Friday, September 30, 2011

What I've been meaning to post



Carter in time-out. Coen just wanted to join him.





I've been a bit busy, but here - some photos!

Things that make you go hmmm..

We decided to hit the mall today as a family. Chris and Coen went in one store, Carter and I to another. Carter and I then headed to the other store to meet up with our guys.

Salesman: Can I help you?

Me: I'm just looking for my husband and other son
(We can actually see the entire store from where we are)

Salesman: In here? I haven't seen anyone with a kid. How old?

Me: He's one. I saw them come in here. You haven't seen a guy with a baby?

Salesman: No, (turning to his coworkers) have you guys seen a guy with a baby? - They all say no - What does your husband look like?

Me: He's a white guy with a black baby.

Salesman: OH! Yeah, they left about 10 minutes ago.

Me (I couldn't help it): So, you haven't seen a guy with a baby or a kid, but my husband and son left 10 minutes ago... thanks.

** I'm thinking he made some assumptions and was telling me that he had not seen MY husband and MY son.

Once reunited, we had a little party in Old Navy in front of a mirror

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Quote of the day

After I let Carter know it was time for bed:

C: leeb me alone mom

Me: what did you say?

C with a smile: leeb me alone mom. I'm busy.


I couldn't help it. It was too cute and funny (and daddy wasn't home
yet) so he got to have more mommy snuggle time for a 1/2 hour.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

cute quote overheard

As Carter was sitting at the table trying to get Coen to come eat with him:

Carter: Coen come eat. I sit by you. I love you.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Naptime

video

Let me explain what you are seeing here. This is Carter, climbing into Coen's crib and telling him to lay down so that he can cover him up. Once accomplished, he decides that he should climb back out. What you don't see if Carter telling Coen he will help him out of the crib once it is clear that Coen will not be sleeping. Mommy intervened.

Dance party

video

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Time bomb

I have to write quickly as the boys are both asleep (Whoooo hooo!) and I never know exactly how much time I have before one of them wakes up. It really is like a little time bomb at our house everyday. I'm notified when the fuse has been lit by a small cry or a "mom?" and I have a mere seconds to make it upstairs before that little bomb goes off and wakes up the other one :)

Anyway... things are still going great.

Coen still wants to do everything that Carter does. Even if Carter is sent to time out, Coen wants to go sit by him. It is adorable. I even thought it was cute when I ran upstairs and they both yelled "mom" together repeatedly like it was a game to be able to yell the same word at the same time. It cracked them up! Carter still calls him Kiki, but Coen responds to it so I guess he doesn't mind.

Coen's verbal skills are so far beyond where Carter was at this age that it blows us away everyday. He can repeat anything you say - if HE wants to. He loves to say "I see you!" when he hides and peeks out at you. He also says "coming" when he and I are headed to see Carter after a diaper change or nap or something. The craziest is when we are all just playing or hanging out and someone says something and Coen just copies whatever was just said, as if he is trying it out to see if he likes saying it.

They nap at the same time-ish!! I usually let Carter watch one TV show (Coen doesn't care for TV so, it's a treat for Carter that Coen doesn't miss) and put Coen down. When Carter's show is over, he heads to bed and I get an hour to 2 1/2 hours of me time.

The noise level at our home has gone from zero to 1000. No biting incidents in about a week.

Coen did have a brutal cough the first week so we went to Dr. V. You know your child is from a 3rd world country when you are thrilled that it is probably just bronchitis. He was tested for everything and was such a good boy for each test and chest x-ray. He completed his antibiotics and now we just have to wait to see how his cough is by Monday. If it hasn't improved, we'll move on to medications for asthma. We are assuming he has had this cough since before July since he had it when we saw him in July. We gave money for him to go to the doctor and were told he went and was given medicine and was fine. Not sure if that really happened or if the medical attention just wasn't any good.. at any rate, the chronic coughing has done some damage to his lungs which requires time to heal so, hopefully his cough continues to lessen as his lungs recover.

I'll post some more photos soon. For now, I have a bathroom to clean before one of the bombs goes off :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

So moving

videoThe wedding was so moving this weekend that Carter felt compelled to
sing along to the music.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

If only

videoIf only they were always so precious :) It was a rough day here since Carter didn't take a nap and refused to let Coen take one either. Thank goodness they are adorable!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

He is too cute

Which is what I tell him all day long as I'm hugging and kissing on him.




Thanks Grandma J for the photos and for spending the day with us! It was so great to have the extra hands and the boys had so much fun!

How is it REALLY going?

Good. Great. It REALLY is! The boys run and scream and laugh and take toys from each other. Occasionally there is a biting incident which we are working on and there are at least 3 times outs each day between the two of them. They are brothers.

Sadly, it seems that almost everyone I know personally in the adoption world has their Debbie Downer hat on lately. I don't know if they are jealous or simply can't believe it is going this well, but they feel the need to diagnose my son with all sorts of issues. Like, there is NO way that he could attach and adjust THIS well. Before I go into more detail, let me say this: we are well aware that how things are now does not indicate how things will always be. We are simply thankful that we get to enjoy our family right now.

That said, somethings you should know before you tell me what is "wrong" with my son's seemingly easy transition:
********************
He is 19 months old.

He was NOT in an orphanage at any point.

He lived with a woman that gave him 1:1 attention for the past 7 months

I visited him twice before our pick-up trip and the 2nd trip Chris and I spent 24 hours/day with him AND his foster mother for 4 days so that he was able to get used to us with the security of his "mama".

