Sunday, August 30, 2009

Dangerous fugitive apprehended!

George the First has been captured and sent for rehabilitation.

George the Second through George the Two Hundredth are still at large. ;)

Friday, August 28, 2009

I think we've traumatized her teacher

When I picked Emily up from preschool on Wednesday, her teacher told me that Emily had gotten knocked down when she walked right in front of someone who was swinging (amazingly enough, I think she's the first of our kids to actually get hit!). Her teacher was nearly in tears as she told me that it took everything she had not to cuddle Emily to comfort her...but she didn't!! She got Emily all cleaned up and comforted her by just talking to her and putting a hand on her arm.

I want to give a huge thanks to Miss K and all of the other teachers in the preschool who are trying so hard to help us with Emily's attachment! They have all been wonderful at trying to understand and follow our requests, even when it goes against their very mother-natures. Emily now gives hugs to Mark when she is dropped off and comes running to give me hugs with a big grin when I pick her up. She is getting better at maintaining distance from people she doesn't know--although she'll still walk up and talk to them, she doesn't try to touch or hug people as often.

At the beginning of the week, Miss K noticed that Emily was lagging behind in coming in from the mulch-covered playground. When she turned to talk to her to encourage her to keep up, she noticed Emily's pants looked a lot more full than they should have. Knowing that we weren't completely convinced about Emily being potty-trained, she took Emily inside and got all ready--gloves, wipes, the whole outfit--anticipating that Emily had had an accident in her pants. When she pulled Emily's pants down to change her, she didn't find poop...she found wood chips! :) :) I'm sure Emily was much more comfortable after those were emptied out!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

We have a mouse. His name is George.

I think George is a nice name for a mouse, don't you? (No offense to anyone out there named George).

A couple of weeks ago I noticed some things that looked suspiciously like mouse droppings in the house. I only saw a couple, so I kind of dismissed it. Then this weekend I saw several more on top of the dog kennel, and I pointed them out to Mark.

It wasn't until Monday night while Mark was at a coaching meeting that I actually saw the mouse. I was in the dining room and a bit of motion in the kitchen caught my eye. I watched the mouse run back and forth along the south wall of the kitchen until he squeezed out the tiniest of holes formed at the corner of the door and the door jamb.

I wouldn't have believed he could have fit through there if I hadn't watched him do it!

Last night, Mark and I were sitting at the dining room table. I was getting ready to head upstairs for bed and he was finishing some computer work. All of a sudden, our very slow golden retriever jumped up in the air and leapt towards the bookcase. In very short time we had two dogs running back and forth from one side of the bookcase to the other. We had pretty much decided it was the mouse, and then I was able to see him underneath the corner chair with the flashlight. He couldn't figure out which direction to run, as it seemed (to him) that there were dogs everywhere he went.

We didn't really have a good plan for catching the mouse (nor any plan whatsoever of what we would do with it once we caught it!) but much hilarity ensued as we attempted to catch the mouse. Mark set up a box on one side of the bookshelf and then started moving the chair out of the corner and things off of the bookshelf to coerce the mouse into our box. I was no help whatsoever as I was really trying to get a picture of the cute mouse. The "catching" ended when the mouse turned tail and ran back towards Mark. In the resulting peals of laughter and dogs going crazy and Mark jumping up to make sure there wasn't a mouse in his shorts, the mouse escaped.

Not only is he cute, but he provides lots of entertainment. Thanks, George. :)

Mouse hunting

Here's George! (you can just see his little head peeking out from behind the bookcase)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I'd like a hole in my head, please

Emily had a cold over the weekend. Literally...over the weekend. She started sneezing on Friday, sneezed all day Saturday and was really congested, didn't sneeze much on Sunday (but had a cough) and was fine yesterday. Of course, now I've got it. I never thought I'd be thankful for Emily's cleft palate, but now I wish I had a hole in my head that would let my sinuses drain!

