Look at the beautiful family God gave us!


Marshall (yes, he's wearing pink)





Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Find your way to my new blog!

Sorry I haven't posted for so long.  I've had issues with my blog, and if any of you know how to fix it, you can let me know.  I haven't been able to find any answers, so I started a new blog http://laura-livingthedream.blogspot.com/

I hope you'll follow along on the further adventures of Big Girl, Little Girl, and Little Boy.  We're having a great time with them, albeit wearing and exhausting!  Well, what did we expect, right?  Anyway, hope to see you there!

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Good Day

Since I didn't post any pics of Big Girl yesterday, I'll start off today with several of her. The girls have such happy dispositions. Our boy, on the other hand, always seems to feel that he got the short end of the deal. He complains a lot. When he grows up, I hope he's not one of those conspiracy theorists. The girls have to take medicine, which they really hate, and after they had their medicine, we offered them a drink of water, which they weren't too crazy about, either. He watched this, and began to complain loudly, obviously upset at being left out.
"Well, he wants some water, I'll give him a drink, too," I said.
When he discovered that there was water in the cup, he was enraged.
"Everyone else got something really great, and they only offered me water!"

All the kids love this guitar.  I guess if you have music in your heart...

A new treat--- who doesn't like celery sticks and ranch dressing?

"I do!  I do!"

Well, really!  What did you expect?

Getting lessons in "coolness" from her teenaged sister.

Here's a pleasant look...

Miss Helper knows exactly what to do--- if he'll just let her do her job!

They all enjoy Baby Einstein videos.


Life goes on, as always, and now that the holidays are over, it almost feels like we're getting into some kind of rhythm with work, and then days off centered around our new tiny tots. It's getting very close to the point that I would say the honeymoon is over for the kids, as well as for us.

Little Girl is into everything, wants constant attention, and is constantly being told, "no," since she often wants or does what's off limits. Cuteness only goes so far, so no one is too moved by her cute faces or cute mannerisms. We aren't having any trouble being strict about the rules.

She has also gone on a potty strike. We were originally told at the orphanage that she was potty trained, and that Big Girl and Little Boy were not. The surprise was that they all came with the same degree of potty trained-ness. They would all produce when set on the potty, but no one would hold it, or ask (or indicate) when they needed to use it. Several weeks later, everyone was pooping on the toilet, Big Girl and Little Boy were often dry, and Little Girl almost never was. Now, Big Girl is usually dry, often all day, and Little Boy is rarely dry, but they both poop on the potty. Little Girl now refuses to sit on the potty, and makes a point to hold it if we make her sit there, and then immediately wets her diaper. Same for the poop. That's why I say she's on a potty strike. She cries very loudly when she has to sit there. It's fun days around here!
This one-- always into something or other.  Has a great fondness for taking everyone's clothes out of their drawers, and dragging the clothes all over the house (or just throwing them on the floor.)
I just loved that his diaper looked so saggy on him.  He really has no hips;  however, he is starting to get some meat on those thighs!  He loves the vacuum cleaner, and crawls like lightning to get in front of it when I'm vacuuming.  Then he wants to stare into the light on the front of it.

"It's so cruel to put a girl like me on a toilet!"
"Is anyone looking?  Does anyone care?"

Our little boy seemed to be doing so much better every day-- eating better, drinking better, more active, more social, more eye contact, and more smiles.  This week, though, feels like we've gone backwards a few steps.  Lots of griping about the food, refusing to drink, and lots of ignoring when he's called to come to the table, or called for something else.  He makes a point to cry and fuss when we hold hands before dinner to pray.  Everyone else is quiet, and understands that it's important.  He probably understands that it's important, also.  That's probably why he makes such a fuss.  He doesn't like to give us what we want.  I say that everything is such a battle with him, and then, even after he knows that it's good (whatever we've forced him to do--against his better judgment) he doesn't like to admit that we're right, and still resists, even if he ended up liking it last time. 

