Makeshift car wash.
Month: March 2012
As long as I have known Wade, I have known the game “flypaper”. I saw it in college when Wade would randomly run up to a friend and attach himself to their leg (yes, it is kind of weird as it sounds). He would remain stuck there (like flypaper) until the person said calf slobber. Wade taught this game to Alex at an early age and he loves to play. (In general this game is just wrestling.)
Hanging out at the dog park.
A typical trip to the dog park takes place after MDO. Madison and I pick Alex up and then we drive straight to the dog park. We hike around and watch Madison run and run. (Most days she also takes a swim in the stream.)
When we get home everybody gets a shower
Then we play in our pajamas till time for bed
Evidently you have to measure the car while you work on the tire.
I always feel a little out of place when we are with Amy and her kids (Amy, Abby, Asher, and Alex = 4A’s and I’m the only H). The kids had a blast playing outside. I love watching Abby and Alex interact. They vacillate between hugs (never wanting them at the same time) and fighting. (Instead of saying “hi” when they see each other, one of them is sure to say “no hugs”.) The first picture is Abby trying to keep the cover on (only because Alex wants it off) and Alex trying to move the cover (and Abby).
We mailed our first care package to Teague today. I know he only gets them at his Well Baby Checkups (WBC) which are usually the first week of the month. My guess is it won’t make it for April’s checkup, but definitely for May’s. We included a few items for his foster family (chocolate bars, Jelly Belly, and postcards of Milwaukee). For Teague we sent some clothing items, a soft book with pictures of our family, a toddler treat, a bunny with Wade’s voice recording, and a truck (just like Alex’s).
(and sometimes he asks in the sweetest voice, “Can you wipe my tears?”)
Activity of choice while I cooked dinner.
I was typing up a document on my computer when I started to tune into what Alex was saying. I realized he was talking about “changing a tire” and turned around to see. Yup, he had his pliers out and was very determined to get the tire off his car. (I convinced him those tires shouldn’t come off.)
Then Abram came play. The boys had a blast running around until Alex suddenly announced he was “sick” and went to get his doctor kit for Abram.
I have wanted to adopt for a long, long time. I remember Wade and I having a conversation about it pretty early on in our dating life. Because it’s something we have always known we would do, we’ve always been very aware of families with adopted children, language in the media, etc. As we formally entered into the adoption process we have been required to take numerous educational classes and read lots of books (on both adoption and Korea).
One of the things that still surprises me is how adoptive parents are extremely sensitive (and maybe rightfully so) to questions/words/implications made by someone foreign to the adoptive world. One of the biggest ones is differentiating between biological and adoptive children. Most people use the phrase “real” children instead of biological. Part of me can see how this would be offensive to an adoptive parent. The adopted child is just as much their “real” child. The other part of me knows I also used the same language before I was introduced to proper terminology. Can’t we just assume the person doesn’t know the “right” word? Wade and I joke that when asked if Teague is adopted we will look the person straight in the eye and say “no”. Because, really, why ask the question? It’s going to be very obvious he doesn’t look like us.
(The big question for me is if I will feel differently after I bring Teague home and actually have to deal with the situation.)
Just hanging out.
Learning the fine art of spray painting (with any empty can – but don’t tell Alex).
We have definitely hit the stage in life where Alex wants to be with his “Daddy” – all the time. Their favorite place to hang out is in the shop or watching sports on TV (this might be because it is some of the little TV Alex is allowed). Today I just had fun watching and listening as Alex imitated his Dad.
Alex loves an excuse to use his umbrella!
We woke up to a rainy, yucky day. Amy invited us to Discovery World and I’d always wanted to go. (The best part was she could get us in for free.) It had some amazing features and displays. Quite a few of them were over too advanced for Alex, but he had a great time exploring and snacking!
Trucks. Dirt. A Happy Boy.
We finally have a name for our newest little guy. His full name will be Teague Davis Burch. (We have always wanted to use Teague – a name from Wade’s side of the family. Finding the middle name proved extremely difficult. We finally settled on Davis – a name from my side of the family.) I also got an unexpected document today telling me some personal details about Teague such as:
*Falls asleep on his blanket while sucking right thumb
*Drinks water from cup and straw
*Moves buttocks up and down in sitting position when hearing music from TV commercials.
*Bends head and pretends crying if said “Don’t do that.”
*Lifts hands and hits others hands when said ‘fighting.’
We also learned that he is schedule for surgery in April. This didn’t come as a complete surprise, but I’m anxious to hear how it goes and see an “after picture”.
(I know the picture is slightly blurry and his eyes are closed, but I love the hint of a smile on his face.)
