Monday, May 30, 2011

Surfs Up

So which kiddie pool to buy???  The lowest priced one was the simple, 3 ft. round, 6 inches deep, blue plastic pool.  The upgrade deluxe version was about 5 ft. round,8 inches deep, blue or green, with pictures on it.  The top of the line, super deluxe, was a whopping 6 ft. round, 10 inches deep, blue or green, with pictures on it AND a slide.  Guess which one I chose??? You got it, go big or go this case we went big and went home with the super deluxe, blue plastic pool, with the slide and pictures for the bargain price of $30 at Walmart.  I think I was more excited about it than Christian was :)

I asked for assistance to put it on top of my car and tie it down, and then remembered I was at Walmart and that kind of assistance doesn't typically happen....or at least in my past experiences it hasn't.  So the "mature" short stature cashier, said she would assist me.  So we flop the pool on top of the car and she holds it while I start tying it down. Now I must confess, I did get some advice from an expert on the best way to tie this down so it wouldn't blow off the top of my car.  A former Navy man, who also moved his six kids around the country to colleges and new homes, has the expert knowledge and vast experience in packing and tying knots. That would be my Dad. So I did a phone shout out, and after several minutes of knot tying consultation, I felt confident in my ability to tie the pool down and make it home.

As the Walmart lady held the pool, I tied a few knots to my luggage rack, wrapped the rope around the pool in every direction possible, tying knots every so often, until it was secure enough that she could let go without it sliding off.  I had alot of rope length left, so I just kept wrapping it around, across, over, under, until I ran out of rope.  When I was making the last tie off, a young male employee came over to ask if I needed assistance (and yes he called me ma'am...ugh I hate that)  :)  So he galantly took the end of the rope and made the last knot.  If I can brag for a minute, my knots were much better than his one sympathy knot for the older lady trying to get this tied down by herself.  I think my Dad would have been proud of my knot tying, even though I KNOW it wasn't up to Navy standards :)

Off I go, and yes, I did slow down my usual fast driving to the speed limit or below (smile here) and made my way across town, the 20 minute drive, to arrive at home with the pool still attached to the top of my car. YAY!!!!!  I got it all untied, flopped it into the yard and we made our way into the house to get the necessary tools needed to attached the handrail (and I use that term loosely) to the side of the slide.  Now here is where the frustration came into play, in this otherwise joyous event.  The holes in the pool did not line up with the holes in the PVC pipe handrail.  So with sweat pouring down my face and back and after alot of pushing, pulling, forcing, sitting on (and yes some not nice choice words) I finally got the screws through the handrail and pool to get it attached. Then to find a level place in the yard.  That was a challenge that couldn't be met, so I opted for the most level place possible and turned the pool so the deepest water level would be at the end of the slide for great splashdowns.  I put the water hose in the pool to fill up and we headed into the house.

I was finally able to hold Christian still long enough to get his swim trunks on and he raced for the door.  As he was racing for the pool, it occured to me that I should warn him that the water will be cold, but the ornery side of me wanted to see his shocked expression when he jumped in. Yes I know, that borders on being mean but I choose to see it as being mischevious :)  So he did just that. He scrambled over the side of the pool, his feet hit the water and he immediately started dancing from one foot to the other saying, "cold, cold!"  I got in, and yep he was right, it WAS COLD!  I picked him up and we waded around while I dipped his feet and legs in, over and over, until that initial cold shock wore off. He wanted to try the slide so bad, so this time I did warn him that it would be cold when his body went in the water. But with some sort of kid gibberish, he mounted the two steps, flopped down and sailed down the slide, landing in almost a laying down position with only his head above the water. He squealed because it was cold but he scrambled to the slide again.  Over and over and over he went, down that slide. The bottom of the pool is a little slippery so he was falling down and rolling around in the water on his trips back and forth to the slide.  At one point his head went completely under, but he was fine with it, got up laughing and headed for the slide again.

I was worried about the pool because when he came home with me, he had issues with water and the bathtub if you remember. He has overcome his fear of water in the bathtub, but the pool water is deeper and the head going under the water, I thought might freak him out.  But he was a champ and did great!!!
So springing for the super deluxe pool with the slide was a wise choice.  We spent alot of time in that pool this weekend and good thing, it was a HOT weekend.

