Friday, December 17, 2010

This time last year...

I keep thinking of "this time last year" in regards to Sammy...
This time last year, Sammy:
  • was Wondimu Shiberu
  • was 14 months old
  • had just learned to walk
  • was still living with his birth mother
  • would regularly go without food
This time last year:
  • we had no idea who Wondimu Shiberu was
  • we had just completed our home study
  • I was think of him and praying for him constantly
  • I was wondering if he had food or blankets
  • I was wondering what kind of circumstances would make him available for adoption...this thought was always devastating and scary to me because the reality is, my greatest joy & blessing has resulted because of someone else's tragedy. I was well-aware that my son was about to endure some kind of tragic loss and there was nothing I could do to protect him from that or comfort him in the midst of it.
This year at Christmas I have seen everything through Sammy's eyes:
  • watching a freshly cut Christmas tree fall to the ground
  • seeing that tree light up for the first time...Sammy said, "Wow!"
  • tasting hot chocolate
  • meeting family members for the first time
  • receiving so many gifts from various people
  • seeing a camel and petting a sheep
2010 has been a year of dramatic change for him. He has lived in four different places with 4 different sets of caregivers this year. The longest time he's spent in any one place is 4 months. He is on his 3rd language in one year. He went from having no worldly possessions in rural Ethiopia to living in one of the wealthiest and largest metropolitan areas in America. He lost his birth mother-- the woman who likely slept with him every night, carried him in her shawl throughout the day, and nursed him at her breasts for his first 15 months of life. He gained his forever family who will love him, protect him, and provide for him. We were not there to cheer for him as he took his first steps, but we will be the ones to cheer him on as he walks across the stage at his graduation.

My heart has ached for him as I've watched him grieve his losses and struggle through continued fear of abandonment. My heart has also rejoiced over him as I've seen light and life return to those beautiful brown eyes. There is no sound sweeter to my ears than Sammy's belly laugh.

Sammy is
  • a picture of God's redemption
  • the answer to my prayers
  • the perfect fit in our family
This is Sammy's first Christmas...finally HOME! I am thanking God for TWO very special babies this Christmas: both born in rural villages to poor families, both familiar with tragedy and loss, and both changed my life forever.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Immanuel, The With of God

I love this poem, written by Beth Moore. Especially at Christmas time. Hope it blesses you today!

Immanuel, the With of God
Incarnate Love on carnal sod
Set aside Thy lofty crown
Knees of God kneeling down.
Spirit feet shod with flesh
Earth prints of celestial steps.
Fullness of the Diety
Draping God that man might see.
Volume of that silent Voice
The Word made flesh--O Blessed Choice!
What is man that Thou wouldst come
Wrapped as we, that we'd be one?
Wake, O Sleeper! Tongue must tell!
It's God with us!
Immanuel.
Beth Moore
"Further Still"

Friday, December 10, 2010

Bringing Up Boys

The other day, as I was getting Caedmon dressed for school, Sammy had a toy that Caedmon wanted to play with. Of course it was a piece of junk toy that we've had forever, got for free at some carnival, and Caedmon hasn't thought twice about since. But Sammy had it and so Caedmon wanted it. (The toy was a miniature skateboard, about the same size as a matchbox car.)

I've been teaching Caedmon that he can create a win/win situation by finding a toy that Sammy would enjoy and offering him that toy as a trade. Most of the time this works well, as Sammy is easily distracted and easy to entertain.

On this particular morning, Caedmon decided to try out this method of "peacemaking". Well, kind of. He snatched the skateboard out of Sammy's hand before remembering to provide an alternative toy for his brother. So he ran to his room (wearing just a pair of underwear) to get a car to offer Sammy and instead came back with two cars but no skateboard. He handed Sammy the cars. And then. He pulled the skateboard out of his underwear while explaining to me that his hands were full and he needed a place to carry the skateboard.