We had the best tour club adventure to date! The group met and had a tour of Hoffer’s Tropic Life Pets. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I figured fish. Few pet stores seem to have anything but birds and fish these days. I was wrong – very wrong! This pet store had alligators, chinchillas, rats, mice, hamsters, fish, sting rays, snakes, hedgehogs, etc. The best part is they even let the kids hold and touch a ton of animals – chinchilla, hedgehog, snake, rats, bearded dragon, and a turtle. Alex loved it (and I just quietly stepped back “to take a picture” when the snake came out)!
Wade said no more painting in the shower a while ago (and he cleans the bathroom so he makes the rules). Today was nice enough that Alex could paint outside. Of course, then he immediately abandoned the paper and painted his foot. (The water hose came out next – see here.)
A little misjudgment while drinking from the hose.
This weather is crazy. I’ve never worn shorts in March in Milwaukee – let alone for several days in a row! We took full advantage by playing outside with the neighbors (and Amy, Abby, and Asher). Even baby Jack joined us! (Note the similarity between Jack and Phoenix’s expressions – definitely cousins!)
I was informed the “worker men” had to fix the tractor.
These two went missing at Yo Mama today.
We found them in this nook having a very involved conversation.
(I love that they are having real conversations now!)
I have always kept a candy bowl on our counter. Most of the time it contains candy we’ve been given and don’t particularly love. When I really need chocolate I will dig through it to find something acceptable (all the good stuff having long since been eaten.) Today was one of those days. I was digging and digging and found….
I love finding random twenties at our house! I always know they are from Jerry (read story here). The tricky part is trying to decide how long they have been there. I don’t think I have been digging in the bowl since January and he’s visited twice since then.
Wade discovered a new dog park – close to home! We all enjoyed the walk (and the crazy warm weather). Before too long we had worn ourselves out and decided to head home. On the walk to the car Madison managed to find the one mud puddle in the entire park. I had just cleaned the house so she got a bath outside, which she hates! (Spoiled dog is used to taking a shower with us.)
(Obviously for a different purpose but it was a good picture! Ignore the blank sign.)
Who me? I’m not doing anything.
Alex spent part of the day in the shop with Wade. One of his favorite activities is using needle-nose pliers to pull staples out of a board. He also likes to “drill”. Today he realized he doesn’t actually have a drill bit, but a screwdriver bit. He was rather bummed to learn it will be a few years before he is allowed to drill his own holes.
Zoo class today – Snakes and Chameleons!
Amy has been talking about Zoo Classes since last summer. I signed Alex up for the spring classes and today was our second one – Snakes and Chameleons. He loves them! Part of the class is spent doing crafts, listening to a story or watching a video, having a snack, and hearing from a teacher. Then you walk through the zoo to the appropriate animal and get a special talk or tour. (This time we were in the upstairs of the amphibian building. A zoo keeper brought out a snake and talked to the kids.)
We had a family outing to Build-A-Bear. Alex chose the bunny for both he and his “sister.”
Wade did a voice recording (singing a lullaby) for the baby.
Our mornings are pretty lazy. If I am trying to do laundry/ironing then Alex plays upstairs. Today he wanted to “read” to mouse while I ironed. The book is Scooby Doo. Alex saw an episode at Abram’s and has since been fascinated with “Scooby Doopy Doopy Doo”.
Alex has been sad all winter knowing that some of his riding toys are in storage in the garage (up above the car). We told him they would come out again when it was summer and we had on shorts. The second I put him in shorts yesterday he wanted his toys down (smart kid). We got the bike out today and will get the rest down tomorrow. I’m pretty sure the snow is gone for good. (You might notice Alex has holes in his jeans. The jeans are reinforced at the knee so even with a hole you can’t see his leg. As we were riding in the car today he suddenly exclaimed, “Why did you put three jeans on me?” He obviously thought he had to have on multiple pairs if he saw jean under the hole.)
After dinner we had a special treat for Alex. We took him to Build-A-Bear. The purpose behind the visit was to make a stuffed animal for the baby and include a personal message with Wade’s voice on it. Alex chose the animals (it took everything we had to steer him away from the camouflaged teddy bear – yuck!) and helped add the stuffing. Wade made the recording and now we have a bunny to put in our first care package.
Welcome home Tabit!
(She’s been missing since Sunday afternoon and showed up this morning.
Alex wanted to cuddle with her on the couch.)
Trucks stacked on trucks in the back of a truck. Perfect.
Grocery shopping in the rain.
Wade and I got home last night. Wade took his parents to the airport before heading to work and then we were back to our crazy routine. Alex and I had another Tour Club event today – White House of Music. The tour was great! The kids were walked around the store and told a little bit about each instrument and given a demonstration. Then they had a mini kindermusik session, which is also done in the building.
