Regan and I Are a Family!!

Shepherd, Regan, and I Are a Family!!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Girly Girl

Have I ever mentioned that my little girl is quite a contradiction? She is both a tomboy and a girly girl. She has no fear and will dive into any situation that strikes her fancy (usually something totally inappropriate!!!). On the other hand, she is such a girl girl and loves to play dress up, get new clothes, she LOVES shoes, and likes getting into my make-up and putting it on. I had mentioned that she loves to put on Konnor's underwear and wearing it around and last night she put on my bra (sorry if that is too much information!!!). I was impressed that she had it on correctly!!! She just needed a little assistance with hooking the back :) Her new thing is to put my hair things on her arms as "bracelets". She got into the bathroom cabinet and hit pay dirt. She found an entire package of ponytail holders and voila! Instant glamour girl! Now, if only I could get her to sit still so that I could give her a nice haircut that frames her face instead of hanging all over the front of it!

On another note, Konnor is loving school. I am amazed at the amount of homework that is required. I don't know if it is because he is in the advanced class or if this is typical. They are already doing AR and homework pages everynight as well as extra stuff. I'm not sure I agree with the amount of homework and I am fearful that if it gets difficult Konnor will shut down. He has no self esteem and if he thinks he isn't going to be successful at something, he won't try. It is good he is one of the older in the class with a September 3rd birthday (two days past the cut-off), he did alot of maturing last year and so far it is working for him. He loves to learn and he is his usual enthusiastic self!

Regan is doing well in daycare. The first few days were a breeze. She waltzed in without a whimper and pretty much had nothing to do with me, she was busy playing. On Thursday, it hit home. She has been crying every time I have to drop her off. Ms. Vivian assures me it doesn't last too long and it probably doesn't. She is very excited to go to school and jumps and waves and claps, but when I get ready to go it is a different story. I should have known she would have this delayed reaction. She was like this in China. The first couple of days were a breeze. I was patting myself on the back and thinking how easy it was all going. She was smiling from the moment they put her in my arms. She was so happy to get attention. About four days after Gotcha Day, it all hit the fan! It's like she gets it that this isn't just a small interlude, but is going to repeat itself everyday! I am pleased that she loves the kids and the toys and she waves bye to the playground everyday! I'm sure she'll grow to absolutely love it!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Mentally Tired

Do you ever have those periods where you are just mentally beat? The past few months have done that to me. I just came back from the vet where I had to have my cat, Chichen, put to sleep. It still seems surreal.

He has been acting slightly funny for 3 or so days, but some of the funny was good funny. What I will now always remember was that for the past two nights, I woke up to find him sleeping next to me. He never would do that. He hasn't eaten for the last day and he started looking very dull and yellow. The vet thinks he had systemic cancer. He blood tests came back as several of his systems were failing. I didn't want him to suffer. It was absolutely horrible.

Between Regan's illness, Joel's judging me on all aspects of my life and just the general combativeness of the atmosphere, his lack of support when we didn't know if Regan was going to make it, Allison and Elizabeth no longer here, getting through the summer and worrying about money, and now Chichen being gone, I'm just mentally worn out.

I'm sorry for whining, it has just been an unexpectedly bad day. I just need to think of all my blessings....of which there are many. Regan did make it and is the biggest joy in my life. I have the best and most supportive family in the whole world. I have the love and companionship of my animals (Although, when I spent 20 minutes this morning running the neighborhood after Daisy, who hasn't gotten loose in a long time, I wasn't blessing her!!!!!! I thought I would have a coronary after running in and out of yards, up and down ditches, one yard had their sprinkler going full blast, just generally trying to keep her away from Surfside Blvd (busy road) !!!) Many other blessings, too many to count and that is a good thing.

