Tuesday, July 28, 2009

To sleep, perchance to dream.....

Sleep, that has been our battle the last couple of weeks. Well, really since we have been home, but the last few weeks have been the worst of it.

In China they slept through the night.

Then we came home and we were exactly 12hrs different in time than where they previously lived. 2 in the morning, which would have been 2 in the afternoon became a key
"wakeup" time for them. In China their nap would have just finished so we understood it would take a while for that adjustment to take place.

Then we added in an 11:30 wakeup...why? we don't know.... It was mainly Zachary at first...but then Hunter joined in as well....Then we began adding a 4:30 wakeup....

It got worse and worse. By the end of last week I was at wits end.

We know w/ adoption you can have attachment issues. For anyone not familiar...it has to do with if they ever bonded w/ anyone previously, and if they grieve for whoever they bonded w/, and hopefully over time they bond w/ you. Most families talk about really "feeling bonded" when the children have been with them longer than without them..... our kids were adopted at 15 months....so based on that somewhere around 30 months we should really be in the groove bonding wise.

We have definitely started "attaching" the boys know who Mommy and Daddy are....and want us vs strangers.....they want us when they bang their head or just don't feel good. Actually right now they want us ALL THE TIME.... If they had their choice they would probably like to be carried around 85% of the time. Bath time and climb all over everything can't be left out as those are favorite activities so they would pass up the carrying for those!

But "anxious attachment" is usually a phase (that hopefully you get out of) that the kids go through when they don't want to be away from you. This seems to have come into play a bit during our nights recently. They want to be reassured that we are there.....so we have had nights where they wake up every 2 hours.....ughh!

Not such a happy mommy! Or....it could be a combination of things.....

they are still teething...w/ some major drooling going on these last two weeks....also a known culprit for sleep disruption.

or...it could be their growth spurt.....both boys have grown almost 2 inches and gained 2 lbs during the last 2 months......

Whatever it is .....it hasn't been pleasant...

So finally I posted on an adoption site to see if other moms, especially those who had twins, had any ideas that worked...

A lot of people talk about just letting kids "cry it out" but w/ attachment concerns it's a fine line to walk. So that's why we went to those who have been through the same thing.

So we started trying a combination of ideas......

and whether it is what we are trying or if their teeth are not bothering them.....last night was fabulous!

One boy, Z, slept all the way through till 7:30am and the other, H, woke only 3 times and was solidly asleep by 1:30 am.....and he slept all the way through until 8:20 am!


Thank goodness! I really needed it last night as I had a migraine as well. Daddy took the first wakeup...and I got the next two and then I got to sleep in my own bed all the way until the morning!

I don't know if it is just a short reprieve or if we are turning the corner (we had not too bad of a night the night before as well).....but whatever it is I'll take it!

please.....everyone...say a little prayer that this continues....mommy likes to be functional, not a walking zombie....

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Things you never knew could be fun...

Daddy came up w/ some new fun....the toilet paper sled!
Hey, why did the ride stop?

We see your belly Hunter!

I am just what my shirt says...toadally cute!

time for my closeup too mom!

Having children definitely changes your perspective. You see things in new ways. You become creative even if it is just in ways you entertain your children.

Toilet paper took on a whole new perspective this day..... it makes a really great indoor sled, soft and cushy for our little boys tushies!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Our Helpful Boys!

I know all toddlers do this.... but you can't blame me for being so proud.

They want to help w/ everything! The favorite activity right now is to help us by throwing something away in the trash.

Back when we had two dogs we moved our kitchen wastebasket out of the kitchen entirely. Our kitchen door opens into our garage w/ a step and then the garage floor. Since it was close, we moved the wastebasket onto that first step.

Well, the boys now help us by finding things to throw away! They love dropping whatever it is into the trash and then love to help us to close the door!

