Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Life with two kids is so busy! I am starting to feel a little bit less exhausted and overwhelmed each day but still haven't arrived at it feeling normal. Here are some things that have happened around the Pell house:

Crawling........We have a crawler on our hands!! Johnny started crawling a couple of weeks ago and now is following us from room to room. It is a welcome development as he has gone from sitting and fussing for what he wants to just crawling to it. He is so much happier and is content as long as we are in the same room.

Sleep.....hmmmm. Sleep is overrated right? I crave it. I dream (well I would dream if I was ever asleep) of the day that I can have just one night of uninterrupted sleep or a day to sleep in till noon. John and I are surviving on caffeine and the hope that it will get better soon. Inconsistent is probably the best word to describe Johnny's sleeping habits. One day he seems to do pretty well (just wake up twice at night), then the next it will be every two hours. We have had an ear infection, some "cry it out nights" when we lost all patience, and now we are just trying to roll with it instead of resist it. We are focusing on the days instead of the nights and this seems to work. Johnny's tell that he is tired is to grab and pull his beautiful hair. We see this and off to sleep he goes. This has made for a much happier baby during the day which gives me a lot more patience at night to deal with the many wakings.

Attachment.....This seems to have come very easily for us. We "cacooned" for the first couple of weeks and then couldn't stand being cooped up in the house. Emma kept asking, "What we doing today Mommy?" and I would say nothing, very sad about this myself. The Pells like to spend time out and about and it ends up so does Johnny. Those first couple of weeks if we took him out we would cary him in the Ergo and he would get very quiet and just look around. He was definitely overwhelmed with the new sights but as long as we held him, he was fine and didn't show any signs of it affecting him during the day. After about a month, he was cooing and smiling at others and us while we pushed him in a cart or carried him through the store.

We have stuck to John or I being the only ones to give him a bottle or put him to sleep. Within three weeks he was looking to us when he was hungry or tired and ignoring any other adult that might be in the room. Now, he cries and reaches for us. If he is happy and awake he is fine with others holding him. If he is tired, he wants us. And only us. He adores his sister and I think her being with us whereever we go has helped him feel comfortable as long as he is with our family.

Siblings.....Emma and Johnny are learning to be siblings. Emma is doing much better at sharing "her" toys and not smothering Johnny. Emma is a hugger and kisser. She was born to hug and kiss. Luckily Johnny likes this as long as it doesn't hurt. Emma is learning to give out hugs a little less often and a little less intense. She is a great big sister and loves to help me with feeding, getting toys out, and even putting stuff away for Johnny. Other than the normal frustration of a two year old having to share, Emma has had an easy transition into being a big sister.

Stress....The stress level at the Pell house has been unreasonably high. John is working on finishing his dissertation while working full time and being home with the kids two days a week while I am at work. This means that if I am home with the kids and he isn't working, he needs to be working on his dissertation. This means the evenings and weekends are not our own. He has to have a draft turned in by the middle of April so we are just trying to survive the next month until the stress level decreases and we can have more time as a family of four. The couple of days we have had to just have fun as a family have been great. This stress has made the transition these past months much more difficult than it had to be. For all of you adopting or having a new baby, if you can de-stress and slow down life for a while when you bring a new child into your home, do it! As the timing with adoption is so varied we had no idea when we would bring our baby boy home so couldn't really plan around it. John has been amazing through it all to put his family first and be present. I am not really sure how he is doing it. It is now crunch time and he needs to get done. We will make it through but it has been really hard.

I think this is about it for life at the Pell house. I will post some new pictures and videos soon!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I would love to say that most of the time they both looked like this......

And that Emma kissing Johnny didn't normally end with a death grip hug and a screaming eight month old........

Or that Johnny just played contently on the floor at all times.....

And was always grinning like this when we walked in the room......

But the picture below is a much more common scene in our living room. Emma playing with a toy that she has just ripped out of Johnny's hand and Johnny just reaching for anything we haven't directly given him. Yeah, he has already figured out that the good stuff is the stuff just beyond his reach.

