Monday, November 14, 2011

changes.

One of our walks in the woods.
David. He's mostly good.  As the leader of our family I know he's feeling the weight of all the changes we're experiencing and feeling somewhat responsible for some of the hard stuff. Of course, he's not responsible--he's the strong one sorta holding this gang of girls together!  Work is going well. He's figuring out the rhythm of things in his office and the new medical lingo. He had his first speaking engagement almost two weeks ago and did a great job. He'll speak to medical providers at bases around Europe, filling them in on new medical legal things to be aware of as health care professionals.  He's also been hard at work on our crazy yard. We have a lot of bamboo and each year we will have to chop it all down, shred it and ditch it somewhere!  There are a lot of other yard things to tend to and David's made a great effort to keep up with the German standards. Oh, one more thing... David's also been the driving force behind getting settled. I think it has something to do with the fact that he's been here for over four months!  He's encouraged us to put our clothes in the dressers (haha, you think this is simple?!), to paint our living room (exciting photos to come), to hang pictures (that hasn't actually happened yet) and still take advantage of the outdoors while it's still warm enough to explore!  I'm more than thankful for David and his amazing role in our family. He's an amazing partner and Daddy to my girls.
Another walk in the woods!
Kelly. Me. I'm, well... struggling/stuck/sad/fine. It's such a weird blur of life we've had. Literally months of transition and, I know, I have a ton of stuff to catch y'all up on. I'm not sure how but we'll get there. Anyway, I guess through all the months pre-Germany I knew I wasn't processing what was happening, but instead was coping and had emotions about it all but not exactly able to deal with things while holding things together during the move/adoption/single-parenting thing. Now that life as we knew it has totally ceased, it's all catching up with me and it's hard stuff.  I feel all over the place emotionally - not like crying one second and laughing the next...ummm, okay that has happened a few times (thank God for kids!)! Anyway, suffice to say I'm not even sure where to start with me. I think I've done an okay job with staying verbally positive and moving forward by physically putting myself out there (MOPS, Bible study, coffee with the neighbors) but emotionally I feel stunted. I do have a sense that I'm in this new place in the last few days even... sort of accepting this change and wanting, no needing, more from my new life and (non) community.  Does that catch you up on me?  Again, David has held me crying or sat across the room or on the other end of the phone many times as I process and grieve (him too) what's been changing in our lives.  The move has been hard - the adoption has been hard and both combined REALLY hard to handle all at once. I keep thinking... Lord, do you know what's you're doing here?!  Okay, I hope I'm not too much of a debbie downer just trying to keep it real here. Thanks for hanging in there with us and please keep praying if you think of us!
Norah. Even though I think these changes have been hard I look at Norah and feel refreshed or sometimes I look at her and feel worried.  She's really been enduring some hard times, too.  We aren't sure if her changes are due to her age, bringing Evelyn home, or the loss of life as she knew it in Spokane (all three?). I know kids are very versatile and she'll bounce back but she has been grieving some too.  She's never been too picky of an eater but the last few weeks she's been not eating much. We've tried to bribe her (is that wrong?!), make it fun or silly, sing, threaten, anything we can think of to get her to eat more but it just hasn't worked. Evelyn eats at least twice as much as Norah and she's not quite as big as Norah so it does concern us some.  Also, Norah's been a fairly good sleeper in the last year but since the move she's been "sleeping" 14 hours a night and about a 3-4 hour nap!  Now, I say "sleeping" because during the night she wakes up screaming and crying and we can't tell if she's having nightmares or afraid of where she is - it's all such a guessing game as parents.  We've been trying to keep things as routine as possible but things haven't gotten a lot better.  On a positive note, when she's awake (sans meal-time) she's very happy and herself. She's talking a lot, loves calling family on the phone, bossing Wrigley (and sister) around, plays very well with her sister and continues to read books all the time.  One more funny thing - she keeps taking her diaper off!  I am almost "afraid" to put her down for her nap without a onsie on because I've found her booty in the open more than once. She'll go to the bathroom and then promptly remove the diaper - I know this is a sign of her getting ready to potty train but I'm almost positive she's not actually ready (but I did buy a toilet seat cover for her!). Exciting times as a two year old!
Our little princess for the halloween office party!
Evelyn. The littlest, by only a little!  Our "baby" is seriously coming into her own skin. It's beautiful to see her really coming out of her shell and feeling at home with us. It's not that we haven't seen her happy before now but it's been a slow thing for Evelyn.  Like I mentioned earlier, she eats a lot and still takes a bottle before bed (mostly for bonding). I do remember Norah at this age seeming to eat snacks and meals through the whole day, Evelyn is no different.  One thing though, Evelyn is stubborn. She likes to be in control and likes to feed herself. She's can't quite do a spoon yet so when it's a spoon meal she's pretty resistant to letting us be in control of the intake.  She loves playing around with (or without) Norah and seems fascinated by simple things. She too looks at books a lot and continues to find Wrigley and Norah hilarious.  She is 16 months today and definitely not interested in walking at all but we keep trying to encourage her a bit (although we don't mind that they aren't both running away from us yet!). She's definitely talking a bit - not sure what she's saying but a lot of things sound like phrases Norah says like "hi sister!" She'll use the same inflection but not actually pronounce it. It's cute but scary if she starts to talk :)

