Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Our Thanksgiving weekend

We had a wonderful holiday weekend starting on Wednesday with a trip to Longwood Gardens. We went with friends and the place has a new children's garden that is like a fairy land. It's an indoor garden with pathways winding around into niches with fountains and dragon statues - one that spits blood - a red fountain - and the attention to detail was incredible. Some of the walkways are very narrow and some of the ceilings are low they're designed for the kids. I got a family pass and want to try to get back there more often. We used to go alot in the summertime especially but I guess we did the waterpark more often this past summer.

Thanksgiving Day both of the boys had the attention of both of their sets of grandparents and my sister and had a great time outside since the weather was beautiful. When asked in school about his holiday Josh said that he got to ride bikes with Pop pop. I guess he forgot all about the food, and the family and that stuff, for him it was all about the bikes. I was able to stay in Josh's classroom on Monday since it was our turn to bring the snack and when I heard the other kid's descriptions I wondered how close to the real thing they were.

Dima got some birthday gifts including a matching game with characters from the movie Cars. They boys just can't get enough of that game. Josh jumps up and down and gives high-fives to whoever finds a match and even when someone else wins but you still have to remind both of them to look at more than the face down cards that are right in front of them over and over. It does seem like a good way to get Dima to go over stuff like they're doing in school like counting out and deciding which player has fewer and more matches. Both boys seem to have pretty good memories but Josh's is almost as if it's photographic cause he's really, really good at finding matches.

On Saturday while the boys spent time going to Lowe's and doing some male bonding I went to Maryland to spend time at the Thanksgiving fest with my old dance group. It only took just over three hours to get down there and I had a great time catching up with people and doing the log sawing competition and shooting fest and hayride int the afternoon, dinner was nice and there was a short show highlighting some of the incredible talent in the group. Later we danced some of our German stuff as well as some of the international dances that the originators of the group were heavily involvd in. Over this past Oktoberfest season the group acquired a new guy who plays a zither and an acordion as well as the guitar. Several of us stayed up until 4am around a campfire with s'mores and songs and lots of laughing. When I made my way down into the bunk room I was hesitant to even look at the time was amazed at how the day and the night had flown. The drive home seemed long and I had a nap as soon as I brought my stuff inside but it was worth it.

When I got here the boys were cleaning out the garage. Well, Chris was cleaning it while Dima flitted around doing not much of anything for any extended amount of time and Josh was sitting on the floor of the garage drilling nails into the drywall. He had a hockey helmet on and his little glasses and spent hours going along at drill-level since he can't pick it up and use it at the same time and was really intent and focused on what he was doing. Now we have a line of screws in the garage, but hey, it kept him busy.

Today both boys had pediatrician appointments. The doctor we go to is familliar with International adoptees and seems to know alot about issues they can be faced with. After some consideration and after watching the boys she mentioned Dima's lack of impulse control and she gave me names of various psych people to go to and even an ADHD clinic that's affiliated with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. I'm planning to consult with Dima's teacher next week and ask her what she thinks might best help him. The office visit today was not fun at all cause I was so distracted most of the time by trying to wrangle the boys and give them things to do other than get wild it was hard for her to get through a thought without me having to try to settle them down. On our way there Josh actually said that he was tired so that was probably part of the problem. When they have busy weekends and or skip naps over a weekend it seems to me like it takes a few days for them to recover rest-wise especially Dima. He was asleep within minutes when we got here and settled in. This coming Thursday and Friday Dima's off school and Josh is not so it should be interesting to see how he behaves with out Josh around I'll probably take him hiking at Marsh Creek park since we'll be right there to drop Josh off and it's a great way to use up his hyper- energy in a good way that won't get him in trouble.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


We watched E. T . tonight and I sat with the boys to explain things while it was on cause I read that parts of it could be scary for kids and they were okay during the UFO stuff and all that but when it was time for ET to get on the UFO to leave Elliot go home Dima was sobbing hysterically. He says it was because he wanted to keep the flowers that ET took along with him but I'm pretty sure that he started in with the crying even before that scene. I'm not sure what it brought up in him but he was really, really crying. I tryed all along to explain that it's all pretend and even while getting ready for bed he was still sniffling. He even said he doesn't want to watch it again, and usually when they see something new they want it again and again. I'm sure we'll talk about it again in the morning. After we watched it all the way through we re-wound , yes, it's an actual tape not DVD! to the part where the little girl - Drew Barrymore- sees ET for the first time and screams which both of my kids thought was hilarious hopefully they'll both remember that more than the sad part.

We're probably going to Longwood Gardens early tomorrow since they're both off school then I'm planning to be back here to take a nap so hopefully they'll be rested before the excitement of the holiday begins.

