Well, today marks 3 months as a family of 5. Laugh at me or not, but it really took me almost the whole first month to realize that this family of five included three kids aged 4 and under. It was chaotic, but not like what I expected after hearing people around me (whose kids are close in age and whom like to throw those type of statistics around :) talk about the craziness that ensues. I don't know...maybe it's called lower expectations, or a more easy going nature, or maybe just not expecting so much out of myself or the kids themselves except for them to be themselves, learn how to share space/toys with each other, and allowing them each to adjust at their own pace.
In the last month, Luke has made great strides and shows great pride in his "big brother" role, plus he turned 5! He really enjoys telling people about how he is a big brother now and him and I have had many conversations about why the girls are living with us now; the possibility that the girls could eventually go back home; how he would help and why we can't help their mom and dad; and how he never wants the girls to leave now. If you were around the first two months, you know that during that time there were many conversations that went "I love my little sisters" one minute to "I don't like having little sisters! Send them back!" the next so he has made tremendous progress! :) He also started kindergarten in August and as with everything...it has taken time for him to transition, but we just came off of our first WHOLE good week so we're hoping that he is finally settling back in to routine again...what more could a mom ask for! :)
Big sis (age 2 1/2) has made so many subtle, but great strides since coming to live with us that my heart just swells with pride for her! When she arrived, she maybe had 10-20 words and everything resulted in a scream/tantrum with the word "MINE!" yelled at the top of lungs! Every.single.thing went in her mouth (no matter how gross!) and she was constantly spitting at Luke. Let's just say I was so caught up in their arrival, the changes taking place, controlling interactions between all of the kids and trying to make sure I was doing everything (paperwork/appointments) that I was supposed to do, that I was not completely aware of just how tremendously behind she was with regards to her behaviors. After the first meeting with a screener (about 1 1/2 weeks in), it became quite obvious to me...and then after several more meetings with other screeners, it was even more obvious, but by that point she had already begun to make loads of progress. Oh, she is still behind in many areas, but the girl can share when she wants to now; she can and does use the word please now (and sometimes even without prompting); there is still occasional spitting, but nowhere near like it was; she no longer screams at every drop of a hat; she has learned to give hugs to say she's sorry; she has added several more words to her vocabulary; she can do our block puzzles without becoming instantaneously frustrated AND I watched her do one all by herself this week!; she LOVES books; she has one of the prettiest smiles and she loves to cuddle/give hugs...what more could a mom ask for! :)
Little sis (age 1...she celebrated a birthday the day after Luke's!) started out so sweet (and she still is, of course), but is starting to show her spunky side too! She has gone from a 10 month old girl who was a good crawler, but much preferred to be held any chance she got (and would just cry until someone picked her up). Normally, I would not have given in every time, but due to the trauma they were initially experiencing caused by all of the changes they experienced in the course of a few days...I knew it was better to just pick her up, comfort her, and make her feel safe/secure than to assume I was caving in to a tantrum at that point in time. Once she knew, we weren't leaving her and she wasn't leaving us anytime soon...she became great friends with the floor! :) I witnessed her shocked/scared reaction to pulling herself up in her crib for the first time and the girl has never looked back! She has learned to crawl up the stairs, is not afraid of trying to get to any place she wants to get to, she can climb into sister's bed, and she just took her first couple steps without holding on yesterday! Of course, I placed her on her feet just a few feet away from me and started clapping for her to come to me...so it might have been somewhat "staged" but she did do it and she did it again several times! I could tell by the look on her face that she thought it was fun, but she is also just not quite brave enough to do it by herself yet! She is a sweetie, lots of fun, and can always make the rest of smile...what more could a mom ask for! :)
Hot, Dry, and Bugs!
The drought continued on around here and our house was descended upon by bugs of various kinds. The first week brought the discovery of bugs in the hair, so I battled lice for the first two weeks of the month. The second week brought the girls getting sick with a fever for 4-5 days (as we continued the battle against lice)...it also brought some lovely visits to the doctor and hospital by myself with all three children in tow. I was frazzled, but I'm sure that we were quite comical at times too. I just kept telling the doctor that the "circus" had arrived. The third week brought the start of school and Luke being sick on the first full day of school! We thought we were in the clear the last week, but on the final day of August Luke got sent home sick from school (he was NOT actually sick come afternoon time) and little sis (on her birthday, nonetheless) got sent home sick from daycare with a 102 degree temp in the afternoon. We already had a follow up appointment set for that afternoon so that part worked out fine, but the nice surprise was the doctor sending us back to the hospital for other tests. Needless to say, both of these children were perfectly fine by the next morning, aka, September!
Wetter, Cooler, and Healthy!
If there could be such a thing as a completely opposite month, this month would be August's opposite. Everyone stayed healthy the whole month (granted we do still have tomorrow left!) It rained on the very first day of September and for the first several days...I give all the credit to the rain :) I swear it washed away all of the bugs that were floating around in the dust outside-that's my theory anyway! It has been a nice month-I wonder what October has in store...hopefully only good things!