My Dad and Laura arrange a trip every year to the SEC tournament. It’s normally in Nashville or Atlanta, but this year was New Orleans. To make it an even better trip, my sister and her husband came too (they only randomly attend). We spent most of our days at the arena, but we managed breakfast out every morning – including meeting up with an old friend, Krista, who just happened to be in town for a wedding.
My bookworm – reading on the way to church.
(Photograph courtesy of Judy)
Alex has had an awesome last few days. He has had Granny and Pop all to himself! They have been to McDonald’s (twice), the Domes to see the trains, a St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and made Granny’s special sugar cookies. That’s not to count the hours spent playing with toys, at the park, and reading books. I hear he didn’t even ask about Mom and Dad once.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
(Photograph courtesy of Judy)
Our adoption story:
Our adoption agency works with a Korean Adoption agency (Holt). In most circumstances, our agency provides the families with approved home studies and Holt matches the children with a family. The exception is “special needs” children – meaning anything other than a healthy, normal child (ranges from cerebral palsy to an extra finger to premature birth). Holt releases the “special needs” children to our agency and they release the information to all waiting families. Families that are interested can ask to be considered and the decision is made by our agency. There are probably an average of 1-2 “special needs” children emailed to us every month. We have probably asked to be considered for 4-5 of them (in the last 20 months).
After 20 months of waiting, we received an email with two waiting children. The first little boy had congenital ptosis (drooping eyelids). I read his medical history, his monthly exams, consulted with our pediatrician, and did quite a bit of internet research. I discovered that congenital ptosis is surgically correctable and does not typically have any long term effects or vision issues. (I was also comforted by the fact that South Korea’s level of medical care is similar to the US.) It was obvious from the notes that this child’s eyes were monitored and evaluated on a regular basis. Wade and I asked to be considered. The matching is normally done on a Monday. When I hadn’t gotten a phone call by Wednesday I assumed another family had been chosen and we would be notified at some point (always by email). Thursday afternoon (2/23) my phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number and almost didn’t answer (I hate to talk on the phone and never answer an unknown number. Wade has recently gotten on to me for it.) I decided to answer and it was a social worker for our agency. She said the decision was really difficult (leading me to believe we weren’t the most obvious choice), but we had been matched with the little boy. I was ecstatic! I immediately called Wade and told him he was going to be a Daddy!
We told Alex that afternoon he would be getting a brother and showed him the picture. He understands it is a little boy, but persists in calling him “my sister”. At some point Wade mentioned that Alex would get his rocketship bed and the baby would get his crib. Alex immediately looks concerned and says, “And my loveys?” We assured him he could keep all his loveys and then he said he would like to share them with his sister. So sweet!
We spent that evening telling our family, but swearing them to secrecy. Because the little boy had a know medical issue, I wanted to have a medical evaluation done by Children’s Hospital Adoption Clinic before announcing it to the world. We got those results on Tuesday (2/28). Everything they said matched what Alex’s doctor had told me and I had read on the internet. We officially signed the papers on Monday (3/5).
We have always felt there were significant upsides to adopting from South Korea – most mothers receive prenatal care, you are provided with some background on the parents, the level of medical care, and the children are in foster homes. The baby’s ptosis is definitely noticeable and will require some type of surgery. (You’ll notice his chin is often titled up so he can see.) There is a chance the surgery could be done in Korea before he is brought home, but that isn’t up to us. The doctors there will decide when/if they think it is necessary.
And now – some of the pictures we have received from birth to current. I’m not exactly sure of the ages but the first is at birth and the last was 3/6.
Watching the trains with Pop.
(Photograph courtesy of Judy)
I have posted this before (see here), but I don’t like to fly. About five years ago I randomly developed a fear of flying. I’ve tried numerous methods of dealing with it and still always have some degree of trouble. If given the option I will always drive, but I make myself fly when necessary. This past year flying has gotten much easier. I no longer get anxious during the days leading up to the flight and only have issues during take-off. I do have some medicine and at this point I have been only taking it for one part of the trip (either coming or going). I got cocky and decided to leave the drugs at home for our flight to New Orleans (We are going to New Orleans for the SEC tournament). BIG MISTAKE. For whatever reason this flight was my worst (the flight itself was not bad – for everyone else). Here is Wade’s impression of me during the flight:
About 2/3 of the way through the flight, Wade leaned over and told me (in all seriousness) that I had three options for getting home.
1.) We would rent a car and drive.
2.) We would call my doctor upon landing and get medicine.
3.) I would drink a lot Sunday morning before the flight.
I decided on option 2.) and should hear back from my doctor tomorrow. Thank goodness this was a direct flight. I’m pretty sure Wade would never have gotten me on the second leg.
*I took the above picture out the window and told Wade it might be the last time I saw that view. I was rethinking flying as an option for transportation.
Alex doesn’t ask to play doctor. Instead he randomly comes up to you and says, “Are you sick?”