At least he's resourceful, right?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Bad Case of "It Wasn't ME!"

So, Andy and I are slightly nervous that Sammy may have a bad case of tattle-telling and blame-shifting when he gets enough language to do so. Here's a funny story to demonstrate the concern...

Whenever Caedmon looks at Sammy, touches Sammy, takes a toy from Sammy, etc...Sammy begins to cry (not real tears) and says with a disgusted look on his face, "Kay-Kay. Kay-Kay." Most of the time, I can't blame him. Caedmon has not really developed the art of being gentle, kind, and generous. Often the tears are indeed provoked, at least to some level.

The other day, however...

Andy walked in the room to find Sammy messing with his computer. Sammy knows the computer is off limits and when he saw Andy walk in the room, he took off running down the hall, 'crying' and yelling, "Kay-Kay" all the way. Caedmon was not even in the room, but rather out in the living room watching his TV show!

It's amazing how innate the tendency to shift blame can be...and not just in 2 year olds!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cute Lil Turkey

Last week, I had a couple friends over with their kiddos and we made these adorable little turkeys. Caedmon has his proudly displayed on his door. I found the idea here.





Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hide 'Em In Their Hearts

Caedmon has been working very hard to earn money around here because Bay Kids is having a boys vs. girls competition to see who can raise more money for South Bay's Forward initiative. Caedmon has four chores that he can earn stickers for throughout the week (stay in bed, clean up, practice riding bike, get ready for bed without complaining). Each sticker is worth one dime and one M&M.

We also started a new incentive program last week that has been WONDERFUL! I made a Bible Memory Verse chart and put it right by our kitchen table. Now our meal times are full of scripture memory, and Caedmon is the one pushing to learn them! So cool. Last week we practiced all week and then on Saturday he quoted me all the ones he could remember. He earned one dime/M&M for every verse he could remember and an extra dime/M&M if he could remember the reference.


How can a young man keep his way pure?
By living according to Your Word.
I seek You with all my heart;
Do not let me stray from Your commands.
I have hidden Your Word in my heart
That I might not sin against You.
                         Psalm 119:9-11

Monday, November 22, 2010

Stress-Free Sundays, or not...

As a pastor's wife, one of my primary roles is to eliminate stress for my husband on Sundays. His job of communicating the Word of God is so vitally important that I don't want anything to distract him. We go to great extremes to create a stress-free zone surrounding Sunday mornings, but some days things just do not go as we planned them...especially when kiddos are involved.

Sunday morning begins on Saturday night for us. Every Saturday night, I pick out all 4 of our outfits and make sure they are ironed and ready to go in the morning. I also prep our breakfast for the morning so that it will take less time and hassle to cook in the morning. Andy's ritual Sunday breakfast includes 3 egg whites with 1 whole egg, 3 pieces of turkey bacon, a yogurt or some fruit, and a glass of juice.

We typically don't go anywhere on Saturday nights and all try to get to sleep early because Andy gets up with the rooster on Sunday mornings.

Well, I thought I was being really proactive this week because I had Sammy in his bed by 7:15 on Saturday night. Caedmon had taken a good nap that day and I knew he wouldn't be tired, so I set him up in his bed with some library books to help him calm down. Things were going great. Sammy fell asleep before 8 and Caedmon finished up his library books around 8:15. That's about the time that everything began to unravel...

Caedmon had a total and complete meltdown when trying to pick out his stuffed animal to sleep with that night. I know, paramount decision, right? After trying to calm him down and reason with him, he only got more defiant and violent and ended up without a stuffed animal at all. Sammy woke up about that time with a poopy diaper and didn't fall back asleep until 9:00. (Did I mention I have to stay in the room with him until he's completely asleep?) When Andy & I went to sleep at 9:40, Caedmon was still awake and we were just hoping he didn't get up and destroy the apartment.

