Monday, August 31, 2009


* We just returned from our First Family of Seven vacation. Our excursion, courtesy of the Mister's occupation, took us to a waterpark hotel in the Wisconsin Dells from Thursday through Saturday.

The Mister had to work a convention on Friday, and I am proud to announce that I survived taking FIVE children, two of whom speak little English, to a huge waterpark by myself and not a single one of them drowned. Whoohoo!

The kids had a blast. I have zero pictures of Miles and Hatfield in the park, because those two are Water Slide Zombies. You couldn't keep them off of those things. Miles is a maniac--the bigger, crazier and faster the slide, the more he loved it. Every half hour those two would come skipping towards us, hand in hand, to check in, and we'd send them back out. Off they would go skipping, hand in hand (but not running of course, because then the lifeguards would blow their whistles, which terrified poor Miles.)

* Being out in public for the first time with all 5 children, we had our first realization that many people are interested in us. Some will bluntly ask, like the waitress who said "Are some of your children adopted? Or not yours?" to the sweet little 9 year old black girl named Tracy from Chicago who first asked me, "Are those kids your kids' friends?" and then wanted to know, with genuine, child-like interest, all about the boys and adoption. She then shared all about her family and we became fast friends.

* Today is our First Day of Homeschool for the 2009-2010 school year. Having the boys come home, separately, this summer threw off our best-laid intentions of homeschooling year-round. So this year, we are going back to a traditional calendar.

We came home Saturday to find out that it was also Box Day. VERY LITTLE is more exciting than when we receive the huge boxes of our Sonlight ( curricula. Hatfield was giddy, and it was adorable.

* Tomorrow is the First Day of School for Paloma and Miles. We are sending them to our local public school system's K-4. It's 3 hours each afternoon, 4 days a week.
Shortly after Miles came home, I came to the realization that either the 3 little ones or the 2 big kids would have to be send to school. At these ages, I can't do it all. Always a huge advocate of preschool, but unable to afford Montessori for 3 children (because, gee, it would only be $12,600 for the 3 of them), we decided that K-4 would be our best option. Both boys need ESL services, and Miles especially needs speech therapy. Both services are done through the school system, and doesn't it make it handy that they will already be in school when it's time for their services.

* For the first time, I've finally accepted not having a working computer during the day and have realized that I get WAY MORE done without having an available internet. I actually like not having that annoying little "hmmm, just five little more minutes of blog surfing" tug that was always pulling at me. Once the boys came home, I realized how much more mental energy I had because I wasn't consumed with the adoption. The same goes for not having internet.

But the Mister brings home his trusty little laptop each night, so I can keep on blogging and checking in on y'all. The best of both worlds.

Happy schooling to all of you in your first weeks out there!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

These Small Hours

Slowly but surely, we've been chipping away at Keenan's protective shield. And slowly but surely, a smiley, silly (and sometimes sneaky) little boy is emerging.

We've reached a comfortable spot in our home for now, after a long weeking of adjusting pains and homeland grieving. The Mister returned to work on Tuesday (I think I caught him skipping on his way to his car that morning). Which has really helped ease the tension between the two of us. He comes home refreshed, eager to toss some kids up in the air, play Rescue Heroes (I'd rather put a spork in my eye than play R.H., if I'm honest) and whip up a kiddie bubble bath or two.

The first day wasn't too bad. After a morning of being tested and subsequent boundary establishing (which is so exhausting when you have to try and do that in a different language. Wow!), I realized by late afternoon that the day was actually going well.

For me, going from 4 children to 5 children has not been difficult. I actually prefer it because if a child is bored/upset/disgusted by their current playmate, there's always another willing playmate in the next room over. That's awesome.

Now, lest you think I'm bragging, going from 3 to 4 was awful. Awfully difficult, awfully draining, awfully what-the-hell-was-I-thinking. That has nothing to do with Miles. It's just purely numbers and group dynamics. Someone always seemed left out. It was like pulling a pin on a grenade and throwing it into our lives. It was rough.

Of course, 4 to 5 might be so easy because our lives were so disrupted to begin with. It wasn't like we were disrupting the routine we had for the past 4 years; we were simply throwing all the cards from the past 6 weeks. Fortunately, they landed in a neater pile this time around, and I'm enjoying the dynamics of it all. (for now, ha ha ha!)
Watching the children together can be delightful. The caveat being that they get along ;)

As difficult as times can be, there is something magical about these small hours when we watch our family take shape. Moments where the children connect and laugh; moments when a child goes to Manmi or Daddy for comfort for the first time. Even moments where one child becomes jealous that Daddy is carrying and loving on another child, so Daddy soon finds himself with 70 pounds of boy in his arms.