Last night Danielle woke up crying in the middle of the night. She either had a bad dream or fell asleep on her arm funny, because she woke up crying that her arm hurt. As soon as I had calmed her down, the first thing out of her mouth was "Go school today?" Ummm, yes, but not at 1am.

Dima's still struggling with controlling his emotions in the late afternoon/evening. As far as we can tell, he's doing great at school so I think he's mainly just worn out from working so hard at school. If we have to have behavior problems I'd much prefer we have them at home than at school. And still, the behavior problems we have are so minor I really can't complain. I wish he'd just figure out that the wailing doesn't work. And since I know he can control himself it's almost more of a matter of waiting it out until he works all of this out of his system (while being consistent in our response to it, of course). The other day he literally wailed for an hour then came in and said very matter of factly "Mama, can you help me find this picture on my puzzle?" He can turn the wailing on and off at will which is what makes it so irritating that he doesn't just stop doing it. His hands continue to heal and a couple of his fingers look almost normal now. He seems to be doing okay about not picking on them or chewing on them (at least not much) at school. At home we keep the gloves on quite a bit with ointment on underneath. It's not so much that he chews on his hands more at home as it is that it's easier to keep the medicine on and not have it smeared all over the house with his gloves on.

One of Zhenya's favorite things to do is sing. He loves music and making up his own songs. We were at church on Sunday and during worship he complained to Mark that he couldn't see. Mark told him to look over to the side and he'd be able to see the words on the screens over there (as opposed to the big screen in the middle). Zhenya looked around and then turned around and said "No, I can't see the guitar!"

I'm debating the logistics of starting music lessons with each of them (maybe not Emily just yet) one night a week for 15-20 minutes. Now that Mark will be home in the evenings, I could take one of them into the office and do some intro piano so they can start learning to read music. It may just depend on whether or not they're interested, but I have a feeling the answer would be a resounding yes for all of them!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Update on school

The kids had a great first few days of school!

Zhenya and Danielle's first day on Thursday was a half day so Mark picked them up at 11. Danielle didn't want to come home--she wanted to stay at school! :) She was very excited that she got to stay all day on Friday. Her favorite part of school? The swings.

Zhenya was excited as he didn't lose any "apples" (for poor choices) in kindergarten the first day and a half. He got to pick a prize out of his teacher's treasure chest since he kept all of his apples "all" week. He picked a minipack of Starburst (with two pieces) and he shared one with Dima.

Emily stayed dry all day Thursday and Friday at preschool, and Saturday and Sunday at home and while running errands--no accidents for four days! While I know she'll still have accidents on occasion, I think we can officially say that she's potty trained now. Woohoo!! Emily now has her own backpack as well as she kept trying to steal everyone else's in the morning. We tried it on today and she didn't want to take it off.

Dima is still having a great time in first grade. He really likes it and says that his teacher is "so funny, Mama!" He says they have to work hard but they're having a lot of fun too. We've had a fair share of meltdowns from him the past couple of days, but we're making good progress with him working on using his words instead of wailing. Some of the meltdowns are due to being tired/overstimulated, and some are just due to trying to figure out how everything works again. Thankfully he only melts down for us and not at school (I'm hoping that continues!).

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Last night we had a string of thunderstorms roll through about 1am. The lightning woke me up, but I didn't hear anything from the kids. Both Mark and I were awake and more or less dozing when we had a really big thunderclap and I rolled over and said "That one's gonna be a problem..." at which point the crying started (not me ;)).

He got up and went in to the girls and I was in bed debating whether I needed to get up as well when we had a second really loud thunderclap that had me covering my ears--at which point Emily started screaming. I went in and took Emily from Mark who was sitting on Danielle's bed trying to comfort both of them (they sleep in the same room). Emily's not actually scared of the thunderstorms, but she really didn't like the thunder being that loud. Danielle, on the other hand, is scared of thunderstorms so it was all a bit more traumatic for her. I put Emily back to bed and sat with her and once Danielle was calmed down Mark went to check on the boys. Zhenya was still sleeping and Dima was awake but unconcerned, and by the time I went to check on him about 10 minutes later he was back asleep.