We think it is especially funny when it is diaper change time. Upstairs we have a diaper genie(love it!) But downstairs they just go into the wastebasket....and if it is a stinky one it gets bagged or double bagged in grocery store bags and THEN thrown in the trash....by our boys!

It really makes diaper change time truly special when as soon as you have taken off the diaper the other one gets excited and "offers" to throw it away.

Now...the boys aren't really talking...but for example Zachary or Hunter will grab the peepee diaper or the stinky bag and bring it to the back door holding the bag or diaper in one hand and banging on the door with the other! It is too cute!

We have been trying out asking them to help with other things and we are amazed at what they understand! I was changing Hunters clothes when I discovered he needed a diaper change (again- I had just done it a minute before so wasn't expecting it) I didn't have a diaper next to me, but Zachary was watching. Their changing mat has a few diapers stowed away in it and the mat was in reach so I asked Zachary to bring it to me. I didn't have to ask twice! He went over to the mat, picked it up and brought it to me with a big grin.

They also love to help clean up. Wiping their trays keeps them busy while I am cleaning up the floor after their meals.

I was dusting one day, and they saw me and both started making the noise they use when they want something. So I got them both cloths and they proceeded to wipe down the house! Now if they could only handle a vacuum!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Up and Running

It's official....actually it's been official for about a week.....both boys are walking on their own.

In China they both could walk by supporting themselves on something or by holding on to mom & dad's fingers.

Zachary started going solo shortly after we got home, but Hunter seemed to have no interest. Z would be toddling around exploring and H would either crawl around after him or would stay put and let Z go do his thing.

We started trying to get H to walk more, doing the....let's go walk around the kitchen routine grabbing his fingers and trying to get him to exercise those legs. He would usually do one or two laps around the island and then he would sit down....no more please mom & dad.

Then one day when I put a pair of shoes on that we got in China, the infamous "squeaky" shoes, both boys finally decided to keep them on their feet. Prior to this we probably were able to keep shoes and/or socks on for only about 10 minutes. But this was our lucky day! The shoes stayed on. And when we started to practice walking around the island in the kitchen boy did the boys have fun!


round and round we went. Z walked behind me pushing me, and H holding on to my fingers just kept on going. Lap after lap! It was the most I had seen him walk, ever!

Well, a day or two later we put the squeaky shoes on him again.....after the boys brought them to us (hey mom....let's do this!) and H decided it was his time!

And unlike Z who started with a few solo steps at a time, H decided he could walk long distances. He just took off!

So now with or without the squeaky shoes both boys are going solo. Z is a bit steadier, understandably since he has about a month more solo walking under his belt...err shoes.

But H is doing fabulous. He "toddles" quite a bit early in the morning when his legs haven't quite woken up yet, but by later in the day he is looking almost as good as Z.

Today even his morning walking was looking pretty darn good. Daddy almost got fooled into thinking he was Z just because how smooth his gait was as he walked across the kitchen and over to daddy. It's funny when you are relying on those cues to tell them apart and suddenly they are not there!

note about squeaky shoes:

they are everywhere in China and boy are the prices great there! Leather ones are about $6-8(pleather and canvas are around $4-5)and when you are sick of the squeaking the squeakers are removable.
You can find them online as well but they are quite a bit more expensive....the leather ones up to about $40. I have also heard that you can find them in some of the China towns around the US. I think they don't sell them mainstream because the squeaker could be considered a choking hazard if it came out on it's own. Something to be aware of, but our boys really aren't interested in putting things in their mouth unless they are edible. (Or semi-edible like our dog's cookies....but that's another post.)

The great thing about them besides the fun motivation is that by having the squeaker in the heel of the shoe it promotes the kids to walk heel to toe instead of just on their toes as a lot of children do.

Our favorite spot in China for the shoes was "Sherry's Place" they seemed the nicest there. They had some real buttery soft leather ones that were good looking for boys. Most of the places had good ones for girls....if you are in Guangzhou shop around a bit before buying your first pair. Unless you want to be like us.....we bought a bunch in different sizes at a whole bunch of stores.

