Monday, June 30, 2008

Bug needs a hug or a note at least from Koki

Koki left to return to Japan on 10Jun. Since then, it is regular occurrence for Bug to cry on the way home that he misses Koki. He is constantly telling me that he misses me while he is at Auntie Lulu's (while I work). He has started crying at bed time over how much he misses Koki.

I know that part of this is not just missing Koki, but finally having words to express some of the feelings from last year when he came home and he missed Popi Carlos, Momi Mireya and the girls. I know that he is finally able to say what he felt last year. But at the same time, i am struggling in how to help him through this change. With his homecoming, I made the decision to keep pictures up, to keep calling, to make Bug's first family my family. But with Koki, while we have pictures, that is about it. I tell Bug that we will see Koki again, I know Koki sends emails to Lulu and her family, but there is not the same contact that we have with Guatemala and to be honest, I doubt there will ever be.

I can work with Bug on missing his first family, but how do I help him with a friend? This is hard, it is hard to watch and Bug is not realizing that much of the emotion is coming from the lost he experienced last year- he just stops talking about it. It is so hard to watch. It is so hard to figure out what is really the trigger or what is really going on inside the head of a 2 year old. I am thankful for his language skills.- but they are still not enough to express everything and that is the struggle.

Here is all I can do:
1. Bug and I are going through the pictures of Bug and Koki to pick out a few to put up in his room
2. We talk about Koki and I tell Bug that we will see Koki again after he is done with school (I promised him a ticket back to the US after he graduates from college)
3. We will be sending gifts for Christmas

Am I missing something? what makes something abstract real to a toddler? How do I let him know that people will always come in and out of his life and it is OK?

Love and hugs to you,

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Out and about and some gardening prep

Saturday Bug and I made forms for our raised garden beds. we still have to fill them with composting grass, leaves, newspapers 9to block weeds) and some compost so that we can actually plant in them later this year or next Spring. We got 3 forms built- it will take another 2 hours to fill them with the materials. It looks like I can add at least 4 more down the fence line- that means I can have 3 of them for corn next year. Bug was not using the power drill- he was reaching for the regular screw driver to use.

The forms are 4x4 feet- which will work out perfectly for the square foot gardening I have planned.
After building the forms- Bug took the dump truck and bulldozer out for a spin in the yard. he was driving them all over the back yard for at least an hour- we both took a nice nap.

Today, Bug and I headed out to the festival near my sister's house. it is held at the Greek church and my whole reason to go was to eat the great Greek food. We ended up playing at the fishing pond. Bug won a dolphin!!!
We rode the spinning bears- Bug loved it.

Bug rode the MOTOS!!!!!!! I think he would have been happy to do this the whole time.

See, Mr. happy Bug!!!
He rode the carosuel- the fire truck dog!!!

it was a good day. We left after Bug finished with riding the motos, we left (but I did get a packet of desserts to have this week). we left at the perfect time because on the walk back to Laura's house, the rains came. we made it into the house just as the heavy rain started.
I like this festival- I think though, next year, we will go later in the evening on Saturday evening and enjoy more of the music, dancing and culture aspects. Today was just seeing what it was all about.
well, it has been a busy weekend and I need to get some sleep because the next 2 weeks at work are going to be busy. Thankfully, this is a short week since Friday is a holiday.
Love and hugs to you,

Friday, June 27, 2008

Out with Bug in his own words

This is gymnastics class in Bug's own words- I am assuming he is thinking these thoughts while we play. Many thanks to Mam and Pap for coming along and being the picture taker and encourager.

Dang it, she is making me hang on this bar again- where is the teacher with the ball- I want to play ball.

Maybe if I let momma and mam take my picture, I can play with the ball

what does she want me to do with this hoop? Momma, just give me the the ball and we'll be fine- where is that teacher?

Now I have to jump on this thing- next she'll want me to walk on the beam

I knew it!!!! OK, I will walk on this because I heard the one teacher tell the other one that I like to play with the balls.


Come on Momma, try to get the ball from me- I am a soccer superstar!!!

