Thursday, February 28, 2013

In Which Things Are Looking Up

Things have settled down around here a bit in the last couple of days.  I suspect we're going to be taking two steps forward and one step back for quite a while, but we'll keep soldiering along and eventually things will get better.  Thanks for all of your encouraging words; Ellen's an extraordinary girl and we're going to support her every step of the way.

Connor hasn't had any seizures now for about a week!  That's pretty exciting given how many he was having before the medication change.  I'd say so far so good-- we haven't seen any major side effects and he's continuing to do well.  We'll visit the neurologist again in a few months, and hopefully we'll be able to give him a good report!

We spent quite a bit of time rearranging Ellen's room today in preparation for a couple of new residents!  We've found a guinea pig rescue organization in the area and are currently doing our homework in preparation for bringing home a pair of cute piggies.  Ellen is extremely excited and the idea of getting a couple of guinea pigs from a rescue organization struck a real chord with her; we think they'll be a great addition to the household.  She's very gentle with our other animals and I think guinea pigs will be a good fit for her.  So there is now a ridiculously large cage sitting in her room waiting for the newcomers.  Seriously-- this thing is huge.  I'm pretty sure I could sleep in it without too much trouble.

Anyway, between the guinea pigs, the cats, and our (positively geriatric) gerbils, we'll have quite the menagerie! 


Monday, February 25, 2013

In Which The Kids Seesaw

For the past three days Connor hasn't thrown up once or had a single seizure!  I'm pretty excited about that, as I've been running through a lot of oxygen and laundry detergent around here.  We don't think the little guy was sick; it was probably his body adjusting to his new medication that's been giving him some trouble. I'm hoping that this lovely trend continues!

He and Ellen had an impromptu musical session today involving a drum (Connor) and an ice cream container that was extremely cute and left them both grinning ear-to-ear.  It was really sweet to see their little heads pressed together-- one jet black and the other so blond it almost looks white.  Ellen has an incredible amount of patience for her brother and he absolutely adores her.  I'm so glad they're getting along so well!

I'm sorry to say that Ellen is having a difficult time right now.  She's doing a lot of grieving (which is completely understandable) and is spending a lot of time expressing her considerable anger and frustration.  I'm not going to go into any details on here as I want to respect her privacy, but she's definitely hit a bit of a rough spot right now.  It's really hard to see her struggling, knowing that while we can empathize with her, there's nothing we can do to truly understand what she's going through or to make those feelings go away for her right now.  Being a teenager is rough enough without throwing all the stuff she's dealing with on top of the pile.  We'll keep giving her reassurance that things will eventually get better and continue to help her work through her feelings during this time of emotional upheaval. 

I restocked my chocolate supply and then took a long bubble bath with a book while the kids were in school today, which was not a bad way to spend an hour or so.  I figure that the less stressed out I am, the better equipped I am to help my kids out when they're having issues.  Luckily the kids seem to be alternating who's having a rough time of it, so I'm not dealing with both of them imploding at once yet.  I have no doubt we'll eventually add that no-doubt fun experience to our list at some point, but I'm glad they're easing Jer and I into this whole parenting two children thing! 


Sunday, February 24, 2013

In Which We Do All The Things

I'm going to start trying to get up a bit early so I can blog.  I have the unfortunate problem that I like to be alone to write so I can do it uninterrupted, which is why I used to do it right before bed.  Now, however, I have a kid who won't go to bed until I do.  She knows when I go to bed because she's currently sleeping in mine.  This makes for a lot of early nights.  So if I want alone time right now, I have to sneak out while she's asleep. 

Ellen isn't a big fan of spending any time by herself right now, which is understandable.  This is a kid who had literally never been by herself before leaving Thailand, and so going from a large orphanage to our tiny household and having to spend some of that time alone is a big deal for her.  And of course, since I need to be eyes-on with Connor whenever he's awake, I'm used to having very little time to myself.  I didn't realize just how much I crave and need that bit of alone time in the evening to center myself (and do things like blog) until I didn't have it any more.

