September 26, 2014

Perry's Name

We took a long time to think about what Perry's name would be when the adoption was finalized.

We prayed a lot about changing his name. Just like with Kyler, we were conflicted about changing a child's first name. We worried a bit more because Perry had some delays and we didn't want to confuse him. In the end, we did feel that it would be right to change his first name.

We had a lot of conversations as a family about what that name would be. The boys had lots of suggestions. We threw around a lot of names. E vetoed most of them. Perry was one of the first names I brought up that Eric liked. But our boys weren't the biggest fans at first--they would lovingly tease and sing "Peeerrry" from Phineas and Ferb.

During that time period in which we were trying to decide if Perry should really be his name, we felt like the name "Perry" kept popping up around us. For example, I was talking to my parents one day and heard that they went on a short trip to Salt Lake City. While they were walking around temple square, they were stopped by Elder L. Tom Perry who struck up a conversation with them about the birds in the area. This, coupled with other similar instances, kept the name Perry fresh in my head.

Then we decided to try out the name on him. As a two year old coming into our home, he didn't respond to his given name. As time went on, this improved, but he definitely responded better when we used his nickname--Damo. As a three year old, he still wasn't always consistent in responding to his name. One day I called his name, "Damian". He didn't look up. I said it again. No response. So I tried "Perry"  and he looked right up. On a separate day at the park, Eric had a similar experience getting his attention.

We felt a reassurance that his first name should be Perry. We decided to make Damian, the name his birth parents gave him, his middle name.

He became Perry Damian Allred.

September 23, 2014

Kacin's Name

Kacin was three, almost four, when our adoption was finalized.

This three year old was a bundle of energy, fun, and love. The name Kacin just fit him well.  We honestly didn't even consider other names. We kept the spelling the same, too. Like with Kyler's name, we wanted him to have something from his birth parents and something from us.

The boys' birth dad's name begins with a "K" and ends with an "in". Ky, Kacin and their older brother's names all followed the same pattern --a "K" name ending with "in". It might have been a lot confusing when all three boys were together, but it was a nice connection.

Since he kept his first name from his birth parents, we changed his middle name to be Allen, my maiden name. He carries on the Allen name proudly. It's a name that represents fun, honesty, adventure, integrity, service, kindness, silliness, and love.

He became Kacin Allen Allred.

He wears the name wonderfully.

September 22, 2014

Kyler's Name

We recently got Layla and Perry's new birth certificates in the mail with their names, the names we chose, on them. It got me thinking about the significance of the names of each of my children and I decided to record their name stories. 

Kyler had just turned 5 when we adopted him. As soon as we knew the adoption would be finalized we got serious about thinking about what his name would be.

Of course, we would change his last name, but since he was older we were really hesitant about changing his first name, Kylin. Part of me was against it--wasn't his name his identity already? would he be confused? would he be mad at us later? what would everyone think? The other part of me wanted to make the change--did his birth name really fit him? isn't he ours now so shouldn't we be able to give him a name from us, his forever parents? would a new name symbolize a fresh start for a happy life?

We thought about this a lot. Luckily, we had a fabulous adoption attorney who gave us some pretty great advice about changing names or not. We took it to heart and spent a lot of time in prayer and at the temple.

Once we knew it would be right to change his name, we had to decide what that name would be. Our little Ky had basically already given us that answer. We just needed to listen to him.

A few months before adoption was finalized, the boys were being silly in the back seat of the car. They were looking out the window and saying things like "my name is tree head!, call me garbage can head!, my name is car head!" and then somewhere in the midst of that Ky blurts out "my name is Kyler! Hey, wait! I like that name. Can you call me Kyler?" I laughed it off a bit because at the time we weren't even thinking about changing his name.

Ky never let it go though. At least once a week it would come up again and he would ask if Kyler could be his name.

When it came time to choose the names, Eric was the most concerned about changing his first name. We were about to leave to go to the temple one evening, but before we left E decided he should talk to Ky about it. He brought him up to his room and asked him what he would think if we did change his name to Kyler. The biggest smile crept across Ky's face. At the time this was a big deal for this serious kid who kept so much of his emotions inside. Eric said it was the happiest he had ever seen Ky. He asked him why he wanted his name to be Kyler. Ky replied, "Because it has an E in it, like your name". That was all it took--Eric's heart was melted and he was sold!

We still wanted him to have something from his birthparents. We felt like we should change his middle name, which had been his birth dad's first name, to be his parents last name, Radmall.

He became Kyler Radmall Allred.

How cute is little Kyler!

 He's still so cute.

September 17, 2014

These days

Layla was being super silly one evening so Eric laughed and said to her,

Eric: You are so goofy.

Her reply?

Layla: Well, you are Minnie Mouse.
Eric: You are goofy.
Layla: You are Minnie Mouse. No!! Wait! I am Minnie and you are Goofy.

A friend of mine has a drop-in music class so occasionally Layla goes to the fun little class. One day was all about school buses (which she tells me every day she will ride one when she gets bigger). That was her cute school bus treat she made.

I took Perry and Layla to open gym one afternoon.

And I learned I should keep our time there to 30 min. And be faster when Perry gets upset and runs away. He almost knocked over all of the cubbies. I was glad we were just about the only ones there that day.

Perry is loving school. I tried to get a picture of him outside of his "bear" room one day when I picked him up early for an appointment at the autism clinic.

Here's the picture from when we went to meet the teacher. And I forgot to take one while we were in his classroom.

I found this picture on my phone. Layla got to my phone one day while we were hanging out at P's therapy. We spend a lot of time in this little room.

Life has gotten easier these last few weeks. I mostly attribute it to the fact that Layla can now climb in and buckle herself into her car seat. And sometimes Perry will unbuckle and climb out on his own. We get in and out of the car so much so this is great!

Soccer is in full swing. Two boys with two practices equals four practices a week. Plus two games on Saturday. They are putting in a lot of effort this season. I'm sure it will pay off. 

It was our turn to drive to soccer practice and Kacin's friend got in our car. He is in our car a lot. This time he asked, "when are you going to clean out your car?" I told him he was welcome to do it anytime. Except we are constantly in it so it would be hard to find a time to clean it. When we don't have to eat lunch in the car three days a week it will stay much nicer, I assure you. Until then pb&j sandwiches, pirate booty, and raisins will cover my floor.  

I do prioritize here. Clean laundry, three meals, keeping track of everyone's schedules, cuddles, stories, and bike rides seem to land at the top more often than clean the car or pull those weeds by our front porch. 

Yes, put first things first. I settled into a routine that makes me much happier. I read my scriptures and say my prayers before I even leave my room in the morning. It's nice to have an excuse to stay in my warm bed a while longer. It sets a tone for the day. I am reading in the Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Mormon (the women in my ward have been challenged to read it by the end of the school year). There is power in reading the scriptures.

September 15, 2014

Cascade fun in the sun

We are feeling spoiled with all this sunny, beautiful weather here still. I'm not complaining. The sun and warm afternoons can stay as long as they like. It meant we got to spend an afternoon at cascade park (the church property not too far from us). This place is a blast. We camped here last year. We played on the slip n slide, in the river, and did archery.

I couldn't narrow down these pictures--the facial expressions are too good!

If you go off into the grass, like Ky accidentally did here, it hurts reeaaal bad. So you know.

While her brothers were all about this slip n slide (for awhile I wasn't sure how we were going to drag Perry away when it was time to head to the river), Layla was much more cautious. I only got her to go down with me twice this year.

We went down to the river.

Before heading home, we played Robin Hood and Katniss at the archery station.