Hey, pap says I could play basketball too. No, the silly ball will not go in the basket, Momma put me down, I want to play soccer

Who is this kid- get her out of my game!!!!??? The big boys are playing basketball on the other side of this divider. Momma things she is being funny telling me that I have to be potty trained before I can play basketball- who is she kidding

It was a 2 stamp night!!! I got to play soccer with momma for 20 minutes, OK so the 10 minutes of group songs and humoring momma by actually doing some gymnastics was worth it to play for 20 minutes. I wore Momma out. I like this class, but I want to play basketball and soccer. Momma are you listening to me

te amo,


Monday, June 23, 2008

Bug update

No pictures today- Mam dropped some off today, but I have not organized them (looked at them), so words will have to do for today.

Bug is 34 months old now
he stands 36.5 inches
he weighs 30.2 pounds

according to the chart, that puts him right between the 25th and 50th percentiles.

I noticed recently that he really wants to play with other kids- not just be in the same room or take their toy away, but play and interact with him. I noticed it 2 weeks ago when we ventured to the mall and there was a little girl about 4 years old who played with him for 30-45 minutes. He was so happy. I was crying because I never thought Bug would get to the point where he would actually play with someone- rather than bite them. He played on the slide and in the tunnel and on the wagon. he was so happy.
Today we went to a new park (thanks Tammy) and he walked up to the another little girl and said hi and off they went to play. Her mom and I started talking. The little girl was clearly the leader, but Bug was as happy as he could be playing with his "friend" as he called her. She called him her best friend. He was following her around the play scape, up and down the stairs, over the bridge, all over. It was just nice to be out and be a momma watching her son play instead of being a momma trying to get her son to go join in.
Bug tells me every morning that he dreamed about Santa Claus. This worries me, because Sana just brought the small gifts in the stocking last year and Momma gave all the big gifts. This Momma does not want Santa to be the entire focus of Christmas. But in Bug's mind, that is all important- any advice on how to nip this in the bud? Because apparently Bug really wants a big truck because Sana brings him a BIG, BIG truck every night in his dreams. I am not sure I can measure up. We'll see- perhaps Bug will only get one gift this year.
Yes, I brought up Santa in June. It is almost time for me to start buying Christmas gifts so that I am done before Thanksgiving and this year especially, I need to be done before Thanksgiving since Bug is on a mission to get a BIG BIG truck. I'll have to get it into this house and hidden before he even realize Christmas is coming.

He has transitioned fantastically to his big boy room. Momma is the one struggling to finish the transition. I just run out of time- I don't want to spend the weekend moving his stuff, since that involves culling through his stuff. He has way more toys than he ever needs- isn't that ironic as I plot out Christmas. Seriously, he has toys for a much younger age and toys he never plays with, so I need to cull them and keep the ones that he plays with, or have meaning. That way his room can stay more organized. heck, I need to do the same thing with my stuff- but I don't want to spend my time doing these things when Bug and I could be doing stuff together- like the zoo or park or the pool on the patio.

Bug likes to tell me "I your momma". I think he is trying to say that he is my son, but all he knows is that I tell him that I am his momma. Of course Sunday, watching gymnastics on TV, he looked at one of he gymnasts (I think she is 17 years old) and he told me "she your momma". too cute.

I see more and more mannerisms from my family in him- of course the 16 year old attitude he is picking up from Jason has got to go. Apparently thought, he is also picking way too many words from me. Not so nice words for other drivers and words that might perhaps be said when things are dropped. Yep- those words have slipped out a few times. I am working on being better, because Bug is a sponge with language.

He is doing great overall. We have one issue with biting that continues. 2 weeks ago I was so upset and frustrated with the constant biting, I was looking at intervention because the biting was escalating. But, my sister came up with a solution. Bug knows the consequence of biting and believe you me, he does not like it. but it has cut down on the biting and we are making progress.

I have momma guilt right now- I am working very long hours and this will continue through August 9ending right before Bug's birthday). In the 14 years I have worked in the field I am in, I have never had the deadlines right on top of each other like this, so I know this is not normal. But it makes me feel so guilty knowing that I have just a few short hours with Bug each night and then I really need to get him to bed so I can go back to work (the joy of working from home).

