Thanks to many, many meals provided by family and friends since we have been home, there really has been no need to cook. This has relieved a major burden, and Dylan is thinking maybe we can just keep this going. ??? Sounds good to me! Seriously though, thank you to everyone who has served us in this way. It has been a HUGE help.
I actually cooked my first real meal since we’ve been home, and it was a success! Not quite a taxing as I thought it would be with a little one around. My child is all about doing whatever Mommy is doing, which makes things easier, sometimes. Tonight was actually one of those times.
Then she helped make the Cresent rolls. Can you guess which one is Mila’s? Could it be the formless blob of dough? Good guess. It may not be pretty, but it sure was tasty.
Aside from the priceless Mila facial expression below, please don’t miss the separation of eatables and non-eatables on Mila’s tray. If it is not palatable, it must be separated immediately, so as not to taint all the good stuff. Anything green is usually first to go.
Mila got the chicken leg, her favorite. In Africa, Mila and her friend Abigail amazed us at how they would take down some chicken. Having meat was more of a special occasion for them instead of just another part of every meal. Many of the memories of her past have and will continue to fade, but this she has not forgotten…
How to clean a chicken bone! Yuuuuum-my! We ended up having to wrestle this thing from Annabelle when Mila got done.
Total Sidenote: Mila now has a name for Annabelle… “Ban-belle”
On the first day we met Mila, Dylan got her to say three words. These were the first we’d ever heard her say, and they were music to our ears. He pointed at the picture below and she repeated after him saying “Mama, Papa and Baby”. We were thrilled to hear her speak and we had waited a long time to hear these words in particular. Every time Mila and I walked by this painting at our guest house in Congo, we stopped and talked about this little monkey family. She had a love-hate relationship with monkeys. She couldn’t help herself. She would stop every time we walked by it, but then she’d say “UUUUhhh, UUUUhhh” and act scared. But without fail we did not pass this picture without discussion. She had the same reaction to a monkey in a Touch and Feel Baby Animal book we read in Africa. It was one of those books w/ the furry baby duckling, rough elephant ear, and soft baby monkey fur. We would go through the book, and she would pet the baby duck, feel the baby elephants ear, but when we got to the baby monkey page, she would say “Mone-tee, UUUUUhhhh” and then close the page. But like the Monkey painting, she just couldn’t stay away. She would open the book again, and go through the same routine. She was scared of it, but could not quit looking at it. Maybe she was trying to face her fears? Not sure, but it was really quite comical.
OK, now that I look back, the dude in the painting is a little scary >:O)
One of our concerns when bringing a child into our home, was how the pups would adjust to the new baby, and all her “stuff”. See we had to nix all plush toys in this house because our oldest child Jackson tends to chew up this type of toy and ingest the innards. As most people know, Dylan and I have spent quite a bit of money extracting multiple items (I won’t go into detail on the type of items–socks and undies–ok, I said it) from Jacky’s tummy. So we had to make the decision, no more plush toys. However, that does not work so well with a little girl. We were also scared she would get attached to something and then one of the dogs would eat it. This fear is for good reason. Jack was left alone for like 2 minutes, and he ate both feet off our friend’s brand new American Girl baby doll, sorry Emma! Thankfully Mila has not gotten too attached to any toys just yet, however all three kids seem to be pretty fond of the monkey, that her cousins gave her the day she arrived in Birmingham. Here he is day 1 at the airport. All fresh and clean.
(thanks again Allison for your documentation of all the details of this day).
Then, welcome to the Taylor house. First, Annabelle decided to make an incision on his his shoulder. She hides him under the bed or under the covers. If she can get her little paws on him, he’s gone. Jacky loves the Mun-tee which is obvious based on the crusty, dried doggy drool that covers it’s head.. Ick! Poor Mun-tee has seen better days.
Annabelle almost always wins these battles. She is very, very sneaky.
After this rough day in Mun-tee’s world, a good sniff from Dylan told us that he needed a bath, the monkey, not Dylan. So, I thought I’d be good and give him a thorough cleansing. The washing machine step went great, he smelled yummy and looked good as new, aside from his mild shoulder gash. Then, I made the mistake of tossing him in the dryer. He now has a singed perma-fro, and there is no brushing this one out. Sad! But, even with his new do, he is still the coveted toy around here.
Great strides are being made in Mila’s bedtime routine. We’ve tried LOTS of things, but after many nights of one or two hour long, frustrating, and draining for all involved trials to get her to sleep in her Pack-n-Play at our bedside, we’ve gone back to rolling 5 deep in the Taylor bed. I was one of those people that said I would never let my child sleep in my bed, then the Lord laid adoption on our hearts, and pretty much all of my preconceived notions about parenting went out the window. At least I can say we tried the “you have to learn to sleep in your own bed thing”. For now though, we concede, and all the Taylor’s are much happier. So check out the latest, not so lovely addition to our master suite :O). This happened after many sleepless nights of me having a sideways toddler in my bed jabbing an elbow, head or foot into my face or chest. Let me paint you a picture. From right to left it was Mila, me, Annabelle, who is hot as fire and doing her best to have every square inch of her body pressed up against me, Jackson, just trying to fit in wherever he can, and Dylan in his usual spot, always on the left side of the bed. Yes, we have a king size bed, but seriously I don’t think it was made for 5. This is not the 1800’s people. So thanks to my dear aunt Sherrie, Mila now has a big girl bed which we’ve added to our king. Dylan has named this monstrocity, MEGABED. Our master bedroom is pretty large and is now almost completely covered in wall to wall bed. I don’t think the picture even does it justice. However, as non-decorator-friendly as it may be, we’ve all slept soundly the past 2 nights. Mila actually wants to get in her bed. Yay! I call that victory, no matter how unhappy my “make-the-house-pretty” side feels.
