Out of Touch

I have been very lost in the day to day goings on of our life and have not been keeping up on the blog.
This year has flown by and now it is December it is just crazy!.
Our life has changed with preschoolers. Now we have to get up at a set time and get out the door and to school on time. That can be challenging with any children, but you throw SPD into the mix and it becomes a little harder.
Both Haven and Alec love, love, love their preschool. And we had our first of many parent-teacher conferences. Haven is doing really well in class. I am so proud of her! She hasn't had a melt down yet in school. Her teacher says she is easily distracted and has to be re-directed alot, but that is to be expected for a toddler with SPD.
But on the home front life has not been so rosy. Haven was able to keep it together in school but would loose control the minute she came home. We would have hour long meltdowns. It got to the point I was ready to pull her out of school and try again next year. Her teacher has been a great help, because she has a child with ADHD and understands some of the challenges we face. Giving Haven time to adjust to this new schedule and challenges wasn't easy but I'm glad we did it. She is really blossoming and maturing.

It has also helped that we have a new OT that I feel is a better fit for Haven's needs. Unfortunately our appointments are pretty sporadic until after the first of the year. With Ms. Shannon's direction we got a pretty good sized indoor trampoline. Both kids love jumping on it and Haven will now go jump on her own when she is loosing control. I made her a weighted vest for meal time (one of our other big challenges).  The simple vest with bean bags sewn on to it has made a HUGE difference in keeping her more focused and making meal time more pleasant for the whole family.

Haven is now writing letters! She is such a smart girl and always amazes me even when she is frustrating me:).
Alec is about to turn 3 years old! No way!! My baby is so big now. He is now taller than Haven by a smidgen. He is a puzzle master. The boy can put together a 45 piece puzzle so fast and he will then go help Haven with hers. He is my funny, kind, happy boy, but I can't believe how fast he has grown up. It has been good for him to go to school for a morning without Haven and make friends on his own. He needs to a chance to be Alec, not just Haven's brother. He still feels responsible for Haven's safety...we are working on that daily. Someone so young shouldn't have to worry about that, just play. But it just shows what a truly amazing child he is.

They both are super excited about Christmas and Santa. It has been fun to decorate the house and introduce them to Christmas carols. Of course their favorite is Santa Claus is coming to town.

Recently somethings have happened to people close to me that have helped me realize how blessed I am and start to look at my life differently.

 Haven's weighted vest. I'm no Martha Stewart, but it turned out pretty cute.
 The puzzle master at work.
Writing her name.


Where did the summer go?

Wow I can't believe it is almost the end of August? How did that happen? We have had a pretty mild summer, mind you I'm not complaining...just wishing the garden wasn't so far behind this year. We may not get many tomatoes the way the nights are cooling off already.

Our life has been busy. Both the kiddos are taking swim lessons 5 days a week. With swim lessons has come weekly hair braids/twists. Or whatever I can come up with to keep her hair from knotting up completely. Swimming keeps us busy and on a pretty tight schedule to get out of the house in the morning. I have even had to start setting my alarm. Something I haven't had to do for a long time. Good practice for preschool which starts in about 1 month. More about that later.

We had a fun quick visit to Seattle to see The Wiggles. The kids had so much fun and we both enjoyed watching them, watch the show. They are still talking about Anthony getting cake in his face by Captain Feathersword. They re-enact it many times throughout the day.  The drive to Seattle was no picnic. Somehow we seem to have the only two children that will not sleep on road trips. We even left at nap time so they would be tired after swimming....wrong. They stayed awake and bugged each other the whole trip.

We broke up the drive by stopping to visit friends in Washington. The Gracia's who we traveled with to Ethiopia to pick up our children were our stop on the drive up. We are forever connected to Anne-Marie and Eli sharing this life changing event of international adoption. On the way home we stopped at the Thies' house to see another Toukoul adoptive family. It was great to see them. Wish we could have visited longer. The kids had fun playing with each other and ran off some energy before they had to get back in the car for the rest of the trip in car seats.

Alec's cast is off, YES! No more blowing the cast dry after swimming and  baths. This waterproof cast was amazing. He never once complained that it itched, was hot, or bothered him at all. When his cast came off as our pediatrician put it, his arm looked like an arm and didn't smell like a foot :).

More on preschool now. Yes we made the decision to start preschool this year instead of waiting one more year. Haven is going to go two days a week. I look at this as a good practice run to see what type of issues with her SPD being in school will bring out. Hoping this will help us have a game plan for when it is time for kindergarten. Alec is going to go one day a week. His class is more a play class. I think it will be good for him to get away from Haven for a little bit and play with other children. He is so social and makes friends easily. They are both going on different days so they can then have special alone time with Mom.  I'm excited and sadden at the same time at this next big step of their life. Excited for all they will learn and do. Sadden that they are not babies any more. They are growing up so fast. They have been home two years in September. Seems like yesterday and forever all rolled together

Enjoy a few pictures of Seattle.
Eating at the cafe where they filmed part of "Sleepless in Seattle"

posing in front of all the lovely flowers

Chillaxin at Starbucks

Discussing the meaning of life at Starbucks

The reason we came to town.

Toot Toot Chug a Chug a

Enjoying it BIG TIME

Entranced by The Wiggles


Glow-in-the dark water proof cast

Modeled by Alec. His new glow-in-the-dark, water-proof cast. The swim lessons continue. Thanks
to our amazing pediatrician for helping us by getting the water-proof casting material.


