Friday, October 30, 2009


one step forward and two steps back. took sophie to the store with me. I take turns with each child making a milk run with me. it was sophie's turn. and appropriate since she cries when she thinks I am leaving her. all was well. smiles galore. and then we got to check out and someone said hi cutie and she said "last name, old first name" and then we got in the car and she asked if we were going back to groupa now? ugh. she just thinks we are another groupa. I told her no groupa, groupa all done, FAMILY. chrysta cody mama papa ben sophie ethan maia FAMILY. she tried to say the word. but I dont know how much she got out of the conversation. so am I just another caretaker then? or am I MAMA?

it is fun to watch them embrace each new experience though. both loved the store. ben kept smiling and asking Amelika? she just smiled and laughed about riding in the cart. ben just spotted the lighted pumpkin(fake) and was very interested. laughing and hugging it. funny kid. he is playing fetch with the dog. he is the only one the dog has ever returned a toy to besides myself. he will fetch what others throw but always bring it back to me no matter who throws it. except Ben. he will bring it back to Ben, but he is afraid to take it away from him.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

full circle

last spring I took the kids to the state park nearby. we love to go there. We played and the wind blew. and an eagle flew overhead. it was all very neat. we loved being close to nature. and of course since the weather wasnt PERFECt no one else was there. we had the entire park to ourselves. I had a certain someone on my mind that day. in the previous days I had been trying my hardest to find someone to bring home a little girl who needed a family. A little blonde. And as I watched my own little blonde running up and down the beach and swinging and sliding and playing in the sand, I knew I couldnt leave that other little blonde to the fate that awaited her. I just coudln't stand the thought that she would never run and play and enjoy such a place as the state park. The bonus blonde came later when we couldnt leave him behind knowing the two were much like sibs and had similar challenges.

Today we went to the same park. Beautiful fall weather. Again no one around. Ben shooshed the leaves with his feet and walked along holding my hand. Sophie rode in the stroller and loved for us to toss leaves up and they would blow past her. they did the slide, the swings, the sand. and I put them in a pile of leaves and I dont think Ben stopped smiling the entire time. Scooter decided to scoot off down the hill leaving a trail behind her as the leaves parted around her and getting a wet behind in the process. but hey you are only young once and her pants were dark colored so I let them play. so from the first time I "knew" to now the first visit to the same park with the dreamed of kids.

more convinced than ever that Ben's hearing is not great

Sophie repeats words very clearly. and easily. she will say tank you if you prompt her to say it instead of spaseeba. Ben will say it too but it doesnt sound like tank you. it sounds more like fok oo. which sounds a lot like ohter words I dont generally use. I had to laugh thinking he is going to think he is being so smart and saying thank you to someone and they are going to hear fok oo. and think he said something completely different. Might have to get that thank you on tape for posterity.

another note to self: get scooter on tape. she wont always be scooter.I hope.

Monday, October 26, 2009

pizza anyone?

it is amazing how much you can learn from a language you dont speak. we are learning lots of words. Ben's pants are a little big and keep falling down. yesterday he was standing at the window and his pants AND unders fell to the floor. He and Sophie thought it histerical. We pulled them back up and went about our business. but not before I learned the word Piska. a few minutes later there is Ben with just his Piska sticking out. we didnt make a fuss, just told him to keep the mouse in the house. they moved on to other things. Last night he was petting the dog and discovered !!! the dog has a Piska! no Ben do not pet the dogs piska.

fast forward to tonight. What is for dinner. PIZZA. piska? NO! NOT PISKA! pizzzzzzaaaaaa. piska. no peeeeeeeettzzzzaaaaaaaaaaa. think about that next time you order pizza. make sure you eeeenunciate or you might end up with something much different than you planned!!

wow! incredible!