Watching these moments are a grand reminder of God's miracles and His plans for our future.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Breaking the Ice

I felt fairly confident going into Keenan's homecoming, because we just brought Miles home a mere 6 weeks ago. But the old adage "just when you think you know something, you realize you know nothing at all" has proven itself true once again.

Keenan is a sweet little boy who is NOTHING at all like Miles. So how I approached Miles is really useless when it comes to this little guy.

Our little man is a guarded soul. He says nothing to us. Nothing at all. Truthfully, after living with our jabberjaws Miles and Atticus, Keenan's quiet completely unnerves me. By Saturday afternoon I was nearly beside myself, but our dear sweet adoption-experienced Sara E. assured me that Keenan is just fine. Many children are quiet and speak very little when they come home. Language transition is overwhelming, and some kids just prefer to take everything in and then speak 4-8 weeks later. Keenan will likely fall into this group.

He's very animated with the kids in playtime. Keenan, Paloma and Atticus play beautifully together. He and Miles, not so much. Lots of typical brotherly bickering there, but I'll blog on that relationship later.

With Cliff and I, Keenan is very reserved. He'll nod or shake his head, and laugh and smile if we tickle or play. But other than that, nothing. He listens well and follows direction. If he is redirected or disciplined, he'll accept it and move on.

I can't tell if he's just an easy-going kid or quite detatched. Likely a bit of both. I sometimes get the feeling that he purposely tries to stay under our radar, maybe even in a sneaky way. Other times I feel that he's just guarded and wary. Either way, I'm still figuring out the best ways to handle him.

Keenan is grieving and he'll cling to me several times each day for about a half hour at the time. He'll curl up in my arms and fall limp. I rub his back and sing to him and coo sweet words in Kreyol.

I am exhausted. When exhausted, it is so easy to feel overwhelmed and when I feel overwhelmed it is very easy to over-analyze, which leads to being further overwhelmed. I took Keenan to the doctor today, and that little boy fought long and hard over having blood drawn. He and I both left feeling wiped out and dazed.

Right now, I'm just so tired that I don't know what the heck I'm doing. Very much like the first few weeks after a baby is born. I do remember feeling this way with Miles, and I know that in a few days, it will get better. So I'm just smiling and trying to have fun with all the kids. Figuring things out comes with time.

I don't mean to complain---what I mean to do is to be truthful so that other new adopting parents know that they are not alone! The first few weeks home are SO hard. So So So hard.

When you bring an older child home, it's all about rewriting roles. My role as a mother; the Mister's role as a parent; the children's roles as who they are in our home and in relation to one another. The Mister and I are given new parenting dilemas and we have to establish a new order of parenting. We question each other and our decisions, when neither of us are used to doing so because we had developed a system years ago. The Mister, who works largely for commission, worries about being out of the sales field, but then he worries about leaving me with 5 children. So right now we're both cranky and tired. If you and your spouse are tired and cranky with each other, know that you're not alone. This too shall pass.

But for right now, I just put the two little boys down for ti-kabisha. Hatfield is at a friends, the Mister took Atticus to a pool party, and Miss Po and I are going to settle in and watch Charlotte's Web.

I don't mean for this to be a real downer in tone; I hope it's not coming across that way. We are going through the usual family-developing process, and with that comes a lot of ups and downs. I just want other families out there to know that the first weeks are hard, but with each day, things get better.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Terra Firma

After an eventful and somewhat tumultuous day trip to and from Haiti, I'm happy to announce my boys are on the good ol' US of A's terra firma.

And as the Mister put it in his proud New Daddy "It's a Boy!" way: "We got ourselves a spunky one!" It's so cute to hear the love, pride and adoration in his voice.

For the record, to all of you husbands out there, calling your wife immediately upon re-entry into the US and stating "Your husband was in a car accident in Haiti" is not the best way to begin a conversation.

Her heart may blip and her blood pressure may spike and she may feel woozy. Truthfully, it's best to say, "Hey, we're here, safe and sound. Had a bit of a mishap in Haiti, but all is good." Remember husbands, you are far more less likely to make yourself a young widow of 5 children if you don't give her heart failure.

