Monday, October 31, 2011


Christian loved trick or treating!  We went to my parent's house (the town I grew up in) for the weekend to celebrate my Mom's birthday and trick or treat.  My 11 yr old niece let us tag along with her and she was so patient and nice to help Christian go from house to house.  We piled into my sister's SUV and headed out.

The first several houses were "one stoppers", meaning they hit one house, got back into the car so we could drive to another and so on.  We made it to a part of town where multiple houses had their porch lights on so they hit 3-4 houses before getting back into the car. The first time we hit the multiple houses, my sister slowly drove the car up to the farthest house to wait for the kids. Christian heard the car, looked back and panicked.  He thought we were leaving them and starting crying and calling for me.  I got out of the car, went to him, picked him up to assure him that I would never leave him.  Then I ended up having to go up to every house with him after that, which I didn't mind, because I could see the people's faces when they opened their door to a little green tree frog.

We had practiced saying, 'trick or treat,' and 'thank you', and he did great!  I was busting with pride, he was so cute.  Whenever we got back into the car, I would inspect the latest loot to see what "we" got.  Now being the good mother that I am, I can't let him eat all that candy by himself, he would be sick :)  He wanted to eat a piece every time he left a house, so I had to keep distracting him. Thank goodness we didn't go to any houses that were too scary because I'm pretty sure Christian would have freaked out.

We went back to my parent's house to pack up and head back home.  Christian's pumpkin bucket of candy barely touched the table when my Dad grabbed it up and started pawing through it.  I asked him what he was doing and he said, in an excited voice, "we have to get all the candy out of here that has nuts because he's allergic to nuts."  Now I know my Dad loves Christian, but his excitement wasn't from concern but like a little boy who had hit the motherload!  I told him that Christian might not be able to eat it but I could.  He sheepishly said, "oh ok," and retrieved his hand. I gave him some anyway, it was so funny!

The drive home was tough, I was so tired, it was dark and raining.  I put the candy bucket in the front with me because I thought Christian might help himself and either get sick or choke on something.  Now I had the best of intentions, which was to make it home in one piece. That meant I HAD to eat some candy to stay alert while driving.  When we got home, I looked down in the cup holder in the console and saw how many pieces I had eaten.....WOW!  But hey, the good news is, we made it home safe and sound.

I've attached a few photos of my little tree frog :) He didn't want to take it off, so if you see this green frog in front of a Christmas tree, don't be surprised :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Can you believe it's the end of October already?!?!?!?
Tuesday found us at the pediatrician for Christian's 3 yr old checkup and next round of immunization shots.
In his usual fashion, he was a calm cooperative boy when the medical student did his evaluation.  The poor doctor gets him after he's wound up, loudly chattering and grabbing my face to pull it toward him for my attention.  She is SO patient and we just talk louder, otherwise the usual two hour appointment would probably last four hours.

She did a developmental assessment to evaluate how much he has progressed since being with me and what needs work.  She was trying to get him to do some actions and say certain words and to my frustration he wouldn't cooperate, but instead wanted to run around the room and climb up and down from the exam table.  The doctor needed to see if he could jump and get his feet off the floor.  She demonstrated for him, but he wasn't buying into it.  Then the medical student and I started jumping, telling him it was a game, trying to coax him into action.  The look on his face was hysterical!  He was looking at all of us like we had lost our minds and I'm sure it did look like that :)  With no results, she moved on to ask me some questions and when we ignored him, he started hopping around the room like a rabbit and then wouldn't stop.  Wouldn't you know it.

She asked if he could turn the knob on the door. At first he couldn't get a grip because he was on his tiptoes and his hand is almost too small, but he managed to get it opened. Then THAT became a game, opening and closing the door. Then he opened the door, took one glance back, and disappeared down the hall. The medical student looked at me and said, "don't worry, he's just outside the door," like he was trying to reassure me.  I chuckled and said, "oh no, he's down the hall by now." That guy jumped up so fast, dashed out the door, and seconds later Christian came barreling back into the room.  I was exhausted by now.  For some reason, when he goes to the doctor's office, he acts like he's been pumped full of sugar or something.

