Saturday, May 31, 2008

Fun at Grandma & Grandpa's

Running through the sprinkler for the first time

Kids had lots of fun with Grandma & Grandpa and they even behaved reasonably well :) The kids & dogs had a blast playing in the back yard & running through the sprinkler. Grandma & Grandpa spoiled us & it was nice to have a few quiet days & get out of the house. Thanks for everything Mom & Dad!

I took photos of our trip to the farm as well but my camera was not cooperating so we used my nieces camera so I need to get those before I can post about that. The kids were thrilled out there as there was a bunch of baby calfs, horses to sit on, a tractor to ride & a dug out to swim in. All in all a great time especially since their three cousins carried them around & spoiled them like crazy. Heck what isn't there to love about that situation for them.

Hugs, Laurie

At Grandma & Grandpa's House

My Mom & Dad
D with his Papa
Grandma & the kids

Catch Up Post # 1

Oh my I can't believe how the time flies by now. The weeks disappear & nothing ever seems to get done. I am going to back track a wee bit just to catch you up on the last couple of weeks.

On May 12 I took the kids into the Infectious Disease Clinic set up in our local Childrens Hospital for newly adopted children. They were fantastic & gave the kids the once over & will follow up with them over the next year. C has ring worm & is on meds for six weeks to clear that up. Since that appointment D has started showing signs as well so I started him on C's meds as well until I can get in to see the doctor this coming week. Now my head is itchy & crawling too as I have used the same brush on all three of us & it is highly contagious. One thing I have learned about ring worm is - no it's not a worm, but actually the same fungus as athletes foot. That makes me feel a little better knowing there aren't actually worms on our heads. I haven't had any symptoms yet except itchiness but that may be all in my mind too.

Both kids are on the 15th percential for both height & weight.

C was 31 lbs & not quite 40" when she came home
now she is 35.25 lbs & 41.3"

D was 26 lbs & 33 1/2" at home coming
now he is 28.6 lbs & 36.22"

They are both growing like crazy & they been home almost three months now. D has an appointment to see a surgeon mid June as he has a herniated belly button that the doctor feels will need repair.

We also did TB, Hep, HIV & various blood, urine & stool tests so hopefully we can figure out if the kids have any other parasites. We have not heard back on anything except for the TB & both kids were clear for that.

I spent two separate days registering C for Kindergarten in September & then took D to register him for play school. While we were watching the class of 4 year olds I came to a startling realization that C is NOT ready for Kindergarten. All the little ones in the class were the same age as her & would be her peers next year. They were all babbling to me & telling me their life stories & they all listened to the teacher so well. So I think I am going to register C for one year of playschool, even though she turns 5 in July; & she can attend Kindergarten the following year. That puts her a year older than her classmates but I don't want to set her up for failure either. She is starting to know some of her colors now but even that can be hit & miss. I really thought she was doing amazing but I was comparing her to the little girl that came home almost three months ago without any English language skills. Don't get me wrong I do think she has progressed amazingly and can communicate with us but it is in very broken English & way behind kids her age here. She can not write her name yet or doesn't recognize any of the letters of the alphabet so play school will be a much better fit for her.

D - well he is turning into a real two year old & the sad part is, that he will be three in a couple of weeks. Please don't tell me I have to put up with this for a whole year ;) "NO" is now his favorite word next to "Don't do that" or "Me do it myself". He is toilet trained about 85% of the time & always poo's on the potty so that is a major break through. He's getting it, but he gets playing & forgets sometimes. He knows some of his colors now too & just loves anything that has wheels.

I had them both in & had their eyes tested last week & D is a little young for some of the tests but nothing looked wrong so we will try again with him in a year. I think he has excellent eye sight as he can spot a bus, garbage truck or motorcycle way off in the distance. C has to go back in 4 months as she has a bit of a stigmatism that they want to watch. She may have to wear glasses to correct it but that will be determined at a later date.

I also took the immunization records from the orphanage into the Health Clinic & they will get back to me with an appointment once they go through them & figure out which shots the kids need to catch them up.