That's the update on our lives right now. love and hugs to you,
Deb and Bug

Thursday, June 19, 2008

tumbling tot

Bug started "baby basics" gymnastics last week with our friend Y. They really enjoy hanging around like 2 little monkeys.

The "class" starts with some songs and the kids to play on everything set out- beam, bars, tunnels, mats, hoops, balls, etc while the parents run around with them, then they end with another few songs. It is way more unstructured then I thought it would be, but Bug and Y seem to love it. I think next session though, he is moving up to the formal gymnastic class.

Bug, walking on the beam- he does not like it as much as Momma does (trying to relive my days pretending to be Nadia C and winning the Olympics)

Bug will usually hold my hand while I walk on the beam- thank goodness the teacher saw me running around taking pictures and begging Bug to let me take his picture.

Jumping with Y on the mini trampoline. Bug was not sure about this mini trampoline and when he nearly fell off, that was it for the trampoline. He was much happier playing..........

Soccer (football) with the beach ball. He ran around for 15 minutes (half the class) playing basketball and soccer. He would have been happy just playing with the balls the entire time.

last week, there were lots of tunnels to crawl through, this week not so much. I think if the class was tunnels, balls and hanging bars, Bug would be happy as a clam.

The only downside to these classes is that they are at 7:30 pm (Bug's bedtime), so it is 9 pm by the time he is in bed, thankfully we just have to make it through Friday before we have a rest days.

Well, I am off to watch the news and go to bed.

Love and hugs to you,

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Weekend recap

We went to the zoo, zoo, zoo, how about you, you, you???

Our zoo has some new giraffes- Bug thought they were too tall.

He actually stood next to the gorilla statue- last year he was freaked out by it. He just is growing up so fast.

The usual suspects- Momma, Bug and Mam
We were watching the gorillas- there was a baby gorilla running around - Bug wanted to play with the baby gorilla.
Riding the carousel all by himself (OK, momma was riding right next him and held he hand through the ride, but he did ride alone).

And he surprise guest- PAP!!! Yep, Pap came with us. More like we gave him no choice. It was hard on him walking, but we took breaks and rode the tram and train to move around the zoo. That seemed to work.

We also ran into another family whose daughter was adopted from Guatemala. I actually realized that I had met the grandmother at MK2's baptism last year. It was cool to see another family while out.

Sunday was quiet. Bug sang on stage at church- along with the other kids ages 2-14. Bug really spent he time standing there laughing with another little boy. No pictures of that- I was uncertain how Bug would do, so I stood in the back of the church and Bug was pretty much blocked by another little boy. But he was up on stage.
Mam and Pap came over after church and I grilled out. We then went down to see Grandpa Joe. I am exhausted now- migraine. So I am off to bed so I am well rested for work tomorrow.

Love and hugs to you,

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Father's Day

It is the eve of Father's day here in the US and Tuesday is Father's Day in Guatemala. I just wanted to say how much I love and appreciate the men who have loved and still love my son.

Popi Carlos: you took Bug in and gave him family. even before I knew Bug and had his referral, i was praying for you. I prayed over and over that God would give Bug a strong man to be an influence and guide in his life. I prayed even harder after I had Bug's referral. Through the months of waiting, I prayed that for you to have strength, to be covered in God's grace through the journey. I knew Bug was coming home to a small family with only me as his parent and I knew Bug needed lots of positive male role models in order to grow up to be a good man. You laid the foundation over 21.5 months- you set the pieces in place for Bug to be strong, wise and independent. You showed him love beyond measure, you showed him the face of GOD. i am forever grateful that God put you in Bug's life, that he gave Bug the opportunity to be loved by you. Thank you for your love and thank your for your support, your continued words of wisdom and your prayers for Bug.