Bad Medical JuJu happening in our house

We having been dealing with sickness for almost a month now at our house. It can stop any time. Right after we got back from our visiting Naing's family in Canada, Alec came down with bronchitis. He went to the Dr. a few days after his coughing started because he wasn't getting better. So on antibiotics he went for 10 days.

Two days later, Haven starts coughing and having difficulty catching her breathe and then the "barking" cough started. Yep the croup had arrived at our house. So off to emergency with her I went. She got a dose of steroids and charmed all the nurses. She was so tired the next day that she actually took a 3 hour nap. But she recovered fast.

I thought things were back to normal. Kids back in gymnastics. Alec started swim lessons and then BAM.
Last night Alec broke his arm. He fell out of the "play and pack" as we call it, climbing out or he got his arm caught and broke it and then fell out. We weren't in the room so I don't what happened first. Poor little man when he wasn't settling down and wouldn't move his arm off to the emergency I went with him. He was such a trouper. Did so well with the wait (It was a full moon weekend) and his x-ray. He even did really well with the splint being put on. Today was the hard day. He was hurting today and the Motrin wears off too fast. He can't suck his fingers because of the way the splint was put on. So he can't self soothe himself. That was the worst thing about the day. He kept getting so mad and demanding I take it off. Poor little guy. He will have to have a cast put on in a few days. Our pediatrician is so wonderful! I emailed him the digital x-ray and he is going to do the casting for us, so we don't have to go to the specialist and wait to get in there. Also he thinks he can get his hands on waterproof casting, so Alec can continue his swim lessons next week.

I think we have had enough sickness and injuries now...the bad juju can move on elsewhere now.

Here are a few pictures of our trip and Alec's swim lessons.
At the Bocock's family friends. Naing worked for them in college. Kids not wanting to sit still.
John & Daddy trying to hold them in place (look at the grins on their faces).
Got a good one.
Alec excited to be included in the big boy's party. His cousin had a soccer party while we were visiting.
Reading their books while I pack.
Naing's sister's family. Haven showing off the necklace her Auntie gave her.
Auntie YiYi and Haven.

Naing and his parents. They have been married 60 years.
Naing and Peter.
On our way home. Haven looking like a seasoned traveler.
My little guy saying cheeseeeee for me.

Rocking the sunglasses.



Sorry I haven't posted in a few months. Life has gotten busier with me working two nights a week. I have lost some of my after the kids go to bed me time.
Things have been busy. The kids are taking gymnastics once a week still. The class is to help with Haven's sensory issues and they both love it. The teacher let Alec join the class too, even though he doesn't meet the age requirements, since he is capable of doing the physical activity. The bad thing about having class is getting out the house to get to class on time. There are times it would be just easier not to go then deal with the drama and constant reminding needed to get Haven out the door. I'm dreading the start of preschool next Sept, if this is the way it will be on school days.
We just got home from visiting Naing's family in Canada for 8 days. It rained every day we were there. So we were stuck in doors, in his sister's house with no DVD player and kids bouncing off the walls they had cabin fever so bad. Not my idea of a vacation. Naing had fun with old friends from high school and seeing family friends. But I never got to get out of Mom mode. The kids had fun with their 2 older cousins. Alec came up with a new word, "cousinfriend". He really like his cousin's friend who came over every day after school. Yes the school year hasn't ended yet in Canada.
We went to Calgary to visit his other sister and the kids had a great time with their 16 year old cousin. He played Hide and Go, Seek with them and here is the really big thing.....He had a party for his soccer friends and they let the kids be downstairs with them during their party. The kids were so excited to be part of the big kid group. Thanks Christopher for being a good cousin! Oh yeah he is now driving! How can that be he is old enough to drive now???? I still think of him as 10 years old.

Ok now I'm going to rant a little bit. So those of you that do not want to read the rant can stop here.
I'm so frustrated with Sensory Processing Disorder and all the chaos it brings into our daily life. The clothes, food, attention and tactile issues. I am reading, "The Out of Sync Child", while it explains why Haven does what she does, it still doesn't help me be more patient with her. Every day I get up and say ok, I'm going to handle all the bumps today without raising my voice...doesn't happen. I get so frustrated, I loose my temper. Naing had to live with it non-stop for 8 days and he was loosing it too. He doesn't get the full on dose I get on a daily basis. I love Haven dearly, just wish life was a little bit more smooth with her. She tries hard, I know she does, but the outcome is not always good.
I get so frustrated with people not understanding why Haven does what she does. Not understanding what SPD is. Family members and their not asked for advice when they haven't done any research or reading and know NOTHING about it. My biggest frustration is my husband. Yep I wrote that! He hasn't read anything I have asked him to read, doesn't help me try to figure out solutions or do research on what will work for our daughter. Everything is left to me to do and then he gripes about what I implement. He gripes about the cost of having our kids gluten free...get over it!!!! Their health is more important than the grocery bill and there is improvement with Haven on gluten free. If he had read the information I have given him he would see that is one of the first steps you can take. I was so angry with him griping to his family about it that I lost it at his sister's and told him off in front of family. Not mature I know.
The one thing that has helped me is the Ethiopian Mama's group on facebook. I posted a question about the clothes issues and got great responses and found out about more resources I can go to. I am also going to go back and see our therapist. I need that release and need someone to help me look at new ways of dealing with the SPD, not really dealing with Haven but her SPD. I have stopped thinking about it as Haven being difficult, but instead it is the SPD that is difficult.