Guatemalan Sisters

Saturday, March 10, 2007

And More


As promised...

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Happy March!

Hi Everyone,

We've hit the 5 month mark since Rowan and Riley came home from Guatemala. Seems hard to believe. The girls are all doing well but here's the latest:

  • Language: They speak mostly in 3 year old English but we have maintained some Spanish words. I would say we understand each other 90% of the time. The remaining 10% will come but usually is around concepts and not words.
  • Height and Weight: They are still small, both just over 27 pounds. However, they are gaining in height and 2T's are too small and short and 3T's are definitely the size of choice.
  • Socialization: They are at KinderCare full-time and are having a ball. The center teachers (and cook Ms. Connie) love them to bits and they are never short hugs. They are learning how to share each other, toys and to recognize letters and numbers. We sing A LOT and "A, B, C's," "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," "Rudolf" and various Christmas songs are bedtime requirements. Keep in mind we're lucky because I'm out of my element much beyond that.
  • Big Sister Adjustment: Jayden has struggled a bit but it definitely settling down. Her behavior regressed a bit and she has nights were she goes to bed by 7:30pm because she elects to throw tantrums (major) when she doesn't get her way or has to do homework before she gets to play with her sisters. Mostly, she's a wonderful big sister and a big helper for me.
  • Rowan and Riley Adjustment: The girls are doing well and seem comfortable and confident in their new environment. All three girls share the same bedroom, which means sometimes we have mayhem at bedtime, especially if big sister Taylor comes into the room to say goodnight. Taylor is all about winding up and screaming and yelling, not calm down and go to sleep. I can't complain too much though. The girls have bonded with everyone, even the cranky cat Apollo.
  • Grandma Armstrong: She visits regularly and they adore grandma. She is a wonderful helper to me as well. There are days and weeks where I have no idea how I can get it down but she magically comes to the rescue.
  • Sleep: It took Riley about three months to sleep though the night folks. Seriously, she was up every hour all night long from September to December. I hereby apologize to everyone around me and my co-workers because I was operating on limited sleep until January. However, all is well now. They have recently developed a fear of the dark so we've had to find a night light for the girls.
  • Cats: Erte' still hides out most of the time but loves the attention when she comes out. Apollo wants to believe she's still the big dog but that would be Rowan. Rowan and Apollo had it out the first week they were home and Apollo backs off most of the time. She regularly stretches out across the toys, puzzle or books the girls are playing with to test her authority.

Devin and Taylor are busy at college. Taylor still lives at home and goes to school locally. She has also helped out with her old high school basketball team and has been coaching. She has really enjoyed that experience. Devin is enjoying school and we see her regularly. Jayden really misses her a lot though and I can count on Jayden acting up/out the days following Devin's visit. Devin and I are going to take a trip this year, though not sure where yet. I'm thinking Scotland and London at this point. Everyone else will stay at home though. Taylor won't travel with me (I make her walk too much) and the little people won't get enough out of the trip.

Life is good otherwise. Work is busy but that's nothing new. We have a new CEO and she is incredible. If I could have just 10% of her brain......Actually, I am really impressed with the recent executive hires - Felicia Thornton, Peter Maslen, John Hnanicek, and others. These folks added to current executives puts us in a great place to handle the growth expectations and challenges we still face.

My nephew Brian is getting married this month in Boise and we're all heading there for the wedding. Plane tickets for 6, even from Portland to Boise, stopped me short for a bit. However, I haven't seen my brother's family for a while and with the wedding, new babies (including a domestic infant adoption) means I'm going no matter what.

I am so please to read of so many families adopting older children. Toddlers and older kids are as wonderful and rewarding as infants. Their challenges are just different. Hopefully the Guatemalan and US governments will work together to get through the Hague implementation and keep adoptions moving. For all those in the process, hang in there!

I'll post photos soon. I need to figure out how to do it with my new camera software. :) I don't have my own tech team at home. She's at college.