Sammy woke up again at 1:30 AM and just wanted to "hang out" a little. Andy headed to the couch so he could get back to sleep. Sammy, on the other hand, was no too interested in sleeping. He wasn't crying and he would lay down in his pack-n-play. But every 15-20 minutes, just as I would be falling back asleep, he would stand back up again. It was like some kind of cruel torture method..."Haha, you thought I was asleep! Nope. And I want to make sure you're not either!" He finally fell asleep around 3:30 AM and I got back to sleep around 4. When Andy woke me up at 7, I felt like a total zombie.

The next morning at church, a staff member came up to me as the 3rd service was starting and said, "I think Caedmon has hives." Hives? Seriously? Yes. All over his face.

I was 90% sure I had Benadryl at home, so I loaded up both boys and headed home. The 10% uncertainty is what turned out to be true, so I called Mandy to see if she had any. Nope. The boys and I walked over to the little market at our apartment complex to see if they had any. Nope. So the three of us loaded back into the car to go to the grocery store to get some Benadryl. One hour later, we were home. And hungry. And exhausted.

So much for a stress-free Sunday, huh? Oh well, you win some, you lose some!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

$10 Date Night

If you know the Wood family, you know "Date Night" is a high priority around here. Andy & I go out on a date every Friday night while Filipe & Mandy babysit our kids. It's awesome. When we come home, our kids have been fed, bathed, and are peacefully sleeping in their beds, FOR FREE! And there's no guilt in accepting the free babysitting because we do the same thing for them every Thursday night. I highly recommend finding a family to swap babysitting with.

Some people wonder how in the world we can afford to go out on a date every week. Well, our dates are rarely extravagant. We often split a meal at a mid-grade restaurant and then go out for coffee afterwards. This month, however, our "eating out" budget has been a little tight. So last night we enjoyed a $10 date, and it was oh so nice! Let me share...

I received a coupon to get a Bertolli Ready Bake meal for $5 from Target. So I bought chicken cannelloni and I put a salad with it. A quick, easy dinner that was actually really yummy. We ate it on fine china over candlelight with Josh Groban serenading us.  After dinner, we went by Peet's and got Andy a drink with a gift card someone had given him. Then we went to Starbucks and got me a free drink with a coupon I had. We also bought a couple of chocolate mint brownies for $5 and enjoyed our drinks, dessert, and a great conversation.

And there you have it...a great date night for $10. Be creative and prioritize date night. Your marriage will thank you!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Big brother, Little brother




Sammy's language is picking up like wildfire and I believe that much of that can be attributed to his older brother. Caedmon is a talking machine from morning until night, so Sammy has ample opportunity to hear language all day long!

Some of the not-so-great additions to the vocabulary include:
"Go away!" -- often heard when trying to make him lay down and go to sleep.
"Stop it!" -- often heard when I'm singing to him.
"No way!" -- often heard when I ask him to come.

Thank you, Caedmon, for teaching Sammy the essentials of survival as an American toddler. See, he's fitting right in already!

Sammy has also, graciously, taught Caedmon a thing or two...Caedmon is much more into hitting, kicking, and biting now that he's sees Sammy's example.

Brothers, brothers...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thankful...

Today I feel compelled to tell you some of the reasons why loving Andy is so easy right now...

  • This morning he spontaneously told me, "Why don't you walk over to Starbucks for 45 minutes and enjoy reading your Bible while I get the boys their breakfast." I was shocked. And thankful. And I REALLY enjoyed it.
  • He prays for me...every day during his prayer time and every night as we lay in bed. And especially when he knows I'm struggling with something.
  • Most days he calls during the boys naptime to see how my morning went. The conversation is typically less than 5 minutes.
  • He works diligently to allow me to have breaks every now and then...Wednesday nights after dinner, Saturday mornings, etc.
  • He allows me to be completely honest about how I'm feeling or what I'm struggling with without judging me or correcting me. I'm thankful for that freedom, and I'm also thankful for his words of encouragement that help me see things from a different perspective.
I could go on and on telling you about wrestling matches with the boys, washing dishes, picking up after himself, and other things. But I'll stop here for today and just let you know that I'm thankful for my husband. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Loving Faithfully

On Monday nights Andy & I are leading a married couples life group through a curriculum called "Marriage Built to Last". This past week Chip Ingram gave a definition for love that I have thought about over and over the past few days. He said love is "giving someone what they need the most when they deserve it the least at great personal cost." Chip was specifically talking about marriage, but I've been meditating on it in relation to what that looks like with my kids.

