Thursday, July 31, 2008
Poor little girl is covered in mosquito bites, they love her. We do not believe in using toxic chemicals on our children's skin, so we keep her in long pajamas, with her lack of body fat, she does not complain.
On a positive note, she is interacting more with her sisters, giggling when they play with her, and is hugging back when she is hugged. We think it is great progress!
Monday, July 28, 2008
Check out the sweet t-shirt Stacy had made for my girls, now this one is Julia's, Meghan's says "I'm the Biggest sister", Kara's says "I'm the big sister", and Amanda's says "I am the little sister"
I think they are adorable, once Kara and Meghan feel better, both are sick right now, I will take a picture of all of them wearing them.
Thank you Stacy, your thoughtfulness has touched my heart. The girls love their tees!
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
What are the most important things for parents to know about positional plagiocephaly?
It is important for parents to know that plagiocephaly can often be prevented and/or corrected byrepositioning. In addition, parents should know that, if treated early (prior to 18 months of age—as young as possible), this condition can be effectively corrected without surgery. Having made those points, it also critical that parents know that if they have concerns about the shape of their child’s head, they should seeks medical advice to rule out other conditions (for example, torticollis or craniosynostosis) that require other forms of intervention, perhaps even surgery.
What do you see as the possible consequences of not treating positional plagiocephaly?
Left untreated, children, especially those deformity includes facial asymmetry may experience other medical issues later in life (for example, problems with the TMJ, temporomandibular joint; problems with occlusion). In addition, one should not [cannot] understate the importance of simply “looking normal” to a child’s emotional and social development, particularly as children grow into their teens.Kevin M. Kelly, PhD
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I am in awe of her ability to handle change, she just plays and interacts with everyone here, explores the house, sleeps in her new crib, and lets us into her little world more and more.
Yesterday she pressed her soft little cheek next to mine and gave me a little kiss. She just seems more comfortable here just two weeks after we arrived in Tucson.
Wish I could add pictures, but my camera will not work, I think when I dropped it in Estonia I knocked a wire loose. I simply cannot endure not having a camera, I adore taking pictures. Dh's camera washes out the girls faces, so I need to get mine fixed or save up for a new one, isn't it always something?
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
1) Put the logo on your blog;
2) Add a link to the person who awarded you
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4) Add links to those blogs on yours
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs
Monday, July 21, 2008
Amanda has a cardiology appointment on August 1 Her heart has to be addressed first because she may need premeds for anything else, including dental check-ups. The CNP said she though she heard aortic regurge, and we know there is a septal defect, which is probably why the paperwork says her cardiac issue is clinically compensated? We will know everything soon. (please pray for her)
She does not have the stamina of the other two girls, that is for certain. She hold her own with them though. Meghan adores her, I think she is relieved that Amanda does not attack her. LOL Amanda is beginning to play with Meghan.
Amanda seems to have fully recovered from the fever virus, she is her giggly self again, eating at least as much as she did in Estonia. Her upper thighs seem fuller, she has a slight pot belly. I think she has regained lost weight.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
We are shopping for a duo umbrella type stroller. Now Tom and I both have My Points accounts, I have had mine nearly 10 years. Over the years I have redeemed $200 worth of points to get gift cards, with them I bought clothing from Macy's or Target for me and the kids. I have been saving my points for almost 2 years now, saving for a rainy day, as we can get diapers an such with the gift cards from Target, Walmart, etc. (If you want your own account, I can refer you if you would like, just send me your email address)
Tom redeemed $100 worth of points to get a duo stroller for Amanda and Kara from Target, well they are out of stock. Trouble is I want it so I can take walks with the girls over rough terrain, and most of the customer reviews for the ones I can afford say they do poorly for anything but smooth surfaces. Well that won't work. So I am going to have to redeem my points too because the only strollers I see that will work for what I want them for are jogging strollers and are much more expensive.
