Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Things Kids Say...

What parent hasn't felt embarrassed at times over the things their small child says in public? We've certainly experienced that with Yikealo lately. As his English has improved and his shyness has disappeared, it has opened up a whole new world of humiliation for this mama! Take these random questions and comments to various people for example:
  • to a lady in front of us at the grocery check-out line: "Are you an OLD lady?" (She just started laughing at the mortified look on my face and answered, "You know, I AM kind of old!" His reply: "Like my Daddy?")
  • to a waitress at a restaurant: "You're kind of a cute girl!" I mean, what is that?? Who wants to hear that they're "kind of" cute? And why is he noticing at this age anyway?
  • to a "vertically challenged" gentleman at church: "Why are you not tall?" This man now thinks that Yikealo is very funny and brings him candy at every opportunity - so much for trying to teach him NOT to ask embarrassing questions!
  • My parents were visiting a couple of weeks ago and Dad was playing ball with Yikealo in the backyard. Y proudly told our neighbors, "This is my grandson!"
  • while waiting in the radiology lab the other day: "Mom why is that lady short and old?" This was, of course, said in a VERY loud voice.
  • to a man at church who has hooks in place of hands: "Why you don't got any hands?" The man replied, "Well, I was in an accident years ago, and I lost my hands." Yikealo gave him quite a look and said with a little snort, "Well, THAT's not good.You get better now, okay?"
  • to an obviously male waiter in his early twenties, "Is your name Sister Miriam?" This comes from one of Yikealo's very favorite Sunday school songs about Baby Moses and his sister Miriam. Needless to say, the guy was not terribly impressed.
  • while shopping in Bath and Body Works last night: "Mom, please tell the lady that her store smells yucky!" This was said basically to the store manager who was restocking a shelf right next to us. She cracked up laughing.
  • to a 70ish lady who held a door open for us: "Thank you, young man!"
  • to the manager at our local Rite Aid (who happens to be completely infatuated with Mr. Y) "Kaka is poop!" Thank you, cousin Quinn, for teaching Yikealo this wonderful information! He is so pleased at knowing it that he now wants to share it with everyone!
We're trying valiantly to teach him about what is and is not appropriate to say to people that are essentially strangers, but so far it's not going so good for us! Any suggestions?

He's also decided lately that he doesn't like to snuggle with Daddy, because "Daddy's too bony. I like Mama, because Mama is soft!"  Hmmmm....that might make me feel good, except that he asked this morning, "Mama, why are you fat?" Oh yeah, thanks a lot, bud. All I can say, is it's a good thing that you're so cute!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Sister's Blog

For all of the Yikealo fans out there, I thought that maybe I should let you know that my little sister has begun blogging their adoption journey as well. They are using the same adoption agency that we are using, but they are ahead of us in the process by quite a bit at this point, having hit the wait list a few weeks ago. We do, however, have exactly the same parameters as far as age: we are both willing to take a boy or a girl up to age 3. The big difference is that they are on the siblings list as well, while we only plan to adopt one child. Anyway, if you're interested in following along, her blog address is:

Erica and I are only 18 months apart in age, and we grew up sharing a room. When we were younger, we fought about all of the typical sister things: clothes, boys, space, etc., but today I consider her one of my closest friends. It is amazing to be sharing the journey of adoption with her and her family right now - someone else with which to share the many ups and downs involved in the process - and it is so exciting that our children will have cousins from their birth country!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Vacation as a Family of Three

Okay, so I know that we're sadly behind in our blogging, but we have a really good excuse...namely, lots of paperwork and parent education for adoption #2, of next week, we should be finished with everything on our homestudy other than the social worker visits. Yay! The end of the paperwork chase is in sight!!!

 Anyway, three weeks ago, we left for our first vacation together since we brought Yikealo home last year. We went to one of our favorite spots in the world - a little lake cottage in Michigan that has been in David's family for 65 years or so. David and I have been there so many times during the course of our marriage, and we have always loved the quiet, relaxing setting - far away from the pressures of day-to-day life. Well, needless to say, although we've been there several times with other people's children, it was very different this year. When other people had their kids along, THEY were responsible for watching said kids - while WE sat for hours on the swing reading books...and that is SO NOT what happened this year!