So I'm going to be making an effort to shift my blogging and sleeping habits and get up a bit early to write and have some time to myself.  Right now while the kids are in school that time is pretty easy to find.  It's when the summer gets here that I'll need to get creative!  With Jer in school full-time, the kiddos will be spending pretty much all of their waking hours with me.  Hopefully I can establish some habits that will allow me to have that time to myself, so that I can sit down, drink a quiet cup of tea and catch you all up on what's going on around here.

For the most part things are going well!  On Tuesday, Ellen is going to what will probably be her last appointment for a little while, to the eye doctor.  Apparently she saw an eye doctor when she was four years old and was given glasses, but when she outgrew them she didn't get any more.  The nurse at her school shot me an e-mail the other day telling me that Ellen's eyesight on their low-tech screening was about 30/50.  We suspect she has a bit of strabismus in her left eye too, which is really common among kids with her type of cerebral palsy.  So she'll be going in to get her eyes checked.  She says that if she needs to wear something she wants contacts.

She'll also be getting an ankle foot orthotic (AFO) for her left foot, which rolls in quite a bit when she walks.  She comes down pretty hard on that foot because her left leg is shorter than her right, and so the problem is slowly getting worse.  Thankfully, an AFO should be able to help correct those issues quite a bit.  She wasn't enthusiastic about the idea of an AFO, which I'm not surprised by at all once she described the ones she wore as a kid, which were those heavy metal over-the-knee braces that I'm pretty sure they stopped making after about the 70s.  Once she learned, though, that the AFO would be similar to Connor's and would help prevent her from needing surgery later she was much more okay with the idea.

Connor is doing well; the new seizure medication seems to be helping.  He had a nasty round of seizures a few days ago that seemed to correspond with a short stomach bug, but then he was fine.  We've managed to miss the big norovirus outbreak up here so far, which I am extremely thankful for!  I'm not ready to figure out the One Child Sick And One Child Well situation yet, let alone navigate the whole glorious Mom Is Sick And Everyone Else Is Fine thing.  I've included an only moderately blurry picture of him in a colorful outfit and his leg extension braces to make up for not blogging in a while.  As you can see, he got a haircut and is rapidly advancing to the Handsome Not-So-Little Boy stage of proceedings.  Sigh.  Oh, and here's a picture of a moose.  Because you know, it's a moose.

We've done a TON of other stuff this week that I'm not going to blog about because it would take way too long, which is what happens when I don't blog every day. Ellen picked out an American name she wants to legally change her name to, we cooked a meal together in the kitchen for the first time, Connor is going to be in a drumming performance, we took a trip to Northwest Trek (hence the moose), Ellen tried out Girl Scouts. . . the list goes on.  Things are decidedly not dull around here.  But if I tried to blog about all of it now, this thing would be 80 bajillion pages long.  I hate that I'm not writing all of this down so I can remember it later.  So that's motivation for me to get back to writing!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

In Which Little Things Can Have Big Repercussions

So sometimes we get really weird reactions from people when we're stopped at stop lights.  Usually this is because I'm either: a) rocking out in sign to music from the radio, or b) blaring Ellen's Thai pop music with the windows down while my enthusiastically tone deaf daughter and I sing the chorus at the top of our lungs.  Like many moms, I try my best but don't really understand my teen daughter's choice of music.  Only in my case I really don't understand-- here's one of her favorite songs.  My Thai hasn't quite progressed to the point that I can rap in it yet.

Anyway, so sometimes we get laughter, or odd looks, or people wave at us, because hey, we're unabashedly weird and proud of it.  But last week I was in the wheelchair van by myself, heading to pick Connor up from school, and I wasn't doing any of those things.  So I was a bit surprised when a car in the lane next to me started honking like crazy.  I got to the stop light and the car pulled up next to me and kept laying on the horn.  When I looked over, the elderly gentleman inside motioned for me to roll down the window.

Oh, he really wants to let me know something, I thought as I rolled down the window.  Maybe I have a flat tire or a brake light out and he's trying to tell me.  How nice of him!  I smiled and waited to hear what he had to say.

"Don't tap your brakes when you're stopping for a stop light," he yelled, and gave me a look that can only be described as utter contempt.  I had just enough time to stare at him in complete disbelief and say "What?", the smile still pasted on my face, before the guy sped off and car behind me started honking because the light had turned green.

