Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Runaway Bunny And Attachment

I've posted a lot of smiling faces lately, and we've had some great times.  And I am soaking it all in after some of the challenges in the past year.  But don't get me wrong, life can still be messy and difficult!  Life in a family that currently includes seven children living at home, mostly teenagers, means there are days where there is more hormonal drama going on than any reality show! A whole lotta drama!  Add to that kids who have trauma backgrounds and you have some serious drama llama mama! 

In the midst of all that drama, one thing teens need is to be reminded how much they are loved--especially kids who are still attaching.  And they are never too old for picture books--even though they think they are!  I was reminded of this when our granddaughter was visiting.  I was reading her Margaret Wise Brown's The Runaway Bunny, and by the time I was done I had four teenagers learning over and reminiscing about the book.  The story is a great reminder of unconditional love.  
When our older kids were in that 7-year-old "I'm running away from home!" stage, I read them The Runaway Bunny.  In the case of our older adoptees, they also went through that developmental stage, albeit at older ages.  Even though their bodies were bigger, I still pulled out the story and they felt the connection. 

Like the mommy in the story, I was never one to tell any of my kids that I would help them pack.  Instead, I reassured them that I loved them, I will always love them, and I will always go after them if they run away.  In those conversations I would go into detail of ALL the people I would call if they were missing.  In no time at all we would probably have all our family, all our friends, all their friends, our whole community, the police, the Ghostbusters, James Bond, and The National Guard looking for them!   

That was really what they needed to hear, at any age, when they were tantruming over not being able to have ice cream for dinner.  And it was often what I needed to hear when I was ready to tantrum and scream at that same dinner.  First, time to calm down. And then, time to read The Runaway Bunny. And in the end my child would usually feel just like the little bunny in the book and say, "I might just as well stay where I am and be your little bunny." 

Other favorites over the years have been Love You Forever (can anyone ever get to the end of the book without crying?), Guess How Much I Love You, and I Love You the Purplest
Children's books help a child learn to love, and know they are loved, at every age. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Aye Matey!

It's National Pirate Day!
Which called for an impromptu trip to Krispy Kreme!
Free donuts!  Aye Matey!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

What Is The Priority?

It's time for the first day of school pics.  I didn't get a single group picture.  Partly because they were all starting on different days, at different times, at different schools.  Partly because they were grumpy about pictures, and nervous about school, and most definitely did not want to be grouped for photos.
One kid tried to get away without a first day photo.  
But no such luck!  I tracked him down after school!
And even forced a photo of his new doo. 
Overall the days went well.  Even Lan Lan is trying a couple classes at the high school. 
First of the school year is a great time to make some goals and rethink life.  This year I've made it simple-easy. 
Every day, and several times through each day, I ask myself, "What is the priority?" 
I've been practicing this question throughout the day for the past couple weeks.  I'm surprised how often the answer is different from what I'm currently doing. 
The priority is often making a small change to meet a true priority--like making sure I leave in time to make it to a child's activity.
Sometimes it's making a bigger change, such as turning down a volunteer opportunity, so that life will be less stressful.  Or it can be saying "yes" because that volunteer organization is a true priority, even though it will complicate life.
It's getting enough sleep, making an extra vegetable at dinner, being patient--even when my kids get a load of homework the first day of school.  (Sigh.)  It's putting my phone away to completely stay in the moment, and it's tightening the budget in order to plan an important trip.  It's balancing the needs of many, while still prioritizing who needs what, when.   
It's living life with intention. 
Here's to a successful school year--keeping priorities at the forefront!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Fantasy Football

This weekend has included some serious family interactions.
Our fantasy football draft. 
This is serious stuff peoples. 
It was really special because we had the kids together, even Will and Cookie.  And of course if Will and Cookie are here, then the Star of the Show is also here. 
We've been taking in all the fun places with kids.  It's so much fun watching my babies grow up to have babies of their own.
Can't believe how our granddaughter is growing up.  Enjoying lots of family time in preparation for the first day of school.  My kids are all in various states of anxiety, so we are just ready to get that first day over with!  Passing the time with lots of basketball and four-square. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Vacation usually means camping or a trip to the cabin.  We go on roadtrips, especially to visit family, but now I know those are not relaxing vacations. 
And our trips overseas for adoptions? Most definitely NOT relaxing and NOT vacations (but amazing!).  True confessions, I once tried to convince Hubby that the travel part of adoption shouldn't really count as part of the adoption expense since it was kinda like a vacation.  I can now admit the truth.   
Anyhoo, I am happy to report that I now know what a RELAXING vacation is.  My life might never be the same.  It's renting a house (with a hot tub and free passes to the water park), cooking simple meals, spending lots of time together, and having no agenda.
It's day-after-day of relaxing.  I get it now.  It's
Lan Lan did NOT get the memo that nobody is allowed to have another bike wreck-Ouch!!! 
Luckily she was wearing a helmet and okay.  Other than that, it was a week of RELAXING bliss! 
And after we got home we had a few more summer activities including the wedding of Lizzy's childhood friend (Lizzy was a bridesmaid), salmon fishing, and golf.
I might even be able to admit that school is almost ready to start.  I did bring my planner along on vacation and organized my soon-to-be chaotic life.  Just a few more days!  Buckle up!