Nov. 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Joyful Moments of Today

Eli had not pooped in a couple of days. This afternoon he finished nursing and I sat him up. His face changed color and expression several times while he did the deed. And once he was all done he squealed in excitement. It was really funny. He continued to joyfully babble the entire time I changed him (a long process for such a little dude). I wish you could hear his high pitched squeals. They are very cute and uplifting.

Prema did really well at school again today. She tried hard and is doing a good job showing how much language she has learned. It was fun watching her succeed with all that she has learned.

Isaac wore underwear today (per his request). He played outside for a while before coming in to tell me he needed to use the bathroom. He undressed himself and went on the toilet. It was the first time he has never had an accident in his underwear.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

4 month old brute (Eli)

born April 30, 2007 8 lbs 7 oz

now 4 months and 20lbs 8 oz (1 week ago). Wow-za!
But he sure is sweet and cuddly. He loves to roll over but only towards the left. He is starting to try to roll to the right. He likes pulling his nuk out of his mouth and trying to reinsert it. Prema and Isaac love him and he loves watching them.


A Successful School Day

Prema started school today. She spent a 1/2 hour in physical therapy and a 1/2 hour in her new classroom. Everything went well. The teachers and other staff have done a great job reading up on the resources we have given them about RAD. They are also very amenable to me tagging along and jumping in with behavior management technique suggestions. Tomorrow we will go again for a 1/2 of occupational therapy. Next week she will begin spending more time in the classroom along with continuing the PT and OT.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Random Things

The kids are finally getting over their colds. Eli is the only one that turned into ear infections. I took him to the doctor Thursday morning and he is starting to come around today. He hates the medicine. At the doctor's office he weighed 20 lbs and 8 oz. He will be 4 months old on the 30th. The nurses were laughing.

Isaac woke up last night after a bad dream about dog food. This is really funny to me. Whenever he is around Thompson we catch him eating and drinking out of the dog dish like he is a dog. We also find him nibbling on the dog bones from time to time. We've tried telling him it tastes bad but he doesn't agree. A week ago in his sleep he shouted "dog food" and then last night he said he had a bad dream about dog food. I am very curious how these dreams are being played out.

I had a successful whole day alone with the kids as Grandma Cullum is hanging out with Sam for his triathlon. Thankfully the kids were very well behaved. Prema got her chores done. We had a good hour at the park, trip to eat lunch with Kyle at the office, and a grocery store adventure. I realize that other people have 3 kids and do alone all the time, but if I did that things would crumble at this house. The few hours I am home alone with the kids each day, I sometimes find myself creating new lyrics to familiar tunes about managing a 20 lbs baby who loves to be held a lot and two 2 year olds (one physically, one emotionally) throwing tantrums , testing boundaries and feeding off each other when they can see my stress level increasing by the minute. It is not a recipe for continuing to be patient and calm.

Kyle and I have gone 2 weeks without eating ice cream. This is our weakness. If you live anywhere near a Publix grocery store and have tried their ice cream/ frozen yogurt you know why. Delicious!!! and quite a cheaper alternative to the ice cream stores. It became a nightly habit when I was pregnant with Eli and had to stop once we realized that we were not going to get any thinner by eating it. We've both been really good about exercising and Kyle has done amazing at eating healthy. I'll post another time about all this.

love to all

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Transitioning Back to School

Today we had a HUGE meeting about Prema's return to public school in the Deaf Education program. HUGE not only in size (15 plus people in attendance), but also in importance for our family and her future. We had been feeling that Prema needed to return back to school for academics to give myself and the boys a break from her and also for her to be around other deaf people. However, we also know that Prema is not fully attached yet and therefore we still need to keep her environment small and limited in the the number adults she is around. We came with our 4 goals to have Prema's therapy and academics be at school, but still giving her enough time at home to work on her attachment and be with family. The other important piece was the fact that Prema's test results show 10.5 year old normal deaf child but her academic abilities are lower than kindergarden level. Therefore we wanted her placed in at least 2nd grade but still having her academics focusing on the lower level skills she has yet to aquire. The meeting was a big success. All of our goals are going to be met. Prema will be attending school 3-4 hours a day depending on the classes schedule. She will be in a 2nd grade classroom. And we have made a schedule to try and eliminate as many changes in environment and adult interaction as possible. We are going to begin on Wednesday August 30 with a transition plan of at least 2 weeks where Prema goes only for a few hours a day with me shadowing. Gradually she will increase her time at school and without me there until we meet her permenant modified schedule. Keep us in our prayers as there are going to be some big adjustments for everyone involved (Prema, Isaac, Eli, Grandma Cullum, Kyle and me, teachers, etc).