Dentist appointments are in a couple of weeks & other than hearing tests I think they will all be checked out. They do seem to have selective hearing but only because they have't found my mute button yet. If we are talking about something we don't want them to hear; they seem to be able to hear every word so that isn't a concern for me at this time.

My camera is giving me grief so there have been no new photos over the last week but I will post some of our trip to visit Grandma & Grandpa for the first time.

Hugs, Laur

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sometimes I'm Just Plain Grumpy

I saw this poster on someone elses blog & thought it was appropriate. I thought I would have so much more patience as a parent of basically a second family. Afterall I have done the single parenting gig before with two children so I thought I had learned from all of my mistakes. I reasoned that the kids grow up so quickly, so I wouldn't sweat the small stuff this time around. I thought I would choose my battles more carefully. Somedays I achieve this, other days sadly; I fail miserably.

I have lots of photos & updates on our trip last week to meet Grandma & Grandpa for the first time as well as going out to the farm & meeting the kids Aunt, Uncle & cousins. We had a great time with everyone & I will post photos when I have more time go through photos.

Hugs, Laurie

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mothers Day 2008

Yesterday was a pretty quiet day & I just enjoyed having all four of my kids at home. Once I commited to adopting the two little ones in November 2005, every Mothers Day after that felt like my family was incomplete. Yesterday there was a real peace in the air that everyone was home where they were supposed to be.

We didn't do anything too exciting, I was up to my neck in laundry so I worked on that most of the day, wild & crazy girl that I am. Contractors lied to me & they did not complete my basement renos on Friday as promised. They will probably be working on completing that most of the week - UGGG. So laundry needed to get done.

Since it was Mothers Day I decided we would order Chinese food for supper. I ordered the food, picked it up, paid for it & helped serve it up but at least I didn't have to cook it. :) I did not have to help clean up after dinner though so that was a bonus. The kids bought me a beautiful card that A wrote a very touching blurb in, plus some chocolates & a promise of a spa day.

I decided after dinner that I would love all the kids to go outside & take the dogs out for a evening walk. I wanted to have peace & quiet for a half an hour in a hot bubble bath without a dog barking demanding I play frisbee or kids wanting to climb in with me, crying, whining or peeking under the door. So I started getting the little ones ready for the walk to motivate the big kids to get a move on; so I could let my hair down & let Calgon take me away. As the big kids were finally getting ready to head out the door with little kids & dogs in tow, I ran into the bathroom to get the tub running so as not to waste any valuable soaking time. As I entered into the bathroom I was greated with the foul stench of poop in my peaceful domain. I won't mention any names as to who the nasty culprit was but because she is 21 years old she should have known better. I ran out to utter my disbelief at her indescretion as there are two other functioning toilets in the house; there was no reason to use the facilities in the only room I was about to spend the next 30 - 45 minutes in & they actually laughed after a feeble sorry Mom I didn't think about that. Oh Boy! So I sprayed the room with Lysol & laid in the hot tub trying to ignore the Lysol / poop stench combo with the ceiling fan roaring & squeeking and my Cockatoo screaming a deafening AHHH AHHH AHHH for a good 10 minutes as she was missing all the kids. But when I looked up on the tub wall written in bath tub letters are the words "I Love You Mom". So even though my soak was not the aromatherapy experience nor the quiet that I was so desperately hoping for; it was pretty darn good. All my kids were home, the rest was just all gravy.

The only thing that would have made it better would have to been able to spend the day with my Mom too. It didn't work out as the kids had appointments booked for Monday morning but we are going for a visit at the end of this week so I will see you soon Mom & Dad. Love You.

Hugs, Laurie

Monday, May 5, 2008

Two Months Home!

Dancing & singing is one of his favorite past times.
Wrestling with his big brother is another all time favorite activity.
My baby girl, sleeping tonight. Thumb was in her mouth but I disturbed her & she pulled it out. You can see how dried out her thumb looks though.
Sweaty little man. I have never seen a little kid sweat so much when he sleeps.
Sleeping in separate beds now. C has moved up to the top bunk & feels like a really big girl that she can sleep up high.