And the thing is, I had been in a really good mood before that.  I'd spent the morning mucking around in the garden, and then I'd taken a bubble bath and brought one of my good books in and some chocolate and it was shaping up to be a really terrific day.  And all that complete stranger had to do was say one sentence and I was instantly in a bad mood.  I spent the rest of the drive seething and alternating between completely overanalyzing my driving and figuring out what kind of snappy comebacks I should have spit out in the two point three seconds I had to respond. 

Now I'm telling you this story not because I want confirmation that my driving habit is okay; I'm pretty sure my habit of braking to slow down while going down a gentle hill in a wheelchair van only slightly smaller than that guy's ego is all right.  Maybe he thought he was giving me helpful driving tips or something, in which case his presentation needs to be worked on a bit.  I think, though, that it's more likely he was in a bad mood and felt the need to take it out on someone, and I was the lucky recipient.  Hooray for me.

I'm telling you this story because I don't think that we know what potential control we can have over a complete stranger's day with our words and actions.  In my case, all that happened was that I was mad for a little while and then got over it.  But what if I had been depressed, or having a terrible day, and that had been the last straw?  What if I had chosen to take my now bad mood out on myself or someone else?  And conversely, I can't tell you how many times a genuine smile or moment of kindness from a stranger has made my day.  People, we have a lot of ability to affect others, even if we don't always realize it.

So folks, don't be that guy, okay?  Everything we do has consequences, and I challenge you to use your powers for good!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

In Which We Take The Plunge

Connor only had three seizures today, so we're moving in the right direction.  Hopefully as we continue to titrate up towards his full therapeutic dose we'll see his seizures start to taper off.  So far we haven't seen a lot of side effects as far as his new med goes, though he did throw up quite a bit today. 

Ellen had her first swim meet here, and she did very well!  At first she didn't want to go, but as I dragged her to it anyway and as I expected once she got there she threw herself into it.  I'm starting to know her moods and figure out a little bit about what makes her tick, and I've noticed that she's not a huge fan of new situations (though she almost always ends up having a blast once she gives them a go).  I think this was her first time racing with typical kids, and she was pretty nervous about it.  Everybody cheered for her and she beat her best times in all of her races, so by the end of the night she was really enjoying herself. 

It was neat to hear the other kids cheering for Ellen and wishing her good luck; as her English has been improving and her obviously outgoing character has started shining through I've started noticing that more and more kids are saying hello to her at swimming and school.  She's started mentioning friends in her classes, and it's really nice to see that kids are being helpful and welcoming.  I've been pretty worried about her, since in my opinion middle school kids sometimes can be the Meanest People On The Planet due to their hormones grabbing the reins and taking over from common sense, but so far so good! 


Monday, February 11, 2013

In Which I Plant A Tree And Get A Hug

I spent a good portion of today working on my little bog garden in the backyard.  Sometimes when there's a lot of upheaval in the house, I find myself wanting to work on projects in the garden even though there are a ton of other ways my time could probably be better spent right now.  I think there's something about making a home for growing things that eases my mind and helps me relax and recenter myself.  And it's so lovely to make a tour of the garden every day and see what plants are just starting to wake up from their long winter sleep.

So I hauled around dirt and rocks and didn't even bother with gloves because I wanted to get my hands right down in the soil.  I planted a little Nishiki willow, which will have glorious pink, green and white dappled leaves in the springtime, and put in some crocus bulbs even though it's hardly the season to be planting them.  Crocus are hardy little things, and the squirrels leave them alone here since they have a bird feeder to focus on instead.

Hopefully the willow will give the small birds a bit of cover through a good portion of the year.  I moved my bird feeder out into the center of my yard since the cats were eating so many of my birds, and all it seems to have accomplished is that instead of a cat feeder I now have a hawk and owl feeder.  I looked outside today to discover a Coopers hawk actually sitting on top of the bird feeder stand and plucking all the feathers off of an unfortunate little sparrow before gulping it down.  I went out there after he was finished and it looked like a down pillowcase had exploded in my yard.  Huzzah!

Admittedly the predatory birds are pretty cool to watch and definitely an improvement over the cats, as they don't kill things and then leave them on my back porch as presents.  I should probably just hum "The Circle of Life" under my breath and carry on.  But I think I'm going to plant a few more things that the little birds can hide in.  I'd like to at least give the poor little things a sporting chance.

