Friday, June 26, 2009

backpacks, lots of lists, conference calls and... Asheville??

I often used to wonder what families went through those last couple weeks before traveling 1/2 way around the world to pick up their children. Now... I don't wonder. Or maybe I should wonder what less scattered, more diligent people do and try to emulate their examples. Or maybe I should just make up some pretend family in my head that would be the epitome of planning, packing, traveling euphoria and try to emulate that. Great. Now I am going to try to follow the example of some make-believe people I have just conjured up in my head. AND to add insult to injury, the most creative make-believe people I can create in my head right now are savvy packers. See what I'm up against here, people??!

Just to give you a taste of how I have been spending my last week and a half.... As if I haven't had over 5 months now to prepare bedrooms and make the look "finished", I wait to be inspired -- now. So, in between cramming school down the boys' throats; heading over to the gym twice a week in the morning-- so they can play with friends who also go at that time and I can run not in the sweltering humidity; trying to make sense of my weed ridden, deer haven garden; and just general life in Team Dragovich mommy duties-- I am dragging my boys to Hobby Lobby for all sorts of material, modge podge, cork boards, picture frames and whatever else I decide I MIGHT need to complete their rooms. Then I overtake the homeschool room table-- which we are still trying to do school at, mind you-- and puke out craft craziness ALL over it. And then take many days to complete the projects. Still-- while we do school.

Example #2... I have known that I wanted to take each kiddo a backpack stuffed with activities, a snuggly for comfort, snacks, etc. that could be their little bag for the trip home.. and then continue to be their backpack-- all my kids have their own backpacks, even though we homeschool-- figure it out. So, anyway... I HAVE truly been looking for backpacks that I think would do the trick-- right size and functional, not just cute. Not so easy to do for a 3 year old and 5 year old. Well, Land's End's school catalog came to my door earlier this week-- Tuesday, I think it was. YES-- jackpot! They had backpacks for littles as young as 3 and then moved up from there. Perfect... but will they come in time. Tony says, "Sure! Go for it." I do. This turned out well. They came today. What may still end up in total meyham, is all the stuff I all the sudden decided needs to go IN the backpack!! I was recently introduced to Anamalz wooden toys and Signing Time flashcards. Too cute!! Perfect hand size, easy to store, tote around, pull out and play and sturdy. Except I found them-- yesterday and didn't order them until today. Look, I live in nowhere, USA... it's not like I can just go out and find these items anywhere-- correction-- I COULD have driven my boys out to Toys R Us and made us all crazy and walked out with Anamalz, Signing time flashcards (which I'm not even sure they carried in stock) and either three resentful, angry little boys; OR $50 more worth of who knows what in order to sooth the jealous rages. I mean, c'mon... I have very good boys, but they are people, too and watching new brother and sister get sooo much attn. paid to even just their arrival??? Well, more on that later.
Now, Anamalz and signing flashcards are just the beginning of what is going to ET in a week for two new kids-- well, if they even COME on time! Tuesday was my "shop for gifts" day-- nannies, driver, guide-- and honestly, it went pretty well. But, it was also "get the kids a snuggly day". And I knew just the perfect store to find what I wanted from Gund stuffed animals. When I walked in the door, I saw 40% off ALL Gund animals-- SCORE!! Until she didn't have ANY of the flat animals that I wanted. But... she was so excited when I told her that I didn't buy the ones I found in Asheville over the weekend so I could buy them from her, that she is currently having two new Gunds shipped to her and PROMISES to have them by next Tuesday AND she is giving me the 40% off-- yea!! So, that was good, too. Then, I went over to this really nifty outdoor gear shop looking for something to give our guide and driver as a "Thank You" for holding our hands for a week. I went in with a couple ideas, but I must have walked end to end in that store for 25+ minutes before deciding on "the perfect gift" (don't worry, I won't leave you hanging too long. But let me tell you what-- as SOON as I walked in the store, there was an ADORABLE pair of Mary Janes in leather and all casual, but sporty looking and oh-so comfortable that just spoke my name-- on sale 1/2 price. ONE left in my size. Now-- mind you-- I HAVE been wanting to get a pair of shoes that are cute, closed toe and something I could wear in Ethiopia and still be comfortable for long walking. But, I hadn't really found "just the right shoe", so I sorta gave up on it, opting for settling with my old strappy mary janes that will definitely work, but were-- well-- old. And I'm not even a real big "shoe" person (don't you like all my justifying??) The other part of this, is... even at 1/2 off-- they were still $80.00. The bottom line to this story is... at this point, all bets are off when it comes to being frugal in preparing to bring two kids home from ET. Obviously, me adopting kids is becoming very good for the economy. My checking account??? Not so great.

I have lots more examples of frivolous spending, wasting time and spinning my wheels. But, I think you get the drift. One thing that we have been working through that I have been anticipating-- is some spiking in clingy, whiny, selfish behavior amongst the boys. Both with one another and with us. More so me-- but I am an easy target. Always here :) I would say sometimes we handle it well, and other times... well, not so much. They never speak against their new brother and sister. In fact, they have nothing but wonderful things that they share about playing soccer with JB or playing dolls with RiSa (Tony's nickname for Rebekah Selami). DO NOT let them know you have been let in on their secret desire to play with RiSa and her "girlie toys" ;)! It's supposed to be a secret. But, they do get their feelings hurt easily, demand justice and rightousness and FAIRNESS in one another AND us and very hard on the person when they don't get it. They are SOOOO over UPS, FedEx and the mailman knocking at our door with another package to deliver. You know, for so many years the only packages that came in the mail were for them-- b-days, Christmas, other holidays, etc. But, I do a lot more internet shopping than I EVER have in the past, and especially now that I seem to think that money flows like water-- I'm being a little sarcastic here-- there have just been a lot of "ding-dongs" at the doorbell, and lots of anxious faces that turn to frustration when they find out it's not for them. So, you can imagine all the conversations we've been having about all the preparations I did for each one of them, all the presents they received, and all the time and effort that was spent when each one of them entered into the world. They just weren't around or old enough to see or understand it. So... this has been VERY good for them to walk through. And I know that they will do wonderfully over time with the kids and this whole bigger family thing-- despite the bumps in the road that are meant to knock us back into perspective :)

Finally, in the midst of all this, Tony managed to wisk me away to Asheville, NC for a night at the Grand Bohemian Hotel which sits in the heart of Biltmore Village and at the entrance of the Biltmore Estate. This was to celebrate our 12 year anniversary. We drove up on Saturday, did some shopping (imagine that), ate a wonderful little restaurant and spent Father's Day at the Biltmore. Crazy. That place is.... crazy. No words describe it well enough and it is a whole other post. But, we had a WONDERFUL time-- and I'm going to leave it at that :P

Now, I know all you want to see are pictures of the bedrooms. Coming!! They are almost done. Actually the boys' room is done and Selami's is the only one I am still finishing up-- hanging curtains and other pretty wall decor-- oh yeah and putting up the crib. I will probably be working on it until Thursday night instead of packing or some other responsible activity that I'm sure my make-believe traveling family would be doing.

Ummm... I think I better go to bed now.

Grace and Peace,

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