Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Hardest Parts

Overall it's still going well, but there are definitely challenges! The hardest things right now are:
  • Raizel does *not* want to fall asleep by herself. I've been lying down with her each night (on our bed) until she falls asleep. Usually this takes 10 to 15 minutes, but tonight it took 90 minutes!! After 40 minutes I did get up to find a book to read, but I had a howling girl on the bed while I did that. While I was in the bathroom getting the book, I did do a mommy dance (you know, the kind where you have an absolute jumping up and down 3-year-old style of fit, then come back out hopefully more composed...). I came back to bed with an extremely reproachful-looking girl. I felt like a bed prisoner. Fortunately, this is the first time it's taken this long. (NOTE: responding to their every need like this is not our usual style of parenting, but it IS vital when working with an adopted child to create a secure attachment. There are many things I've learned that are not "normal" parenting in my book (and are exhausting to boot), but they are necessary at this stage and I can understand the reasons, even while I'm doing my mommy dances. Did I say danceS? :) )
  • Avi doesn't much care for being put down much. He's been much clingier this week than before. I suspect his giardia is giving him some tummy trouble, and he's working on a whole bunch of teeth right now.
  • My arms are T-I-R-E-D!
  • Tonight we figured out that Eli is likely suffering a bout of pneumonia. We'll take him to the doctor tomorrow to find out for sure. He's been coughing all night and in the morning he spends 30 minutes "making pancakes," an Earlix euphemism for a not-very-pleasant bodily function, and the one I seem least able to clean up without falling victim myself!
So with Eli under the weather and wanting to be near us by sleeping on our floor, and with Amirah feeling lonely downstairs, and with the hope that very soon Raizel will be able to sleep in her own bed... I came up with a very out-of-the-box idea.

Our house has two bedrooms downstairs (plus living room, kitchen, bathroom, and dining area), and upstairs is a really pleasant master bedroom and family room. I had one of the downstairs bedrooms set up with a guest bed (queen), crib, and my (very squished) teaching area. The other bedroom had twin bed, toddler bed, twin bed, two nightstands, a chest of drawers, and a laundry bin. These bedrooms are *not* large. Well, we have COMPLETELY rearranged everything today.

The upstairs family room is now the kids' room. Sounds weird, but it's FANTASTIC. Half of it is their sleeping area (very roomy) and the other half will have all their books and toys (bli neder) by the end of the week.

This solves lots of things:
  • With 4 children ages 5 and under, it just feels better for everyone to have them closer to us (and will hopefully allow Raizel to make the leap to her own bed sooner). Eli doesn't have to sleep on the floor, but he can still call out in his feeble little voice and we'll be there in a second. Poor guy. :(
  • Most of their toys (and, um, mess) can be upstairs instead of downstairs and drifting into the kitchen; we can clean up here and there but we won't be tripping over things all the time
  • The living room downstairs looks a little more grownup and spacious and all of our (limited) nice furniture is in one room
  • The kids' old bedroom is now the den: computer, loveseat, and television. It's a great place to fold enormous quantities of laundry and it too feels quite spacious!
  • We're going to sell our "real" crib and just use the portacrib. That way, Avi can sleep in the music room or in the den. This also frees up the music room quite a bit.
  • The downstairs living room is long and narrow. We used to have it 1/2 living room and 1/2 play room (previous owners knocked out the walls of a 3rd bedroom downstairs when they put on the addition upstairs). Now it's 1/2 living room and will be 1/2 learning area (for "home" schooling - a misnomer since I don't know any homeschoolers who just hole up at home!).
  • More money to pay for some of the adoption expenses - we can sell the nice crib and the pretty large entertainment center!
Neither of us has come up with any negatives about this arrangement. Some people might worry about noise, but in our house everyone but me goes to bed at the same time. And besides that, our kids can sleep through vacuum cleaners so I don't really need to tiptoe or anything. Outside-the-box thinking, but I think it will work really, really well for us while the kids are so little.

I'll post pictures as soon as we have the space squared away. Amirah and Eli LOVE the new arrangement, and Raizel actually spent some time snuggling on her bed this afternoon. Here's hoping... B'shaah tovah. In it's own time.

1 comment:

Jesi and Joe said...

Wow, what a lot of rearranging! Sounds super cool though! I love the idea of a big kids room! Thanks for the post, it's always good to hear others are having the same mommy dances and struggles we are! You have your hands full and are doing such an incredible job juggling it all! I admire you! Post more pictures of your beautiful family too when you can! (Like you have so much time to be posting pictures!)