Sunday, December 5, 2010

I get really uncomfortable when people act like we did something amazing in adopting Little Bear.  The new director of religious education gushed over our adoption story.  I wanted to squirm. 

Let me state for the record that we aren't special.  Hell, half the time I don't even think I'm a very good parent.  I lose my cool.  I vacillate between too tough and too soft.  Some days all I want to do is read a book and sometimes I hide in the bathroom so I can get 5 minutes of peace.  I tune out the kids when they make too much noise and I use the TV as a babysitter so I can make dinner.

See not special, but I sure got a special kid.

Parent Teacher Conferences

I'll be the first to admit that I am not enamoured with the traditional school system.  It is designed to (mostly) meet the needs of most people.  One thing that I do like is Parent-Teacher conferences.  Around here the school actually shut down for two days every so often and parents and teachers meet.  I don't remember this from when I was a kid, but it seems to me that going in for an educational "check up" is a great idea.

Charlie and I do this every so often informally, but I thought I'd post it here.

Wonder Boy is growing and maturing at an amazing rate.  He is my strong willed child.  I don't like to toss that phrase around but really he is.  He is also  . . . umm, how shall I say it?  quite impulsive and has a hard time controlling his temper.  This is still a challenge for him, but the outbursts are not as frequent and having Little Bear in the family has encouraged him to step up and really be a  leader in the family.  His school work is coming more easily this year.  I'm not sure if that  is because of the materials that we are using this year or because we really slowed down with the work and let his social/emotional maturity catch up with his academic abilities.  Almost all of the trouble that he gave us over school last year is gone.  Wonder Boy is a voracious reader and reads at least 1-11/2 hours a day.  He is also enjoying his tae kwan do.

Jophus is excelling in math and doing well in reading.  His struggle to settle down has led me to wonder if he has sensory integration  difficulties. He is still doing gymnastics and expressed an interest in being on a boys team.  We did explore that possibility, but he is not ready for it.  I think that he will change to another gym so that if his skills improve, he can do that.  The gym that we go to now does not have a boys teams and they don't really prepare boys for competition.

Pookie is struggling with whining and temper fits.  I can't say that I'm all that surprised.  There have been so many changes in the past six months.  She still is not potty trained, but she is getting better.  We have been making a real effort to give her more one on one time for the past week or two and that seems to be helping.  On the other hand, her sense of humor is really starting to shine, and she seems like such a big girl.  I can hardly see my baby in her at all.

Little Bear is changing and maturing so quickly.  When he first arrived in our family I felt as though someone had loosed a wild animal into the house.  It was frustrating and exhausting.  I could understand how a child would throw himself into a full fledged temper tantrum or put himself into shut-down mode because he was told not to stand on the dinner table.  Bear is still emotionally very immature, but he is also very attached to us and that put a huge fear to rest.  Right not I think he is beginning to have fears and need reassurance that this is his home forever and he will never lose us.  We have decided that Little Bear may have some hearing loss and need to have that tested soon.

How do you keep the Sabbath?

A few years ago we decided to dedicate Sunday as a day of worship and rest, a true Sabbath day.  The worship is the east part.  The more my faith has grown the more I enjoy Sunday mass and the more I want to get up in the morning and be with God.  Ironically, I think that I have sat through about 7 masses without interruption from one child or another.  (One sees God's sense of humor here.)

A day of rest and relaxation is a little bit harder to implement.  We decided not to "work " on Sunday.  For our family it is not the time to clean the garage or mow the lawn.We play on Sunday.  It is the day to go to the zoo or museums.  Sometimes we go to the lake or swimming or to a movie. 

This is where I hope  we are implementing the Sabbath rest properly.  When we do these activities, frequently  we are requiring others to work and keeping them from their rest.  On the other hand, they would be working anyway.  My staying home would not change that. In many respects what we do is not always relaxing either.  There are days where we end up overtired and frazzled.  Is this  in the spirit of what God meant?  Ah, the thorny questions of life.

So much to be thankful for

We have had some mixed blessings around here lately.  Namely, at Little Bear's 4 week check-up following his surgery in September, we found that his hip was still not in a good position.  Our doctor ordered a CT scan and to confirm her suspicions.

The results were that: a.) Bear had the highest femur she had seen in a long time. b.) Then head of the femur is large and the socket of the pelvis is small and very shallow.  She says it is more like a saucer than a bowl.  c.)  We need to repeat the surgery to shorten the femur (Hey not too much!  The boy doesn't have a lot of height to work with.)  and clean out the socket.  During surgery she also put a pin into the hip to keep everything in place .  Three weeks post op the cast will be removed and they will take the pin out.

The Tuesday before Thanksgiving we were back in surgery.  Everyone at our hospital is great and Little Bear was as comfortable as possible.  We only stayed one night and were able to be home for Thanksgiving.

I have been so blessed this year though. 
*This time last year we were just getting to meet Little Bear and now he is our son! 
*So many of his medical conditions were wrong (to our benefit) and he continues to surpass the limits people expect him to have. 
*We have a great doctor who "likes a challenge."
*Wonder Boy has matured and mellowed a bit in the last year.
*Jophus is learning to read and has natural math gifts
*Pookie has a very funny sense of humor.
*I have the best husband in the world, who shares my parenting and life goals.
*I know that God love me more than I can ever imagine.  Otherwise this crazy ride called life would overwhelm me.