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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Zac's Endocrinology Visit

Today we went to the Endocrinology clinic to find out more about Zac's lack of growth since coming home. Although we have to do some more tests to see if there is a growth problem, I feel better informed after discussing his personal situation with the doctor.

Here is the synopsis of our visit.
  • Zac was a darling the whole time!
  • Although his growth is delayed compared to peers he is still on the chart and following "his" curve.
  • This delayed growth is most likely one of three things: 1. normal for him 2. a thyroid abnormality 3. human growth hormone abnormality.
  • To find out we have to do blood work. If all is normal then we will keep checking his growth every 4-6 months. If there is a HGH abnormality we will have to do a HGH stimulation test.
  • His bone age of six months, can happen with normal growth. If it is due to a problem or if it is normal it means he has a lot of potential for future growth. He may grow longer (like to age 19 instead of stopping earlier at age 17) with or without any HGH.

The nurses attempted to draw his blood in the office TWICE and were not successful so we have to go to the hospital tomorrow to have it done. He let out a whimper and had a few tears in his eyes the second time, but only said, "Ow!" the first time. He was amazing.

On another note today he said the sweetest thing to me. He said, "I love you, Mommy because Mommy nice girl." The words and expressions of affection keep growing stronger and stronger every day. What a miraculous blessing he is to us!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Zac's Gymnastics

When Hallie and Jacob started school Zac started asking, "Where do I go, Mama?" We decided to sign him up for a gymnastics class. He is THE most flexible child you will ever meet (quite the opposite of Ryan and I) so this seemed a natural fit. Every week he says, "I'm excited for gymnastics!" It is very cute. When we get there all the excitement that has been building over the previous week explodes out of him. He is definitely the most energetic and yet his enthusiasm seems to be tempered with a little patience which I am grateful for. Here is a video of him "dancing" with the other kids as well as some pictures of him on the equipment. It is so much fun to have one on one time with Zac and watch him try new things. He seems to be a very enthusiatic, energetic and confident little boy!






















Monday, September 22, 2008

Fun Times
















I just spent a fun day together with my boys and thought I would share some pictures. Not much to report that is new. We have Zac's doctor appointment next week and will report more then.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Progress

I've let Katie do all the blogging here lately.  Here's my 2 cents worth:

How is Zac doing?

I'd say great.  He has been home less than 5 months, and the progress is awesome.  I was pondering some of the everyday moments that we go through and how much they've changed over the last 5 months.

Teeth brushing:  We used to have big explosions from Zac about brushing his teeth.  HE wanted to do it!  But the books told us that we needed to do it for him b/c of attachment.  I used to dread tooth brushing.  Now it's 100% fine.

Getting dressed:  Same thing.  He used to throw the biggest fits about getting himself dressed.  And I will admit that he is very good at it.  When you've got 3 kids, it's kinda nice to have them all dress themselves.  But we took the stance of:  When you can handle us dressing you, THEN we'll let you dress yourself.  In 5 months time, we've successfully flipped it around.  Zac requests, "Help please!" and we have to help him out.  I even find myself saying, "Just do it yourself".   How funny is that?

Time outs:  Don't even get me started here.  They were awful and they were frequent.  Now, they're maybe once or twice a day (at most) and they're much less intense.  Today, Zac was being a little whiny during dinner and I simply said "Go give yourself a timeout and come back when your happy".  And guess what?  He did it.  He got up from the table, was gone for about 1 minute, and returned to the table with a big smile on his face and said, "HAPPY!!!"

Siblings:  This has been VERY fun to watch.  There wasn't much of a sibling interest from Zac at first.  Most of his relationship capability circled around me and mom.  It was as if there was some sort of wall around Hallie and Jake.  But over the past few months, all 3 kids have grown into "Brothers and sister".  Jake and Zac play outside for hours sometimes.  Hallie and Zac will play "mom and baby".  Today, Hallie was carrying Zac all around the house like a baby.  They just starred into each others faces and smiled smiled smiled.  Very cute.

So if anyone if recently home with their newly adopted child.  Be encouraged.  The first few months were a bit of a mess for us, but it turns quickly.