So after several other "tests" the doctor had him do, and asking me alot of questions, she gave me the rundown on the status of his development to date.  His writing skills are still behind; doesn't hold the pencil with correct form and doesn't mimick the action when you draw a line, circle or X.  His language, as expected, still needs to improve but he should be farther along than he is right now.  Due to the lack of proper nutrition in the orphanage, his physical coordination is behind, but the doctor assured me with more time it will improve to normal levels.  Because of his delayed language pronunciation, his maturity level is still behind, but has improved.  So this area just needs more time too. Everything else was good!

He got his last round of immunization shots, so he's caught up and won't need the last group until he turns four.  Because our appointment was at 2:30, he didn't get a nap, so he finally crashed toward the end of the appointment.  The nurse gave him the two shots while he was still asleep, but of course they woke him up.  Later that night he was fine as well as the following day.  But this morning I noticed that the leg where he got the shots was really swollen, like 1/3 the size bigger than the other leg.  Uuummm, not so sure that's a normal thing.  I called the nurse this morning, told her about his leg and that he doesn't have a fever.  She said some swelling is normal and maybe the nurse hit the muscle just right to cause additional swelling.  As long as he doesn't have a fever, she said he's fine, but if anything changes tomorrow, I'm supposed to call back and they need to see him.  Tonight at bathtime his leg looked a little less swollen, so I hope that's true and not just wishful thinking on my part.

So we have been working on pronouncing words more clearly and deliberately.  I also need to put away his trucks and try to get him to do more coloring, drawing and writing to improve those small motor skills. So far the language he's been cooperative but the reduction of truck playing isn't going as easy :)  I signed him up for swimming lessons again to help strengthen his legs and am considering a six week/2 hr/once a week soccer camp, but haven't made a final decision.  The cost is a little high for me right now, so I might wait for the January session and then swimming will be over.  Now that the weather's going to be getting colder, he won't be able to play outside at school as much, and I want to keep him active.  Heck, I need to get more active.....maybe they'd let me run around with him at soccer :)

So in six months we will have another evaluation with the pediatrician and I pray it's moving in the right direction.

Monday, October 24, 2011

No Pee on Tree

Well I got a laugh tonight!  Christian is talking much better but it sometimes still takes some probing and guessing to figure out what he is saying. Tonight was one of those times.

He was saying what I thought was, "pink tree", which made absolutely no sense at all.  Then the name of one of the boys at school entered into the phrase, which I could clearly understand.  I kept saying things like, "pink tree? climb tree? pretty tree?" hoping I would eventually hit on the right one.  I kept having him repeat it, which made him huff in frustration. He paused, gazed off into space, and I could almost hear him thinking out loud, "how can I make her get what I am saying, what's wrong with her hearing."

After this pause, he said very clearly, "pee in toilet, no tree."  My eyes widened and I threw my head back and laughed because I figured out what he was trying to tell me.  The boy at school peed on the tree and the teacher told him they only pee in the toilet!  I said this to Christian, his face broke into a smile because I finally got it.  Then he said, " (boy's name) peed on a tree. Only pee in toilet."  Then he quickly and firmly said, "I peed on toilet, not on tree." GOOD BOY!  I can just picture it, they're all outside playing and this kid figures, what the heck, and does his business.  It cracks me up, you just never know what will happen in a preschool :)

We've been super busy this past week and weekend.  I'll tell you all about it tomorrow, I'm watching the World Series.  GO CARDINALS!!!!!!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Circus, Bonfire, Pictures

We had a fun jam packed weekend! We met my sister Beth to pick up her daugher Abby to come to our house and spend the night. Christian had fun with her and after he went to bed, Abby and I watched "The Goonies".  I haven't seen that movie in ALOT of years!  Thankfully Abby was tired at 10:00 like me, so we went to bed.

