Here is an interesting post at www.alittlepregnant.com on grace by a woman who doesn't believe in God as I do. Warning: contains foul language.
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Don’t say, "I told you so" or "Duh, what did you think would happen?" I, too, knew it was coming. I just tried to pretend it wouldn’t happen because I really, really, really hoped it wouldn’t. But it did.
Kevin got out of bed at 4:00 am and failed to understand why he wasn’t allowed in our bed. You see, 2-yr olds can’t tell time and barely understand the concept of time (Kevin often says "Not now" but I think that means "Please, no, don’t ever make me do that" rather than "Not now, but later.") All he knew was that for the past few days when he got up, he was allowed to sleep all snug and comfy between Mama and Papa for a bit longer. Then, suddenly, that was against the rules and he had to return to his cold, lonely room. And there was no reason for it!
I thought my Tuesdays and Thursdays were long days because I get up at 5:30 - turns out that today will be even longer as I only slept about 10 minutes since 4:00 am and I wasn’t in my bed at the time.
Monday, February 21, 2005
I'm quoted and listed on our adoption agency's website (World Partners Adoption) as a referral because we recently completed our adoption (Kevin's picture is included - isn't he adorable?) I also listed myself on a large adoption forum as a reference for our agency. I never expected to receive 20-25 requests for information in the 4 months that we've been home! It's pretty crazy although I love our agency and I'm happy to provide them with good references to people who are searching for an agency. Plus, I get to relive our process each time I answer someone's email. I don't have a form letter, although I may have to write one if this keeps up ;-) I answer each one separately and sometimes the people ask very detailed questions that really make me recall our paperwork process, decision processes, and our trip to Guatemala. I enjoy thinking back on all of those things. I just finished typing up what I think is my longest response yet. Phew!
Long before Kevin arrived home, we decided that we'd do all we could to keep Kevin out of our bed at night. If he had serious attachment issues then we would've made concessions, of course, but that didn't turn out to be necessary. Instead we put him in his own bed in his own room and for awhile I slept on the floor in there. Then we graduated to staying in his room until he fell asleep. Then we graduated to only one of us staying in his room until he fell asleep. Now we've really graduated to letting him fall asleep on his own. When he gets up in the middle of the night, I still stay with him awhile but I try not to sleep in there (sometimes I sleep on the floor when he's up in the middle of the night so that I don't sit there wasting my precious sleep time while he's trying to fall back to sleep.)
Late last week we discovered something really nice - an hour of having "family bed" in the morning. For the past few days when Kevin woke up at 6:00 and we weren't ready to get up, we picked him up and laid him between us in our bed. Surprisingly, he fell back asleep! He didn't thrash around, he just rolled a little bit and moved an arm and a leg here and there. Those moments gave me the chance to wake up slowly and doze off a few times before getting out of bed. I can't stress how wonderful it has been to not be woken up suddenly and then be expected to get out of bed and be 100% "on" all within about 30 seconds.
The past few days this has been really nice because he came to our bed around 6:00 am and then he was ready to officially get up for the day around 7:00, which is a great time for me, personally.
I won't mention the fact that he was up from 11:45pm - 2:00am on Friday night and that he didn't nap on Saturday and his meal schedule has gone awry. I'll just hope that he had a few weird days and that the 1-hr morning family bed will continue to work on days that it is convenient for all of us and that the rest of his schedule will resume some normalcy starting today (it's 3:30 pm and so far, so good.)
Sunday, February 20, 2005
I get pretty annoyed with Kevin when he spills his milk, knocks things over, or runs into walls because he’s not watching where he’s going. I know in my mind that a lot of these things are just part of the natural course of his learning process. However, I still get annoyed and angry. Then I find myself doing things that make me wonder how I have any right to get annoyed with him.
Last week in Wal-Mart I was deciding on which type of same-price hair conditioner to buy. I figured the smell was the biggest difference so I opened them both up to take a whiff. When I gave the second bottle a slight squeeze to let some of the air out to smell it, a dollop of conditioner popped out and landed right under my nose!