Back to work tomorrow and Christian's first day at the new daycare. Fingers crossed he does ok with the transition :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Scootin' Sideways

Friday morning was Christian's last test run at the new daycare.  Watching the teachers interact with the kids and how they talk and direct them, I am very impressed and excited for Christian to start on Tuesday!
I had him stay at his "old" daycare all day so he could play with his friends one last time and so I could get some work done around the house. I got the front bushes trimmed, swing hung in the tree and alot of errands done.

One errand was a trip to Target to buy a scooter. With the generosity from a friend, Leslie, who gave me a Target gift card for the adoption, I was able to buy a scooter!  Thanks Leslie!!!  I found one that has a handle on the back so when Christian gets tired of peddling, I don't have to carry the scooter home. It has a foot bar that flips out for him to rest his feet on while I push us home.  Ingenious idea.....wish I had thought of it and got a patent :)

So when I brought him home from daycare, I show him the scooter and he goes nuts! He jumps up and down saying "outside, outside!" So outside we go to ride the scooter.  My back sidewalk is short with a couple of stairs at the end, that I am sure he will careen off at some point, but I didn't want it to be today.
The alleys in my neighborhood are paved and really smooth, with hardly any traffic at all. So I decide we'll zip up and down the alley first, before we venture too far from home.  He has never ridden on a scooter with pedals, so I wasn't sure how it would go. 

We make our way out the back gate, I set the scooter down and he hops right on. I turn to close the gate and hear the plastic wheels cruching rocks at what sounds like a fast pace. There he is, careening down the slope from the gate to the alley, hands gripping the handle bars, legs straight out and eyes as big as saucers. By the time I react he moves the handles bars too sharp, which makes the scooter skid to the side and one back wheel comes off the ground and throws him off.  He pops right back up, says "whoa!" climbs right  back on and heads down the alley slope again.  Oh no, I have a daredevil on my hands and a future ofbroken bones in casts flashed across my eyes.

He figure out pretty quick that the alley sloped down one way and was uphill the other.  He would pick up his feet and soar down the alley with me trotting after hime. Then on the way up the alley he couldn't quite get the hang of peddling just yet, so he would push with his feet. Then at the top he would whip that scooter around and sail down the alley again.  We made this lap over and over again and he loved it.  He doesn't have the concept of steering yet, he would get excited, look back at me and turn the handle bars too.  This made for alot of weaving back and forth and had me constantly reaching down the set the steering right. No wonder I was sore the next day, I need to get into shape!

When it was time to go inside for the night, he didn't understand why the scooter couldn't be brought into the house.  I don't think my furniture, or the cats, would have survived that.  I unleashed him out into the neighborhood on the scooter on Sunday afternoon. He did better with the peddling but the steering still baffles him.  He did get tired so we utilized the foot bar with me pushing him home.  Needless to say, he fell right asleep that night :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Whine Free

YAY!  He must have slept good because he was fairly whine free today.  We had very bad storms, hail and tornado funnel cloud sightings, which seemed like everywhere, all over St. Louis.  Fortunately none touched down around me!  I think my car did get some hail damage though, will have to check it out tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow is a test run at the new daycare. I want Christian to see the inside (we were only outside playing last time) so he can see the rooms so they won't be totally new to him on his first day on Tuesday. It will be interesting to see if that same little boy is so welcoming again and if Christian runs away from him :)


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Whine Fest

OMG! Christian was SOOOO whiney tonight he was driving me crazy.  We were supposed to meet my girlfriends for dinner tonight but they all cancelled, one by one, which based on Christian's mood tonight, was a good thing.  We went for a walk, which paused the whining for an hour, but it was back in full force as we approached the house and he realized we were going inside.

He loves helping me do the laundry, which entails him throwing the designated pile into the washer, or at least close to the washer.  Then he wants to help transfer the clothes from the washer into the dryer and we name each piece as we do it.  He then enthusiastically tosses the dryer sheet in, slams the door and instructs me "to turn on." If I even make a move toward the basement door, he knows I'm going to do laundry and barrels toward me, pushing me out of the way, to get down the stairs first. So tonight's routine was no different but was accompanied by the grating tone of the whine. I just kept closing my eyes, taking a deep breath, and talking to him calmly, praying the serenity would flow into him. Who I am kidding!  I wasn't serene and know he sensed it like an animal senses fear in people.