With two kids I find myself praying for patience a lot more than I used to. Some days I wake up and am full of patience. Somehow I wake up cheery and ready to face whatever my family has to throw at me. Whether it is Emma’s constant questioning “Cuz whyyyyyyy?” (yes she already does this, thought it wasn’t supposed to start till three) or Johnny’s high pitched scream when he is upset, I handle them all with grace and ease.

Ok, so this is some days. Most days, patience is something that I lack and can never get enough of. If someone asked me which fruit of the spirit I would like the most right now it would be patience.

The other day I was trying to rock Johnny to sleep. He has this high pitched scream that comes out pretty much whenever he wants something or doesn’t like what you are doing to him. It is like nails on a chalk board. I am assuming it is how he got the attention he needed while surrounded by other babies. Rocking him to sleep without a bottle is one of those times that the scream comes out. It lasts less than five minutes and he quickly falls asleep but I have to take a deep breath and brace myself before beginning this five minutes. I was sitting in the kids room rocking him while Emma was coming in and out of the room caring for her own babies. Each time she sees me rocking Johnny, she has to give his forehead a kiss. This happens several times during the 5 minute scream session and Emma doesn’t seem to notice that her brother is screaming as if being tortured. I had just gotten him to the point that he had stopped screaming but wasn’t fully out (you know that spot that you hold your breath and just hope you don’t have to start over) when Emma ran in the room, climbed up in my lap (while I am whispering “NOOOO!!”), pulled down Johnny’s face and kissed him. This, of course, caused him to start screaming again. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and prayed for patience.

When I opened my eyes Emma was standing in front of me with just her underwear on (this is her normal around the house “outfit”) doing a booty shake for me. She is very good at her booty shakes. When she was satisfied that I had seen her she looked up at me, winked while clicking her mouth and ran out the door. HA!!!! I love being a mom. With all of the frustration and need for patience come moments of sheer joy and laughter that far outweigh those long days. Or at least they do so far…..but I only have two….and no teenagers. We will see 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

8 Months Old Today

We have had Johnny in our arms for almost two months and today he is 8 months old. It was quite the journey to get to this place and we are so glad to have him home. In proper blog fasion, I thought I would post eight things I love about John:

  1. His grin. Johnny has a grin. Not a smile but a grin. A grin that will allow him to get pretty much whatever he wants later in life. He is just too cute. If he catches your eye and you smile, you almost always get a grin in return.
  2. His curiosity. This guy grabs everything in sight. He is already getting up on his hands and knees and rocking back and forth. He can go from his tummy to sitting and roll all over the room. Once he learns how to move forward, watch out world.
  3. His desire to eat anything and everything. This is a trait that will serve him well in our family. We all love to eat (except for Emma who is the typical picky two year old). It has been fun to watch him chow down on everything we put in front of him.
  4. His hair. You have all seen the pictures. For those of you that haven't met him not only is it adorable, but it is so soft. It is a shame he is a boy. Isn't that the way it is? The boys get the beautiful hair even though most of them keep it short??
  5. His ability to trust. He has been through so much in his short life. So many different caretakers. Yet he was able to let us love him and loved us back almost instantly. Every day we see him open up just a little bit more and get more and more comfortable in our home. If only we could all trust as quickly as these children can.
  6. His beautiful skin. I think that baby feet are pretty much the cutest part of a baby. Not only does he have baby feet, but they are such a beautiful brown color and the bottom of his feet are pink, complimenting that brown on the top. I love it!
  7. His chubby thighs. None of us can help but give playful squeezes when he is stripped down for his bath.
  8. His laugh. Getting a laugh out of Johnny is not a difficult task. He loves being thrown up in the air or carried upside down and he will giggle almost every time. It is a low in the gut belly giggle. We think he may be a bit of a clown with his grin and giggle.

The more we get to know this precious baby boy, the more we find to love about him. Happy 8 month birthday my son!