Deconstructing Sleep

Kelly and Monica take a nap around 2:00 every day. They really don’t fight it. It’s siesta time and most of the population is drowsy after a big lunch.

Falling asleep at night is more of a battle. I thinking we’re 50/50 for full on meltdowns. Still, the stages of sleep are fascinating to observe.

The stages of sleep for Kelly: 1) She goes into bed with little effort. 2) Prayers. 3) She bugs Monica with her cute, chattering voice. Mami and Papi tell her to not talk. 4) She turns, tosses and kicks. 5) Eyes start to close. 6) Dead sleep. 7) Tiny twitches.

Two nights ago Mami left the room to check her email. We have a light outside our window that shines into the room. When Renee left she turned the hallway light off. The sudden darkness scared both the girls, but it completely terrified Kelly. She immediately started wailing and thrashing. It wasn’t until I put my face right next to hers that she calmed down. We now turn the light off after they fall asleep.

The stages of sleep for Monica: It varies. 1) She runs around every corner of the room trying to avoid getting in bed. 2) Papi picks her up and places her in bed. 3) Prayers. 4) Drink gobs of water. 5) Tells us she needs to pee one more time. 6) Pees a drop. 7) Leapfrogs over Mami and Papi’s bed to her own. 8) Talks to Kelly.

At this point she can go down 1 of 2 roads. Road number one (taken less often, thank God) is to get out of bed without asking for permission. This leads to a timein in the chair. This leads to a massive meltdown. Oh boy does this girl have some lungs! I gotta be honest, the first time this happened I felt totally unsure of myself…a big “OK, now what?”. Now we’ve done a pretty good job of shorting the meltdowns to around a minute. After calming down Monica always want to be picked up, hugged and cradled (what better way to end a temper tantrum?). She then usually goes into bed and closes her eyes. She doesn’t necessarily fall asleep right away (see point number 3 under Kelly), but it doesn’t take too long.

The second road she chooses is to close the eyes and just fall asleep. We really like it when this happens.

Once both girls are asleep, we’ve never had a problem. I did wake up this morning with Kelly’s head on my feet (not sure when that happened), but they’re deep sleepers. The mornings are the best. The climb into bed with Mami and Papi and just cuddle for 20 minutes or so. Eventually they starting giggling (Kelly) or bossing (Monica) and the morning starts!

All and all, it’s fun to see how we’re all learning from each other. You can definitely see the trust and comfort growing. I know it’s a process, but I never thought it would be so much fun. Sometimes I’m just so overwhelmed by how blessed we are to have gotten these girls.


Sisterly Help

I’ll try and get the previous movie (Sorta Tour) fixed. For some reason youtube isn’t liking it.


A Sorta Tour

Jeff’s been asking to see the “where” of our lives so Renee and I took some video of our daily walk. Be forewarned – it’s probably not the most exciting footage you’ll see! But if you’re interested in seeing what we see, take a look.

It’s a fun, bustling Latin American city.


The morning walks

We’re slowly exploring Neiva bit by bit.

Previous adoptive parents can attest, you spend a good amount of time figuring out how to spend time. We’ve been taking long walks in the mornings. Turn left out of the hotel and you eventually hit the main square. Turn right and you hit the river. Today we went right, then left, then left, then left and eventually ended up just slightly confused behind the main square! There was a flock of pigeons. Monica danced through them. It was very funny.

The walks are always interesting because of how the girls react. For example, Kelly LOVES policemen. She’s yell “Hola” and “Tchau” at everyone she sees. They love her too -waving (one even blew a kiss). Homeless people, on the other hand, freak her out. She’s also slightly mesmerized by them – always pointing them out to Mami and Papi and studying them. Monica doesn’t like mosquitoes. A mosquito can buzz by her and she starts itching her skin.

They both are constantly asking to be held by us. It’s not so much that they get tired. Rather, they just really love being in our arms. This is such a wonderful thing. When we come in from the pool they always want to Papi to just hug them close to keep warm (while Mami cleans up the other…I definitely get the better end of the deal).

The city reminds of most Latin American cities. Although here in Colombia there are way more motorcycles (the probably outnumber cars). Everyone rides them with bright orange vests. They also pile 3 to a bike with usually a little kid (and I mean little) sitting in the front. When Kelly was younger she got burns on her knees from a motorcycle. At first Renee and I thought “who in their right mind puts a little kid on a motorcycle!?” Apparently quite a few Colombians!

We took some good video of the city. I’m going to string them together and post them later tonight. Might help get an idea of our life here!


Jumping Rope

Monica is a pro with the rope. It’s also helping her with the numbers!