Thursday, August 04, 2011

Don't cry over spilled Cheerios

Last nights sleep went pretty well.  Jonathon rolled out onto Joes mattress (the twin mattress on the one side of the bed) but was unphased so he left him there.  It's only about a 6 inch drop from mattress to mattress.  Of course 45 minutes later he was uncomfortable so Joe put him back up on the bed and he was asleep in no time (why isnt it this easy all the time!)  Happened one more time during the night, about about 1am but again a quick plop to the middle of the king bed and he was out.  Madison rolled onto Myras mattress about 430am and she was also unphased so Myra let her stay there until she started kicking Myra in the head for a while as she squirmed.  They both stayed asleep until about 7am...not bad!

Again they played for awhile when they woke up and then we went out in the living room.  We went for scrambled eggs again since they were a hit, but this time we made some for us too.  They did pretty well allowing us to have some bites for ourselves.  Again, Madison didnt finish hers but Jonathon cleaned the plate, minus the jarred strawberries that neither of them liked.  And of course no meal is complete without lots of bread.  

Madison played by the bathtub with Myra again, throwing things into the tub, Jonathon however hugs the hallway on the side to avoid the bathroom altogether. We've decided to put off bathing for one night.... 

The kids played for a bit and Jonathon occasionally led Joe back into the kitchen, so  he eventually finished Madison's plate and had some more bread.   Petko called about 10:45am and said he would be by at 1:30pm to take us to the US Embassy for the visa interview.  Of course, right in the middle of naptime, we improvised.  We fed them some macaroni and cheese, peaches, and ....bread around 11:15 to suffice for lunch and then tried for naptime.  After an hour rocking, chasing, and listening to Jonathon scream we gave up and said no nap for him.  Madison was asleep after lots and lots of screaming in about 45 minutes which at least gave Myra a chance to shower and grab some bread and cheese to eat for lunch.   Joe got ready then and dressed Jonathon while Myra woke Madison up at 1:15pm (she wasn't exactly thrilled about that).  Petko came and they both did well on the ride to the Embassy and in the waiting area. Since Madison seemed so scared yesterday Myra had kept her tightly strapped to her in the Ergobaby carrier the whole car ride (no, there are no car seats here) – this seemed to do the trick!  
When we first entered the waiting area, Jonathon happily pointed to a picture of President Obama and shouted “BEBE!” (of course many pictures of a people get labeled as 'Bebe', but we got a laugh out of it). Jonathon loved swinging a velvet rope at one end of the long room (the opposite end of where Myra and Madison were sitting).  Madison knew it looked like fun and after a bit of coaxing came running down to Joe to take a swing.  So great to see her smiling face come to him.  He usually only gets to see if from afar while she is playing with Myra!  Joe has fed her a couple times, but she only gets halfway through and then needs Myra.  So there is still lots of progress to make, we just have to wonder how long that will take, will she attach to him?
The wait was really good as Jonathon walked Joe around the place.  He is really starting to pick up some speed but not confident enough to walk around without support unless its 5 steps or so from Myra to Joe.  MAJOR improvement over where he was just 4 months ago when we visited.   He has come a LONG way in those 4 months and we are so proud of him and thankful to the caretakers.
They got a little fussy but again Cheerios to the rescue.   We got called into the interview room ("The Long FAMILY"... that has a nice ring to it)!  And this is really where the only trouble was.  Myra forgot to close to Madison's bag of cheerios (and Madison has to be independent and carry it herself) and so cheerios went everywhere.  Which meant Myra scuffling to the interview room with Madison with her hands full to say we're sorry but we'll be there in a minute and Joe and Jonathon try to pick up the Cheerios.   Not the scavenger hunt we were looking to have!  A nice man came over to help and get cleaned up so we could go get interviewed for the kids visa's!  They have bulgarian passports and a visa to enter the US, but they will immediately be US citizens when we land in DC on Saturday (yikes, that plane ride is only two days away...).  The "interview" was really just a guy congratulating us.

The ride back was uneventful and we got back to the apartment around 330pm. We gave the kids some  yogurt, bread, and peaches for a snack, this time Madison finishing hers and Jonathon (when distracted, not finishing his.  Definite improvement but a lot of other times as soon as the food is gone (ie cheerios, mac and cheese, etc) he goes into a tantrum.  We're very afraid of the plane ride when we may not be able to distract when the food is gone, and that NEITHER of them is going to sleep. 

The kids were playing and eventually walked/crawled into the bedroom to play around.  Myra and Madison left at one point and while messing around in the kitchen they decided to walk up the road a block to the pharmacy to get some medicine (Myra has come down with a bad head cold).  Before they were back (less than 10 minutes), Jonathon was asleep...tired boy!