My question from blog readers is, what did you buy for side to side, and do you like it? I have to get ours at Target, so choices are limited, and we cannot go over $300, and even that is a lot right now.
I did not go back to sleep. Instead I got up, did the dishes that were left in the sink, filled out paperwork for a language study we are enrolling Meghan in (University of Arizona Down Syndrome Research Group), and copied Amanda's adoption paperwork for our DDD intake today. I then read blogs, and did some blogging myself. Trying my best to be as quiet as possible. So I have a complaint about those people who use music on their blogs, note to them, when we moms steal away times to ourselves, the music alerts our kids and husbands that we are at the computer. LOL I turned down the volume on my computer so I would not wake anyone up.
It is 6:02 and everyone is sound asleep and will be for a few hours. Ah, peace and quiet, and oh, am I ever sleepy. Yawn.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Thank you Sandra.
I fell asleep early but woke up to squeals and a giggle, DH Tom was watching Amanda, but if I wake up from a sound sleep, returning to it is near impossible.
Therefore, Tom, who said he would stay up tonight so I could sleep, is now sleeping in the chair, Amanda, without fever (PTL) is playing at his feet. It is almost a week since we arrived home, and Amanda is still turned around. I find I do not care as long as she feels better; I can nap tomorrow because Tom will be home.
It is summer and Tom lost his summer job right before we left for Estonia. As a teacher with a new master’s degree in educational technology, Tom had hoped to get a job teaching on-line school, so far no luck in that department. Consequently, he had to take a lower paying job to help pay the bills this summer; I usually teach fitness classes to help as well. Since he lost his summer job, he applied for over 50, and got only one call back. That one will not start until the end of August. Apparently, his summer boss, who runs a special needs day camp, did not think adopting a little girl with special needs was a good reason for him to take a few days off. She seemed to search for reasons that he was not doing his job well so she could to dismiss him, and she did, one week before we left.
Adding to his job loss was the news that our grant fell through that week as well. Such abysmally bad timing, but neither of us paused in our aspirations of adopting Amanda, so onward we went. This was when we decided to go to our credit union and take out a loan against my minivan...no we do not usually have this kind of financial struggle, and we have our summers planned out to the penny, but adopting two little ones in less than a year has drained our resources considerably. We typically use our tax returns to pay the mortgage ahead for the summer, but this year we used them in whole to adopt Amanda.
We knew we did not want to ask for help, we were so tired, so very weary, of soliciting donations, so we were relieved to have the option of a secured loan, though we hesitated to f0llow through with it until we knew that the grant would not come to us.
We had a talk about what to do next. The two days a week, Tom works for the city Parks and Rec department teaching piano and musical theater will not cover our bills. I thought about calling my old boss to sub for the rest of the summer, if anything is available. I actually plan to do that tomorrow, Tom is home and I will not have to worry about a sitter. I lost my regular classes I was teaching because I was in Ukraine 6 weeks, got sick right after, and could not return to work. I knew she may not hold the class for me when I left, but again, Kara was worth that sacrifice, but I do miss my job, I sorely miss being fit, thinner, and being able to help with the family finances. No matter what I do now, I will not be paid for a couple of weeks, so we are faced with taking out another loan to pay our bills for July. The only choice we have is loan against my minivan AGAIN, and the bank said sure, come on over and we will get you the check. I cannot even begin to tell you how much it hurts to have a lien on that van again.
I paid it off when I got my money from the US Government, Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, for exposing a two year old me to nuclear fallout and giving me breast cancer, how do we know that caused it. Well my oncologist said at that age the radioactive particles coming from Nevada would have a devastating effect on me, and they did, I was hospitalized and was critically ill following that final nuclear test, and this is the reason I adamantly oppose any new testing anywhere on this earth, the consequences are devastating. The fact that the US government admits the testing gave hundreds of thousands of Americans cancer is proof to me that it caused my breast cancer in 2003.
