Sunday, February 28, 2010

Too Hard Uh Me!

If you were to hear Tess say, "Will, do Yoda to me" - this is what you would see...

Well, my latest challenge I have given Tess is - no more cave-man talk! So yesterday she ran out of ranch dip for her broccoli and she wined, "More dip". I said, "You can ask nicely for dip." And she told me, "It too hard uh me ask nice uh dip!" Hummm, I don't think that's too hard if you just said all that!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Orphanage Memories

When we met Tess for the first time we asked what were her favorite things do. The orphanage care-takers unanimously said, "Kick a ball and sing." And they were right! So, we have signed up for spring soccer! Rob will be coaching the tiny 3-on-3 games with 4 year old girls. I bought Tess a brand new, bright pink soccer ball. She loves it! We have really had to help guide her in the sharing of her soccer ball. When the kids got home from school today Will went downstairs with Tess to play. She had to make the trip upstairs just to tell me, "Tess sweet. Share'n MY soccer ball."

Orphange Memories...
First, I'm not sure I have mentioned that Tess seems to have "no memory" of Russia. Which is a completely internal defense mechanism God puts in us! Sort of self preservation. After she was here for 7 weeks she dropped ALL Russian language. If I ask her something in Russian she tells me "no, Mommy". But, if she does answer me, she answers in English. For example, yesterday I asked her in Russian, "Show me your arm." She said, "No...(long pause)...arm". When I have shown her pictures of the orphanage all she does is comment on herself or the clothes people are wearing. But, then suddenly...

Last week I was going through some pictures and Tess saw a picture of the outside of the orphanage. (You know those beautiful bright teal shades the have in Russia.) She gasped and smiled real big and said, "That MY house!" I said, "Do you want to go there?" She put the picture down and said, "No. Stay home. MY mommy, MY house, MY daddy, MY sister." So, with that in mind, I got on the computer today and pulled up the pictures from Russia. I was hoping to get a little information from her about her memories before they really are all gone. I found the picture she had commented on last week. She got on my lap and smiled real big and said, "That my house!" I told her, "Now THIS is your house, I am your mommy, this is your computer." She smiled and hugged me then I asked her if she wanted to see more pictures of her "old house". She said yes. It was so amazing. A little light went on in her brain. She pointed to the front door and said, "My door, upstairs, blue stairs, my room up up, high." I asked her if she was sad at her old house she said, "Nooo, Tess happy."

I showed her the pictures of the small room with 10 little beds all lined up. She pointed out her bed (the care-takers had told us which one was her bed). She said, "My bed!" I said, "Did Mommy lay down with you in your old bed?" She said, "No...Tess sleep" Just to make sure she was understanding I asked her, "Does Mommy lay down with you in your bed upstairs?" She said, "Yes! Mommy read Bible, pray, sing..." So I know she was completely understanding we were talking about two different places.

Next I showed her the pictures of the room where she ate her meals. All the tables lined up together with little chairs. She said, "My table!" I asked her what she did in that room. She just stared at me so I said, "Did you paint on that table?" She said, "Nooo, eat soup." And, then it was over. She blanked out again and said, "All done". Soooo interesting! Over the years I think she will have days like today. Things will come back and she'll have the vocabulary to tell me. What a life our little girl has had. Can you imagine?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tess Tale

Our sweet little Tess sometimes has a very stubborn attitude at mealtime. I never ever make my kids eat things that are totally weird or slimy or spicy. But, when it comes to a good 'ol peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you're ganna have to eat it!

Even if you fall asleep...