The best part was that we sat with the girls for about 15-20 minutes, during which time they were both willing and able to be comforted and then fell back asleep without any problems. That tells me that they feel safe and comfortable with us and that they are learning to trust that we are there to protect and comfort them. Those are all really good things for them to be learning! :)

I was really glad they were able to go back to sleep as Danielle and Zhenya have their first half-day today. Dima has another full day and Emily will be at preschool most of the day. And Mark will be tackling some projects around the house!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First day of school

Today was Dima's first day of school, orientation (a little over an hour each) for Zhenya and Danielle, and almost a full day of preschool for Emily.

I was on edge all day. When my cell phone rang, I jumped about two feet. :)

Mark went to orientation with the two middle kids which is why Emily spent most of the day in the preschool. She's apparently trying very hard to learn how to ride the tricycles that they get to play with in the gym and she's having a great time. She had a great day at preschool and only had one accident--as they were walking to the bathroom after nap. One accident with being in underwear all day is fantastic in my book (especially since she was wearing actual diapers until 3 months ago)!

Zhenya's class currently has 18 students which is better than the 21 Dima had during part of the year, although it's still more than we would prefer. Zhenya's teacher got a heads up (from his previous teacher) and put him at the front of the class. Smart woman! LOL

Danielle had a good time at orientation and Mark has now informed me that none of our children whine. Apparently he got a pretty good vision of what a real whining child looks like from one of the other students in Danielle's class that made the minor whining we deal with look really minor. :) I'm hoping Danielle does not take any lessons on improving her whining technique from the other child.

Dima had a great first day of first grade--and he apparently didn't chew on his fingers at all! :) :) He said he didn't obey in the hall...he was "'rupting" (interrupting) but when I tried to figure out what exactly had happened I got confused and gave up. He also said the class got in trouble for being too loud a few times during the day. Knowing the class from last year, I was not a bit surprised. They were a loud kindergarten class! The best part is that he liked it and he wants to go back. Yay!!


I forgot to mention one thing from back-to-school night. Mark knows better than to send me places on my own, because...I volunteered him to coach the K/1 boys' soccer team! LOL I knew he would want to do it and they were desperate for someone who knows something about soccer. Mark played soccer through college and then in various leagues since then, as well as being a referee for several years. Plus he loves coaching the little kids. So it looks like we've added soccer practices and games to our schedules. :) Since it's K/1 boys' soccer, we're going to let the boys decide if they want to play. Even if they don't Mark will still coach, but we're betting at least Dima will want to play.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back to school night

Tonight was back to school night for 1st grade and up at the kids' school. Originally, I had planned to take Dima with me but he was so wound up (excited about school starting) and so tired that we decided it was better for him to get a good night's rest before the first day of school.
I'm glad I didn't take him, especially since only a few of his classmates were there.

It went fine, but the first part was in the auditorium where the administration went over some rules about cell phones and so on, and some of the parents went nuts! That part took longer than it should have because of a lot of unnecessary questions that are completely irrelevant to the actual learning process.

Then I got to meet Dima's teacher. I've seen her before since it's a small school and there is usually only one class per grade, but I hadn't actually met her. She's stern but has a great laugh, so I think she'll be perfect for Dima. I emphasized that although he has speech apraxia it does not affect his comprehension. She also says she does not tolerate laziness. We may never find a more perfect teacher for Dima. :) :)

I also warned her about his fingers, and told her that while we wouldn't send him to school with his gloves on that they would be in his backpack and she could ask him to put them on if she needed to (i.e., if he's bleeding all over everything).

I'm currently rounding up school supplies and making sure everyone is set for the first day.

Now if I could just get the butterflies out of my stomach! LOL

Monday, August 17, 2009

Anxiety in purest form

It all started with snapping.

Dima learned to snap a couple of months ago. He started snapping so much that he developed blisters on the pads of his fingertips. Then as the blisters dried out and started to heal, he started picking at them. And then chewing on them.

Now Dima no longer chews on his fingernails--he chews on his fingers. Until they bleed.

