Friday, May 30, 2008

Pictures from this week

Here are a few pictures from the last few days. I also took off Wednesday and Friday this week, to spend some time with the girls. We mostly just doodled around - shopped a little and played a lot.

I showed them how to jog the Buzz Lightyear bubble maker to make really big bubbles, and now that's all Mia Ruth is interested in - the little bubbles are boring!

Another Friday at the park...

It was so hot, we had to dig out the Slip N Slide. Sorry some are blurry, but I had to take them as they were zipping by.

I can't seem to get any good photos of Mia Ruth --- this child will hardly even look at the camera anymore...

...but this one still will! Yay!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day pics

We spent the afternoon at my parents' house today. We ate, and then the girls had some fun playing in the wading pool. Ruth discovered Claire's old Barbie 3-wheeler, and rode it around the patio a little. Here are a few pictures from the day.

I hope everyone had a fun and relaxing holiday, too!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A little more control, please . . .

We learned today that Mia Ruth's episodes of "shutting down" emotionally are probably brought on by a feeling of being out of control. Though the situations that have triggered this seemed to us to be so varied, after we talked about it we realized that they did indeed have one thing - loss of control - in common --- from being told she can't wear those clips because they don't match her outfit, to being told she has to eat her veggies, to Claire buckling her seatbelt for her. So we're going to try to give her more choices. It seemed to work today. We had a couple of close calls, where she started to go down, but she pulled back out when she was given a choice - even a small one. This is going to be hard for me, because I'm quite the controlling person. Please pray for us.

Here are some pics of Mia Ruth helping water some flowers I just planted this evening. She is really a good helper. She gathered up all of the little plastic pots as I tossed them into the yard --- and we practiced a lot of "Gracias --- De Nada"s and "Thank you --- You're welcome"s while we were at it. She was so excited to get to water.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A few lazy days

We're slowly adjusting to being home and being 4. We haven't done much. Larry went back to work the day after we got home, and is totally swamped, overwhelmed and exhausted. I've stayed home with the girls, puttering around, letting Ruth get adjusted, and I'm totally exhausted. We've had some ups and downs. She still goes into the blue funk when we tell her no, if I spend time with Claire, if Claire plays with one of her toys, and sometimes just out of the blue. Claire is having a hard time adjusting to Ruth's moodiness, and is bucking me on my ideas of how to deal with it. But today was a good day and she only had a few minor episodes. Bedtime is tough, and she cries and moans until she falls asleep. I have to lie down by her and hold her hand. Tonight our big cat came and lay down on my chest, purring like crazy and wanting some pets, and that seemed to comfort her a little.

We've been to my office so everyone could see her, and to the bank (blue funk because I'd only let her have one sucker). We went to Kohl's to get some pants that fit her, and she cried when I made her leave one of her armload of toys in the car. I really think that with each stop we make, she thinks she may never come back.

Today we went to the grocery store and she was pointing and telling me to look at everything - just total fascination!

Here are a whole bunch of pictures from the last 3 days.

My beautiful girl . . . she seems so big now, I forget that she's just a little girl, too . . .

For the first days at the hotel, she let us take her picture, but no more :-( --- She runs away or ducks behind something. Here she is hiding under the desk to escape the camera.

Trying to hide behind this monkey.

This morning we just lazied around, and made a few bubbles out on the deck in our pajamas.

Then we went to the park. I don't think she had ever been to a park before. I think she could have swung all day.

This one's a little blurry, but I love the contrast - one child so tiny and content to swing gently back and forth --- the other so robust and giving that tire swing what for.

The sandbox was especially fascinating to her, too. Probably the first time she'd seen one. Who knows.

Flying Home

Visa pick-up day was Monday the 19th. We planned to all go, and have our taxi driver take us afterwards to a marketplace to pick up some souvenirs. It had been cloudy the entire time we had been there, but hardly a drop of rain. A few minutes before time to leave for the embassy a huge thunderstorm hit, so I decided not to go. Luckily we had asked our taxi to be there 45 minutes early, even though it only took about 15 minutes to get across the city from our hotel to the embassy. Trees were down, razor wire blown here and there, traffic signals were out, and there was 6 inches of water on the roads in places. Larry said the ride was unbelievable. He was about 20 minutes late, but luckily they had not started calling names yet. Meanwhile I was back at the hotel with Ruth, wondering where on earth he was. What a relief when he finally got back!

I ended up hitting the little lobby tobacco & gift shop for some souvenirs, paying probably double what I would have at the market - oh well.

Here's Ruth taking a little siesta while he was gone. So peaceful --- but she didn't wake up that way --- she had another "episode" - what we've come to call her "blue funk". She gets very sad, slumps over or goes limp, and cries or moans hysterically.

On the flight from Guatemala City to Atlanta, she did not want to wear a seat belt. When we insisted, she cried loudly for awhile, and then settled into another blue funk. Here are a couple of pictures of her after we got to take our seat belts off.

She was like that until they passed out the food, and then just fine for the rest of the flight...
Here's a picture of her chatting with the nice lady in front of us who spoke Spanish. She was able to explain to Ruth how when the light is on, we have to wear our seat belts.

Our flight from Atlanta home was delayed by a thunderstorm, and we sat in that little plane for 2 hours waiting our turn to take off. She was as happy and cheerful as could be - even wore her seat belt the whole time! We got in around 10:30 that night.

Monday, May 19, 2008

One more day!

We are so ready to go home! I'm sure Ruth thinks this is our house, and she's joined the most boring family in the world! We'll go pick up her visa this afternoon, and then we're going to ask our taxi driver to take us to a marketplace so we can pick up a few souvenirs. Tomorrow afternoon we fly out - yippee!

Here are a few pictures from yesterday and this morning.

Here's how Larry spent most of yesterday---
Someone told us to stick to cooked food in the food court, but being vegetarian, it limits us, so we've pretty much been eating at Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. Larry thought we were eating too much fatty food, and that we should try something light for supper Saturday night, so we got a yogurt fruit smoothie thing that was REALLY good --- but it did not agree with him. He was not a happy camper yesterday, but feels much better today.