First day of school…again!

Madeline’s first real day of preschool is tomorrow morning, and I feel nervous for her!  We went to her supply drop off and she did such a fantastic job.  She was friendly, asked kids to play with her, introduced herself, even went up to kids and asked if she could play with them.  The responses she received were really disappointing to her.  She had to ask one girl if she could play 4 times in a row, and then her face dropped, she looked up at me, and said, “Mama, she’s not answering me.”  I tried my best to help facilitate introductions, negotiate disagreements, etc., but all of the kids were so much in their own world, it was hard.  It was a one hour deal, absolutely no structure, just a drop off and play for a bit type of thing.  I think all the kids were nervous about not knowing anyone, most played by themselves, and there was nothing organized to help the kids get to know one another or have fun with each other.  That will all happen once they actually begin classes, and I’m sure the kids will relate more and in different ways, especially with the teachers more directly involved.  But, it just hurts your heart to see your child (who, to be honest, I was a little concerned about her being one of the ones to not play well), try so hard and she used such good manners with the kids, and then to see her leave feeling like no one wanted her to be there.  She was so excited to get there and meet everyone, but as we walked out she said, “Mama, I don’t think I want to come to preschool.  The kids were just taking things from me and not talking to me.”  I just tried my best to encourage her and said, “But ya know what honey, you did so good being polite, and asking for things nicely, even when the kids weren’t nice about things to you.  You did great in there!  And I think everybody was nervous.  When your real classes start, you’ll all be doing activities together and reading books, and playing.  It will get better!”  And I pray it does. 

She was really sensitive for the rest of the day and my mom and I just tried to love on her as much as we could.  I could really see the insecurity and loneliness come out in her.  She’s such a facial expressions kind of “feeler” so she’s pretty easy to read, especially when you have the opportunity to just sit and watch her interact.  But, this week she’s also had the adjustment of having her sisters gone almost the entire day.  That’s a big change too.  Whenever she comes with me somewhere and the girls are at home or together somewhere else, the first thing out of her mouth is, “Oh, I miss the girls!”  She waits all day for them to come home from school, and when they do, the older two haven’t seen each other either, so they’re talking all about school and what they did.  And they’re tired and sometimes edgy from the long day, which is understandable.  Its just hard being the little one in such a different world. 

I know, I know, she’s my baby!  And I’m protective of her, especially after the difficulties with the girls and hearing about how bad it was for her (from Emma) at the orphanage.  I think loneliness has been such a hallmark emotion for her.  But I feel like this about all my girls.  You just hate to see them hurt, or feel alone, or doubt how beautiful they are…when they are such great kids!  But I do trust that God is watching over them, and loves them.  It was so cute…we were driving in the car after being at her preschool and a song came on about God always being there for us.  I told her that when she is at school, that God sends His angels to always be with her, and He’s there too, to talk to anytime she feels sad or alone.  And she said, “And God will say, you be nice to my Madeline.  And if the kids are not being nice He will tell them to stop it.  And He will say its okay, I’m here.  Don’t be afraid.”  I love that kid!

Well, more later.  Have to get some sleep.  Rebekah, Mark and James come in town in the morning and I don’t want to start the weekend off exhausted!  Enjoy your holiday weekend!

First day of school

First day of school and the girls came home ALL smiles!  It was a half day, but they both LOVED it, which I am relieved about.  Garmai had a really hard time falling asleep last night (just nervous), and then had a total meltdown before school when it was discovered that Emma had a water bottle that also came with her lunch bag.  Garmai did not!  I pulled together a water bottle for Garmai to take, and I’m pretty sure the whole issue was more about school nerves than it was the water bottle, but I was starting to get nervous that we weren’t going to get her to school at all!  So, yay for their first day!  Madeline’s supply drop off is tomorrow, which she is now super excited about.  She wants to tell her teachers that she’s been learning her letters and colors. 🙂  She has her outfit all laid out in the bathroom ready for her morning shower.  So cute!  Well, here are some first day photos.  I’ll put some of Madeline after tomorrow.  The first is of supply drop off for the older two!

Emma, ready to walk out the door, after talking 700 miles an hour since the moment she woke up!  She was EXCITED!!!

Here is Garmai, hiding behind the pillar, while Travis risks taking her picture and sending her into another meltdown!  He took it without her knowing.  I told him that was pretty risky!

And…after school, being picked up by Daddy!  It took him a little bit of time to find Emma, cause the two didn’t come out of the school together, but they now have a designated pick up location to meet at.  Good idea, dad!

Pee, pee and MORE pee!!!

