Here’s a video of the kids opening their Christmas presents. Igor was so excited when he discovered his Kindle Fire under the tree. So sweet!
This is the same video, but not in fast forward. It’s much longer, but you can actually hear what everyone is saying if you want.
I have lots of pictures too, but no time to edit them yet. Soon!
This was our first Christmas away from family. It was weird. It was so warm out, and it felt just like any other day except the kids opened a bunch of gifts.
My parents are coming up to visit and exchange gifts tomorrow! They’re bringing my sister and her husband. I also invited my aunt and uncle, who live in Ohio near me, over for dinner too.
Tyler’s parents are coming up for New Years to exchange gifts. We’re really dragging out the Christmas season this year. We’re going to leave our tree up until after New Year’s Day since they’ll be here.
Things with Igor are going well so far on this visit. Knock on wood! He’s back to his old sweet self. He keeps asking to call his mom in Ukraine though. No freaking way son!! I am now certain talking to his mom was what sparked all of his behavior issues this past summer.
I believe a lot of those behavior problems were probably on a subconscious level. He doesn’t even understand his own emotions. He’s just overwhelmed and confused. When she lies to him he knows it’s lies, but he wants so badly to believe her, and I think it also drudges up the hurt he feels from being lied to and abandoned by her in the past. Then he feels angry and frustrated, and scared, and unsure, and he has no idea why exactly he feels this way or what to do about it.
The only real issues we’re dealing with this time (so far) are mood related. Pouting, mainly. Probably partly pre-teen issues. We went to the mall with our new Ukrainian friends yesterday, ate lunch, shopped, and stopped by their house. He was pouting and complaining the whole time. Same thing if we go anywhere. He just wants to sit at home and stare at a screen.
Oh well, sometimes we still go places and just let him pout. Too bad, so saaaaad. Everyone else had a great time when we were out yesterday. Igor needed to go home because his feet hurt, and he was hot, and this was not fun, and he didn’t want anything to eat from the 2346 restaurants in the food court, and he didn’t want to talk to nice people in Ukrainian or English.
In some twisted way I am kind of enjoying having fun and smiling at him while he huffs, and puffs, and moans. He’ll have to come around eventually, right? Hopefully.
It’s pretty comical sometimes. He acts like everything is a personal vendetta against him. Moaning and grumping at me because it’s thundering and pouring rain so he can’t sleep, as if I turned on the weather just to piss him off. Or stomping and yelling at me because someone locked the bathroom door downstairs and he has to go upstairs to pee.
We’re slowly working to help him realize it’s not ok to have so many loud outbursts. He’s such a drama queen! Ada struggles with the same behavior…but she’s five. Not (nearly) 12. And she does not moan loudly over stuff, haha.
I guess it’s a lot of emotional immaturity. Being in an institution didn’t give him the opportunity to learn emotional regulation in a safe, loving setting from healthy adults. I do think with enough patience, understanding, and good examples he can catch up and be a more normal moody pre-teen instead of a preschool diva.
For now I cope by laughing on the inside. Because while it’s annoying it’s also freaking hilarious when you step back and realize he’s screaming and stomping over silly things that no one can control.
Anyway, I think all of the kids had a great Christmas. Can you believe this was our third Christmas with Igor? Pictures coming soon!