Sunday, May 22, 2011


I'm so thrilled to discover this inside playground at a popular eating establishment.  I had a feeling that if they were just motivated, that they would play the way that children normally play.  I was right!  Apparently, this playground has everything set up in just such a way, and sized just right to make one want to just keep climbing, and sliding, and climbing and sliding... until one is staggering from exhaustion, having had ever so much fun. 

I watch these kids getting stronger every day, and more sure-footed, as they get stronger, and I wish for them to be able to play with tricycles, and swings, but they aren't quite strong enough yet.  They just don't get enough exercise, and mostly because they don't move as much as I'm used to seeing children move, so I keep looking for that toy which will encourage the most activity.  I think we'll try a spring-type rocking horse (as soon as I get one.)

They were moving so fast that my little camera was having a hard time keeping up with them.

My son took this from inside the tube as they rounded the corner.

This is what you want to see when you walk into the kitchen...

We had just come from the studio, getting portraits done, so I snapped some pics while people were dressed up.

The girls take turns wearing this monkey backpack.  I don't know why, but they look so adorable with it.

This child is crazy about the piano, and loves to push the keys.  Occasionally,  a few notes even sound good together.

Spider boy

The big kids going to the movies, and taking pictures of themselves.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Understanding birthdays

Happy Birthday!

"Oh man!"  "What's taking so long?"  "It's so hard to wait!"

"Now that's more like it!"  We get a kick out of watching him eat, because he always opens his mouth this wide, no matter the size of the bite.

"I can do that, too!"

"What'd you get?  What'd you get?"

"Mom!  What are you up to?"

"I don't see a problem;  do you?"

Like father, like son.  Just kidding;  this child is the most laid-back and mellow of all of our kids, which makes him the least like his dad. 

I know she won't be happy, since this isn't the most flattering, but hey, we have to have a pic of everyone!  Well, there are no pics of me, since I was behind the camera.
L. celebrated his 18th birthday, and the little kids got to see yet another birthday, so that they can start to understand the concept.  They all had their birthdays right after we got them last fall, but we didn't celebrate them, partly because they didn't seem to understand the idea of any kind of celebration, but mostly because we were completely overwhelmed by having them.  I won't say that we're in any kind of a workable routine yet, or even a version of "normal," but we are moving forward, a little more each day.  Anyway, we've been modeling birthdays for the kids, and since we have such a big family, we get lots of chances to practice.  We go around, saying loudly, "Happy birthday, _______!"  Then we sing, blow out candles, and they open presents.  Hopefully, by the time we come back around to their birthdays, they'll be excited about it, and understand.  I think they'll start to figure it out.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A rainy day

Too cute!  So fun to have two adorable girls!

"I prefer to have the computer to myself, though..."

"I know what to do-- just point and click!"

"I'm not interested in the computer, but I am interested in when chowtime is gonna get here!"
It was a rainy day today, so we vegged in the house, and I found some computer games for preschoolers, so the girls had fun playing with those for awhile.  Little Boy wasn't so interested, mostly because he thinks he knows everything to start with (it's that opinionated Eastern European personality!) and he got mad when I wouldn't let him push the buttons he thought should be pushed.  "Fine!  You don't know anything about it, anyway!  I'll find something else to do!"  Off he went, to play by himself, and then wait for lunch.

That left only the girls to have to share the computer, and believe me, that was asking plenty!  It's good for them, though, to learn how to take turns, and work with someone else.  There's been a whole lot more whining around here lately, and a lot more squabbling.  They're also playing together a lot more, though, so it's all good.  When we first got them, they almost completely ignored one another, and then eventually started to play together, but would give up their toys to each other without a blink, if someone took something away.  Now there's a sense of ownership--  I know what's mine, such as my cup or my jacket, and I know that if I'm playing with a toy, you're not allowed to just take it away from me.  It's interesting to watch.  Little Boy is not as developed that way, but I think he's starting to notice, too.

Since it was one of those kinds of afternoons, I fell asleep on the couch, which you might think is asking for trouble, but when I awoke, they were huddled alongside me on the couch, like baby birds in a nest.  They had each gotten some toys or books to play with, and they stuck close while I was asleep, as if it wasn't safe to stray too far.  This reminds me of my first crop of young 'uns when they were small.  They did the same thing if I fell asleep in the afternoon.  Frankly, before this, I didn't dare, but lately, if they wake before me in the morning, instead of trashing the house, they climb in bed with me and go back to sleep until I get up.  As snuggly as they are, though, like a litter of puppies, I don't care to have a bunch of soggy diapers in bed with me. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

More springtime

"Let me see!  Let me see!"

"It's time to swing gently, while reflecting on the meaning of life..."

"What did you say?!!"

"I'm feeling friendly today!"

"This is the face I make when I'm really excited about something!"

"Sigh...  I guess if you want to be in a family, there are some things you have to put up with-- like teenage siblings."

Spring is here, so there's lots of playing outside now.  As all children do, our new kiddos are crazy about being outside, and playing in the grass and dirt, especially the dirt.  Sometimes I don't mind, but sometimes I have other plans for my day than to give everyone another bath, change all the clothes, wash them, etc, etc.  I'm a firm believer that some of the best learning takes place in nature, so I try to be okay with it.

Now Big Girl is being treated for her eye condition, which causes redness and swelling to the eyelid, loss of eyelashes, and lots of gummy crud.  One doctor thought it was eczema, but it didn't respond to the treatment.  The next doctor, a specialist, was fascinated by it, but doesn't know what it is, and is treating it with antibiotics.  We'll see.  I was hoping that with some super nutrition, it might heal itself, but I guess it needs a little help.

Little Boy still has lots of avoidant behavior, ignoring and turning away from eye contact, but he's also making more overtures, smiling, and verbalizing, even though it mostly sounds like, "Gack!"  He even seems to like it when I kiss him, and turns his face toward me for one (well, sometimes-- let's not get carried away, here!)