These actually look much better than they did a few days ago! :(

So he is now wearing these until his fingers heal. He doesn't mind wearing them as he wants his fingers to heal too. It's making it really hard for him to do a lot of things because his fingers hurt when he puts pressure on them. He asks to put his gloves back on after meals.

And I'm just concerned that they're going to get infected and he's going to lose his fingers. Sigh. This is all related to his anxiety over school starting, so I'm hoping that once school gets going (and he's using his fingers and can't chew on them!) that things will settle down and his fingers will heal and he will stop chewing on them.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Edited to add my toes (just for you, Trisha!)...

I like color in my life. :) Colors make me happy, and apparently they make Dima happy too. A couple of months ago I had painted my toenails pink. This is very unusual for me and I don't think the boys had ever seen my toenails painted before. Then I had a (my first ever) pedicure at a wedding shower for my sister. The boys had requested that I paint my toenails either pink or dark purple. I opted for the pink, which they liked. Then Dima requested that next time I paint my toenails dark purple. It took me awhile to find my dark purple polish (go Frogs!) but I did and last week I painted my toenails purple. You should have seen the excitement in our house! LOL

I love being able to do things that bring my kids joy. :)

Next Dima wants red. Hey, as long as he's requesting it for my toes and not his own, we're all good. :) :)

Yesterday, I took Dima and Emily to speech. Unfortunately (I thought at the time), I had forgotten that Emily's therapist was going to be out of town and she didn't have therapy that day. So Emily and I hung out in the lobby while Dima went to therapy. And Emily and I worked on her colors. The therapy lobby has these cool marble grids with different colored marbles. Emily loves to play with them. She loves the texture and the sound they make as well as all of the different colors. So as we played, I would say things like "oh, you found a red one" or "that's a nice blue one" and so on. After a few minutes, she started pointing to different marbles and saying the color! I was ecstatic because when she came home she had basically no knowledge of numbers, colors, shapes, etc. She is picking up on things so fast and it's so awesome to see. I know she'll do great in preschool--it's me I worry about. ;)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Preschool orientation

Last night, Emily and I went to her preschool orientation. To say I am stressed out about her starting preschool would be a huge understatement, but I do also think it will be good for her to be with her peers. She won't even actually be with her peers, as we're putting her in a 3-year-old class and she'll be turning 4 in a few weeks, but due to her size and motor delays we didn't feel good about putting her in a 4-year-old class.

I have two major concerns with her going to preschool.

One: after discussions with the director (who we know very well), she thinks it would be best to put Emily in the upstairs 3-year-old room...the potty trained room. Except, well, we're not completely convinced that Emily is potty trained! But she can go to the bathroom independently, she does ask to go to the bathroom, and she does have control over her bladder and can stay dry through naps. The director thinks she is close enough and will do well in a room where all of the other kids are potty trained. So I'll be sending 3 or 4 clothing changes with her instead of the usual 1 or 2. ;) If it becomes apparent that she's just not potty trained enough, we'll send her to the downstairs (non-potty trained) 3-year-old room.

Two: She's still really affectionate with everyone. Sigh. She doesn't "mommy-shop" so I don't know if we really need to be as concerned about her attachment as we are. But I went ahead and put on her paperwork and stressed to her teacher that she is not to receive any physical affection at school. This includes hugs, kisses, sitting on laps, being held, etc. I explained to her teacher that we are working on teaching her that affection is for family, and that once she understands that we will be able to allow her to show affection to others. Her teacher was very supportive. Let's just hope she follows through with it.

Mrs. K (Emily's teacher) also knows some sign language so she is completely comfortable with Emily using sign. Right now Emily uses sign to supplement her language, so if she thinks you aren't understanding her when she voices she'll add in the signs.

