Saturday, June 30, 2007

hard to believe that we have been home a month

Wow- in my excitement to post pictures yesterday, I totally forgot that Little Bug came home 4 weeks ago yesterday. It seems like yesterday, but at the same time, it seems like he has always been here and been my son.

We are doing fine, really, I see such a difference when I look back at what we were both like that first week. I am settling into my role as Momma- I feel confident on most things and I am willing to change directions if need be whereas at the beginning there was only one way to do things. For example, when I came home, we were going to stay in for 2 weeks, but that quickly crashed and burned as Little Bug needs more people in his day and so do I.

It is interesting to hear myself with him now. At the beginning, I tried to stay with my limited Spanish with my conversation with him or at least for anything important. One example, when I needed him to stay in one spot because I was unlocking the car, or doing something where I need to know exactly where he was at all times, I would point to spot on the wall and say "manos aqui" so his hands would stay in that spot. It did work. Now, I can just say "manos" and point and he will stand there. I use a few more command type words for things, but more and more, I give him the English phrase and the Spanish phrase. I want him to hold on to his Spanish, which I know will not happen given that I am single parent and I should only speak 1 language to him, but I am going to try as hard as I can to keep phrases in his life, so that he does not loose it all.
Little Bug is clearly working on English sounds now, his babbling sounds like English instead of Spanish and I know that I will never be able to keep his Spanish pronunciation of words. I hear it already in the word TRAIN. When he came home, it was clearly TREN, now it somewhere between TRAIN and TREN. In a few months, it will be TRAIN. So as we read certain books I try to say TRAIN as TREN so it stays with him. I want Spanish to stay familiar to him so that when he starts language classes, hopefully it will come back. We watch Sesame Street in Spanish and English, we have watched a few shows from Discovery Kids in Spanish- memories of my stays in Guatemala come flooding back. Ah, the days in the hotel, when Discovery Kids was all that calmed him down. If I keep this up, the sounds will be familiar even if he looses the context of the words.

Oh well, I have rambled tonight. Pictures tomorrow.

Love to you all,
Momma Bug

Friday, June 29, 2007

A very busy day

Pictures in no particular order from today.

Second bubble bath- the first being in Guatemala in December when I visited right after Christmas. That bubble bat was a disaster, this one was a huge hit. I think I might use bubble baths as a reward for good behavior for the Little Bug. He really like the fact that his bath toys were all hidden under the bubbles. Eating raw cookie dough before the bath. We were going to have dinner with some other single moms who have or are in process of adopting from Guatemala. I made Oatmeal cookies to take. The thought was that Little Bug could help me by helping to mix the batter. But, he decided that eating the batter was much more fun.
Here he is saying- "Momma, oatmeal batter is so much better than oatmeal for breakfast- would you make this for me in the morning?"
Hanging with Momma- his shirt was a gift from a secret blog pal swap I was in. I am still not sure who sent me the shirt, the organizer of the swap left to foster her daughter in Antigua, then got out of PGN and when they returned to the US, she had 2 weeks before she and her husband moved to a new city. So my secret blog pal is still a secret.
Playing after dinner with the other kids. Nearest to us is Martha-kelly, Little Bug is right behind her, then there is Nicholas and Nicholas' momma, Julie. Notice the kids are playing independantly of each other. They were not too sure of each other, especially Little Bug and MK. They preferred to be playing with whatever toy the other one had. But, they shared toys very nicely and there were no tears this time.

MK having juice while Little Bug plays a song for her.
Little Bug and Nicholas did play "ball". Little Bug would push the ball over to Nicholas and Nicholas would just laugh and laugh. He is a smiley happy little guy.
Nicholas and Momma Julie.
Little Bug trying to get Nicholas to play and to drink his sippy cup.
Little Bug got to stay up way past his bedtime and of course, fell asleep in the car on the way home. he never even woke up when I brought him in the house. Hopefully he will sleep in later tomorrow morning so that Momma can sleep in too.
Love to you all,
Momma Bug

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

US citizen and a new car!!!