last time we tried the sling was in Ukraine. it didnt go well if you recall. she screamed bloody murder and the babushkas gave me what for since she was obviously hungry if she was crying! anyways part of why the trip home was so hard is I couldnt sling her and she would not let me put her down. TIRED ARMS! today we walked Maia to school. I put ben in the single stroller and Sophie in the sling on my back. she screamed. she cried. she carried on. and then I showed her us in the mirror and that was it. she was happy the rest of the time in the sling. we walked maia to school and walked back again all with her on my back and no complaints. not one. I am very proud of her for giving it a try. This morning everyone was cranky because they all wanted the SAME toy. but they love going for a walk so that cheered them. and then Sophie went to nap when we got home. Ben and Ethan have been playing outside every since we got back. ben cant get enough of outside.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

sophie is really improving

she IS becoming a funny little doll, just like I knew she could be. oh yes she has her moments. and she still isnt thrilled with maia. but I think she is coming along nicely. MAMA is the only one allowed to feed her. MAMA is the only one allowed to put on the AFOs. MAMA is the only one she wants to take her to the bathroom but will occasionally allow someone else but wont like it. MAMA is the only one allowed to get her out of bed. now if she could just learn a little English! she CAN say lots of things, but chooses to say them in russian instead. and I dont always know what she wants and she gets mad at me. there is an old nursery rhyme I have been meaning to post. There was a little girl who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead. and when she was good she was very very good and when she was bad she was horrid. yep thats my sophie! nastya sopha she calls herself. this is an improvement. She used to call herself "old last name" nastya. and always in that order. last name first first name last. I bet she doesnt even realize what her last name is. oh well she is only 3. and she doesnt care what you call her as long as you dont call her late to dinner!

Ben on the other hand goes by BEN! and if you call him Artem he says BEN! and little BEN sure does like when I sing songs to him. he loves wheels on the bus and tonight couldnt get enough of the itsy bitsy spider(which of course crawled up him and tickled all the way up as well as all the way down. he can be so sweet. but boy is he having a hard time sharing those birthday toys. I am torn between wanting to let him have them all to himself as he probably never had anything his own and wanting him to learn to share and be generous. and to be fair if its lying on the floor unattended it really isnt a crime for someone else to play with it.

Speaking of never had something of their own. Sophie absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVES the shoes I bought her. she wants to wear them all the time. she cries when I take them off. the first day she wore them I had to let her sleep with them. in all the time we were in Ptown she never had shoes. these are little clogs and they are SO CUTE. she can get them mostly on by herself. she adores them. funny that of all the things we have around here its the SHOES that mean so much to her.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

birthday cake

Ben's face lit up when he saw the cake and candles. he knew just what to do when we finished the song. and I gave him cake with ice cream and he kept asking, "ben? ben?" as in is this for me? we kept saying YES YES! for BEN! he looooved his present. it was a flashlight and also a cell phone. he loved them both and couldnt keep his hands off of them. he kept turning out the lights so he could try the flashlight. Unfortunately Papa took it away after bedtime because he kept shining it in Ethan's eyes. he put it on the nightstand so he can play with it tomorrow. but boy howdy you should have heard him howl when papa took it from him!

Sophie cried when the birthday cake was all gone. Not sure what that was about. she had milk but didnt want that. she just put her head down and cried. Something is not right with her. She fell asleep on the floor this afternoon. she woke again crying this afternoon. I hope she isnt getting a flu bug. Daddy sees plenty of sick people at work every day. I hope he isnt bringing home germs! Waking up with a cry is not usual for her at all. she usually just calls MAMA! MAMA! MMAAAAAAMMMMMAAAAAAA! until I come and tell her to shhhhh or get her up. She seemed a little on the warm side when I put her to bed but she generally IS warmer than most of us. its hard work to scoot around all day like she does. I call her scooter. SO I guess we will wait and see what tomorrow brings. Any ideas on how to help her accept Maia? she wants me to dump Maia out of my lap because SHE wants my lap. she screams at her when Maia comes near her or tries to touch her. she just wants to hug and kiss her but she gets rebuffed again and again. Ben is fine with it. I keep telling her Sophie doesnt know what its like to get love she is still learning. and every time Sophie rejects Maia I hug and kiss Maia. sometimes it leads Sophie to kiss her. sometimes not.

phone call

I called Eric from the orthodontist office. he was home with the kids. Ben wanted to talk. it was the cutest funniest neatest conversation ever. simple but to me just super neat.
ben Privyet Mama!
mama Privyet Ben!
Kak dila?
ben xorosho
mama Abyet?
ben da. Sophie Spaht.
mama ohhhh Sophie spaht! xorosho!
Das vidanya. Papa.
Ben Das vidanya. byee byee.
mama Paka

then he gave the phone to papa. I am sure everyone in the office thought I was bonkers. but it was awesome.

