stu's desire to plan everything drives me insane!)
So anyway, I was a little surprised in my reaction to this news. I wasn't the least bit upset or anything. I simply said "okay" and adjusted my expectations a bit. I think at this point the adoption just seems like this distant dream that Stu and I talk about but don't really expect to happen. I think we'll be completely caught off-guard when we do actually get a referral.
Also, I have to say that I'm loving this new plan. We had assumed that we would have HotDog home by August and I would be busy with her. However we're still several months away from that, and I just realized that while the boys are in school (Chipmunk will be going 5 mornings a week and Monkey will go 3 mornings per week) I will actually have 3 mornings to myself!!! I will have time to run errands without them, I can clean my house, I can go to the gym...the possibilities are endless! I don't think I'll know what to do with 3 mornings to myself but I'm sure I can find something to keep me busy;) And I know this will only last for a few months until we bring HotDog home and then I'll be busier than ever.
Now I've got to go and catch up on all of the blogs that I've missed over the past few weeks. That should keep me busy for awhile.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I Promise...

to have a new post up within the next 24 hours. Between being sick, celebrating M's 3rd birthday, and just dealing with daily life I've gotten so far behind on so many things. It has been a busy few weeks but I will be back with a recap soon.

Monday, June 11, 2007

This and That

This might seem a bit jumbled but just a few thoughts floating through my head...

So I just looked at the calendar and realized that it has been 7 months since we sent our dossier to Russia. Now I realize that 7 months is not that long to wait for a referral, especially when requesting a young girl. However, in both of our previous adoptions, we had our boys home by the 7 month mark. I am not whining about the wait right now, just sad to realize how much the tide has changed in Russia since our last adoption. Hopefully we'll hear something in the next few months. In the meantime we're starting to update some paperwork. Sigh....

On the positive side, little M was discharged from his OT. His therapist feels (as do we) that he has made vast improvements with most of his sensory-seeking behaviors and no longer needs weekly management for them. We will continue to work with him at home with some of his bigger issues but we've really just integrated parts of his OT into our daily routine so it's not that big of a deal. While we will miss seeing Ms. Kristy on a weekly basis (and I'm a little afraid that he'll revert back to some old habits without her continual help) I am so proud of the little guy. With a lot of hard work on his part, he has made such amazing progress over the past year. His OT also said that we may see a lot of regression after we bring HotDog home from Russia, at which point we can bring him back in for a re-eval. Honestly though, I feel like we can handle most of it on our own, but it's nice to have that back-up.

Also, I only have a few weeks left of work before I join the ranks as a SAHM. It's funny because I've always dreamed of being able to stay at home with my children. But now that the time is rapidly approaching, I'm a little hesitant to actually make the big leap. It's not like it will be a big change since I only work 2 days per week right now. It's not as if I'm really dedicated to the work I do either. I think it has more to do with the fact that I am a person that loves routine; I like knowing what I'm going to be doing each day (and I definitely will no longer be able to do that when I'm at home with a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old everyday). I like knowing that I'm going to have at least two days of interaction with other adults during the week. But of course, I am really looking forward to having some great time with the boys before school begins in August. I think I'm just going to have to push myself out of my little self-induced coccoon I tend to wrap myself in.

Have I bored you enough yet?? I am working on a post with a little more depth to it - about if/when to share with others that the boys were adopted. But right now I need to actually do some work in the few short days I have left at this job.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Cue the Chirping Crickets

No news on the adoption front. And to be honest, we don't expect to hear anything until the end of next month.
But we are having a great summer with the boys. We have been going swimming, going to the park, visiting friends and family, working in the garden (okay, I know Stu will call me out on this one since technically I will not work in the garden; hated doing it as a child and refuse to do it as an adult. But I will cook all of the yummy food that Stu and S have been busy watering each night. So that is my contribution). Hopefully the next couple of months wil be more of the same (which makes for extremely boring blog posts...sorry).
One exciting development: We became great friends with our interpreter while in Astrakhan during both adoptions. She is currently studying the US on a scholarship. And we finally made plans for her to visit us during mid-July! We can't wait to see her again; she's been through so much with us and we consider her part of our family. She's also going to drive to our agency's picnic with us which is 5-hours away. She has no idea what it is like to drive 5 hours with our two boys (not to mention the return trip a few days later). She's excited though so I won't dampen her enthusiasm yet.