Things I’m Already Tired of Hearing

This was created by a couple of adoptive moms.  When people I know ask me these questions, I’m usually not offended, but I do get a little touchy when random strangers insert themselves into our lives by asking this stuff. Promise me you’ll never ask these questions to another adoptive family.  If you need help asking questions, let me know and I’ll tell you what to say instead.


More photos

In case you’re addicted to seeing photos of my kids…here are some more.  I promise, only one more week of class, then I’ll slow down on the photo posts a little.

Here’s what I turned in this week:

And here’s one of Lucy while on Field Trip #2 of the week with Eleanor.  Too cute not to share.

More Sensory Play

Since our first sensory bins with the beans, Lucy has asked almost daily to play in them, so I decided to do some more sensory play.  I found the idea for rainbow rice on Pinterest, and it seemed easy enough to do with an 18-month old.  Here’s are the simple ingredients:I put two cups of rice, 1 Tbs of alcohol, and 5-10 drops of food coloring in Ziploc bags and let Lucy mix the color throughout.  She was not incredibly thrilled with this part of the activity.

And, did I mention that she knows how to open Ziploc bags?  Therefore, this part of the activity was over quickly, and we set the rice on paper plates out in the sun to dry.That was a few days ago.  Today we finally got around to playing with it, and it was much more entertaining than making it.  (Kind of like how eating cherry pie is more fun than baking it.)  I dumped the colors into a pan and let her mix them up with a spoon.Yes, there was some significant spillage, but I swept the floor before we started so that I could just sweep up the rice when we were done.

I also gave her an ice cube tray to fill up with the spoon, but she mainly liked spilling them on her dress and legs to see how they looked.  

Overall, this activity did not hold her attention as long as the beans.  But, once I got out a bag to pick up the leftover rice, she was back into it and wanted to help put the rice in the bag.  I love a girl that knows how to clean up.

As an aside, I think that people in Ethiopia would think this is a strange waste of rice.  It sometimes amazes me how different her life is here with us.


Today, I finally went through some of the videos that we have from our visit to Awash, the small town in the Afar region of Ethiopia where Ayub and Lucy were born.  These videos were taken on the day we visited their birth family, and until now, I just hadn’t been ready to watch them.  I am so, so grateful to our friend David, who travelled to Ethiopia with us, for taking these videos.  I realized as I was watching them that I had forgotten so much already.  Or maybe I’ve just blocked it from my memory to protect myself from my overwhelming emotions about this trip.  Either way, these videos are fabulous reminders of where our kids came from, and I will treasure them always, as I’m sure they will.  I can’t share most of the videos with you, as they contain information that is private to our kids.  However, there are a few clips that show the town where they lived and I thought you might be interested.

Click photo to view video on YouTube.

The Laundry

Many of you may remember that in growing from a family of four to a family of six, one of my main concerns was the laundry.  Yes, in hindsight I should have been more concerned about a few other things, but I was right to be concerned about the laundry.  Adding two kids, plus now having Eleanor in swimming (three swimsuits and three towels a week) plus Sam in fall baseball (white baseball pants that have to be soaked after every game) has left us with mountains of laundry.  Although this is not a sexy topic, I thought some of you might be interested in how I’ve been handling this task.

First, many people suggested doing a load a day so that I wouldn’t have to spend a whole day doing laundry each week.  I tried this, and it definitely has its advantages.  I can do a quick load in the morning, put it in the dryer after I drop the first set of kids off at school, and fold it after I take the third kid to school.  However, the thing I hate most about laundry is putting it away.  By doing laundry every day, that means that I have to put it away every day.  (Did I mention that we don’t have a laundry room and that our washer and dryer are in the kitchen?)  So for me, having a “laundry day” once a week is a better option.  Although I end up doing smaller loads during the week, I have one mega-laundry day.  I can even fit in a few errands between loads, if I time it right.

On laundry day, I pull all the dirty baskets into my bedroom and sort all the clothes together.  Then I put the empty baskets back in everyone’s closets.  (This is my favorite part of the day…when all the baskets are totally empty.)  Then, I run the loads one by one.  I fold them as they come out of the dryer into piles on my bed.  The piles are arranged by drawer, so each kid has several piles (shorts, long pants, shirts, underwear, etc.).  This way, when I’m done, all the like items are together and can be easily put away into the proper place.  I used to do this activity in the living room, but since the piles are around all day, the kids would invariably knock them over and make me mad.  Plus, by having them on my bed, I know I have to put them away THAT DAY, or else I won’t have a place to sleep that night.  I also tried having the kids put away their own clothes, but I just got frustrated with them sticking everything in one drawer and then not being able to find anything they wanted to wear.  I know, I could teach them how to do it properly, but the reality is that for now, I’d rather just do it myself.

Six loads of kid clothes (ours were already put away when I remembered to take the photo)

On my big laundry day, I do about seven loads.  I do the socks/underwear last, since if I don’t get to folding the last load, it won’t matter that it’s wrinkled in the dryer.  Then, during the week, I do a load of towels and sometimes another load of colored clothes (because someone always needs another swim suit or baseball jersey).

Overall, it’s not as bad as I anticipated.  I wouldn’t say I enjoy laundry day, but it does give me an incredible sense of accomplishment when it’s over.  I will say that there have been a few times when we’ve run out of clean socks, but that’s been pretty rare.  This is probably way more than you ever wanted to know about my laundry system, but I thought it might be helpful to other large families who are struggling under a mountain of dirty socks.

Photo Assignment

So, I really struggled with my first assignment for my photography class.  I am taking “Lifestyle Photography of Kids” and the assignment was to tell a story.  Here’s what I finally ended up submitting.

If you’re interested in photography, I would highly recommend Clickin Moms.  I am taking this class as one of their online workshops, but I’ve learned a ton just from reading the forums and tutorials on the site.  It has definitely been worth the membership fee.

Sensory Bin

I’ve been feeling a little bad about Lucy lately.  Since school started, we’ve been running non-stop.  Driving kids to school.  Driving another kid to school.  Picking up kids from school.  Driving kids to baseball, swimming, tennis and gymnastics.  I feel like Lucy spends half her day strapped in the car seat, the other half is taken up by eating and napping.  I feel lucky to be able to stay home with her during the day, but I’m starting to realize that she is missing out on some of the things that my other kids had by being in day care.  I started wondering what she would be doing if she had started “school” when the other kids did.  So I’m trying to be more intentional about the way we spend our two hours a day together (yes, after all the carpooling, naptime and lunch, we only really spend two hours alone).

One of the things that I looked for in a good child care center was a sensory table.  You know, filled with water, sand, rice, or other slimy, messy things.  Since I don’t have a table (nor do I have the space for one), I made a mini sensory bin for Lucy this morning.  We started simple with pinto beans, which I was a little surprised to find cost $5 for a 4-lb bag.  But, since I’ll be able to reuse this, I bought two bags.  I buried some of her Little People animals in the bottom, and put two measuring cups on top.

She LOVED it.  She spent the first 15 minutes using the small cup to put beans in the large cup.

Once she realized that the animals were down there, she freaked out a little.  She didn’t want to stick her hand down into it, so she would just dig down until she could pull it out.  She quickly discarded all of them and went back to using the measuring cups.

Overall, she played with this for 45 minutes.  I think she would have played longer, but it was time for lunch.