Friday, November 02, 2007

Crazy days at our house

Phil left last night. Holy cow - it's actually going to happen. There has been so much going on that I should have been writing about over the last several days, but I simply haven't had the time. I know I won't be able to give a complete update, but I am going to attempt to squeeze daily summaries of a whole bunch of unrelated stuff into one post. Here goes:

Saturday, Oct 27: Phil and Adam put up the Halloween decorations that I thought we would maybe avoid dealing with this year. It's Phil's favorite holiday though, so he had to pull out all the stuff that he has collected. We then spent some time running around . . . getting Halloween candy . . . looking for new mattresses for the bunk beds (which still aren't set up, by the way) . . . lunched at a new little Hawaiian BBQ place. It was pretty good, but I'm thinking that we will need to visit again soon before the quality goes down and the prices go up and then the place closes down. That seems to happen so often around here. I'm still looking for a new computer for home so we also ran into Comp USA just to see what the prices are doing right now. Did some grocery shopping before heading back home to drop Phil and Adam off so that they could carve the jack-o-lanterns while I ran back out to find stuff for Adam's class Halloween party. I was put in charge of the cookie decorating station, which you would think wouldn't be that big of a deal except I had a heck of a time finding Halloween cookie decorations. I finally managed to gather a few things before heading back home to find Adam watching t.v. and Phil still carving away. Apparently about ten minutes after they got started Adam decided that the sharp knife going into and out of the pumpkin wasn't nearly as much fun as he had imagined. My job while they carve pumpkins is to separate the seeds so that I can roast them and we can munch on the seeds. Since Phil had carved 8 pumpkins I had lots of pumpkin guts to sort through before we got cleaned up and went to our neighbor's house for a Halloween party.

Adam's school report for Friday? Not horrible, but not so great either - 6 smiley faces and 4 marks. I still don't have the reward/consequence chart put together so none of us are really sure what to do with that information besides give Adam a pep talk.

Sunday, October 28: Phil was gone for meetings by 7:00 a.m. It was a typical Sunday morning for Adam and I, except that he no longer can eat his favorite Lucky Charms or Trix for breakfast everyday so I had to actually make him breakfast (which is easy) and then convince him to eat it (not so easy). Once he remembered that he actually likes eggs and bacon, he enjoyed the meal and then we quickly got ready and ran out the door to church - making it to our bench just in time to catch Phil exhale in relief from the stand because his family wasn't late. We are rarely late, but to Phil unless we are ten minutes early we might as well be late. At some point during our Sunday meetings I remembered that I was supposed to make chili for our ward Halloween party on Tuesday night and slight panic set in because in all of my Saturday running around I had forgotten to buy chili ingredients. I pretty much was preoccupied during the rest of church and then scrambled home to make Phil's lunch and take back to the church since he was going to be in meetings for most of the afternoon. After dropping off his lunch, Adam and I rushed back home so see what I could come up with for chili. No shopping on Sundays, and I was going to be busy until very late on Monday so I had to figure something out that helpfully didn't involve opening a bunch of cans of Hormel and dumping them into the crockpot. My friend Sue rescued me again by bringing over a bunch of stuff from her house and between the two of us we cobbled together a gigantic pot of chili. Then I went to work on dinner so that Phil would have something besides PB&J to eat once he got home.

Some friends stopped by to drop off a bunch of clothes to take to the orphanage. Phil's anxiety was going strong so we spent Sunday evening packing the donation bags and deciding what we were going to have to leave behind. We can only take two 50 pound bags and we easily have three times that much stuff. We weighed the bags multiple times to make sure that we weren't exceeding the limit so that Phil could breath a little easier.

