Sunday, February 21, 2010

Too Tired

I want to blog, but my heart and brain aren't in it tonight. It was an unexpectedly lllooooonnnggg weekend....lots of ups and downs today (Sunday). I promise to blog sometime tomorrow. We begin homeschooling the girls tomorrow, I am utterly not prepared with a single thing and am disappointed in myself on many levels about all of this. Somehow we'll muddle through I guess. A little nervous about Angela's attitude with me tomorrow...will she be dismissive and inattentive? Will she be engaged and work with me? Will Olesya settle down a little from her bouncing back and forth around the house? Will I be able to figure out a path that makes sense?

Man, I wish I had a better brain sometimes...tonight is one of them. Not enough brain cells to handle it all.

Will recap the weekend tomorrow for you all. Thanks for caring and being there, your comments are read and reread as I look for insight that might work for us!


Anonymous said...

Cindy --

It's OK -- NONE of us have enough brain cells to handle it all. Let's see... You've been home 1 week after being away over 2 months, are adapting to major family changes, your body is still adjusting to a time zone change of 11 hours, then you were away for two days, your 5 kids and husband are also adjusting to all of the above.... Have I forgotten any other major life-changing events going on right now? I would guess that your brain and body are on overload right now -- anybody would be.

Here's one of my personal mottos: You can only do what you can do.

It's completely OK if not everything is accomplished that you need to do (would you please e-mail that last sentence back to me about once a week -- I need to remember it too!)

We're all limited in what we can do -- sometimes baby steps end up with the most progress overall. (kind of like shoveling out our driveway -- if we don't have the physical strength to do it all at once, we can do a little bit every day and eventually we won't be hauling groceries up to the house on the kids' sled!)

May you rest in His strength this day,

Love and prayers,


Anonymous said...

You left out lack of sleep, a day and a half of classes on a VERY dry subject, being stuck at a hotel on a mountain pass because of snow, dawn drive to get home and to church, restraurant brunch with friends, Russian music concert, and God knows what else once you finally got home. It's not lack of brain cells. You have an abundance of those. It is lack of sleep and an abundance of anticipation/anxiety. You're still in my prayers--now as much or more than ever. Treat yourself with as much or more love than the children. Your cup needs filling so that you continue to have a supply to pour out to them.


Barbara said...

You are a wonderful person and you will find that inner strength. You will do what you need to do and you are all still adjusting to each other and to coming back home from being gone for so long. Take it slow, it will come together when it is suppose to and like it is suppose to.

My thoughts and prayers are will you all.


Kim Adams said...

My goodness, give yourself some slack :) You've been home less than a week! Wishing you some much needed rest....

minime0910 said...

Cindy ~ I have been meaning to post a big "congrats on getting home" message to you but I have been having trouble getting on blogger here in Kaz (I am bonding with my daughter). Anyway, it's sounds like there have been some ups and downs, but I have been following your journey for long enough now that I know Team LaJoy will persevere and everything will be amazing. Enjoy those wonderful kids and get some much-deserved rest. ~Erin

Carol said...

Like others have commented, it is not at all surprising that you are at "overload" right now... who wouldn't be? Give yourself time... and rest. Hope things get better soon.

Lindsay said...

Don't be so critical of yourself. You have just gone thru the most intensive couple of months of your life and so has everyone else in your family.
Take a step back and draw in a long, deep breath. Think what you would advise someone else in your shoes just now. Would it be to drive forward regardless, or would it be to slow down, take care of yourself and give yourself permission to adjust and recoup your mental and physical energy.
Try to remember too that Angela's attitude isn't about *you* no matter how personal it feels. Her behaviour is communicating something about her; her fears and insecurities. The only constant role/identity she has had in life so far was that of protector of Olesya. There was no security in her role as daughter in that first, dysfunctional family. In fact the role of daughter was probably terrifying. There was no security in her role as athletic star or in her group position in the orphanage: these positions can always be usurped and she would have to be constantly vigilant to maintain them. The only thing that never changed until now was her role in her sister's life: of necessity a role of protector and 'mother.' Now she is losing that. By dismissing or ignoring you she is trying to prevent that loss because that is all she knows who to be. Who wouldn't resist 'annhilation'? She doesn't yet have a new, secure identity in the family to replace it with and doesn't know how to establish it yet. She needs and fears the same thing: emotional connection to her family.
From what you've also said about her past, Angela has fewer reasons than anyone to consider 'mother' someone worth listening too. It's not fair on you, but it certainly must be part of her 'baggage'. You know you are doing the hardest job just now in setting the clear home rules, boundaries and expectations and showing her love even in the face of her rebuttals. You are allowed to feel rejected and sad and tired. Cry, rage, have a lovely, long hot bath. Take care of yourself too.
Cut yourself some slack - you wouldn't expect any of your kids to be 100% at their best all the time; especially with everything you have just experienced together. You too are human. If you need a day or five more to recover and rest then take it. You are on no-one's schedule but your own. Your girls are learning every day anyway: whether you have formally started the "new term" with them or not.
You will not be failing your girls in any way if the beginning of their home school experience is less than the perfection you hoped for. You will still be doing more for them than has ever happened before. You will be giving them an education that demands they think and reason rather than learn by rote, which is certainly what they will have had previously. Than in itself will be a massive change from the style they are used to. (It can also make it hard for children to continue to experience their previous success, so try to blend the two styles as they adapt to allow success to still be achievable). You will also be giving them far more individual attention in their learning than they will have had before. No matter what you do in these first days, you will be helping them in so many ways.
Your instinct has always been spot on with what all of your kids have needed in the past in their education and it will not fail you now. It may take longer because your girls are not so familiar with you, anymore than your are familiar with them. Use the homeschooling as a way of getting to know one another. All you need to plan for in the beginnings are letting them have small and immediate successes and getting to understand the new routine and rules. Matthew will, I'm sure, continue to be an excellent role model for his sisters.
And make sure when you take your scheduled recess during your school day, that you have a break - physical and mental - from the role of teacher.
Prayers for you all.