It was mostly because of that money that made the final decision adopt from Ukraine, and we adopted Kara, but we could only use the money left after we paid off the van, all our credit cards, medical bills, and such. The remainder did not cover the entire cost of her adoption... still I was happy not to have a car payment since bringing Kara home meant limited ability for me to work, so what a relief to be rid of a $300 monthly payment, and here we are with one again. Thank goodness, it will not be $300, but that first payment is due July 31!
I know that we will be fine, God always provides what we need and the means to get it, so being able to get the loan is a blessing, the fact that we have that asset to use to help us get through a gift.
Tom returns to his regular job early August, so we just have to get through these next few weeks. I suppose we will go to the bank tomorrow, I will sign the papers with a heavy heart, I hate being in debt, I do, but at least we can do that to help our family, so it is more than worth it.
This struggle and the difficulty raising funds to adopt will be the reason we cannot do it again, not on a teacher’s salary. I cannot understand how so many people adopt again and again, but we are unbelievably blessed to have Kara and Amanda home and as Tom said yesterday "I do not regret anything we sacrificed to bring our girls home, I love them and can't imagine life without them" Ditto for me!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
She weighs 18 pounds 6 ounces, they said she was underweight and her list of medical issues was more than they could handle in one visit. She heard something when she examined her heart, not a gross abnormality, but definitely something there, Amanda kept grinding her teeth making it impossible to hear it.
She has warts...she has swollen tonsils, she said "Her teeth are rotted out of her mouth" (sob) She is really worried about her not drinking anything, but she has enough wet diapers to be OK there, the doctor is worried about her tongue thrusting when eating.
She was really concerned about the term "IV pregnancy" pertaining to Amanda's mother, but no one in Estonia mentioned HIV, I think it would be listed, wouldn't it? At any rate, it seems Amanda's mother is a drug addict or I am not understanding what the term means at all, anyone want to enlighten me? (Can I tell you how dumb I feel, IV pregnancy means the 4Th pregnancy, it dawned on me as I was writing this, duh. I don't feel so bad, the nurse practitioner did not catch that either. LOL)
Amanda is getting a blood test for HIV, Thyroid, CBC, venereal diseases, Hep B and C, Hepatitis panel, I am not sure she has enough blood in her little body for this.
We were referred to a specialized clinic, which neither Meghan nor Kara were "sick" enough to be allowed in to. I am calling them today. Amanda had her TB skin test and is sleeping, poor baby, she had a 101 degree fever when we checked her at the doctors office. Her pulse Ox was 98, so at least THAT was normal.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I had to wake up Amanda to eat, as I do not want her skipping meals, she ate sleepily and after a few minutes of playing, went back to sleep. She has slept peacefully all night, I know because I have been up a while watching her sleep and trying to read "Memory Keepers Daughter", periodically checking her body temperature and praying. Hopefully today will find her back to her old self and Meghan and Kara much improved.
Jet lag is starting to correct itself, though I am still not 100% adjusted to AZ time. I really dislike these surreal days following a long international flights, so many days lost to a mental fog you can't seem to shake, and perhaps this is also one of Amanda's issues. Thankfully I am pretty resilient with this type of flu and am merely tired, extremely dizzy and well, and yesterday I was grumpy as all get out.
I will not have much time to update, took some photos, but sick children are not good photography subjects and who wants a flash in your eyes when you are ill? Not me, not them. I really want to get out with the girls, I though about going somewhere today, but with three, I will have to relearn how to manage it. LOL
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Thanks for your prayers.
No cough, nasal discharge, or any sign of anything wrong other than the fever, I am thinking ear infection. Monday we will be at the doctors office providing we can keep her fever down and keep her comfortable today, if not, it is a trip to Urgent Care. We almost went last night, but DD Julia was spending the night with friends and we did not want to take all three little girls out at 2 AM. Though Meghan woke up and was hovering over Da wringing her hands and wanting her to feel better, bless Meghan's dear little heart, she is such a loving little girl. Kara slept through it all, she is such a good sleeper.
