Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I have to say that Eli can be frustrating, obsessive, disorganized and pretty much your standard 10 year old boy. He also has the ability to make pretty much anyone laugh. He can make us totally crack up and as usual it comes out of no where. So not only are we laughing like maniacs but we are also amazed at being totally blind sided.....yes even after living with the kid for two years.

Tonight, after witnessing his less than sedate supper consumption....the kid can clear a plate faster than a line backer....we were talking about the different foods he had just inhaled. He kept referring to the chicken....we didn't have chicken...Mike pointed this out....his next guess...turkey? but give him credit for a white meat. Mike said those were pork chops. Eli wanted to know what pork was (we have explained this but it never sticks). Mike said, "It comes from pigs."

The utter shock and horror on Eli's face was amazing. He screamed, "I ATE WHAT!" The kid had just devoured 2 pork chops, tomatoes, 3 servings of rice, 3 rolls, corn and now he was worried about what everything was? I think it's safe to say that he loved the pork chops but wished he didn't know where they came from. Don't think we'll be reading Charlotte's Web in the near future.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Parents everywhere know the feeling of waking up in at 2 a.m. with their child standing beside the bed to wake you up and let you know they are sick.

Lucas is one sick guy. He has a 102.7 fever at 2 a.m. and it took til about 3:30 before we could get any kind of reduction. To accompany all this he has what he calls a hurt head. It takes a lot to stop this kid and he is flat out stopped.

I think I jinxed it. Last week when Alison was so sick, in passing I thought, "You know the boys have really done well since coming home. No major illnesses. None of the illnesses that were constantly reported in the Philippines." Yep. Jinx.

This a.m. he's got a cough that will require a trip to the doctor. He seemed to develop pneumonia easily when he was sick in the Philippines and it's something our doctor wants to stay ahead of. The longer we can keep things from developing in his lungs the more time they have to strengthen. So today is Tylenol, Motrin, cartoons, rest and more rest.

Sadder note yet. While we were working on bringing his fever down, he kept patting my hand and saying, "Thank you, thank you. You take care of me." How sad. How many times was he sick in the orphanage and there wasn't a mom and dad to help. :(

Monday, August 29, 2011

I Don't Like That

This is the latest phrase coming out of Eli's mouth for the past 4 days in regards to food....urghh! Guess we don't have to worry about him feeling comfortable enough to tell us his preferences. He's more than happy to share his opinions on all food related subjects.

If I've managed to fix one meal in 4 days that didn't start with him telling me, "I DON'T LIKE THAT!" I would be amazed. Well tonight I amazed him and said, "Well that's too bad. This is what we are having, you can choose to eat it or you will probably get very hungry." He expressed his views by sitting on the back step pouting. I expressed my superior mother cooking skills and promptly burnt the blasted supper.

We are ordering pizza and I'm getting the kind I like. Very mature parenting of me, I know.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

He's Not So Smart

Are you familiar with the saying, "oh boys and their toys". There are many big discussions in our house about toys, their own and other boys'. Then we have discussions on how maligned Lucas and Eli are because they do not have all the toys and "things" their friends have.

The hot "thing" to have....or so Lucas and Eli would have us a bb gun. Don't panic people...there is no way on this earth or in any future that I govern that these two will acquire this prized object. That doesn't stop them from wishing, asking, talking, begging, whining and complaining. It just isn't going to happen for them, so they live vicariously and somewhat naively (there are not that many of their friends' parents that are crazy) through those friends who have the infamous bb gun.

In the car Eli is once again explaining to Lucas which one of his friends have bb guns and all the fabulous things they do with these fantastic things. He stated that "Tom (name changed to protect the 10 year old bb gun aficionado) has a bb gun. Lucas' response? "WHAT! He should not have bb gun....he's not so smart!" Hmmmm. Well. Sometimes it's really hard not to laugh at inappropriate comments. I'd much rather have them fixated on sports. It doesn't usually involve the embedment of small pieces of copper or miscellaneous metal.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

"I Got To Lax First!"

