Guatemalan Sisters

Friday, December 22, 2006

Way Too Long ..... Way Too Busy

Hi Everyone,

OK, so I know it's been waaaayyyyy too long since I've posted. Life has been very busy at work and so that's been occupying any free time I might have.

The slumber party at the Cusack house is still in full swing. Everyone is adjusting well but with a few bumps along the way. I don't have any photos to post because of camera connection issues but I promise to get it figured out over the holidays. Here's the latest though:

General adjustment: Rowan and Riley are adapted to life with us pretty well. Temper tantrums still occur most days, especially for Riley. I'm not sure how much of that is the fact that she's 3 or just adjusting to a whole bunch of new stuff. They're picking up English quickly but we still choose to use a few Spanish words and phrases around the house. Famous first phrases have been:

"Don't do that!" Rowan telling her sister Taylor to stop poking her in the tummy and trying to tickler her.

"Hey!" Rowan again trying to get my attention

"YoMamma" A phrase yelled in the house to get my attention. (I killed this one pretty quickly.)

"Oh my gosh." Used any time something is interesting or is worth emphasis.

"Gatto is loco." Used when Apollo chooses to jump up on the kitchen table during dinner and stretches out to wait for falling food.

"Mama, I'm so tired." Used when Rowan or Riley want to sit in my lap and cuddle.

I suspect I could go on at length here.

The biggest challenge is that we seem to have a cold and/or flu thing moving through the house repeatedly. I'm on day two of this month's and frankly, I'm ready for it to be done. When just one of them has more energy than me it's bad, but three??? Fortunately, Taylor, Devin and Jayden help out.

The adjustment is generally a bit tougher this time than with Jayden. I know part of the problem is that there is two of them this time and Jayden is also working through her own adjustment issues. Sometimes she wants to throw her own 3 year old temper trantrum to get a bit of attention. She's had to relearn that she gets the same time out and treatment that her three year old sisters get. The other challenge this time is that my work life is consuming many of my evening and weekend hours. There's definitely a relationship between how they're behaving and how many hours I've worked in a day or week.

Riley had to have some significant dental work done this week and she did great. I anticipated trouble from her but she really behaved and cooperated the whole time. I think she did better than me. The good news is she doesn't have to ask Santa for her two front teeth for Christmas. The dentist took care of that on Wednesday.

We are almost ready for Christmas here. The three youngest have left the tree and gifts alone, which amazes me. I suspect next year might be a different story though. Right now I don't think Rowan and Riley get it yet. They will watch sappy Christmas movies with me though.

The biggest sisters have also done well. Devin is away at school and just got home for the long winter break. She's having to deal with everyone waking up at 5:30am every day and making tons of noise doing everything from brushing teeth or finding shoes before school. Taylor still lives at home and she's definitely a major help. They adore her. Of course if Taylor comes into their room at night to say "good night" it's sure to result in 30 minutes of giggles and jumping on the beds....and another 60 minutes of getting them to calm down.

We have two cats and I was worried about how they would treat or do around the girls. Apollo, who thinks she's a Doberman, is the most worrisome because she has a tendency to bite or scratch when she gets in a mood. (Apollo is the same cat who believes she has a place ON the dinner table during dinner.) On their second day home, Apollo got into a hissing fit at Rowan and Riley. Rowan got right down in Apollo's face and said "No No Gatto." Before I could get to her (and having visions of Apollo eating Rowan's face off), Apollo backed up and sat down. It was the first time I'd ever seen Apollo back down...ever. Now Apollo is one of the girls. She wanders through the play areas, tries to pick a fight now and then but generally behaves. She also likes to hang out under Rowan's chair if I'm serving chicken. Seems Rowan throws her bits of chicken. (I'm not stupid and neither is Rowan. She knows how to make friends.)

I do want to wish everyone a great holiday. Enjoy your families and yourselves.