Fortunately, the Mister is fine and well. As many of you experienced Haitian travelers know, stop lights and stop signs are "optional" in Haiti. Somewhere between the airport and the orphange, Cliff's driver stopped for a stop light. The driver behind them exercised his "option" and chose not to stop. He would have succeeded except the van that Cliff was in pretty much made him stop upon impact.

The Mister made it to the creche no worse for the wear, and spent the day there with Keenan. They made their way safely to the airport and back into Fort Lauderdale.

Of course, this Haitian adoption truly followed course up into the VERY end: The Fort Lauderdale US Customs and Border Patrol Agent mistakenly took and kept ALL of the paperwork the Mister handed over. Including the stuff he should have handed back to the unknowing Mister. Little ol' stuff like the Adoption Decree, Birth Certificate, etc. etc. And you can all imagine just how FUN it is to try and call these offices to follow up and find our paperwork.

But I'll worry more about that tomorrow. TODAY, I'm going to pack up the kids and get my little boy! The day has finally come!

Update: 45 minutes of phone time and voila! The US Border Patrol located the missing documents. Let's just pray that they follow through on their promise to send me this paperwork :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


For the moment, I'm enjoying a glass of wine on the deck while watching the children play. Tonight is my last night as being a mother of 4, and I'm patting myself on the back because I survived (and yes, there were moments I thought otherwise.)

The past 5 days have brought us a whirlwind of activity. Saturday brought us Miss Po's 4th birthday, an event I'm still trying to reconcile with myself. I have never had a 4 year old in the home without having a brand new baby or without being pregnant.
I'm mourning the fact that my baby girl is 4. Realistically, I should be celebrating that we both made it alive through year 3, but in reality, I feel the huge loss of her toddlerhood.

We celebrated her birthday in true Paloma style up at Camp. She received a Princess bicycle and took to riding that right away.

I was a bit worried about how Miles would handle a birthday party (and gifts that weren't his) and as you can tell from this photo, my worry was unfounded because he wasn't trying to compete with Paloma at all ;)

Upon our return from Camp, we attended a birthday part for friends' children at Chuck E. Cheese.

This was Miles' Inaugural Visit. Honestly, I had hoped that his inaugural visit would have been a full year or two after his arrival home, but we figured, what the heck, let's live dangerously.
Miles loved it at first,

until Chuckie himself arrived.

Ever notice how Chuck E. Cheese elicits the same sort of response as the Chucky doll from the movies?

I'm proud to say that we spent 2 hours at Chuckie's with all four children, without incident or tantrum. Unless you count my severely elevated blood pressure, but a visit to Jill's and a half bottle of wine later and that problem was fully resolved.

Monday morning we packed up and headed to Milwaukee, where the Mister was scheduled to fly out for a very early Tuesday morning flight to Fort Lauderdale. We had the great idea to stay at a waterpark hotel, since we could stay for free with the Mister's frequest guest points. Immediately upon our arrival, I realized that it was a great idea for Monday night, while the Mister was still in our presence. Tuesday morning, however, when it was four kids, a waterpark and little ol' me, had me re-evaluating our decision.

But, we all survived the waterpark and headed out to Milwaukee's South Shore Park. This is my favorite spot in Milwaukee.

My grandmother grew up in this Bayview neighborhood. Lake Michigan looks so huge it feels like the ocean, and the whole neighborhood has a quaint seaside feel. While we lived in Milwaukee, I would pack up the kids and take them there at least once a week.

From the park, we walked the trail to the Lakeshore where we threw rocks

and collected sea glass.

Walking by water is therapy.

Then the children loaded their pockets, shirts and hands with rocks. Lots and lots of rocks. Which are still in my car 2 days later.

My grandmother was born in this house, exactly 2.5 blocks down from the park.

Lake Michigan is across the street. When she was a girl, the home was only one story. The second story was added on by a later owner. My grandmother, her mother, father and brother shared a bedroom. There was a little tiny house, really just a room, in the backyard where they take in a border.

This is the water well and pump where my grandmother and her mother would collect water. It still runs 24/7. The water is very cold and, as the children found out, very iron-y in taste.

I love Bayview. I feel so connected to my roots there. Perhaps someday we'll live there. That would be lovely.

My glass of wine is long gone, the children are ready for baths, and this day is ready to come to a close. We should be getting a phone call shortly from the Mister, announcing that he and Keenan are on US soil. And a family of 7 will finally be born.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Because Dad Said It Best. . . .

