Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sweetness Times Three

Thanks for letting us come over and celebrate your birthday Finn!
You are an awesome cousin!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Speed Racer

I was flipping the TV one afternoon last week, finding a cartoon for Sidney when I discovered the Little C*uple in China. I have wanted to see it for a long time and can never seem to find time. Sidney was immediately intrigued and watched the entire episode with rapt attention.  As the familiar sounds of Chinese echoed in the living room as the couple experienced the adoption, she sat in my lap clinging to me. It’s another situation where she’s confused. She obviously afraid, but I don’t think she understands why. Tom and I have talked at length about putting her into situations that push her comfort level but in a controlled environment. This was an awesome opportunity.

While we were watching she asked if we could go to China. This has been a normal question in the last couple of months, however her next question threw me a bit. “Can we visit the people that know me? Do you think they will know me mommy?” I was pondering my answer when she commented “If we go to China nobody’s messing with my hands.” We noticed, especially when she first came home, she didn’t like anyone touching her hands or looking at them at all. It’s something we have always made sure others respect. I thought it spoke volumes about what she probably experienced in China.
My subjects aren't as willing as they used to be
having their picture taken. 
She seems to be processing things a lot right now. This weekend out of nowhere she started telling her story to no one in particular in a room full of relatives, “This is my mommy, but I didn’t grow in her belly. I grew in somebody else’s belly.” I can only imagine as she sorts this out, it’s terribly confusing. We can only make sure we talk openly and talk a lot about how our family was made.

I can't remember if I posted this from this summer when Eli was in our local parade.
I couldn't believe how grown up he looked in the photo!
We are off to another school day tomorrow. Cooler weather means school isn’t done early in the afternoon. Thankfully, Sidney is still thrilled to be in school. Today they did technology. She methodically explained they each had their own computer to use in the computer lab. It’s always fun as a mom to hear your kids enthusiastic about learning new things.

Okay I’m off to see if the couple on TV loves it or lists it. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Finding Time to Post

I guess Tom is going to continue torturing me with the current visitor in our house. There’s a frog that we continue to find between the screen and window in our kitchen. Tom is standing out in the kitchen doing nothing to remove him commenting about it eating a large moth. We aren’t on Wild Kingdom get that thing out of there!
Spending some time with friends a few weeks ago. I
can't resist goggle shots!
In other news, we made it through the third week of school! I finally broke down and asked Sidney’s teacher how she’s doing in class. I live in fear that her sensory issues are out of control or she’s being ornery. Last year went very well, however it’s tough to know when she might regress. Also, I think it’s a natural mom thing with a new kindergartener. Her teacher gave me great news. My little turkey burger (what I call her when she’s being ornery) is falling into the routine like a champ.Her sensory issues are there, but we are working to do things to alleviate it.

I just had to stop writing and put down the laptop to give Eli a hug goodnight. Or shall I say avoid being tackled? He thinks it’s particularly amusing to fake like he’s running across the room and act like he’s going to land on me. This would be funny if he weren’t 5’3” and 135 lbs. and really landing on me. My mother informed me a while back it’s his tweenish way of showing affection and that my uncle treated my grandmother in a similar manner. I guess she lived to be 96, so she survived it. He would be VERY upset if he knew I was writing this, but after he does this, he sits with me and tells me about his day. This is the one time during the day when he has my full attention, and it’s going to be a sad day when he doesn’t need to do this anymore.

Eli is young for his class, but he’s always been a big kid. I guess that makes sense since Tom and I are both tall. Our doctor estimated when he was a baby that as an adult he will be 6’5”. I don’t doubt it. Tom was 6 ft  in 6th grade. He passed me in shoe size a couple of years ago. He’s one of the youngest in his class. It’s so sweet when I consider he and Sidney are at opposite ends of the growth chart. That being said, it’s not always easy to be coordinated when you’re this big at this age.

Meanwhile Sidney is under 5% on the growth chart, and we are thrilled. I say this because she was in the negative numbers when she came home and labeled “failure to thrive.” To any other parent that might sound like a very scary scenario, but we are happy she’s simply on it! Our geneticist said a couple of years ago, if she’s on a positive trajectory, it’s fine. The line on her growth chart continues to climb, so we are happy with her progress. This also means our doctor will not be bugging us to go to an endocrinologist to make sure there’s nothing going on. I’m sure as a special needs parent, I’m not alone in thinking, my child is from Southern China, had giardia untreated for months, and was deprived of food. I know I’m not an expert, but it’s going to take a while to catch up!

Time to stop writing and post. Tomorrow is the first day of Sunday School, meaning Tom and I will be chasing upwards of eight 6th graders through a scavenger hunt!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

I'm Sensing Something Sensory (Again)

 Wow! I looked at my blog and realized it’s time for an update.  A kindergartener and sixth grader make a busy mom! We’ve had a ton of days the kids were out early due to the heat, so by the time I juggle working with both kids, my day feels like it’s over before it started. First, I can report Sidney loves kindergarten.  She loves everything about the routine of consistent activity and knowing what comes one day after the next. I was pleasantly surprised this weekend when she was relatively calm not going to school on Saturday. Typically during the school year, Saturday is one of our rougher days. It’s a time when there’s no real plan. Sidney thrives in structure.
Messy sidewalk chalk!
I did a lot of praying about her adjustment to kindergarten. When she’s in the classroom and she’s occupied, she’s fine and on task. Any disruption in the flow triggers her. This is largely related to sensory issues. Frankly, a noisy lunchroom would send me into sensory overload. I’ve been doing more reading on sensory stuff. It talks a lot about how in a noisy echoing environment, sensory kids have a very difficult time. The reactions listed in the information were like reading a book about Sidney. One of the typical reactions listed was basically starting to bounce off the walls and become hyper when this is going on. It’s like her system is on overload, and she can’t filter out the noise. She also has a hard time listening when this happens. I always wondered why she couldn’t snap out of it when someone told her to stop behaving in an inappropriate way. From what I’ve read a sensory child can’t filter out the noise so it’s like the teachers lips are moving but she can’t separate it from what’s going on around her. 

I am constructing a letter to Sidney’s teacher. I completed one for preschool, and it seems to help the teacher to have a concept of what’s going on. We don’t have a formal IEP, however we are not against seeking out the advice of an occupational therapist.  For now, I will pass on the letter to the teacher explaining her sensory issues.

“Her toughest issue is probably sensory. I’m sure you’ve noticed she has extreme difficulty standing in lines and has a hard time keeping her hands off of other children. The simplest way to explain is her environment was void of the one on one care needed during a time of crucial brain development while she was in the orphanage. This causes her to perceive her environment differently. Noises, smells, and anything sensory that is a part of her environment is received differently.”

Outside of the things that trigger her, she is doing very well. I can report the same about Eli. He has an awesome set of teachers this year, so it is fun to see him enthusiastic about learning. Of course there are still the normal grumbles when it’s time to do homework and many audible sighs as he maneuvers learning how to remember things like that scientific calculator has to come home to complete math. We’re getting there.