Little Bug and I got home this evening after running some errands and there it was- the envelop from the US Department of Homeland Security. I was not expecting this envelop for another 3 weeks. Inside the envelop was the best piece of paper I have seen- Little Bug's official US citizen document!!!!!! Now I can get a social security card for him and a passport. Then in 5 more months, I can complete a re adoption here and he can have a US birth certificate. This is important for years from now when he needs a birth certificate to obtain things like a passport as an adult- this way he does not have to request one from Guatemala. I am so happy- it is all official and it come in time for me to get his documents before the rates for the documents go up on July 30th. He is officially a US citizen!!!!!!

Now, on to our errands- Little Bug needed some shorts- it is way to hot here and even though I love little boys in overalls- they are a pain when potty training. So my mom and headed out to the consignment store to use up the credit I had from selling clothes that Little Bug out grew before he even came home and got to wear them. Well, that store was unexpectedly closed, so we tried another store I know- it had moved. So we decided to take a chance and try a new store that I had been meaning to get to. We headed over there and hit the mother load for shorts. Little Bug is now set. he also saw a toddler bed shaped like a fire truck that he really wanted, but his crib converts to a toddler bed, so he is going to have deal with what he has now. Ont he way out the door, we looked at the toys set up for display and Little Bug spotted his dream- a car of his own. He headed straight for it and was riding it as best he could in the confined area. Well, Momma could see he wanted it and it was a good price even before the sale price was factored in, so $8.00 later, Little Bug has his own car. He wanted to keep on riding it, he was so upset when I put it in the truck of my car to take home. Once home, he wanted on the car so fast- he did not even remember that he told me that he needed to go potty all the way home. He took the car up the block and around the corner (7 house total- 30 minutes of hard work) and he was so happy. He wanted to ride the car up the stairs into the house and then when I brought the car in the house, he had to continue riding it. I think he likes it. As he was getting his bottle tonight, he kept pointing at it and smiling and saying VROOM-VROOM. I think I have found the toy he loves.
The car has so many buttons that make noise- he loved it!!! I ma not sure he will do anything else tomorrow except ride the car.

Potty training is going very well- he tells us when he has to go and is usually correct. If he makes an attempt and does not go to the potty, all I have to do is tell him "no pee-pee" and he sits back down and goes. He is really working hard at this. We are still working on notification for poop-poop, but he doe let us know right afterward that he has gone- so there is very little mess to clean up.

I can not believe that today marks 4 weeks since our embassy appointment. Friday will be 4 weeks home. It seems like it was both just yesterday and so long ago. It is such a praise to have him home and to be a family. God is great and perfect and his timing in bringing us together as a family was and is perfect. I can not imagine not having Little Bug at this age- he is still young enough to baby at times, but at the same time, he is showing his independence in trying new things. Others might wonder if I miss the time he was not with me, if I regret not having him home at an earlier date. I don't miss it- mostly likely because I do not know what I missed, but also because each day we have our firsts together as a family and I am focused on that. Also, I prayed for God's timing in this, and while I struggled in accepting the timing at various points, I look back at my journal and see how I prayed that God would give Little Bug foster family the time they needed with him, that Little Bug would have the presence of a strong man in his life at an early age (Thank you Senor C.) and how much I knew that God had a plan and his plan was perfect. So , no, I don't regret the time, the moments from Little Bug's first months- they are in God's hands and as Little Bug asks or I need information, his first family is there to answer us and provide the missing information. God bless you Carlos, Mireya, Suzy, Karla, Andrea and the rest of your family- you are gift and blessing to Little Bug and to me. May God's blessing be poured out on you 100 fold for the love you poured out for Little Bug.

On to the pictures.

Watering the plants on the porch- while it rained today- it came straight down and there was no wind, so the plants on the porch needed water.
Little Bug has the little water can (looks like a lady bug) and Jason has the big can- I watched and Jason only filled Little Bug's can up once- kind of defeats the purpose of allowing him to water the plants if he has no water.
Look Momma- I watered the plants.
My new car!!!!!! A Cadillac
Out in the front of the house
I am on the road to a new life!!!