Happy Happy Birthday BEN!

Today is my Ben's birthday. he is SIX! although he doesnt act like your average 6 year old I love him to bits. He is the sweetest most wonderful boy. I took him to the grocery store just the two of us yesterday. He smiled the entire time and just looked and looked. and once asked Amelica? I said yes and he just smiled and sighed "amelica." he is very empathetic to others who are hurt. He often kisses Sophie on the head when she is screaming and sometimes when she isnt. He loves to play outside and cant get enough climbing and trampoline and sliding and riding bikes(and I almost got rid of the bikes thinking he probably would never ride them! thank goodness my husband stopped me there!) He loves cars and he loves his Mama. He found a picture in a magazine of a woman with long dark hair and said mama! and hugged my arm. he is such a sweet boy. Very laid back overall. He loves to take a toy to bed with him just to hold while he sleeps. He never yells at me when I put his AFOs on the wrong feet. In fact he rarely yells at me at all for anything. He likes to be fed but can feed himself. He is always calm with me when I dont understand him. But he understands me a lot of the time. He is a dream. An absolute dream boy. I know he isnt perfect. and sometimes he doesn't share. Sometimes he cries. and he doesnt like time out. But today, today on his sixth birthday, and right now this very minute, he is my wonderful dream boy. He is a good boy. and I am glad to know him. and Proud to be his Mama.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ben is under the table with the dog. the dog is in doggie heaven rolled on his back having Ben giving him a nice gentle belly rub. This kid could restore the dogs faith in humanity. he does not like people who come into our home but BEN he has loved from the start. and Ben loves him back. Ethan came home at 2 and at 7 is STARTING to learn how to be gentle to the dog and cat. and he has had them all along. but Ben just looooves this dog and the killy killy killy too and has always been very kind and gentle to him. when Ethan comes Fabio(dog) hides. When Ben comes, he rolls on his back to show his belly. In the past Fabio was Mama's boy. I suspect he is quickly becoming Ben's boy! One day I will look to my feet expecting to see him there and he will instead be curled up at Ben's feet.

strange afternoon

Sophie didnt go down to nap until 1230 or so because she wanted to see Papa. Papa went back to work at 1245ish. she was crying then. then she was quiet. until 115. and then she was WAILING. inconsolable wailing. not her I am ticked off and you better darn well get me out of here cry. I stood at the crib trying to comfort her she wouldnt look at me just off into space. If she was crying because she was mad about going to bed she would have shooed my hands away from her. Finally I just picked her up and rocked her and sang to her while the cat ate my lunch(which really made me mad because I NEVER get to eat around here!). She would be quiet in my arms but when she thought she would go back in the crib she wailed and nothing I said would quiet her. She usually has plenty of words to express what she wants when she is crying. she said nothing. this is very unusual. Finally I just laid on the bed with her and then gave up when Ben started clanking blocks together in his room. (he doesnt nap I just put him in there and tell him to shhhhhhh. and he plays quietly for awhile) When I pulled her to the edge of the bed she started to whimper thinking she was going back to bed. I said I give up. you win. and when I walked out the door of the bedroom she GRABBED my head with her little arms(yes the ones that dont move much) and kissed me so hard. I had to laugh. I put her down in the living room with the toys and I give up on naptime today. Maybe she was realizing what she has lost and maybe a little what she has gained. Maybe she will turn a corner now. maybe not. but it was nice to rock her and sing to her. thats the kind of things I wanted to do when I committed to bring her home. I am that kind of mom. I am a touchy feely lovey singing silly/stupid songs rub your back to sleep kind of mom.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


AFOs at bedtime. No one else is allowed to put them on. Only Mama. I guess you have to start somewhere. of course she screamed when I wouldnt take an hour to let her thread them herself. Some times bedtime is NOW NOW NOW. other times we can take a little time to let her try. but last night was not one of those nights I wanted to sit there while she yells YESEMA! if I even attempt to help in any way(like move the ring up so she is actually threading instead of having her try to thread into the AFO body)

If there is one thing I wont miss its YESEMA! If she could just talk quietly and politely and say I can do it, or no thanks she would be a lot nicer to be around. instead its YESEMA! and take your arm off with the snarl.