Prior to Cliff's departure to pick up Keenan, I have found it quite difficult to explain to Miles that Keenan would be coming home to live with us sometime soon. The concept of waiting and time are very difficult to discuss with any four year old, let alone a four year old who doesn't speak the same language as you. But since Cliff has left for Haiti and in less than 24 hours we'll be able to talk to Keenan while he's in Florida with the Mister, I had a long discussion at bedtime tonight with Miles and Atticus in my very best Kreynglish.

I explained to the boys that Daddy was going to take an Avion to Tante Marie's to get Keenan Ti Blan. Then they were going to go back in the Avion to fly to Wisconsin. (Somedays, I'm a Kreyol-speaking machine, I tell you! But I mean that machine as the english machine, not the Kreyol machine, which would then mean that I just wrote: Somedays, I'm a Kreyol-speaking car, I tell you!)

Then, I continued to explain in my rockin' Kreynglish, we were going to put Keenan Ti Blan's new carseat in the Manmi's Machine and drive to the airport. Once Daddy and Ti Blan would get off the avion, we would go to Manmi's Machine and everyone would chita in their carseats.

(For those of you non-Kreyol speakers out there, chita is pronounced "sheet-a." Just for fun, you should take your kids to the park and ask your child to chita on the top of the slide when they stand precariously perched on the edge. All the other non-Kreyol speaking blan parents will turn and do a double take to see if they heard you correctly. Or, if you are lucky, sometimes you will encounter a non-Kreyol speaking blan parent who is quite confident that they did indeed hear you correctly, and as such they will toss several disgusted looks your way. It's a lovely time.)

Anyways, I continued to tell the boys that we would then have FOUR carseats for all of you kids to chita in. To add to the drama of four, I said it loudly and held up four fingers.

"Miles, can you say, Holy Chita?" Atticus then asked him.

Now, truth be told, my first thought was, Holy Chita is right! because the thought of four carseats in my van both equally impresses and scares the snot out of me. But then it dawned on me that this was my seven-year old sweetie pie talking.

Oh, goodness, no. Did he actually just say that? I thought.

"Atticus, honey, where did you learn that?" I asked him, all the while praying, please, Lord, please, don't let it be that he heard something vaguely familar come out of my pristine mouth.

"Oh! I heard Dad tell that to Boppa and they both thought it was funny!" he brightly replied.

Ha! I knew it! I love it when I'm not the one to blame for moments like these.

So Mister, be prepared for the fact that you and I need to have a little chit chat together when you return from Haiti. We need to set some clear boundries for when and where it is appropriate to use such language, or else if this continues, the chita just might hit the fan.

Friday, August 14, 2009

40 Days

Exactly 40 days after we brought Miles home, we will be welcoming Keenan home with open arms. Next week Thursday afternoon, our adoption journey will be complete and our journey as a family of seven will begin.

Miles is ecstatic. He is stockpiling toys for Keenan on Keenan's bed. Today at Target he picked out a carseat for Keenan. His smile lit up the entire store.

For 30 months, my arms have ached to hold this little boy. To think that hurt will be gone! To think that we won't have this process hanging over us. We are ready to move on and move forward.

Tomorrow we will be celebrating Paloma's 4th birthday here at camp. My baby girl is growing up! She is so terribly excited to become Miles' twin, as he is 4 as well.

Then we will head home, pack up the Mister's bags and on Monday we shall kiss him Bon Voyage as he brings our dear one home.

Where he belongs.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Printed Visa is in the Building

Hot Dog!
My boy is coming HOME!
We're buying tickets tonight,
and Cliff should be flying out after the weekend
to bring our darling son home.


Yesterday everything was "off."

The Mister killed our computer. While watching illegally obtained MMA fights. Which crashed/froze the computer 3 times while he was watching them, but each time he kept on restarting the thing to see if he could watch more.

Sometimes I wonder about that boy.

Love you, babe.

So I couldn't upload all the super cute pictures I got of the kids over the weekend. And all day yesterday I couldn't check my email so I could attempt to figure out why our Visa is not ready yet for Keenan. I couldn't watch airfare continue to rise at alarming rates which gives me heartburn and a knotty, sick stomach.

Hmmmm. Maybe, after all, it was divine intervention that my husband killed our computer.

But I checked my email this morning, and discovered a lot of emails asking me about travel plans. I wish I had some to share with all of you! We are still waiting on the Visa to be printed. Apparently, the Golden Ticket time/date is only an estimate. Or maybe it's set up to be a "practice run" for the orphanage directors, so that they'll be pros at picking up Visa's by the time it is ready.