Chichen was the best cat in the world. I worked at the vet's office and he was brought in as a stray kitten. He had been brought in by a woman who was scared her boyfriend was going to kill him. He was beaten and left on a pile of trash. I heard about him and went to the satellite office to take a peek. He was a white cat and then when he turned around, his entire tail was gray. I was hooked! I worked kennels that weekend and took him home when I went home. Poor thing was never sharp as a tack! I really do think the beatings caused a little brain damage. It took him several years to learn to jump. My other cat, Obie, used to have to clean him because he didn't know how. He also never meowed. I thought for the longest time he didn't know how! What he did have was the most wonderful personality. He was the nicest cat ----my Mute Man.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I Spoke Too Soon

I spoke too soon about not having a doctor's visit for more months, but I'll get to that in a second.

Konnor had a great first day at school! He loved every minute! He went into his classroom, found his desk and sat down to start the morning work that was on the desk. He is such a big boy! He talked on and on about his day, he loves his new school. My brother picked him up from school and after work I picked up Yunnie. We then met to take the kids out for ice cream as a celebration of their first day of school/daycare.

Regan headed to daycare and loved that she had her own backpack. It is on wheels and she enjoyed walking to her classroom pulling her backpack. She is so cute! On Regan's first day, the teacher said she cried just a little when she had to sit down for lunch. She also had difficulty sleeping (go figure!) and Ms. Vivian rocked her to sleep. When I picked her up, she wasn't crying and she waved and said good-bye to Ms. Vivian and Ms. Tammy (the assistant). The only bad part of her day was that she got scratched on the face by one of her classmates. It broke the skin and had bled so when I got home I called the doctor. I asked them to call in another prescription for her topical antibiotic so that I could leave it at the daycare. The nurse talked to Dr. MacKoul who said she wanted Regan to come in so that she could look at her scratch and see if she needed antibiotics. I didn't think we'd be going to the doctor over a scratch, but I'm glad Dr. MacKoul doesn't blow these things off.

We got to the office around 6:30 and got right back in the room. Dr. MacKoul looked at the scratch and said with her history she wasn't taking any chances she could get another infection and she was prescribing oral and topical antibiotics. I knew when she went into daycare we were going to have to worry about dirty fingernail scratches and dirty mouths biting, I just didn't think it would be on the first day!

Dr. MacKoul is awesome! I have a friend who has medical concerns with her newly adopted daughter and her doctor keeps blowing off her concerns and won't do anything about them. I am so glad that Dr. MacKoul isn't like that. I know the daycare doesn't understand why she has to have prescription antibiotics for a small scratch, but they don't understand how sick she was. There is always the fear that another skin wound will cause another flare up of the infection. I'm just now in the habit of everynight looking for scratches and bug bites and putting on the antiobiotic. It is just routine. Today, the daycare was very good about her antibiotics and her face was covered with it when I picked her up!

Today when I picked up Regan she didn't want to leave! They were blowing bubbles and she was having a blast. I thought for sure she would have such a problem with daycare, but knock on wood, she seems to really be enjoying the last two days. She waves bye to the playground when we leave and laughs and points and makes sure I "shee" it. I hope her enjoyment continues!

Friday, August 17, 2007

A New School Year

This week started a new school year for me ;( Something unexpectedly happened this week ---- Regan was signed up for daycare. School personnel start a week before the students come back to school. My brother started coming during the day to watch Yunnie. He is working nights as a nurse and was staying up to watch her and napping when she naps. Unfortunately, I think it was asking too much of him to continue doing this again for this school year. When I realized it was going to be taking a toll on him and he was not getting enough sleep, I started frantically looking for daycare. As much as I hate to put her in daycare, I'm hoping she will like the socialization and playing she will get to do during the day.

I found two daycares that I liked. I thought we were fortunate they both had openings. The decision was between two very different philosophies on routines and such and I had to try to look into a crystal ball to try and figure out which would be a better fit for Yunnie. We chose the less structured, little academics setting. I just want her to be happy and loved. I'm not worried if she learns anything "academic". I think she will enjoy all the play time and playing outside that this daycare allows. I hope. Unfortunately, you can't really tell how something is going to work until you are in the situation!

