Monday, November 24, 2008

Gotcha Day and Thanksgiving feasts!

The oldest kindergarten pilgrims!

Kindergarten is fun!

What a performance!

This is what Thanksgiving is all about!

Isn't he handsome?

My how Matthew has grown!

My socks have "moo" written on them!

Whew! Finally, a moment to catch up on my posting. We've had two very busy, but fun weeks! We celebrated Matthew's 1 year anniversary of his Gotcha Day. I put his outfit on that he came to us wearing and boy has that child grown!!! It's so nice to see how healthy he has become.

On the other hand, Matthew asked if he was going back to China when I asked him to put on his outfit. When is that boy going to feel permanent?

At school this past week we celebrated everything Thanksgiving. On Friday, both Analiese and Matthew had feasts. Matthew really wanted both Dave and I to be there and Dave rearranged his scheduled to be able to attend. Unfortunately, Analiese got an ear-infection, I couldn't get an appointment on Thursday that didn't interfere with Sarah's dentist appointment and the Friday early morning appointment had to be rearranged because our pediatrician called in sick. The bottom line? Dave missed Matthew's feast (but was able to attend Analiese's). I did bring Sarah to Matthew's feast so he had someone other than his Mom.

Analiese's feast was lots of fun--as kindergarten classes are. We were able to enjoy a performance as well as some turkey and cake. Dave and I got silly and put on pilgrim hats. Sweet Analiese loved it but just wait until she gets to be Sarah's age!

Today was a big day for Matthew. He had his circumcision surgery. Dave and he left at 5 AM so they could get to the children's hospital by 6:00. Matthew was the first procedure scheduled. According to Dave, Matthew was a real trooper!

When Matthew returned from the recovery room Dave called me and let me talk to Matthew. What did my son say? "Hi Mommy, my pee-pee hurts"! Don't you just love it???

When Matthew got home the first thing he asked was, "Mommy, you want to see my pee-pee?" How could I refuse (and his 3 sisters wanted to see also). So all of us followed Matthew as he lay down on the couch. When he pulled down his pants to show us his circumcision, he promptly announced, "I like my new pee-pee!"

That brought laughter and smiles to all of us! How worth it was the surgery for Matthew to be happy with his new pee-pee? He did wonder about the "black ring" (stitches and blood). We assured him that once he healed he wouldn't have the "ring".

Matthew has been a challenge to keep quite and still. He wants to play with his sisters. Every time I turn around he is off of the couch or upstairs. The only time he was quite was right after we gave him his pain meds. Boy did he get sleepy. Quite different from Analiese who seems to get wound up after her surgeries!

Tomorrow our adoptive grandparents, "Oma and Opa" are coming over. Oma is my friend Carol who is Analiese's speech therapist. She and her husband have adopted the kids, as their grandson lives in Germany. It's wonderful for all of us!

Sarah's first performance for the Nutcracker is Dec. 7th--right around the corner! We are excited but Sarah has admitted to a few nerves!

The boys are coming to spend Thanksgiving with us. I have a 25 pound turkey that I'm cooking, as well as all of the trimmings. It should be a fun, fun day! Hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday. I know that I have so much to be thankful for--how lucky am I?????

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Orthodontics begins!

My sweet Sarah!

Gorgeous Grace!

Silly Matthew!

The appliance

another shot of the appliance

Sarah had an appliance put into her mouth today by the orthodontist. So begins years of orthodontics. First will be Sarah then Grace (if she doesn't quit sucking her thumb), then Analiese and of course Matthew. I wonder how many vacations we will send Dr. Depew on?????

Right now Sarah's speech is really funny sounding! She cannot make her "s" sounds nor any other sounds that require your tongue to go right behind your front teeth. We were giggling like crazy this afternoon.

Now, this evening is another story. We have lots of tears because of the appliance because Sarah was told she would probably have to wear it for at least 10 months to possibly a year before her braces would be put on! Oh, the poor child thought that braces were "cool and trendy". She just never imagined the actual effects it would have on her mouth, teeth, eating, etc.

I promised Sarah that by this time next week she would be so used to the appliance that it would feel like a part of her mouth. Goodness, I sure hope I'm right!

Of course when I was taking photos of Sarah's mouth to put on the blog the other kiddos also had to have their photo taken. Analiese is missing because she was at dance class. My sweet ballerina will have to wait until the next posting to have her photo posted.