I do think preschool will do wonders for Emily's social skills and motor development. I just keep reminding myself of that. :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Danielle's CP evaluation

Today Danielle went to the CP (Cerebral Palsy) clinic at Children's Hospital. I have mixed feelings on the visit. :)

Overall, it went well. Danielle has a tentative diagnosis of mild diplegia, but it's only a tentative diagnosis due to the amount of progress she has made in the last 3 months. Since coming home, she has learned to run and jump--not normal progress for children with CP without any therapy. She has used no orthotics and has been able to learn how to walk with her heels almost completely down (she was walking completely up on her toes when she came home).


They staff at the CP clinic wants to give her botox injections in her calves to help release those muscles so she will not need to work so hard to keep her heels down. They anticipate this being a one-time procedure and they don't see a need for orthotics unless she starts pronating after the botox (a common side-effect because the "looser" muscles cannot provide as much stability).

They also recommended PT, OT, and speech therapy--none of which we will be doing. The PT was a max of 1-2 times per MONTH. OT was "just in case" she might have some fine motor skill difficulties. Since coming home, she has learned how to pick things up with a pincer (2-finger) grasp and how to use scissors to cut on a line. We feel that her fine motor skills are developing very well for the amount of time she has been home given her history.

I actually laughed and said no when they recommended speech therapy. We've been through the language learning process twice now and Danielle is far and above where the boys were at the same time home (for obvious reasons with Dima). She can clearly say "rectangle", "watermelon", and a score of other words that continue to surprise me. :) She can pronounce all of her English sounds correctly, including "th" which is not present in the Russian/Ukrainian language. Yes, she has a vocabulary deficit...but she's only been hearing and learning English for 3 months! LOL

I think some of my frustration with the visit is that I don't feel they were taking her history and background into consideration. When I described the visit to Mark, he actually asked me if they realized that she was adopted. Yes, they mentioned a couple of times about her only being home a few months, so I think they get it...but they obviously don't get where and what she was coming from.

We are planning to go ahead and schedule the botox. The botox injections normally last for about 3 months, and we are hopeful that that will give her muscles the time they need to learn to relax and help break her of the habit of walking on her toes.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Taking turns

Dima had a much better day yesterday. Instead, Emily decided to be a pain. :)

Emily reverted back to some behavior we haven't seen in a month or 6 weeks. She refused to answer questions and would only repeat whatever was said to her. She was also excessively weepy and whiny.

A couple of days ago we had noticed a scab on her chin which looked like a mosquito bite. She had been scratching at it and it broke open so I'd been putting antibiotic ointment on it. When I got home from work on Friday, I noticed that she seemed to have some sort of rash spreading up one side of her face from that bite area. When I gave the kids their baths, I took her temperature (just for curiosity) and she had a low-grade fever. I also found a few more "bug bites" on her torso which was covered by her shirt (i.e., she should not have gotten bitten there).

My first thought was chicken pox. We don't have any medical history whatsoever on the girls and I have no idea if either of them have ever had chicken pox. But it didn't look quite right for chicken pox. On a hunch, I decided to treat the "bites" and rash-thing instead of the fever, so I gave her some benadryl and sent her to bed.

She woke up in the morning completely free of the mysterious face rash and with all of her "bite" gone except for the one on her chin. I'm guessing she had an allergic reaction to something, but neither Mark not I have figured out what yet. She had a better day of answering questions and was not nearly as whiny. :)

Friday, August 07, 2009

Dima's very bad day

It's been a while since anyone's had a bad day, so I guess we're about due. :)

Yesterday, Dima had a really bad day. Now, I need to qualify that by saying that for some parents, when their child has a really bad day it involves hitting or screaming or running away. Thankfully, we have experienced none of those behaviors with any of our children. Dima's bad day consisted of a bizarre amount of regression. He spent pretty much the whole day in his old wailing fits, more or less one after the other. What was even more bizarre is that it carried over into speech therapy yesterday afternoon.

When his speech therapist came out to get him, I didn't mention anything about his bad day. I was hoping that he would behave differently for her (as has happened in the past) and I didn't want to bias her in expectation of poor behavior.

Apparently, I should have warned her.