Tonight I was leaving the basement while Andy was down there and I pretended to kick one of Kevin’s balls. Then I decided to kick it backward toward Andy and instead of pretending to kick it against the steps in front of me (which I didn’t actually do because it would’ve made a loud noise), it nailed the baseboard radiator (making a really loud crash) and then bounced off and hit the cat.
I can’t help but laugh at myself when things like this happen yet I get annoyed when they happen to Kevin. I need to realize that at least Kevin has the excuse that he’s still learning the laws of physics.
Saturday, February 19, 2005
On Monday we're going to Chuck E. Cheese's for a nephew's birthday party. When I told Andy about it his first question was, "Hmm... I wonder how Kevin will do with large stuffed animals that dance?" This is a good question as we've seen Kevin quite afraid of puppets. Granted, he's not afraid of finger puppets, just the kind that go over your whole hand, even if it's someone as fun as Elmo. I do wonder how Kevin will do with large stuffed animals that dance.
So I played volleyball last night from 7:30 pm - 12:30 am. Yup, 5 hours. There were some breaks in the action while we waited to play between games, but that may have actually made it harder now that I'm getting older (stiffness sets in pretty quick these days.) After about 5 hours of sleep (which is not nearly enough for me even on a good day) I got out of bed when Kevin did and my body was still tired.
Kevin and I headed to the Baltimore Zoo this morning and left Andy to enjoy some peace and quiet at home. Kevin seemed nonchalant about seeing the polar bears, snowy owl, ravens, and arctic foxes in person, but then once he got out of his stroller and learned he could find is own best vantage point and make me move faster by running ahead of me, he was pretty excited to see some more animals (which included a cheetah, a penguin, giraffees, chimps, lemurs, various birds, etc.) The walking around didn't hurt my feet as bad as I thought it would but perhaps I was just fooling myself so that I wouldn't be miserable.
This afternoon Andy played with Kevin so I laid on the couch for a little bit and dozed off. When I woke up, things really started to hurt. The soreness is setting in and every muscle fiber is resisting movement.
Tomorrow I have to play volleyball for my league. It's gonna be ugly. I'll be in the prime of soreness at game time even though I've been popping Advil since I got home last night.
Friday, February 18, 2005
- Tonight I'm going to The Volleyball House to play some drop-in volleyball. Not just some, actually, but *5* hours. I'm going to come home at midnight exhausted, smelly and talkative. And I'm going courtesy of the gift certificate that Andy gave me for Christmas.
- Last night in bed, I was reading and Andy picked his head up off the pillow to say, "I left the Spanish kids' CD in the player in the van." This is so that I would know when getting into the van today to turn the music down immediately so that I wouldn't have to listen to the CD all day. Not that the Spanish kids' CD is a bad thing, but once you start Kevin on his music, you can't make it stop (we usually save it for later in the day or near the end of trips.)
- When I complain about not being able to keep up with the cleaning and laundry and getting all of my work hours in each week Andy says, "I could live with every room looking like this" while pointing to the large pile of paper scraps and buttons that Kevin has strewn around our feet.
Thursday, February 17, 2005
For some reason, my best friend from kindergarten popped into my mind last night. His name is Chad and he left our elementary school, I think to attend a private school. Either way, we lost touch (easy to do when you’re 5 years old and you’re afraid to use the telephone and you’re not allowed to cross the street.)
So today I Googled his name and I was shocked to find out that not only did he never move away but his family owns a large business in Baltimore that he now works for and he lives nearby. I also saw pictures of him on a sports-related website. Funny thing is that all I remembered about how he looked was his hair and - by gum - I could tell it was him in his photo 20-some years later by that same hair.
It’s harder to successfully look up women that you knew when you were younger because their names usually change when they get married. So in case anyone has good intentions about looking me up (if you have bad intentions then just ignore that you found this page) my name used to be Dianne Depuy. That little piece of text may be my ticket to all sorts of long-lost friends finding me through Google.
Or I may just find out that nobody is looking me up on the Web with nearly the intense curiosity that I seem to have for looking up everyone that I’ve ever known.
