Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What Color Is My Sisters' Nose

So allergy season has reared it's ugly head and taken possession of Sydney's nose.

Tonight at supper Sydney was complaining because she has auditions tomorrow for the school play and she's sounding a little scratchy and sneezing her head off. Of course her brothers were quick to voice their "concern" and critique of her dilemma.

Lucas, "Sydney, what wrong with your nose, it's red!"
Eli, "Sydney, look at me, look at me,.....no it's not! It's pink!"

Followed by what else.....giggling. I wonder what those giggles will sound like when their voices change. I think we need to record them so that Sydney will one day have the last laugh from all their teasing.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Summer's Accomplishments

The mouth never closes - even underwater!

Do you think he's having fun?

If you care to dredge back through this blog to last November when we picked up the boys in Manila, you will find an entry on Mike having to fish Eli out of the hotel swimming pool because Eli was positive he could swim and Mike had yet to kick into the parent of "monkey see, monkey do" boys.

This summer we were determined to make sure the boys no longer sank to the bottom of pools and lakes and took them for swimming lessons. Lucas - what can I say - is a fish, Eli - is an anchor. They both started out a little skittish. Lucas got over that in the first lesson and jumped from beginner to Level III in a day. Eli did move up to Level II but still not a fan of the face in the water. Probably has something to do with swallowing water because he has a small problem, his lips never meet for longer than 2 seconds. The kid loves to talk.

Now it's August, as you can see from the photos they conquered the pool and now don't understand why the pool is closing for the season. Once again boys, Welcome to Iowa.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Come on Lord Ring!

On Wednesday night we took the kids and went to Olive Garden in Omaha. It was what you could say, our send off dinner for Rachel as she heads back to college.

Olive Garden is not Lucas and Eli's favorite restaurant but they endured because it was Rachel's night and I guess spaghetti sounded good as long as they were ensured there was "biff" meatballs.

As is usual there is a wait for seating and they hand us the little round buzzer, which of course necessitates a war of who will hold it. Too bad they have a mother who remembers the trauma of the buzzer from our last visit and also remembers it is Eli's turn to hold it.

We sat down to wait our turn. Peace rained for about 10 minutes until I happen to turn my head sideways to see Eli with the buzzer pressed to his forehead, his eyes shut, then we as well as half the lobby of Olive Garden hear him (say or pray - you pick) Come on Lord! Ring! Peace no more, laughter ensued and we had a table in 2 minutes. Keep praying buddy.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Groucho Marx

You know when you are driving along and one (or sometimes more) of your kids say, "Mom, look at me!"? That is a favorite of Eli's. He always has something visual he wants to show you.

Tonight I was doing the driving and Rachel was riding shot gun. Eli wants me to look at him in the backseat. I told him I couldn't because I was driving. His response?

"Oh, I fix it. Rachel, you drive, put hand on wheel, you can do it, mommy look at me."

As in the way of most dictators, his orders didn't get the desired results. In the way of the Grouch Marx he may have a future as the straight man.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Restroom Heroes

Tonight Sydney dug out one of her many "prized" boxes of toys that she had saved back. This particular box was probably from 10-12 years ago. Sydney wasn't a big Barbie fan but she did have this complete set of action figures that survived my daycare provider days. Yeah for the manufacturer because they survived in fairly good condition.....not sure they will survive the "Filipino Fire" but we'll see.

Sydney was telling them that they were called, Rescue Heroes. Yep that didn't translate so well and now we have the boys' translation to Restroom Heroes. Pretty sure Mattel won't be changing the name.

Sydney is also instilling the fact that yes girl action figures can be heroes, our macho sons say, NO! Once again when will they learn not to upset the females in the family?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Spellers to Your Corners!

This week marks the first full week of school. As such it brings with it the first spelling tests and the corresponding study before tests. Study...arguments it's pretty hard to tell with Lucas and Eli.

The problem we have is that Lucas is older and is now working with an unmodified spelling list, different from last year. It's scrambling his mind. Eli being the supportive and competitive brother that he is has declared it his mission to "help" study.

Here is the problem. Eli is getting the words faster than Lucas. (this week) Can you all imagine the volume of unhappiness that erupts. Separation is the only peaceful non-violent way to go. Hard to do when Lucas can recite his spelling words by memory and then pauses to get the spelling that's when Eli begins spewing the spellings before Lucas can get it out.

Boys sure can improve your reflexes and mobility. If we are too slow I'm pretty sure they will be spelling words through fat lips, courtesy of their spelling partner.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Insight By Eli

Eli and his wisdom are at the same time, old beyond his year and side splitting hilarious at others.