She learned time out yesterday. WHy didnt it occur to me sooner that she could learn 123. She is not quite as quick as ben though. I said one! and she said DVA TREE! all proud of herself and then did what I told her not to anyways. so I said TWO! and she did it again and three was off to the chair. maybe a couple of those and she will start to see the light.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


everyone is so crabby today. and what I wouldnt give to sleep through the night! if I can only make it through another half hour(we have been up about 4 hours already) then I can feed them lunch and put them to bed. Sophie is in rare form today. Ben is grumpy too. Ethan is his normal bossy self and yelling at everyone trying to be the boss of everything.

We had a dog once who had aggression and resource guarding. This is who Sophie reminds me of. If anyone even approaches her while she eats she starts barking at them. Even me some times. Even when someone is trying to help her or offer her something she immediately goes on the defensive. GRRRR. and toys are the same. not to mention any affection from any of them. seems she has spent the entire morning screaming at us. I put her in her bed and told her AHHHHHHHH = bed. well thats where she is now. Screeching at me. Poor Maia wants so much to love her and she will not let Maia anywhere near her for any reason. Maia asked Daddy why we had to change the family, she liked it the way it was. I can understand her thinking at this point.

Ben, while crabby, is starting to make good decisions. At least when prompted. He learned that 1 2 3 = time out. I never have to get past 1 after only having ONE time out. he is a fast learner and smart! now if he could sleep through the night. I dont think anyone around here is getting enough sleep. Except maybe Maia because she sleeps downstairs away from them. Ethan wakes Ben, Ben wakes Ethan, Ethan and/or Ben wakes Sophie, Sophie Wakes Ben and/or Ethan. of course none of them ever wake Papa. in my next lifetime I am going to be a dog. a MALE dog. I will sleep all day. I will make the babies but not have to wake for them. My husband is always good to help if I wake him, but he doesnt wake when they call like a mom does. he just doesnt have Mom hearing. dang mom ears.

Yesterday was pretty good until dinner time. and that was mostly exhausting for me but nothing wrong on their parts. today is a completely different story to yesterday. Its also raining so we cant go for our walk or play outside.

I was thinking of taking Ben to an ECFE class on Monday afternoons while Maia is at school and Sophie naps. He likes wheels on the bus. I bet he would like ram sam sam. Now if we could just get little miss chip on her shoulder to soften up a bit life would be pretty good.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

the good the bad the ugly

ok now that I got your attention I just want to tell you all that I lost my cell phone and if anyone finds it let me know! lol. Actually most of you wouldnt find it but Uncle Bob and Aunt Jeanne might find it at their house. I was sure I left it in the basket in my van when we went to Bobs but I cant find it now. I dont think it was stolen out of my van because there are literally NO calls on it not even ones to familiar numbers. so where is it? I had it when we left target and headed for Bob and Jeannes. thats when I slipped it into the basket. but maybe I thought again and wanted to call the kids and put it in my jacket? and did I lose it in the basement? did I lose it in Ukraine? on a plane? I have numbers on there I cant replace. as well as photos. oh please please little cell phone turn up!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

feeling better about my job. feelling more like a Mom than a servant.

After making another 35 quarts of applesauce today dinner was simple, but the kids were an absolute riot tonight. Ben wants me to feed him now and I do because he wont eat much otherwise. so he was making these faces all through dinner. then showing us his muscles. and showing us his round full belly. Sophie wouldnt be outdone. She had to show us her muscles, which means SHE CAN LIFT THOSE ARMS WHEN SHE WANTS TO. not all the way up but definite movement to higher than she usually holds them. She was signing baby to me too. and she was making faces. the more we oohed and ahhed at her muscles the more she would scrunch up her face and make her "muscles" which would get ben going to show his again.