She kept him the whole hour, but afterwards she said she basically spent the last half-hour redirecting him. He chewed on his hands/fingers until they bled, couldn't focus, and whined enough to drive her to distraction. She said she's never seen him act so much like a baby (her words). And from what Mark described of Dima's behavior yesterday at home, what the speech therapist saw was just a continuation.

What's frustrating to me is that I can't figure out the trigger. I have three guesses--a new stuffed animal he's been playing with (that he's had for a long time but just started playing with), the concert the kids went to yesterday with Mark, or school starting in a few weeks.

OR--maybe it was just a bad day.

That's the hard part about having children with an unknown history. I'm always second-guessing, trying to make sure we're doing everything we can to help our children heal. But it's really hard to help them heal when you don't know what hurts! And how do I know that he wasn't just having an out-of-sorts of those days where everything just feels wrong (heck, I have those days too)...and he just doesn't have the language to help him talk about it and process it?

Last night at dinner I asked him a few leading questions about the concert on Wednesday. I got normal responses and nothing that would indicate that that was a trigger for his behavior. I've pretty much ruled that one out. I'm leaning towards school starting as the trigger, but it's just puzzling. He says he's excited to go to first grade (and he really is--you should she his eyes light up when he talks about it!). He knows his teacher's name, he knows other kids in his maybe it's just that he's anticipating the change in routine.

So...we'll keep plugging along, being consistent, and trying to get to the bottom of the problem if there seems to be one. In the meantime, I hope he has a better day today!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

My amazing husband

I haven't posted about our job situations because it's really not relevant to the blog, but Mark and I managed to arrange things so that one of us is home with the kids until they start school (at which point Emily will start preschool and the three big kids will be in school).

Since being home with 4 children ages 7 and under for the past couple of weeks, Mark has:

Finished the downstairs bathroom (way more involved than it sounds)
Made a square foot garden (4x4) for me
Completed nearly a month's worth of meals from Once-a-month Cooking

He's been staying really busy at home and I know the kids are enjoying their time with him. Zhenya's been helping him cook and Emily likes to follow him around and close everything (cupboards, drawers, the dishwasher). :)

I finally got things planted in my new garden (way late, I know!) so we'll see if anything grows. I planted one tomato plant, one red pepper, carrots, broccoli, sweet basil, and cilantro. The herbs are already doing really well so at least those will be useful. The tomatoes may not have a chance to ripen before our first frost--it will just depend on when our first frost is. So far I really like the square foot garden since I can reach everything and everything is separated out nicely.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Less sleep=good news

It was bound to happen as soon as I posted that no one had woken up at night. ;)

Last night Emily woke up wailing/crying/screaming. I'm not sure if it was louder than usual or if it just startled me awake, but I flung myself out of bed and ran into her room. She was laying in bed, crying, and as soon as I sat down on the bed and started comforting her she said...

"Go bathroom?"

By all means, go to the bathroom! LOL

She got up and we went to the bathroom where she peed a LOT and then I took her back to bed. She was fine until she was back in bed and then she started to cry again. I comforted her and reminded her that it was the middle of the night and time to be sleeping. She calmed back down and I sat with her for a few minutes to make sure she was settled. Then I got up and left the room, but left her door open a little bit to listen and make sure she didn't start crying again.

I'm not sure if she had a bad dream and woke up, or if she needed to go to the bathroom and woke up, but I'm thrilled that she wanted to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night! We've really been working with her on potty training but I thought it would be quite a long time before she would be dry at night. If her bladder is waking her up at night, she may be dry sooner than I expected. Of course, it's still going to take a while before she can get herself up and to the bathroom by herself, but we're making progress!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

No puking

Hooray! Our pediatrician was able to find a one-dose treatment for the giardia and the girls had no side effects from it. They took mebendazole, which is normally used to treat pinworms. I could not find good info online that it can also be used to treat giardia in one-dose, but I know our pediatrician did a lot of research as well and I trust her research options better than mine. No puking this time around and I am so glad I spoke up and asked for a different medicine!