So the whining continued until he laid down in bed and I closed the door against the melodious sound :)
Let's hope he gets a good night's sleep (and me too) and my sweet loving little boy returns with the whining button on mute.  I know he is tired because he woke up last night with a bad nightmare.  I heard him screaming, the "I'm scared to death" kind of scream. I bolt into his room to find him standing up facing the door and hysterically screaming.  It kind of freaked me out actually.  I picked him up, held him tight and he was shaking so bad and clinging to me.  I held him, swaying back and forth, telling him that "Mommy is here and everything is alright," over and over again. I started singing to him and he slowly calmed down but his shaking lasted for about 10 minutes.  I had tears in my eyes because he was so scared and I felt so bad for him. Especially at times like this, I wish he could talk better to tell me what the dream was about.

So we said an extra prayer tonight for no bad dreams and a good night's sleep for him. Good night, sleep tight my little angel.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lucky Days

We've had some luck days lately.  Friday we did the test run at the new daycare and Christian jumped right in with the kids and played.  One kid was overly curious about him, was in his personal space (very close to his face) putting his hand on his chest, saying,"hello, hello."  Freaked Christian out!  He barreled out of the scooter car, through the window side because the kid was leaning in through the door side, and ran for me saying, "Up! Up!" I held him for a few minutes and when the kid went to play with someone else, he got down to go play with the other kids across the yard.  I stood and chatted with his teacher, giving her his background, where he is developmentally right now, and what I'd like to see happen in the future.  She is so open and friendly, I got a good feeling from her.  The kid found Christian again, got too close, and Christian came running to me again.  The teachers were explaining to the kid that he was too close and to give Christian space, but he was so excited to meet a new kid he couldn't help himself. We stayed for an hour and Christian didn't want to leave, which I took as a good sign :)

We drove to my parents house for the weekend because one of my nieces graduating from high school on Sunday. We got to my parents about 7:30 p.m. Friday evening and most of the family was still there visiting because my sister from Florida flew in with one of her sons for the graduation and Mom made dinner for everyone. It was the first time Christian met his cousin Merrick, who is almost 6 yrs old.  They had a great time together! Merrick was making sure Christian didn't get hurt and was showing him the ropes on how to play the right was SO cute!

Saturday we went to watch my niece play in the softball regional championship game. They lost but Christian had a good time running around.  Then after nap time, out to my sister's we went, where my Florida sister was staying, to play with all the kids.  Aunt B convinced Christian to walk with her out into the pasture to pet their horse!  I couldn't believe he did it but wa so happy and proud he was adventurous to try AND I was so happy I had my camera with me to snap the moment.  I'll be posting that picture soon :)

Christian didn't fair too well at the graduation.  We ended up in the back and when that didn't work, out in the hall.  Another parent was out there with their child so I didn't feel too bad.  It was bittersweet to see my niece graduate.  She has grown into such a special young lady and I know soon, I will not be seeing her as often as I do because she's off on a new adventure.  But she will always be in my thoughts, just like all my other nieces and nephews are every day.  My sister and I then raced home to get the food out and do the final prep work before the post graduation guests arrived.  I dashed around putting food out, talking to people, greeting people at the door and taking photos.  When Christian woke up, I then chased him away from the table multiple times because the crackers were just in his reach and every time I looked at him he had his cheeks puffed out and a cracker hanging out his mouth. He had already been fed but he saw everyone else grazing and thought, "why not me too?"  I can't blame him but I didn't want him throwing up in the car on the way home!