There are soooo many cute and funny things that happen with Tess everyday. So, I thought a good way to make sure I document them is an accountability group. Even if the only person who reads this is my mom, I am pretending that dozens of faithful readers will be disappointed if I let them down. From this day forth I will try my best to tell a "Tess Tale" every day. If I miss a day, I will tell two the next day. ;)

"Tess Tale" for today...
Tess and I were putting a puzzle together that has opposites. Match the wet hippo with the dry hippo, etc. I got up and went into the kitchen for something. Tess said to me, "Mommy. Will you play this with me?" Every word was in perfect order and perfectly pronounced. It completely took me off guard. As you can imagine I flew to the living room and started kissing her all over. "Of course Mommy will play this with you!" She was giggling and said, "Mommy, you's sweet." Ahhh...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Just One to Savor

Let me tell you, it's very different to have just ONE kid to play with! All my parenting years so far have been a three-pack! Blake and Will are 16 months apart. Will and Audrey are 16 months apart. When Audrey was born, Blake was 2 1/2 and poor baby Will was right in the middle. Needless to say, they do not know life without each other. More like triplets! So, my parenting has been more refereeing and playing with a gang of coo-coo kids. Lots of fun fun fun - but, hectic and a little chaotic. That is one reason I was still pushing all three kids in a double stroller when their legs were dragging on the ground. I always liked to keep them "compact". Right under my wings.

Now, I have just one to savor. I have to kiss her a millions times a day! Today we went to the grocery store. She is soooo dang cute! She does not stop talking. I really only answer by saying, "Oh", "That's right", "Wow". A typical conversation she has with me (pretty one-sided)..."Mommy, apples yummy. You like apples? Look green apples! One, two, three... lots of apples! No red apples. Oh no, red's all gone. Hey! Red apples, too! One, two, three..." Seriously, she goes on and on about ANY topic. I just laugh all the time.

We were in the car a couple days ago and the song "B-I-N-G-O" was playing. She started laughing and said, "Hey Mommy! You's song!" (She says you's as in - those are you's shoes). I asked her what song and she sang, "B-I-Angela, B-I-Angela..." Is that amazing? My sister-in-law told me last week she asked Tess, "What is your mommy's name" and Tess told her "Angela". That is VERY smart if you ask me! Anyway, now she's walking around the house singing "Mommy's song"!

She has totally mastered "you, me, my, your". And, she is just starting to say "I". Usually she says, "Tess go get my shoes". But, yesterday we were at the park and she was jumping from one step to another. We were pretending that the ground was water full of sharks. She is awesome at pretending! She was acting all shaky like she was about to fall in and said, "Save me, Mommy! I'm scared!" Fortunately, she did NOT get eaten by a shark. As it turned out she told me, "No mean shark get me. Sweet dolphin!"

It's funny. The more I get to know her, the more I know when she's totally faking. You know how it is when you're the mom. You just KNOW. Today she was in her room crying and yelled to me, "Help me boots on! Too hard! Tess no can do it!" I walked over sat down with her on the floor. I said, "You can put your boots on. Let me see you try." She said, "Okay, Mommy". And put them on in two seconds. Rob and I like to say, "Acting! Brilliant!" ;) If you remember the Saturday Night Live routine from the 80's.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Alive & Well!

It's been one month ago that I last blogged! Wacky crazy! We've had so many (fun) things going on I have set my blogging aside for a bit. But, I'm anxious to share cute stories and pictures. It really IS a stress relief. To write something and re-live it for a bit, puts a new perspective on things. Plus, I'm ready to get back to checking everyone's latest news in the blog world!

We went Tubing a couple weeks ago at Snow Creek which is about an hour from our house. We loved it! Tess is so game for anything. She tried to lug her little tube right along with her sister and brothers. From looking at the picture you might know that I'm working diligently on getting her to NOT say "Cheese" when we take pictures! Who started that anyway?

Since I started this blog as an adoption story, I always like to tell the most about our little Tess. Seriously, you would NOT believe the amazing changes in her these past three months. October 30, 2009 we were starting with words like, "more", "drink", "eat", "done". And, fast forward 14 weeks... Tonight Tess told me tonight, "Oh no! Forgot Bitty Baby! You wait here. Tess go find her. Be right back." NO JOKING!!!! Is that incredible or what? We have normal conversations with her. She eats, plays, laughs, cries, whines, and sleeps like any other 4-year-old. Of course, we still have break-downs. But, they are fewer and fewer. Praise God for making the human mind so miraculous!

Can't wait to post more soon!