Sunday, June 15, 2014

One week Home

So as of one hour ago, the boys have been home officially for one week. I think they are doing great. Granted, this isn't our first child, our first adoption, or even our first adoption of an older child. It is, however, our first adoption of an older child who doesn't speak English. There are still moments of complete confusion for sure. We still sometimes find ourselves falling prey to the old...if you don't understand what I am saying if I say it louder you might understand mentality. Yes, I know it is stupid...but it is subconsious I think! the funny thing is that Han does it too! haha. We suspect that Han understands somewhat more than Ulysses because Han has studied English in school for several years. Han seems to react to our requests and our words more quickly and more appropriatedly than Ulysses, however Ulysses can really prounounce English words well and Han mispronounces a lot of the words he tries to say. The biggest thing my new boys have going for them is their resiliency and their great attitude. We decided to set up the Rosetta Stone English program and see if Han was ready for it. He sat on the computer trying to say "He is swimming" for like 30 minutes on the same phrase and couldn't get it right. He didn't get frustrated, he just stayed good natured and laughed at his own attempts. I think that the Rosetta Stone program will be really good once the boys have a more rudimentary vocabulary, it is a little too much for them now! There are certain areas that we are still working on to find the best approach for our family. I have been trying to keep a close eye (or have one of the other kids ... you know experienced kids) on the new boys at all times. It is hard when you are new and you need someone to show you the ropes and keep you from unwittingly getting into trouble. What that means is that the precarious balance we had before going to China that allowed us to get housework and homework done without too much chaos is gone. My two biggest mother's helpers have been reassigned! I feel pretty confident that once I am back on dayshift, I will gain at least one free hour at night after everyone (including Violet) heads to bed. This is the hour I can us for housecleaning, laundry washing, and homeschool management. I think an hour a night of doing chores by myself might really make a difference in how calm I feel. It will also be an hour of to do list check off-ery that won't interfere with my primary goal of building relationships with the kids and prioritizing all things intangible that aid in that endeavor. It seems like Han and Ulysses are still genuinely happy to be home with us. Ulysses is sooo darn adorable - the way he says "mommeeee" is so sweet. He loves to hug me and will just walk up to me and smile and say "mommee mommee...one two three" and then wrap his arms around me and give me a great big hug. I know he is 9yo, but he feels to me to be more like 4 or 5 emotionally. He is more develomentally appropriate in mental tasks. He doesn't have any problems putting together puzzles and he seems to be increasing his receptive understanding of English very quickly. Han is so smart. Apparently, he has some mad art skills too. Today we took a nature walk this morning and everyone drew one thing they found outside. Han took a very long time and created a pretty intricate picture - I was impressed. After we did our drawing, the kids came into the reading room and I read from Understood Betsy. They were all very good while I was reading...very good. I twas very weird. After we read for a while, Ben and Zeb took turns reading to me and Violet and Ulysses played connect 4. Han and Alex colored some more pictures. It was a pretty good morning. Keith went to the store and then spent some time hanging outside with our great new lawn people. He got home around 1pm and I went and took a nap until it was time to go to work. How did my steps to slowin down life come out today? Step 1 - I haven't bought anything yet today! Step 2 - Family Dinner. I failed today. I slept until after 5pm (that was still only 4 hours in 40 hours or so). When I came downstairs, keith was in the early stages of monkey bread and breakfast night....yummm. I had to go to work, so I missed breakfast night! Bummer. I am almost through my last night shift for the week and then I am off for an entire week! yeah...let the relationshipbuilding begin...oh yeah and the catching up of homework begin!

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