Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Three Weeks Home

Hi! Sorry everyone who is following this blog. I haven't felt good since I've been home and definitely haven't kept up on the blog like I meant to.

First, I will tell you why I have been sick. I went to the clinic last Tuesday with a lump in my throat that I thought was a swollen gland from the Strep throat that we had when we first came home that just wouldn't go away. I see a nurse practitioner and she thought it could be thyroid and called in a doctor and he also thought it was thyroid. She ordered blood tests for hemoglobin, infection and thyroid. She called me back later that day and said the first two were negative, but that my thyroid is overactive (hyperthyroidism). The symptoms that go along with thyroid are racing heart, shakiness, being hot, emotional lability, irritability, sadness, fatigue, but inability to sleep and weight loss. All of which I have!! I just didn't notice them because I thought it was all from the stress of the adoption. I even told Monte a few days before I was diagnosed that I thought I had post adoption depression. That is how bad I was feeling and even though I am a medical transcriptiontion and my sister has thyroid problems, I didn't even think of thyroid!! I can't believe I didn't put that together!! It doesn't make me feel better physically and with the racing heart, I still feel like I am about to spin out of control, but I am glad to have a diagnosis instead of just thinking I was going crazy!! I had an ultrasound last Wednesday and it is a goiter, which I guess is just a thyroid nodule and I see an endocrinologist tomorrow to see about treatment and whether or not I need to have it removed. I have read with goiters that they don't always need to be removed. At first it was very painful, but now it only hurts a little. I am just hoping for some treatment to feel "normal" again!!

Enough about me, you want to know about the kids anyway!! They are doing really well. They still sleep good at night. They are eating almost everything. Usually three out of four like what we make of each thing, so there isn't anything we have come across that they really don't like. Thet mostly dislike hot dishes (casseroles) and homemade soup. I can understand the hotdishes, I don't think they had much of anything like that in Ukraine. I am surprised about the soup since they ate borsch everyday. Maybe that is why, it smells too much like borsch. When we were there and they served it at the orphanage we stayed at, the kids wouldn't touch the borsch. Maybe they just didn't like it, but had to eat it everyday or maybe they were tired of it. They do like Campbell's soup, I have made chicken noodle soup and bean and bacon and they wanted more of that "borsch."

They still like playing outside a lot. At first, they did a lot of sliding on the hill, but most of the snow has gone away and it isn't very fast anymore. Then, they played a lot on the deck. Ryan found an old rusy bike in the junk pile, but he loves it!! He acts like he found a treasure. He can't ride it (and he won't let us help him), but he pushes it around the yard and on the deck. Korey also let them use his scooter, which they also ride around on on the deck. It makes a lot of noise, but they love it. We are finally making some headway with their fear of dogs. At first, we had the dogs come in when the kids go outside, but the dogs quit coming in as it got warmer out. We have an invisible fence and it is routed so that the dogs can't get on the sidewalk or the deck. That is why the kids played on the deck so much. Now, they are venturing off and will go up and pet Teddy. They are still scared of the "chordnare sabacka." (black dog) Buddy isn't black, but dark brown and he is big and a little more energetic than Teddy, but he steers clear of them most of the time anyway and chews on deer horns out in the yeard. I hope we are making headway anyway, so the kids will play outside this summer with the dogs outside. They do go up and pet Teddy, but he sometimes gives them doggy kisses and they run away again. I hope this trend continues and they will be more comfortable with dogs.

Learning English has been slow. They are only saying a few words. I think with talking Russian to each other, they don't feel the need to learn English. We do make them say please when they want things at the dinner table and they are getting better about saying please than just pointing and grunting and they also say thank you. They do say bye-bye and night-night. Ryan can count to 10. At the dinner table, they give us a thumbs up if they like it. I mean each kid has to give us a thumbs up, to Monte and I separately and we must acknowledge it or it will go on and on forever!! ;0) (Its nice that they are liking what we serve.)

Kamron came over on Saturday and got to meet his new brothers and sisters. He stayed most of the day and played with them. I am not sure that they understand that he is their brother, but they like him. Korey is down in the cities doing some training for his new job. It will sure be different in our house again when he moves. I miss him already!!

I can't think of anything more to say right now. Please let me know what topics you would like to hear about!!

