Friday, June 22, 2012

Crafty Kids

I'm an inexperienced Dad.  I've said it before, but Rory was easy.  She let me take my time over months to learn what I was supposed to do as a stay-at-home parent.  Then Faith and Favor leaped into our lives and demanded more focused attention and intentional activities or they would quickly get themselves into trouble.

So what did I do?  I googled "kid home activities".  I found that crafts and kitchen science experiments worked the best with them.

Cut and Paste a Picture: Faith and Favor don't have mad scissor skills yet, so I helped them a ton on this project.  I drew out shapes and guided their little hands to roughly cut out them out.  I put the glue on the paper and they got to press it down to stick.  They filled in some details like sun rays, doors, windows and bird eyes with crayons.

 Layered Liquids: Okay, this one is probably a little beyond their comprehension, but it was fun for me at least.  I layered (from bottom to top) honey, dish soap, water, oil, and rubbing alcohol, with a little food coloring thrown in for contrast.  Then I thought they could maybe use crayons and paper to draw the cup, but of course they just scribbled colors all over the place.

Goop: Cornstarch, baking soda, and water make for a pretty cool substance that feels firm to the touch but will ooze out between your fingers.  I hadn't done this since I was probably 10.

Penne Pasta Jewelry: This was a huge success.  They spent probably an hour threading string through penne pasta to make bracelets and necklaces.  All I did was demonstrate what to do and then tied off the ends after they did the threading.

The big lesson? Idle time = trouble.  Case in point: while writing this blog post this morning, I neglected to give the twins a focused activity and they went nutso.  We had about 8 time outs because of hitting, scratching, spitting, and throwing.  How do all those moms out there do it?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Meal Times

We take our meals pretty seriously around here.

When we first met the twins they were eating one, maybe two meals a day.  Because of this, when we first started feeding them, they would eat two or three times the amount of food I would.  And they would eat anything.  (We actually took video of the first meal they ate with us, but I'm not going to post it, because it'll probably make you cry seeing how fast they ate and how ravenous they were.)

Their first few days with us, they literallly had food with them all the time.

Since they've gotten used to having food around, some of their food anxiety has gone away.  They're still hungry a lot, but don't get anxious when food is in sight any longer.

Adoptive parents are probably the only people in the world who celebrate when their kids become picky, because it means they're finally full.  We make lots of "meal deals" at our home: eat your carrots, and you can have more bread.  Finish your corn and you can have more rice.  And then sometimes Faith tries to make deals with us too: eat my rice and then more bread.  Eat my sandwich, and then cake.  Favor can eat my beans and I'll have more tortillas.  Sorry little one, it doesn't work that way.

Rory also takes her food very seriously.  The fastest way to get her to melt down is to run out of the food she was happily eating.  She happily crams as much food as possible into her mouth when she's eating.  Obviously.

I wonder where she gets that face from...

Sunday, June 17, 2012



You are the best picture of fatherhood and love that I have ever seen. Here's to you, my love!

 Oh, and these guys weren't so bad either.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

22 Months of Rory

Our lively little light-giver is 22 months!

 This past month, Rory:
  • Can FINALLY wear hair clips!!!!  I know she doesn't really need them, but it's pretty epic that, at 22 months old, she's finally got enough hair to put clips in it!
  • Potty trained!  She's not perfect by any means, but rarely has accidents. It's more a matter of wanting to sit on the potty more than she actually has to go.
  • She's talking in phrases now rather than just using one word.  And, as usual, she says most things in an African accent thanks to her sisters.
  • Any chance she gets, she requests that someone read her a book.  Jonathan, Faith, Favor, and I all take turns reading to her.
  • Rory loves to sing and dance.  She can also do a pretty great fake cry.
  • She still has some serious stranger anxiety and really doesn't like any adults other than her mommy and daddy.  (I wish the twins would take some cues from her instead running to and hugging every stranger they see!) 
  • She's finally become a picky eater.  Her favorite foods are any kind of rice, avocados, and most fruit. However, she's stopped eating her daily banana and sweet potatoes are hit-or-miss.  We can't reason her like we do with the twins yet, so she usually gets what she wants.  She'll usually eat the first half of her meal in her high chair, then tell us she's all done so we get her down, and then she'll climb into one of our laps and eat the other half of her meal.
  • Rory likes to pick out what she's going to wear and 9 times out of 10, she insists on wearing dresses.  Fine with me, since I always think little girls are cuter in dresses anyway.

As always, check out her previous month-by-month.  I can't help but feel a little bit of baby fever when I look at these!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Potty Time

I took off an extra day of work over Memorial Day weekend to help Rory potty train. This is what my weekend consisted of. 

French toast on the potty. (Isn't that wiggly eyebrow the cutest???)
We pumped her full of juice and strawberry milk.  Both of which she never drinks.  We regretted it later when it came out the other end much like it went in.

Everyone told us to give her M&Ms to treat her when she went, but she had never had them before, so I ended up giving her raisins and using the M&Ms to treat myself.

You'll notice her awesome hairdo. She insists on having her hair done when I do the twins'.

We did lots of singing, lots of patty-cake, and lots and lots of reading and watching videos.  Seeing as how the cheapest potty seat was a Sesame Street one, she was introduced to her first "character" and fell in love with, you guessed it, Elmo.  Good thing there were lots of YouTube videos of Elmo.  And lots where he uses the potty too!

Even Ninang Kylene got in on some fun.  In fact, she witnessed Rory's first accident.
On me.  And the couch. It was amazing.
Overall, she did really well.  We're a couple of weeks into it and she still has occasional accidents, but they're rare.  A few days ago, Jonathan took all the girls for a wagon ride.  Suddenly, Rory said, "Poo-poo?  Poo-poo?" and before he knew it, Favor screamed and jumped out of the wagon, pants drenched.  Faith jumped out just in time as the tinkle flooded the wagon.  Rory happily rode the wagon home.  By herself, in puddle of her own pee. 
And then there was the time she peed on the play equipment at the playground.

Oh yeah, and that time she peed on our friend's floor in front of everyone in the middle of our church service.  At least I warned them ahead of time.

And here's some charming, adorable Rory in video form.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Sisters, Sisters

For a year and a half of her life, Rory was an only child.  She played well by herself, got all the attention she wanted, and had no one to push her around or take her toys.  A trip to Africa changed all that, and in the blink of an eye she was the youngest of 3 sisters.  Faith and Favor were already seasoned veterans with having other kids around.  How would Rory adjust?  Well, here's a video of their very chill first night together in Uganda:

And this is what everyday life looks like now:

Follow the leader...

 Group coloring sessions...

Simultaneous sliding...
 Cheerio breaks...

Story time...

Of course, there's three-way patty cake...

And to bring it full circle, this is what a recent bedtime looked like.