Ephraim got his first haircut yesterday. Brooke picked out the faux hawk and thought I wouldn't go through with it, but I did. I'm always a bit sad after that first haircut because my baby boys look so grown up afterwards. I had asked the beautician to not cut too much hair because I wanted him to keep some of his baby look for a little longer, but after she swished through the side of his hair with the clippers, it was too late to look back. Brooke went in Wal*Mart afterwards, bought some hair putty, and showed me how to use it. I can't believe I'm stylin' my baby boy's hair!
I haven't had the opportunity to post pictures from Christmas since we still have family members visiting, but I hope to get them posted shortly after the first of the year. I'm taking Ephraim for his first haircut this afternoon, so if he cooperates and I remember to take my camera, I should have those pictures to post also.
Last weekend our oldest son, Bradford, graduated from college with a bachelors' degree in Industrial Engineering. We are so proud of him! His university, Georgia Institute of Technology, has had the #1 ranked program in the country in Industrial Engineering for nearly 20 years straight. It is a tough program! Brad has had to work extremely hard and has been under a great deal of stress for the past 4 1/2 years. He has fallen in love with Atlanta and hopes to stay nearby. He is not sure yet what his career will be, but he wants to work in the music field in some capacity. He is an accomplished cellist, and his main love is music.
It is weird to think that we now have two children who are through college and are on their own. If we were the typical family of four, we would now be empty nesters. To me that is a lonely thought. I love being an old mom. It doesn't even scare me (much) to know we will be well past 65 and eligible to retire and to draw social security before our youngest is even old enough to be through high school. Wow!!
We do have one goal that may be difficult but hopefully not impossible to reach one day because we are geriatric parents of young children. We have talked for years about doing something in medical missions such as the Peace Corps or Doctors without Borders. Ben and I will be at least 70 years old by the time Ephraim is old enough to be through college. I remember Miss Lilly, the mother of former President Carter, serving in the Peace Corps when she was no spring chicken. Hopefully we'll still be needed in some medical mission field when we are also septuagenarians.
As usual I was stopped by a random stranger at Wal*Mart this week and questioned about Ephraim.
First I was asked if I was totally surprised when "they gave us a boy since everyone always gets girls". That question I was prepared for because I have been asked that quite a few times. I explained that Ephraim was actually Vietnamese, not Chinese, and the wait for a little boy was actually not as long in Vietnam as was the wait for a little girl.
Next, the clerk asked me if Ephraim was his Vietnamese name. I've been asked that question several times too, so I gave my pat answer that Ephraim is an Old Testament name, and the name is significant to us because Ephraim, the youngest son of Joseph, was given the double blessing by his grandfather, Jacob, the patriarch of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Finally, I was asked Ephraim's age and whether or not he was talking yet. When I said he wasn't yet speaking, I was assured that he should start talking soon, and once he learned English he'd then know two languages. I nodded and kept on moving without really taking the time to think about her statement. A few minutes later it struck me. This lady was assuring me that when Ephraim began speaking, it would be in *Vietnamese*, and he could learn English when he was older. Huh?!?
My camera has a red-eye reduction on it and shoots a quick flash just before snapping the picture. Ephraim has started to look toward the camera and give me a big smile when he sees that flash. Some of his smiles are genuine, but most are silly. I'm so glad to see all these goofy smiles. It hasn't been too many months ago that we weren't able to get a smile out of him at all. If we could just put an end to his hair pulling and scary-hard eyelid pinching and pulling when he's falling asleep, I would be a happy camper.
By the way, I'm sure everyone has noticed that the front of Ephraim's shirts are just saturated in many of the pictures. That boy is drooling like a faucet! I have to change his shirt every couple of hours. I have never had a kid who can drool like him! We can feel the tips of four molars coming in all at the same time, so I'm sure that must be the cause. I've attempted to keep bibs on him to keep him from being wet and cold, but he'll have nothing to do with them. When I put on a bib, he yells, yanks and manages to get it off within seconds.
o I'm afraid I'm very behind on blogging, so be on the lookout for multiple posts per day over the next day or two.
On December 6th we had our first Christmas celebration. Ben's dad, Richard, and stepmom, Gladys, spent the weekend with us. Richard grows a killer garden and Gladys is an awesome cook, so we were thrilled that they brought an entire Christmas dinner with them. That was the best present of all! At least it was for me. The kids and grandparents had a great time visiting, we ate way too much, and we spent the evening opening presents. It felt like Christmas was already here!
The kids all hammed it up. All the little ones wanted a picture made with *each* present, so I would have to take one picture with a box of crayons, another with a coloring book, and a third with the crayons and coloring book together, on and on and on. Ephraim hammed it up more than anyone else. He got a book that makes noise when you push buttons and a stuffed creature that yells when you push his button. He thought they both were hilarious! He laughed and laughed more than he ever has before. It's so nice when a gift is a hit with the kids and they show genuine excitement!
Ben's mom is coming up on the 20th for the weekend, so we'll have our second Christmas celebration at that time. Three of our grown kids and my mom are going to be able to be here on Christmas Day, so that's our third and main celebration. In fact, my mom is going to spend ten days with us this year, which is the longest time she's ever stayed with us. She's 85 years old, and I'm an only child, so I hope she's up to the noise and chaos! Brooke, our oldest daughter, is an NICU nurse and has to work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so we'll be having Christmas #4 with her family on either December 30th or 31st. Whew! By the time 2009 arrives, Ben and I are going to be exhausted!
I'm a work-at-home mom of thirteen children ranging in age from twenty-six years old to five months old. Eight are home grown and five were adopted internationally (Russia, Guatemala, Vietnam and Ethiopia). We live on an 85-acre farm, and we have home schooled since 1986. My husband is a family physician in solo practice. I manage his practice and file the insurance claims.