It just so happens, Regan is in The Panda Room. I thought that was fitting! Her teacher seems loving and very nice. I stopped in five times at various times to "peek" in the classroom. The teacher was engaging with the students each time. I know Regan is going to have some initial adjustment issues, but hopefully these will resolve quickly and she'll enjoy herself. We had Open House last night and she had a mild fit when we had to leave. She didn't want to leave the toys!

Konnor starts public kindergarten this year. We are so excited that he has an awesome teacher! I'm the physical therapist at his school and only go once a week for an hour or so, and yet I know of this teacher's reputation. I have heard nothing but how wonderful she is. He loved her and we are so excited! He'll have to really work hard this year as he got placed in the "High" progressive placement class. Ultimately, we hope he enjoys himself and really likes kindergarten. He was such a gentleman last night at his Open House talking with Mrs. Wincel. I was so proud! He has done nothing but talk about his new teacher and how much he likes her! He is counting down the days until Monday!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The 5 Second Rule

Marmie helping himself to a drink from the sink. Now, that's a big boy! He has been awesome for helping Regan work on her coordination. She can really do quite the acrobats to get out of his way when he is coming towards her ;)

Okay, you know the "five second rule" for food? I have now applied it to Regan. In Yunnie's case, it goes like this: If you turn your back for 5 seconds/Regan is quiet for 5 seconds/you don't have her in your direct line of sight for five seconds/etc you know Regan is into or upto something! I made the mistake of cleaning the bathroom where she could see me. The mistake wasn't necessarily cleaning the bathroom, it was standing on the toilet to reach the top of the cupboard above the toilet. Now, everytime Regan is in the bathroom, she is getting on the toilet. She left the bedroom for five seconds and when I turned the corner, there she was on the toilet!

Her biggest accomplishment this week was getting a "big girl" bed! As everyone knows, sleeping is a HUGE problem! Every night she still gets up crying 1-6 times. I then have to hold her and talk to her and she'll go back to sleep (unless she is having her numerous nightmares and then it might be several hours before she goes back to sleep!). Needless to say quality of sleep is not happening in our house. The big news is that she is now taking her naps in her toddler bed! Yeah! This is a huge step from where I would have to lie down with her to get her to take a nap. The bed is in my room and she has to see me and as long as I"m not doing anything too exciting, she'll nap. I usually go sit on the couch and she can see me from her bed. I don't think one more piece of furniture can fit in my bedroom! Oh, well, she is sleeping and that is what counts. Like I say, it is not the end of the world if she has to sleep with me. The world isn't going to fall off of it's axis despite what people will try to tell you about letting kids sleep in your bed. They haven't met Yunnie and all of her issues! I'm just so pleased she has relaxed enough to take a nap without me there! On Monday, I go back to work in the schools, so we'll see how that throws things.

Regan is now saying a couple more words. She will call "where are you"? That comes from hearing it directed at her about 50 times a day when I don't see her in my direct line of sight (refer to above ; ) ). She tells the dogs to "move" or "go". She calls Konnor, KaKa. If she wants attention drawn to herself she'll yell her own name "Yun Cakie". Usually this is when I am eating something and she wants it . She is like a bloodhound when it comes to food and she'll come from the other side of the house when she catches a scent! She'll say "oh, really". She says, "I don't know" and shrug her shoulders. She now knows what fingers are. So, in body parts she knows feet, bellybutton, fingers, teeth, and rear end. She'll say "ahhh" and open her mouth to show teeth. She now has four more coming in. She tries to snap her fingers. I wish I had a picture of this, but we went out to eat last night and we had to wait a few minutes. We were outside and there was a man leaning against the wall. Regan went up to him, studied him and copied his exact pose. Leaning on the wall, arms out on a ledge and feet crossed. It was the funniest thing. Everytime he would move, she would copy him. He didn't even know she was there which made it even funnier. I was so bummed I didn't have my camera!
I got my first Squish. Click on the 100 Good Wishes Link to see them!