I mentioned last night that he was so tired his eyes were half way shut.
His piece of wisdom:
"Mom. I know. The sun goes down. My eyes go down."

And there you have it.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Art Critic at Large

You've all seen varying forms of art throughout your travels by car. In a city near us they are conducting a city wide aesthetic improvement. Aesthetic being in the eye of the beholder.

It began with modern light sculptures on the main entrance to the city. This summer the city must have found a wealth of unspent money as they are constructing 4 metal sculptures near a new interchange and shopping development. Sculptures is a very loose description. They are probably 30 feet tall and I have no clue how wide. To myself having been raised as a farm kid, they look like the contents of the coffee can my dad used to put extra bolts, washers, nuts, screws and nails that inevitably was left to rust. That is what these "things" look like to me.

Mike, Lucas and Eli were in the car passing these "creative, ingenious, costly forms of environmental enhancement" when Lucas yells from the back seat. "Oh no! What happened, it's broke!" I think he pretty much has summed up 95% of what others are thinking. I'm so glad I wasn't in the car to have to try and explain why anyone would spend money, time and effort to dump a pile of scrap metal rejects next to a roadway, pay for the pile and then strategically place lighting so that anyone unfortunate enough to pass by in the dark won't miss the opportunity to gaze upon the waste of effort, money and sense.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ham and Cheese

Off to their first day of the new school year.

Friday, August 20, 2010

ELL Child + ELL Child = New Hooked on Phonics

Here we go again....another story from the car.

After their first 3 days of school we went out for pizza. Nothing strange about this. Off and on throughout supper we talked about what they learned, who they played with at recess and regular school stuff. Then as Sydney is recounting her first days as a Junior in high school, I hear the following conversation from the backseat of the Yukon.

Eli, "No, you say it this way... ep s ip a lee."
Lucas, " No! it is espee a lee."
Eli, "uh, uh you say es i plee."

Okay, what are they trying to phonetically say? This went on for about 10 minutes, volume increasing accordingly. Finally I had to stop it because each correction was followed by a punch to the other brothers' arm. The word that our two English language learning sons were attempting to say correctly? especially. Why that was the word who knows, but I'm pretty sure they shouldn't attempt to correct each other for a little longer.....I know, I know it's not gonna happen.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Gender Stereotyping

It's not a surprise to those that have been around the boys that they have, shall we say, a little bit of an issue with what they believe to be a woman's duties and a man's duties and they tend to live by the commandment of boys rule and girls are to be bossed.

It doesn't work out well for them here in their female dominant home life - Mike just shakes his head and wonders if they will soon buy a clue and stop antagonizing the females in the house with their warped, male perspective.

The last few days have been very hectic with starting back to school, learning about new teachers, new classmates and a lot of repetition of school stories and talking about their teachers. Tonight they thought to ask Sydney what her teachers' name was. She said she has lots of teachers in high school and then had to tell them the names. She was listing them and she has classes with several male teachers. It took about 3 names starting with Mr. before Eli caught on that they are men. He stops her, questions whether or not she has become confused, she convinced him that there are indeed "boy" teachers. Lucas looks at Rachel demands she name her professors and wants to know if she has "boy" teachers too.

I wish I'd had a camera. The total shock and awe was amazing. Eli summed it up, "NO WAY! Boys are teachers! Awesome!" (Did I mention we were in a restaurant when this epiphany and vocalization occurred?) Ok, now I'm wondering, what job titles do they think their own music, p.e. and principal - who happen to be guys - hold? So I had to ask. We never made it past their principal. Their interpretation - he's a policeman and once again I'm relegated to the uneducated mother position for not knowing this obvious answer.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Night Before School

Tonight was open house at school. Lucas and Eli start their first complete year of school tomorrow. Nerves are definitely kicking in hard for them and us.

Lucas still hasn't come to terms with leaving his 2nd grade teacher behind or that his brother will have her this year. Eli seemed totally oblivious, all he's really interested in is seeing his friends and playing basketball at recess. I suppose you'd say that's a typical kid reaction.

I have to say for whatever reason I'm more nervous this year than I was when we started them into school last December. Go figure....I know, I know, get it together mom, they'll be fine.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Boys and Their Blowdryers

Well we gave up taking the boys for haircuts at the beginning of the summer. I braved it, they endured it and we learned how to use hair clippers together. No ears were harmed in this learning process. Who knew boys' hair grows at amazing rates....their sister are envious.

As is normal for the male of our species to never let any moment, occasion or occurrence pass without the need for power tool involvement. Since we cut hair on the patio I guess Mike, Luke and Eli thought this was the best (translation most fun) way to clean up.