Don't get me wrong - it's not at all that our vacation was bad. It was just different. To give you a few examples:

Instead of sleeping in until 9:30 or 10:00 and slowly awakening to the view of sunlight dancing across the water outside, we were awakened at or before 6:00 by a hyper little boy running into our room, jumping on our bed and asking, "Please, can we go swim in the boat?"
Instead of spending quality time on the swing, we were constantly saying things like, "Yikealo, DO NOT jump off of the swing again!" and instead of reading long novels, we read books like "Tootle" and "The Saggy, Baggy Elephant." (Thanks to my sister Erica for bringing two of her kids up to visit for two days, so Shana could take over reading duty for awhile!)

It is fairly difficult to really relax around a large body of water when you are mother to a fearless 4-year-old who LOVES the water and has not had swimming lessons yet.

Instead of being perfectly content with our glorified rowboat with its small motor (just perfect for trips across the lake to the beach), there was a certain little person who was definitely coveting his neighbors' speedboats (and jet skies, and sand toys, and beach-front property.) He constantly begged to be "driving" the boat and pretended to be a pirate while doing so.

Instead of long, leisurely, meandering walks around the lake, we found ourselves saying things like, "Yikealo, PLEASE stay over to this side! There is a car coming!" or "No, I will not carry you. You are perfectly capable of walking" or "Okay, let's go back. He's obviously not going to be happy until we go to the beach." After several days of this, we discovered that if we gave him a little basket in which to collect "treasures", we could walk for as long as we wished!

Instead of baking ourselves for hours while falling asleep on our beach towels in the sand, we took turns tanning for a half hour at a time while the other one splashed around the frigid lake with a very happy, loud child who had chattering teeth. Once we could see that his lips were turning blue, we had to drag him kicking and screaming up to the sand to build sand castles for awhile and warm up.

Biking around Mackinac Island into a stiff breeze is certainly easier WITHOUT hauling nearly 40 lbs. of little boy behind your bike in a 15 lb. burley cart. However, it is very exciting to see familiar places through new eyes!

New ice cream flavors tried at the local creamery: Superman, Blue Moon, Cotton Candy, and Lemon Chiffon (because he wanted "yellow")

Instead of long afternoon naps, we heard the continual "kwaaaaang-BLAM" of the screen door as the boy raced in and out of the house.

We do not have a television in our home, so instead of taking the opportunity to watch fun channels like HGTV on the cottage TV, we became very familiar with Dora the Explorer and Handy Manny.

Instead of listening to good mystery novels on tape or CD, we found our own mysteries to solve: Hmmm...trail of sand and water droplets from the back door leading to Yikealo's bedroom...sopping wet, sandy swim trunks lying on the carpet beside the bed...naked child standing out in front of the cottage, valiantly trying to pretend that he had listened to his mother's injunction to stay out of the house until Daddy had rinsed him off. Yeah, his attempt at deceit didn't work so well, because I am obviously not as dumb as he thinks I am! Since the front of the cottage is very close to the road, I'm sure that some passers-by had quite the view.

Instead of playing a few rounds of putt-putt golf, we played "puff-puff cough" (as translated by Yikealo.)

Instead of sitting outside quietly, hoping to watch the squirrels, chipmunks and bluejays squabbling over the peanuts that we had set out for them, any wildlife was chased away by someone who was quite determined that he was going to "catch a chick-mump."

After well over 15 years of marriage, I discovered that my typically calm, sedate hubby is really just a little boy inside. He delighted in showing off so many "talents" for his son, including throwing rocks, bailing out the boat, teaching Y to climb on all kinds of things, and setting off explosives. Yikealo was highly impressed, of course!
(This look of complete and total adoration occurred after Daddy startled him by throwing down a handful of those little TNT Pop-Its. Anybody who can make that loud of a noise MUST be a true hero!)

All in all, we had a grand time together - especially after the first few days of adjusting to our new normal! We've just traded lots of "R and R" for lots of wide-eyed excitement over new experiences - and I must say, the new normal is a lot of fun!