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
I have a free sitemeter account for tracking visitor statistics on this blog. One of the most interesting features (there would be others if I were to pay for them) is the list of visitors "by referral." Most of the time there is no information given but when someone reaches my blog by way of a search at Google or Yahoo (for example), then I can see what search terms they used to find me.
Apparently a lot of people outside of the US (mostly from Germany) find my blog through Google's image search feature. I don't know what about the names of my image files is so search-worthy but it's interesting to see how we all come together. The file that seems to get the most hits? One of Beth and myself when we donated our hair to Locks of Love 2 years ago. The intriguing name of the file? Before-Both.jpg. If that puts you on the edge of your seat, just wait until I post the one titled Before-AllThree.jpg.
Thursday, February 10, 2005
Have the company doing construction outside of your office building cut through the fiber optic cable that connects your users' desktops to the internet. Do not damage the lines that service your production-level applications which your clients access nor any inside lines that connect your employees' desktops to resources on the local area network.
Do not start any rogue processes that fork out of control rendering 85% of all development-level processes inoperable. At this point with no work to do and no access to the internet, your employees may turn psychotic.
Yesterday was Ash Wednesday which is the beginning of Lent, the season leading up to Easter. Lent is a time of penitence which continues through Holy Week including Good Friday, the "celebration" of Jesus' crucifixion and then to Easter when we celebrate Jesus' victory over death when he rose from his tomb.
The church I attend is a "low church." We don't often sing hymns, people wear whatever they want, there is no organ, we have no stained glass windows, we don't follow a denomination's rites/rules/rituals or liturgy and our leaders aren't ordained. Our Founding/Senior/Lead/Teaching pastor didn't attend seminary (although he is a featured speaker at many seminaries these days.)
Last night some members of our bible study group went to an Ash Wednesday service at a local Episcopal church. It was the first Ash Wednesday service I've ever attended. It was the first time I've received ashes on my forehead as a symbol of my life coming from and returning to ashes.
I moved forward to the wooden fence in front of the altar and knelt down and closed my eyes. When the reverend touched my forehead with the ashes I felt something powerful. I think it was because I've never been physically touched by someone who has been ordained as a "holy person." Maybe that's not the right description to use, but my point is just that I felt like I was in the presence of holiness at that moment and it was something new to me (that's not to say that I haven't felt like I was in God's presence before, but this was different.)
I'm glad that we went and I'm glad that Kevin behaved and remained quiet during the service. It gave us the chance to observe and be part of the service and not just spend all of our attention trying to keep him quiet and occupied.
And I'm glad that our friends came over to our house afterward to eat pizza and chat :-)
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
People have been telling us over the past 4 months that Kevin is smart. Of course we know this. Last night he displayed his intelligence in a grand manner.
He wanted to get something off his bookcase and it was a couple of inches out of his reach. He bounced around pretending to try to reach it and then asked for help. Andy and I were both sitting in the room and Andy suggested to Kevin that he get the (small, plastic, lightweight) step stool so he could reach.
Kevin followed the direction very well - he picked up the stool, carried it over to the book case, and swung it over his head trying to knock the object off the top of the book case with it.
This continued for about 30 seconds until Andy and I composed ourselves enough to be able to say, "Perhaps you should stand on the stool."
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
We just put Kevin to bed for the first time without one of us staying in there with him. We haven't been sleeping with him, but one of us would sit or lay on the floor next to his bed until he fell asleep. Tonight we sent Kevin into the scary world of falling asleep on his own.
His bedtime routine was becoming longer and longer because he would ask for water ("No, Kevin, you already had a drink"), [Winnie the] Pooh books ("No Kevin, you dropped them on the floor and we're not picking them up"), horse/cow ("No, Kevin, you pushed horse/cow behind the bed"), and all sorts of other things. Perhaps this is because his language skills are improving but we figured that he'd stop taking an hour to fall asleep if he didn't have an audience. Also, I'm hoping that this will cut back on his nighttime visits to our room. Granted, he doesn't wake up and come in every night, but when he does, it's very difficult on me. I expect he'll wake up sometimes and need comforting, but the past two nights he wanted me to sleep in his bed with him when he woke up. I'm sure it's obvious that's not the most comfortable way to sleep. It's no surprise that children who learn to fall asleep on their own are able to do so during the night as well.