Instead of making travel plans, I spent all day yesterday waiting for a very stubborn, very constipated little boy who refuses to do a No. 2 at home, courtesy of a child laxative and a pound of raisins.

Waiting, waiting, waiting. And all for nothing.

Thus far.

Yes indeed,
spending a day waiting for a blowout
will certainly throw you off for a day.

But today is a new day, and things will be better.
We'll have a Visa update.
Maybe we'll drop an exorbitant amount of cash on airfare
(not complaining here.
I'd love to do this. I'm praying to do this.
I want my baby boy Home!!)
And maybe we'll have an extra special delivery,
courtesy of Mr. Miles.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

4 Weeks Home

Amazingly, Miles has been home for four weeks already. We are not at the stage where we feel like he has always been here, but we are certainly settling into life as a family of 6 (for the time being, that is.)

So here's a four week State of the Union for all of you out there :)

Miles Wanna Cracker?
Language and communication have been the most challenging aspects of this entire adjustment. Maybe it is easier with older children, because they can communicate a bit better in their native tongue than a 4-year old, but we are not having an easy go with this.

A major development in language acquisition for Miles is that he is now comfortable enough to parrot everything we say. EVERYTHING. One dinner he parroted, ver batim, the entire conversation. Which drove Paloma and Atticus nearly to tears. I thought it was hysterical, myself.

Miles says "Oui" to everything. It took me about 2 weeks to figure this out. He will say Oui even when he has no idea what we are saying. He'll contradict himself by saying Oui to polar opposite situations. Oui. Are you hot? Oui. Are you cold? Oui. Sad? Oui. Happy? Oui. Worried? Oui. Joyful? Oui.

Wait, he says Oui to everything except: Do you have to go poo poo? and Are you tired?
Those questions guarantee a loud resounding "NO!"

Pentecostal Miles
Paloma, our darling who was a late talker, earned the nickname Pentecostal Paloma at the age of 14 months because she would carry on long, intent conversations with us in her own special babble, much like talking in tongues. Hence the nickname.

We' ve passed this nomenclature onto Miles. He's at an interesting state of language development where he won't try to explain anything to us in Kreyol, but he doens't have the English skills. So he babbles to us. Very earnestly and intently, just like Paloma.

The Watchman
Miles has a highly developed sense of right and wrong. When he feels an injustice has been done to someone in our family by another member, he will seek me out. He will begin his special babble, pointing at the involved parties, his voice escalating, until he usually tries to right the wrong (he once removed a ball from Atticus' hands, walked it back to Paloma's room, ceremoniously placed her ball in a box, put the box in her closet and closed the closet door with a grand flourish.)

I Can't Believe Our Marriage Has Come to This
The Mister and I have spent more time talking about fecal matter in the past 4 weeks than we had in our previous 9 years (and 2 babies) of marriage. Miles has major performance anxiety regarding home elimination, much preferring any public restroom he can find (where he knows we won't be carrying one of those little medical bowls.) Throughout each day, the Mister will call me: Did he go? will be the first thing he asks.

And throughout each day, I'll call the Mister. "No package has been delivered yet," I'll say.

Yup. Never thought our marriage would come to that.

But that's okay :)

Lila Said It Best
"Ain't no pout like a Haitian pout."

And that is the truth. Miles could win a contest. His pout is super endearing and super cute in photos, especially when he was in Haiti, and I was here. But now that he's here, it ain't so cute (well, it is, but just not endearing.) Pouting doesn't work with me. My kids aren't pouters. Except for Miles. I'm working on it.

I don't know how to handle a pout, other than to cheerfully pat him on the head, saying "Tout baghay byen" (it's okay) and walking away, ignorning him until he's done pouting. He still pouts, but I will say that the frequency is lessening.

Cattle Call
The moment I go into the kitchen to make dinner, Miles becomes my instant shadow. He'll try any little morsel of ingredients that I'll offer him. Even those that he won't eat on his plate. At dinner, he won't touch a carrot. But if I'm chopping them up for a stir fry, he'll eat 2 full carrots if I'm willing to "sneak" them to him.

I love this time with him each day. We crank up my favorite station on Pandora and cook. I teach him the names of foods and colors. He helps gather ingredients and throws away the garbage or will run potato peels out to the compost bin. No matter how hectic, crazy or frazzled our earlier day may have been, things become great at this hour.