This wonderful new male version of a blow dryer (known to the females reading this as a leaf blower) has brought about the no whining method of hair cuts. There are some break neck races to the garage to be the first to operate the thing but so far no fatalities.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Gene Simmons aka Dr. Pepper

Tonight was the first Sunday night that we've been able to sit down and watch the boys' favorite tv show (Extreme Home Makeover) since the first of the summer. Needless to say they were excited.....go figure.

Tonight the family receiving the home were big into music and as a special guest the show had the band KISS meet them. You all (or at least those of us of a certain age know this group - for those who don't - it's past your bedtime :) remember Gene Simmons and the rest of the heavily made up group?

I think it must have been Eli's first glimpse of them. He took one look at them on tv, jumped up and hollered, "MOM! That is Dr. Pepper!"

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Light Bulb Moments

It has taken 9 months and many, Many, MANY conversations about blankets and sheets but tonight for whatever reason it finally clicked and Lucas is sleeping under the sheets. Not on top of them, not on top his comforter, between the fitted and the flat sheets.

Looking at pictures of their beds at the orphanage and taking into consideration that it's usually hot in Zamboanga, bedding was not something they had. I'd finally just given up and decided it was one of those battles that really doesn't matter and we'd replace his comforter when it fell apart in the washer. Now to see where we find him in the morning.

Side note: you know the phrase, "a light bulb went off"? That is the expression that literally goes across the boys' faces when a concept finally sinks in. Even before they say anything, you can tell by the "light bulb" expression that they get it. It's really cool!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

2 Bored Boys + 2 Bored Sisters = High Heels

The fear I've had that boredom would set in with the girls watching the boys while we are at work.....it's come to realization.

Cleaning up after supper I hear "clumping" coming from behind me, then I hear, "Mom, see me, I'm Rachel!" I turn around and yep Eli is wearing a pair of Rachel's 3 inch heels. After stomping around the kitchen he declared them "scary!".

Mike happened to come in (usually he's pretty laid back on most things - this wasn't one of them) He apparently doesn't find heels to be a part of the boys wardrobes. I have to admit I'm a little leery to see what they may be dressed like tomorrow.

Oh yeah - Sydney and Rachel think they are hilarious and I think they are reverting back to little girls playing dress up - this time with their brothers instead of Barbies - oh no - I hope the Barbies are packed away!

Monday, August 9, 2010

She's Mine!

Guess what happened when we found out the boys' classroom assignments? Eli has Lucas' last year teacher, Mrs. McGinn. Thus ensued the "fight" of who owns Mrs. McGinn.

Eli being the little brother and more than willing to tease Lucas at every opportunity capitalized on this development and has totally enjoyed his brothers' irritation.

Lucas has no concept of changing grades generally means changing the teacher. Now he gets it. Now he thinks 2nd grade may need to be repeated. We've explained he will like his new teacher also but so far he's unconvinced. Hopefully open house will help.

It amazes us that one of the first things we learned about the boys was that they greatly disliked school and often refused to go. Hmmm....that hasn't been the case since they started here and a lot of that credit goes to their teachers. They both go to bed asking how many more days until school. Then Eli will say, "MY teacher is Mrs. McGinn!" Lucas growls and says, "I have a new teacher, Mrs. Dunham, I have her first!" They must have heard possession is 9/10's of the law.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

We're Not Done Yet....

Ha!.....bet that got some of you.

I've received comments over the last couple of weeks such as, "well you're done with the boys' adoption, right?" Nope, still more hurdles and paperwork to chase.

We are still waiting on word from the Philippines to receive final permission to finalize the adoptions. Until we receive that we aren't able to schedule a court date to finalize here. Meaning we have attorneys, judge and court to navigate. Our final post placement home visit was done back in May so maybe we will hear something soon.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ok - I Don't Have To Like It, Right?

Sorry to all of you who are about to participate (unwillingly) in my pitty party.
I started back to work at the school office last week. This week is always tough as it's long days in preparation for 2 days (& nights) of registration.

I feel so guilty. Rachel and Sydney are day sitting duty with the boys, Mike's got the evenings covered. I leave before they are all awake and for the next 2 nights won't get home until after they are all in bed.

I was really lucky (I know it more every day) that I was a stay at home mom when the girls were little. Lucas and Eli don't understand why I've been gone longer these past 2 weeks than normal. No matter how I explain that after this Friday things will be back to our normal days and evenings, they don't get it. I feel guilty and everyone is cranky.

So.....I'm lucky to have a job, I'm lucky I have family to pick up the slack, I'm lucky that I work close enough that the kids can stop in and say hi, I'm lucky the boys are 8 miles from me instead of 1/2 a world like last summer.......I'm lucky......I'll shut up now!