Monday, January 23, 2012

Playgrounds & headlocks

I feel I may be destined to adorn the following bumper sticker:

...with a PINK background.

Last week it felt like we had turned a new corner, there was so much more laughter and less disciplining, it was great.

THEN, Amiya put another kid in a headlock on the playground! Let me back up some. Another little girl pushed Malakai down on the playground. She obviously gets in trouble. The next thing we know, Amiya has her in a headlock! Not sure if the other girl was having a bad day or if Amiya was acting in retribution! We got her home and talked about the incident. It went a little something like this: 

Me: Amiya, did another girl push you on the playground? 
Amiya: No
Me: Amiya, did you put a little girl in a headlock?
Amiya: Yes
Me: Did you get in trouble?
Amiya: Yes
Me: Did she hurt you?
Amiya: No
Me: Amiya, did Malakai fall down? 
Amiya: girl push Malakai down, he fall down
Me: Did you push the little girl down?
Amiya: No
Me: Did you put her in a headlock because she hurt Malakai? 
Amiya: Yes. girl push Malakai down

I have to be honest, part of me was proud of her for sticking up for her brother but I realize that's probably not the way to solve it! Let's be honest, that little girl isn't going to mess with either of them anytime soon. But, I have this internal battle going on. On one hand I'm glad to know she's going to stick up for herself & her brother. On the other hand, putting another kid in a headlock probably isn't the best way to solve the problem. And yet the other argument is- even if you tell an adult what happened, how are they to know who is telling the truth! We've all probably been punished for a lie that someone else told!

Anyhow, that's the latest, kind of funny, kind of not!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Clowning around

I often feel like we have 2 clowns running around here. It's crazy how much their personalities have come out in just the last 5 months. Here's some of my favorite things that have made me laugh.

Amiya & Armpits
One day shortly after we arrive home, Amiya runs into our bedroom and a couple minutes later comes streaking back out. I asked her to get her clothes and she obediently did and I put them back on.  A couple hours later, I notice what looks like deodorant marks on her shirt. She doesn't know what it's called so I picked her arm up and sniffed her armpit. Sure enough, she had put on Wes' deodorant and we learned the word "Armpit"!

Malakai & funny faces
It was pretty clear early on that Malakai was going to be a little clown. Anytime he tried something new, he would make this face...

And with each new food, the facial expressions seem to get more & more dramatic. For instance, here's some pictures after he barely sunk his teeth into a jalapeno pepper (but didn't eat it)...

Amiya's Style 
Amiya loves all things girly and often wants to put more & more girly stuff on...sometimes I really worry about her sense of style...

 Malakai-"Sooo Handsome"
Amiya is such a girl, anytime she gets to wear a dress she jumps up and down excited. With all the emotions of being a girl, I wanted to make sure I instilled a good self-confidence in her so I was always saying "Amiya, you're soooo pretty." Malakai started saying he looked sooo pretty too so we had to quickly adjust that and more frequently say "Malakai, you are soooo HANDSOME." They both have picked up on that and when they know a girl or boy, they also associate so pretty or so handsome with the correct gender...make sense!? Anyway, one morning I was getting them dressed and Malakai told me he needed to go potty so I halted the getting dressed and told him to go to the bathroom. He said "No, I wanna [be] so handsome fuwst (first)"

Daddy & Animal Sounds

Wes definitely contributes to the clowning around. For Halloween I found a monkey & giraffe costume. When we were trying them on, we kept asking Malakai what sound a monkey makes and then realized Amiya needed a sound for her giraffe costume. We asked Amiya what sound a giraffe makes but since this wasn't one of the animals we worked on, she wasn't helping so Wes just yells "look-a look-a look-a." I don't think Amiya believed us, it was a good month after Halloween before she would make the giraffe sound.

Potty training and public bathrooms
The kids were basically potty trained before we got them but there was, as expected, some regression (and a language barrier and parents trying to figure out how to take care of kids). Anytime they told us they needed to potty and actually went in the potty there was a huge celebration. And since we're also dealing with chronic constipation issues with one, there's a HUGE celebration when he goes #2 in the potty. What I wasn't prepared for was the enthusiasm for bathrooms. Anytime we were in a public place, the kids needed to go potty so we'd all 3 go in and sometimes mom had to go too. (I never understood when mom's talk about wanting to go to the bathroom I do!) So, if I went, they would yell really loud "Yay, mommy went tee tee, good job mommy!" My new favorite is they want to help so "mommy, don't fall down drain!"

Sunday, January 1, 2012


  Christmas was a great adventure. We knew it would be exciting, over-stimulating and possibly overwhelming and indeed it was all 3! 
We started our Christmas festivities at Thanksgiving with Wes' family since we would be driving to Kansas City for Christmas. 
Amiya got a princess dress, shoes & matching doll

Malakai got a truck that talks & moves...I think it's almost dead

and then they got a couple guitars!

For Christmas, we drove to my (Danielle) parent's house in Kansas City. It's a 12 hour drive with just 2 adults and we knew we would be extending that when we add in 2 energetic 3 year olds! We decided to take the trip up in 2 days and stayed overnight in Memphis. 

The kids did great (I still don't think anything could be worse then us trying to get [toddlers who have never had boundaries] through all the lines and security in Uganda). I only brought a few quiet toys for the car ride and didn't even think about once it gets dark they won't be able to see anything. Some friends let us borrow their portable dvd player but the power converter started smoking so we decided we shouldn't use it! The kids started getting pretty antsy the last 2 hours of the trip but then fell asleep.

 They slept on an air mattress together in my old bedroom and did great. We brought our video monitor and that was huge too. The more they discovered how bouncy an air mattress could be, the harder it was to convince them not to bounce/jump.  They loved walking or "running" -which was closer to a bounce
We went to the Christmas Eve service at the church where I grew up. We used to always go to the 11pm service and this year decided on the 5pm for obvious reasons! We had originally planned to go to the Christmas morning service but after...well...loosing a pair of underwear at the Christmas Eve service and a few other behaviors that we were noticing we realized some anxiety and stress that the kids were feeling so decided to stick close to the house. 

Once we got to opening presents, it was stimulation overload! It only took opening 1 gift for them to be all about these presents and they were ready & willing to help everyone else open their gifts as well. They got some great gifts and noisemakers that mom & dad are LOVING ;)
 One gift they got was this "jeep" as you can see from the awesome faces: Malakai is so excited & Amiya is not so excited about sharing...but doing better at it

One thing I always look forward to when I come home to KC is getting together with friends. There's a group of girls from High School who get together every Thanksgiving/Christmas. Wish our travel schedules would have allowed more of us to get together at the same time this year.