I am going to title this one- MOMMA, YOU ROCK for getting me this car!!!!Riding around in the house before bedSee all the buttons- everyone makes a noise or lights up.That is all for tonight-

Love to you all,

Momma Bug

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Photos- photos- photos

Pictures from the last few days:

Little Bug attempting to dress himself- this is what happens when you leave the laundry folded on the couch instead of putting it away. Another picture- here he is trying to get the shirt over his head. It was too funny!!
Jello!!! The perfect toddler food. Little Bug loves the stuff. I see I am going to have to make jello on a regular basis.
Hanging with "J". They are plotting no good- also known as "no nap for the Little Bug". This is 2 days in a row that he has not had a nap, but he does go to bed without any fight- so maybe it is a good thing.
Playing over at Aunt Laura's (Auntie Lulu). He is playing the "hit the mole" game that I bought for Jason when he was 2 or 3 years old- wow!!!

perhaps Me-Me would like to hit the mole?
It is much easier to just hold the moles down instead of trying to hit them with the mallet as they go up and down. Ah the joys of toddlerhood- if you don't like how a game is played, change the rules.

Playing with the bumble ball- again a toy from when Jason was this age. The ball is supposed to jump around on the floor- but in our house, you hold it while it shakes your whole body. Little Bug is not too sure about this toy as it laughs when it is all done. He drops it every time it starts laughing.
Trying to turn the laughing off and getting the jumping started.
That is all for today in pictures.

Love to you,
Momma Bug

Sunday, June 24, 2007

New adventures- old friends

Pictures from the afternoon:

Little Bug had a play date with another little Guatemalan cutie- she and her mom came over for lunch (Pizza) and then play time. Little Bug was not too sure about this little cutie in his house, playing with his toys. And yes, at one point he crossed the line and earned himself a 90 second time in on the couch- many tears were flowing in the house at that point. After the tears and time in, he and MK were back at play- wherever she went, he went. He was not overly excited that she was playing in his house or with his toys. But, for a 22 month old, he did a great job sharing. MK shares very well for 18 month old- but she is already in day care and has been home for 6 months- not the 3 weeks that Little Bug has been home. All in all, I am very excited at how well he did. Friday night, we are heading over to MK's house for a play date with her, Y and hopefully N. 2 girls, 2 boys, 4 moms- it should be fun!!!
MK and her mom- Little Bug, very close in case MK goes after any other favorite toys. It was cute to watch.
Little Bug under the table, with his maraca loving that he found a new way to make noise.
Little Bug went to church today for the first time since we came home. I did not realize how much I missed church. We stayed for Adult Bible Fellowship (Sunday School) only, so I made sure we got to church early so we could go upstairs and listen to the praise team and band practice. Little Bug was bopping his head with the songs. I think he liked the band alot. You guys did great. We got to see lots of folks and say hi to everyone. He was a hit with the class. He was smiling a waving at everyone and he got lots of smiles and waves back. He made it through almost the entire class, then he wanted to go home. We left right after class- it was his nap time.
Of course, he decided once we got home, that nap time was overrated and he would play. Finally at 12:30, he decided it was nap time. We slept for 2 hours before we got a call that woke us both up.
My sister called to say that her brother in law, her husband's brother, fell off the roof of his house. They are not sure the extent of the brain injury- but his hands are pretty bad. He grabbed on to the gutter as he fell and it torn his hands up but probably saved his life. He likely would have died had he not grabbed the gutter. As it is, he still hit the concrete and is bad shape. Please pray for him- Scott and his family.

MK's mom called and we set up going out for lunch and then having them over for play time. I had already talked to my parents about going to lunch- so they came along too. Little bug devoured his pizza, the cheese bread and his juice. He was a hungry bug this afternoon. MK came back to the house and the kids played for 2 hours. It was so nice to have MK and her mom here- I missed talking with them. So now we are planning on dinner on Friday night- we were doing this before Little Bug came home, me and 3 other single moms. So we are back to weekly dinners. We have 2 new single moms, also adopting from Guatemala, who will be joining in the fun. It should be cool.

