Protected: What I Couldn’t Have Known December 30, 2009
Freedom! December 29, 2009
I got a wonderful late Christmas present yesterday….well, actually I got two, because my mom had misplaced my gift in her car. So from my mom, I got a gift certificate for a manicure (MUCH needed), and from Matthew, I got a little freedom (VERY MUCH needed).
We started Matthew out sleeping in our room from the very beginning when we came home. This is what he was used to in Korea, and our main priority was to make him feel safe and comfortable. We had a place set up for him on the floor, and sometimes he would end up in our bed with us at night. While this was necessary at first, it got old very quickly for me, as I am not a huge fan of co-sleeping in the first place.
First of all, I immediately lost out on my favorite part of the day. Getting in bed at night with a book or watching TV. Nope, there’s a kid sleeping in there, must be very quiet. And it always seemed like when I would get in bed and get settled, he would start crying or have a night terror or simply get restless. I was starting to think our presence was disturbing him as much as his was disturbing me.
I must tell you something about Matthew–you may think I’m kidding, but this is so true. He hits his head on anything and everything. It is like there is a magnet in his head (a strong one!) that is drawn to any and all hard surfaces. Think about this–when have you ever, while sleeping, banged your head against your headboard? I’m sure never. For him, I would say that happens multiple times every night. Or against our nightstand or dresser, which we would try to block with pillows to protect him. It really is the strangest thing.
So having a fussy, head banging child in my room and sometimes my bed was starting to wear on me. I’m sure that sounds selfish, and it probably is, but I want my own space to relax in. And I think kids need their own space too. And what I have learned is that I can much better deal with a crying or upset child in their own room than one in my bed.
So why in the world have we waited so long to try it? Well, now his night terrors are really rare, so I think he is settling in more and feeling secure enough for this. Also, we had issues with the bed we had initially purchased for him. He really needed rails on both sides to keep him from rolling out, but with the frame we had we couldn’t use them. So we have been needing to buy a new frame and boxspring and we didn’t have a way to get them home. Finally everything fell into place and my sister was here with her big SUV, so we went for it. Jason was so motivated he set the bed up immediately upon bringing it home last night, even skipping dinner. I’ll let you decide why he was so motivated to get the child out of our room!
And in the end, Matthew went down fine in his bed. He slept great all night! I peeked in at him at 2 and then he cried a little around 5 and I found him at the bottom of the bed close to falling out. Once I got him re-settled he went immediately back to sleep! This is also going to be so much better for in the mornings, because Matthew likes to sleep a little longer than Isaac. In his own room, that will be much easier for him.
Next step is to start weaning him off the bottle–I really don’t think he will be too upset about it, but I’m going to wait until after New years for that one. Small steps, small steps. For now, I am celebrating my victory by…..laying in my bed while he naps in his own room!
Protected: Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time December 26, 2009
Protected: Getting Ready for Santa December 25, 2009
Apparently I Have Been Naughty December 24, 2009
No, I didn’t get coal or even switches. WORSE–a nasty bout of strep throat and walking pneumonia. Not cool, Santa.
I knew I was getting a sore throat yesterday, but just thought I was getting the cold that Matthew and Jason had. Then I woke up in the middle of the night in so much pain and feeling like there was a golf ball in my throat. It was just my uvula (dangly thing in back), and while it wasn’t exactly the size of a golf ball, it WAS the size of a….of a….well of about 3 uvulas put together. It was quite a disturbing sight. I had to lay on my side because if I laid on my back, it just fell back against my throat and made me gag. Nice, right?
So I arrived at the urgent care doctor right when they opened at 8 AM. The nurse was even taken aback at the sight of my Guinness World Record sized uvula. But the real treat was when she found the globs of pus hiding behind it. Grossed out yet? Then the doctor told me my throat was disgusting. Thanks for the news flash. Strep test came back positive to the surprise of….no one.
To be honest, I wasn’t even surprised that the walking pneumonia test came back positive. I am skeptical that I really have it, only because I have been tested for it three times in my life. All 3 times were positive. I think I might have something weird in my blood that just shows up on that test. I say this because one of my sisters ALWAYS tests positive for it too. We are weird like that.