On March 5, 2008 we flew home to begin our new life. The last two months have absolutely rocked my world.

#1. I find it hard to believe I have only had my babies home two months.

#2. I am amazed how much they have learned in only two months.

They have such sweet gentle spirits & have accepted me as their Mom from the beginning. They have a strength of spirit that I am sure helped them with being in an orphanage for as long as they have. Both compete for one on one attention, acceptance & just want to belong. When I think back on how amazed they were with every day stuff when we first met them to where they are now I am grateful. It has been such an eye opening experience to watch them blossom into life here. This has been an amazing experience - I have been so focused on teaching them but they have opened my heart & mind & taught me things that have changed my outlook on life. I am changed forever & for that I am grateful.

I wanted to focus this post on all the positive aspects of adopting older children. It hasn't always been easy & there have been moments that I felt over whelmed but hopefully those times are getting less frequent.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

At the swimming pool

Waiting impatiently to go into the pool this morning.
They love the water!

Stike one - We were at the pool A works as a lifeguard today, so she reprimanded me for having a camera in the pool area & change rooms (after I took this photo of her). Yikes I never even thought about that, I just wanted to show everyone how much fun the kids have in the water. I love that the pools now have family change rooms separate from the public change rooms. They have a private shower, toilet, change table, sink - awesome idea for families - especially Moms or Dads with kiddos of the opposite sex who don't want to send their kids into the appropriate change room by themselves yet.

Strike two - Then I dove into the shallow end of the pool; which I was told is not allowed either. Gosh within the first few minutes of being there I almost got us all kicked out. ;)

I behaved the rest of the time & the kids had a ball - sorry I couldn't show you the smiles on their faces as they froliced in the pool. Guess I will have to wait till we go to the lake sometime to show you my little fish.

This has nothing to do with the post but I love this photo of D. He loves this train so much & plays with it all day long. Looks like he is hugging it here. I get a little sick of the tune that it plays, but he never does. I have already changed the batteries twice in two months, but it does get a lot of use.

May 3, 2008

Finally it happened today - D figured out how to peddle his trike. I cut his feet off in this picture but you just have to take my word for it that they were on the peddle & he is moving.
Zora getting mauled. All of a sudden C is no longer even a little bit afraid of the dogs. It took awhile & now the dogs are getting no peace. They liked it better when C was scared.
C doesn't usually wear a tea towel on her head but I put olive oil on her hair & scalp so had to keep it from being smeared everywhere. It did make her hair feel really great but it didn't help with the dry patches. I am convinced it is some kind of fungal infection so we will see the doctor on May 12.
Ok here is proof - D's feet are on the peddles. They love their bikes & can't wait to get outside to ride.
Taya being carried around again.

Hair Problems

Can anyone give me some good advice on how to deal with this? C is a thumb sucker & when she sleeps she sucks her thumb & twists the hair on the sides of her head until it breaks off. I am not sure how to get her to stop this, but she has bald patches. Anyone have any good suggestions? I took these photos of her the other night before bed & showed them to her so I hope that helps but any advice would be most welcomed. I have quit using hair elastics of any type in her hair for puffs or cornrows as that just makes it too easy to get ahold of to twist. The rest of her hair is thick & not affected it is just the two sides that are being damaged. This is not a new habit from the stress of having a new family or life. When we picked her up she had very short, very little hair on the sides but since being home she has continued this habit. I am finding a couple of little balls of hair on her bedroom floor every morning almost. Help!

She does have very dry hair & dry patchy spots on her scalp but I think hair twisting is more of a self soothing habit & not a symptom from the dry hair / scalp issues.

Any ideas on how to get her to stop sucking her thumb? I have tried telling her that her fingers will get owie & put lotion & band aids on her thumbs, but the band aids end up off. I also told her it was making her teeth crooked - still no difference. I have also tried putting socks on her hands at night & that works for a bit but eventually the socks come off too. This is my first child that is orally fixated on a thumb or pacifer so I am not sure how to break this habit either. She seems to not even be aware of doing it, but as soon as she is upset or tired her thumb goes into her mouth & the other hand goes for her hair.