Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2 weeks home

Yet another week has passed since we brought Hope and Benjamin home.

Progress continues to be made. We had a successful trip to Lowes, all 7 of us. B & H rode in a double stroller, buckled in… it worked wonderfully. We will use the stroller A LOT! Rusty took Benjamin to Kroger to get a couple of things and that was successful too. First trips in public that he did not scream and cry over something or run away!

I took all 5 kids to Carter’s piano lesson and we made it through thanks to crayons and stickers!

She is laughing more and more and we love it!

She is still shy and cuts her eyes at you if it is her first time seeing you.

She was taking 2 naps a day (2-3 hours in the morning and then 1-2 hours in the afternoon). I decided to try one nap a day and earlier bedtime (so that she and Benjamin could overlap during naptime). It works. She goes to be around 6:45 or 7:00 and sleeps 12-14 hours and then naps for about 3 during the day… hoping she keeps this schedule up! I hold her for a few minutes and then lay her in her crib. She cries for 2-10 minutes and then falls asleep… usually.

Hope continues to be congested. We have physicals for both kids next week… have to for insurance and also re-checking Hope’s ears and chest.

Eating! Oh my word, she eats anything. When we brought her home she was drinking formula a few times a day and eating baby food and oatmeal cereal about once maybe twice a day. She began to cry for our food so we tried a little and that turned into her eating only table food and drinking whole milk. She eats 3 good meals, drinks from her sippy cup and takes a bottle before bedtime. She has loved everything we have given her… every fruit, every vegetable and a few meats. She was used to being fed by the nannies. I noticed that she could use her pointer finger and thumb to pick up the smallest things on the floor but she refused to pick up food. Just this week she has begun feeding herself some. We LOVE to feed her and thinks it helps with the bonding but we give her one thing and encourage her to pick it up and eat it and we spoon feed her the rest.

Hope has 7 teeth now and more on the way… they are popping through left and right!

Her brothers and sister love her. They argue over who will get her up in the morning or up from nap!

Hope is content to play and not be held.  She is all over the place!

She points her finger at you and "tells" you something (maybe imitating the nannies?).

She whispers and nods her head at the same time.

She loves to ride in the wagon, swing and play on a blanket on the patio.

Hope LOVES the pool. When we were cleaning it last night she would crawl to the edge and try to get it in. I dipped her feet in and she screamed when we left the pool deck.

Seems that she cries when she is hungry, tired or has a dirty diaper.

Aubrey gets her up most mornings and changes her diaper and dresses her for the day!

She is 100% squeezable cuteness!

A lovable boy.

He is learning more and more English and that has made communication so much better… we are all less frustrated.

We seem to have found a reward for not crying or getting out of bed at nap and bedtime… GUM! He loves it and can’t get enough. If he does not cry at nap or bed then he gets gum when we wakes up… 2 days success. We had times in Rwanda/Ethiopia that we literally had to hold him down or at least lay an arm or leg across him to get him to stay in bed and it could easily last for 2 hours! He has been getting out of bed some (except the last 2 days) but we can tuck him in after his nightly routine and he does better… we can leave the room now with him still awake and with the gum thing going we don’t have the screaming and kicking and hitting the walls like we have had almost daily. He sleeps without a pillow and only wants a blanket that a friend of mine made right before we left… he has slept with it everyday since we got him… it is the ONLY thing he hasn’t thrown out of his bed! He sleeps about 10-12 hours… closer to 12 the past 4 nights.

He loves the trampoline and is jumping higher and higher!

Wagon rides are a new fun thing.

He loves the steering wheel in the playset…. motor car!!!!

Benjamin is still uncertain about the pool but was jumping in and going under today while holding Aubrey’s hands. I think he will be in love with it by the end of the summer.

He would take a bath several times a day if we let him. He loves to brush his teeth, put on lotion, comb his hair and get his nails clipped.

If he sees anything that belongs to you he will bring it to you.

He is learning to share, it has been hard. He has a brand new CARS bicycle and loves it and is learning how to pedal… we just have to get the pedaling and steering together now!

He no longer hides toys behind his bed… I think he knows he is staying and that the toys are his even if they are on the shelf!

He can’t stand for Rusty to leave in his truck… he screams and cries for a while. He has stopped crying when others leave our house, although he shouts something very loudly in Kinyarwandan when they drive off… when they are out of sight he stops!?

He runs up in the mornings with his arms open and says, “I love you sooooo much”! Carter taught this to him, it melts my heart:)

He is listening better and better. He can wait for a meal to be served even when he sees it is being prepared, he could not before without crying.

He loves to clear the table and load the dishwasher and clothes washer. He like to wipe the counter tops and love to wash his hands.

He has had a few accidents in his pants (pee pee) and that usually happens when he is outside playing. It never happened in Rwanda and just started here about a week ago… no accidents yesterday or today so maybe he is understanding that it is not worth it to be wet or have to change.

He loves music and loves to dance, I just have to catch him when the video camera is close by.

He has learned that when we say HOT we are not kidding… his little fingers have felt some heat but not hurt him… lesson learned the hard way!

We have had a few people over for dinner and he has done well in those situations. A little possessive of his things but is getting much better.

Today a friend that Rusty used to work with stopped by and Benjamin tried relentlessly to grab his keys, his pen and other things in his pocket. He goes into this mode sometimes where he doesn’t listen or talk. He tried to climb him and acted like he understood NOTHING that I or Travis said. He wanted Travis to hold him and wanted to go in his truck (neither of these things are unusual)… it is hard to explain but it is like he is in a trance and trying to grab and do things he KNOWS he is not supposed to! For me it is a reminder that he needs to spend a lot (most of) his time at home right now.

THERE IS SO MUCH TO TELL. Our lives are forever changed with these 2 children.
Aubrey and Carter seem to love both kids equally. They spend as much time with one as they do the other. They love that they are learning and changing and growing. Andrew has a harder time. I think I mentioned before that his personality is much like Benjamin’s. He LOVES Hope and he likes Benjamin sometimes. He does play with him but gets easily frustrated…. he has never had to be the older brother and give a little. He doesn’t like when Benjamin speaks Kinyarwandan and he says he cries too much (that is improving). Again, Andrew lost his place as baby. He has acted out a little more, pushed some limits but he is adjusting… he just met them 2 weeks ago and they are here to stay and he is getting used to that idea! I have to say Andrew is better than when we first came home but new challenges arise. He is not a roll with the punches kinda guy! He likes it his way!

I have written enough. I am sure you are bored if you even made it this far!
I am open to questions or comments and you can leave it on the blog or email me @
rutledge98 at

Of course here are some pictures…

As you can see... lots of fun going on over here!


rutledgeramblings said...


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. I continue to pray for all of you, and especially Andrew. He has been in my thoughts lately.
Janet Mabry

Jennifer Fleming said...

Thanks for sharing your family on here with us. I will continue to pray for you all. I remember having little Andrew in the 3's and he is such a sweet heart. Again thank you!

beckyheel said...

oh, y'all! this made me miss your kiddos so much! has it really only been 2 weeks?!?!?!