So now we're back at home, going in to our last week at the undesireable daycare.  We have two more test runs at the end of the week and then the day after Memorial Day we jump right in.  I pray he transitions well because the following week I'll be gone overnight on a work trip and I hope he does ok with that.  Grandma and Grandpa will be staying with him but this is the first time I will be gone overnight, and far enough away that I can't be home quickly, so I hope he does well for them. I'm sure I won't sleep that night, worrying about him, and can't decide if talking to him on the phone the night I am gone would be better or worse for him.  I've got about two weeks to decide that one :)

So all in all, we had an eventful weekend, full of laughter, family and love :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Christian's favorite word right now (other than the standard "no") is "ride."  As expected, I don't have it figured out what he really means.  He points to cars and says "ride" but he doesn't want to ride in our car. We were walking the other day, he spied a pickup truck parked on the roadside, and made a bee line for it. I followed him (of course) to see what he was up to. He gets up to it, wants me to open the door and, yes you guessed it, ride.  I explained loudly over his wailing why we couldn't ride in this truck; it wasn't ours, I didn't have the keys, it wasn't ours.....but the distress continued.  So we go home and I tell him we can go for a ride in our car, head for the car and he throws down, not wanting to ride in our car but the neighbors parked right by ours.  So here's the deal, I LOVE my car and I'm feeling a little paranoid that he doesn't like it...just kidding.  He's too young to know what a cool car is, but rest assured, I think my car is cool.

So I'm not sure what the fascination is with wanting to ride in a random strange car, but I am glad he's not older, because I would be concerned that some freak would lure him into their car pretty easy due to this recent fascination. Yes I just got done watching one of those police shows and it makes your mind wander to the dark side once in a while.  Maybe he's going to be one of those kids that's really into cars???

I put him in his car seat the other morning, put my bags on the seat, and closed his door, our normal routine. I walked around the car to the driver's side, opened the door and slid into the driver's seat.  Christian then said in a cheery voice, "well, hello!"  I bust out laughing, it was so cute and funny.  "Well, hello," like he hadn't seen me for days. He is talking more and more, putting more words together and his humor is coming out more often which is so enjoyable.  I just love watching his personality evolve!

Well tomorrow afternoon is our first test run at the new daycare.  I have a good feeling that it's going to go well :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

What's next

We have been very busy the last several days.  My nephew surprised the family by coming home unannouced from Afghanistan!  He's been there for about seven months and we are so thankful he is now home safe and sound.  This is the one cousin that hasn't met Christian yet because he left before I brought Christian home.  Christian kept calling Curtis by his brother's name, Adam, because Christian knows Adam and the brothers look very much alike.  It was cute and you could tell he knew it wasn't 100% Adam by the hesitation on his face, but he couldn't figure it out.  I wanted to have him see the brother's together at the same time so he's understand but it didn't work out this weekend.  Their sister graduates on Sunday, we'll all be there, so I'll see Christian's reaction to the brother's together then, and of course, get a photo!

I went to a wedding shower on Sunday afternoon and knew because it was nap time, Christian would be a bear.  I put him down for a nap before I left my parents house, with Grandpa in charge.  His cousin Adam was also there for backup and I was only 8 minutes away if something went wrong.  I came back two hours later, walked in the door, and both Adam and Grandpa were sleeping in the recliner and on the sofa, with Christian still asleep in the bedroom, so all was well.  I woke him for our normally two hour drive home.  But due to the oh so wonderful summer road construction, we were at a stand still on the highway at times, so the two hour drive turned into three hours.  Christian did really good until the last 30 minutes, then started pulling on the car seat straps, whining that he wanted out.  I didn't blame him, I was tired of sitting and driving and to top it all off, it was raining. I decided to distract him and put in the kid CD of songs.  He started dancing in his car seat which is hysterical to watch.  I got to laughing so hard, I wasn't sure if it was raining harder or it was my eyes watering so much from laughing.  Momma has to teach him so better dance moves :)  He did wonderful in the car under the circumstances, so after dinner, I gave him a treat, a frozen fruit bar popsicle.

This weekend my sister and one of her sons are coming "home" for our niece's graduation.  Christian will get to meet yet another cousin for the first time, this one much closer to his age. It will be fun to see them play together!