Everyone was up bright and early today. It actually feels like the first day of autumn outside. What do we do when it's not 100 degrees outside? Wash windows. Mike, Lucas and Eli found the ladders and cleaned the outside living room windows for me. Boy! Having guys can be handy!

They came inside to take a break, get a drink and "discuss" the rest of the morning chores. Mike told them to head outside and pick up sticks and the yard so they could start mowing. Eli headed for the door and hollered for Luke to come on.

Lucas' response, "Wait! I got to lax (relax) first!" Actually I think his "lax" version was pretty accurate. It lasted a minute and out he went. Apparently, laxing is a mini version of a break. Either way the yard is getting mowed. After mowing the 2 acres, I bet they need the extended relaxation version.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Reason 297

That is the rough estimate of the number of reasons that Lucas has decided that he would like his own room.

What is his number one reason? His younger brother, Eli. Also known by screams of EEEEE!, Hey!, STOP! EEEEEliiiii! (who knew a 3 letter name could be drawn out so long?)

Tonight Lucas announced that Eli is messy.....umm he must have missed his pile of clothes by his own bed, Eli talks all the time....only when Lucas takes a breath or goes to the restroom and my all time favorite....he needs his own bedroom because Eli keeps him awake by wiggling his tooth. Yep apparently Eli is a roommate, dental terror.

Unfortunately Lucas will not be receiving his own room as his sister has prior dibs on the other bedroom but we can offer him ear plugs to ease the night time squeaks of Eli's wiggly teeth.

Monday, August 22, 2011

As Long As SHE Doesn't Get To!

All things this week have shifted back into school mode. I'm back at work, Rachel's off to college, Sydney, Lucas and Eli have made it through the first few days of school. New schedules, back to school year rules and back to the sibling bickering over who is boss. This bickering also carries over into happenings of the day that someone....(Lucas) may have a slight "he man" attitude towards his sister.

His latest "conflict" is to make sure that if I won't allow him to wield a paint brush in the livingroom that Sydney doesn't get to either. I suppose you may say that testing me while I'm on a ladder with a paint can/half standing on a window sill is probably not going to generate a positive parental moment.

He got the point.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Task Master

In preparation for Sydney's high school graduation next May, I thought I'd take a lesson from past experience and start on those "graduation" chores that we always seem to "think" are a must. I'm really hoping this graduation is less hectic.....Rachel's graduation 2 1/2 years ago saw us in the middle of home studies and psych evals for the boys' adoptions. No stress there.

This week-end saw me painting the living room and hallway. I hated having to do this. Number 1...I am not a good painter, Number 2...I really liked the old paint job, Number 3....I seem to have way more spectators and supervisors than actual help.

Sydney helped out as long as she could before leaving for work, Mike kept the boys occupied with outside chores most of the afternoon....that is until they had to make their million trips inside for water and then to stand with the hands on hips and judge how far I've gotten or not gotten as the case may be.

The last trip Lucas made through the house his statement of my work abilities was, "Hmmm. Not as bad as it looked last time I was in. Keep going you will get better." Gee. Thanks for the encouragement!

Monday, August 15, 2011

"My Friends Know More Than Mom"

Eli has decided that this is the case concerning mom's rule on using sunscreen and his friends decision that he doesn't need it.

Both Eli and Lucas love the community pool. It's been their big deal all summer to go to the pool. Sydney and Rachel have been good sports about taking them in and hanging out. Those knowing the Pickle girls know that generally outside is not their favorite place to be, so thank you to them for "enduring" such trauma so their water loving brothers can have some fun.

Eli informs me that he no longer needs to use sunscreen because one of his enlightened and much more knowledgable 10 year old buddies has decided that because Eli is "brown" that he obviously doesn't need it. Wow. So much ground to cover here.

No. Your friend is not the boss. No. He does not know more than your mother. No. "Brown" people still need to use sun screen. No. Your blonde haired, blue eyed friend will never achieve your level of "brownness". No. You will never be as "white" as he is....even if you roll in sunscreen. Boys and their ideas....grow into men with ideas and mothers, wives and girlfriends who add the dose of reality.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Adoption vs. Just Growing Up

This is a topic that I have a lot of trouble figuring out. What things are adoption related, what are just your average issues with boys and what things are just muddled together. Some days we have more success figuring the puzzle out than others. Some days we all do well just to survive the pre teen years....can we really be entering that phase already?