They sure love going for a walk every day. they ask "Amelica?" and then get all excited. Chrysta took Ben on the trampoline today and he loooved it. the smile on his face said it all while he was showing Papa what he did.Ben also loves when I sing wheels on the bus. he rolls his arms around. Ben and Sophie and I were playing Piano and Sophie didnt want to share. Ben kept pushing her hands away from mine and telling her sternly something(I presume something like share with mama) and then he would put my fingers back on the keys. he is such a love.

Speaking of loves, Sophie is getting affectionate with me. and more accepting of Eric. She cant get enough of roughhousing. We play making faces and giving kisses when I have her on the toilet. captive audience! lol. She willingly went to nap today. no tears. she wants me to hold her more often. lets me kiss on her more. More and more she is letting me feed her things she could feed herself and starting to look around before going too bonkers about things like taking her cup(I was refilling it)she also doesnt like to be left alone out of sight. All good signs I think.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

great strides with Sophie

She is becoming more attached to me and Eric. She wants only Mama to do for her if mama is within sight. and Of course Mama is happy to help. She has taken to letting me hold her cup some of the time she is drinking even though she CAN hold it herself very well. I hold it anyways as long as she wants me to. She doesnt want Chrysta to get her down from the high chair. She doesnt want Chrysta to do anything for her. I make sure its Mama or Daddy that serves food, or feeds food and also puts to bed and most often get up from bed. Occasionally Chrysta helps with food prep or a trip to the bathroom. but I try to do it all. Seems to be helping. She is calmer and fewer screaming rages. although last night she got time out because its just a rule, if you kick mama you get time out. but I watched her today trying to take something from Ben and I said nooooooo. and she didnt take it and didnt need a time out. She is learning. the funny thing is when either Sophie or Ben wants something they say to the child in posession "SHARE!" but when someone else wants what they have its WAAAAHHHH! typical kids. I definitely think things are looking up. We all got a decent nights sleep for a change, except Ben had to go to the bathroom at 1045 just after I got to sleep. and the cat woke me to open the basement door. If only the cat would learn to open the basement door herself I could sleep every night.

Friday, October 16, 2009

language funny


I try to get the kids to say new words. If we eat something I try to get them to say what it is(repeat it) and tonight was spaghetti. I never met a kid yet who could say spaghetti, they were no different. Ben said ghetti. but Sophie called it sgabelli which sounds almost italian lol.

figuring each other out

are they playing me or what? I put them each on the toilet before sleep times. even if they do all of their business they will cry after I put them to bed that they have to go. If I take them they quiet down afterwards, even if they didnt go. I was beginning to think they must have some crazy bad UTI but I just told Sophie now, no peesit, nigh nigh. and she smiled up at me and said some words I didnt understand and I closed the door with a smile and no more crying for peesit. go figure.

They are trying to learn new words all the time. I love to hear them say bye bye. its so obvious when they say it that its a foreign word to their tongue. Ben's funny pronunciation for the day is "killy killy killy!" he was calling the cat "killy killy killy!" I know there will be plenty of funny words to come.

Sophie wanted into my lap several times today. thats a good thing. She let me read her all sorts of stories. IT didnt last long but she kept coming back. thats a great start for her. She is in her crib now and no longer in my bed. She likes that ok. I like it a lot! She can still pitch a fit like you wouldnt believe but I would like to think perhaps there are fewer of them now? or maybe I am just better able to ignore them. She likes to have her hair done and looks so cute with a pony or bow in her hair. Ben is so darling too and I cant help but kiss his adorable cheeks when I brush his hair.

Today when we walked to the post office in the stroller both kids chattered away. and they kept asking Amelika? I would say yes America and they would ooh and ahh.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I spoke too soon.

she gave me a fat lip.

things I have come to appreciate in the US

hot water on tap every day all day

heat every day all day

I can go to the store and buy anything I want in any quantity I want. I never go there only to find that oops they are out of what I want.

Restraunts generally have available whats on the menu. I never go to a restraunt and have them tell me that 3/4 of the menu is unavailable and only one of these and two of those are left.

Crossing the street...SAFE! Taking your life in your hands sometimes in Kiev.

Internet. available at home. all day every day. whenever I want it. No having to run down the street to McDonalds or up the street to coffee shop.