Connor is still having seizures (he had four today), but otherwise he was in good spirits.  He's made up a sign for Ellen and it's really cute to watch how excited he gets when he comes home from school and sees her sitting on the couch.  It's pretty great how quickly they've bonded and to watch Connor interact with his sister.  She wants him to sit next to her all the time, and he wants to hold her hand and give her a million love butts.  It's pretty cute.

We hit a big milestone today; this evening Ellen gave me a spontaneous hug for the first time ever! I didn't make a big to-do of it because that might scare her off, but I really wanted to tear up, throw confetti and then do a happy dance around the house.  Then later she actually asked me to give her a hug, which is even more of a big deal.  It's the first time she's verbally asked me for any sort of physical contact.  Best.  Day. Ever.  I think I've got a lot more hugs and snuggling to look forward to in the future!

She's also asking us more questions about her adoption and what makes up a family, and as her English improves we're providing those basic definitions and grabbing as many teachable moments as we can.  She's doing her best to navigate this new, mystifying and sometimes terrifying world and she's doing it with more grace and aplomb than we ever could have imagined. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

In Which We Have An EEG

So we got up bright and early on Friday morning and Connor had his EEG.  We were there a bit longer than we expected because our hospital is the type that gives you a pager and has you wait in a reception room until you are paged to go back to the EEG area.  Apparently it really helps this system work if the receptionist actually turns the pager on, which she neglected to do in our case.  So we ended up waiting for about forty minutes before they made an announcement over the hospital loudspeaker, we went back and they discovered why we hadn't responded to the six times they'd paged us.  Whoops.  The EEG tech said she'd be having a "discussion" with the receptionist, and I got the impression from her tone of voice that they would not be having a pleasant chat about the weather.  Oh well.

But anyway, once we finally got back into the EEG room and hooked Connor up, he cooperated and had a seizure about twenty minutes into the exam.  So we were able to stop shortly after that, since the doctor had what he needed.  While I don't like that Connor is having seizures, I'm glad that we were able to capture one during the EEG so we don't have to go back and do a 22 hour study on Tuesday.  Our girl isn't quite ready for me to be away from her for so long yet, and the less time Connor has to spend in the hospital, the better.

So they determined that these are, indeed, seizures and not some sort of new weird thing I'm making up about my kid, which is always nice to hear.  What was not so nice to hear is that Connor's brain is showing epileptic activity between seizures now.  Basically this is a progression of his seizure activity.  Not good. 

So we've started on a new seizure medication, called Rufinamide, and we'll be working up to a therapeutic dose over the next couple of weeks.  Then once we're up to the right dose, if it's effective we'll work on coming down off of one of his other seizure meds.  Four seizure meds is a bit too much for the kiddo to be on without starting to worry about nasty side effects.

Until he's up to a therapeutic dose, we can expect to see more seizures like the ones he's having now.  He had five today, and was pretty worn out by bedtime.  Please keep your fingers crossed that this new med will give him some much needed rest!


Thursday, February 7, 2013

In Which We're Headed To The Hospital

Connor had six seizures today, and enough is enough.  The neurologist would like Connor to have another EEG before he figures out which medication he'd like to change (or add), so we're going in for one tomorrow morning.  It's going to make for a pretty early morning, and it will be the first time since we arrived home that I haven't seen Ellen off to school.  I'm really wishing that Connor's seizures had waited a few more weeks before blowing up so we could have had more time to settle in.  Or even better-- a few more years.  Or never.

But it wasn't too be, so we'll figure things out.  Keep your fingers crossed that they'll capture an event during this EEG, or the next step is a 22 hour overnight study.  I'm so not ready to be away from my girl overnight yet, and I'm pretty sure she's not ready for that either.  But we'll do what we need to do if it comes to that.

Wish us luck tomorrow!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

In Which We Do More Stuff

Connor had four seizures today. Bleagh!  It didn't seem to slow him down any though; he was laughing in his sleep just a little while ago.  Here's hoping he has a better day tomorrow!

