Monday, September 29, 2014

Overwhelmed by small decisions

I took this picture last week on Sanaa's school picture day. She looks so grown up. However, shortly after I took this picture she started crying and clinging to me. It's a daily occurrence when I drop her off at school. She has always loved going to school, but we are in her third week of school and she still clings to me when I drop her off.

I've tried letting her walk to her class by herself (she asked to walk by herself), but she begins sobbing and one of the teacher aides ends up walking with her. Most of the time I sign in as a visitor and walk her to her room, but then at the door she clings and starts tearing up or crying. A majority of the time her teacher has to come over and hug her and walk her to her desk.

Little decisions such as which shoes to wear, which package of new underwear to pick, which pants to wear, which tv show to watch, whether to have me drive the old way or new way home, etc. are completely overwhelming her to the point of tears. This is not the daughter I've known for the past 6 years and I don't have a clue what is going on. Last week she had a full blown, lie on the floor, kick feet, and cry hysterically tantrum in a store over which package of new underwear to pick. It was unbelievable. It took her nearly 30 minutes to calm down. I've tried to talk to her about her days at school but she hasn't said anything that would help me understand this change in her.

I am at a complete loss. At the end of the day when I pick her up from school she talks excitedly about what she did, the new words she now understands, the new Spanish words she can say, and who she played with (and what inappropriate songs one of the boys in her class was singing!), so it appears that day goes fairly well for her.

We are getting her to bed between 7:15-7:30. Most nights she doesn't fall asleep until 8:15-8:30 and an early bedtime doesn't help her fall asleep sooner. She wakes up on her own between 6:30 and 7:00 and has a huge appetite. I feel like she's getting the rest she needs. Granted, she could probably use more sleep, but I can't force her to fall asleep. All I can do is get her in bed.

So what in the world is going on? Is this her way of reacting to the stress of being gone all day and at a new school? I really don't know what to do anymore. I continue to pray for her and I try my best to get her to talk, but I really don't know how to help her or what else to do at this point.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Summer time fun

When we weren't busy spending time with extended family or traveling, the kids and I spent a lot of time in our back yard playing with water. They spent hours playing with water balloons, splashing in their inflatable pool, and running through the sprinklers. Towards the end of the summer we also had a lot more fighting going on, so while these pictures show the fun moments, just know that there were just as many (if not more) moments where the kids were fighting, screaming, and/or crying. By the end of August I was ready for school to start back up so that we could all get a little break from each other. 

Sanaa, the pirate. In church they had a unit where they studied God's treasure (the Bible) and since pirates love to search for treasure they did a few pirate themed activities.

We also did some crafts and painting this summer. We didn't do too much of it though since they were more interested in being outside. I imagine this fall and winter we'll be doing more arts and crafts once the rainy weather returns.

I've also been serenaded a few times. Both Malakai and Layla pretended that my music stand was a microphone and belted out some tunes. I'm not sure what they were singing since they were making stuff up, but they were really into what they were singing. Malakai has really surprised with his love for music and the fact that he can carry a tune fairly well for his age. The soundtrack to the movie Frozen is one of their favorite things to listen to and Malakai gets closer to singing in tune with the songs than his sisters do. Granted, he doesn't get the words right since he's still learning to talk, but he's picked up new words through the songs.

Our gigantic sunflower. Last year I planted a sunflower seed expecting it to be a small sunflower, but it was huge. Those seeds fell and I picked up some but left others on the ground. One seed that fell sprouted and grew into a second huge sunflower this year. Once these seeds fall I'll keep them and plant them again next year. My dad also wants some to plant at his house. The kids love the huge sunflower that we have in our garden.

Making mud soup and mud cakes was another activity the kids spent a lot of time doing this summer. They would typically scoop water out of their pool so they could make their soups and cakes. I expect this fall as the rain begins that they'll be making lots of things with mud.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Visit from the Pennsylvania family

Grandpa Craul, uncle Ray, and aunt Phyllis spent about 6 days here in Oregon with my parents and the rest of us. I thoroughly enjoyed all the time we spent with them. I also loved watching my kids play with hide and seek with uncle Ray, laugh with grandpa Craul, and listen to stories that aunt Phyllis read. It's rare for us to see family that live on the other side of the country, so the time that we do get with family is very important to me.

Uncle Ray sitting at the little kids table for dinner. 

Homemade ice cream! We love homemade ice cream and it's always fun to have some at my parents house.

Family pictures. And family pictures are never complete without a funny face one. Although it appears that Layla was actually making funny faces in both pictures.

Ryan, Karen, and Ariana with grandpa Craul.

My mom with her dad and her sister Phyllis. She has two sisters and one brother. She is also the oldest in her family.

These last three pictures were taken on a different day. I think it was the Sunday that Karen and I celebrated our birthdays together. Karen got some great pictures of our kids together.

Beach day with great grandpa Craul and other PA family (part 2)

These pictures were taken by Karen and I love the pictures she took. 

This picture of Sanaa and Layla running down the beach is one of my favorites. I'm not sure what it is that I love so much about it, but I did end up having this picture put onto a canvas so that I can hang it in our hall. I think I just love the carefree, summer day feel it has.

My brother and Karen are also known for taking jumping pictures, so of course we took some of those on the beach too.

My brother photo bombing this picture of me makes me laugh every time. It really looks like he's about to tackle me.

Taking fun family pictures always makes me smile. The way Malakai was "framed" as my dad jumped makes it look like my dad was jumping over him even though Malakai was at least 3-4 feet in front of him.

It was a fun family day at the beach. Nate unfortunately had to work, but I'm glad that my kids were able to get some time with their great grandpa and their great uncle and great aunt.

Beach day with great grandpa Craul and other PA family

Roughly a month or so after the Lind family reunion, my mom's dad and one of her sister's (and her sister's husband) flew out to Oregon to spend some time with all of us. (As I reflect on our summer, it was very busy seeing family that we often don't get to see for years at time!) We took one day and headed out to the coast for a few hours. It was a beautiful day at the beach and my kids had a blast.

Taking a break for lunch. The beach we were at is one that my brother and his wife showed us. It's not a high trafficked beach and that was great!

My mom's sister, Phyllis, worked on building a castle. Sanaa and Layla helped as well. Malakai preferred to knock over their work.

The beach also had rocks to climb on and tide pools to explore. So for Sanaa, Layla, and Malakai, it was the perfect beach.

While we were exploring tide pools, uncle Ray built a runway (all the small piles of sand). As we walked past his runway, Malakai and Layla made it a point to knock over each pile of sand. Some day I'm sure Layla and Malakai will enjoy building with sand, but for now it's a lot more fun to knock things over.