Monte hurt his back and is in a lot of pain. Please pray for both of us to be feeling better so that we can play with and have patience with our kids that they deserve!! I get tired easy with my racing heart, but I am going to go out now and try to throw a ball with the kids. I think they are getting tired of the dogs and the deck. I will try not to wait so long between posts and hope to write soon, if I don't have a heart attack that is!! Again, we would appreciate your prayers for our health!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Our First Week At Home

A friend of our's said I should journal on here everyday - I would like to, but I rarely get to the computer, but today I will attempt to catch you up on our first week. I wanted to write about everyday, but I don't remember what happened on which day anymore and which order. It has actually been going better than expected. I have read on a lot of blogs that their kids got up at 3 a.m. since their timing was off, but the kids have slept well everynight. They go to bed about 8 and get up at 7:30 or 8. There are variables to that of course. Last night, Korey took Ryan and Robin to Westside to go to the Superbowl party and it might have been a little early to send them out. The little ones didn't go to sleep until the older ones came home, but now they are all taking a nap, so I will attempt some updating. It will probably be fragmented, but here goes....

All of the grandparents have been here to visit and most of the aunties and uncles. Several people from our church have been over to visit and we have had meals brought in for a week, which was really nice. All of us adults were sick the first week and people brought things I wouldn't have thought to make. So far, the kids still like juice and fruit. My friend gave us a bag of raisins, which I really dislike, so I never would have bought, but they really like them. They like ice cream and sherbet and most sweets. They like homemade bread and they love grape jelly. I think they would eat anything if you put grape jelly on it!! A friend made a green apple/snicker/whip cream salad, which was a bit hit. They even licked the bowl on that one!! They like mac and cheese (thankfully) and cheesy potatoes. They like cereal and milk. They really like any fruit, even canned. They have a tougher time with any of the main dishes, they look at it and make a face. If Ryan makes a face first, all of the others follow his lead and won't try it. One day, the little two were putting the main dish in the dog dish and Jason was shoveling it in his mouth and then into Jillian's mouth - so I don't know why they couldn't eat it at the table, but could then, but I think it is just following Ryan's lead at this point. They do like chicken though and today we tried spagetti again and they will eat the pasta, but not the sauce or just a little sauce. So we have been trying lots of different stuff and hoping they are getting enough to eat. I feel that is all I do, is try to think of things to serve them since they eat like 6 times a day!! Jason is eating a lot better than he was in Ukraine and is getting some color in his cheeks.

Other things they like to do is play outside. They especially love the sliding hill. They ask to go outside constantly. Some days, it is just too cold - the days that it is way below 0. We try to bundle them up when it is warm enough, which is a process in itself. They are all very impatient and all want to be dressed at the same time and I forgot the Russian words for "please wait." We actually have lots of tears getting ready to go outside, just trying to get everyone's snowpants on and hats, mittens, coats, etc. Jason usually has to go "peesit" just after everyone is outside and Jillian usually has to come in first. Luckily, I can see the sliding hill from the girl's bedroom and the older ones can stay out longer.

The main problem we have is the dogs, they are petrified of them. If anyone has any advice for transitioning this process, I would appreciate it!! Buddy and Teddy are big dogs and wouldn't hurt anyone, but they are overly friendly and are intimidating for the kids. We try to bring them in when they are mellow, but if they walk especially by Robin and Jason, they scream. The other two are getting used to them slowly. The dogs are staying outside most of the time, but on the days it was below zero, we had them in the basement and then the kids were teasing them from under the door and then teasing each other. Jason would pretend scream even when the dogs were downstairs and then get the girls screaming or Ryan would be barking at them and then another screaming fit. I understand the fear of dogs, but the teasing I don't appreciate much!! But so far haven't been able to explain much to them. Hopefully, we can have someone who speaks Russian come in soon and explain a few of these issues.

As far as English, it isn't going too fast. Ryan speaks the most English. We are trying to get them to say please and thank you when they want things instead of grunting. I supposed they are communicating like a 2 y/o would. I think part of the reason is that it has only been a week and that there are four of them and they can talk to each other, so they don't have to try hard to speak to us. But we keep trying with things like plate, fork, cup, milk, jelly, juice, etc. I hope it comes soon!!

As our first family outing, we took them to church Sunday. They did really well. It was hard to sneak in the back and not be noticed because everyone wants to meet them and all the back rows were already taken, so we had to sit up front where we usually do, only this time we take up almost the whole pew!! The kids were really well behaved and Jillian was dancing to the music and then we took them out when it was time for Jr. Church and they really liked that - they got a Bible story and then got to color about the story - they didn't get that, but they just colored and then it was communion, so it was a longer service, so they got to go play in the gym. I think they will like church!!

As I mentioned before, all of us adults were sick when we got home. Finally, on Wednesday, Monte was feeling worse and went to the doctor and was diagnosed with Strep throat. He got a shot in the butt and they did send in prescriptions for the rest of us. Korey starting getting better before the prescription, Monte got better in a day, and I got worse and started throwing up. I haven't eaten much since I have been home, so I am thinking it may be from the medicine, so I quit taking it - I know you're not supposed to, but I am feeling better finally - almost normal!!

Well, there is lots more I could write about our first week, but nap time is over and time to get their snacks!! So, hope to write more soon....