Sunday

I’m saving the big wedding reveal until I get some pics from my father-in-law, ahem. 🙂 So Sunday in St. Louis found us at the arch. Full discretion, hotflawedmama is at least a tiny bit afraid of both heights and close quarters so imagine my excitement about the idea of going up 630 feet in a teeny tiny little space. Zach told me in no uncertain terms to suck it up for my kids so I obliged.

The kids loved it, I survived.

On the way to the arch.

On top of the world, baby.

Waiting in line for the arch.

In that teeny, tiny space I spoke of.

Dailah on the way up.

Tariku not nervous at all.

At the top.

I am full of good wording tonight! I hope you’re as impressed as I am.

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The Zoo and Rehearsal

Friday in St. Louis found me with the kids at the zoo in the morning. In the afternoon was the wedding rehearsal and dinner. It really was another fantastic day. The zoo was a little overwhelming; did you all know the St. Louis zoo was huge? So we tried to to just hit up the stuff that can’t be found at our local zoo. They enjoyed themselves, I got a good workout pushing the stroller to and fro, success!

How the day started. Can you see the attitude beginning? I knew we might be in trouble when I saw this.

Enjoyed the bears and apes.

Last thing we did was pet the stingrays (sans stingers). They were very weird feeling. The huge ones were all scratchy. Fun but weird.

Final picture. Good thing they’re cute.

Then the rehearsal…Dailah practicing her walk down the aisle.

Practicing posing for pictures.

Having fun with daddy.

My beautiful sister-in-law, Kait, and myself heading to the rehearsal dinner.

You Can Find Me, In St. Louie

That’s where we are this weekend. My cousin-in-law is getting married this weekend. We would’ve come down anyway but then she was kind enough to ask Dailah to be a flower girl and, well, I’ve had a bargaining chip for the last few months that I will be sad to see go tomorrow. I’ve been meaning to blog about the flower girlness because, as you can imagine, Dailah is more than excited. And Amy, well she’s been a perfect bride. She sent her a little card and a flower girl book and has been the most perfect accomplice in this most perfect of bribes. We are all VERY excited to see our princess walk down the aisle.

Anyway, we decided to make a bit of a family trip out of it as the two boys didn’t have school anyway yesterday and today. We pulled them out Wednesday and came over then. Zach’s aunt and uncle have been so kind as to let us stay the last few nights but we thought we’d do them a solid and move into the hotel tonight. I’m sure they really enjoy kids who don’t have control over their voices and things but we’ll take our posse and move on out.

Since all of Zach’s extended family lives here, we’ve had great ideas (and coupons!) for fun things to do. Yesterday we went to the Magic House. If you’re ever in St. Louis with kids, this is a must. They had SO MUCH FUN! I forgot my camera (and I just heard you suck in your breath from St. Louis, I know, how dare I call myself a blogger!) so all you get are phone photos. I think the fun still translates.

Today Zach is golfing with uncles, cousins and grooms-to-be oh my! So I have the kids to myself, I’m thinking of pulling off a super mom feat and hitting up turtle park and St. Louis zoo. Until those pictures (camera is already in purse) here are these!

Trysten was really enjoying his time collecting money from his mom.

They have the static ball here as well. No one’s as impressive as mine for obvious reasons.

One of Trysten’s favorites (fairly sure he was a monkey in a past life, the kid LOVES to climb). He is shown hiding from Tariku at the top.

You could catch “fish” then walk a few paces and watch them “swim” back. Loved it.

Her favorite place. A true-to-form kitchen. Ohmygoodness her excitement was palpable.

Her second favorite. Here shown ringing up this nice gentleman’s groceries.

Tariku ended up being a great pizza chef, which made me so proud.

Zach loved showing them all of the science and math stuff, during those bouts I could be found sucking my thumb in a corner begging for the library.

Honestly one of my favorite parts was the “Did you know”s throughout the place. Here is one of my favorites (also for you, Cathy). Everyone knows 4-year-olds ask a lot of questions but APs of Ethiopian boys know 4-year-old Ethiopian boys ask 10x the normal amount.

At the end of the day, we had a great day.

All I Want

for Christmas is his three front teeth.