Update on my hip. All healed! There is just a tiny scab. Mila points at it often however and says Uuuuuuhhh! I have to remind her every time, “That’s Mommy’s boo-boo, it doesn’t hurt anymore”. We’ll have some good stories about that nasty scar to tell her when she gets a little older. :O)
I will not disgust you with any more pictures of my wound, but I will share some fun ones from this week. I hate I can’t post more often, but she is an absolutely monopolizing my time. Not that I mind. If I had to be doing one thing for the rest of my life, I choose this. Motherhood is awesome. It is not without it’s tough days and tears here and there, but I wound’t trade it for the world. I did figure out that apparently part of my problem with her needing Mommy literally every waking moment without reprieve, was partially my fault. With the addition of some much needed hand-me-down toys with lots of noise, Mila is playing some on her own now. Good for both of us. :O)
Mila mealing on a sugar cookie at Mimi’s
Mila and Da-dee’ (right after bathtime–everybody’s happy!)
Mila Squeala with her, “Seriously mom, quit it with the camera” face.
She calls the camera “pi-chee”. Translation: picture :O)
The job of a Momma is no joke. I’ve always heard people say that being a mom is a full-time job. Honestly, I thought, yeah right. You could get so much done being at home. You could have a clean house, cook all the meals, take the kids wherever you needed to run your errands, and still have time to play tennis. I guess you could make all that happen, but if so, more power to ya. My mom said when we were little, she would play with us all day, and get nothing done around the house. I can totally see how that happened now. It is impossible to get anything done. Don’t get me wrong, I am lovin’ it, but it’s really hard.
I had a tiny breakdown today, no tears, just a good lump in the throat. I think it was more the lack of sleep and caffeine, stir-craziness from the abundance of much-needed rain lately, and an near absence of adult conversation. So…I made plans for our first “playdate” tomorrow. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always hated that word. I guess there is no other word for it, maybe Momma Sanity Time. I thinks that’s a better fit. You know, this whole adoption thing can be tricky, especially for a first-time parent. My dear friend, and mommy of four, said that mothering her fourth who is adopted child #1, is like being a first time mom. It is a completely different animal. I guess we are kind of at an advantage since Dylan and I have nothing to compare to this to, but I can imagine things would be a bit easier if we had Squeals in the beginning. We’re trying to heal some major hurts, get her to trust us and attach to us as mom and dad, discipline without hurting our progress in bonding, set boundaries and bedtimes, and all this while trying to figure out how to adjust to being parents. I did get some good encouragement from another fellow adoptive mom that said, this is a really tough time, and it WILL get better. The Lord has sustained me, more than I could have imagined, through what we’ve already dealt with, and I know He will continue to do so. As we keep working to try and figure this whole parenting thing out (yeah right), please continue to pray with us for wisdom, strength and an abundance of grace. Grace from the Lord to us, and from us to our child. We know this process could be so much more difficult if she was not so, well… Mila. She is the craziest pleasure of a child. I am so completely blessed to even know her, much less to get to be her mom. God is so very good and He knows what’s up. :O)
He’s given me a 90-to-nothing all day long, ball of energy, that needs mommy more than your average 2 year old, child, that keeps my head spinning. I feel like I’m running in circles most of the time. The evenings creep up so fast, and then the days are gone. That being said, this is the best job I’ve ever had. This labor is one of love. I love her sweet call for Momma when she wakes up in the morning, or even better when she wakes and hollers “Yo, yo”. Funniest thing ever. (I still need to email our translator in Congo and see if “Yo Yo” actually means something in Lingala.) I love how she can dance to any form of music. She doesn’t mind if it’s just a dog food commercial or an intro into a new segment of Fox News. She dances even when there is no music at all. She keeps us laughing, literally all day long.
Notice…no iPod needed here. She makes her own music.
I had to bring attention to the Shreky resemblance of her game-day “do”.
We spent almost all of our time indoors over the past few days, so I guess some fresh air on the screened-in porch made her feel the need to bust-a-move. Again, no music needed, aside from a little ditty from me. Our fave song Dylan and I sing her is “Oh. Oh Squeala“. There was an 80’s song, that went “Oh, Oh Sheila”. Those are the only words we remember, so we’ve added some to make it our own. She loves it.
Curious what the jammies say? Lil’ Squirrel. Explanation needed? Squirrel = girl, sort of an inside joke, I guess. Dylan started calling her that the day we got our referral. Before we had decided on her name. Thanks for those Aunt Brook and Uncle Britten. They’re priceless.
Proud Mommy Moment of the Week:
Mila said her first 2 word sentence (in English anyway) “Bye Kit-tee”
I was pretty pumped.