Realizing the Wait is Over

The saying that once they come home, you forget the wait, is very true. You do. We've had him home for only four weeks, but the wait seems like eons ago.

This morning at Church I was staring at the smooth, dark, perfect little hand I was holding. How many prayers had I said for that moment to someday happen? Too many for me to ever hope to estimate. While some moments are really difficult and some entire days are absolutely trying, I felt such peace in that moment. God delivered my little boy home. Miles is a miracle, and whether he's home 4 weeks or 4 years, that is one thing I will never, ever forget.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Final Chapter

A new theme song is in order:

Our orphanage director left Keenan's Visa appointment
with the coveted Golden Ticket in hand.

Keenan is getting his Visa tomorrow morning.
He is coming HOME.
Next week.

This miracle has left me stunned,
and feeling a little weak in the knees.

My family.
Under One Roof.

This is the Final Chapter
in the Journey
to Bring
Our Little Boys
Home At Last.

Theme Song for Thursday

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Let Me Blow Your Mind

Here is the news I received today,
at 8 a.m.:


Visa Appointment.

Tomorrow Morning.

9:30 a.m.

Growing Pains

Adding a new member into your family, whether 2 days old or 4 years old, and evidence of growing pains will creep up here and there. The pains might be like mine: I had been doing pretty well with the growing pains of turning into a Mother of 4, only feeling stretched here and there, until it all culminated yesterday, but I'll share that in another post. Or the pains might be like Paloma, which is one long, continuous growing pain that has not yet ebbed.

The past two weeks have been very trying with and for Paloma. While Miles is very nice to her, and they actually play quite well together, it is still a huge adjustment for Miss Po, who was quite content with her I'm-the-Diva-pre-Miles lifestyle. Lots of whining, crying, tantruming and insane requests have left both her and I exhausted.

This morning, just now, she whined/complained/cried to me that she has an eyeball in her eye!

Oh my.

The utter ridiculousness of her statement made my heart feel a sting of pain as I felt tears well in my own eyes. I wish I could explain to her that this growing pain will pass, and she'll soon find her place and happiness in our big crazy family, but how do you explain that to a 3 year old?

My dear friend Becky's mother was a very, very wise woman and mother of 8. She once told Becky that when your children are being very trying and you don't know what to do, do the exact opposite of what you feel. Admittedly, today I kind of feel like setting out cereal, milk, bread and peanut butter on the table and crawling back under the covers.

So, instead, today I'm just going to hold her and love on her and stay glued to her side, now matter what whines, demands or requests are thrown my way. Things will get better and easier. This too shall pass, baby girl. I promise.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Why my Saturday morning won't be photo-logged

Pop Quiz:

What's worse than a Pull-up blowout desecrating 3 towels, 2 washcloths, 1 pair of pajamas, 1 set of bedsheets and 1 bathtub, all courtesy of a 4-year old?


A Pull-up blowout desecrating 3 towels, 2 washcloths, 1 pair of pajamas, 1 set of bedsheets and 1 bathtub, all courtesy of a 4-year old suffering from intestinal parasites.

Goodness gracious. (Anyone know what Beastie Boy song that line is in? 5 Gold Stars if you do!)

Poor Miles has major elimination issues. He is petrified of having to do a #2 in the little plastic bowl the hospital gave us. We've been trying to get a sample since last Friday.

He's a sly one, that boy.

Over the weekend and Monday/Tuesday, he used a public restroom each time we left the house. Now I don't know what you would do, but I'm not a Mama who carries around a little plastic bowl, rubber gloves and a testing kit with me in my purse.

On Wednesday, the little stinker waited until I was in the basement, trying to dig out the Crash-n-Go Speedway in the storage room. Soon as that door shut, he ran to the bathroom and did his thing before I knew what happend.


Then Thursday and Friday he held it. I knew he was holding it. I made numerous attempt to get him to go in the bowl. I tried cheering, soothing, being stern, being overly smiley---nothing. Nada. Zilch. I tried oatmeal, warm baths and running around the yard. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

But at sometime in the night all that trying came to fruition in the biggest blowout ever.

So I need some help here. Experienced stool-testing parents, any advice for me? How do I get him to go in the medical bowl? Keep in mind our language skills are sorely limited, so I can't explain to him just this once, and if I try to bribe him, I don't know how to explain it to him that he won't get a prize everytime.

This is what my life--and blog--has been reduced to. Blogging about poo.

I apologize blog readers, I truly do. But I need the help. So please, share your wisdom!