Amanda is eating right now with DH and sounds happier, already had her Tylenol, and I have to say I hate giving our kids medicine, but she needed it, she was not as feverish this morning, but I would rather it not break through again and make her miserable. She did not seem to be in pain, and she is already white a a sheet in her coloring, so it was hard to tell what may be going on.
Last time we adopted I came home sick, I would rather it be me than Amanda, her cries make me cry, poor little sweetie. Please add her to your prayers, we are hoping it is a simple ear infection and nothing more serious, it scares me every time my kids get sick, I know you know what I mean.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Thanks for the prayers, please pray it is not something serious.
Three little sillies, I think Amanda believes both her sisters are a little crazy, but she joined in on the fun regardless of their insanity!
Yesterday including hair pulling, pinching from both little girls, and lots of mothering from Meghan.
Amanda and I slept a lot and I have been up all night because she woke up at 3 and Kara woke up at 5. So when DH wakes up, I think I will take a nap. It will be fun to get back on Tucson time.
Friday, July 11, 2008
The woman sleeping opposite of Amanda talked to me as we landed, she said she had a daughter like Amanda. Yes, a daughter named Deanna who was born 40 years ago. Sadly her daughter was born with an AV Canal defect and at the time, they did not or could not repair the defect. Deanna passed away at age 28, 16 years longer than the doctors said she would. Her mother said Deanna's boyfriend still visits her grave and takes flower weekly. He also has Down syndrome.
This very sweet woman helped Amanda and I all the way to passport check. Amanda was sobbing inconsolably by this point, she had her food, a diaper change, and I tried to hold her, nothing made her happy, she was just overwrought, and who can blame her. She perked up after about an hour of crying.
After we finally made our way to our gate, we saw a mommy and her adorable baby, I looked at her daughter smiling and realized her daughter had Down syndrome! They were headed to the national convention. She said she also has a son, aged 3. She mentioned she had friends who were adopting children with Down syndrome, we are all connected, aren't we?
Amanda is in her new crib (thanks Becky and Cheryl) sleeping. I am following her to bed. The room is beginning to spin, I am so tired.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Truth be told, I feel sad to be leaving Tallinn, it is so beautiful here and I feel like there is so much to see and learn. Amanda and I took a walk to Toompea Hill and took quite a few pictures of lower town. I took them until my memory card was full and there was still so much more to photograph.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I got Amanda dressed and we went down to breakfast, afterwards we talked to daddy on Skype for a little while and then told her we were going bye bye. I went over to the kitchen and found her trying to climb into her stroller. She does not really climb, so I thought it was great progress for her. In addition to that she is beginning to understand some English! Yea!
She was very intent in getting into her stroller and very upset with me for wasting time taking her picture. I could not resist though, she was so cute trying so hard.
I keep saying how skinny Amanda is, I think this picture really shows how thin she truly is. Her pants, which are size 18 months, fall off of her.
We finally got everything together and made our way to the mall to get Amanda's food for the trip home. I found the yogurt that does not need refrigeration and some jarred fruit. Hopefully 8 yogurt and 6 fruit will be enough, maybe too much? Better that than not enough!
Back home, I love the winding roads. I was disappointed that the Domina City Hotel to the right took down the American flag a few days ago. I know there must be a good reason, but somehow I feel slighted by it. The British flags hangs proudly at all times.
Monday, July 7, 2008
I sat Amanda in the window sill and snapped these. People below could see her and some were alarmed, but the window was CLOSED, open would be another story, it even scares me when it is open, no screen or bars to prevent falling. I think the pictures came out OK, and of course she is always adorable.
I feel like I should have known the procedures, but I feel like I made a huge social error and it bothers me. I guess I feel foolish, and I dislike feeling that way. Why didn't I double check about how to do everything?