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Amanda's age

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Monday, December 29, 2008

More pictures of Manda Moo

I forgot this from Christmas day, doesn't she look beautiful, truly one of Gods precious angels.
Ah our little Moo, she makes us laugh, she is smiling, playing, and laughing, and sees the camera, and you get this face! LOL

She came over to me after Daddy finished giving her lunch, and I took her picture a few times, looked down and saw how dirty her face was, something daddy tends to forget! I washed it off and apparently missed a spot. tee hee

Can you see what Amanda is getting in this picture? Yepper, a double chin! Seems she is gaining weight after all, so there OT and your feeding specialist, who Amanda will see in January anyway, she does have issues moving food with her tongue and getting it to the back of her throat, and though she is accepting a straw and some liquids, she still does nto drink anything.

I am weary of specialists who know little about adopted children. I know there are adoption specialists out there, but guess what, not in AZ, figures huh?

This picture cracked me up, what a look I got from my precious, and very sweet little girl! It seems contrary to her personality!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Couple of pictures

Good news, Amanda is less yellow, we are making sure to cover all the colors in food to balance her out. LOL It is sticking around her nose though, weird! Click on her picture, the glints in her eyes are shaped like stars! I think we can say that Amanda is 100% starry-eyed.
She woke up yesterday and it looked like we curled her bangs, she sleeps with her head between her feet and it probably pushed them up when she was sleeping.
She has a slight cold, all of the women in the house have a cold. It does not seem to bother Amanda, she is her usual self.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Now she LIKES the bathtub?

I heard pounding in the bathroom and ran in there, Amanda was standing by the bathtub wanting to get in the tub, so put her in the empty bathtub and let her play. You can see what she does in the video, she was trying very hard to tell me something, you can see her, I imagined she was asking to take a bath, it was the quirkiest thing.

She sure is a funny little girl, and you can really tell she feels better. Check out her silly video. Oh, and yes, our bathtub is OLD, original to the house ...it is pretty ugly. LOL


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Doggone it :o(

Sweet Amanda, she is such a character and we feel really bad about not giving her pain medication for her dental pain all these months. all of a sudden she is energetic, happier, and affectionate. Sadly we think she has been in pain this whole time from her cavities. :o( Poor baby!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A long Wednesday-and happy to have it behind us

You can see Amanda's band aid, this is where her IV went in.

We are so grateful that Amanda did well yesterday.

Neither of us enjoy these dental visits, having to hand our precious girls over to be put under is scary and stressful and we have to be brave for them, so they are not scared. I barely manage that.

We took Amanda in early, there was a cancellation, and we sat in the waiting room until the time of her original appointment. Figures huh? They weighed her on a regular scale and asked me to get on to be weighed and then hold her, you know, the scientific method. LOL I made DH do it, I hate getting on scales, I have not owned one in years. That is another story though.

We waited a little bit more and then one of the assistants came out to get Amanda.  I don’t know why I am the one who takes the girls in, because it is so hard for me, but I always do it anyway. I picked up Amanda and we followed her to the back.

The first thing that I encountered when I went through the door to the back room is that dental office smell; it has always made my stomach turn, bad memories from childhood? The dentist we saw as children was brutal. So once I adjusted to the unpleasant smell of the office, I took Amanda to the same dental chair I had taken Meghan to just a couple of months before.

The anesthesiologist; a very kind and gentle doctor, (he had been there for Meghan previously) came in with the pre-op shot and when I saw the syringe, my heart began to beat faster. Poor oblivious Amanda was facing away from me while the doctor tried to find a muscle large to give her an injection in. He mentioned that Amanda had very small muscles, it was no surprise to me, she is so little. He gave her the injection in her tiny deltoid, ouch, and she began to tremble and finally cried, poor little baby, it hurt her arm and her feelings, but what can you do about it, shots always hurt. :o(

I cradled her in my arms comforting her and giving her kisses on her forehead and I watched her carefully while the sedative took effect, first her arms went limp, then her legs, and finally her head lolled to one side and her eyes lost focus, this all within 2 minutes of admission. I felt so panicky, and God help me, but it reminded me of putting my beloved cat Lancelot to sleep and I felt so scared that I was losing Amanda too. I tried to see if she was breathing, I could not tell if she was and everyone was gone from the room but me, I was scared and was breathing so hard, my heart pounding in my ears, that I had to hold my breath to listen to Amanda’s lungs. I held my head to her chest, feeling for her breath on my face. I heard her exhale and was finally able breathe myself, but I was still concerned that the narcotic had depressed her respiration too much and I walked around holding Amanda trying to find someone to help. (this took place in a very short time, but panic skews reality, slows everything down to a snails pace). The doctor finally came back and told me to lie her down on the dental chair, I gently placed her there; her body limp, appearing lifeless, and I fearfully asked if she was she OK, and he said she was fine, just sleeping. However, with her eyes are half-open, I was alarmed.