Anonymous said...

You have some great advice here, Cindy. Surely hope you will take it. Most of us moms do tend to be way too hard on ourselves. No one knows your family like you do, no one knows right now what is needed for you to continue the bonding process. So there's no one who could rightly judge you for what you are or are not accomplishing. I think mostly what you all need is some down time, simple family times. In the grand scheme of things, what would another few weeks of relaxing with your children cost? Certainly not that much in terms of learning. Plus, as others suggest, you'll all be learning a ton...about each other, the girls' new culture, the dynamics of your family now that you are home.

I agree. Sit back and enjoy just being home and remembering what a miracle has just occurred in your family's history. Wow. Talk about major life changes for all!

I'm not sure how homeschooling works in CO, so I don't know what is expected of you right now. But I would think, as in our state, there are a madatory number of days that must be "accounted for" as school days. You can always make up for those later on, this summer. Plus, if anyone would ever question whether or not or what your kids have been learning these past months, print out your blog. You've done some amazing things and seen some wonderful sights. Now THAT is the "mother of all field trips!" Sounds like extra credit to me.

I think if the girls will do it, let them write, write, write in their own language. Our daughters have never been to enthused about that, but what a treasure, to look back on what they were thinking and feeling during this time... even if one day they have to have it translated because they lose their first language. Illustrations of the places you visited, or making a scrapbook with your photos...all wonderful ways to get them writing and thinking and processing it all... no matter which language. Just take the time to enjoy reliving the high points of your time together, and laugh (or cry)and make new memories as you do.

Another idea that our daughter's teacher did in her classroom:
write out labels on index cards, for everything! She posted these all around the room to teach our daughter new words. That could certainly count for learning language and could be fun for all. Have a race to see who can touch the correct object, as you hold up the labels later on. The girls can keep a notebook of new words, make their own picture dictionary, as they learn words. Sentences could go in another section or be written/copied on the page. Put the words in a bowl and each one draw out a word to make a sentence with, written or spoken. The girls will need help, of course, but they'll certainly be learning along the way.

There are tons of things you can do, as you sit on the couch, watching them do all the work!

Sorry...on a roll, which is easier for me to be than you right now.

Nancy in the Midwest

Corinne said...

I do not have any great insight but, I think you are an incredible mother doing an incredible job!! Even in normal cicumstances moms just get tired with all that comes with being a Mom.Often a simple prayer to keep going helps so much. My favorite quote states that Todays trials and challenges are tommorows testimony.You are such a great inspiration to many moms I am sure.

Anonymous said...


Still praying for all of you. Yes, yes - as everyone else has mentioned - do give yourself a chance to unwind. As for homeschooling - there's such freedom in it. I would guess that the most important thing right now as far as learning goes for Angela and Oleysia is language acquisition. The index card idea is great. Have them make their own flash cards - a word written in English with a picture on the other side of what it is. Your boys can help them with that and even quiz them.

Also, and some might disagree a bit - remember your television. PBS has learning based shows on all day long. So do some of the other channels. I'm not saying have them watch TV all day long, but to have them watch some educational shows - even if they're geared toward a younger audience? Why not?

Most of all, remember rule number one in attachment parenting: Take care of you so that you have the strength to take care of them.

-SusanC in CO

Christina said...

love you lots, tv is great.. put on the closed captioning...once they recognize some words, it will be too hard to stop looking at the words on the tv as they watch :)

Kikilia said...

I'm just curious- how do you pronounce Olesya?

Anonymous said...

Wow -- so many good ideas in the comment section!

Although I'm not a fan of TV, that suggestion brought back a memory -- a friend of mine as an adult emigrated here from Poland, and learned English by watching Sesame Street.

Peggy in Virginia

Lori said...

My words wouldn't even do justice to the wonderful ones already said, so just know I am praying for you!!!!

Anonymous said...

Play Games!

Tammy said...

Easy girl - this is not about brain cells, it's about everything that has already been written here. Take this week and pick 2 or 3 things that are priorities. Then save the rest for next week and leave your guilt in last week. What is the most important thing these girls need to learn? Family. That is priority number one. Everything else is just gravy.