Friday, August 17, 2007

Mohawk Madness

They're not permanent, but I figured that I could sort of give them what they wanted for 12 hours since they needed haircuts anyway. The "strip" will be shaved off tomorrow morning! But for now, they think they are most cool. Henry keeps yelling at Grace to "not mess up my STYLE!"

We were addicted to America's Got Talent this season and this past week when Butterscotch, the beat boxer, did her thing, George listening intently and then commented, "Hey, that's not bad!"

Of course, while I was AGAIN on the phone with my sister the other night, I heard a blood curdling scream and joked that I was going to have to hang up again and head back to the ER. Imagine my shock (so much shock that the first two words out of my mouth were "Oh Sh*t!") when George came running in and had split his eyebrow AGAIN about 1/2 mm under the first cut! I managed the stop the bleeding on that one after thirty minutes or so and we avoided the ER.

George also now has an older girlfriend. Hannah is in Jack and Henry's class and she is completely smitten with him. She's a peanut - she's only about 2 inches taller than George and they probably wear the same size clothing. But she just loves him and this morning, he said, "Bye Hannah. Have a good day at school!" Kills me.

Everyone is waiting on pins and needles for the High School Musical 2 premier tonight. Then, the weekend awaits. Yeah! I only wish it were going to cool down! Nothing under 110 in the forecast, I'm afraid.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Lost teeth and lost fur

Finally! On Wednesday evening we all sat with baited breath at the dinner table for 15 minutes while Jack twisted, bended, bled, twisted, and bended some more (and bled) until he was just like Henry and had lost a tooth. Well, Henry's lost two teeth, but Jack's on his way now and we've confirmed that his teeth do fall out like everyone else's.

School continues to go well. Grace came home with a flyer advertising voice lessons, art lessons, or violin lessons, and wouldn't you know it, she picks the one for which I have to buy an instrument! Violin begins a week from Thursday and I can't wait to see what this brings about.

George loves taking his brothers and sister to school each day, but he wants to be more like them. So he fills his suitcase with all the things he believes one should take to school each day (you know, cars, extra shoes, a toothbrush...) and pulls it behind him all the way to their classrooms and back to the car again --- even when we pick them up in the afternoon. It's hysterical.

I think it's already pretty clear what at least two of our kids will ask for for Christmas this year. I feel fairly certain that George wants one of the Lowe's carts that's like a car, and last night Jack asked for a mohawk. Neither will be transpiring.

Humphrey finally got a much-needed haircut. We hated to do it, but it had gotten really matted so it was a necessity. Now he looks like a glorified poodle, but I've been assured that it will grow back and, if we comb him regularly, we don't have to do something this drastic next time.

Finally, a bit of adoption-related news. In an effort to further thwart those who are attempting to remove children from Guatemala in an unethical manner, the U.S. Embassy is now requiring (as of August 1st) a second DNA test on the children before they are given their pink slip to leave the country with their adoptive parents. All in all, this is a good thing. It ensures that the child getting the pink slip is the same child who was DNA tested against his or her birth mother umpteen months prior and referred to a particular adoptive family. In cases where adoptive parents don't see the child except in pictures for many months in between the referral day and adoption day (we will fit into this category), it ensures that the child isn't "switched" in between. On this 2nd DNA test, they only compare the child's DNA to that from the first test; they don't retest the child against his or her mother. It may add an extra week or two to the process, but it's a good thing. It will take one step further in making everyone comfortable that the child leaving the country is the child who has been approved to leave the country with a specific set of parents.

Other than that, still waiting for the referral of a baby, and we'll likely be waiting a while. But we'll try to be patient!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

I should have been more prepared. After all, it's been a loooong time since our last ER visit.

As I was concluding a phone call with my sister this evening, I heard a scream. That part wasn't unusual. What was unusual was the sudden sight of George standing in front of me, screaming, and looking a lot like Carrie in the final scene of the movie by the same name --- but with the blood pouring down only the left side of his face.

As the story went, someone (of the male persuasion) threw a matchbox car at his head. The rest is, as they say, history.

I held a compress on it for a while, then put a bandaid on it, then said some prayers because it was rush hour and I REALLY didn't want to head to the ER with all four kids in tow. But, after an hour, the blood was still coming out from underneath the bandaid and George was wandering around saying, "I don't feel well. I need to go to the hopstital."

As a compromise, we went to our favorite pediatric urgent care facility. They can do stitches, and the wait isn't nearly what you deal with at the ER (plus, you get to avoid the adult victims of everything from a gunshot wound to the Ebola virus, which is always a bonus).

Unfortunately, while I thought this was just a minor laceration, the doctor at urgent care didn't agree. "It's pretty gaping," he said. "You need to head over to the hospital ER. They'll need to stitch it and stitch it well so he doesn't get a bad scar." Super.

We headed over and they got us in right away somehow.

After having been asked for the sixth time (by the sixth person) how this all happened, I suppose I was feeling a bit defensive about the fact that one of my children had done this to the other. After all, it's far easier to blame it on the neighbor, the protruding oven handle, or the broken sidewalk. So, when the poor nurse politely inquired as to the course of events that brought us to her triage area, I responded with something along the lines of, "ONE OF MY KIDS DID THIS TO HIM. OKAY? THERE ARE FOUR OF THEM. AND THEY ARE ALWAYS FIGHTING. AND TATTLING. AND FIGHTING. AND TODAY, APPARENTLY, THEY WERE THROWING THINGS. AND ONE OF THOSE THINGS MADE CONTACT WITH THIS POOR CHILD'S FOREHEAD. AND NO, I WAS NOT WATCHING SOAP OPERAS WHEN IT HAPPENED. I WAS ON THE PHONE. AND IT WAS BUSINESS. SORT OF." Poor woman. She responded with, "Oh, I get it completely. I have two boys. They are always fighting.