The doctor told me that I could leave; and Amanda would be fine, so I reluctantly walked back to the lobby fighting back the sudden tears that welled up in my eyes, I opened the door to the lobby and saw Tom and the girls waiting and when I sat down, I the worried tears began to flow. Tom came over to hug me; he knows it is hard for me to witness the girls being sedated.

We both picked up magazines while Meghan and Kara played in the playhouse, and talked about movies coming out and inconsequential things, anything to take our minds off of Amanda, but we failed miserably. I closed my eyes constantly and prayed she would be safe, I know anesthesia is never to be taken lightly, and even though I had 6 surgeries, (31 hours total) and I did fine, Amanda was not my biological daughter and I knew nothing about her family medical history. I did not know what to expect or how she would react to the drugs. I could not help but be afraid for her.

After 45 minutes, I was feeling frantic, and began to get up and peer through the broken window to the door to the surgical suite. After an hour, I finally asked if everything was OK, and they said Amanda was on her way out, 10 minutes later they carried her into an exam room and laid her down on there. The anesthesiologist tenderly placed her in a side lying position and told me she did great, no problems. The dentist came in soon after wards to tell me what they did.

He did all the work they had feared she needed done, they do not do the x-rays until the children are under sedation, so we were not certain if he could save her little teeth or not, some may have needed to be pulled.

A big concern was whether her bruxism would loose the upper front crowns, he said if she was a side-to-side grinder, they would be fine, but front to back may make them fall out. I believe she is side to side, but her little mouth is closed when she does it, so I am not certain. I am hoping for side to side. He told me to be very vigilant about keeping her mouth clean.

Amanda slept soundly while the dentist spoke to me, he asked about her size and development, wondered if she was getting better since he saw her last.

I called Tom in after that, he brought Meghan and Kara in the small room with us, the double stroller half in and half out of the room. Kara was sounds asleep; looking huge in the back seat, she is HUGE; we cannot believe how big she is getting.

The doctor (anesthesiologist) came in to try to wake Amanda. He pinched her trapezius muscle repeatedly, more likely he is compressing the spinal accessory nerve plexus, (think of the Vulcan Nerve Pinch in Star trek, yes, I love Star Trek, but have never been to a convention…). Amanda she did stir, but would not open her eyes all the way, so he left to work, and said it would not be that much longer. About 15 minutes later he came back and managed to awaken her somewhat, he said we could go.

We put her in the stroller when we got home, she had no control of her neck muscles and her head kept falling forward. She stayed there 30 minutes or so and then tried to climb out, we knew she was feeling more awake, but another issue presented itself very quickly. Amanda was in pain, she kept grabbing her mouth and whining, she was so sad and began to sob, I held her, Tom held her, she scratched us and pushed away and we could not do anything to help her. We could not give her pain med's yet, she could not make her tongue work, it lolled out of her mouth, useless at that point. We had to wait for her entire body to wake up.

After a few minutes, we thought she would be happier in hr crib, but that made her cry more, so I held her like an infant and gently bounced and sang to her, she finally calmed down and let me snuggle with her. We could tell she was not used to being held for comfort, it made me sad, and I hoped that she would learn that it was OK to want comfort when she was hurting. I know orphanages do not have time to cuddle infants when they are sad or scared; it is heartbreaking to sit in an orphanage and hear hysterical babies hiccuping on sobs. You want to go to the back and pick up the babies, but you know you can’t. I tried to imagine being the caregivers there, and them knowing if they held a baby one day, the next day they may be too busy to, and it may make it even worse for everyone. Still, it is not an ideal situation, and this is where attachment issues begin for many children. Sorry, off on a tangent.

After Amanda was fully awake in mind and body, we gave her a tiny bit of water to drink, she can’t drink liquids well. We gave her a pain reliever ever so slowly and she was almost her old self 20 minutes later. I got to cuddle with her until it was time to go to her sisters Christmas choral concert. She did really well, I thought she may get fussy there, but she actually tried to sing with the chorus. She is indeed an Estonian; they also treasure choral music. I heard quite of bit of it staying next to the Soprus Theater.

Julia singing in one of the groups, she is in black, bottom row, second to the left.

After we got home, Amanda was finally hungry, so we gave her some food and got her ready for bed. She gratefully went to sleep; she had a long day.