This coming Saturday is also the annual Thanksgiving get together for my Washington dance group and I'm debating whether to go or not. I drove down last April for the Easter gathering and though I had a great time that day I was really, really tired on the way home and had to pull over at one point to try to take a nap. Since some of us stay up till all hours folk dancing and talking around the camp fire and others get up early it's hard to really get any sleep. If the weather is going to be bad that could make the drive miserable. I'll probably make the call at the last minute. I do have a stash of bubble gum in my car plus my ipod podcasts for the drives to and from practices and every Starbucks does have my yummy frapaccinos to help keep me awake. There really is nothing like feeling at home in a place like that with everyone being a friend with great big hugs and everyone wanting to say hi to me since I'm not around that often. I like it that I that I actually know most of the dances they do. My bag's not packed just yet but I'm leaning more and more toward going...

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Last week as Dima and I were on our way to dance practice during a lull in our conversation he started singing al-le-lu-ia like the priest sings in church... and sang it over and over and over again. Lots of times when Josh is settling in for the night he sings and talks to himself sometimes he'll sing the national anthem - they both like that one - or "here we go Woyals, here we go..." When it's just Josh and me in the car I'll flip the radio stations and he tells me when to stop he usually stops me on peppy- dance type music but has also picked church music and rap at different times he always says "I wuv that song" when he wants me to stop. If I know the lyrics I'll sing for him when he wants a certain song and when I know part of a song I'll add in " something, something" and then when he repeats it he puts in "something, something". If the two of them start singing they sometimes argue over what the words are and they come up with some pretty funny stuff. At one point Josh thought that "Mustang Sally" was "Mustang salad" and he makes his own words up all the time.

the pilgrim Twinkie

Josh came out of school yesterday with a Twinkie "decorated" with candy corn sticking out of it. Apparently he thinks the pilgrims had Twinkies and liked them done up that way. Josh, on the other hand had never had one before and now when he's trying to remember the name of it he comes up with all kinds of words (usually Teekie) but I know what he's talking about from the context of our conversation.

We got a call yesterday that Josh's glasses are ready so we're going to pick them up today. I ordered two identical pairs so we have a handy replacement pair and spare parts if ... maybe I should say when... they're needed. He also has skating lessons today so I'll probably have to get him a sports strap to keep them on his face when he falls on the ice. He does have a great memory for details, it had been about year since the last time we were at that eye doctor's office and he actually remembered that there was a kid there that last time who had cars and shared them with him. He's also pretty good about remembering things we've driven to before he knows the way to the train station and to the little race track near here that has Friday night races in the summer. Of course these are things and places that mean alot to him. He's pretty good about knowing where we've seen different kinds of cars too. He definitely knows where the neighbors are that have the interesting cars - mainly Mustangs. He's so easy to entertain with just watching the traffic around us that we'll never have to get a video player for the car on his account.

We went to kids' dance practice last night and Dima was wild again, it's remarkable the difference between last week when Josh wasn't there and when he is around. I'm still trying to figure out if it's Dima trying to get and keep my attention - which acting up does- or having Josh there as an accomplice and audience that gets him so wound up. I'm sure that it didn't help that we sat in the car for nearly two hours getting there, but Josh was sitting in the car that long too and he did fine.

Both boys are off school on Wednesday so I'm thinking about taking them to Longwood Gardens that morning since they just opened a new kids area which has fountains and fake rain storms and stuff that Dima will like, and that will hopefully now get him too wound up. If we get there early enough we'll still be able to get back here for nap to rest up before the Thanksgiving holiday hub-bub starts up.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Yesterday we went to a birthday party for my friend Vicki's daughter and now my boys are taking a play tool kit box and putting "presents" (actually their toys) into it and singing Happy Birthday to each other. I gave them the idea and now they're doing it over and over. When I did it it was with one gift in then box now they're packing it full each time. The party yesterday was held in a club with a pool with lots of ways to get squirted and it was a great place. We swam
first then had a chance to change and dry off and they had a party room with pizza and cake and all that. Josh had a PFD on and it was a good thing cause he kept trying to go into the part of the pool that was just a little too deep for him. I kept trying to show him how to dog paddle to get back out but he was too distracted by all that was going on around us to really focus. Dima was mesmerized by a fountain that squirted up and kept going to that to goof around.

I had Josh's parent / teacher conference today and he got good marks on his report card with mostly 2s and 3s ( three being the highest). He doesn't like to sit to color and write so his fine motor skills can use some improvement but the teacher said we have to keep things fun for him too. I'm wondering how things will change once he gets his glasses. I took him today to pick out frames and he was so busy play - play - playing with the toys in the office that he really didn't want to come over to where the frames were but I did manage to pick a pair. I just might check with our local eye doctor to see if they have kids' frames since I had to drive about 1/2 hour to the other place and I didn't really like to attitude of the staff - they weren't very accommodating or friendly, trust me, I used to BE in an office like that and I think they could have / should have been warmer than they were. That place was recommended as being good with kids and that's why I drove out there but there are other places closer who can probably do just as well.

