Monday, March 29, 2010

All sunshine & rainbows!

Well, not always. But I am trying to keep calm & see the sunny side of things. So my new banner is my current favorite digital scrapbooking supplies. It's called "Happy Go Lucky" by Shabby Princess. I love her stuff. The font is also my current favorite font, "Be Safe." It's a replica of Edward's handwriting from Twilight. Oh, yes.

I've been in a retrospective mood this week, as it's the 5-year anniversary of Roman joining our family. All the dates go by, starting with March 25 & ending April 1, and I can remember what we were doing every day. March 25 at 4pm was our court date. March 26 we visited the baby home like always. Same as March 27, but we also went sight-seeing with Dima that afternoon. March 28 was what people refer to as "Gotcha Day" - we don't, we just call it when we were able to bring Roman with us. I will never forget that car ride away from the baby home. The mixture of emotions I had - with him snuggled between Doug and I in the back seat, overwhelming joy & overwhelming sadness at taking him away from all he'd ever known, and the city he was born in - made me silently cry practically all the way back to our hotel. March 29 - plane ride back to Moscow. March 30 - sight-seeing in Moscow. March 31 - appt. with doctor in Moscow. April 1 - fly home!

Seemingly unrelated to my musings on our 5 year acknowledgement, I changed a picture in our 8x10 frame in the living room. Like my mom, I save all the other pictures behind it to see a progression. And behold, the growth of our family in 8 pictures:

Strangely, the way I arranged it you have to start in the lower right hand corner and then go up and down to the upper left hand corner. Our wedding (coming up on our 10 year anniversary!), Roman at 1 year, 18 months, seeing Thomas for the first time (we won that picture for free!), first church photo, addition of a brother!, and then this past year's family picture. Just amazes me, all that can happen in 5 years.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Charlie sings!

While Roman is just as adorable and wonderful as Charlie... he isn't thrilled to have his picture taken and he rarely will pause for a video anymore. So here's more of Charlie! On one of the days Charlie was "suspended" from daycare I started singing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and was surprised to hear Charlie trying to sing along. I ran for the camera and got him almost cooperating with me to sing it again. What does it matter? He's just darn cute to watch anyway.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The fun kind of battle

Charlie loves anything big brother is doing. Recently they've played a combination of chase and Star Wars. Roman will shoot at Charlie with his clone blaster, Charlie will screech, laugh, & run for the mini hockey stick. He holds it well, too - sticks the bent part under his armpit, points it right at Roman, and makes noises like he's shooting. If you ask, he will inform you plainly it's his gun. The boys then go running around the house shooting & chasing each other (& then falling down "dead," like above) until they are both laughing hysterically - or someone trips & falls.

Of course, at first Charlie's gun play bothered me a bit. It's funny to see a 2-year-old say "gun!" and make shooting noises, but then I think... oh gosh, he's 2. Should a 2 year old be able to do that? Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, though, and goodness knows based on what Roman did at the same age, Charlie will make a gun out of something by the time he's 3 anyway. So we limit them, encourage the "chase" more than the "shoot," & just enjoy the fact that they're playing together.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

that kind of mom?

Had a nice conversation with a neighbor the other day, mom of another boy in first grade. We were talking about what summer camps could interest the boys and whether they should do flag football in the fall - you know, common March conversations. :) Anyway, she recognized the football team names and said "oh, I've seen cars with those stickers on it! I want to be one of those moms!" I giggled at first and she said, "don't you?" And that question has stuck in my mind. And you know... I think I do.

Why do I want a sticker on my car? We actually bought one from the place where Roman & Doug do karate. I was disappointed to find that because my trunk windows are tinted I couldn't post the sticker. I think I want it because it means we belong... we're connected to something. And that's something we've not felt here for a long time. Partly because we resisted it... this area was our starter home, our stepping stone to something else. But now that our house value keeps going down (just got another notice - it's now worth $45,000 less than we paid for it!) we're not moving anywhere anytime soon. So it's time to become part of the community... and if that means putting a football or karate sticker on my car, I'll do it.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

being successful, & wanting more of it!

I thought I was going to pass out from dizziness caused by stress on Monday. Who in the world starts their child on medication, another child at a new daycare, & coaching a sport all on the same day? For crying out loud. Well, I do. And thank goodness I have Superman as my husband, or our household would have fallen apart.

Charlie has adjusted well to his new daycare. He calls it "happy happy playtime." They do lots of art and directed playtime which is good for him. He loves it so much that he cries when Doug picks him up! Swim season is fine too, good group of kids and everything's settling in nicely.

We decided, with a doctor's guidance, to start Roman on a low-dose medication to help. Rather than an ADHD med it's a mood stabilizer. We got immediate positive feedback from his teacher - he was able to read a book during reading time! He stayed in his seat at center time! He is raising his hand to speak during class! Roman's reaction was interesting. He first claimed he didn't notice anything different on his medication - but he was really proud of himself for staying in his groups and not being separated. But then Wednesday night, while trying to work on homework he was having a very hard time focusing and was getting very emotional. He finally blurted out, "it's the pill!" Doug asked him if he wanted one and Roman said yes. So he is aware, once the medication wears off, that there is a difference.

We go back in a couple weeks to the dr for a check-in regarding the meds, but so far so good. Now we just hope that our insurance covers much of it and he doesn't grow too fast because we'll constantly have to adjust it!

Monday, March 01, 2010

NEW - the word of the day.

Being home with our "suspended" child from daycare allowed me to find another place for him to go. Amazing how God works things out. Just like when I had to get Roman into after-school care, when I called this place there was one spot left in the two's room. We could start immediately. Whew! So Doug went over there Thurs. afternoon & got all the paperwork, showed Charlie around the classroom, and we both went this morning to drop him off. It's a pretty sweet room, and run like a mini-preschool with more structured time. I think that will be good for C., as clearly free play isn't his strength. They also run a ratio of 1 teacher to 4 kids - which is just amazing to me! - so hopefully we won't have biting problems.

Another change today is our daily schedule. I start assisting with the middle school swim team for the next 6 weeks, but this year we have late practice - I don't get out until 6pm. So Doug is being He-Man and collecting both kids and cooking dinner (I plan and prep). It really doesn't even out $$ wise, but it's something I love to do. I've thought about dropping it while my kids are young but frankly, I would probably not ever get the position back.

We also have an appointment today with the psychiatrist we met with last week. This time Roman is coming too, and after she meets with him & us she will give us her recommendation on what we can do to help Roman be more successful (our greatest concern currently is school). It doesn't matter how Roman appears to be, it bothers him that he has a special seat during group time, he is removed from groups during center time, and sometimes his teacher even has to remove him from his table (on bad days). It's not affecting his learning yet, although he is reporting that Math is getting "harder" and he dislikes reading. In talking with his teacher, we suspect it's because he can't focus or concentrate on either thing when it takes actual effort.

Doesn't it look like he's wearing a lamp on his head? I know better than to do that, but it's pretty rare to get him to pose for a picture now - I have to take it when I can get it!