After everyone left and Little Bug was ready, we called his first family. Little Bug was ready for his bottle so he was not to interested in talking to his first momma- but he did say "HOLA", a bunch of other things- including "woo-woo" and "Bye-Bye" to her. he also blew kisses and waved bye-bye to the phone. We are going to try another call next week and I will make sure that Little Bug is not drinking a bottle at the same time. I was so worried that he would get upset and I would have set his bonding back, but he was fine- this is why I will call again next week. So long as he is not upset with talking to his first family, I am all for it. It can only help him to know that I love his first family and they are part of our family. I hope that we can continue these calls for a long time.

Well, it is getting late and I need sleep.
Love to you all,
Momma Bug

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Where do they learn this stuff? And, where not to buy your gas!!

Pictures from today:

Momma and Little Bug at the zoo- although you can't see that. Little Bug on the train at the zoo- the end of our morning
Little Bug's wing span would be less than 3 feet if he would put his arms out, but he was not into the posing for the photo at this point.
Checking out tents at Bass World. he really like this one- it is a kid's tent. I might have to consider it for a Christmas present, since I would like to take him camping- but....
The kid's sleeping bag is probably more likely to be on his Christmas list as I have a tent that sleeps two, but no sleeping bags.
So, on to the reason for my question in the title:

Tonight, Little Bug actually asked to go to bed (warning sign number million or one depending on how you are counting). He willing went into the crib- not that he does normally go willingly, just he is not so eager to go into the crib. He spent the next 40 minutes yelling down the hall that he had to "pee-pee". When I checked him, dry as a when I put the diaper on him. When I did not get him out of bed immediately, he started screaming and crying. This went on for 25 minutes before I took him out of bed, put him on the potty and he proceeded to NOT pee-pee. So back to the crib and he started it all again. This time, I left him in there and just told him I loved him and it was bed time. He asked about Mam and Pap and if we could go in the car to see them- answer from evil Momma- "Buenas Noches, te amo". He finally fell asleep.
So where does this ability to play me come from- are toddlers born knowing how to push their parents' buttons to get what they want? In this case, Momma to get Little Bug out of the bed. I ma just curious.

I believe that I caused it today- we started the day with underwear on!!! every 5 minutes, a little voice told me he had to "pee-pee" and I took him down the hall to the potty and praised him for going on the potty. Warning sign number one: he said he had to go when what he wanted was momma to play on the new rug with him.
We made an impromptu trip to the zoo, like I decided 5 minutes before we walked out the door that we were going. So I put a pull up on him, gathered the diaper bag and we headed out for a few hours. He stayed dry the entire time. Before we left the zoo, I put a diaper back on him as I knew he was going to fall asleep in the car on the way home. Sure enough, he was out in 5 minutes.
He gotten woken up when I stopped for gas and had to take him out of the car to attempt to get something corrected- see way below for those details. He was wet when I got home, but I changed him and we had lunch and he continued the every 5 minutes of needing to go. Please note, that if he said that and then did nothing, he was not praised, but was encouraged. So seconds later, he would have to go again and would go. He has total control of his bladder when he wants to have to control.
We headed over to Mam and Pap's in the afternoon and then out to shop for shoes for the Little Bug. He does not ask to go when we are out with Mam and Pap. We then headed to the Bass Pro Shop so Pap could buy something and Little Bug was fascinated with the tents. He was a riot with them- he thought they were the coolest things around. Basically, my parents walked toward one area and Little Bug refused to go past the tents cause they were cool. My parents came back toward us about 15 minutes later wondering where we had gone. Ah, toddlers and their fascinations with things.
So back to the going issue. When we got home, Little Bug played for a while inside, then we headed out to the porch and he saw the neighbors out, so we headed over and he played with the 4 year old across the street while us Moms (that is so cool to write) talked. I finally took him back inside when it got time for him to go to bed, but he needed a bath first and then a bottle and then he asked to go to bed and it all broke loose.