Joe went down the street to get some food for dinner and by the time he came back, Madison had dragged Myra into the kitchen to each two more bowls of yogurt and some bread.  Hungry girl!  Then she had a piece of pizza on top of that.  She played for a bit and then the usual screaming bedtime with the girl asleep about 45 minutes later (7:45pm).  We agonized over whether to wake Jonathon up.  he's been sleeping since about 5:00pm....will he make it through the night?  Joe went in to see how sound asleep he was (caressing his head, kissing his forehead, etc) and he didn't flinch at all so we let him sleep.  We may be in for a disaster come  3am but he went to sleep so easily we hardly wanted to pass this up.

They were both in bed so early that we are finally sitting down to drink that anniversary wine.  Just peeked in on them – it's amazing how they can start in the center and so quickly end up on the edge of the bed – certain to fall on us again!


Vinnie's Warriors said...

Hello! It is wonderful for us to hear about how the pick-up trip goes... as we are praying to be there for our son soon! Thank you so much for sharing all the details.

From what I can read, you are doing wonderful with the kids! You might be totally absorbed (and exhausted) by the moment, but the weeks and the months WILL pass and things WILL become easier.
Juggling food and kids... totally normal struggle.
Hard bedtimes... totally normal struggle.
Struggling to eat and keeping them fed... also normal!
Entertaining while traveling... yuck!

So I just want to tell you, if you're wondering what in the world you got yourself into, there are hard days and there are easy days, but it is worth it. These are a piece of the next generation. These kids are the future. And... it gets easier.

A few things that will make your lives easier:
Routine. Very hard while traveling. Imagine, maybe what parts of your days to have routine for. Bedtime? Having a regular order of events will mean your kids always know what's happening next and it will help everybody relax a bit.
Don't worry what everybody else is thinking. On the airplane, you may have some loud moments. Or hours. But your job is to do what your kids need, not what everybody else needs. They have had their world turned on their heads and that plane is the only way home. Hopefully you'll have restful kids and compassionate cotravelers. :-)

Be patient with yourselves.

And remember you've got time. Push the idea of kids not attaching with you into the back of your head. Do what you can to help them look to you as parents, but don't worry about if it's happening "yet." There's no hurry and you aren't even home yet. You're doing fine!

Sorry if that's preachy. I'm really very impressed with you both! If there's one thing I know, it's that people love to give parenting advice... myself not excluded. hehe

Hope the wine was good!

Lin said...

You two are doing great! It is all trial and error now as you learn and they learn! Best of luck on the plane ride home!
Love, Aunt Lin

Amy Welter said...

Myra & Joe, I love reading about your days! I caught up on your travels today. You both sound like amazing parents so far. =)

You asked for sleep advice, so here's mine. I agree completely with the "Vinnie's Warriors" & Lin's comments, very well stated. I can't imagine trying to get 2 toddlers on a bedtime routine in a brand new situation! My (normally well-napping) kids are horrible nappers and go down to bed at night usually later than normal (sometimes hours!) when we're in hotels or camping so do not feel bad about not getting the kids to sleep. So when you have been home for a while and adjusted back to Eastern Time Zone, here's what you can try.

--The book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" has great ideas for kids up to age 10 or so. It helped my kids sleep through the night finally.

--My daughter Natalie, who is only about 1 month younger than your twins, goes to sleep with a couple books and then music. We press play on the cd player in her room and let the entire cd play. It's a soft instrumental collection of nursery tunes. Search "Crib Notes" on Amazon, it's a set of 2 cds. We got it as a gift when Jonas was born and LOVE IT. Jonas at some point transitioned out of going to bed with it.

--Sometimes we let the kids watch a little bit of TV for a calm down time before books. Jonas enjoyed 10-15 min. of Baby Einstein when he was almost 2. Natalie doesn't get to watch it that much, mainly b/c we don't take the time for it or we watch something more geared for Jonas. He liked the BE Baby Signs, Baby Noah and Baby Old MacDonald.

That's it for now. With how prepared you are, I'm sure you'll figure it all out in due time. Blessings for a safe return trip!

Amy Welter said...

Forgot to say that when we travel, we bring a portable iPod dock so that we can play our "Sleepytime" playlist. It really helps to make them feel at home when in a foreign place.

Dave Thompson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Viviane said...

Our son loves bread, too. Really anything that's carbs: cereal, waffles, pancakes, potatoes, etc.

If you are worried about the twins' weight, here's a tip I got from a CLCP support group: make pudding mix with Pediasure instead of milk. There are endless combinations. Our son likes it a lot. Very caloric and, of course, many vitamins and minerals.

Viviane said...


Can we get in touch via email? Seems silly to talk through blog comments. And yes, I know you're very busy ;).

viviane8 @