Monday, October 29: Work and then a mad dash home to get ready to head to Salt Lake City for our annual family Halloween dinner and play at the Off Broadway theater. We started doing this several years ago and it's one of our favorite events of the entire year. Unfortunately, we almost ended up not going. I called home right before I left work to tell Phil that I was on my way. He was clearly not happy. When he arrived at home, he was greeted by a phone message from Adam's teacher saying that Adam had pulled down another kid's pants at school. Whut??!? I hurried home and found Phil holding an "action slip" from the school telling us exactly what the phone message had already said. Adam was upstairs in the office "thinking" about what he had done and Phil was in the kitchen "thinking" about what he was going to do in response. After a brief discussion with Phil I went upstairs to see what I could get out of Adam since he had told Phil pretty much nothing. Adam told me that Matthew was on the monkey bars and Adam wanted a turn so he pulled on Matthew's legs and his pants came down. He said that they only came down a little bit and that he didn't see Matthew's underwear. (I'm thinking that he didn't see the underwear because they came down too.) Adam then tried to help him pull his pants back up, but they were buttoned so him tugging on Matthew's pants at that point was probably not at all appreciated. To compound matters, the other kids thought the whole scene was pretty funny and they started laughing.

Adam's version of events made me feel a lot better about everything, but his dad wasn't pacified nearly as easily. Phil reasonably wondered how Adam could come home from school with a note like that and then end up going out and partying with the family for the evening. When all was said and done, we ended up going to the play and we ended up going to the ward party the next night, but Adam won't watch any television until he comes home with all smiley faces again. He has got to learn to keep his hands off of other kids. I have got to make our reward/consequence chart pronto so that the poor kid isn't wondering everyday what is going to happen to him.

The play (a Harry Potter/Dracula spoof) was a lot of fun, and we enjoyed seeing it from our regular front row seats. Brandon (my nephew) was the object of some of the improv jokes and he ended up with a new nickname - Mabel - courtesy of the actors who referred to him multiple times throughout the play. It was pretty funny.

Tuesday, October 30: We had our ward Halloween party. I rushed home from work, stopped at Sue's to get the crockpot of Chili that she was warming up for me since it had been sitting in my fridge since Sunday. She had also made my cupcakes (again, since I had no time on Monday)for the cakewalk activity that my Young Women class was in charge of. I then ran home, grabbed Adam from the sitter's house, threw on his costume and some make-up, and then bolted for the church so that we could get set up. Phil was teaching class so we just planned to meet up at the church. It was a fun party, and Adam had a ball gathering all the candy he could at the trunk-or-treat. By about 8:00 I gathered him up, took him home and threw him in the shower. Phil came home just before 9:00 and then I headed back out again for my weekly volleyball game with friends from the neighborhood. Very busy day.

Adam's report from school indicated a fairly good day. The touching is much improved, but the listening is still a struggle. He's working on it though. Still no television.

Wednesday, October 31. Halloween. I spent a couple of hours at the school helping out with Adam's class party and then Phil joined us there for the school's costume parade. In the evening we followed our typical routine which is that I take Adam out trick-or-treating while Phil stays home and hands out candy. He was totally into it this year - Phil I mean. He dressed up and everything. It was pretty funny. Adam was almost as excited for kids to come to our house as he was to go out himself. We went with Krissy and Kate'lynn and half way through the neighborhood Sue joined us. Kate'lynn pooped out at the farthest point from home as possible, and wanted her mom to carry her. She's a pretty big 3-year-old though, so her mom pretty much just had to encourage her to keep going. We headed home around 8:00, threw Adam into the shower again, and planned on putting a coat of sealer on the bunk beds. Adam came down to sort his candy and try to come down from his sugar high, and I was pooped out myself so after we put Adam in bed, Sue joined Phil and I in watching last week's Survivor. I love the DVR! That was way better than doing bunk beds.

Adam's report: He had the hardest day since his contract started. He only had two smiley faces and 11 marks. Putting that in perspective a little bit, he can only ever get 8 smileys in a day (one in each category for each time period) but he can accumulate dozens of marks. I'm going to blame the struggles on the excitement of Halloween and all of the candy. (What can I say? I'm a mom in denial.) He seems to struggle the most after lunch. Still no television.