I gave the daycare my two week notice that Christian will be going to another facility on May 31st.  The owner wasn't happy but was cordial about it.  It's typical, like when you want to get your hair cut because it won't do anything and the two days before you get it cut, it styles great.  I have been frustrated with them and they have not been very interactive with me and this last week has been a 180.....they've been very nice, very interactive and going on and on how well Christian has been doing lately.   I felt a little guilty this morning when I gave our notice, but it is definitely the best thing for Christian.   I pray the new daycare is as good as my instinct thinks it is :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Photo Project

A friend of my sister's just started taking photos as a hobby. She makes herself take at least one photo every day, to help her get into the habit, as well as learn the features on her camera.  This is a person that has never even taken snapshots, didn't even own a camera.  Of course she is the type of person us fellow "photographers" hate.....first time user and she has an incredible eye for composition, subject and effect.  Her photos are gorgeous!!!  Some friends of hers told her that at the end of a year, she should make a coffee table book of her photos entitled, "A Year in our Life."  Great I stole it :)

I decided in mid-January, after I heard the above story, to take a photo of Christian every day and will make an album entitled, "Our First Year Together."  It's been going along pretty good but I've been finding it harder and harder to find interesting and unique shots of him.  I try to get shots of something he is doing or experiencing that he never has before (which is just about everything) but lately it's been tough to find something original.  Sometimes he is still for the photo and other times not, but I've managed to get some fairly good photo, if I do say so myself :)  I just need to get more creative I guess.

It's been alot of fun snapping the pictures, I've managed to get myself in a few with the timer.  I've try to stay up to date downloading them to my computer, dating them and making the document for the sticker labels of what was special about the photo. I think I'm about a month behind though and I need to start printing them and getting them in the album.  I'm going to end up at October and realize I have a ton of photos to do and I want to make sure I get it done instead of having boxes of photos sitting around like I already have :)  Then we can have a good time flipping through the pages over the years and he can see himself and the things he did in his first year with me.  I'm excited about this project.....better get back to it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What are you saying???

Christian has come up with a word that I absolutely cannot fiigure out what he is saying. I ask him to "show me" which leads to an aimless wandering jaunt leading to nowhere as I think he forgets what the mission was.  He started saying it last Saturday night when we were at my parents and were trying to get him to bed. It sounds like a cross between binky and blankee but is neither of those things. He said it again tonight when he was protesting bedtime, we did the walk about, which ended with him by his toys of course.  Uuummm, I guess I'll figure it out eventually :)


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Three Days Running

We have been extremely busy the last three days.  Friday was jam packed and I didn't get time for my nap :)  Kidding, I haven't taken those on Friday afternoons for a while now.  After work at 11:30 I ran to get a birthday present then picked up Christian from daycare, to race home and drop my car off at the mechanic.  I had to get two new tires ~ugh~ and the inspection/emissions test for my license renewal. I dropped it off and we walked the block home to get him down for his nap.  An hour later the social worker came for our first post-adoption report visit.  She asked a ton of questions about how he is going, what can he do now that he couldn't when we first got home, how was he when we first got home,  how am I doing personally with the big change, etc.  Then we woke him up to meet her and everything went well....YAY!
Then we walked back up to pick up the car, ate supper and met the new babysitter so I could go to the Cardinals baseball game.  I needed some adult social time and got to catch up with all of my girlfriends, it was wonderful.  I did check my phone every 5 minutes though, couldn't help it.  The babysitter did call me and god love her, the first thing she said when I answered was, "everything is alright." Smart girl!  They couldn't get the picture to come up on the Elmo DVD and of course I didn't know how to fix it. Christian gets his hands on the remote and messes up the TV once in a while.  But being the teenager growing up with technology as their second language, figured out. It was a good night.

Saturday I was up early, packed all our stuff to drive to my great nephew's first birthday party 2 1/2 hours away.  They had one of those huge blowup jumping things for the kids, and after a little hesitation, Christian jumped right in and played with the kids.  It didn't hurt that his two cousins (18 and 21 yrs old) were in there too:)  Then off to Grandma and Grandpa's house for a nap, yes this time I got a nap too, then I helped my sister finish getting ready for her son's college graduation party.  Alot of people showed up, which was nice, and there ended up being about six little kids there for Christian to play with.  I think it was such a big exciting day for him and that's the reason it took me (and Grandma, I had to call in the reinforcements) the three hours to get his to sleep.

Sunday, off to church we went, then my two wonderful nieces and one nephew cooked my Mom, my sister/their mom and me a Mother's Day brunch.  It was so sweet of them and we ate until we were stuffed.
Then Christian played in his little scooter car thing that Grandma found for him at a garage sale, then off for a nap.  He rode it again after nap, and was a little upset when he had to get out of it so I could get it into my car to bring home with us.  Then he understood and scrambled up into his carseat and held onto the scooter car the whole two hours home.  He is so adorable!