So here’s the big question??  Is it possible that urine could be used by God as a tool in our sanctification process??  I’m beginning to lean towards yes!  There is little else that Travis hates as much as having to clean up pee!  And our daughter Madeline, at times, is quite conflicted about her desire to grow up and be a “big girl”!  So, potty training has been an interesting experience with her.  She has the normal accidents any child would have who is potty training.  Then, she pees at times when she’s mad about something you just did, like if you put her on her bed for a time out.  She also has the very unique interest of peeing in new and interesting locations, like decorative vases, under living room ottomans, and in tupperware containers (which she claimed was an accident…amazing how much pee accidentally made it into the tiny little tupperware container with the lid now screwed on tight).  Yes, she really did bring to me a full tupperware container of her pee and exclaim, “Mama, I hadid an accident.”  And to top it off, I can’t even count the number of times she has crept into our room in the middle of the night to sleep with me and then pees through her pull-up in our bed, which means that when Travis comes home from work in the morning, ready to fall into bed, he is first met with pee-soaked bedding that he has to change, and is often left having to sleep on Tigger blankets with fairy princess pillow cases! 

God is so creative in the mundane, every day things He uses to remind us that we are not in control.  And, when you feel like the rest of your life is out of control, or when you’ve had a life where you’ve been very out of control and difficult things have happened as a result, something in us just grasps for control in the normal everyday things.  I told Travis, “Remember when the girls first came and all of them were completely emotionally out of control?  I was like the house cleaning Nazi!”  The girls dropped a shirt on the floor and I was instantly stressed out and putting it away!  There are some days I wish that pattern would have lasted a little longer with the way my house looks now, but that’s how I could make sense of my world at the time.  “I can’t make the girls stop whining, but I’ll be d***ed if my house is dirty when I go to bed!”  I heard Phillip Yancey (or Henry Nouwen??) say once that he thought cars were God’s little gift to remind us we’re not in control.  Well, for Travis, its Madeline’s pee!

Just to top off the night, after Travis had showered her once this evening already (she peed on the kitchen floor…while trying her hardest to make it to the bathroom), and right at the time when Travis and I were going to sit down and talk finally (for the 45 minutes before he left for work), I walked into Madeline’s room to say good night and found her covered in lotion that she had poured all over herself, her bedding, and smeared on her bedroom walls.  She is like a walking billboard right now for Travis saying, “Foiled again!”  In her defense though (not like she needs any, the kid is like a walking destructo right now), she is covered in a horribly itchy rash that the doctors assured us would be gone in a mere 14 weeks, and was trying to put lotion on her rash like I do…then I think she started just having fun!  But the look of fear on her face when I walked in and she was “caught” was priceless!  I walked downstairs after cleaning her up and found Travis sitting on the couch shaking his head, eyes closed, praying!  As much as I love my husband, I wasn’t quite sure in that moment whether to laugh or cry! 

Travis called in while I was writing this and he said, “Ya know, I hate pee so much I almost can’t even laugh about it!” 🙂 

The funniest day I’ve ever had with bodily fluids though was a few months ago.  I’d had a really bad headache that day and was moving kind of slow.  Well, I had just been told that Grover had puked all over the floor, so I was down on the floor cleaning up dog puke, and I hear Garmai calling from upstairs that someone peed in front of the bathroom door.  I finished what I was doing and went upstairs with our little green machine to clean up the carpet Madeline had peed on, while having to also get out the wet swiffer for the bathroom floor, AND the Clorox wipes to wipe down the toilet.  I hadn’t even finished with the green machine in the hallway, still on my hands and knees, and Emma yells, “Mom, Dudley just peed in my room.”  Ahhhhhhhhh!!

On a totally different note, here’s the final product of the school wall that probably would still not be done if my parents hadn’t come over and helped paint, glue and hang!  Not too shabby!  Good job team!  Still need to find a place to hang the calendar and chore chart, but we’re getting there!  School starts in 1 day and the girls are freaking out!  Everybody’s peeing the bed, Garmai’s throwing tantrums, Madeline’s saying she hates school and she’s regressing with potty training…and she’s also constantly attached to my face…they’re all having nightmares, Emma is mad that the school is allowed to tell her not to wear tanktops (heaven forbid!) AND she is convinced that no one is going to like her because she broke the zipper on her school bag!  Change is SOOOO scary!  Feel free to say a prayer any time you think of it! 🙂

I love pictures…

Hey, I have 3 GB of space to use up, so why not throw some pictures on here and maybe even a video! 🙂  The first pic is of my daughter, Madeline…and yes, she is playing Polly Pockets in a dog cage!  Sometimes its better to just not ask about how exactly things got started! 🙂

This is Emma, sportin’ her groovy little headband from her counsin’s dress up clothes stash!

And Garmai, swimming her little heart out!  Swimsuit not doin’ much good anymore! 🙂