So experienced parents- how do you encourage your child to potty train but at the same time not cater to the pottying at night when they are diapered? He is not ready to potty train over night- he does not have control at night. He has control during the day. I want to encourage him to be potty trained, but at the same time, I do not want this to be an issue at bedtime. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Where not to buy your gas if you live in the area:

So my horror story of buying gas. I stopped at the BP station at Colerain and Galbraith. I pulled up to the pump and got out, swiped my credit card and the pump authorized. While I was filling the tank, the lady in front of me starting talking to me. She told me that she could not get the pump to work and had moved up to the pump she was now at. She continued to have trouble with that pump and she went inside to talk to the clerk. I was getting my receipt when she came out and when I glanced at it, I saw that my credit card numbers (the last 4 digits) were not on the receipt- other numbers were. So I asked the lady what her last 4 digits were. Sure enough, her card was charged for my gas. I told her, we would go inside and talk to the clerk so that the sale would be taken off her card and I would pay for my gas. I had to get Little Bug out of the car, which required me to wake him up. We went in and talked to the clerk, she did not know what to do (void the first sale and re-ring it under my card- how hard is that?). She called the "supervisor" up from the back room. The supervisor proceeded to tell me that it was my mistake, I need to pay the woman cash for the gas and that was all she was going to do. Excuse me- it was my fault that the machine said I could pump gas after I swiped my card- how would I know that another card was in the system? She then proceeded to tell me that I could use my credit card and get cash because it was XXX bank's card. No, I can not get cash on my credit card- it is a credit card not a check card/debit card. I used a credit card for a reason. Then she went back to telling us it was my fault and we were just stuck. When I asked for her manager's name and number, she said sure she would give it to me and that she was going to call the manager right away and let her know what had happened. When I got home and finally got through on the number, the supervisor had given me the number to the gas station and I would have to call back on Monday after 10 am to talk to the manager.
Well, BP has already gotten an email from me about this total lack of customer service. I will be calling tomorrow and Monday to get the manager's number. I will not be shopping at that BP ever again and I will go out of my way to avoid BP in the future until this is resolved appropriately. I would encourage all of you to avoid this BP too- they are willing to screw over the customer just to avoid doing their job.
I did take a check over to the lady's house- she was so sweet- I gave her my telephone number and she gave me her information. When I saw the address, it was right on the way to my parents house, so I knew that I would the money to her in the afternoon. She was so understanding and really appreciated my honesty, I appreciated her willingness to wait until the afternoon. She said she is going to complain too.
Well, that is our day. Tomorrow starts bright and early.

Love to you all,
Momma Bug

Friday, June 22, 2007

Thank God it is Friday

Pictures from the last few days:

Taking a ride through the backyard in the wagon- Right after this, Little Bug decided that he was not going to sit in the wagon and his ride ended for safety reasons. He was not a happy young man when the ride ended.
Inside, his new nickname is "basket head". For a kid who does not like hats, he sure likes to wear household items frequently.
Walking in Momma's shoes. I am going to save these pictures as he is wearing my grass cutting shoes and I will need the pictures when he is older and he is complaining about having to cut the grass.
Hanging out in the snowman chair. Auntie Laura bought this for him before I even had his referral. It was a Christmas present in December 2005. At the time I was not pleased about getting a present for a baby that would not come home until 2006, little did I know that I toddler would come in 2007 and fit the chair perfectly.
Shoveling dinner in his mouth. I made pot roast, mashed potatoes and peas for dinner and he loved it. He could not get the food into his mouth fast enough. The spoon does not work for him, it does not get enough food in his mouth fast enough. I think this will be a favorite meal. I cooked the roast in the slow cooker and the house smelled wonderful all day.
I think Little Bug might be getting sick- he was tugging on his ear today and he took an extra nap. He did not tug on his ear all day, just at points in the afternoon, so I am going to watch him tomorrow. it could just be that he was reacting to all the changes this week with me going back to work.
Tomorrow, we are going back to underpants- no diaper. This evening, he was telling me he had to go potty every 5 minutes and when I would take him to the potty, he was going on the potty. So he is ready to be out of the diapers again. According to Senora M. and her family, he was practically potty trained when I arrived in Guatemala. I think he was only wearing diapers at night. So we'll see how it goes. I have pullups in case we leave the house.

