Saturday, January 31, 2015

Things to Love About Sunshine as a Three-Year-Old

It's so hard to believe that Sunshine is through with THREE! This time last year, our focus was so very far from "what fun things can we remember about this kid". So now we can CELEBRATE what a great girl she is:

5. Sunshine is the pet lover extraordinaire! Have I mentioned she wants to be a "sheep petter" when she grows up? Sunshine is Stubby's best friend (next to his owner/mother). One of my favorite memories Sunshine and Stubby was Stubby getting annoyed at Sunshine recently.
Me: Uh-oh Sunshine. His ears are back so he might need some space.
She got right in his face, patted his ears and said: Stubby, what do you NEEEEEEEED? (a la trauma parenting 101).

4. Despite never seeing the movie, Sunshine is obsessed with Frozen, Anna and Elsa. A friend asked her tonight what Anna and Elsa do. Sunshine's response was: Sing 'Let It Go'! (with an understood "duh!" attached).

3. Sunshine is still a pretty reserved, quiet kid who can shut down without warning. I always love the moments when she just suddenly decides to be DONE shutting down by doing something most random. One day, on the way home from school, she was not talking. Came home, put her lunch on the counter and knocked a loaf of bread off the counter. Picked it up. Said "sorry" to the bread. And then just started CRACKING UP, running around the house like ET saying "phone home": Sorry, bread! Sorry, bread! Sorry, bread!

2. Sunshine got a baby doll (her 200th if I am counting right) tonight for her birthday. She has decided to name her (yes, her) Baby Jesus.

1. The kids are given an option every night before bed of going to the pretend dentist, pretend face paint store, or the pretend hug store. Sunshine chooses the hug store every single night. She gives me 5 dollars for 5 hugs, and always chooses the "large" sized hug. The girl gives the best hugs.

Sunshine is FOUR!

It's not often that we get to have a birthday on a weekend. We were lucky to have the ENTIRE day to celebrate Sunshine. We started off at the Thinkery (Austin's Children's Museum) where three people got to be messy to their little hearts' content:

I think this place is brilliant and would stay all day if it weren't for the crowds.

Our day ended with friends, pizza, cake and ice cream.

Sunshine insisted that her cake be both Frozen and pink. A girl gets what a girl wants. True to herself, she refused any and all pictures that would at all resemble her smiling at the camera, so we have little proof that she had a fun day, but I think she did all the same.

Happy 4th Birthday, Sunshine! I love you!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Great Grammar Debate

Earlier this week between two 2-year-olds at the dinner table:

Chickadee: Mommy, I all done.
Junebug: Not "done". "Finished."
C: No. I all done.
J: No "DONE!!". Say FINISH!!
C: Mommy, Junebug say me no say all done.

Junebug was reminding me of an elderly volunteer at an elementary where I worked years ago. She was often at the copier and you had to wait till she was finished to get a turn. (As in, she was ALWAYS there and wouldn't even let you "cut" for a single copy of a single form.) If you said to her: Are you done? Her response was consistently: Turkeys are 'done'. I am through.

This will be Junebug in 80 years.

Friday, January 16, 2015

FAQ #8

in Jeopardy style.

Answer: Yes. But we are taking a few weeks off for me to get some trainings done. The kids have been very specific about wanting another friend to live with us and at this stage of their lives, throwing one more into the mix is really not that hard (knock on wood). Speed is mildly disappointed that we cannot make Ethan C., his best friend at school, our next foster sibling.

Stay tuned.

Junebug's Ten

The girls and I said good-bye to Junebug in the daycare parking lot today. Speed had already said good-bye when we dropped him at school. Our constantly hugging girl was resistant to good-bye hugs but we snuck them in anyhow.

Junebug's was a great example of a successful case. I am thrilled with how this chapter of hers has ended and am hopeful that we will see her again (if not in real life, definitely over texts).

Ten things to remember:
10. Junebug earned the nickname "Thunder" because when she first arrived, she walked pretty THUNDER-Y and bulldozed any lego or duplo creation of the kids' down. Their warning to take cover or move their toys was "Watch out, here come's Thunder!"

9. Junebug's other nickname was "(first name) Loo Who" which was eventually shortened to Loo or LooLoo. The odd thing about this is that her mom later told me that their nickname for her was Lulu. We had been calling her that for weeks with no idea!

