Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Halloween catch up

Not sure if JBF - just between friends - sale is national but man I love that sale!!  Sell old items, barter for an early shopping pass and buy amazing items!!

Besides getting lots of school uniforms for our kiddos attending the Mandarin immersion school - I found all of these except Fei's (well she got a beautiful snow white costume but that didn't meet the theme.)

Heehee Dawson's English teacher pulled me aside a few days before Halloween as he told her we made him a potato LOL!

And Morgan went with all of her friends - who were all princess's.  I just couldn't see spending tons of money and time making a ball gown she would wear once so this was our compromise - Belle before!

Halloween was a crazy day - as our family has gotten bigger, I have had to change how I do things.  

I have backed down to being room mom for only one class. 

 I was super excited to help out my friend whose daughter is in the am class because they were IN CHINA getting their son!!  So two parties for preschool meant missing the harvest fest at the mandarin school but we sent "pumpkin" cups made from butterscotch pudding and green airheads for stems (apparently I didn't get an pics LOL!)

 Tao and Cav's class got mummies made from squeezey apple sauce and were super cute 

We also changed up how we did Halloween - I know horrors.  Our oldest had a football game at 7 pm (2 hours away)  In addition, because we have so many food and begging issues with Cav and Fei we thought having them go to doors beg for food and get candy was … well. . . insane.

So I got them pizza, made them each up a treat basket with candy, bracelets, pencils etc and they got a NEW movie.  Plus kettle corn because our Chinese kids especially LOVE popcorn LOL!

It was a crazy hard decision but ultimately they loved it, we got to go to the game and watch our oldest, and Brahm got to be ball boy for the varsity game!

Tak is #53!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

From Calamity to calm

I know I have been lacking on the blogging front  - severely -
and you know why . . . . because it is actually GOOD!

We found some homeopathic medication for Cav that reduces anxiety, by the end of the summer I was at my wits end with the constant rages.  Imagine your worst 2 year old temper tantrum EVER and then times that by 20 a day.

So I was ready to quit (but since somehow that is not on the mother's list of options) I was trying everything that possibly worked for anyone on my FB groups for really hard kids.  I bought books, I researched treatments, I talked to EMDR specialists.  THen we tried the L-theanine supplements (whole foods)

A week later we experienced our FIRST sunday as a family where we didn't have a fit - NOT one.  My husband looked at me with wide eyes and said "I don't want to mention it BUT I think those meds are working!!"

That was August and 2 months later I think we are finally in a place of being able to enjoy our whole family.

I feel really bad knowing almost all of his issues - to the point others advised he may have high functioning autism - were almost exclusively based upon anxiety.  Hmmm, it makes sense though.

I am NOT saying its unicorns and rainbows but can I tell you the first time he actually cried - a heartfelt normal cry - I bawled.

It's really hard to think he has been here almost 3 years.  In many ways it has flown by - in others it has grown and stretched me in ways I could NEVER have thought possible.  Adoption IS about growth - MINE.

So we moved several of our kids to the mandarin immersion school - we left Cav at the K-12 down the street.  I am not sure I ever mentioned but he developed a lateral lisp learning english so he receives speech therapy.  In addition, because Cav was alingual until we got him at 3.5 years there is an expectation that he will have comprehension issues as school work get harder.  And frankly - his life in China sucked (I am so sorry but there is no other word).  

So he basically is in the elementary school by himself, and I believe not having siblings around all the time has also decreased his stress.

However, as with any child, first grade is hard.  He is actually pretty darn smart in math which we are so excited for him!  However, the independence of 1st grade is causing some issues.  I love his teacher as she is willing to be educated and so she has implemented boundaries for him, encourages adults not to be his only social interaction.

There are many parts that break my heart for him.  We often talk through how to act around the other kids at school.  Thankfully the kids treat him no different (except when appropriate) due to his legs.  We went back to school and they all came running, excited to see him after the summer, and he just blew most of them off.  

Tao is 2 years younger but still higher developmentally than Cav.  It's both good and I am sure hard to have this tiny terror who has all the social skills Cav does not.

On the leg front - we were fortunate to meet the man who designed the tail for Dolphin Tale.  He actually felt Cav could handle a hydraulic knee.  In classic Cav fashion he learned to walk on the thing in about 3 passes of the room.  He also was so responsible and took his legs off before going into the sandbox.  So in September when he couldn't even walk anymore we were at a loss.  A trip to Denver to see our leg man resulted in a blown hydraulic cylinder ugh - really Cav 3 months LOL!  THe unfortunate part is the only tool in the US is broken so they had to send it to Germany.  Luckily they sent us a loaner!!

So continue to pray for this boy of ours.  He is proof that there is definite redemption in adoption but the cost can be so high with some of our kids.