Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Two Week Synopsis

Maicol on the bumper cars -he has waited a long time to do this and then discovered he really doesn't know anything about driving!
Learning to be skateboard experts.

Not sure about this - it hasn't been that cold, but you can see from their jackets they have grown since last winter.

Dan riding the little roller coaster with everyone.

Andrew had a good time I think!

Holiday World - their first trip to an amusement park and riding rides.

My little "tree hugger".

Dan has been "reminding" me that I need to blog, but I just don't know what to write about. Nothing new and exciting to report. We have had school nearly everyday. They still aren't wild about it, but since it's become more and more of a routine they complain less. Maicol is continuing to get better at working by himself, which helps alot. My challenge is trying to work with one, answer questions from the other and try to keep Andrew from getting into too much trouble. I have been trying various things to keep him entertained - watching a DVD, getting out a seldom-used toy, blocks of various kinds and he will lately sometimes look at a book. He is quite the mischevious one. I have started locking the front door during school so at least I know he hasn't slipped out the front door without me knowing. I can see the other door from the table where we do school. I came out from taking a quick shower the other day to find Andrew drawing on himself with a dry erase marker. I think he was quite pleased with himself, but I was not. Especially considering I saw his two brothers run from the room as I came out. They strongly denied they had any knowledge of the incident, but we all know better than that. Bethany finally got them to admit it and then I had punished them for lying to me.

We made it to Holiday World. This is an amusement park/water park. As we started to go the first day, we ended up unpacking the suitcases and staying home because of misbehavior. We did manage to get up very early the next morning and just made it a one day instead of a two day trip. They had not been to anything like this before. Maicol rode a pretty big roller coaster and was very proud of himself - even tho he was scared. The other boys weren't big enough to ride some things, but got to do enough that they had a good time. They weren't all that thrilled with the water park aspect, but did really enjoy the wave pools. Hopefully a trip to the beach will be possible next summer.

Bethany is now in her apartment. She is living there, but much of her "stuff" is still living at our house. :) She has a nice place to stay and is happy to be out on her own. We went over last week for dinner and I got to check things out since I hadn't been over there yet.

Maicol and I continue to struggle. He loves me one minute and hates me the next. Always over something that seems trivial to me, but I guess not so trivial to him. He made quite a big fuss yesterday because I didn't play with him before I went to work. Then he was mad because I didn't come quickly enough (in his opinion) to check on Andrew after he had bumped him with a truck they were playing with. He was able to stop himself several other times from complaining about other little things, so in some ways I think we are making progress. He so easily draws me into an argument. Because in many ways he is a very smart little boy, I feel like I should be able to talk and reason with him, but that usually doesn't work. You would think by now I would know that, but I still give in and try to reason with him too often. I'm getting better at putting a quick end to his complaints, but I still have a ways to go. It's still the daily barage of statements that I don't love him, don't care about him, talk mean to him, he isn't important, etc. We continue to reassure him that isn't true, but it really does get old repeating the same things over and over multiple times a day. Then I come home from work and find notes on the front door that he loves me and has drawn a picture of he and I. He's still following me around (when he's not mad) and won't go anywhere if I don't go. We're in a babysitting co-op starting in September. It's 2 friday nights a month for 4 hours. He had a terrible fit when he found out that I would be leaving him to play with other kids, watch a movie and have a snack for 4 hours twice a month. What a mean mother I am! I know that if he will let himself he will have a good time. He has such a great fear that I will either leave him or send him back because I have changed my mind about him. He just can't let himself believe that either scenario is not possible and that everything we tell him is true. He wears me out!

Dan has started reading books to them before bed. He reads and then I rock each of them. So it's "rock and read" or more accurately "read and rock" at night. He had tried reading books before, but without much success. They evidently understand enough that it's much more interesting now. They would sit and listen for hours if he would keep reading to them. Andrew and Juan really like the books. Maicol thinks he's too big, but if there's nothing else to do, he'll listen intently and have a wonderful time. Dan is really good at reading to them with lots of expression, so they are very interested.
We had our last post placement visit Thursday. Yeah, we're done! We still need to do the Ireadoption thing tho. They were a little rambunctious, I think she cut our visit a little short. It was only about 30 minutes. Maicol gets upset when we go and talk about him, so I'm glad we won't have to do it anymore. Now I just need to get all the pictures ready to send in with the report.
We're trying to enjoy the last few days of summer. Our neighborhood pool will be open this weekend and next, so we're hoping to get there as much as possible. Dan bought a slip-n-slide, so they have been enjoying that in the front yard. Bethany bought them a spray toy, so we're going to hook that up to a hose to play with too. It has been very warm the last few days. Hard to believe fall is just around the corner.

Here are a few pictures also.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Pretty and the Not So Pretty

I'm back to work (at my part-time job) today, so I finally have a little peace and quiet! I don't return to my other job til the end of next week. I love my boys, but I really, really needed a break from them (and they are probably glad to have a break from me too)!

Since I am home on medical leave I have been busy cleaning closets and cabinets, pulling weeds in the garden and Dan and I have been painting the outside of the house. Nothing like surgery and a forced 4 week leave to get some things done. :) We have also been having school daily. While they aren't crazy about it, it has been good for them. They haven't forgotten what they had learned and it helps to have a regular schedule for the day. Juan is doing well - he has only 5 letters and sounds left to learn. He is able to sound out words. When we started I wasn't too sure how well he was going to do, but he has surprised us. He is also now able to swim well enough to jump off the diving board without a life jacket. Maicol is reading pretty well and catches on to the math easily. He is finally starting to work better by himself. My struggle with him has been that he wants me to sit beside him as he works and watch his every move. No talking to anyone else, no reading the paper, etc. If I can't also help Juan or get something else done too it makes school take way to long and we miss out on doing so many other things. Andrew now knows 2 letters - A & E ("A" is for Andrew - according to him) and the basic colors. He is still mischievous - he can find a pair of scissors, pens, markers, etc. when no one else can and use them in totally inappropriate ways. He talks all the time. Skittles are proving to be a reasonably good incentive for potty training.

It was a very long week last week. Maicol has been struggling and it is of course all directed at me. Many unkind things said about me by him and lots of anger. I finally called Jonathan and begged him to come stay with them because I really needed a little time away with Dan. He was happy to oblige and we all enjoyed the break. He finally looked at me Sunday while playing his video game and said - "So you will love me even if I'm bad?" - and I repeated what we have been saying for a long time (of course we will, but it's much more enjoyable if you're good). Since then he has been better. Did that finally sink in? Even just a little bit? I sure hope so, but I know that we will be revisiting this again and again. Now that he's happier emotionally he's become my shadow again. Following me around all day, won't go anywhere if I don't go, touching me all the time, asking me questions constantly, etc. He wants me all to himself - doesn't even want Dan to play a game with us. He's driving me crazy! And to think back almost a year ago they were so in love with Dan and could have cared less about me. Now I have the opposite problem. :)

That's pretty much the news from the last 2 weeks. Some of it pretty and some of it not so pretty. We are approaching our 1 year anniversary - August 27. Hard to believe a year has gone by. Not sure if/what we'll celebrate - the day we met them, the day we signed the adoption decree, the day we got home. They don't always do well with celebrations, so we're still deciding what to do (if anything).

Thanks for following our journey thus far.