8. Junebug never once ate fruit despite my most desperate efforts. Not. One. Bite.

7 1/2. Biggest pain in the rear in church I have ever had. This nevvvvver changed in the almost 7 months she was with us.

7. She was our "leftover girl". The addition of Junebug to our family somehow made it that meals we could usually get enough leftovers out of to eat again didn't stretch far enough. But since Junebug liked cooked food so much more than sandwiches, I just put the leftovers in lunch containers and she kept our fridge clean that way.

6. I believe that Junebug loved us all but if she had to jump in front of a train for only one of us, it would have been Speed. The squeals out of that girl when we picked him up from school every day were ear piercing.

5. Junebug held my arm every night during dinner. If I took my hand away (because I wanted to eat every now and then), she would get upset.

4. Junebug became a pro at getting out of bed at night but had no idea how to get back in. Earlier this week, I didn't hear the THUMP of her getting out so wasn't aware she'd escaped till I found her sound asleep on the floor.

3 1/2. Junebug stole the heart of the daycare director. I'd go in the office to check out and Miss Ann would say: Do you want to hear about Junebug's latest? And she would proceed to tell me stories. Sometimes she laughed so hard through the stories that I had no idea what she said. I remember this part though: That Junebug! She's one of those who keeps you on your toes even when you want to be sitting!"

3. Junebug was a night owl and NOT an early bird. Speed is quite the early bird and was always so excited to wake Junebug in the morning. I am not sure she ever reciprocated his excitement at 6am, but that didn't stop him.

2. Junebug's favorite doll was one of Sunshine's, her favorite stroller was Speed's, her favorite purse was Chickadee's and her favorite phone was actually her own. The kids were very tolerant of her "claim" on their belongings.

1. Junebug was not a kisser at all. She did not like goodbye or goodnight kisses from me or the kids. Give the girl a hug though and her day was made. It was not uncommon to have your leg knocked into by the hugging machine and once or twice, she knocked down one of the kids when she was in her full hug mode.

Oh my little fireball, thank you for sharing this part of your journey with us. We will all be missing your crazy ways (except in church)! Love you, LooLoo.

Junebug's Goodbye Party

We had a family goodbye party for Junebug last night. It consisted of hot dogs mixed with macaroni, brocolli, a cupcake with a candle, and a round table discussion of why we love Junebug.

Here is what I remember from the kids:

Speed loves Junebug because Junebug loves HIM and because she will play whatever he asks her to.

Sunshine loves Junebug because she sees her at school and gives good hugs. She also thinks Junebug is funny and nice and nice and funny, except when she cries.

Chickadee loves Junebug because she is her friend and she "plops in her lap" to sit down. She also likes that Junebug sits in her car seat and lets Chickadee sit in Junebug's car seat.

We sang "We love you, Junebug" before she blew out her candle. Then everyone else took a turn blowing out candles. Then it was back to business as usual, except that for every routine we did, Speed announced that it was Junebug's last time to do whatever in our house and thought that she should go first (which, for him, is an amazing feat!).

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2AM Conversation

with Chickadee, who regularly comes to chat it up in my room in the middle of the night.

"Mommy, I the daughter."
Yes, you are.
"Mommy....Speed the son."
Yup. You are right.
"Sunshine the daughter."
You got it.
"Junebug not a Russell."
No, sweetie. Junebug is just staying with us. She is a (last name).
"Stubby is a cat."
"What you? What you, Mommy?"
I am the mommy.
"Oh. You the mommy. Night night, Mommy."

Monday, January 5, 2015

On Returning to School

after 2 solid weeks as a fivesome.

Speed to me: Are you ready to go back to work?
Me: No. I don't like getting up in the morning when it is dark outside.
Him: Oh, is that why you are crabby all the time?


Him to Sunshine: You excited to go back to school?
Her: No.
Him: Why? You supposed to be HAPPY! You get to LEARN and see your kids. And you get to LEARN and do calendar....
Her: silence.

Fortunately, at least one person in the house was thrilled to get up in the pitch black darkness, go out in the 30 degree weather, and spend time with his teachers and "kids". The rest of us are ready for summer.