Monday, May 24, 2010


Wow - time sure flies by!!!

Truthfully though it is alittle hard to know how much to put out there on a public blog. I keep the blog so that I will have some record of life during this crazy time... and I know that I learn so much from others both stuggles and victories. Anyway - that is why lately I have had alot of posts in my mind that never made it to the computer!

Estifanos is doing amazingly well. Poor kid has been home less than 2 months and has had the mumps and then a ton of dental work done (crowns, extractions, and cavities) and started school. All this on top of a big new family and amazingly he is cheerful, obedient and happy. Some kids are very resilent and he is one of them. His adoption has been amazingly simple in terms of adjustment. We have to be very careful to draw him out when he get quiet, because that usually means that something has happened that upset him. But he is learning to come to me when he is upset and that means the world to me. He is just all around a great kid.

Alem - well she gives us a run for our money. I was joking with another mom that I know we are the family God meant for her - in part because I know my Fathers voice and I heard it clearly about her - but also because we are experienced parents, and experienced adoptive parents with lots of tools in our parenting tool box and a really strong marriage. Because parenting her some days is not a picnic. Some nights find me sitting on the top of the stairs crying because I am not sure how in the world I am going to face another day with her drama. But then there are other times when I know that we have made so much progress. One night this month she was in trouble for something - and having a big fit about it - and I thought Oh Lord not again, I can't do this again (2 nights in a row of drama do not make for a happy mom). So I am sitting on the stairs crying and she comes out and gives me a note that says I love you but it feels like you don't love me. Well holy cow - that is huge. Huge that she was able to admit that she loved me even when she was mad (and boy was she mad) and that she could identify that she didn't think I loved her. We talked about it and she was able to see all the ways that I showed her I loved her each day - which of course is alot, she just is frustrated that she doesn't get her way. Then tonight - she was in the hot tub with some of the other kids, and yelling for me - which isn't allowed. I was ignoring her. Dad went out to tell her it was time to come in and she refused to get out. Really?? So I had to go out - and gave her another chance, actually 2 more chances and the pulled her out and deposited her inside. I'm not at all sure what she thought would happen - that we would stand there and wait for her? who knows, but she was almighty ticked off about it. Yelling and crying all the way up to her room. A few minutes later I go up to talk to her - she starts threatening not to go to school in the morn and I thought - ummm don't go there honey cause I will drop you at school in your jammies and leave. But I went through the process of naming her emotions for her - which is really important because sometimes she is so mad she doesn't know what she feels. Finally she says this isn't easy - being a family girl. Yeah no kidding I said back - it sure isn't easy to be your mom. LOL totally shocked her. It isn't easy - it doesn't mean that I don't love her - I do and I explained all that to her again. but she wants to be in control of me - and that isn't ever going to happen - which I explained, again. And then she apologized and we moved on. Now tomorrow when she doesn't get the hot tub - it will be a different fight, but oh well.

3 days left of school - the kids are all excited about it. I'm just happy the weather is warm and the sun is shining so hopefully we will be able to use the pool this summer.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

sleep begets sleep

Sleep issues are always huge on the adoption radar. When we brought Becca home we struggled for many months with sleep - as in she wasn't getting enough of it and neither were we. One of the adoption groups I keep up with has had many discussions of sleep and how to get more of it for you baby and toddler. I tried those time tested techniques and lo and behold - they worked. It turns out that Miss B needs to go to bed around 630pm and then she happily sleeps until about 7am. Putting her to bed at 7pm did not have the cooresponding effect of causeing her to sleep until 730 but rather woke her earlier at 630 and then put her an hour behind for the day. Happily a few months home we had that problem worked out.

No one ever mentioned the same cause and effect for older children. HOWEVER LET ME THE FIRST TO SAY even with older children SLEEP BEGETS SLEEP. Alemtsehay has had major sleep issues from the beginning. They have gotten better since she moved into the floor of our room - but she was still awake for long periods each and every night (though finally not waking us up - just laying there fretting.... which isn't really a solution). So on Wed - after she didn't hardly sleep a wink Tues at 830 I said - that is it - time for sleep. Previously we had been allowing her to choose when to settle for sleep - bedtime was 8 (and still is) but she could look at books or play quietly with dolls until she was tired, usually around 9 or so. And then she would sleep for about 2 hours and wake up frightened or grumpy for hours each night. So Wed night time for sleep at 830 - and lo and behold she went right to sleep - slept all night and woke around 730 happily.... hmmmm. Well I'm not an idiot so again on Thurs we try again and the same result and again and again. Thank goodness she is finally sleeping without fear and sleeping well - it makes a huge difference in her and in me.