When we picked him up, we were sure to have him say good-bye to his foster mother - she wanted to hand him over while he was asleep - so that he could hopefully realize that she trusted us and gave him to us rather than wake up and think we had taken him.

I have in fact read many books on attachment.

The only time that we have left him with anyone was at church for a little over an hour and I spent the first few minutes with him attached to my leg until he felt comfortable playing with the other children.

**************
I really appreciate everyone's concern that Coen has adjusted so well. I completely understand that his adoption will be an integral part of his life forever and that behavioral issues might stem from this. (I also think that some times people blame behavioral issues on adoption when the exact same issues could arise in a biological child - one of my siblings was lying through their teeth at age 3 and they weren't adopted). But, I do think that we have been very blessed to have been able to provide a good home for him during the adoption process which all the books say makes all the difference. I also think that the amount of time we spent with him prior to picking him up had a huge impact on his ability to attach and feel secure with us. Finally, he adores Carter and I think they are both blessed to have a brother. They thoroughly enjoy each other and get excited to see each other every morning which I think has also helped him to adjust.

So, again, I really do appreciate the concern and hopefully you can all rest assured that we prepared for the worst and were blessed with the best. I promise we are on top of it. I even have phone numbers ready for local adoption counselors if the need arises.

Love you all - we're doing GREAT!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A broken record

I know. You're getting sick of hearing that I'm shocked at how well things are going, but I AM!

Today we took Coen to church for the first time. One of the aspects we love about our church is that they have a program for the children according to their age. So, instead of having to make sure our kids sit still through the service, we can actually enjoy it and they can learn about Jesus in a way that make sense to them (songs and coloring). We were sure that Coen wouldn't let us leave him in his Sunday school class today so we were shocked (again) when he went right in after a minute of hanging on my leg. We never got called in during the service and when I picked him up I was told that he did great and only got sleep at the end and wanted to be cuddled. Cuddled. By strangers.

I might be worried about that being a sign of attachment issues in some way, but he is soooooo certain of who mommy and daddy are and already that I'm just thrilled that he is opening up to others. He played for quite some time today with Auntie Kellie who got her fair share of hugs and Auntie Lindsey got hers yesterday. I used to say that the best we could hope for would be that he would attached to either Chris or I since every time I saw him this past year he would FREAK OUT if anyone tried to hold him other than his foster mom. This has far exceeded my expectations. He has attached to Chris AND me just as Carter has. He knows we are mommy and daddy and definitely favors us, but he is realizing who our other family members are and opening up to them as well!

Sleeping has gone amazing too - in my opinion. I was prepared for sleepless nights as they say to figure that bringing home your toddler will be like bringing home and infant and that for every month home, you should treat it as if you child is that many months old. Going by this, we should have a child waking up every few hours. We don't :) The first night home, he slept with us. The second night, he started in his crib and came to our bed when he woke up crying. The third night he fought the crib HARD, be once he feel asleep with daddy rubbing his back, he was out for 12 hours. Same last night, but daddy didn't have to rub his back as long. Tonight, I put him in the crib and didn't touch him. I just stood by his crib and he rolled over a few minutes later. I don't know that he was asleep, but he didn't cause a fuss when I left.

Amazing.

I can't begin to describe the joy this little guy has already brought us. Our house is a bring messy scream-fest with a one and two year old. As hard as the mess is to get used to, it is so fun to see these two laughing and running and screaming together. I can't believe I was worried about bringing two "only children" together. They were meant to be brothers and it is ADORABLE to see how much they enjoy each other.

Size

He's a year younger. Quite a bit shorter and has the same size feet as Carter.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A little more than a video



These boys have been running around like crazy men the past couple of days! It has been nothing short of a miracle how well Coen has adjusted to our family so far. I'm not naive. I realize that at any moment something could trigger some sort of hysteria and there is no way that we will forever escape the issues that come along with adoptions, but for now, he is a very happy, cuddly baby. What's more is that Carter is loving it too!

I had anticipated some serious jealousy and it may still come at some point, but so far, he adores Coen. No regression, no sleep issues, same ol' Carter. Coen already looks up to him and wants to do EVERYTHING Carter does. Honestly, he mimics just about everything out of Carter's mouth. Carter put a buck on his head? Well Coen is right behind him with his own bucket. We did have 4 biting incidents (we knew Coen had this tendency), but he hasn't done it in over 24 hours now and when he does do it, it seems like a basic instinct for him and nothing too malicious. He doesn't seem to do it out of anger, just out of "hey I need that toy and you won't give it to me, maybe if I bit you..."

Coen has also been fine in his car seat. I NEVER would have seen that coming! He did cry about 10 minutes into our drive from the airport, but he promptly stopped when Carter started. Carter, being the sensitive one that he is, burst into tears seeing Coen cry. This confused Coen so, he stopped ;) He's been fine getting is his seat ever since.

No eating issues either unless you count his eating anything/everything an issue, and it might be. He eats about twice what Carter eats. At first, he would stuff his face and then try to scream for more with his mouth full. We've since gotten him to calm down to where we trust him with a plate of food in front of himself and we allow him to feed himself. He always eats every last bite so I'm careful on portions, but he has even gotten good about finishing his snack and instead of reaching for Carter's bowl, he'll bring his bowl over to me and ask for more. It gets better day by day. I might drop dead from shock the first time he turns down an offer of food.

He also loves bath time now. In Ghana we couldn't get him to sit down and he would just scream as we quickly washed him. With brother Carter, bath time is a favorite and he doesn't mind me washing his hair, cleaning his ears or brushing him teeth (which clearly is a new thing for him).

Not much else to say. I'm just over the moon in love with my boys and cannot believe how blessed we are.