So here I am on Christmas Eve all by myself. Jason took the boys to his aunt’s for Christmas Eve dinner. I am bummed to be missing it, but I kind of asked for it. You see, I have been thinking in my head for weeks….all I really want for Christmas is 2 hours alone…in my own house. And I got what I asked for, although the $65 in prescriptions was kind of a bummer. The good news is, I’m not THAT sick. I do feel like crap, but not so much that I’m not going to enjoy these few hours. And I got a steroid shot and antibiotic shot and tons more drugs to take at home (can we all just be SO thankful that American Family Care was open today??). I am sure I will be rebounding by tomorrow. Well I have to be. You see, my family is all about me taking it easy today and feeling better, but I have been informed that the show WILL go on tomorrow. They will be here at 9:30 Christmas morning and they want french toast. And I wouldn’t really have it any other way. After all, I only asked for 2 hours alone in my house. Not a minute more. And I guess that’s pretty much what I got, so maybe I have been nice after all.
Thanks Santa, I guess. Oh and Santa, I can take being sick. Really, I’m tough. But you can just stick with toys for the kids….and the husband, well I’ve got him all taken care of. See you tonight!
Protected: Baking, Baking December 23, 2009
Whaddaya Say? December 20, 2009
We had our 3-week follow up appointment with the international adoption clinic on Wednesday and I wanted to talk a little about how that went.
We went over all of the results from the lab work. Basically, everything they tested is perfect, not that we were expecting anything out of the ordinary. There are a few vaccines he will have to catch up on, but the ones he received in Korea were all effective. We had a hearing screen performed and his hearing was within normal limits (again, not a surprise), however he does have some fluid on his eardrums. If that doesn’t begin to clear up, I wouldn’t be shocked if he ends up getting tubes in the near future. He has an appointment for an MRI in February and we should be seeing the neurologist early in the year as well.
The only red flag that came up was when they asked me how he was catching on with language. Frankly, he isn’t saying much at all in English. I haven’t really been concerned, but in the back of my mind, I remembered following some other blogs of adoptive parents….reading that their children (other toddlers) were already using short English phrases before they even left their home country!! EEEEK. I was fully prepared for the doctors to tell me not to worry, all in good time, but they didn’t. They flat out said he should be using a lot more English than he does.
In the end, I believe the reason he isn’t using more English is because we are reinforcing his use of Korean. I am not sorry we have done this–it has been very helpful. His foster family told us many of his common words and phrases and that was a Godsend. So when he says “gong” I know he wants a ball, so we get it. When he says “shee shee”, we go potty. If I am trying to tell him to come here we have to get ready to go outside, I say “naga” and he comes running, ready to go.
However, now that we have been home for a month and now that he understands a lot of what we are saying, I am going to make an effort to get him speaking more English. There are a lot of words he CAN say, but he doesn’t choose to. For whatever reason. It could be his personality is very stubborn (it sure seems to be) or it could be that he is just acting like a regular two year old, but there are times when he would rather throw himself on the ground and have a fit than tell me what it is that he wants. For instance, this morning, he was eating breakfast (a waffle and sliced apples) quite happily. I fixed a small plate of apple slices and a blob of peanut butter for myself and sat down right next to him. He immediately started having a tantrum. I asked him if he wanted some of mine. He shook his head no and continued crying. I asked him repeatedly what he wanted and pointed to the refrigerator and pantry to see if he might want something in there. Still screaming, shaking his head no, and then pushing plate and cup away. I decided to ignore him and he started calming down. Once he was calm, I asked him again if he wanted some of mine, and sure enough it was all because he wanted peanut butter with his apples too. Believe me, I didn’t expect him to say, “Please mom, I would love some of that peanut butter.” But a simple point at my plate would have sufficed.
I don’t really think this is atypical for two year olds. We went through the same thing with Isaac, and eventually put him in speech therapy, where I found out he didn’t have any speech problems, he just had a mother who wasn’t MAKING him ask for what he wanted. So I am officially going to start making Matthew tell me what he wants. First step is showing me, signing to me, leading me to what he wants. Next I am going to try to get him to say just the one word. Then hopefully some phrases. I know he can do it. He is quite a clever and smart little boy.
I am proud to say that he is getting more open to looking at books, especially picture books. We have one that has one object on every page. I would say that he can name about 40% of the items in the book. He says “choo choo” for train, and he always says “bye bye” for airplane because in Korea he would say goodbye to the planes flying in the air. He can say apple, banana, shoes, car, and ball, but he prefers pointing. And just to prove to us that English is really the hardest language to master, he said “quesadilla” multiple times at the dinner table last night….yet he has never said “dog”. Show off!