Honestly, according to that definition, it's a lot easier for me to "love" Andy right now than it is for me to "love" my kids. Although this has been a busy couple of months for Andy, I can see how much effort he's putting in to helping out at home, trying to give me windows of relief, and empathizing with what I'm going through. We have really been working together as a team as we navigate this adjustment period with Sammy. It's not taking a lot of effort to "love" Andy.

Without going into all that we've been dealing with (mainly the same ol' stuff...sleeping issues, sibling issues, attachment issues) I'll just say that this has been a tough week for me and I've been feeling very weary. When I heard that definition of love I thought to myself, "That is where I am living right now."

Today as I was reading my Bible, I came across Proverbs 3:3 which says,

"Let love and faithfulness never leave you; 
bind them around your neck, 
write them on the tablet of your heart."

Love and faithfulness. That is what I need right now. I need to keep giving my boys what they need the most when they deserve it the least, even when it comes at great personal cost. I need to faithfully do that today. And tomorrow. And next week.

I'm so thankful that I have a Savior who loved me when I least deserved at great personal cost to Himself.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Birthday, Sammy!

We celebrated Sammy's 2 year old birthday tonight. We don't know his actual birthday, but we chose October 28th based on some information his birth mother was able to provide. We wanted to do something to make it special and celebrate, but nothing too big or overwhelming for him. So we just invited over our dear friends, the Santos family, for dinner, presents, and dessert. It was a very fun, non-stressful birthday party!

Here are a few pictures of our evening:

 
I love how Sammy is grabbing food off of Cailyn's plate 
while she's not looking! That boy loves to eat.


 
Name puzzle given to him by his Uncle Teve & Aunt Lala


 
All four of the kiddos "helped" unwrap the presents.
It was fun & exciting for all of them because they know
they will all benefit from Sammy's toys!

video
Notice how Caedmon very subtly "helps" Sammy
blow out his candles.

 
Pretty excited about his dessert...


 
He has a smile that will light up your life!


 Nite-Nite snuggles with Mama.


Dear Sammy,

Happy Birthday! We are so happy to get to celebrate YOUR LIFE that God saw fit to rescue from poverty and malnutrition and probably death. We are abundantly thankful that God chose to place you in our family. You are a priceless gift to us.

TWO things that I love about you as you turn TWO years old:

1- You are incredibly resilient. You have been through an enormous amount of turmoil and grief in your short life. I know in your heart that you realize your life is not as it should be. And yet somehow you smile and laugh your way through every day. I cannot imagine going through all that you've been through, and I think you've displayed great strength in the midst of it. I believe that God will use your resilience to enable you to overcome insurmountable odds that people who lack faith said could never be done. Your ability to maintain joy in the midst of uncertainty should be an inspiration to us all.

2- You are a "people-person". Not so much right now because you're still nervous when we go into new settings. But your daddy & I had the great joy of seeing your personality in Ethiopia and we can see it now when it's just us in our own home. Soon enough you will come back into your own again and the world will be so blessed by your winsome ways. Your smile, playfulness, and contagious belly laughter could win over the hardest of hearts. You know that you are adorable and you either assume that everyone else does too, or you just don't really care what everyone else thinks. Either way, God will use your "woo" to allow you to gain favor in people's eyes. This will give you influence into their lives and we pray that you will use that influence for God's glory.

