Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What we've been doing.....

It's been a very busy summer. Here is a list of a few of the highlights of the last month. (Wow, has it really been over a month since I last logged onto this blog?  What a slacker I am!)

-Simeon has been with my parents and their church youth group in Mexico for the last several weeks. As I type, they are traveling through the rainforests of the Yucatan Peninsula, setting up tents and camping each night. Today they explored ancient Mayan ruins after waking up to the sound of howler monkeys in the jungle. I think it's safe to say it will be an unforgettable summer. I hope he is taking pictures like I instructed him to!

-Hope and Zoya spent a week and a half in New Mexico with their Aunt Janell and Uncle Ken. They played school with Aunt Janell, who is a kindergarten teacher, and swam every day. They had so much fun they didn't want to come home.

-Jude went on a weekend camping/rafting/fishing trip with John. They brought back lots of fish, which I plan to cook up for dinner tomorrow night. Anyone have a good trout recipe?

-Liesel didn't get to do anything too exciting (her big trip was to Ukraine last summer), but we did have a couple of fun girls nights here at the house while the guys were gone, and after the little ones had gone to bed. (She is a lot of fun and I enjoy hanging out with her.)

-I turned 40. My sweet sister Marlita planned a nice little girls night with our friends Marcie and Melissa. We had a great time staying up really late and laughing really hard. Girls' nights are the best therapy aren't they?

-We ripped out a portion of our kitchen and installed a new island with a sink and a bar area which seats up to 4 kids (yay!) coming soon.

-I transformed the black kitchen cabinets into cream colored ones, the bottom cabinets anyway. It really lightened things up a lot. One day a man at the library commented that he could tell I had been painting because the paint on my arms matched the paint in Joseph's hair. Yes, it was a very interesting project with Joseph around.

-We ripped up the remaining carpet in the house, on the stairs and in the upstairs bedrooms, and are working on refinishing the wood that was underneath. I am so pleased to have no carpet in my house. I don't think carpet was made for big families that live on a farm!

-John's niece, Camille, came for a weekend visit from Albuquerque, and introduced us to her boyfriend, Ben......We approve. They are perfect for each other.

-Joseph had ear tube surgery....Wish I would have thought to schedule it in the winter when we didn't have to keep him out of the swimming pool!

-Joseph is POTTY TRAINED....Woo hoo! Huge accomplishment!

-Zoya had a GI scope, which was normal, and is scheduled for a swallow study and echocardiogram. We hope to find some indication of what is causing her to have difficulty swallowing.

-I've been spending some time researching and organizing and planning our next school year. We are enrolled back in Classical Conversations and are looking forward to a fun year with our friends.

-And, as always, we are staying busy with therapy, summer school (Ava), swimming, and of course doctor's appointments...

We've had a few weird challenges this summer. Challenges like ponies escaping the fence and pooping on our porch.... Luke the dog eating the chickens, down to the last one.  Zoya continually unplugging her tube feeding tube in the middle of the night, using the bathroom, and then not knowing how to plug herself back in, leaking Pediasure all over the bed and floor.

Those kinds of challenges.

One of the weird challenges is a scab on Ava's head that will not go away. Every morning Joseph and Ava wake up at the crack of dawn and start picking at each other's scabs. Seriously, this scab on her head is huge now, I can't keep any kind of bandaid on it, and it will not heal. I don't know what to do with it! I started cracking up at a conversation John and I were having the other day. In problem solving he was contemplating building a wall in their bedroom to separate them. A wall. With boards and sheet rock and paint. All because of a scab.

I really didn't want to add another house project, so we settled for a $200 camera in their room instead. It should arrive by UPS soon. Hopefully from now on we'll be able to catch them before they start picking at each other and taking their diapers off. I think it was $200 well spent. Should I post some of the videos of them on here? hehe.

Tonight after dinner I told everyone I would happily do all their kitchen jobs tonight, if they will put the little ones to the tube feedings and the diapers and the dressing changes and the potty time and teeth....and wash all of the little chubby hands, and hang all of the little clean clothes up in the closets.  I have been so exhausted having all these little tornadoes home all day, battling the little fingers that are constantly reaching and grabbing everything in sight, leaving messes everywhere they go. Not a day goes by lately that I don't look at my calendar and count down the days until school starts again. ha.

John said that Reece's Rainbow needs to have a "Reality Page" on their website for all their prospective adoptive parents, including a picture of me with my hair in a messy ponytail, bags under my eyes, and wearing my favorite Buddy Walk t-shirt. ha. Maybe I should post a link to the hidden camera video in Joseph and Ava's room too. :)


ErinL said...

You crack me up! I'd love to spend a day in your house!

Anonymous said...

I am glad you posted it has been far too long. I love the stories. I love your family.


Cammie Heflin said...

Been missing you guys! Glad to hear all that is going on! We still want to come for a quick visit before I go back to work!!! Let me know what works!

debi said...

Oh how I have missed you and your wonderful family. Your home sounds like a happy place. I recall the years when all mine were small. Looking forward to a bit of quiet time and then how the house felt dead when they were all gone. Now with all the grandkids here much of the time my house is back to it's old self. Thank you for taking the time to share with us.

Justine said...

I cannot even tell you how much I love this post. I have too many comments and not enough time.

Alice said...

Our favorite trout recipe:

Place trout, skin side down on the broiler pan. Brush with butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. This cooks really quickly, so just keep an eye on it. When the fish is opaque, it is cooked. While the fish is cooking, I brown sliced almonds in melted butter. Pour it over the broiled fish and serve. :)

the pastor said...

Happy birthday! You're just a young pup!

marriage counseling said...

I found many interesting things, especially in your blog discussions. You can use a small transformation of the blog layout though, but the overall design is very good.

Molly said...

First, I love ya. Second, you have 7 kids...I have 4 and often wonder how we would handle more (we are done btw). Third, your blogs crack me up. Haven't been able to read in a while...I've missed ya!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Charissa, for taking the time to post this update. It's amazing. Never a dull moment at the Urban house.
I've missed you and the family.
Wow, you have had an interesting and challenging summer. I think that camera is an awesome idea in the kids' room. I can't wait to see the kitchen photos. Sounds like YOU did the cabinet painting yourself. yea!! Boy, bet that was a challenge with kids around. Is John tearing out the carpet and finishing the floors? He's a 'jack of all trades' isn't he? Carpenter, electrician, painter, programmer, husband, father, is only a few of his qualities. Pretty amazing.
Waiting for the next blog!
Love, Aunt Sharon

Wendy said...

Hi there,
I have so enjoyed reading your blog. I too am an adoptive mom so I can relate to the "reality" of life as it happens when you get home with that sweet little child.
My husband and I are in the process of adopting 2 children from Reece' Rainbow. Our daughter is 4 and has a cleft palate so I have many concerns about making sure we get her the proper medical care when we get her home. Your family stories are awsome and I loved all the pics! You can see our children at: