International Adoption Book

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Quick Update

Just a quick heads up... Big Matt arrived safely from Iraq yesterday morning at 11:06. He called from Dallas and gave me an hour and a half notice before I had to drive to Sacramento to pick him up. Mom, my nephew, the kids and I all raced down there and were able to actually meet him at the gate, thanks to American Airlines who gave us free tickets to get past the security checkpoint. Matt was utterly surprised at seeing us up at the gate rather than waiting for him at the baggage claim!!!

Because he made it home so early in the weekend, my OB doctor and I decided that I would take medication to "ripen" my cervix. We began this morning during my NST. My pelvic exam showed that though my cervix is 80% effaced I have not dialated a single bit. But, because I was having contractions already they only gave me a portion of the usual dose. It increased the frequency and severity of my contractions but did not help me begin dialating. So, we will again head into the birthing center tomorrow morning at 8:30 to take the next step in "ripening" my cervix (we were told this will likely take several days).

On a side note... Today Matt was asked if he was going to be a dad or a grandfather!!! Matt was utterly pissed when the young kid asked him that question, but Mom and I just cried out of pure delight. It truly helped me a lot to hear that story at that particular moment because I was having a decent contraction.

We'll keep you all posted as things progress. I'm off to bed in the hope of sleeping away some of these contractions.
Sending you all much love,
Matt, Manette and kiddos

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

C's 1st Day Of 1st Grade

Today was a fun and interesting day... C has been counting down the days until she got to start 1st grade since M started 1st grade three and a half weeks ago. They are in two different school districts. M's district does a modified year round school while C's district does a modified traditional school year. Needless to say, we have loads of vacation days that are completely opposite of each other making planning for mid-year vacations difficult.

Anyway, we had to wake up thirty minutes earlier than when it's only M attending school because of transportation issues. So, we were all up at 6:30 this morning and by 7:15 they were completely done... We actually ended up with twenty-plus minutes extra during which time I could barely contain C inside the house!

Because it was C's 1st day, I blew off my volunteer morning in M's class (I'm the "drop-in Mom... I gather homework, put new homework in the folders, gather lunch tickets and breakfast tickets, cut out new work for the kinder-kids, and do other minor work around the class) and took C to school. I was asked to stay in the class until the deaf/hard of hearing specialist was able to arrive, but instead of paying attention to the interpreter, C kept looking to me for huidance, instruction and confirmation. Needless to say, I honestly felt that I was totally interupting C and her classroom time, so I left after being there for only about 10 or 15 minutes. Apparently it was no hardship because I got an email from her deaf/hoh teacher stating that she had a "GOOD" first day.

C actually came home telling me about the kids sitting in the wrong seats and how funny it was. Plus she let me know that she doesn't like her interpreter. This is funny because she doesn't like anybody who she doesn't know and takes quite a long time to warm up to someone. I know the interpreter will work out fine, but C had expected to have the same interpreter that she had last year. Sadly, though, that interpreter moved on to the second grade class with the other deaf student (C's best, best friend, who she missed very much).

M, too, had a wonderful day, even though he had to wake up super early. Hopefully the rest of the school year will go well for both M and C. I also had a great day. My mom and I went on several errands that we were able to complete without the hounding of kids. We even got to enjoy a quiet adult lunch out as well as some browsing through a few thrift stores. And, as my beloved husband, Matt, so rudely pointed out after I excitedly told him that I was thoroughly ready for the peace and quiet of having all my children in school, things won't last long... There is an infant soon to join us!!!

Here are a couple of pictures of M and C this morning...

Friday, August 7, 2009

You Pissed Her Off

Today has been a day filled with errands, doctor appointments and driving. It has, to say the least, worn me out. But, porr little C had to endure each moment with my mom and I. I must say, she did marvelously. Nana even bought her a little doctor's kit so she could have something new to play with to help occupy her time. The look on her face was fantastic, to say the least. She LOVED it. She even showed my OB doctor, who showed more interest than during any of the previous 5-1/2 months of visits. The two of them carried on a conversation about the medical profession (neither one understanding the other's words, but each of them non-the-less thoroughly engaged in the conversation).

After my NST (Non Stress Test) at the Family Birthing Center this morning, we went to lunch and then were off on a 2 hour jaunt to C's Audiology appointment for a 2 hour appointment. It turned out to be a fabulous appointment because Mom and I learned a lot from the audiologist. In fact, one of the things I learned today was that C's cochlear implant only has 8 out 16 electrodes opperational. So, we're going to go back in about 7 weeks to have the Advanced Bionics representative there. This person will bring a much more sophisticated piece of equipment to test the device. Plus, we're going to attempt to get a copy of C's latest CT scan, which we will mail down to the clinic. Between these two things we should find out why the other 8 electrodes are not working properly. One solution (though it is a drastic solution and will be done only if necessary and if all other options don't work) is to reimplant C.