No nosy ladies who hang around the front door watching who is coming and going and when(and offering unwanted advice on child rearing)

Not having to lock your house up like a bank vault. No armored padded door necessary. (at least where I live)

another new day

new firsts. Yesterday I tucked both kids into the double stroller and took them all for a walk up the road. Ben LOOOVES this. he laughed and laughed. Maia wanted to run ahead as she always does and they ran around the culdesac that has no houses on it and ben just laughed at her and kept saying MAIA! and then laughing. Sophie didnt say much but once in awhile Ben would say something to her and she would reply. She did NOT like putting on mittens. But I wonder if someone forced her thumb(which is tucked in her palm) into mittens, because she started to fuss but when she realised I was just sticking her whole hand in the open part of the mitten she stopped immediately. and she had no problem at all with my putting on the other mitten.

All those leggings I sewed that I tried to sell(and didnt)are now working out PERFECTLY for us. Sophie wears them under her dress so we can have easy access to use the toilet. but she still gets to stay warm. they go right up to her underpants because her legs are so small.

We had beans and rice a couple days ago and they liked that ok. Last night was weds night Pizza(tradition. Eric's call night= mom doesnt cook) Sophie didnt like it at first and just drank her milk. but when Maia finished hers and moved on to something else Sophie decided she would eat the pizza so she could have what Maia had. Ben ate it pretty well. as well as he eats anything. he will eat about anything but just doesnt eat much. Sophie has more discerning tastes lol.

There was some screaming yesterday from Sophie and Ben when they didnt get their way on something. I actually had to put Ben in time out for the first time(he is very much gentle Ben) When I wouldnt let him take something from Sophie and he started throwing everything across the room and screaming. he was much quicker to say sorry than she is. and then I let him down and held him in my lap and played with him. Ethan doesnt like all the screaming. I remind him he does plenty and when he first came home he cried all day every day. He doesnt like to hear that he just wants them to shut up lol.

We read bedtime stories together and ben loved it but Sophie was not into it. I put her to bed after one story because she wouldnt listen or be still with us. Ben listened to about 5 and willingly went to bed. ( of course they didnt STAY there last night all night)

Thanks meredith for the phone call. no worries. life is hard at this point yes, but I now have serious doubts life will be THIS hard FOREVER. It has to end. It will end. Its just a matter of when.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

it's a new day

today we started our day a bit after 6. The boys heard Daddy get up for work and then they were LOUD playing around in their room. Sophie currently sleeps with us, as in in the middle of the bed. So she woke around the same time and Daddy said goodbye and left. we stayed in bed a little longer while the boys played in their room. Then it was potty time and time to get mama dressed and go get the boys. Ben wants his drink the very moment he wakes up. no good morning. just give me my drink. I made him wait a little. Held him in my lap talking to him and trying to get him to say goodmorning. I think he has a hearing problem, fluid in his ears or soemthing. he repeats words in a garbled fashion. Sophie speaks loud and clear(emphasis on LOUD) but bens words come out kind of mixed up.

The piano and the guitar are apparently top toys as those send Sophie into fits every time. She cant stand for anyone else to play the piano. and wait her turn? are you crazy? really? you mean WAIT? She throws herself back and screams at me in russian or whatever she speaks but refuses to talk nice to me for help. I am supposed to just sit her right up after she throws herself back in a tantrum. That just doesnt work for me. She is a stubborn one. She will miss out on a treat rather than give in and say one little word. please. even Spaseeba would suffice but she wont give in. Its only 10 and I think she needs a nap already. getting up at 6 is just too early but alas if Papa no workie Sophie no eat. so I guess she will just have to learn to deal with getting up at 6 or learn to sleep through Daddys getting up at 6.