 In other news...
...we are uncle, aunt and cousins for the second time!!!! We are so excited to help announce Kristin & Keith's little guy.  Micah was born Sunday November 13th weighing 8lbs 10oz. What a joy!  We cannot wait to meet him next summer.  Stay a baby Micah!!
...we were supposed to go to Paris this past weekend but we decided to get sick - really really sick.  First David got it and we ended up in the ER to get him some fluids (that was Monday) and then Thursday night we were packed and ready to hit the road Friday morning (Wrigley was already at the sitters) and I got it. So, we went back to the ER on Friday instead of Paris. It's took the whole weekend, plus some, to get back to functioning motherhood.  I'm thankful we didn't get this virus while we were away and more thankful that the girls haven't gotten it.  I would be heartbroken!

13 comments:

stef said...

love love love your updates and I look forward to them! And I love all your hats!

~Sue said...

This is so well written and shared, Kelly. The photos are wonderful and "struggling, stuck, sad, fine" sound very, very normal. You are doing good.

abby said...

Kelly...I love your honesty. It is when we are honest in life, in faith, in everything that people can look at us and grow from our example. Thank you for being a source of encouragement and growth for me!! Press on...press on. I have been studying Philippians (could be a wonderful read right now) and I am struck with just the mantra...press on. God does know every tear, every need, every desire-He will provide my dear friend. Trust and rest in Him-and know you are loved and prayed for you brave soldier!! Abs

Unknown said...

Love your openness and real sharing :)Evelyn's development sounds alot like Lucy's at that age/time of being home. Our social worker OFTEN reminded me to think of her development not in her chronological age, but in her months "home" with us. For example....bottles and walking. You woudnt expect a 4 month old to not take bottles and walk...so give yourself and her some room on those things.

Also, Lucy has major control issues :) she likes to be in charge, even when it's not to her benefit :)

David and Bethany said...

Kelly, thank you for your honesty. In my place of sadness, I'm impressed with how you are working hard to "put yourself out there" through coffee, MOPS, etc. You've reminded me, again, of the importance of putting one foot in front of the other, even when it's so hard. God will bless your obedience to Him. Hugs to you....

Carey said...

I love this post, it is real, honest, heart felt, and a treasure you will have forever. Keep pressing on during the hard times, it is worth it! I know I have some of the exact same feelings and we only moved (and that was in country!)

Continue posting, I love reading!

Melissa said...

I'm so sorry this has been such a hard season for you guys! I'll be praying for y'all!

As for the food, the Early Childhood Educator in me would say not to stress it. Try not to make an issue of it.
The mama in me would say I know that's virtually impossible. I was a stress case when Alice went to bed without dinner one night. What is it about moms and food? :)

Adrienne said...

I love you friend...glad to catch up from your blog post, but I would LOVE even more to talk...call when you can.

Cindy said...

Sorry you got sick instead of Paris!! We tried to go too but it was too expensive for a giant family like ours. ((hugs))
Talk to you soon!

Goforth said...

Kelly - so happy to read your post! Remember to give yourself lots and lots of grace. Also, remember that one kids normal is not another kids :) Love you lots and praying for you! -Anna Goforth

Julie said...

Wow...what huge transitions you all have been through. I think the thing with Nora could be normal. My kids went through times where they slept a ton more than usual. Also..there has been a lot of change for her and often "stress" (not necessarily bad stress) can cause a child to sleep more and even have night terrors. I will definitely be keeping ya'll in prayer. So glad to hear that Evelyn is coming into her own. I think it was a good six months before we even got a good laugh out of Summer. I really don't think she even knew how to laugh. Praying for you too, Kelly as you transition. Praying that you will find an even deeper companionship with the Lover of your soul!! I know that in times where God has pulled us from everything we have known...He has been there to catch us. I remember when we moved to Texas away from all family I kind of came to the realization that God was taking away the "props" on which I'd always leaned and whispering.."Lean into me...I will NEVER change"! Blessings on you and your sweet family.

Amy and Jonathan Hook said...

Love the update, one family member at a time ;). And the new pictures are darling! I love the one with you and the girls in the stroller. The one of you and Evelyn, and the one of Norah on the phone - so basically all of them. Ha! I always love and appreciate your honesty through each step in your process. And we're praying for you guys. So sad about Paris and the sickness returning! But so glad you were sick at home instead of in France! Love you!!!

denise said...

Oh Kelly,
I so understand all the pressures you are feeling from the move. These reactions from all of you are NOT uncommon, and actually expected. But when you are the one going through them, they are no fun. True adjustments doesn't even start until after 6 months or beyond. I am proud of you for getting out there by attending things like MOPS. You will probably find it is easier to make friends with other military wives than locals because they have a similar life style. Look for that one good friend.
We have also found that because of good communication with our friends and family back home (skype) (which we love!) It is sometimes harder to attach to where we live. This is a double bind as we need to talk to someone!, but it prevents us from reaching out. Just food for thought.
Your girls are going to be TCKs now. Third culture kids. They are not growing up in your native culture (1st), but in another culture (2nd), but they aren't part of either truely. So they develop a third culture. Do some research on it, it will help you see what is going on with the girls with new eyes.
I will finish preaching. Drop me a note if you would like to chat.

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