Samuel Wondimu Wood, you have already added so much to our family. We celebrate YOU today and all that God has made you to be! I love you so, my precious baby boy. You are my answered prayer.

Love,
Mama

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Monsters Inside Me

Have you ever heard of the show Monsters Inside Me? I hadn't either, but another adoptive family told me about it while in Ethiopia (when I was eating dinner, no less). It's about parasites and what they do to your body. The episode my friend had watched was very, very gross...made my skin crawl while I continued to choke down my spaghetti.

Any way, Sammy has had a monster inside him for quite some time now. Giardia. I was suspicious that something might be going on intestinally while in Ethiopia because his poop/gas would blow you out of a room! It was putrid! I promise you that if there had been a toxic gas alarm in our room, it would have gone off at all hours of the day. While he did have some diarrhea, stinky-ness was his main symptom. I felt the need to apologize to everyone who came by our room and felt sorry for those seated anywhere near us on the airplane.

Please meet the 5th member of our family, Giardia.

As soon as I knew the date we'd be bringing Sammy home, I scheduled a doctor's appointment for him and requested a stool sample, blood work, and thorough physical. Sure enough, the lab technician called me the next day informing us of what I already new...Sammy has a parasite.

This is super common in adopted kids and it's really no big deal to treat. I was honestly relieved to know that there was a reason for this godless odor that was invading our home and that there was hope for eliminating it. We started Sammy on meds right away and thought that was that.

When I took him back 3 weeks later for a follow-up, our pediatrician said "Let's do one more stool sample just to make sure the medicine took care of it." Might I add that gathering a stool sample is not on my Top 10 list of fun things to do. But, of course, I agreed and the next day we got another call...There are still monsters among us.

Sammy just completed round 2 of the meds and hopefully the monster has been neutralized. But now I'm totally paranoid. One nurse told us, "I've seen this get passed through a whole family." So Sammy definitely has at least one more stool sample in his future, but I told Andy that if this is a requirement for all of us, he's on his own! That is where. I. draw. the. line.

This is what we do with Giardia filled diapers (sorry it's sideways)...

video

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Two month (two day) review...


We have had Sammy home a little over two months now. The fact that this blog is two days late is quite indicative of my life right now. I feel like I'm just a little "behind on life" these days and I'm having to evaluate what truly has to get done and what can wait one more day. Or week. Or month...

Sammy continues to do better and better during the day time. He is completely comfortable in our house (does not always have to be right beside me) and is completely comfortable with his "Uncle Fi & Aunt Mandy" or his "Vovo & Vova" (Renan & Juliane). Those are the only people we have left Sammy with and they have a special connection with him.

His English is picking up. He understands a TON and he's got a handful of words as well:
  • daddy (Andy & I are both "daddy")
  • no
  • hello
  • bye-bye
  • night-night
  • "oose" (shoes)
  • "wa" (water)
  • bite (eat)
  • doggy (all 4-legged creatures are in this category)
  • mama (only repeats it if I say it)
  • Kay-Kay (Caedmon)
  • touch 
  • hot
  • side (outside)

Sammy has made a lot of progress with attachment this month. He has begun kissing me...only when he wants to, and never when requested. It's really cute, though. He kisses the tip of my nose and then both cheeks. This happens primarily at bedtime. He has also kissed Andy once. He clings to me like a monkey when we are out & about, especially in settings where there are a lot of people. At least we all know that he feels safe with me. That's a good foundation to begin working with...

I am also making a lot of progress with bonding to Sammy. I shared in the One Month Review that I was surprised that the bonding process was so difficult for me. I thought it would be instantaneous. For some adoptive parents it is, and I was really beating myself up about the fact that I didn't share the same bond with Sammy that I had with Caedmon. I have come to peace with that and I realize that the bond will form and grow stronger and stronger with time. Even over the last week I can feel change taking place in my heart...I feel more tenderness and endearment toward Sammy. He's beginning to seem less like a friend's kid that I'm taking care of and more like my son. A family of four is feeling more and more normal.

