Friday, August 22, 2014

Enjoying the last days of summer.

Helping Papa replace the doohickey thingamajig.
Testing out his first pair of waders.  With lots of room to grow.
A little writing practice.
Getting some help from Papa to retrieve his dive rings.
Watching the LL World Series.  This boy is always trying to get people to pitch to him.  I think we'll have a little leaguer next summer.
Mountain hikes and fall blueberry picking.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The stuff I've been waiting for.

Family bike rides.
It's like this kid was made for our family.
He loves, and I mean LOVES fishing!
Papa is teaching him how to cure eggs.
He caught his first fish dipnetting from a canoe.  I just love his excitement.
And he has become quite the hot rod on his bike.  He has learned the awesomeness of the skid stop.  Hopefully there is still some tread left on his tires by next summer.  He spends hours on his bike most days.
The last few weeks his behavior has improved so much.  The negative behaviors and tantruming are much less extreme and much further between.  I can't even remember the last really horrible day we've had.  I realized last week that I don't dread getting up and seeing him in the mornings anymore.  He is courageous and loving and has such a good heart.  

Life is good

My warrior, riding ahead to scare off the loose dogs on our bike ride today.  He does this every time we see these old dogs on the bike path.  I'm not too concerned about them, they look twice as old as he is, and always head for home when they see us coming.  But I think it's a good thing to nurture a protective nature in a boy.  
Our summer started off hard, almost unbearably so.  I constantly questioned my ability to be a good mother to this child.  He just seemed to need so much more than I could give him.

But time has passed and he hardly even seems like the same child.  The first two months I honestly didn't think I could do it.  But the last few weeks things have settled down so much.  In fact his negative behaviors seem to be about what any typical child would do.  

Even when he gets in trouble and has to go to his room for a timeout we haven't seen a real tantrum in several weeks.  He might cry loudly about it, but it doesn't last long.  He has gotten so much better at resetting himself.  And as his behavior has improved, my patience for his behaviors and my confidence as a parent has improved as well.

As I was saying, the summer started out rough, but it is ending wonderfully.  With days filled with bike rides, swinging, jumping, hitting baseballs, swimming and getting spoiled by grandparents:-). And weekends filled with fishing, boating, canoeing, gardening, and more bike rides .  Life is good right now.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

First fish!

This guy reeled in his first Alaskan Salmon last weekend.  He was SO excited!
And proud:-). He carried it through the campground himself and got lots of compliments.  He was smiling a mile wide.
It was a long trip to get there and back.
The next day we went fishing closer to home.  The fish hadn't arrived yet but he got to learn some fly fishing technique.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Dipnetting and biking.

My sweetie and I were able to get away for some much needed alone time last weekend while Yarik got to hang with Babushka.  We went dipnetting in Kenai and Kasilof.  The fish weren't running very strong so we only came home with five.  It was wonderful to have some time together without kids though.  We've been married for one year two weeks ago:-). The prosecutor tried to use that against us in court in Ukraine.  Silly prosecutor.  Marriage to my sweetie is wonderful.  Parenthood is hard, but marriage is pretty darn easy so far.
That's my sweetie in the blue hoodie out there in the water.  I was taking a break to warm up.  Even with chest waders on it gets numbingly cold in that water.
Yarik was very impressed with the fish we brought home.  Will even let him help fillet them.  Next time we will bring him with us.  He will have a blast.

This is an older picture, but this kid loves to ride his bike.  So much so that he wore his training wheels out in a month. That stubbornness of his that keeps him tantruming for hours sometimes has also given him the determination to keep practicing and practicing on his bike.  He broke one of the training wheels the morning that we left for Kenai.  Dedushka (Grandpa) took the rest of the training wheel apparatus off while we were gone and we came home to our boy riding his bike without them:-)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

I almost forgot!

Brett has a family!!!  Aaaand his adoption costs have been raised:-D.
Here is his awesome family's blog.  They are traveling in just a couple of weeks!  I am so excited for him, he is such a special kid.  Thank you to everyone that helped make this possible with your shares and donations.


Yarik celebrated his first American Independence Day.  He has no idea yet that it's even a holiday.  Some things are just beyond explaining at this point.  But he enjoyed swimming in the creek and barbecuing at Grandma and Grandpa's and watching Papa set off firecrackers.  

We are seeing more and more progress with his behavior.  The busier I can keep him the less chance there is for negative behavior and tantrums.  But sometimes a Mama just needs to stop, and be still and quiet for a little while.  Unfortunately Yarik is not at the point where he understands that other people have needs too.  And so we struggle onward.  But as things improve it gives me hope that it will continue to improve even more.  

Yarik started swimming lessons this week.  And I had maybe my first occasion to be proud of my son.  He was scared, but having his very game nine year old cousin beside him helped bolster his courage and within minutes he was smiling.  He doesn't understand most of what the instructor says but he follows along with what the other kids are doing. During the second lesson the instructor had the kids put on life jackets, jump into the deep end, and float.  Now Yarik has worn a life jacket before, but he didn't understand that it would keep him from sinking.  He was so scared standing on the edge while the other kids jumped in.  With the instructors encouragement he crawled in.  And floated.  Slightly panicking, until his cousin swam over and grabbed onto him.  She pushed and pulled him around the deep end with the other kids.  From time to time he would call out "Mom!", and I would wave.  And I was a proud Mama.  He conquered his fear and learned to trust in the life jacket. I was also proud and thankful for his cousin.  It helps to have a familiar face along when you are doing something scary with a bunch of strangers.
No pool pictures yet but here are some pictures of creek fun on the fourth.  Also, one of our neighbors had a new baby;-). Isn't it cute? It's all leg.