Ahh... an empty bowl!  It does a mother's heart good!  Actually, this was two weeks ago.  Also, this picture doesn't even look like him to me, since he really doesn't smile much.  This was a sudden and unexpected smile that flashed across his face, and I just happened to catch it. 
He must have been in a good mood, because he made this goofy face, too.
I don't have any new pics of Big Girl for this post.  She still seems to be doing alright.  She's more active, and exploring more, but also picking up some new, weird habits.  We haven't even convinced her yet that her old, weird habits should go.  She seems to be trying to say some words, though, and likes to use signs, although never spontaneously.  I take that back.  I think she made up her own sign for "all done," which consists of slapping her hands together suddenly, while sliding them across each other, and one goes up and the other goes down.  That one she likes to use when she's done with whatever.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

More complete cuteness

So, I had a lot of pictures, and decided to do another post today.  Go back to see my other one from earlier.

I really have not been able to get a good picture of all three of them, so I decided to try again.  This picture is posed, I admit it.  My daughter seemed to think that it lost some of its value when she discovered that it wasn't spontaneous.  I don't know how she thinks I got so many cute pictures when she was little.  Lots of them were posed.

I really feel for my Big Girl.  I feel like she's misunderstood.  Little Girl will always land on her feet, being so adorable and all, but Big Girl isn't tiny and cute like that.  She's sort of like Baby Huey, all oversized, but still a baby in so many ways.  She's never had the opportunity to be as big a girl as she is.  So, I try to give her responsibilities and to try to awaken that in her.  She likes to put dishes on the table, but she'll never insist on it.  Little Girl saw that one time, and now she wants to put anything and everything on the table-- no matter that you don't want it there.  Little Girl actively seeks stimulation (and attention) and Big Girl just patiently waits for it, and occupies herself by daydreaming, if no one is handing out stimulation or attention.

All that to lead up to this:  I put Little Boy on her lap, and she just looked at him like he'd ended up in the wrong place, and wasn't interested in touching him.  I put her arms around him, and told her, "You hold him!"  See what happened next:

At first, she's like, "whatever."
Then she starts to take her responsibility seriously, and is actively holding him.
He's starting to get restless, though...
And--she's lost him!
So, I turned away, and was talking to Little Boy, and heard lots of giggling behind me, turned around and saw this:

Somebody decided it looked like fun to sit in her sister's lap!
They were rocking back and forth, and laughed even harder when I turned and looked at them.

Someone is definitely getting to be the big sister here, and someone is definitely the little sister.

It must be fun to have a sister...  I wouldn't know;  I never had one :(


It's so fun to see the kids starting to interact, with us and with each other.  When they first got here, the littlest girl was curious about the others, but they pretty much ignored her.  She definitely initiates interactions the most, but everyone is starting to respond.  They all get along extremely well, which I know is completely abnormal, so as they get used to each other, and their new home, and start to develop a sense of themselves, and where they fit in, I'm sure the squabbling and bickering will pick up.  I'm enjoying the peace for now.

She was pulling him about, and he enjoyed it.  This makes me think of a prince in his litter.  He just needs a few more slaves to make it complete.
Playing in the curtain--hmm...  Is that such a good idea?

It is if you've got a playmate, and Mom doesn't mind about that old curtain, anyway.

They chased each other round and round, in and about the curtain for at least fifteen minutes, laughing those full-bodied, throaty giggles that I love.

After a meal, everyone is usually in a pretty good mood, and our boy is no exception.  He toddled over to the couch, climbed up on it, and smiled at me.  I was so surprised, I looked around like, "Who?  Me?"  Then I grabbed my camera.  Do you think he's starting to get the idea about posing, also?

Later that day, here's the scene I came across.  I thought, "parallel play," until I saw Little Girl put a little something (imaginary) on Big Girl's plate.  Not surprising, since she usually initiates play. 
"Try this!  It's delicious."

But then I saw this...
"Why, thank you!  Would you like a little of mine?  It's quite good, as well."
Have I mentioned lately that I'm enjoying these kids so much, I can't describe it?

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Look what greeted me Christmas morning when I staggered in after work...
"What is this?"  I asked, as everyone crowded around the two of us. 
"It's a Christmas surprise!" they answered. 
"For whom?"  I asked.  (Actually, I said "who" because even though I know grammar, I don't really talk that way.) 
"For the whole family!" they answered. 
"Whose family?"  I asked.

So I got to be the Christmas grinch (again) since I wasn't so thrilled about the Christmas "surprise."  The real surprise is that I didn't grouch about it more, but three 12-hour nightshifts will knock the fight right out of you.  Lest you think that this is a passive-aggressive way to go about showing my displeasure, let me assure you that no one here is in doubt as to my true feelings...surprise.

A few days ago, we were all sitting around the table, visiting and chatting, and our littlest son was still sitting in his chair, even though I'd scooted him away from the table.  After a little while, I started tickling him, which often brings a smile, but instead of only smiling while being tickled, he looked right at me and smiled.  Pretty soon we were all marveling as he sat in the middle of the group, looking about pleasantly, and smiling at us when we tickled him.

A little while later, I took the girls to get them ready for bed, and he toddled along after, as if he wanted to be where we were.  Last night, David said that everyone went in another room, and left the little guy by himself, and pretty soon he had followed everyone else in.  David said he then ignored everyone, but the point is that he wanted to be where everyone else was, and that he wanted them to know that they were being ignored!  They can't feel the full effect, if they don't know they're being ignored.  I feel it's a real breakthrough!

Again, I think this might be a first, as both of the girls tried to grab the ice cream off of the cone when they were presented with this classic American treat.  They had to be shown how to hold it, and how to lick it.  Did they catch on?  See for yourself...

Did they approve? Obviously! These girls never met a food they didn't like.

Our little boy liked ice cream, too.  Since he refuses to eat anything that isn't off of a spoon, he got his in a bowl.  Then, after he quickly scarfed it all down...

I gave him this...

Why is he crying?  Because he now knows that ice cream is delicious, and he has no way of getting it into his mouth, since there is no bowl and spoon attached to it.  The way this story ended is that I picked up the cone and put it to his mouth, and he started to eat it (very quickly) and then I put his hands around it to hold it, and he continued to eat it for a moment or two, until his face started to freeze, then he threw it down, and rubbed his face on my arm, as if to try to thaw it out.

Here's a picture I bet you never thought you'd see!

Oh, the agony!  The torture!

Playing with his big brother...It's so great to watch him learning to be a kid, and to have fun!  Notice the barefoot girl.  We haven't been so strict about shoe-wearing as they are at the orphanage, and I like the kids to develop the muscles in their feet.  I feel this is better accomplished by letting them go shoe-less.  They do have the option to wear shoes, but when I ask the girls if they want to, and show them their shoes, they wave their hand dismissively, and say, "Ni!"  We do try to keep socks on them, though.

"I like you--and you're an awesome playmate!"
 I know this post was heavily weighted in favor of our new little boy, but it's so wonderful to see him making progress.   Anyway, here's a picture of our littlest girl.

So sweet, it'll give you cavities!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Christmas-y post

I know your Christmas tree is probably just as pretty, but I always take pictures of the tree every year.

I think it's safe to say that they don't really get it-- the whole gift unwrapping thing.  Maybe next year...

Playing with a toy that's already been unwrapped, even though it was someone else's present, while ignoring his own present.  You can see that they don't get it yet.

This one was the most willing to do the work of unwrapping...

Starting to get the hang of it.

"Oh man!  Who's going to clean up this mess?"

Enjoying Christmas dinner.  No, we don't ignore the kids while we're eating...

He gave this particular meal a rare thumbs up, which was good, because Daddy slaved all day over a hot stove to prepare the feast.

My son-in-law doing one of his favorite activities-- eating!

She:  "Let's be friends!"
He:  "Let's not, and say we did!"

My adorable girl, all grown up!

"I'll give a little smile, since you bounce me the way I like."

She:  "Let's be friends!"
He:  "Listen, like I told the other sister before..."

This little peach would love to be friends, and you don't even have to try very hard.

See what I mean about pretty?  I could just stare at this picture for hours...