Night time is our worst time. To say I'm frustrated would be an understatement. It is so difficult for me to know what Sammy needs and what is best for him. Sammy is still sleeping in our room in a pack-n-play. After cuddling and rocking him for a few minutes, I lay him in his bed and then I just wait. And wait. And wait...for him to fall asleep. In Ethiopia, he would fall asleep within 5 minutes. At least one night this past week, it took well over an hour. The process is getting longer and longer instead of shorter and shorter.

Why not just leave him in there and carry on with your business? That's absolutely what I did with Caedmon. He cried, but he learned to soothe himself and fall asleep on his own. That is what I would love to do with Sammy, but he's got this whole fear of abandonment thing going on. I can't just let him cry it out the way I would a biological child.

Also, his night time sleep is not making a whole lot of progress, either. He's not waking up screaming anymore, so that's good. But he's still waking up multiple times a night, just fussing/whining wanting me to keep my hand on him. It's gotten to the point that once he wakes up the first time, he will continue to wake up every 20-30 minutes throughout the rest of the night...unless I bring him in bed with me. Then he sleeps fine. But when Sammy comes in, Andy goes out. And continually bringing Sammy in bed is reinforcing the night time whining.

I honestly don't know what to do. It's not because of a lack of opinions...everyone has a piece of advice. I just know:
  1. I can't stay awake all night to keep my hand on a sleeping child, and
  2. I would much rather sleep with my husband than my son.
I'm going to talk with our social worker about it because we have got to get this wheel rolling the other direction. 

God is teaching me so much through this process...about what it means to truly love someone, about relying on His strength instead of my own, about endurance and patience, and about my own heart...which is much more depraved and ugly than I'd like to admit. I've realized that, in my mind, I idealize how I think I would respond in given situations that seem noble (i.e. being a missionary in a foreign country, raising a child with downs syndrome, or adopting). But when I'm actually living it out day-by-day, my responses are far from ideal. I appreciate God's grace, forgiveness, and strength at a whole new level.


My life does not feel very "tidy" right now. Or noble. But I am learning to love my son more and more every day. We are sharing more tender moments and funny moments together which has a way of knitting our hearts to one another. Two months down and a lifetime to go. I think we're on the right track.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Top 28 Memories from my 28th year

5 Bad / 23 Good Memories:


5 Bad Memories:
1- The trip home from Ethiopia with Sammy. Read about that here.
2- Swine Flu (for me & Caedmon). Read about that here.
 3- Freezer going out on us 3 times
 4- Caedmon opening his Christmas presents TWICE before Christmas day
 5- Caedmon on Albuterol-- INSANITY! (I have a video of this, but it is too scary to share.)



23 Good Memories

1- Meeting Sammy for the first time...no words to describe this moment.
2- Watching Tiana be presented with her van given by members of South Bay. Watch the video here.
3- Snuggling in bed with Caedmon in the morning-- his face pressed against mine.
4- Speaking at South Bay on Mother's Day
5- Receiving our referral call and seeing Sammy's picture for the first time on Mother's Day weekend
6- Celebrating 24 Baptisms- each one is so special to me, especially if I know that person's story
7- Caedmon's first day of preschool
 8- Watching Andy's dad watch Andy preach on Easter Sunday
 9-Finding out that more than just my mom reads my blog...I now have a whooping 14 followers! (don't be jealous, all you bloggers out there)

10- Attending C3 in Texas with the South Bay staff
11- Celebrating our 7 (SEVEN) year anniversary in San Francisco--best anniversary yet!
12- Seeing God provide thousands upon thousands of dollars for our adoption expenses. NOTHING is too big for Him!
13- Watching all 3 of my boys do the "Monster Dance" in their PJs after bath time (video footage to come)
14- Celebrating South Bay's one year anniversary in February...Cardboard testimonies...God has done so much so soon.