Thursday, November 1: Yesterday stated out as a typical day for me. Phil stayed home to relax a little bit before flying out while I went to work. After he dropped Adam off at school he headed out and hit a few post-Halloween sales. He loves that stuff. He even bought himself a costume for next year.

I came home from work around 2:00 so that we could go to Adam's parent-teacher conference. Quite honestly, I was dreading what I was sure we were going to be told. In spite of my fears, Adam's teacher was very positive. He focused on the fact that Adam is doing great academically. He has scored 100% on all of his math tests, and they did a timed test on the sight words for reading and Adam read them all (about 30 words) in 12 seconds which was the fastest in the class. His writing could use some work, but that's mostly because he won't slow down enough to do it neatly and he likes to repeat the same stories over and over again rather than coming up with something new to write. His teacher says that his behavior could be in response to the changes that are coming to our family with Noah's impending arrival. We are all going to try to be patient while we keep working with Adam. The touching has improved dramatically, but the working and listening is still a struggle. After the good report, we decided to let Adam watch one 30-minute show. I'm crossing my fingers that he gets all smiley's today so that he can watch a little t.v. this week-end. It will be miserable for both of us if he can't. (Am I a bad mom for saying that??)

After weighing the bags once again, we loaded them up and I took Phil to the airport last night. Tropical Storm Noel has hit Haiti pretty hard and I got an email yesterday saying that the road to the orphanage might not be passable when they get there. I debated in my own head and asked a bunch of people at work who all know Phil if I should tell him that, and everybody agreed that it would probably be better to not tell him. He was going to get on the plane anyway, and being nervous about the road would have just made him more anxious. I reasoned that he would be meeting up with the group in Florida and together they would be fine.

Here's a link to another blog from a mom that adopted a boy from Noah's orphanage. Her family is in Haiti doing some work for another group and she has posted some pretty intense pictures showing the flooding in their area. This isn't exactly where our orphanage is, but I can imagine that the devastation is similar. Please pray for all of the people in Haiti and the Dominican Republic who have been affected by this storm.

After I returned from the airport, Sue was at the house because she watched Adam while I was gone. Even though it was kind of late and I was very tired, we knew that the bunk beds couldn't keep waiting so we put on our grubbies and hit the garage for a fun filled night of putting on the first top coat. This picture is from the sanding day, which was much more miserable than the staining or top coat days. Notice the mask around my neck? It didn't help.

Friday, November 2 - Today: My phone rang at 6:00 this morning. It was Phil. He had safely landed in Florida and met up with the group. He said that his flight was decent, although he didn't sleep much. He said that they were informed that the road may be out so they might have to stay in a hotel in Port au Prince tonight. He seemed pretty calm about the whole thing, which made me glad that I hadn't told him before. I just know that it would have stressed him out and there was absolutely nothing he could have done. Finding out once he was with the group was a much better way to go because I knew that they would have a plan. I asked his friend Jeff about it (I call Jeff Phil Jr. because they are pretty much the same person and Jeff said that I made the right call by not telling him. Thanks Jeff.) Anyway, Phil should be in Haiti now but I won't hear from him until he can find a computer and send an email since he can't use the cell from outside the US. I hope everything is going well and that he can get to Noah soon.

We are going to try to sand the bunk beds again and put on the second coat tonight. Maybe we will be able to get them set up tomorrow so that Adam can sleep in his new bed for a couple of nights before Noah arrives. Tonight I'm heading out to buy a mattress for Noah and I might even see if I can find some new sheets for both of the boys. Sue said that JC Penney is having a flannel sheet sale and I'm thinking some flannel sheets might be just the thing to keep our little Haitian boy from turning into a Utah popsicle.

How's that for a marathon post? And to think that when I started it I thought I would put a sentence or two for each day and call it good. Even with my best intentions and just a keyboard, I still talk too much.