This week has been pretty uneventful, except that the kids are beginning to play really well together. There are three children that are basically within a two year age span, so it isn't glorious all of the time, but we celebrate when it is!
On Tuesday morning we were all playing around the apartment. It was a bright sunny day with a few puffy white clouds and the bluest sky you could imagine. We were delaying our home school session for a while because the children were being adorable and playing so well - and then we heard a deafening BOOM! The kids flipped out, and Alex, trembling, wanted to be held for a long time. Though it was startling, my dad had fortunately told us the previous week that he had read about a building that was to be imploded. Once we realized we were not being bombed, we went to our balcony to investigate. We could see the dust cloud billowing from less than a quarter of a mile away, and everybody in our neighborhood was standing on their roofs and cheering.
That afternoon, Brent went to the grocery store while I stayed home with the children. We have decided that going as a family is entirely too much torture, and Brent is so kind and willing to go. While he was gone, I tidied up the apartment and got it ready for a showing. It is for sell, and it is interesting being in an apartment with three children while people are walking around and scoping things out.
Brent returned around 5 and we quickly unloaded groceries and hopped back in the taxi to head to Santafe, an upscale mall a few miles from our apartment. We walked around for a while, then decided to eat at a restaurant called the California Burrito Company. Once we walked in, a young guy in perfect English asked us, "What can I get for ya?" Brent and I stood there while our jaws hit the floor. An American! We talked to him way more than we should have, but it was so nice to converse in English. The restaurant was similar to a Moe's, but everything was made fresh and was a little trendier. The fellow we met worked for the corporate office folks and went to store openings in Spanish speaking countries.
After dinner we took the kids to a play area on the top floor of the mall. They played so hard and were tons of fun to watch. All three kids had tried to go to the bathroom before the play time, but Alex's fear of automatically flushing toilets prevented her from having success. Not too long after the kids began playing, I noticed Alex's pants were drenched. Thus, we had to leave the "Happy Place" earlier than intended and took a taxi home.
Yesterday we didn't do much, but because the kids were playing so preciously together, we decided to do less school and more play. Sometimes they close the door to their bedrooms, and we know they are doing things we don't condone - like jumping on the beds, body slamming each other, etc - but we act ignorant if it means they are all playing and getting along. Maybe we shouldn't, but at this point our sanity and their ability to play well together is of vast important.
We invited our translator, Cristina, and her husband, Ruben, over for supper. We had crackers and cheese for an appetizer, Mexican chicken chili over rice with arepas for our main course, and store bought chocolate cake for dessert. I accidentally added a can of jalapenos instead of green chilis, so it was quite spicy. It was fun having them over, and it made me miss having people over for dinners at home. Nearly weekly we take turns with our best friends, Kelli and Matthew Morgan, and have each other's families over for supper. It is always fun because the kids play, we get some adult time, and there is good food involved. They live a few houses down from us, which makes these meals convenient. We can't wait to get back in the swing of that once back in Alabama.
Two awesome days in a row meant that today was tough. It truly seemed like we were all sick of being inside. School didn't go very well, until I realized that Samuel excels when he isn't sitting with his sisters. He gets distracted by Alex's constant jabber - and when I saw constant, I truly mean constant. Whatever comes to her head, comes out her mouth. He also seems jealous when Lilly Grace is able to do easily what he is trying so hard to do. Once the girls went off to play, he was able to attempt to write and recognize numbers 1-4, and successfully wrote upper and lower case A, E, I, and U. Alex is recognizing more of her shapes, and Lilly Grace sounded out and wrote "zebra" today.
Today seemed like battle after battle over the most ridiculous things, and Brent and I decided we had to get out of the apartment. We bathed the kids, dressed them up, and headed to Parque Lleras. It was just what we five needed, despite the moronic taxi driver. We walked around in the fresh air among all the trendy shops and swanky restaurants, and finally landed on a nice restaurant for the evening. The meal was relaxed, and took well over an hour and half, during which the kids were amazing! The children had chicken and cheese quesadillas and meat balls, and Brent and I had the special that included three courses. My appetizer was the best part of my meal - homemade cream of tomato soup. Brent really enjoyed his as well, and the ambiance was excellent, only made better by chipper, fun, happy, well-behaved children.
After dinner, we went to a road-side vendor to purchase some jewelry for the kids. They all picked out bracelets, as did Brent, and I chose a necklace. The kind guy basically had to remake the girls' to make them small enough for their wrists. He spent tons of time and was very nice. We got a picture of him and Lilly Grace together, to which she responded, "I have never been with someone I have never met before!" Her wording was sheer innocence, but Brent and I laughed uncontrollably. After a round of high fives and fist bumps from the jeweler to the kids, we hopped on a taxi to come home. Tonight more than made up for the difficulties of the day.
Tomorrow, as opposed to today like we originally thought, marks the beginning of our 1-10 day period that the judge has to grant the adoption decree. We are also meeting with our attorney to go over the next steps. She is under the impression that we should have the decree by next week, but we don't want to get our hopes too high. We are praying for things to go quickly, and would love for you to join us as we pray. We are ready to pack our bags and head to Bogota.