Pap: You feel in love with Bug from the first pictures, you took him into heart and made him yours. As we planned the journey home, you already had a plan to help Bug transition and it worked. You have been there for us through this last year each and every time we have needed you. You have gotten down on the floor to play cars, play in a tent and to be the ride on toy for Bug. You have shown him how to put in grass, get weeds and fix a punctured tire. You continue to amaze with what you will do for Bug. Thank you for being there, for standing in the gap for Bug as a father figure to him. Thank you for opening your heart and your mind to the changes Bug has brought to our lives. Thank you for being my dad, for being Bug's pap. Thank you for each moment of each day as you pour your love out on Bug.

These are the men shaping Bug's life from his birth to his present. There is also Uncle Darrell, Koki, Jason and the men at church in the 2/3 year old Sunday School class. Thank you each for standing there for Bug and showing him love.

To Father God: Thank you for providing strong, compassionate, loving men to be an example to Bug. They are an inspiration to me. Thank you for the hope that one day Bug will have a father. Thank you for Bug, for his precious spirit, his joy, his laughter, his boyhood and his life ahead. Thank you for making me a Momma to a son.

Popi Carlos and Bug

Sleeping contently in the arms of his father

Pap and Bug: helping
Love and joy

To all the fathers out there who are either home with their kids or waiting to bring their kids home- may your day be blessed- Thank you for being DADS and FATHERS!!!

Love and hugs to you,

Friday, June 13, 2008

Shout it OUT LOUD- Ahren is out!!!!!!

Ahren is coming home- 2 year 5 months and many days after starting this process, Ahren's case is fainlly approved.

Head on over to Wendy's blog,, and share the joy!!!!!!

Pictures of Bug coming tomorrow.

Love and hugs to you,

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Our weekend

here is the recap of our weekend. It started at 5 am on Saturday morning- yep- 5 am. Bug decided that he was going to be up. Bad thing, big boy beds, he can escape and come into my room. He proceeded to inform me that he needed his diaper changed and the smell confirmed this. at 5:30 am he came back in to my room and had the same issue. The day was not starting off well.
So at 6 am, I pulled him in to my bed in the hopes at that we would both sleep. He slept, I did not. At 8:30 am, I woke him up.

Doesn't he look precious!!!

At 9:30, we picked up Mam and headed over to the Butterfly show. Since is was a cloudy day, I did not expect to see many butterflies- but I never expected that the Bug would be terrified of the butterflies. NOTE to Auntie Lulu- BUGs, flies and especially butterflies are not bad, scary or evil- stop teaching my son to fear everything that creeps, crawls or flies. It was so disheartening to watch Bug move away from the butterflies refuse to look at them and basic want to be anywhere but at the Butterfly show.

Mam and I had a great time, lots of butterflies landed on us- Mam's pictures are better than mine. It was almost as fun as the butterfly house in Niagara Fall, Canada.
Bug, happy to be out of the butterfly exhibit and running through the plant exhibits.

Bug did like the fountain in the waiting/ticket area. But heck, Bug loves water (another story for later)

The exhibit was themed around China- this is the butterfly house with Chinese lanterns. Loved it. I need some more butterflies in the backyard. I just need another year or 2 with my garden and it should be ready to go as butterfly heaven.
A butterfly on me
Chinese dragon with butterflies resting on the plants.
Sunday, Bug and I headed over to the park in the afternoon- 90 degree heat included. Bug and I were both tired after an hour. We sat in the car and gulped our water down. But it gave us a fun afternoon. I will say, we will probably not go to the park in heat like this again, Bug got to swing, slide down this slide 2 times before the sand was too hot and walk around. The other slides he likes are out in the open and way too hot. So we'll either have to go in the early morning or late evening if this heat keeps up.
Love to you,

Monday, June 9, 2008

Saying Good-bye

Koki at Christmas. I am not sure he was ready for the spectacle that is my family and Christmas
Best buds!!!!
Just hanging out
The boys- styl'n

Saying good-bye for the last time before Koki
Big hugs!!!
Just Hanging
Happy, happy!!!

One final hug, one final kiss-


No, not us, but Koki is saying good bye to us. The school year is over and his exchange program is over, so he is heading back to Japan. We have tried to prepare Bug for this change, but I do not think he understands. Bug told me today, as we came home from swimming, that he was missing Koki and Jason and he was sad.

Some pictures of Koki and Bug