Though I initially said absolutely not to this plan when it was initially brought to our attention several months ago, my opinion has changed due to C's recent diagnosis of Usher Syndrome. We now need to do something to help her have some form of communication with others. Had she been just deaf, then we would not have moved forward with reimplantation nor would we be as concerned about having only 8 electrodes firing in her cochlea. But being deaf and blind, we believe that C deserves some options in her life. Anyway, that means that we have a long road ahead of us to get C up to par with her implant and this clinic really seems like a good one to help us.

We finally arrived home around 4:30 this afternoon. It had been a long day. M seemed to have had a good day, though. He got out of school around noon and Papa picked him up. Papa had loads of work to do, so M got to play inside and watch tons of TV, which he thoroughly enjoyed.

Sadly, though, his fun ended upon my arrival home. I made him turn the TV off and go outside to play, which he took surprisingly well. Nearly an hour after we were outside visiting with my parents, C decided to not follow directions. I did my usual practice of counting to three before taking the correction to the next step. She still didn't follow directions, so she got into even more trouble, after which she plopped herself on the ground and began to cry. Did I mention how dramatic my daughter is? No? Well, let me tell you... DRAMA QUEEN is a complete UNDERSTATEMENT!!! She will cry for nothing (literally) and will cry for 30, 40 or even 60 minutes without stopping. Her goal? To get someone (anyone) to feel sorry for her and to make the punisher feel terrible. Well, let me tell you... It doesn't work with me. It, in fact, irritates me to no end. I can handle her tears for about 10 or 15 minutes, after which I tell her to stop or go to bed. Today was no different. She chose not to stop crying after two warnings and was sent to bed. This made her so mad that she stomped off with a glare in my direction (again, nothing new).

Papa said, "Manette, you pissed her off, AGAIN!" Tell me about it!!!

M, my little copier-catter (his term, not mine), glared at me as he stood up for his sister by saying, "Yeah, Mom. You pissed her off, Meany!!!"

OH MY GOSH!!! My parents both burst into gales of laughter which made me laugh to no end. Do you know how hard it is to correct a child while you, and those around you, are laughing? Well, I can attest to the difficulty of the situation. I was laughing so hard that I couldn't correct him properly. And when I was finally able to get it out that what he said was a bad word, he didn't take me seriously because, "It not a bad word, Mom, cuz you were laughing." Needless to say, I was able to finally tell him that he wasn't allowed to repeat anything that came out of Pop's mouth (while still fighting to control my laughter, of course). Thankfully, Papa and Nana were able to control themselves enough to back me up opn that statement.

Bill Cosby was correct... Kids do say the darnedest things!!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A New School Year Has Begun

I thought I would take a moment to update you on M’s first two weeks of school. So far, he’s done marvelously. In fact, today he got into some trouble, but as soon as he got into our van he confessed his errors and was super contrite. The fantastic part was that he didn’t attempt to hide his behavior from me and was upfront and honest. I, of course, rewarded him tremendously with an extra happy face on his “Good Job” board and allowed him to stay up just past 8:00 this evening to watch “Race To Witch Mountain”. He’s been doing very well and I’m so proud of him. I’m hopeful that he’ll continue the good behavior. He actually has begun making friends at school, too. That may go a long way towards helping him feel more confident in himself (a trait he is sadly lacking, which just breaks my heart).

Today, we started our morning by dropping M off at school. He was so adorable… I had to go to the office due to an error in a document I signed last week (though it was pretty much how I wanted it as it was pertaining to health screenings at school; the school had just never had anyone turn them down before, apparently). So, I walked M across the street and nearly to his classroom. The entire time, though, he’s trying to pull his hand out of mine and attempting to run off. I made him walk with me and actually made him give me a kiss once we crossed the street. “Awww, Mom!” instantly spouted from his lips. Apparently I embarrassed him in front of his friends. I found it adorable!

Afterwards, C and I stopped off at my sister’s house to feed their critters (they went to see her fiancĂ© graduate Basic and AIT) before joining my parents for breakfast at a local diner. Next, C, Mom and I went to K-Mart and Wal-Mart and did a bit of shopping. It was the most I had walked for quite some time and I truly felt it by the end of the morning. In fact, Mom had to drive home because I was cramping enough to feel the need to concentrate on relaxing. I did come home with a new movie, some school clothes for C (who really didn’t need any, but we found good deals that I couldn’t pass up), a pair of jammies and a couple of t-shirts for M (who also didn’t need anything, but the deals were good) and baby clothes for MJ, which he does need.

We all enjoyed the morning, though C is still angry that she can’t start school, yet. I did see her dearest friend this afternoon as I was headed to my OB appointment (for an update on how that went, use the link on the left under my blog list and go to my IVF blog). I had a blast chatting with her and her parents and heard all about what Little Miss did this summer. The best part was when I got to tell C about my encounter. The look on her face was truly beautiful, showing excitement that she got to hear news about her beloved friend and sadness that she missed out on the experience. Poor thing! But, school will start for the girls in just 2 weeks, so they can suffer a bit longer… Let’s just hope I can last that long since I have to confirm, daily, that it is not a school day yet!!!