here is an expert from an email to my cousin (i am too busy to write something new but this will have some stuff most of you dont know)
so a summary on the kiddos... overall, i think we are seeing lots of improvements in them, but the day to day is still pretty hard usually, so sometimes i wonder if there is any progress... but i am pretty sure that we are seeing progress. the oldest ( he just turned four last sunday) has been having tantrums a lot in the past few weeks, but they seem to be decreasing. they almost always start when he doesn't get his way. we are assuming that if he cried enough that he would get his way with his birth parents. i think (hope) that they are decreasing because he realizes that that doesn't work with us. but he is stubborn... i have seen him tantrum for over an hour when he doesn't get his way.
but on the upside, though the tantrums are hard, since he is the oldest, he is much more teachable and able to help out with his siblings. he always loves to hear stories about "jesus with the nails on his hands". every time we turn a page in our big picture storybook bible, he points to any random guy in the picture and says "HEY MOM!! LOOK ITS GOD!!!" hilarious and cute. and he is ready and willing to help with whatever i ask him to, even things like folding laundry and sweeping the floor (not that he does either of those things particularly well... but the boys dont do well playing together for long periods of time, so i give him tasks like that to keep him busy.) we have also started working on shapes, colors and letters with him. colors he got in about a week, shapes are getting there but he is still a bit fuzzy. letters are a lot harder (he knows letter "a" now... and even "b" on good days. he gets really excited and points out every single letter "a" he sees).
the next oldest brother (2 1/2) is definitely in his terrible twos, and sometimes mimicks some of oldest brother's tantrum behaviors, but overall his behaviors are much more manageable. he has the cutest dimples and loves getting hugs and cuddles all day. his speech is literally indecipherable... i dont know if he has a speech delay or if that is normal or what. sometimes anthony can help translate but its hard.
i wish that i had more one on one time with the middle brother because his older brother totally overshadows him and is always trying to steal my attention. its hard to do anything with the older two boys because they are often fighting or doing other things to get the attention of whatever adult they are with.
both older boys are totally in the stage of "what's that?" "why?" and "where is ___?" sometimes its a good teaching tool, but i dont even think they listen to my answers because they usually interrupt my answer with another question. in my tired moments i resort to "because" or "why not?". its almost like they are afraid of silence because they are constantly talking and asking questions. talking constantly is a huge drain on me, since i am an introvert.
the youngest brother gets even more overshadowed because of his two older brothers. when he came to us he had two words, and now he has tons, easily over 20! its been cool to see him blossom in that way. he did have what was considered a speech delay when we got him, but now he is typical. sometimes i forget that he is just one year old and expect him to behave like his brothers but i love that he is still in the stage where peekaboo is just about the coolest thing on earth. he likes to be held a lot, which is endearing but also hard because there is so much to do for each of them all the time that i cant hold him as much as he wants. he is a classic "insecure attachment" case (which is very sad), hence the constant desire to be held.
lovely girl (who just turned 8 months!) is just a darling. she is just too cute to forget about, so for the most part i would say that her brothers dont overshadow her. that is because her temperament and personality is so silly and adorable... definitely a contrast to her brothers who are constantly hitting and whining. she just got her first two teeth last week and she loves to stand with a support. she puts everything in her mouth... last week, i looked over and green foam was pouring out of her mouth. i had a heart attack until i realized that it was just caused a small piece of chalk she was gnawing on (my first thought was that it was some kind of a chemical).
those are some quick updates. i hope to post some quotes from the oldest brother. he is just too funny sometimes without knowing it.