Oh, today is Matthew's one year anniversary of his Gotcha Day! I won't go into details but will save that for another post! Suffice it to say Matthew was made to feel very special at school. What a lucky boy (and family!)!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Busy, busy, busy!

Happy Halloween!

The lyrical dance, "I stand"

The Jazz Machine

Bandstand Boogie--Barry Manilow is back!


Welcome back Hershey!

The top layer

The second layer

I love my Baba!

I just don't feel like I have a minute to catch my breath! Last week was just the busiest. Beside the normal schedule of work and running to gymnastics and dance classes (not to mention homework, chores and errands) I had to go to the pediatrician twice (once for strep and once for flu shots), parent watch (ballet for hours!), performances, Nutcracker practice (with a required parent meeting), and today we went to open house for the private school we are hoping to send Sarah to next year!

Of course there were other things...Analiese's Gotcha Day anniversary (3 years home!!!) and an invitation for Grace to be part of the TOPS team at gymnastics.


And it only promises to get busier as the holiday season approaches. At the Nutcracker parent meeting we received the performance dates for our mouse. Sarah will be performing on Dec 7th, Dec 18th, Dec 20th and Dec 27th. I have to volunteer for 3 of those performances and the cast party (which is a must to attend) is on the 7th after the performance! This, of course, does not include the rehearsals that will be in downtown Atlanta, as opposed to down the road in Cobb County. I know all of this craziness will be so worth it once the actual performances begin. Sarah's part is small but just to be included in the holiday tradition is so very special.

Speaking of special, Grace has been invited to be on the TOPS team at the gym! What is TOPS you ask? The acronym stands for Talent Opportunity Program. This is a gymnastics program that identifies girls between the ages of 7-11 that have the talent to possibly become an international competitor! It is National program and the top athletes from this program get chosen to attend the Houston gymnastics camp run by Bella Karoli and his wife Martha!

Many of the Olympic gymnastics were identified through the TOPS program. Right now the coaches have identified that Grace meets certain criteria: body type, strength and the flexibility as well as an inherent talent. Once Grace begins the program they will work to increase her strength and her flexibility as well as her tolerance for the pressure of performing.

In June/July Grace will be tested at the state level, along with all of the other TOPS athletes throughout Georgia (and other states). Once she reaches the age of 9 she will not only be tested at the state level but if her scores are good enough she will be tested at the National level and possibly receive an invitation to go the Karoli camp!

We are so proud of Grace! She loves gymnastics and is so very talented. We want her to go as far as she desires and will support her in every way we can.

Now for Sarah....she had a performance this weekend and had a great time. She danced in about 4 dances and did a fantastic job!

We celebrated Analiese's Gotcha day anniversary with an ice-cream cake. I had her put on the clothing (the two layers!) that she came to us in. Boy has she grown! Tomorrow Analiese will take cookies in to share with her class!

Matthew had a HORRIBLE melt down yesterday. I had just mentioned to Dave that it had been a while since we had seen a melt down. I think I may have jinxed everything. Yesterday, while I was out with Sarah, Matthew had a rough day with Dave. Oh, nothing major but lots of whining, sneaking candy and basically not following any rules.

So, when I got home and Dave told me about Matthew's behavior I questioned Matthew why he had such a rough day. He did not want to answer me. His eyes got squinty (more than usual!) and he refused to talk. Instead of pushing him, I told him to go upstairs and get his shower and then we would talk. That's when all broke loose.

It was like when we first brought Matthew home; screaming, yelling, banging on walls, kicking his furniture, hitting Dave and did I mention screaming??? This lasted about an hour. For the most part Matthew was in his room though I did get him in the shower (no he didn't stop screaming!) and into his pajamas (after sitting naked for about 20 minutes (yes, screaming the entire time!). Matthew eventually stopped but not until he vomited up his dinner. Once that happened he said he was sorry but I still made him go to bed.

The entire episode was draining for all of us. Matthew is very hoarse today because of all of the screaming he did. I took photos of the early part of the meltdown in hopes it would stop him. I told him I was going to show his teacher but he did not care! Today was a much better day.

Our elf Hershey came back during the meltdown. I thought that once Matthew saw Hershey, and remember that Hershey would tell Santa EVERYTHING, it would stop the behavior. No such luck!

Needless to say I fall into bed, exhausted, each evening. But, we are happy, healthy and as we've been reminded, very blessed to be a family!