Saturday morning we headed out to swimming lessons and Abby did a great job taking photos and video of Christian and I in the water.  The water was a little cool, but I didn't think too bad, but Christian acted like he was freezing!!!  Afterwards, he ran to the locker room and a blast of air conditioning hit us when the door opened. He screamed, "COLD! COLD! COLD" and started crying and I admit it WAS cold!  I stripped him out of his wet clothes as fast as I could and Abby quickly wrapped the towel around him.  He kept wanting me to hold him and didn't understand when I was telling him being against me, who was wet, would make him colder. He was clutched to me and I had to peel him off of me to get him dried off.  I finally got his dry clothes on and he calmed down.  Then I rushed to get changed because by now I was freezing!  I need to think of a plan for next time :)

Off to home we go to get cleaned up and wait for Beth to come to our house.  After lunch we headed to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey circus.  We had pretty good seats and Christian's eyes were glued to every event!  He LOVED the elephants, horses and tigers!!!  He got a little bored with the gymnasts and believe it or not, the clowns, but did a great job of waiting for something else to happen that he liked.  I haven't been to the circus for many many years and I loved it too!

After the circus, Beth and Abby left and we took a nap.  Then for dinner we headed to a friend's house for a cookout/bonfire.  It was a beautiful night and I managed to keep Christian from falling into the bonfire :)  He feel asleep about five minutes into the car ride home.

Sunday we went to have his three year old photos taken. He did ok, as good as a three year can do. They had some props but some of them were too hokey for me and a few I went ahead and did because they really wanted to use them. I felt he wasn't really naturally smiling and we had to take a few breaks because he wanted to run around.  I was worried they weren't going to be very good but set my mind that no matter what, I had to buy some to mark his third year.  To my delight and dismay, there ended up being quite a few good photos!  I was happy I had some good ones to purchase, but dismayed because it was so hard deciding which ones :)  I came home with a good group of photos and am now off to search for any picture frames I have. I can't wait to put them up!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

ducks, Ducks and MORE DUCKS!

Tuesday after school and work, we headed to the park to feed the ducks. I only had two pieces of bread left, so off we went hoping to find a couple of hungry ducks.  It was a beautiful day, so the park was full of kids on the playground, people walking and running, people fishing in the pond and a group hanging out in a pavillion laughing it up.

Christian "beat me" racing down the grassy hill and I had to pick up the pace to catch him before he barreled into the pond. We found a spot with four ducks and got situated to feed them.  Two were large white ducks and the other two were brown-ish ducks. Sorry but I'm not up on duck types, so all you get is a basic color description.  I tore off a small piece of bread, tossed it in the water and the ducks scrambled for it.  Christian squealed in amazement and quickly snatched up the bread to have his turn. He reared back and threw it as hard and far as he could.  The piece of bread sort of floated on the air and lightly landed a few feet from Christian on the water, to be abruptly inhaled by one of the large white ducks. 

Now this large white duck appeared to be the boss in the group and it was letting itself be heard, honking very loudly.  We took turns throwing the bread pieces, trying to toss them to each duck separately because the "boss" was being rude, strong arming to get all the bread.  Christian would throw the bread with all his might and was getting closer and closer to the edge of the pond.  I held onto the back of his shirt because I wasn't in the mood to go in the murky fishy water after him if he fell in.  As I was standing there watching him and listening to the honking boss duck, I glanced over my right shoulder to see three ducks motoring briskly from across the pond toward us.  I mean they were hauling tail with their heads down making wakes in the water, determined to reach their goal.....the bread.

So they arrive, much to Christian's delight, and were included in the bread tossing rotation.  Only a few minutes later I look over again and here come a whole fleet of ducks.  They were like little missles, aimed at us, propelling at a rapid pace to reach our side of the pond.  I told Christian to look up and he excitedly said, "Oh!. Oh! Oh! Look, more!!!" as he wildly pointed and jumped up and down.  Here I am thinking I should have brought more bread.  They arrived in all their honking glory and joined the full body contact to get the bread.  They were so funny to watch! We finally ran out of bread and they all just sat there looking at us as if they were saying, "are you kidding me, there's no more?"  The a dad who was carrying his little girl on his shoulders walked along side the pond, the girl told him loudly, "look, ducks!"  I swear, all the ducks turned in unison and motored toward them, thinking they had food.....they did not.  So next time I have to take more bread and a leash to keep Christian from falling in :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Christian can sing his ABC's!  He makes a few mistakes, like he runs the letters LMNOP all together, but most kids do that for awhile.  He is so proud of himself and I'm making a big deal out of it, so he wants to sing it over and over again. He gets better and more clear each time!