The biggest problem exists when both adoption and common boy issues collide. Control, need for (but not recognizing it in themselves) independence and then the oh so favorite of parents everywhere....the bull headed, I know more than you and "were you talking to me?" phases.

Can you tell that we are having a lot of growing pains in our household?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I Don't Know This Boy

Eli. He looks like the same son we've known for nearly 2 years. But today I'm not sure I know him at all. Today he announced that he has 3 "wiggled" teeth. That is not the oddity. The oddity came when he dictates that I make him a dentist appointment so "his" guy can give him smelly stuff, he can watch Sponge Bob overhead and have his "guy" take out the 3 wigglers.

Is this the same kid who had to be physically held to have a doctor look at his ears and throat, is it the same kid that we had to go through 3 dentists in order to find THE "GUY" that he now so surprisingly requests to visit? Let's revisit November can go back and find my posts. After 5 kids and a gazillion doctor visits, I was pretty sure Eli was the kid who beat me, Mike and our collection of medical professionals as the one least likely to ever welcome a visit to their offices.

Again this conversation happened in the car at 60 miles per hour. I also think Eli secretly wants to know what really happens when I run off the road. He's always looking for a new experience. My new experience is just trying to survive a road trip to the grocery store.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Independence Day

This particular independence day doesn't have anything to do with the 4th of July. We've been working on Lucas and Eli to help them understand that they are two separate people. You'd think that would be a given. Not with two guys, who until 2 years ago, only had each other. Now it seems to be time to establish a little independence, we've worked from day one for this but with time they are a little more able to absorb the need for independence.

Trying to get them to establish their own likes and dislikes, independent thoughts, talents and friends is a challenge. We don't want them to lose the bond they have with one another but to expand it and let them explore who they are, individually. It also helps with their English and behavior...nothing wrong with that.

Today, Mike took Eli with him to work. It was a short day, 20 minutes of work and 4 hours of driving. A lot of father/son time. The kid that came home today was speaking full sentences, the point of being scary and full of himself (in a good way). Lucas spent the day with Sydney. They went to the pool and had by all reports a fun day with no problems. Again, full sentences and no whining. It's hard for Lucas to stop the worrying and bossing to let go and just be himself.

Now to the outside observer it probably seems like no big deal. To Lucas, Eli and us it's huge. Getting them comfortable to be separated takes advance planning and a lot of good luck. We even managed a big talk about how when they grow up they won't always be living together and that when they have jobs they won't be the same. It sounds simple, it's not. I think twins couldn't be closer and more of one mindset than these two. But for today, independence reigned and they broadened their worlds.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Future Eviction?

Lucas and I were driving in the car today and as usual we were playing the "Lucas asks a million questions and mom tries not to drive off the road answering" game. One of the things we talked about was how many houses have I lived in.

Tonights' road worthy pondering was...."Mom. When your old can I keep your house?" Now I may be getting up there in my years but I do know that he was in deep contemplation, worry mode. He tends to still have that survivalist, plan ahead for contingencies thought process. But he had a very well thought out process as to how we would eventually be old and someone would need to take care of the house....I'm just not sure if he's planning on taking care of his parents or if we will be evicted. He may have to take the good with the bad, house=old folks. I think we will revisit this down the road.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Face Plant

Have you ever been at work and received a call from your daughter in charge of the home front and the conversation begins like this? "Mom. He's okay. His face is okay. He had a wreck. He's okay. Is Bactine okay to put on a face?"

Yep. That was my call this a.m. at work from Sydney. When my heart restarted I was able to find out that he'd gone over the handle bars of his bike into the gravel. The picture shows some of the aftermath. I'm not sure who was more upset, Sydney or Eli. Eli was reassuring her he was alright, she was assuring him it would be okay and then they were both trying to reassure me that his face would look better before the first day of school. Right now he looks like a prize fighter. No, helmets do not help for a full frontal assault on the face.

