This weekend has been quite the weekend. Due to many trips to Seattle for doc appts and Dean being slammed with work (always a good thing when you are a contractor)...we did most of the weekend solo.
Today after lunch he had to go to work. Very rare that he works on Sunday but in this case, he had little choice.
After lunch I got out a cookbook that Tirzah's g.grammy gave her for her birthday. I told them to pick a recipe. It was so cute. They were all going back and forth so that they agreed...brownies it was. I lined up all the ingredients and gave them each a job. Of course we altered it...removed nuts and put in marshmallows and mini m&m's. :)
During this time, Zihao, Taizi and Izrael were napping.
Yes. To back up. I've been working hard sleep-training Taizi. I'll be very honest, I've tackled easier tasks in my life :) He, however, is so very sleep deprived. According to the orphanage director, he was napping daily there. He's only napped a handful of times in 4 months with us and then takes forever to fall to sleep at night. Having 5 biological kids, my saying is "sleep begets sleep". Contrary to what many will say, we have proven with 5 very different temperament children...that they more sleep they get, the more they need. The better they nap...the better they sleep at night. We sleep train our babies very early on for night sleep...but don't do scheduled naps til about 3-4months. Each of our children have been on the same exact sleep schedule at the same exact age. Hopefully that proves it's not just luck ;) Izrael sleeps from 1:30-5 every day and then 9pm til 8am every night. Every one of our children at her age (2 in a few weeks) as done the same.
Soooo back to Taizi. No naps and he struggles falling to sleep. Once asleep...he's a very sound sleeper and sleeps about 12 hours each night.
So 4 days ago I set out to train him. To say this was time consuming would be a gross understatement...and the thought came to me many many times over the next four days ... how easy it would be to say "umm it's not working" or simply that this is not for the faint of heart. The 'good news' is that he's deaf...therefore I can commit to it and still be talking to the other children when they needed me. Day one...it took 2 hours and 20 minutes for him to fall to sleep. Eeeeeeee. Day two it was 1hour 45min if I have it correct. Day three 45 min...Day four ...15min. Today day 5...40 min. First thing we do is establish a pattern so that he knows when x,y,z occurs...it's time to sleep. For an infant we would bathe, feed, change, swaddle, kiss, lights out, bed. For him...obviously a tad more difficult :) So what we did is feed, change, put to bed on his belly with soother in his mouth and then tuck his arms by his sides snuggly with his blanket. Blanket on his head, not his face. Then I sit by his bed where he can't see me. If he moved out of position, I tuck him back in. What's amazing is how quickly they learn that you are there and you are consistent. So much so, that today I did all of that and then left and made a snack for the kids and came back about 12 minutes later and he hadn't moved and was still wide awake. The GREAT news is that he's napped now for 5 days in a row! AND still sleeps a full 11-12 at night. :)
I must must get a video of Izrael 'talking'. There are no words. She is so funny and adorable. She wants to talk so bad (and look out when she has words!) but her vocab is pretty limited being only 23months so she fills it in with random syllables. And expressions. And hand movements. It's the best. Every now and then the word Ah-how (zihao) or Piddy (piggy) will slip in there. :)
Tonight Dean got home late. Most of the kids were in bed...just not Izrael and Azahria (who had a very long nap today). I had put Taizi in the playroom while I brushed teeth and put kids to bed. He did something really cute. When I came back I sat on the floor a few feet away from him. He crawled to me and then put his hand in my hand (like interlocking his fingers). Then he felt for my other hand that was down on the floor and did the same. Once he had both hands he stood up and then crawled up me to where he was standing on top of my legs and right in front of my face. Then he started to laugh. It was a small peek into a connected moment with him. Once there and looking in my eyes for 10 seconds or so at a time (amazing) he came even closer and laid his head on my shoulder. :) It was pretty special.
When Dean came home, he sat in the chair and held his arms out to him. He loves his daddy and he always has. He has a special bond with him. Well I decided to sit on the floor beside Dean and open my arms. Taizi had several feet to crawl to get to us and the entire time he was looking at Dean then at me. Back and forth. It was very cute to watch his little mind work. We were both positive he was going to Daddy...I mean...no kidding. No way. He bee-lined for Mama and again came right up on my legs and snuggled into my shoulder! I don't think either of us said anything...I was so shocked.
As I walked out of the boys' room tonight, Zunduka (8y~adopted from Africa 3 years ago) said "Hey Mommy...I just wanted to say...I really love you..." it was said in the most sincere way and made me stop in my tracks.
When I went to tuck Tirzah in, she said "Mama...I can't believe I have you for a Mama. I mean...you are so wonderful AND you love Jesus...! So awesome! And you know...I can't wait til I look in Jesus' eyes for the first time. Can you imagine Mama? Do you ever think about that...?" :)
Then I hear Azlan say "Mommy....? I love you to the moon and back!"
Hearing all the laughing of Me and Taizi and Izrael, Chazano comes running out of his room "am I missing something fun out here?" :) I assure him he's not and off he goes smiling.
And while nothing in our life is for the faint of heart right now...what a beautiful life we are living. As blessed as Tirzah feels that I'm her Mama...I may not have chosen this crazy life...but so humbled God chose us to live it.
Filled with little loves.
So easy to miss in the busy-ness of it all.