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February/March

I’m even slacking off at catching up! Can you believe it?

I guess you probably can.

There’s not much to tell about the month of February and early March. No major trips. No holidays. Nothing of real interest going on. Sometimes life is just…regular. Of course that should be nothing to complain about. So I will give the updates as it feels to me.

Hubby: The hubby started a new job back in January which was, we hope, a good change. Of course it can take a while to really decide how you feel about a new job and the people you work with. But the hubby is the hardest worker I know and, in my opinion, pretty damn awesome. So I think his new employer is lucky to have him.

The hubby never has enough work on his plate so December and January he dedicated himself to finishing our basement. We hired a contractor/friend to do a few things for us but the hubby did the vast majority of the work. I honestly don’t know how people deal with home renos when they have to hire someone to do all of it! I can’t say how lucky I am to have a husband who is generally pretty handy, but also has the ability to teach himself how to do so many renovation-related things!  Now that the basement is (mostly) finished, the hubby is starting work on the bathrooms. We have two upstairs that need to be redone and we are hoping to put one in the basement where there is not currently a bathroom. Yes, he is a glutton for punishment, isn’t he? But a wonderful, wonderful man. (I have to butter him up good or he might start to notice how very little I contribute to the renovation process.)

Avery: The child has stopped growing physically and seems to be devoting all her energy to growing emotionally/intellectually! That’s great and all, but she has been wearing the same pants for 2 years now and shows very little signs of growing out of them. She has worn through the knees of three pairs of pants in the last week! I didn’t realize that could actually happen with kids – that they could wear out clothes before the outgrew them! Pretty soon her brain will start reaching the limits of it’s expansion without her skull (and presumably the rest of her, too) growing so maybe she’s in for a big growth spurt. I am consistently amazed and perplexed by her. This is not surprising to her, I’m sure, as she regularly gives me that withering stare intended to remind me how dumb I am.

No, seriously, she is really good kid. She is not generally disrespectful. However I have realized that we are reaching a new level of parenting where she is desiring more independence and will and she is now squarely in that stage of childhood where she no longer wants to “fuss” with…anything. Not dressing cute, or fixing her hair or any other task related to simple hygiene. Anything that interferes with play or the interesting topic/game/idea of the moment is an unacceptable interruption. In some ways I miss my little girl. She’s become such a KID. But she’s such an interesting and genuinely nice kid that I think I’ll be ok with it. Eventually.

We have been working at teaching her assertiveness, whether that is in asking for help or standing up for herself when certain manipulative/mean kids try to pick on her. Let me tell you, it’s a challenge to teach a kid something you’ve never really learned yourself! I’m really trying to work on that one. Along that same topic, I’ve been reading a fantastic book about protecting kids from predators called Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (And Parents Sane) by Gavin De Becker. This is a great book if you want something that is written by someone who is qualified and a book which is not going to make you terrified but help you feel equipped for many different situations in life (from interviewing potential babysitters/daycares, to handling someone who makes you feel uncomfortable) and help you evaluate whether your child is ready to take on certain freedoms. I have been struggling with how to know when Avery is really ready to do certain things and she is at an age where she is pushing to have more freedom. So we are going to begin working with her to make sure she has the confidence and knowledge she needs to interact safely in the world, even if we aren’t beside her every moment. For those in Saskatoon, I know our library has this book. Definitely worth the read!

So that’s where our girl is. Getting more independent by the second!

Kieran: This is one child who has not stopped growing for a second since he was born. He is now only 9cm shorter than Avery and only one clothing size behind her and they are three years apart in age! I am completely dumbfounded every time I look at how big this kid is!  Still, just because he is bigger than the average 4 year old, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t behave like one. Four years old has it’s challenges. But he is still the loving, sensitive child he always has been and I love the frequent snuggles, even if I find his desire for CONSTANT social interaction a little tiring at times. There’s a book title for you: Introverts raising Extroverts.

Kieran will be getting his tonsils and adenoids out as soon as he turns 5 and that necessity has been making itself known since…well pretty much since he was born, but particularly this winter. Adenoids can’t be seen without specials tools and mirrors but Kieran’s are almost certainly the size of basketballs, as evidenced by the fact that he always sounds very congested and he has reasonably bad sleep apnea. For us the sleep apnea is more of an issue simply because a) breathing seems important and b) every time he wakes up at night (which is about 389387394634928 times) his first order of business is to come see mom and dad in bed. So basically 3 out of 4 members of our family are suffering from sleep apnea or sleep apnea by proxy. We can’t wait to enjoy a solid night’s sleep! And honestly, although he seems to be a healthy child, I feel that this surgery is going to make him generally much healthier. It’s amazing what a difference a good night’s sleep makes to your health. My only concern is that he might start growing even faster if he starts sleeping decently and we just can’t afford to buy a new set of clothes every week! I suspect the surgeon would not be impressed if we came back six months after the operation to ask him to put the adenoids and tonsils back in!

Me: Well, there’s nothing really dramatically new with me. The things that go on in my family these days are kind of what my life is about. We’ve gone through some really difficult things and some great things in the past few months and, like everyone, I struggle with the negative emotions that go along with the bad. But I have a wonderful family and I am working at pushing myself beyond what is normally comfortable for me and trying to get to know some of the really great people I have interacted with in the past 6 months. Making new friends is a scary business. At least it can be for me. But I am looking forward to the opportunities I’ve had to meet some people who seem like truly good and kind people. Those kinds of friends can be difficult to find.

We continue to wait for a referral for the adoption. There is little news to report, other than we are told there will be legal changes happening in the country we are adopting from which should enable the foreign government to start to make faster referrals. But even those kinds of changes don’t happen overnight. As many of you know, patience is pretty much the name of the game when it comes to adoption. I am so lucky to have two children here to keep me busy and distracted from THE WAIT. If not for them I know I would be going completely bananas. I hope to write more about adoption and my thoughts and feelings about it very soon. It is a very interesting process to go through and you learn a lot about yourself and your preconceived ideas about many aspects of foreign cultures, their processes, their intentions, and my own motivations and beliefs.

Well folks, if you’re still with me, thanks for sticking through such a long catch-up post. Hopefully next time I can dig up some pictures instead of, as the hubby calls it…WORDS WORDS WORDS WORDS. :)

2 Responses

  1. Caroline Says:

    Shannon I totally enjoyed this post and as I read I was thinking, if I were a young mom at home and in your neighborhood, YOU would be exactly the type of person I would like to meet up with regularly and also often with your kids for they are such a treat. Thanks for allowing me from way over here to get to know you and your family better. Oh sorry would like to see your husband too but well he seems to be to busy working on renos.

  2. Lori Says:

    Shannon, this was such a treat to read. Bring on the words, words, words, words! The book you mentioned sounds interesting but I won’t read it now only to find out how I did everything the wrong way!
    My middle child is in Germany as I write this, landed about two hours ago, and my baby is lying in with the misery that a fever brings. A mother’s heart is always being tugged on and twisted.
    I love your blog!