He’s been dropping teeth like America drops bombs, with amazing tenacity. In all seriousness, it’s incredible. He lost the two top ones the last two nights. The budding fundraiser this one is, he somehow talked “the tooth fairy” into giving him $2 for the big teeth. He made a powerful argument with substantial evidence to back it up and was rewarded with $1 more than usual. Brought a tear to his daddy’s eyes it did.

Upon seeing him this morning minus one tooth, Tariku told Trysten “you look silly”. To which Trysten proceeded to try to hide the gaping hole with his tongue. After reminding him that most kids who tease like that are jealous (Tariku wants to lose a tooth so badly) he felt better about things.

But zangers those are big holes!

It Begins

The next few months will be FULL of water events. And so it begins…for you local folks (or folks who love running and want to stay in cabins or something like that) it’s a Race4Water!

It’s a 4 mile Run/Walk 4 Water on Oct. 24th. 8am on the Muscatine Riverfront path.

There is a guaranteed shirt if you are one of the 1st 100 to register with a $20 donation. Remember all money goes directly to charity: water. Go here for the registration form. That form you will print out and mail to Brenda with a check made out to charity: global (that’s charity: water’s bank account, for lack of better term). All money goes to build fresh water wells in Liberia. $20 saves an African life for 20 years. It’s just that simple.

So go. Run. Walk. Some of you (Jake) might even be able to walk this on your hands.

More excitement to come. And also more reports on losing teeth, bachelorette parties, nostalgia and finding my theme song for my life.

My Birthday Man

Today is Zach’s birthday. My Zach. My hubby turned another year older today. Do you have any idea how thankful I am that this happened those decades ago? What an amazing, amazing gift. To me, to his parents and siblings, and certainly to this world. I am so honored to call him husband, friend and father to my kids. Happy birthday, my love. To many, many more.

He was very happy that as part of his birthday gift from me we recycled…LOTS!

Then went to a guitar place so he could pick out a dobro guitar. My father and mother-in-law kindly took the kids outside so I wasn’t on the verge of a heart attack the whole time.

Then went to a restaurant we hadn’t been to in awhile. Fantastic day.

Regression

This is for all of the adoptive mommies and daddies. I set out on this blog with more tenacity once we started the adoption of Sir Tariku because I wanted to be honest. I wanted an honest look at adoption (or as much as possible while still preserving his personal story and some things that I want to be just his). I think I’ve done a decent job at that, most of our adoption has been roses. We’ve been blessed beyond measure with that.

Zach and I have recently started to notice just the slightest bit of regression. As most adoptive parents (APs) will tell you, it’s incredibly difficult to establish whether it’s “normal” child behavior or behavior that has underlying messages. Truly, what we’ve seen in Tariku recently probably wouldn’t even be on a lot of APs radar but…

Lately Tariku just isn’t as great about listening. It’s strange because it’s quite obvious he’s not doing it just to disobey us. He honestly always seems surprised that we caught him. For instance, tonight Zach was coaching his soccer. Zach said, “Okay everyone run to me, don’t kick the ball just leave them alone.” Tariku kicks the ball. Zach says, “Tariku, I said leave the balls alone, just run here.” Tariku takes 2 steps and then kicks the ball. When Zach tells him to sit out for a bit he just seemed like that was perfectly normal thing. Very strange.

I can pinpoint the beginning to one thing. Preschool. He loves preschool, he really does. Every morning he’s excited to go, though he has voiced his concern over the fact that he hasn’t learned anything and can he please just go to Kindergarten so he can start learning to read? But of course my mind starts thinking about the fact that preschool might be a little too close to what the care center felt like for him. Maybe he’s regressing because of that. Too many emotions coming out that he can’t quite identify and/or verbalize.

Like I said, it’s nothing big but it’s maybe something big. For Tariku not to listen is pretty big. He’s usually the one that gets in trouble because he listens to things that aren’t his business. So we’re not sure what to do about that. We tried taking toys away but that honestly just doesn’t affect him. I think time outs/ins might be the way to go with this one, he so hates being taken out of the action. The hard part is that I don’t want to punish him if it really is about feelings he can’t vocalize. I tried asking him why he is doing it? Is he sad or scared? Does he not understand when we tell him things? He said, “Because I want you to take my toys.” It’s quite clear he doesn’t quite understand the whole deal.

So what to do fellow APs? This whole parenting thing is so very humbling.

So is his beauty, by the way.