Since I had been up since 2 AM the night before, I thought I would sleep well myself last night, but a nightmare awakened me; I had a dream Amanda and Kara drowned in the bathtub, I saved Kara, but Amanda was gone. I woke up screaming NO, and could not go back to sleep, of course I checked on both of them, the dream left me feeling unsettled, I knew I was up from that point forward, at least is was past 4 AM by then.

I can chide myself now for my silliness surrounding dental visits, but sedation of my children will always unnerve me. I know I have a fear of losing my girls, to me they are an incredible gift, as cliche as that can sound to some folks, and I am afraid that someone so precious, so special, cannot be with me forever. I have been working on that fear since we brought Kara home, I continue to feel that by adopting another child with Down syndrome, I am being greedy, hoarding them as a miser does gold and other prized things, sure it sounds strange, but is a recurring thought I have. I know that both girls also received the gift of a family, but I feel that we got so much more; we have them! I think another adoptive parent can understand my amazement over having two new children, but many folks just do not "get it" However; my fear is something I have to work through with introspection and prayer; I know it is not rational to feel this way.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tomorrow is the day-please pray

Finally getting those mean old molars worked on, one bleeds all the time when we brush her teeth.

Click the link below to read about her dental issues.

Amanda is going in for her extensive dental work tomorrow afternoon. She can't anything for 6 hours prior, and goes in at 2:00 MT. That means she cannot eat breakfast. They say I can give her juice BUT, she can't drink clear liquids, so she can't have anything, poor baby.
Please add her to your prayers, she has to be put under, and anesthesia is always risky, I am getting increasingly nervous and need to calm myself too, she needs me tomorrow.

A call from the OT

She called today to see if I had the numbers she needed. I decided to face the situation and tell her how our last meeting made me feel. Interesting that she had no clue where I would get the impression she was blaming me for Amanda's delays. I repeated back her words to me and she said she did not mean it that way, she said of course she knew Amanda had only been here a short time and she would still be adjusting, BUT she never said either of those things to me when we spoke.

I am still upset with her, I realized how much so when I heard her voice today, she did say she felt bad I misunderstood her, but I did not feel that she was sincere. It seemed more of something she HAD to say but did not want to than something she actually meant. She kept telling me that I could make complaints to her supervisor, and I told her, I would prefer to speak to her and work it through between the two of us, though she seemed very reluctant to do so. Maybe deciding I was one of THOSE parents you know.

I called Child Find and our SC after talking to her the first time and both said they could not discuss Amanda with her because we did not fill out the release allowing communication between her and them. I am not certain why she needed to talk to either; our SC said it was unusual for an outside therapist to talk to her and all she gets are reports after the fact, usually from the family. She also said any communication without the release was against the law anyway.

I did get a third call back; the OT said she would send the pediatrician and me the report with her recommendations. She seemed a little less tense, less curt. It was not easy to say how she made me feel when we met, but maybe she will try harder with the next family she meets with. I do not require that they like me or become my friend, but I do demand respect and professionalism. It would be nice though, if the professionals we met up with would try to stay warm and open, some seemed so emotionally cut off.

She is recommending that Amanda have in-home therapies because new places frighten her so much. We are getting the names of feeding specialists, a neurologist, and we already have her pediatrician and her orthopedic doc. Not sure, what else she will recommend.

The issue with her request will be DDD and ALTCCS will not want to pay for therapies that essentially are the schools responsibility, but since the psychiatrist recommends Amanda stay home until next August, we cannot get school therapy unless we take Amanda in to the school, and we are back at the "New place makes her shut down" issue. The school can send someone here, BUT TUSD is hurting financially and I do not think they would spend the funds on Amanda, I do know they would not have anyone available for quite a few months, and Amanda needs help now.

Monday, December 1, 2008

December 1 pictures

Amanda the day we took her from the orphanage 6-23-08
I cut Amanda's hair, it was so shaggy and even though it was long, it did not look very good. So about 1 inch came off, and I think she looks better now. She still has three layers to grow out from her orphanage cut, you can see the results below, what do you think? I think she looks adorable, and it is a little crooked, all three girls got a hair cut today, but Meghan and Kara would not sit still for pictures like Amanda. Maybe tomorrow.

The flash washed out Amanda's face, but I thought this one was cute. :o)
Amanda's pupils get larger when she is tired. I sometimes think the doctors made a mistake about her eyes and her having aniridia, but then I see pictures like these and realize they did not.
She looks older, doesn't she?

Our little Gelfling, isn't this hilarious? I was taking the picture
and she stood up into the camera, whoops, but so cute and so funny.

Blogger personality type

The analysis indicates that the author of http://ukiestoniamomto8.blogspot.com/ is of the type:
ESFP - The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves. The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.

My three little girls

My three little girls
Finally got all three to smile at once