Friday, September 17, 2010

Fun times with Anya Rashi

Notice that she's stuck a playing card and a big flat magnet into the heating/AC vent. Everyone needs a hobby, right?

She's showing you her popcorn, before it's chewed, mercifully!
With the boys back in school during the days, I've had a few fun weeks of girl time with Anya Rashi. I think ages 3-5 are one of the "sweet spots" of parenting. Anya Rashi is so much fun right now, with many original ideas about how the world works.
She asked me to e-mail Peter at work and tell him that "we love him so much that we are going to croak."

Earlier in the week, she was talking about her baby sister, as she often does. In past conversations, she's asserted that her baby sister "will have black hair like me, and brown skin like me." Things took a turn this week, when she piped up from her carseat, "Mom? I hope my baby sister has white hair, or green hair. Or . . . maybe . . . hair like yours." It's nice to have my plain old brown hair lumped in with such exotic choices. :o)

Tonight at our nephew's soccer game, Aunt Mary gave Anya Rashi a sucker, and was joking with her about not sticking it in her nose because it might get stuck there. Then the conversation went like this:
Aunt Mary: So we don't stick suckers in our noses, right?
Anya Rashi: Nope! Only fingers!

Amidst all the fun, I'm seeking advice from other mamas:
With school starting and our days less interrupted, I've been trying to close the deal on toilet training. You'd think I'd be a pro by now, since I've successfully trained two already . . . but you'd be wrong. Anya Rashi has a will of iron about going #2. Training for potty was a breeze, but she has some kind of major fear about going #2 where she's supposed to.

Compounding the problem is the necessity of running around with two older children (that's why I waited until our days would be free to focus on #2). Often, I have had to use Pull-Ups because we don't have the ability to do underwear clean up at, say, a baseball diamond or piano lesson. I detest Pull-Ups (and considered titling this post "Why Pull-Ups are of the Devil," but thought that was a little too dramatic!) because they prolong the training.

But I've been using them here and there -- until this week. We've been all undies, all the time . . . with zero success. Argh. This girl is stubborn. I've stolen an idea from another mom, who uses a discipline technique called "The Basic Plan" vs. "The Deluxe Plan." The Basic Plan is love and basic meals, but no other frills or treats (no desserts, trips to the library, wearing a favorite outfit, extra fun things like PlayDough, etc.). The Deluxe Plan includes all the trimmings and special privileges.

We're going to have the Basic Plan on days when she doesn't put #2 in the toilet, and hope that she figures out that life is a lot more interesting with the Deluxe Plan. (Don't know if I'm going to inflict Anya Rashi in underwear on the Sunday school volunteers, though . . . she will either have to stay in church with me, or wear the dreaded Pull-Ups.)

Does anyone out there have experience with a stubborn pooper? Please leave your advice in the comments -- I'm desperate! I'd love to have some ideas to try if a few weeks of the Basic Plan doesn't do the trick. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Doldrums and gratitude


It's a nautical term that well describes where we are in our adoption process right now. The Doldrums refers to an area in the ocean north of the equator. It's a place where old fashioned sailing ships were becalmed, and got stuck for days or weeks on end, with no air to fill their sails. The perfect storm of weather conditions and location made mighty ships stand still, powerless to move.

Our perfect storm is made up of licensing issues, placing our adoption status at a standstill since June. CARA, the governmental authority in charge of adoptions in India, is changing the process by which orphanages can clear children for international placement. That means we will be waiting more months than we'd hoped to find out who our daughter is.

We have plenty of company, unfortunately -- the other families on the waiting list are in the same boat (horrible pun, yes?), as well as the families already matched with their children. They have to go back and get their children cleared through the new agency before they can move on to the Indian court system. It's maddening, and frustrating for us all . . . and my mind is foremost on the children, who have to wait more weeks and months before meeting their forever families. Sigh.

My only comfort is that God knows who she is, and He is in charge of the whole process. I'm making myself a little crazy though, because I know that for the entire month of October, the Indian holidays of Diwali and Durga Puja mean that nothing will happen at all. I also had visions of being able to announce who our daughter is in our Christmas letter. (Isn't it weird that I'm thinking of that?! And I can't even blame pregnancy hormones.)

In the midst of it all, I am so grateful for Aaron, Nathan, and Anya Rashi, the three blessings we already have in our home. I have the deepest admiration for the mamas going through this who are waiting for their first child -- if it's this hard with the distraction of three children, I can't imagine how they're enduring the wait for their very first.

This week, we celebrated our oldest son. He made us parents in the first place, and has given us a decade of "experience" as Mom and Dad. Aaron, we are so grateful for you on your 10th birthday. You are becoming such a wonderful young man of kindness, intelligence, and strength. You are so compassionate that you would prefer to escort spiders outside our house rather than watch your Mom squash them in a panic. :o) You have an earnest desire to know and follow Christ, and you have wisdom that belies your age. We pray that these core parts of who you are never change, and we can't wait to see what's in store for your future. We love you.