We had our first post-placement visit from the social worker today, which went well.  I can't believe we've been home a month already!  Ellen was a bit nervous and she didn't much like leaving school early, but she still behaved herself pretty well.  And of course I predictably lost track of time and so when the social worker got here I was in an apron and on roller skates doing chores and belting out showtunes while wheeling Connor around the house in his stander, so I'm sure I made a great impression too.  Of complete insanity.  Oh well.

Anyway, it's been an extremely busy few days here, so I'm off to bed.  Tomorrow we'll mostly be relaxing, which I think will be much appreciated! 


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

In Which We Go Out In Style

Connor had five seizures today; this trend is not going in the right direction.  I'm waiting to hear back from the neurologist right now, and I'll be taking the little guy in to be weighed tomorrow morning.  It could be he's gained enough weight now that his medication needs adjusting.  It's frustrating to see him scared during these seizures and not be able to do anything besides comfort him; I'm really hoping we'll figure something out soon to get him back on track.

Despite all the seizures we still had a packed day, though.  Ellen went in late to school today because this morning she had her first ever dental appointment.  I'd uploaded a couple of books and games about the dentist to the iPad last week in preparation for the trip, and we spent some time talking about exactly what would happen, how the tools would sound, etc.  Since she knew what to expect she breezed through the appointment, though towards the end of it she was getting impatient because she wanted to get to school.

Thankfully her orphanage had a dental hygiene program and taught all the kids about brushing their teeth.  They also ate fairly well, though I believe she was a bit overly fond of soft drinks while she lived in Thailand.  She had no cavities, and though the enamel on her teeth is a bit thin overall things looked great-- especially when you consider she hadn't ever had a professional cleaning.  They removed all of the tarter and staining, and she walked out with teeth an entirely different color.  It's amazing how dramatic a change a good teeth cleaning can make!

So after her teeth cleaning we grabbed a quick meal and then I dropped her back off at school.  I had a precious few hours to myself, and then it was time for me to pick up Connor.  The kids shed their backpacks at home and ate a quick snack (Ellen) and meal (Connor), and then we took off for the hair salon.

Ellen was really, really excited about cutting her hair, and the closer we got to the appointment the more different she wanted the cut to be.  She's had the same chin-length bob since she was four years old, so changing her hair was a pretty big deal.  By the time we got to the salon she'd settled on an edgy asymmetrical pixie cut that fit her rock star personality.  I was a little worried that she would change her mind once the stylist actually got to work with the scissors, but thankfully she loved it.

So you know how I always say that Connor grows in hair cuts?  Turns out he's not the only kid in this household that does that.  Ellen's new haircut makes her dark eyes look huge and gives her a swan neck.  She looks about twenty-five and absolutely gorgeous.  I'm still debating on whether or not she's allowed to leave the house tomorrow looking like that; she was already a seriously attractive girl and the whiter teeth and new 'do have definitely upped the ante.  I'm so not ready to have boys knocking on our door.

After that we went to the library at Ellen's request for the third time in the past week, which I do not have a problem with at all.  And then we went to the store, and then we went home and collapsed on the couch in exhaustion.

It was quite the day! 


Monday, February 4, 2013

In Which We Marvel At Abundance

Connor had another rough day, I'm afraid: four more seizures.  Seems like he's getting into a bit of a seizure cycle right now.  Hopefully we can break out of this and get him back on track; that's about four more seizures than I'd like him to be having per day!  At least these seem to have a really quick recovery time. 

Ellen had a doctor's appointment today so I had a shorter time than usual to get my errands done.  So I popped off to the grocery store shortly after I dropped off the kids.  I'm having to seriously change my grocery shopping habits.  Now I'm making a lunch for Ellen to bring to school, and the child is going through an amazing amount of food.  Whenever we come into the house, practically the first thing she does is check both the fridge and the pantry.  I think she's still delighted by the idea of having access to food at any time of the day. 

Ellen wasn't malnourished when she came to us and she ate three balanced meals a day at her orphanage, but she's definitely got some wiggle room when it comes to her weight.  She's not gorging herself or eating until she throws up (which some newly adopted children do) but she's chowing down on some seriously large portions right now.  I suspect she'll eventually slow down once it really sinks in that there will always be food readily available whenever she wants it, but for now I'll be grabbing a cart instead of a basket when I go to the grocery store and stocking up on easy-to-prepare snacks so she's able to feed herself whenever she's hungry in between meals. 