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Braces in Our Future

Today I took Prema to the orthodontist. If you have ever seen Prema in person there is no doubt that she is need of braces. However we were not sure until today what that would entail. It was quite an enlightening visit. The doctor spent an entire hour with us for a FREE consultation. We even got to bring home a panoramic picture of her teeth. The picture reveals the full truth. Prema's teeth are a mess. She has a lot of permenant teeth fixing to come in, but one baby teeth that doesn't want to come out to let the other in. Hence there may be at least one tooth extraction in a year. The permenant tooth that is trying to come in is making its own paths around the baby tooth right into the neighboring tooth. Mind you Prema has already had oral surgery in October to remove an extra tooth that was trying to come in between her two front teeth. Besides Prema's crooked teeth, she also has an asymmetrical jaw and an under bite. We were advised to wait until all of her permanant teeth come in before beginning treatment. At that time a better assessment can be made about if additional things (like breaking the jaw) need to be done to help her. Ultimately getting the jaw in line would help Prema close her mouth. Currently she has her mouth open all the time and only closes it if we remind her. Even then she struggles to keep it shut for long. So thankfully we have at least another year before we begin to consider fitting Prema with braces, but we probably need to start saving sooner. ugh!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Good/ Bad Bee

I've been having a good time playing a little game with Prema and Isaac during cuddle time: Good Bee/ Bad Bee. It was an idea Prema's therapist gave me for some fun during our cuddle time. I changed it to be Bee with a good choice or Bee with a bad choice since we are not bad or good people, but instead all good people who make good or bad choices (a.k.a choices we might not be happy with the consequences later). I cradle the kids in my lap and hold a bee (thumb and index finger together or a stuffed bee) and tell them a short story about the bee. If the bee has made a good choice the kids let him in to tickle them. If they bee has made a bad choice they swat him away. Isaac has gotten to the point where he likes to either tell me the story about the bee or he wants to change the bad choice into a good choice so that he can let him in. Its been a great way to reinforce their choices in a light hearted way. Every time I have cuddle time with one of them; they both request the game. So if you have any kids I highly recommend spending a little time to pull them up close and give it a try.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tests are Normal

We got the results of Prema's tests today. Her MRI, EEG, and chromosome test all came out normal. No seizures or brain atrophy. This is very good news.

A Taste of the Real Deal

Eli started eating cereal this week. He is basically just tasting it once a day and isn't quite sure what he thinks about it. His first feeding was fun with lots of "conversation" from the little guy. He's been a lot of fun....talking up a storm, laughing, and loving his ability to roll over and hang in the johnny jump up.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Our Date

Every Friday morning Isaac and mommy go on a date. This idea started when we realized that Isaac needed some extra special time with mommy to balance out the needs of Prema and now Eli. Isaac gets to choose where we go. His favorite spot is the Starbucks in between our Home Depot and grocery store Publix (the best grocery store in all the world!!) This became Isaac's favorite place to go when we retreated away from the choas one time and watched the Home Depot forklift work outside the coffee shop. Each visit Isaac hopes we see the forklift working. If it is not working we drive to the back of the store just to catch a glimpse of it resting in its parking stall. If there is no forklift action happening, Isaac enjoys sitting at the coffee bar watching the baristas make all of the customers' drinks. Each visit to Starbucks (aka "hot tea store" for Isaac) Isaac enjoys a "hot tea" (warm milk), blueberry muffin and the whipped cream off of mom's drink. He commentates to the baristas about what they are doing. "You are stacking the cups." "You are pouring the milk." He keeps repeating his comments until they respond. Sometimes this can take them a while to catch on that the little kid is not going to stop talking until they respond.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Contrary to popular belief...

Eli's chubbiness is not slowing him down. Yesterday Eli rolled over for the first time at 3 months 1 week and 2 days old. Since his first success he is trying to roll over all the time. We have now entered into the difficult diapering stage. He is a lot of fun to watch. He is very proud of himself when he is realizes what he has done.