We used the technique of "controlled crying" in which we put him to bed awake and left the room. He screamed and cried and screamed and cried and screamed some more and after about 3 minutes, we went back in to reassure him that we were still there and then we left the room again. More screaming and crying and screaming and crying (and Kevin was pretty loud, too) and we waited 5 minutes to go in again. Then we waited 10 minutes to go in the next time and 15 the following time. After about 35 minutes total, Kevin was asleep. He had stopped crying prior to that and would start up again every time we went back in, but we still felt it was good to let him know that we were there and would be available should he need us. We also made sure to be close to his room making noise like walking around, talking, etc. so that he knew we weren't completely leaving him (beyond his door, anyway.)
We're fortunate that we're able to attempt this because this should only be used with children who have a strong, healthy attachment to their parents. We feel secure with Kevin's attachment to us and because of that, this process should help him instead of hurt him (despite the wailing in the short-term.)
We are hoping he'll only feel distressed by this for a few days and then he'll have learned that he's safe and able to fall asleep on his own. That'll give us more time at night after he goes to bed that we can do things before we go to bed. Maybe we'll catch some more TV and do some more scrapbooking and beading. Wow... that sounds really nice.
If I was a geek, I would've known when asked multiple times, "Are you sure you don't have another firewall installed on your machine?" to answer, "Yes, there are 2 besides the one I'm trying to install now" rather than saying, "No, of course not. I never installed a firewall on here."
And I would've known when asked, "How many network cards are in your computer?" to not answer that I only have the one I went out and purchased when, in fact, there is a built-in network card I could've been using all along PLUS the one that I went out and purchased.
And if I was a geek I would've known when told to "Boot in safe mode and check that you have Administrator privileges" not to answer with, "I most certainly should have Administrator privileges, I'm the only user! And what does it mean to boot in safe mode?"
Monday, February 07, 2005
Thursday, February 03, 2005
This time I know that I’m a day late. Our "4-months together as a family" anniversary was actually yesterday. Alas, yesterday I was not in front of the computer much as we were at Wal-Mart, the library, and visiting coworkers at my office.
Yesterday Kevin embarked on a milestone adventure of epic proportions (hyperbole? I think not.) I cleaned the oven after breakfast and Kevin was in the living room ALL BY HIMSELF the entire time. And that made it so much easier for me to spend specific play time with him afterward. And then, after dinner, even while Andy was home (realize here that Andy is a god to our little Kevin and when Andy is around, nobody else exists in Kevin’s world) Kevin went downstairs without us. That’s not just in another room, that’s practically in another galaxy. He sat at the bottom of the basement steps with some animals, balls and trucks piled around him and he played. I have no idea what he played even though I snuck a peek at him at one point. Can you understand the freedom that was gifted to us yesterday? It was incredible.
He has also started talking to himself. Many kids talk to the TV or their books or stuffed animals, but Kevin never did until now. It is the cutest thing. All that he seems to say at this point is numbers - he enjoys counting most everything. He doesn’t have the first 10 numbers down pat yet but he’s clearly getting there. What we tend to hear when he does talk to himself goes something like this, "doo, dix, debben, dix, debben, nine, dix, debben..." which is "two, six, seven, six, seven, nine, six, seven..." when you can’t pronounce "s" sounds at the beginnings of words yet.
Thinking back to what changes Kevin has made and what he has learned over the past few months is incredible. Here are some of the ones I can think of at the moment:
- taking a bath is no longer a scream-fest
- his plate of food doesn’t get shoved in a fit of anger 10 times during every meal
- he can put 3 words together and ask for things like, “more milk, please”
- he says “Thank You” at home with a big smile on his face without prompting
- the outdoors is fun instead of scary
- not only can he dance, he can sing
- he can watch us cooking dinner without crying to have food immediately
- he falls asleep in bed and not only in our arms
- he eats like a horse but not like a horse with a tapeworm