 15- Family vacation to Lake Tahoe- our last big "Hoorah" with Caedmon as an only child
16- Attending the GLO conference in Corpus Christi, TX with my college roommate, Kendall
17- Being apart of EPIC Church's first Preview Service in San Francisco--EPIC is the first church plant that South Bay is partnering with...may there be many, many more!
18- Gotcha Day- August 17, 2010...Sammy joins his forever family
19- Experiencing South Bay's growth from one service, to two services, to three services, to looking for a more permanent facility
20- Watching Sammy see the ocean for the first time
21- Being apart of a church staff that TRULY loves each other
22- Weekly date nights with the most amazing man I know
23- The peace of knowing that I am where God wants me to be doing what God wants me to do.

the best is yet to come...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

4 year olds, Stickers, & Weddings

A couple weeks ago, the Santos kids were over at our house for dinner while Mandy & Filipe had their Date Night. Andy and I had the joy of eavesdropping on this dinner conversation...by the end of it we were laughing so hard we were nearly in tears!


Lily was very excited about a sticker she had and said she was going to wear it forever and ever...even at her wedding.
To this Caedmon replies, "I'm not going to marry you, Lily."
Lily: "Yes you are!"
Caedmon: "No, I will run away."
Lily: "No. You will stay AND you will be a pastor."
Caedmon: "No, Lily. I will run away."

Lily was getting very concerned by this point and said in a somewhat desperate voice, "Well someone has to marry me or I won't have a husband!"

Caedmon: "No, Lily. I won't let anyone marry you. I will kill all the boys at your wedding."

This about put Lily over the edge, so she looked to us for reinforcement. She said, "Caedmon said he's going to kill everyone at my wedding but I wanted to show them my sticker!"

The conversation ended at this point because Andy & I were laughing so hard we couldn't even reply. However, that was evidently NOT the end of the conversation for Lily and Caedmon because by the end of the night they had worked out a compromise. Caedmon said to me, "Mom, Lily said I could come to her wedding if I promised not to kill everyone."

Glad they were able to work that one out.

 Popsicles after dinner.
This is the way we bribe the girls to love our house!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My Lunch-Time Conversation with Caedmon


Caedmon (4 years old): "Mom, are teenagers adults that are kids?"
Me: "Umm, yeah, that's a pretty good definition."
C: "Tell me everything about teenagers."
Me: "Teenagers often make irrational decisions."
C: "Okay, what else?"
Me: "Teenagers experience a lot of hormonal changes."
C: "Okay, what else?"
Me: "Teenagers often have an increased attraction toward the opposite gender."
C: "Okay, what else?"
Me: "That's all I know."

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A White-Mama Moment

Can I just remind everyone that black people hair is quite different than white people hair? Poor Sammy. Despite all our efforts to tame it, his hair has been getting more and more frizzy ever since we got home. And, evidently, other people have begun to notice as well...

The other day I was in Walmart when an African American woman stopped me.

She said, "Ma'am, may I ask you a question?"
Me: "Sure"
Her: "Do you ever put any type of oil on his hair?"
Me: "Well, I have this stuff called Shea Butter that I put on it every night. It's supposed to moisturize it."
Her: "No. Uuh-uuh. That's not gonna work. Look how dry his hair is."

She touches his hair and just says over and over again, "Look how dry it is. Do you see how dry it is?"

I nod my head rapidly in agreement, like confessing a sin. I felt the need to apologize or something. She told me of a couple products to try and when I walked away I just whispered to my son, "I'm sorry, Sammy. You've got a white mama and she doesn't know what in the world to do with your hair!"

The hair saga continues...