We still think his rolls are very cute. Last night we were laughing at his "accordian" legs.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Beach Times

We've been having a lot of fun at the beach these days. We go almost every weekend late in the afternoon. Isaac and Prema enjoy swimming in the water and digging in the sand. Eli is content to just hang out under the umbrella. This last weekend the kids really enjoyed some big holes that others had dug before our arrival.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Up Up Up and Away

Photo Share: This photo was taken by Uncle Sam the last weekend in April just before Eli was born. Isaac loves to have Kyle throw him up in the air.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Brain Day

Prema was sporting this look today. This morning we left the house at 5:15 a.m. to take Prema to the hospital an MRI. She had to be sedated in order to keep her head still for 20 minutes. She was pretty freaked out knowing she was going to be put to sleep and remembering her oral surgery experience this last October. Once that was done we went to her 9:00 a.m. appointment at the neurologist for her EEG appointment. There they put the electrodes on her head for a 24 hour ambulitory EEG. Throughout the day we have been recording her activities and pressing a black button for recording whenever we see something we are concerned about. About a half hour before bedtime Prema showed us she had caught on to the procedure. She would stare into space or rapidly blink her eyes, wait a minute and then look at us to press the black button. Tomorrow morning we go back to the neurologist for them to remove the electrodes. On the 15th we return again for them to tell us the results. We are not sure when we will be given the results of the MRI. We are hoping that both tests will give us some insight into what is actually going on in her brain (i.e. brain damage, seizures, developmental delays not due to lack of schooling, etc). We are also doing chromosome and genetic testing to hopefully give us answers about her family and prenatal history.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

A Lesson to be Learned

One day during rest time Prema decided that she would destroy a cassette tape. The tape happened to be a book on tape from the library. Now dare ask why a deaf child has a book on tape in her room during rest time...that would be mom's fault for not removing it and Prema's curiosity and desire to explore the object to not draw my attention to the fact that it was in the library book boxes. When I discovered the cassette after rest time I started to attempt to rewind it for her. As I became frustrated with the task I decided Prema would learn nothing from me mom fixing her mistake. I recalled the proper thing to do in Reactive Attachment Therapy/ Parenting : make it her concern and her problem to fix. Prema does not have the ability to rewind the cassette herself, but she can do extra chores to earn money to pay the library for a new cassette or the wage for a librarian assistant to do the job. We determined that she needed $10 to cover the cost. Over the course of a couple weeks she pulled weeds, cleaned bathrooms, scrubbed floors and dusted. We payed her minimum wage for each chore based on how long it would take us to complete the task (this idea came from RAD parenting techniques and works great---you can never over pay and really helps you decide what is fair).

On Monday Prema had collected all ten dollars. Tuesday morning we went to the library to return the book and cassette. Prema gave them her $10 dollars and handed over the book and cassette. A bit later the librarian tracked us down and gave us back the book and tape explaining to me that she was informed that we now owned them since they would need to order new books. As I bounced fussy Eli on my hip and checked on Prema to make sure she didn't interact inappropriately with the librarian I graciously took the book and tape and placed it in our stroller to take home. As I drove home I wondered what I was thinking taking the book and cassette back. What is Prema thinking now? Hopefully I didn't destroy a valuable lesson. Prema may now think we destroy things only to pay for them and own them.

This lesson was the first time we could really see restitution really work as we have heard in RAD therapy. Each time we reminded Prema of why she was working she was willing to work. And when she returned the cassette she looked ashamed as I explained the incident and then at peace as she handed over her hard earned money. As Prema continues to deal with her anger, sadness and fear related to her abondonment and adoption she continues to destory things, hurt people and make people mad. As she begins to form her conscience knowing her behavior is unacceptable she needs ways to reconcile the damage and hurts in order to allow herself to heal and move on. If damage or hurts are left without restitution they only continue to add to her psyche of low self esteem and unworthy of love.

Little brother Isaac is also learning from Prema's mistakes. The other day when he damaged something he told us he needed to work now for money. He went to Prema's chore chart and told us he was going to go and make the bed. We advised him that he is showing his cards a little too much (telling us how much he undestands and knows) and that he doesn't fully understand yet how easy life is for him and he might wish to keep his knowlege a little low key before expectations become equal to that of Prema's.