Zac's History

During our pre-adoption study one of the things that became apparent right away was the importance of making Zac's history known to him early on. Some of the adults we know that were adopted as children told us that they were glad that they always knew they were adopted and that it might have been hard to discover this fact later in life. We tend to agree with this idea and so we already talk to Zac about Russia in several ways:

1. When asked, "where were you born, Zac?" he can answer, "Russia." (it's very cute). He also knows that Hallie and Jacob were born in Omaha.

2. We look at pictures from our two trips often and talk about the Baby Home, his friends and caretakers. Sometimes we ask him if he knows so-and-so's name and he will say, "Ummm, I don't know."

3. Hallie and Jacob brought up Zac's birthmom recently and told him, "You came from your Mommy's tummy in Russia." I thought, "Hmmm. We need to figure out what to say about that one." So, I told Hallie that I am his Mommy and we say that the woman that gave birth to him is his birthmom. Then we told Zac that he was in ________ (birthmom's name)'s tummy. He proudly will say this and also tell us that Hallie and Jacob were in mommy's tummy.

I am so glad that we can talk about Zac's history so openly with him as a toddler (in toddler ways) and hopefully that will make discussions about his past easier to approach and easier for him to ask about in the future.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Revelation

Well, after trying so hard to figure out what was wrong with Zac that was making him behave like a two year old I finally figured out that I needed to realize, he is a two year old! That may sound pretty basic for many of you, but with a 5 1/2 year old and a 4 year old learning every day how to be more and more behaved I think I was setting my expectations a little bigh for Zac.

I don't know if any of you can relate to this, but it's like my first child gets off the hook because she is my first and I want to help her grow slowly into all the changes her little life brings. After I taught her how to use underwear (actually my mom did that), drink from a sippy cup, ease into the first day of preschool and Kindergarten, brush teeth, "try two bites of everything on your plate," etc... I expect that the other two will follow suit a lot faster. When they don't (because they are younger-duh!) I get so easily frustrated.



Well, after my "ah-ha" moment, continuing to enforce that obedience is fun and necessary and beginning to treat him more like my baby boy instead of a five year old I am happy to say that the last two days have been great! Yeah! I will take all the small victories I can.

Who couldn't love this adorable face!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Challenges

Lately, Zac has been flipping us some pretty good "tude" when it comes to obedience. He loves to say, "No" to almost every parental request we make or will ignore us completely. It really grates on our nerves and this weekend was full of time-outs. So, what to do, what to do...

We decided to try and make obedience fun and practice saying, "Yes, Mommy. I will ________." when we ask him to do something. So, our practice time consists of him happily clapping his hands, touching his nose, eating a cookie etc... when we ask him to. Each time he says, "Yes, Mommy. I will clap my hands, touch my nose, eat my cookie etc..." we respond with lots of affection, good boy, good choice coments. I think, maybe the strategy is working. He seemed a little more receptive to my requests to put your coat on, stop swinging the sword at your brother's face, put your clothes on etc... today.

This job of parenting can be hard, and I hope, hope, hope my kids will remember more of our good then our bad moments. We're trying! We will let you know if the strategy sticks.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Jacob's First Day of Preschool

As expected, Jacob was very excited to go to school today. He woke up and started putting his clothes on before I even knew he was awake. He had no apprehension about school and fortunately he did let me walk him to the door! When we picked him up he came running out to me with a huge smile and hug. He said, "I got to play with motorcycles today!" Sounds like a successful day to me! His first preschool drawing was classic Jacob--two big black scribbles on a piece of paper (he prefers running around over drawing any day). He also got to bring something special from home (in case he was missing home-ha!) and decided to bring a picture of his favorite thing in the whole world--his scooter.



He is already looking forward to next week.








Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Jake...our independent son


Jacob starts preschool for the first time tomorrow. We went to an open house tonight and as we were driving there he says, "Mom, can you just drop me off and then go back to the car. I just want to go in by myself." WHAT! I thought kids didn't say this until they were at least half way through elementary school!

Honestly, it didn't make me sad, but did make me laugh! Jacob is most certainly our confident, independent child and so it will be fun to see him enjoy preschool this year.

Ryan's reply was, "We should start saving for his out-of-state college tuition now!"

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Some pics from the weekend

Never enough time around here, but wanted to update the blog:

Beautiful kids, Beautiful Omaha

Hiking in Nebraska

Relaxing in the Hot tub

Trying hard to learn the scooter.