I don't think she does get it completely. I think I told her as much. I don't think she gets that the other day, one of my kids (who shall remain nameless) threw a rock at his sister's face. I don't think she gets that there isn't a single toy in my house that it played with as intended. I don't think she gets that my daughter wants to raise a panda bear in our backyard. But she's a nurse, not a therapist, which is, I'm sure, precisely what she was thinking in that moment.

She noted that she could easily glue his head back together and avoid stitches. Super. She asked him if he could lie down and he just said, "Yup! Sho!" (which is how he says "Sure). He made not a peep as she cleaned and glued. When she was finished, he actually said, "Tank you. Tank you, Mom." You're so welcome, dear.

And as we left, I realized that perhaps he took the old advice about always having on clean underwear in case you have to go to the ER to the extreme. It became clear (since his pants were practically falling off) that he didn't appear to be WEARING underwear. I said, "George, are you wearing underwear?"


"Why not?"

"Because I don't need to, Mommy."

I was too tired to respond. Who cares.

Time for ice cream. Thank God for ice cream.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Day Two

Day Two of the 2007-2008 school year has been completed. I believe it was relatively uneventful. Jack's backpack somehow was taken home by another student, but hopefully it will resurface this morning.

I bought this candelabra thing for our kitchen table and it has four candles on it. Our new "tradition" is that every night after dinner, the kids each name something they are thankful for or make a wish for the next day and then blow out one of the candles. That wasn't what I had in mind when I bought it, but it's worked out well since it's sometimes the only positive 60-second span of the day.

Last night, George was once again thankful for being able to blow out a candle. Henry was "thankful that God created this wonderful world." The child is hysterical.

David has ordered some book about the Indigo children and the fifth dimension and was trying to explain to me last night about how the Mayan calendar predicts the end of "this world" and the beginning of the next in 2012 based on these children and how they are going to transform the world. I was totally lost. Kind of like when we watched "What the Bleep Do We Know?" I'll look forward to the arrival of the book and, hopefully, a more thorough explanation of this phenomenon that, at this point, sounds downright terrifying.

On the adoption front, I'm now scouring guidebooks on Guatemala in preparation for a trip my mom and I plan to take after the first of the year to Antigua, Guatemala. This trip is simply to explore the area, purchase some decorative items for the house, and hopefully not spend even a moment suffering from any sort of illness that can be attributed to drinking water, contaminated fruit, malaria, dengue fever, cholera, or that point in time's most prevalent flu strain.

Over and out.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Another school year already!

Dear heavens. Another school year is already upon us. I do believe that when I was growing up, summers were four weeks longer than they are now. But, I won't complain too much. I think we were all ready for a schedule, and given that Grace was creating her own homework the night before school started, some of us were ready for some work other than room cleaning.

Jack and Henry had a great first day. I met them for lunch, and this morning Henry asked me not to join them today because "you confuse me when you come to lunch." Don't know what that means, but I'm not concerned because I had plenty of other things on the agenda today. The boys came down in identical outfits and said they wanted to see if their teacher could figure out who was who. Poor lady. Apparently yesterday a girl in the class told Henry he wasn't in the class, and Jack said, "Yes he is. He IS in this class because he's my twin and we're the only twins in this class."

They don't just dress alike at school. Here are their newest PJs. After they put them on they said, "Mom, do we look like twin boys?" I told them that indeed they did. They then said, "Well, you'd better take a picture of us then."

Grace learned yesterday that panda bears are apparently an endangered species. She said, "I'd like to do something about that. So I've decided that I could raise a panda here and then release it into the wild when it gets older." We will not be doing that. I think it's illegal.

I can't wait to see what stories they come home with today!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

On The List!

We've officially done it! We've gotten on The List for a referral!
We went on the list on George's birthday, which was quite significant for us. The bad news is that we're #53, so it could be a while. I'm not entirely sure just how long, but a while. But David notified me that 53 was his high school basketball number, so perhaps that's significant. We'll wait patiently and know that we have plenty going on here in the meantime.

I'm also pleased to report that they did take me at INS (now USCIS) yesterday! I took Grace with me, and at one point, the old cranky security guard said that no kids were allowed in the building. Um, okay? I said, "What should I do with her? Put her in the hot car?" He acquiesced. Thankfully, he was the only angry one there, and everyone else was lovely to work with. We were out in about 34 minutes. I am VERY happy to have that overwith!

In other news, it's more humid than I remember it ever being in Phoenix, but the temperature is only in the 90s, so I suppose I should not complain. I got my table saw all tuned up this morning in anticipation of beginning some interior design projects when the kids start school on Monday. George unfortunately now does not start until Sept. 4th, but that's okay. He and I will be tearing the town up looking for lumber, smoothies, and air conditioned venues and I'm looking forward to spending that time with him without anyone pushing anyone, yelling at anyone, or throwing things at anyone (at least not in my presence).

More soon!