Last night was beans and rice for dinner and they actually ate it. no one said Kaka. Ben doesnt eat much in general but he ate the whole bowl I made for him. and this morning they both ate all their cereal. except Ben fed some of his to the dog. The dog thinks they are a great addition to the family. they smell like food. they taste like food! he follows them around trying to lick them. Ben wanted to lick back. ugh. no thank you on that! I was worried that the dog wouldnt take to them and was preparing myself for finding him a new home. but he seems to think they are amusing and is acting like a puppy again.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

home at last!

we are home. after a particularly arduous 27 hour journey with a couple of screamers. we did initiate every airport we entered with Sophie's wailing. The highlights of the trip include being chastised for using the handicapped bathroom in Frankfurt, yknow for my HANDICAPPED daughter. a little ticked there. The kids refused to eat much of what was served on the plane. Kaka they said. which must mean yukky. Sophie ate the raw veggies where she could, and desert and some bread. Ben ate a little chicken and a veggie pocket much later. and apparently on short flights they dont offer families with small children a chance to board early. very annoying as we DO need more time and boarding us at the same time as 30 other rows means everyone stands in the aisle waiting while we try to situate ourselves and kids and stow stuff.

The kids we brought home are not the same children we initially blogged about. While they are beautiful, and CAN be loving, more of their issues have come out. and we are seeing a lot of things with new eyes. Things are kind of tough right now. Sophie the spoiled brat is the biggest problem. she has not taken well to being dethroned. Where she came from she was the princess. the royal highness. she was given anything and everything she wanted whenever she wanted it. Just keep her quiet. she played on a mat so she just falls over closes her eyes and sleeps when she wants to. thats not so convenient in the real world. she is supposed to wear AFOs when she sleeps, but after listening to her scream an ENTIRE NIGHT we are convinced she was never actually forced to wear them. she screamed at the very sight of them. funny that ben has had his for only a month and they are nearly worn out but she has had hers long term and they are like new? uhh something doesnt match up there. She tolerates them now after that miserable night. She has a temper that flares quickly. She can scream for hours. she doesnt give up. even when she isnt winning or wont win. Last night I wouldnt let her sleep with a sippy cup of apple juice in her mouth. she screamed a good twenty miles. She was sound asleep but wasnt giving up that cup. I pried it out of her teeth. she is that stubborn.

Ben is Sophie's enabler. If she wants something he gives it to her even if he wants it. he tries to feed her his food rather than eat it himself. Seperating them at meals helps with that. but when I say no she has to share, ben can keep the toy, he neednt give it up just because she screams, he gives it to her rather than listen to her carry on. I have taken to putting the toy up then. which isnt popular as you can imagine. She can not just snatch things from others, and he needs to be able to play too, he shouldnt have to hand over everything he touches because SHE wants it.

None of us is very happy. It is tough times here. If you have something nice to say feel free to say it, I could use the support. if you dont have anything nice to say, then please dont bother posting, I dont need your attitude.
Right now the kids are napping, they really need it. they are so sleepy. even after sleeping a lot of the day and most of the night. They played the morning away, played the piano, had some tough love and time outs, and a freak out moment when the cat jumped on the bed. they need a nap and I need them to nap.

My other kids will arrive home this afternoon. Missed them tons. Cant wait to see them.

on a side note, the kids, both of them are completely toilet trained. unable to take themselves to the toilet without help, but very reliably trained. one diahreea accident at the embassy for Ben(we had all been dealing with that bug) and thats it. several days in Kiev, and the long journey home, first night at home, first day at home, and no accidents. I think if they can travel that long without accidents they are pretty well trained. so today is back to cotton underpants instead of paper pullups. cotton sure is easier with Sophie.

Friday, October 9, 2009


SOOOOOOOO ready to be home. Couldnt get home today because everyone in germany wants out this weekend apparently. we couldnt get a seat at all until monday which is our scheduled date anyways. We tried to go for a walk today but Sophie brought new meaning to the name Nastya as she had a screaming fit and I had to return to the apartment with her screaming the entire way. The boys went and explored St Michael's monastery. Ben was great Eric said. Sophie napped the entire time they were gone. The babushkas at the door gave me what for because Sophie was screaming. telling me to feed her. when I tried to say I already did they threw their hands up in ahh to heck with you manner. After a much needed nap she was happy again. She and Ben play so well together. and she tattles on him and he tries to tell her what to do. ahh siblings already! No one is sleeping much at night because Sophie is supposed to wear AFOS they told us and she screams bloody murder at the very sight of them. We are beginning to think perhaaps she is supposed to wear them every night but HASNT been before our arrival. Even the SOCKS bring on tears and hysterics. When she is well rested she is very sweet and cute. she was holding my hand in the night and stroking my cheek and telling me she loves me and kissing my face. every time I take her potty or feed her she tells me she loves me. its very cute. Ben is just a little go getter and funny as all get out. He too is a love. he likes snuggling way more than she does. He doesnt want to go to bed at night either. so when one sleeps the other one screams and wakes us all. very fun times = )Ben loves to tickle and roughhouse with daddy and Sophie is still just a LITTLE standoffish but will allow Eric to help her or occasionally carry her and she just coudlnt resist riding an "airplane" as Eric held her up in the air.