Sorry this entry is so short (or maybe you're glad it's so short!) but I have a migraine starting and need to get to bed.  Good night.

Friday, October 7, 2011


The other night we went for a walk, checking out all the Halloween decorations on people's houses and enjoying the incredible weather.  We stopped to swing for a little bit in the back yard and then decided to pull a few weeds before we went inside for the night.

We were pulling away and chatting away, when I pulled up a huge clump off weeds and a snake slithered out. I, of course, screamed and was up and out of that flower bed in a flash!  Christian was crouched beside me and moved as fast as I did saying, "Oh, Oh, Oh!"  He didn't even see the snake but reacted to my reaction.  I told him it was time to go inside, he asked why, and I told him I saw a snake and it freaked me out.  He was saying, "snake freaked Mommy out," over and over that night.  Poor kid is going to grow up a sissy because of me :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Our neighbors have two dogs, Cletus and Remy.  Cletus is a brown, tall and lanky hound dog that is around four years old.  He was an adorable puppy tripping over his long floppy ears, looking up at you with that brown eyed sad face.  He would let me pet him when he was a puppy, but as he grew, he wouldn't let me anymore.  He would just jump up on the fence, throw his head back and give me that mornful sounding howl. When I would walk to the fence and try to pet him, he ran to the center of the yard but kept howling at me. I was disappointed because he was such a loving little puppy.

Remy came into their family about two years ago.  Cletus took to this pudgy white lab and they played nonstop. Now whenever we're out in the yard, or walking to the trash cans, they both bark their heads off at us, which at first terrified Christian.  But we played alot in the yard over the summer, and even though the dogs didn't get used to us and kept barking, Christian became more at ease, though wouldn't get close to the fence.  I was continually telling him that the fence it too high for them to jump over, he didn't have to worry, they would never get into our yard, and that I would never let them get him.  As the days went on, Christian was more and more at ease and has even said he wants to pet them, but when he gets near, changes his mind.

Fast forward to this past Sunday night. We got home from my parent's house around 6:00 pm and it was starting to get dark. I went out on the back porch to get something, looked out the porch windows out of habit and did a double take.  Was that Cletus IN my fenced in yard????  Now I sometimes say what I am thinking out loud, and I said, "Cletus, are you IN my yard?" like he was going to answer me. At the exact same second, Christian was at my side saying,  "see him, see him" and Cletus had bounding up the back steps to press his nose against the door window.  It scared the living hell out of Christian, seriously.  He let out a scream, clutched my leg pinching my skin, and was trying to pull me inside the house.  I felt SO bad for him!

We went inside, closed the door and he bolted into the dining room.  I picked him to hold him and he was shaking like a leaf.  I told him everything was ok, Cletus couldn't get into the house.  Now I'm sure if Christian could take more clear, he would say, "yeah right Mom, and you said he could never get into the yard either!"  After a few minutes he calmed down and started saying, "Cletus get out, MY yard!" So I joined in, making it a game, to keep him calm.  I wasn't about to go out there and try to manuever this big dog back into his own yard when I wasn't sure he wouldn't knock me down or even try to bite me. I decided to just leave him there, hope he didn't poop in the yard, and wait for the neighbors to get home.

I started cooking supper but Christian wouldn't even come into the kitchen, because you have to go through the kitchen to get to the back porch and then in the back yard.  After much cajoling, he came into the kitchen and we ate supper, but he didn't take his eyes off the kitchen window.  I guessed that Cletus had managed to jump up on a trash can they had by the fence and hoist himself over because the trash can was tipped over with everything spilled out.  After about an hour, I heard the neighbors pull up, went outside to tell them what happened and they were so apologetic.  They went into their back yard and Christian and I went back into the house to the back porch to watch the activity. They asked me to unlock the side gate so they could just walk him to the front of the house and inside.  I got the keys and because Cletus was right at the gate waiting to get out, I told them they had to hold him because I didn't want to get knocked down.