In all the excitement, I forgot to have someone take our photo for our first Mother's Day. So I took a self portrait when we got home.  Of course I looked terrible but it will be one of the most precious photos to me for the rest of my life.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ear is Ok!

We saw our GREAT pediatrician on Tuesday, she looked at Christian's ear, and it's fine now!  He may have had a small pinhole in his eardrum that the fluid came out of which was the dried crusty plug I saw inside his ear.  She said the hole has closed up, which it typically does, but he still has fluid.  So we're stopping the ear drops but staying with the antibiotics.  She read the report from the Urgent Care doctor and was frustrated with him because he did not state the whole diagnosis.  She said it's frustrating to her because parents come in upset only to realize they were not told everything, just like what happened to me.  I let my imagination run away with me and all I could think of was this hole in the eardrum was going to cause hearing issues.  But the y tend to close up when healing, the hearing is fine and a huge weight was lifted off my chest. Deep breath....

I'm dropping off my paperwork at the new daycare tomorrow! YAY! I am SO excited for Christian to start there, I cannot tell you. I am teaching him his colors by placing flashcards in the pouch in front of his carseat.  Periodically when driving, I point to it can ask him what color it is, then we look for that color out the window.  It is working great!  We do a color a week and he's mastered red, blue, yellow and this week is green.  I figure I can make good use of the time we have together and make a game out of it.

He went a little crazy tonight, whacking things with the plastic music recorder toy I got him for Easter. So needless to say, it is now mine for awhile :)

He is taking iron drops to get his level up, he has anemia.  Those drops turn his stools orange and make them VERY stinky, I actually gagged and had tears in my eyes last night!  I'm ridiculous at times.  I'm going to start ~Amy

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Park, Ear and Babysitters

We had a good day at the park on Friday early evening.  Christian would live in the park if he could :)  We are doing a park study, if you will, of the ones in our area.  I try to find a different park, we play and I evaluate if it's a return park.  Here's our list so far:
Park #1 - Positives = closest to our house, great age appropriate playset, sturdy bucket seat swing, great path around park for me to walk, rubber type of ground material, pond with ducks to feed. Negatives = strange people there, crowded, big kids don't stay on their playset but run on the smaller kids set and knock them down.
Park #2 - Positives = on the way home from daycare, not too crowded, bucket seat swings in good shape, rubber ground material.  Negatives = have to wind through neighborhood to back track to get to it, playset is small, older kids use bad language loudly, grass isn't kept mowed.
Park #3 - Positives = on the walking path. Negatives = big kids pee on the slides, tiny rocks for ground material, playset is small and for older kids, have to trek across ballfields to get to it.
Park #4 (Friday's discovery) - Positives = lots of levels on playset, alot of bucket seat swings (other parks have only 2), not crowded, ducks to feed.  Negatives = buckets seats on swing are cracked so not very safe,  tiny rocks for ground material.

So far I have completely ruled out Park #3.  I have a couple more I have found we will be testing out too :)  I'm having a good time doing this, it's like a scavanger hunt for me and new adventure for Christian every time! Another big adventure we had, that was not as pleasant, was to Urgent Care Saturday afternoon.

He had a few reddish crusties in his ear that I wiped out with a Qtip.  After naptime, his ear was almost completely closed with the reddish crusty stuff, so off to Urgent Care.  Result is an ear infection with a possible eardrum puncture.  Not sure how that happened but the poor little guy was in pain.  The ear drops we got either must work awfully fast or have some numbing agent in them because after the first dose of 4 drops, an hour or so later and he was his normal happy self.  Poor little guy, that left ear keeps giving us problems.

We did a test run babysitter, with me leaving, and it went great!  I know, I know, it doesn't mean it will go great next time, but at least we're moving in the right direction.  So I'm going to the Cardinals baseball game Friday night and the new babysitter will be with him.  The good news is that it's a night game, so she'll only have to "watch" him for a couple of hours until he goes to bed. I think that's good, to ease them both into this and getting to know each other.  YAY, Momma gets a night out!!!!!