Love to you all,
Momma Bug

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Catching up

OK- here are the pictures!!

Typically breakfast for Little Bug- 1 scrambled egg, bacon, milk, fruit and bread- notice the bread and fruit are not in the picture. He eats those first. I think he would be happy if every meal was bread and fruit. Playing with Jason right after Jason finished cutting the grass for me. Little Bug thought it was exciting to watch Jason cut the grass and now he wants a lawn mower. My sister has one in her shed that is for toddlers- blows bubbles when it is pushed- so he'll be getting that one. I sure hope he is still excited about cutting grass when he gets older- it will certainly be one of his chores around the house.
Finally, the official Home Depot shopping photo- I know someone of you have been waiting with anticipation for this photo. I love shopping at Home Depot- it is my favorite store and I refused to take a picture of Little Bug at the store until he was in one of these shopping carts. We love Tony Stewart and the #20 NASCAR team!!!!
Little Bug needs 2 steering wheels to keep his car under control.
So, why did we go to the store- to buy a room darken shade for his room. His room gets the afternoon sun, so when he goes to bed at 7:30 in the summer, it is still very, very light outside. Hopefully, the shade will help him go to sleep faster and stay asleep longer in the morning- the 5:30 am wake up call from his room is becoming a little too routine. but, we also walked out of the store with this totally awesome floor rug for his room. He can run his cars all over the town and it has train tracks for Thomas the Tank engine train. He and I spent a good time this evening playing with his cars on the rug.

Little Bug continue to settle in. I see more an more relaxing on his part each day, although we have out moments when I see an exhausted little boy. He really should nap for 2 hours each day, but he wakes up after 1 hour, so he goes into the evening pretty tired, but not willing to go to bed. I think this is toddler behavior, totally unrelated to his adjustment. We are still working on getting a routine for our day. The biggest change for me has been realizing that he is hungry when he asks for bread during the day- so I have to watch that he eats enough at lunch to get him through until his snack and the snack has to get him through until dinner. This seems to be the problem area for us. He is eating just about everything I feed him, so it not an issue of picky eater, just me not recognizing his eating habits and adjusting appropriately.

I think that is all for tonight. Love to you all,

Momma Bug

PS- for Little Bug's first family- thank you for allowing me to use your pictures- I will post them this weekend as you are so very much loved by Little Bug and me.

Monday, June 18, 2007

First day back at work

Here are pictures of Little Bug- because I know you all just come to see him.

His shirt reads "Are you sure these are my relatives?" Mom and I saw this shirt when we went to Guatemala to visit the Little Bug in May 2006. I had to have one for him, so when I had to fly to the home office in October, I picked up 2 of them at the airport- thankfully I bought them bigger because the shirts run small. Little Bug wore this to dinner out for Father's Day. It was a hit with the family.
Little Bug- AKA Bucket Head. Playing with his cousins on Father's Day
Getting kisses from cousin Kristen and bunny ears from Uncle David.
Playing with cousin Jason today. Jason has just a little fuzzy on his chin and Little Bug thinks it is funny- I could not get a picture of him making fun of Jason but it is a memory.
Doing the "crab walk" with cousin Jason across the living room- Little Bug though this was cool and it was even more fun to play with the chains that Jason has on his pants. I am surprised that Little Bug did not decide to bop Jason on the head with the chains.

Little Bug did fine- he enjoyed playing with Auntie, as she played new games with him and then at her house he got to see another dog. He loved playing with Jason. The only negative part was that he did not get to see Mam and Pap during the day and he was going through withdrawal. So this evening, we headed over to their house for 45 minutes. I am not sure how this will work when they go back to work in fall, but it will work right now. Perhaps, I'll have to have them over for lunch once a week- Little Bug will love that.

A huge praise- I feel so much better knowing that I will be able to cover our living expenses and continue to pay off the adoption debt. THANK YOU ALL FOR PRAYING and THANK YOU GOD!!!! God provides and it is awesome.

Well, I have a few things to get done tonight before I head to bed.

Love to you all,
Momma Bug