I decided because Christian was so anxious, that keeping him in my arms to unlock the gate was definitely not going to work.  I put him down on the back porch, told him to stay there and closed the door.  If Cletus got spooked, I didn't want him to bolt up the stairs into the porch with Christian, so the closed door would keep him blocked out.  Christian went into hysterics, literally!  I have never heard him scream so loud in such fear, it chilled my heart.  I ran to the gate, unlocked it as fast as I could, which wasn't all that fast because now it was dark and seeing the padlock wasn't easy.  The neighbors felt so incredibly bad, especially when Christian starting screaming, they kept apologizing over and over.  I got back inside and we spent the rest of the evening in the living room, the farthest room in the house from the back porch.

So now every night when we get home, Christian wants to drive down the alley to look in the back yard to make sure Cletus isn't there.  Just my luck, we had made good progress over the weekend with my sister's dog, Christian was petting and playing with her. Now I'm thinking this event may regress him a little.  I'm going to keep taking him into the back yard so he isn't afraid, like that whole, 'if you fall off a horse you have to get right back on,' concept.  Oh, I didn't find any poop either....YAY!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pumpkins and Popcorn

We went to my family's this past weekend for my nephew's 14th birthday. We started the weekend with another successful fun swimming lesson on Saturday morning. Then we headed out on the 2 hour drive where I dodged being in an accident three times! People were driving crazy, not sure what was up with that.

My Mom, sister, niece, Christian and I went to a pumpkin patch on Saturday afternoon.  They converted a small barn in to a store with some decorative Halloween items, pumpkins, gords, indian corn, etc.  They had a couple of nice display settings outside where people were taking pictures of their kids.  There was a pony, two fainting goats and some hens in pens. They made a small hay bale maze for the kids and had a sandbox type of thing filled with corn which kids were going nuts in.  Then you could take a tractor/wagon ride around the gord and pumpkin patch, which Christian loved!

After the ride we grabbed a wagon, some clippers and headed out to the patch to find our perfect pumpkins.  Christian wanted to be in charge of pulling the wagon around, which he did great, until we put several pumpkins and gords in it and then it was too heavy for him to pull. So his backup plan was to ride in the wagon and got annoyed when he was told there wasn't room for him.  My niece walked all over the patch trying to decide which pumpkin she wanted.  We were all following her and Christian kept tripping on the vines and falling down. He would no sooner get up, take a few steps, and down he went again. He didn't get mad, just kept getting up and falling down and we got to laughing so hard at him! After we found our treasures, off we went to pay and head home.

Christian has been obsessed with popcorn lately, not sure why. He's only had it twice but apparantly loved it.  When we went into the store area to pay, he spied a popcorn machine where they were giving away free popcorn.  Of course we got some, he snatched the bag and took off, guess he thought he was going to have to share :)  He was standing watching the pony and goats when a little boy about 2 1/2 yrs old or so, came right up to Christian, stuck his hand in the bag to snag some popcorn. Christian freaked out and yelled, "no, no, MY popcorn!"  The boy took a step back when Christian was shaking his finger at him. I told Christian to be nice and while he was looking up at me, the little boy made his move again for the popcorn.  Amazed me actually and his mom was just standing there watching it happen.  Now I understand all about sharing but there are manners in there somewhere too, right???  I told Christian to give him some, he did and after turned and ran for Grandma yelling something.  Now you see, Grandma was the one that gave him the popcorn in the first place so he was going back to talk her into more.  He's a little charmer.

Christian has asked me the last several days to "open" the pumpkin.  I told him we can't or they will get icky and we'll have to throw them away.  Then he picked up the little one and beat it on the ground. I asked him what he was doing and he said "opening the pumpkin."  Not sure how long they'll last with his determination!
I am going to carve them closer to Halloween and can't wait to see his reaction when he sticks his hand inside!