Our guys feet are small....size 3US right now so it was hard finding them that small. the first pairs we got were 4's and we thought they would work....but they ended up coming off w/out undoing the velcro and we realized we still needed smaller. We finally found the smaller size at Sherry's Place.

THE RUNNING IS STARTING TOO! Mommy is about to get in really good shape!

Friday, July 3, 2009


He has become a superhero in my eyes....


Daddy has been taking over the "goodnight" detail....and when he does it they go to bed super easy! Am I jealous? Nope......very thankful!

Prior to his taking over we had been trying a few different things to see what might work. Since we had been home it had been a bit of an ordeal. In China it was much quicker. Put them in the crib and a few minutes later they were down for the night....the whole night.

But we got home and the time change and the new adjustment to...everything put a kink in our boys sleep habits.

So we changed from putting them to bed at the time they went in China to trying putting them in 1/2 hour earlier hoping their fooling around (throwing bottles at each other and out of the crib, bouncing on the mattress, doing the free fall backwards onto the mattress- quite a few of their games made us wonder if we should have gone for one of the harder mattresses instead) would be out of their system by the time they should be sleeping.

Then we tried the dimming of the light in their room bringing them up when it was almost at full brightness and then gradually dimming it and putting them in the crib when we had it on the lowest setting.

Then we got a window tint for the window that is right next to the cribs. In our state it stays light till pretty late and the room darkening shade wasn't quite cutting it. And the boys liked to play w/ the shade....made me fear it falling on one of their heads! We still have the shade up, but now with the window tint the desire to flip the shade all around seems to have dissipated.

But we were still having issues getting them down for the night.

I would leave the room and a few minutes later we would hear bang! One of the bottles being thrown out ( they go to bed w/ an almost empty bottle...they usually drink the little bit of water we put in their when they first lay down. Prior to us....they had their nightly bottle of formula in the crib and we've moved the formula to earlier but have been unable to change the bottle habit). Then the wailing would begin. And this would go on for quite a while. I would leave then, bang- again!. some nights it could go on for an hour or more if I didn't pick the offender up and cuddle him till he fell asleep. And its a hard line you are walking when you are working on attachment with your children. You need to differentiate yourself from the type of "care" they received at the orphanage. The kids need to start trusting that you'll be there for their needs. In the orphanage cries can't be answered for all the kids....there just aren't enough hands.
So when they cry you need to be there. So the kind advice people recommended of just letting them cry isn't really appropriate one month after adoption.

anyway.....we were having a rough time but Daddy decided to give it a go on putting them to sleep. And lo and behold.....

just maybe one bottle throw and then they are out!!!!!!

Not for the night yet.....but it's a start!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

the switcheroo!

If they were older I would say it's intentional.

but they're not!

They've pulled a switcheroo again. They seem to be personality swapping these days.

They'll go for a number of days or weeks doing a certain thing, them all of a sudden both of them will do the exact opposite!

What changed this time?

Zachary used to wake up everyday being little mister sunshine.... I said he was just like me, a morning person, and Hunter was just like daddy...a slow starter and grumpy in the morning (sorry honey...but you know it's true!)

Well this week....el chango. It's been several days now, so I am curious how long this will last.

Hunter is ready to go get em and start playing and has a big smile on his face, while Zachary is in fuss mode. Just the opposite of what I had become accustomed to.

It really is interesting. It makes me wonder if there is a reason for it (like maybe Z is still not feeling well and now H is ??? ) They both were sick for a while. Z had a sinus infection and H had an ear infection. We go back to the Dr's Friday for the rest of their vaccinations and a check on what they had. They both were on med's for 10 days so we are hoping the infections are cleared up. Z still has a snoogery nose, but it might be allergies.

Even when they were sick they both had lots of energy and plenty of smiles.....gotta love these kids!