Monday, August 06, 2007

100 Good Wishes Quilt

The cutest feet ever!
When we tell Regan to "shhh" and put our fingers up to our mouths, she copies. Well, almost! She kind of misses the mark! This is Regan telling us to "shhhh"!

I've started a new adventure. I am going to attempt to make a 100 Good Wishes Quilt for Regan. The tradition of making a Bai Jia Bei, or 100 Good Wishes Quilt began in northern China. As a welcome and to celebrate the coming of a new life they would invite friends and family to contribute a patch of cloth and a wish for the baby. Part of the cloth is sewn into the quilt for the baby and a small scrap of the cloth goes into a memory book along with it's corresponding wish. The quilt contains all the blessings and wishes for families and friends who contributed a fabric and a wish to welcome the new baby.

Together, the square of fabric and the wish are called a squish. I've joined a 100 Good Wishes Message board and have already signed up for two swaps. The swap is where ladies from all over send squishes to each other. The themes I have signed up for are flowers and American Culture. I'm very excited to learn ho to do this, although I have absolutely no clue as to how to put together a quilt. Luckily, I've requested the book, Quilting for Dummies, from the local library so hopefully that will help! I'll be posting the squishes on a new blog, Feel free to send me any squishes you may want! You can click on the "comments" section, email, or call and I can get back with you!

On another note, I have lost the battery charger to my camera and so I have not been able to take any pictures in about a week! I'm posting some oldies but goodies!

On yet another note, I have to update on some of Regan's dubious "accomplishments". I now know when she wants a snack or she is hungry. If I'm not feeding her in a timely fashion (meaning whenever she wants food, no matter if she just ate three seconds ago!), she just pulls a chair up to her highchair and climbs in! The first time I turned around and she was sitting in the highchair calling my name I about fell on the floor!

Regan also has learned to roll her eyes. She first did it to my mom. She was pouting about something and my mom was asking her a question and she turned to my mom, rolled her eyes, shook her head and turned her head away! I thought rolling of the eyes was a learned behavior usually acquired in the teenage years. I guess it is an innate behavior used to show disgust! I don't know where she learned eye rolling because we don't do it in my house! If I had rolled my eyes at my mom they would have been knocked out of my head ; ) ! She has since done it a couple of times, and it has all been at "appropriate" times. Mainly when she is irritated with us and we are asking her questions. Lovely skill to have acquired!

A good skill is that she is now really into kissing. She would usually kiss when she wanted something or was trying to get away with something. Now she is kissing just to kiss. Yeah! She come up to you with her lips clamped tight (a huge improvement from the gaping mouth kiss!) and say mmmmmmm. Don't get me wrong, when she is trying to distract or get out of trouble she still will kiss, make her "scrunchy face", or show her bellybutton. In her mind, who can resist a cute bellybutton?!?!?

So she will now kiss when asked, most of the time, and she can "shake her purples". She does this all the time on command. It is too cute!!! Just say, "shake your purples, Yunnie" and she'll start shaking her bottom! I have to learn how to post videos on this sight so that everyone can enjoy The Shaking of the Purples! ;)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

1-2-3 Sign with Me

I just had to tell everyone about this awesome program. It is being taught by my friend, Tricia. Tricia works at one of the elementary schools that I work with and she is an AWESOME teacher! It just so happens, we met while we were both waiting for The Call! Her daughter Maia is just the cutest thing! You have to check out Maia's dimples! We ended up in China at overlapping times, but didn't get to see each other :( . Anyway, she has started teaching classes in KinderSigns. I think it is an awesome idea. Working as a physical therapist in the school system, I hear speech therapists encouraging the use of sign language in conjunction with the spoken word. Among many other benefits, it decreases the toddler's frustration with getting their wants and needs across to adults. Before they are developmentally ready to talk, they can begin using signs to communicate! Anyway, please visit her website and she can tell you a whole lot more about KinderSigns!

I'll also have the website listed under my "links" section!