One cute story before I run, On the way home to Sunny K from Ptown Ben kept talking about Amelica and when we came into Kiev he drew a big breath and sighed "AMELICA!" we laughed and told him it was Kiev and so then every big building they saw they would laugh and say AMELICA! AMELICA! Ben keeps asking when we go to Amelica. I told him Utro Utro Utro,(3 mornings) he seems to understand that. ok we are at Mcdonalds for net access and kids are with cody so better run. dont want to leave them too long and they will be looking for dinner soon.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

here and gone again

here in ptown. spent the ENTIRE day in the car today, just sitting at McDs for a few so we can email paatrick about tickets. Went to the city of bens birth as well as sophies(two different places) met Sophie's grandmother(wonderful wonderful beautiful woman) we plan to keep in touch with her and she gave us photo of birth parents, as well as sophie's baptism necklace and outfit and blanket. VERY sweet. they also left a lot of things for us at the orphanage. video of sophie through the years. She was very happy for us to take her home. we were very happy to meet her and provide an opportunity to watch sophie grow in pictures.
So tomorrow we will get the kids and the passports if all goes according to plan we will fly home friday. so pray it all goes to plan!

and BOB! your adapters got us our own bomb search in frankfurt! thank goodness we know you only used them for good and not evil or we would have been sweating bullets as they swiped them for residue! I expect we will see the same on the way back through frankfurt. Bob will let you know as soon as we know when we will get in. Cody says we should call you guys uncle bob and aunt jeanne. = )

ok gotta go talk to yall soon enough!

Friday, October 2, 2009


nothing makes a mama feel worse than a sick baby...except when you are far away from your sick baby and can't do anything to make them better even just holding them. Poor baby Maia is sick. She spent the night "releasing" her dinner. She is at grandma and grandpa's house with sissy so at least she has sissy to baby her. Gramma is at work but I am sure she will be happy to baby her when she gets home. Last I talked to them Ethan was sleeping after hearing Maia up all night. anyone who knows Ethan knows he DOESNT NAP. EVER! which can only mean one thing. He is next with the sick. My poor Chrysta is dealing with it all.

Cody and Eric and I will head out this afternoon to some friends in the twin cities to have dinner with them and stay over at their house before heading to the airport tomorrow morning. Thanks friends, you know who you are.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE I am bringin home my babies!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

the scoop

Got an email from Yulia. I sent her my itinerary. She wrote earlier to verify that someone would pick us up from the airport. So I was surprised to see a letter from her. My first thought was panic. but it wasnt anything bad. Just a note letting us know that Monday the office of vital statistics was closed(not sure if its just THIS monday or every monday) so we would start our business on Tuesday and we needed to be to a city near C-city (where one of the kids was born) at 830am! thats gonna be an early day! When we went to Ptown we left at 640. but then we waited a half hour for Yulia to come out of her apartment building. Wonder what time we will be leaving THAT day? And I also wonder if there is a road to C-city directly from Sunny K or will we have to go all the way to Ptown and up from there. Not that anyone of you will know, I am just wondering aloud. So we are one step closer to having OUR kids full time. I got a mei tai sling for Sophie. I hope she will tolerate it, I slung up Ethan(7) and it worked great. Wish I had one for Maia when she was a baby! I also have a Maia wrap (ring sling)(2 of them) so I will hope that one of those will work for her. She likes to be carried so hopefully she can adjust. if not we will have to break down and buy a stroller while we are there. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE I am goin to get my babies!! and hopefully have a moment to see the other babies we WANT to bring home!