Once I got a "face to face" with him, he patted my arm and said, "I'm okay. I only cry a little, Sydney fix me but Alison (sister of the RN variety) needs to see me....she know how to fix it." I think he thinks she possesses mystical powers of healing....she probably told him that.

I asked Eli how he managed to only get hurt on his face. His hands, arms, elbows, knees all checked out fine. He proudly explained to his obviously crash knowledge, deficient mother that, "I hang on to handles, I go over the top (handle bars), I hang on, you no let go mom!" Obviously, he was so disgusted with my lack of crash knowledge, he promptly went outside and tried to break up a fight between our dog and a stray cat and got bit. I really mean it people. I'm wrapping him in bubble wrap until school starts next week. I guess he's truly becoming a farm kid with all the milestones, good and bad, that comes with it.

For all of you out there that laughed hysterically when we told you we would be adding boys to our family...saying that I was never going to be able to "handle" the rough, tumble and injuries....I say to you, "I haven't passed out or vomited yet but do at times wonder what is it with the male species?"

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hard Adjustments

It's never easy when one of your kids leave home. While as a parent you are really proud to have your child succeeding in their goals and moving into adulthood, on the other hand you secretly wish they'd stay little forever....well at least the "little" part that was wish to by pass all the "unpleasant" parts of growing up.

We moved Rachel this week-end into her own apartment off campus. Lucas and Eli helped move her in and participated in unpacking by staying on the couch with their video games. Probably the safest and smartest move for little brothers at a stressful time.

We were all pretty composed until we started the 3 hour trip home. Then the boys started worrying about Rachel. How does she get food? How does she know when to go to bed? How does she know when to get up? How does she know how to get home? When will she be home? Is she ever going to live with us again? Ok. I'm trying to drive a pick up, pulling a trailer and answer questions while not running off the road or turning into a blubbering mess on my own.

Eli is not handling the adjustment to all the changes well. He doesn't trust easily or make attachments without a lot of trust...Rachel (even though he pesters and annoys her as much as he can) is one of his "special" ones. Given a chance I'm pretty sure he'd live in her closet to make sure she's okay in her new place. It may be good to grow up but it sure can stink at times.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Super Groper?

Well I've had my morning laugh before heading in to work. Rachel and the boys were watching Sesame Street this a.m. while I was working in the kitchen. I hear them talking but not really tuned in until I hear Eli holler, "SUPER GROPER!".....repeatedly.

Rachel was trying so hard to control laughing and explain that his name was Grover not Groper. Parents beware. You can not teach English pronunciation to your ELL child by using Grover as a model.....not unless you want to spend a whole lot of time explaining to people :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Long Day?

Today marks day 1 of 2 very long days at work for me. Registration at an elementary school. For those parents who dread going in to school to fill out that paperwork....the secretaries dread it too.

Parents fill out a lot of forms, hey I'm a parent, I know. I'm also the secretary. I not only handle those disgruntled parents' forms, I also handle 400 other sets of parent forms. It's a long process. It's also long for school secretary families who are sitting home, fixing supper and doing nightly routines.

Tonight I came in just as the boys were headed for bed. They wanted to know, "are you home?" Hmmm I think I live here. "You going to work long time tomorrow too?" Yep, one more day. Then they summarily let me know that they are not in favor of this and that I should stop.....I don't think the school district or our banker would appreciate that......1 more day! Seriously grateful for a job but seriously grateful it's just one more day.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Back to Work I Go

Well this a.m. I am once again off to school. We open registrations up on Tuesday and Wednesday so it will be it's usual hectic pace today.

Rachel will be "watching" the boys today...first day back is usually a long one. As they were all up late last night celebrating Sydney's 18th Birthday...Happy Birthday Syd!......I'm hoping everyone stays asleep longer this morning and gives Rachel a chance to get her feet under her.

It's funny. The longer she's in college, the more of the elementary/special ed teacher I see emerging. She already has "the voice" and it's kind of like listening to a kid when their voice changes. She moves from sister voice to teacher voice in the same sentence. Either way it usually works with the boys....let's hope it keeps working!