Saturday, July 23, 2011

We've added to our number!

Our sweet little girl was born in the afternoon on June 8th.

This also happened to be the 6 month anniversary of the day that we received Canaan and Eden into our family FOREVER! I'm afraid the celebration was rather different than I expected, but we'll make up for it on December 8th!

Now, we are a family of 8. I've always loved the number 8...I'm not sure why----it's just always been my favorite. I like even numbers--there's no odd-man-out, and, well, it's just nice and round!

Apparently eight really is enough...and, judging from the stares we get in public, we are a true spectacle, at least in Southwest Oklahoma.

I have yet to try Walmart with everyone, by myself. I know, I'm a sissy. But I'm not raring to go out this time around like I was with the first three. I think I have a deeper desire for my housework to be tackled than to satisfy my need to get out of the house (on the other hand, the main factor could be the AMOUNT of housework I now have). Also, the thought of trying to navigate WalMart with 6 kiddos and then squeezing all that our family needs to get through the weeks between WalMart trips into one cart, seems rather daunting to me at the moment. I'll get there, I just need some time.

Time is something I run out of very quickly these days...almost as quickly as I go through detergent. There never seems to be enough of it. I always go to bed with things left undone----this is something new for me. Not that I was always on top of things before...I've never had very high standards...but even with my relatively low standards for the state of our home, I go to bed with things left undone. Right now I'm struggling under the 150 boxes that landed on our home 2 weeks ago (oh my, has it really been 2 weeks??). The boxes held our memories, our valuables, our mundane, and our trash----sorting it all out is taking a lot longer than I thought it would.

It's weird, but I find myself correlating our transition moving back to the States with how it felt to move to Italy. They are surprisingly similar:

I'm learning new ways to cook.
Cooking for 5 children means cooking normal cases adding two children under 4 wouldn't mean adding two adult sized portions...but we are talking about Canaan and Eden a.k.a. 'the little vacuums'. During our time in Italy I felt like I really grew in my abilities in the kitchen having to learn to make MANY things from, the ingredients are different...FLOUR is even a different consistency, and I have to rework all of my staple meals into 'American.' Plus, making things from scratch is cheaper than most ready-made options that I used before moving overseas and learning to fend for I'm still trying to pinch pennies and make good, easy meals at the same time. This is one country where 'eat like the locals' is NOT the way to save money in the kitchen.

I'm figuring out how to get from here to there.
Traveling in a car with every seat taken by a carseat, getting the kids to learn the order in which they should load and unload so as to avoid Stooge-like jam-ups inside and outside the car, driving a boat compared to other cars----all these things trigger a need for a new strategy and are not unlike our transition to driving in Italy...also, packing to board the metro is not unlike packing for a trip to WalMart, or worse, to a store with no shopping cart to hold kiddos like Penneys or a *gasp* furniture store...

I'm learning a new language and watching my kids do the same.
The language of my english-learning kids, the langage of southwest oklahoma slang, and even the language of pop culture has changed in this transition.

I'm still watching my children for signs of cultural stress.
They are adjusting well, but I still need to be vigilant to protect them from our tendency to do too much too soon.

I'm figuring out how to arrange our home out of nothing.
I never thought I'd say this, but I miss having IKEA nearby...their space saving options were so helpful...and while our home here is considerably larger than our apartment in Rome, we are still attempting to squeeze 3 children in each bedroom...I miss IKEA.

We are battling new illnesses, encountering new germs.
Ringworm, how we hate you.

I have to figure out how to clean the floors again.
In Italy it was learning to sweep and mop marble floors efficiently---- in Oklahoma my mopping skills come in handy, but there's also a ton of vacuuming...carpet care is TERRIBLE. Carpet is nice on tootsies in the cold winter compared to marble, but I find myself dreaming of a happy medium, like wood.

I run out of things I never ran out of before...
in Italy it was baking powder and baking soda---- in America, it's laundry detergent, toothpaste, and shampoo.

Life is a hodgepodge at the moment--a big, beautiful mess. We are so thankful for the way the Lord is providing here in America. He has been so very faithful. We cling to Him with every new 'hard'.