Last night Andy let me take a break and go to Starbucks for a couple hours after dinner. He said he was going to take the boys over to Super Cuts to get Sammy a haircut (for the first time). When I came home I was shocked to see that Sammy had been all but scalped! No more hair for Sammy, poor guy. Andy said it was quite the traumatic experience as Sammy was petrified of the clippers. He screamed the entire haircut head shaving.


Guess I won't be needing those hair products after all...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Better and better...

We're making progress here at the Wood household. It is painfully slow, but it is progress no less. Here is one example:


Sammy was having some pack-n-play time yesterday while I was getting ready. Pack-n-play time has improved from constant screaming to standing there watching my every move to occasionally engaging with his toys. Yesterday, Caedmon climbed in with him for a few minutes and there was (quite surprisingly) no screaming. I had to take a picture to remind myself that not 100% of their interactions involve tears.

Also, the past three nights Sammy has only woken up one time each night as opposed to the typical 4-5 times. That is VERY exciting for me and I am hopeful that the trend will continue.

Lest you think that life is smooth sailing around here...Sammy has bit Caedmon at least half a dozen times now and continually throws objects (like play screwdrivers) at all of us. Caedmon has a black eye and a gash on each eye from two separate incidents (not involving Sammy)...that should look nice for school pictures on Thursday. Sammy fell off a stool today and I called the nurse thinking he might have a concussion. The kitchen is now "off limits" for the boys because so many injuries happen in there. Caedmon is back on Albuterol and Flovent for wheezing which makes him absolutely insane. Sometimes in a funny way, sometimes in a I-might-put-you-in-a-straight-jacket way.

Me? I've only cried once so far this week, which I guess is progress, too.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sound Sleeper?

This shirt is a total joke. We keep putting it on him hoping it will be prophetic. It's not working, yet...


"Hi, Sammy. How are you doing at 2 AM?"
"Sammy, good to see ya. (sarcasm) It's 3 AM."
4 AM: "Yep, we're still here. Didn't go anywhere in the last hour."
6 AM: "Sammy, go back to sleep. Still have another hour to sleep."

Oh, for a uninterrupted night of sleep...yawn.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Don't Quit Your Day Job

Caedmon's been talking about wanting to go to a Sharks' hockey game for quite some time. Andy thought it'd be a fun "bonding" experience for them, so he got some tickets to a preseason game. I looked for some Sharks' apparel at Target and Walmart, but everything they had was more than I wanted to spend.

I decided to make matching T-shirts for Caedmon & Andy with an "iron-on" Sharks' logo. I thought it'd be so simple...akin to applying a temporary tattoo. Unfortunately, I may be one of the least "crafty" people in the world, so even an iron-on project proved too difficult for me.

First mistake: I forgot that you have to invert the picture that you want to print so that the letters don't iron on backwards. Fortunately I realized this BEFORE I ironed them on to the tshirts. I had one extra sheet of the iron-on paper and just reprinted the logos...this time inverted.

The next problem came when trying to peel off the paper...it either wouldn't come or it took the image with it. No, my friend, it was NOT like trying to apply a temporary tattoo.

The shirts were unwearable and ended up in our trash can last night. (So much for saving money, huh?)


My back-up plan was to draw (trace) the logo on a plain white tshirt with a Sharpie marker. It looked more than a little ghetto, but that's the beauty of being a kid. If you're unashamed to wear your Spiderman costume to Walmart, you're not going to be embarrassed to wear a tshirt with a Sharpie marker drawing on it. It actually makes you feel cool, especially if your mom spikes your hair.

Caedmon's best tough-guy look
 Sammy wanted his picture taken, too.
He looks so short next to Caedmon.

Such an amazing dad. 
Caedmon has no idea how blessed he is.

This picture of Caedmon is SO classic. 
I promise you that he could be at Disney World and
have this expression on his face. Gratefulness is not 
one of his strongest virtues...

Caedmon's buddies, Nico & Aiden 
(and their dads) also came to the game.

Yeah, they had nose-bleed seats. Still had fun, though!