No one has been waking up at night since we took out the nightlights (or at least not waking up upset!). The girls are sleeping soundly enough that I can go in their room at night. When all of the kids first came home, they did not sleep soundly at all. Dima and Danielle would both startle awake at the slightest noise or touch. Now everyone sleeps soundly, telling me they are comfortable and feel secure in their beds and that we are there with and for them (that, and they're exhausted from playing all day! :)).

It has been so much fun to watch Dima's progress this summer. He is really started to gain some maturity. He is not "over" all of the survival behaviors that he learned in the orphanage, but he is making tremendous progress. I think it has helped him to have the girls at home, as he gets to be the big brother now. He always was before, but since he and Zhenya are so close in age I think they always felt more like twins than big brother-little brother.

The boys have decided that they want to be called Alex and Tim for school this year. We have been spending time with all of their names this summer, and they have requested to be called Alex and Tim (or sometimes Timmy). I'm trying to get in the habit of using their first names by calling them Alex Dima and Timmy Zhenya, but it's hard! LOL Every time I remember and say "Alex Dima" he always turns around and says "Thank you Mama for calling me Alex Dima" so I think it's something I need to work on more diligently. Please forgive me if I mix up names in the blog--this is going to be a harder transition for me than the boys! :)

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Girls' day out

Yesterday Mark had another base ball game a couple of hours away. Since his brother was in town, I requested to stay at home with the girls so we could go shopping for school supplies and all of the boys could go play base ball. Mark was hesitant, but he finally agreed (he wasn't sure how well he could watch the boys while playing base ball, which is a valid concern).

The girls and I hit OfficeMax, Office Depot, Target, and Walgreens, with a McDonalds run for lunch. We had a great time and got a bunch of stuff on the kids' school supply lists. With three of them in school I need to hit all of the deals I can!

Danielle is super excited about school and when she got up today and put her dress on for church she asked if she was going to school. Then tonight when she was going to bed she asked me how many days until school. Unfortunately for her, she doesn't know the number "16" so she still doesn't know how long until school starts. LOL

It was especially good for me to get to spend some time with Danielle shopping on Saturday. I feel like I am not bonding as well to her as she kind of gets lost in the chaos. Emily has needed so much more attention simply because she is younger, so I'm really trying hard to develop my relationship with Danielle. It took several months for me to really feel bonded to the boys, and I've seen that bonding (on my end and theirs) continue to grow and deepen the longer they've been home. I see the same thing happening with Danielle, but it's hard to be patient and give our relationship time. This is nothing Danielle is doing or not doing; it is simply a matter of trying to develop a relationship with a person you've only known for a couple of months and that you have a hard time communicating with. :) It takes time and effort and a willingness to make connections and build the relationship.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

The end of the nightlight saga

Thursday night, I woke up at 4 in the morning to very loud crying. Assuming it was Emily, I had the girls' door halfway open before I realized that the crying wasn't coming from their room. I hurried down to the boys room to find Zhenya standing in the middle of his room, crying. Once I got him calmed down enough that I could understand what he was saying, I figured out that apparently he had woken up and thought that the shadows in the wrinkles in his sheets were something in his bed. Once I showed him it was just his sheets, he was fine and went back to bed. As I left the room, I pulled out their nightlight.

The next morning, I pulled out the girls' nightlight too. We needed to return them anyway since they wouldn't turn off (they were supposed to automatically turn on and off) and I've decided if the kids are comfortable sleeping in the dark then we'll just go with that. The nightlights were for Mark and I, not them, anyway, so that we could see when we went in their rooms at night.

I found your comment interesting, BT. But I'm gauging their response more on how they go to sleep at night than what happens when the wake up in the middle of the night (since then they're usually disoriented and possibly scared). When the kids first came home, all of them had a hard time going to sleep at night. It was completely understandable, as they were in a new place with new people and everything was different. Now all of our kids go to sleep easily at night, without fuss, and fall asleep quickly, telling me that they feel safe and secure in their beds and knowing that we are here. (It's also still light here when they go to bed, so we'll see if anything changes when it's winter! :))