Sometimes when she comes home and sees that I've bought more food, she gives me a huge hug and exclaims in a delighted voice, "Oh thank you, Mom!"  It makes me smile and breaks my heart a little all at the same time.  When I was growing up, I took it for granted that there was plenty of food whenever I wanted it.  Now that I have a kid who is overcome with gratitude when she sees that I've restocked us up on peanut butter, I realize what a luxury that truly was. 

Connor's weight seems to be relatively stable right now, though he needs to go for another weigh-in soon.  I suspect he's in the middle of another growth spurt; certainly he seems heavier to me when I'm carrying him around!  Or maybe I'm just losing my muscles since I'm not playing roller derby right now, and he just seems heavier.  If he has gained a significant amount of weight that might be what's causing the seizures-- his medication levels might need to be adjusted up.

Guess we'll have to see!


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!


Saturday, February 2, 2013

In Which We Have A Busy Week

So it's been an extremely busy week around here-- so busy I actually haven't been on the computer in a few days.  I was worried at the beginning of the week that Connor was getting sick, but he seems to be holding his own.  He's still having some seizures, but they haven't been as bad as they were before we upped his medication.  He's supposed to have a visit to the neurologist in March, and I'm sure they'll check his levels there and make sure that we're on track.  We're calling these new seizures his "revival seizures" because he looks like he's raising the roof at a prayer revival when he has them.  But thankfully his oxygen levels only dip down into the high sixties and low seventies while he's having one instead of the twenties like his previous seizures. 

We actually haven't seen any of those seizures since these new ones started; it's interesting how his seizures keep evolving-- and for the better.  We've gone from seizures where he stops breathing to seizures with severely restricted breathing to seizures where he breathes relatively well considering he's, you know, having a seizure.

Ellen has discovered the library and checked out her first movies and videos this week.  When we walked in for the first time she gave the interior of the building a wide-eyed look, grabbed my arm and exclaimed "Mommy, beautiful!" This is a kid after my own heart, can you tell?  Anyway, she's been checking out movies about dance and sports, and some easy reader books so we can practice her reading, which is coming along well.  She's definitely on Level One Easy Readers right now, but I think that will change quickly.

She's been settling in well and we're getting into a good routine.  She and Connor are getting along well too.  We're slowly exploring the area and figuring out all the fun places to go (besides the mall of course, which is already a favorite).  This weekend we tried the aquarium and Pike Place Market, but both were a bit too crowded for either of the kids to really have a good time.  We might hold off on some of the more touristy areas until we can go on a weekday in the summertime; hopefully they'd be less crowded than on a weekend during the school year. 

It seems like just about every waking moment for me is now filled up with things to do.  I'm doing a lot more laundry, dishes, etc (though I've got some help with those since our girl is a good washer) and we're going through groceries a lot faster.  I think she's making up for lost time; the kid is tiny so I have absolutely no idea where she is putting that much food!  I swear I've gained about ten pounds since she got home too; I'm used to kind of snacking through the whole day rather than having solid meals, and now I'm at least having breakfast and dinner and still snacking through the day.  Guess I need to kick that habit! 

Anyway, I'm going to try and write a blog a little more consistently; it's difficult for me to get into the swing of writing during the day.  Right now I literally have a kid looking over my shoulder (think she's wanting to get on the computer) so it's a bit harder for me to concentrate.  This is pretty typical of my day while both kids are home; alone time is kind of scarce around here right now.  I'm not sure what the best time to write it going to be!  But never fear; I'll work it out, gentle readers. 


In Which This Is More Of An Excuse Than A Blog Post

Hi!  Sorry!  We're okay!

I haven't been on the computer in about five days now.  Seriously, that's pretty crazy for someone as Internet addicted as me.  I PROMISE I will write an actual, honest-to-gosh blog this evening.  When we get back from the library, and the hair dresser, and Northwest Trek, and buying athletic shorts, and whatever else is on the queue for today.  I swear I thought this having two kids stuff would just mean driving twice as many places.  Ha.

But we're all okay, and things are crazy but good, and Connor is home, and I will blog about it tonight when I have a free second.  Those things are kind of few and far between right now.

Anyway, love you all to pieces.  Sorry to make you worry!

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