Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We have not fallen off the face of the Earth...

but it has been a whirlwind of a month. I can't lay my finger on what has kept me from my computer but I do know I haven't had more than a spare minute or two to check my email a couple of times a week, let alone spend time on my beloved blog. I've been trying to figure out the best way to tackle this post after being "away" for nearly a month and I think I'll just do a quick update on each of the kiddos and go from there.

Michael has started baseball practice and is surprisingly improved from last season. As discussed I’m sure in previous posts, football is his game of preference by far and every other sport he has played has suffered because of his devotion to tackling! The strange thing about this kid though is that he’s our cautious one and therefore, in past seasons has had a hard time getting over his fear of the baseball. Luckily, he is on a young team this year and has been expected to show some leadership and has stepped up to the plate like a champ – literally and figuratively. It will probably be a dismal season as far as our record goes but I’m just proud of the report I’m getting from his coach (aka dad) on the progress we are seeing on the bravery front. They’ve even had him pitching some which is a far cry from the outfield of the past 2 seasons.
I had a sad moment with him last week. We went to the birthday party of one of my cousin’s daughters. She was turning 7 and so our whole gang pitched in to help her celebrate (and pull off the party with 18 kids!) Michael and Alida decorated (see above) for the party but as the afternoon went on Michael got sulkier and sulkier. Apparently my 8 year old boy is too old for girl parties anymore. He’s such a sweet and sensitive boy that I’m surprised it came this quickly but there was no doubt that he wanted nothing to do with all those “little” kids. Eight doesn’t sound that old, but I’m seeing it more each day – my little boy is growing up. (sniff)

Joseph has had several “firsts” in the past month. Over spring break Jonathan had an appointment as Shriner’s hospital in Lexington (more on that later). Because nobody had school we decided we would all go and make a mini-vacation of it. Eric’s sister, Teri, had the week off as well so we suckered her into going with us as well. When we got to our hotel the kids immediately wanted to go swimming. Now we had a pretty good idea that Joseph had never been swimming in his life (even though he grew up on the Black Sea) but Mr. Modest was convinced that he could swim so we sat back and watched as he jumped in the pool – and promptly sank like a rock. (Eric was in the pool and it was only 4’6” – no worries.) The surprise on his face was priceless. He was completely SHOCKED that he couldn’t swim. He knew all the motions, it made perfect sense to him that he would jump in and be an Olympic swimmer in no time! He’s a determined little bugger so after some coaching from Aunt Teri the next day he was able to show us that he is no longer at risk for drowning at any given moment – he can at least get to the side of the pool. He also started playing organized soccer this month. Again, he was convinced he would be the best player on the field (his modesty is astounding) and this time met with a little more success. While he wasn’t the best player by any stretch of the imagination, he at least was able to handle the ball and was able to figure out how to get his body to do what he wants it to. We have our first game on Saturday so we’ll see how it goes. He is continuing to make progress with his English. He understands almost everything that is said to him and speaks almost entirely in English. He uses short 2-5 word sentences but is beginning to use more adjective, adverbs, and pronouns. He’s also started using the proper tenses and corrects himself if he hears himself say something wrong. His reading is coming along nicely and he should be ready for second grade in the fall. His goofiness comes out more and more each day. He loves to make us laugh and will try anything to get that reaction. He’s also figuring out what to avoid in order to get the opposite reaction! For all his silliness he is a good boy and enjoys being good so he really tries hard to avoid annoying us.

Charity continues on as normal. She loves school but has her fair share of “girl drama”. I didn’t realize just how early that stuff starts. Granted, she’s a little on the dramatic side anyway so we’ll attribute some of it to that. She is playing soccer again this spring. She and Joseph are on the same team and she loves having him there. She gets a kick out of dancing around on the field. It’s a very good sport for her because there is very little standing around. She has adjusted very well to having 3 brothers and holds her own amidst their chaos.

Jonathan has had quite a month. As stated earlier we went to Shriner’s at the beginning of the month. We were able to meet with the ortho doctor and see PT as well. After taking x-rays we had our talk with the orth doctor. He explained a lot to us and was extremely helpful. Unfortunately it is his opinion that Jonathan is not a good candidate for surgery. Apparently as these AMC kids grow, their joints want to return to their “natural state”. He had surgery a little over a year ago to straighten out his feet but they have already reverted enough that he can’t wear his braces anymore because his feet are no longer at a 90 degree angle. The doctor said he was willing to get aggressive if we wanted him to but there is not a high likelihood of success and any results would very likely be temporary. As we talked to him we came to the agreement that we didn’t want to put Jonathan through that ordeal at this time, so – he is now a wheel-chair kid. God provides in such amazing ways. Shriner’s pays for medical care at their hospitals but wheelchairs are not covered. Occasionally they get one donated that will fit one of their patients. The OT left us to go check “upstairs” for us on the off-chance that they had one. She came back about 5 minutes later wheeling this cute little black chair and we were off and rolling. What an answer to prayer. I haven’t done any research into custom chairs but I don’t even want to know how much we would have had to pay to get him what he needed. We will be returning to Lexington on May 8th to meet with the hand doctor. It is a wonderful hospital and we couldn’t have been happier with the way we were treated. They really took their time with us and made sure we had all our questions answered. We never felt rushed and they obviously love taking care of kids. It is a beautiful campus too which is a nice bonus.
Jonathan also started attending the developmental pre-school in our local elementary 2 afternoons a week. He really enjoys it and will be getting OT and PT through them as well. We registered him for kindergarten too. My house will be empty again (at least ½ day) in just a few short months. It’s amazing how quickly I’ve gotten used to the chaos.