Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I know, it's been a while. We've been a bit busy, so here's a madcap roundup of all of our adventures!
Starsky and Hutch? That's my undercover cop on the left...
Tajee: That's what Mera calls him. It gets me every time... He's been doing really well. We're switching schools next year. In the meantime, his school had a disco dance and his costume rocked. We had a rough patch at school, and I'm counting down the days until this year ends and I can internally flip off everyone there and get out of dodge. His teacher and I no longer speak (because I had to ask the principal for help with the rapidly deteriorating situation between us), they tried to expel him two months before the end of school for his vaccines being a bit out of date (over one shot... at the end of the school year... makes NO sense to me), and the teacher's aide from his room has been making snide comments to him about the food we pack him for lunch (never mind that she ran into us in the grocery and made snide comments to me about what was in the cart... 4 packets of Ramen is not only not a big deal, and not the only darned thing in the cart, but also none of your business). His principal was supposed to observe him in class to figure out whether he was having a real problem, but since I haven't heard any findings from him two months later, it's safe to say that he's blown it off. In spite of it all, my little prince got an awesome report card. He's doing great in everything, reading above grade level, and apparently a "delight" in his gym and art classes. Karate is going well and last night he read all of "Go, Dog, Go!" to us at the dinner table. And he was baptized this Sunday!!! Hallelujiah!!

A true artiste really explores her medium
Mera: Welcome to the terrible twos. Holy crow, this is the most stubborn child alive. When she hits someone she refuses to apologize, and her refusal can last through a 45 minute "time-in" with daddy. When prompted for the apology she actually yells "NO SORRY!!" at the top of her lungs. sigh. But she has such a sweet side, she adores her big brother, and she is so danged smart. She is finally sleeping through the night more often than not. Her hair is crazy long, she's cute as a button, and I am thoroughly wrapped around her finger. She's starting with the potty, and tomorrow is her first day of part-time daycare. We needed care for her during Geri's therapy appointments, and she needs the socialization with kids her own age. Oh, and next Wednesday is her second birthday. Where did those two years go??

"Hello, gorgeous!"
Geri: Wowie wowie wow! Since she started at the Anchor Center, Geri has made leaps developmentally. She is starting to walk independently. She can easily cross a room, pause, change direction, all of that. She can sit on a "big kid" swing and kick. She crawls now. In gross motor, she's really more scared than incapable, but her confidence grows daily. The Anchor Center has been such a powerful force for her, and this week she starts one-on-one PT so I'm stoked.
She babbles a lot, and her speech is expanding. Here's a list of her words
mama, daddy, doggie, up, down, please, amen, kick, bye bye, hiya, eat, hungry, yummy yummy, pee-pee, potty, walk, no, moo, hee-haw, cup, play, outside, try, thank you, toss, ball
That's 26 words... in a new language... from a previously non-verbal child... in four months!!! It's amazing. Granted, her enunciation stinks, but we can understand her words now. And she clearly understands everything we say.
She's like a sponge, and she imitates us all the time. Her newest thing is wanting to look into our mouths while we eat. Sometimes she does it when we're not eating, just checking our teeth I guess. Me and Nick joke about her becoming a blind dentist!
Emotionally, the bond with us is growing beautifully. We have to cuddle in the morning or she throws a fit. When she gets upset I hold her close and tell her to "hug your mommy" and it's working. She calms down quickly that way. She is curious about other people, and she tends to be a bit "touchy", but I think that's her visual impairment rather than an attachment problem. She touches other people and then comes looking for me or calls for me. Sometimes I still have to remind her, and it appears that women of a certain build or appearance throw her for a loop. She remembers the orphanage workers, and she seems to "recognize" anyone who fits their mold. But I just remind her that she needs to stay with mama and she is happy to come back for a cuddle.
She's still scared to death of her sister, although she does accept the occasional hug or kiss without complaint. She tenses up, but no fit.

My LEAST embarrassing pic...
The Commish?
Mom and Dad: We're missing each other, but generally doing fine. I was sick for, like, forever with this horrible viral thing that turns bacterial around day 8 and lasts about 3 weeks. Fun. Poor Nick was stressed by worrying for me and trying to keep the kids going while I was incapacitated. But I'm well on the mend now, and it seems to have made him and Geri closer. Our anniversary is coming in June, and we're already making plans for how to phase in the idea of a sitter for Geri so that we can have a date for the big event. I'll have to share those plans so that I can tell you later how miserably they failed! ;) jk We're still very much in love, we really lean on each other to get through the rough stuff and we celebrate together when it all comes up aces in the end. As it always does, because God is so very good.

Gator and Oakley: Poor dogs. Mera beats them, I ignore them, and daddy is too busy to walk them. They get food and water, soft places to sleep, treats and such... but no real leadership at this moment. As a result, they are becoming rather naughty. Sometime, soon, we'll have the energy to truly meet their needs... I hope.
And when Daddy is available, he makes them play dressup... poor guys

So that's about it. We're still here, still standing, and I'd say we're starting to move from survival to flourishing. Which is a very nice change of pace.

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