Sunday, February 3, 2013

In Which We Do All The Things

 Connor had a bit of a rough day today; he had four seizures and spent a good portion of it sleeping on the couch.  So far as I can tell he's not sick; the medication change just doesn't seem to be working for him.  So I'll be calling the doctor this week to see what we need to do next.  Despite his seizures and the napping, he was otherwise in good spirits today.  He spent quite a bit of his free time grabbing his favorite stuffed animal (Gobo from Fraggle Rock), throwing him onto the floor and giggling.  It's pretty awesome to see him using his hands like that despite having that many seizures today; to me it shows that they aren't affecting him nearly as much as the apneic and cyanotic seizures did.

As Ellen acquires more English and is able to better express herself, I'm learning more about her life at the orphanage and what makes her tick.  I've set a goal for myself to try and find out one new thing about her a day, and so far that's been pretty easy to do.  I found out today that she had a friend at the orphanage who had seizures, so that's why Connor's seizures don't scare her.  And I also found out that she apparently never, ever wants kids because she helped take care of a lot of the smaller children at the orphanage and so dislikes little children as a general rule (though she makes an exception for Connor).  We'll see if that conviction holds when she's older.  Sounds like babysitting the neighborhood kids for a summer job once she's older is probably not going to be her first choice to earn extra spending money, though.

Anyway, we've got quite a few firsts coming up this week.  On Tuesday we'll be going in for Ellen's first-ever haircut in a salon.  Apparently one of the caretakers at the orphanage cut her hair in the past and she's never gotten to choose how she wanted it; she's had the same chin-length bob since she was about four years old. 

We'll see how this goes; she really wants to get her hair cut so her bangs aren't in her eyes, and yet when I ask her how she wants it cut she basically says that she wants it to be exactly the way it is right now-- including the bangs in her eyes.  She's not a huge fan of change.  But she doesn't want to have to braid her bangs to get them out of her eyes anymore, and she refuses to use any hair products whatsoever to get them out of the way, so something needs to change. 

I bought her a couple of hair magazines to look through.  She leafed through all 2700 or so hair styles and declared that she didn't see any she liked.  Eventually after a bit of digging I figured out that she was simply way overwhelmed by so many choices, which isn't really all that surprising.  So I opened one of the magazines up and told her to pick out her favorite hairstyle on each spread, which I then circled. 

Once we'd gone through the whole magazine I cut out all the circled hairstyles, ending up with about twenty-five.  Then I showed them to her in pairs and asked her to pick which one she liked better.  I discarded the one she didn't choose and then made up a new pair.  I kept going through them over and over until we'd narrowed it down to four hairstyles-- all of which are bobs that are slightly edgier than what she has now.  We'll take those to the hairdresser, who hopefully will be able to cut her hair in a way that won't be too big of a change but will make her happy. 

Ellen also wants to dye her hair brown, but I think one change at a time is probably going to be the way to go; plus dying her gorgeous jet-black hair any color at all is going to be a pretty major production.  So we'll ease into that.

I, on the other hand, have been informed that I'm never, ever ever allowed to get my hair cut.  Ever.  Apparently while Ellen is (sort of) okay with a change on her own hair, she absolutely is not okay with a change in mine.  I think at this point since so many other things in her life are constantly different, Mom is supposed to stay exactly the same and therefore, safe.  So despite my three inches worth of split ends, I won't be getting my hair cut any time soon.  I drew the line when she told me I wasn't allowed to dye it, though.  Sorry, kiddo-- that's not happening.

Anyway, so she's also going to be going to the dentist for the first time ever.  I think I'm dreading that appointment more than she is; I'm really hoping that things will go smoothly and she'll need a minimum of work on her teeth.  She has amazingly straight teeth already, so I doubt she'll need braces.  Going fifteen years without any tooth cleaning though makes me wonder whether or not those straight teeth are going to turn out to be full of holes, though.  She's definitely got some major plaque buildup, so I wouldn't be surprised. 

We'll just have to see; she at least has been brushing her teeth, though I haven't been able to convince her she needs to do it more than once a day.  And she's never flossed her teeth before either.  We're working on it.

And finally, we've got our first post-placement visit coming up as well.  We'll have a social worker visiting our house and asking about how things are going.  So it's going to be an extremely busy week!



Emerald said...

<3 I need to see you! Can I come say "hi" on Thursday?

patrice said...

Oh goodness, I am exhausted and need a nap just reading this! I cant imagine how tired you must be at the end of the day! Love and miss you!

Jess said...

Yes you can! Give me a call, Em, and we'll figure something out.

Jess said...

Love you and miss you too, Patrice! When are we going to get together?

Lin said...

Years ago, I was talking to some moms who had adopted Chinese girls and they all said the same thing--they were overwhelmed with the choices we had here and it scared them. They would all get very crabby and upset when offered decisions--a closet full of dresses to wear, too many shoes to choose from, a pantry full of yummy cereals. I guess we are used to having many decisions, but they are not and it was too much. Your post reminded me of that today--I think she has the same thing, eh?

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