I had a chance to dance with my Bavarian dance group at a winery on Saturday and it was a great day. I went to my parent's place first and we all went out during the afternoon to a craft show then to lunch at TGIFriday's where my sister works and then back to their house to get ready for the winery gig. The place was nice up set way up on a hill I was thinking of buying a bunch of bottles for Christmas and hostess gifts but the trip down the hill with that would have been treacherous. They do have a kiosk in a mall just 15 minutes from here so I'll probably go there to get some so I can use a cart to get it to the car. We had the opportunity to talk to the owners of the winery and I liked their wines.

The boys are still loving their Saturday skating lessons, at this point they're both better skaters than I am. They certainly get in lots of activity on the weekends and Monday naps usually last until at least 3:30-4:00.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

They were talking about me in school.

Last week I asked Josh what happened in school and along with hearing the daily update on the snack of the day and whether or not they went out to the playground he also said "They were talking about ME!" I wasn't really sure what that meant until I unpacked his back pack that afternoon and found a trumpet they made in crafts that day that said something and Jericho.... ok, so they were really talking about THAT Joshua I tried to explain that more than one person can have the same name, and we've had that discussion before but he still thinks he was the topic of conversation. I guess it's not uncommon since one of his classmates apparently thought the Noah they talked about earlier in the year was her cousin Noah.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Oh wow! A new rec (- or wreck?) room!

I spent most of my afternoon and evening on Sunday organizing and cleaning a section of our basement. A bunch of the toys are going to be finding new homes and I got out big foam letter- blocks to put on the floor, put a kid-sized table and chairs out with coloring books and extra pillows and blankets out so we can have relaxing story times. There's also a cdWhen we went down there this morning they were really thrilled and that made all the work to put it together worth while. There's still other stuff down there that they shouldn't be getting in to and I blocked of their space but I don't think I'll be leaving them down there by themselves any time soon just to be sure that they don't wander into the other stuff.

There are a few certain things that must be in-grained in boys, laughing at burps and other forms of gas, and fascination with fire. The first thing the kids did in the new rec room was to pretend to build a campfire and pretend to put stuff in it. We also had a good time taking the letters out of their spaces in the flooring and matching them back up again.

It's amazing to me how simple it is to amuse these kids sometimes. At the moment we're waiting for our dinner to cool and while the kids are in the family room I showed Josh how to use a hanger that I usually use to hold pants for paper and he was just fascinated and now he keeps clipping and un-clipping the paper from the hanger. I made eggs yesterday for breakfast and they were amused by opening up a utensil drawer and taking the stuff out and asking what each thing was.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Glasses for Josh

Today we had an appointment with a pediatric ophthalmologist at the recommendation of Josh's pediatrician to check out why he sometimes - especially when he's tired - looks like he's crossing his eyes. They figured out that he's far sighted and should be wearing glasses. This should be interesting to try to get him to keep them on and to not get them broken while he's playing. "You'll shoot your eye out!" I might just get two pairs or whatever insurance they have for kids' glasses. I'm probably going to take him first thing tomorrow to the place the doctor recommended to get this over with. They specialize in kids frames and can probably give us helpful hints to get him ready to wear them. I got an old pair of mine out and let him play with them a little and he did ask if he could wear them in the bathtub and I said he could then he only played with them a short time and switched his attention to his bath toys.

While we waited in the reception area for Josh's pupils to dilate they were both pretty busy with the toys and stuff they had there and at one point Dima called Josh over to let him push a button on a big sculpture / marble mover and Dima pushed the button as Josh got there to do it. Since he was nasty to Josh earlier in the day in the same way I told Dima he could not have a Slushie since they had both asked to have them if they were good. After I removed the privilege of the Slushie Dima got into one of his fits where it's really hard for him to settle down. The assistant asked him why the melt down and he couldn't /wouldn't even answer her. We ended up coming back here and he went directly to his bed cause he was acting up all the way home as well. He did get in a short nap which was what I think he needed. I did figure out that if I record him on my phone and play it back to him he can't stand it so I just acted like I was recording a few times and he can stop the hysterics when I do that. I'm hoping his teacher can either help him get a grip when he gets so worked up or can refer us to someone who can help him We spoke about it earlier in the year and she said she had to get to know him first to be able to know who to refer us to IF his school work is affected. I know that some of his behavior is just normal growing boy stuff but it goes beyond that in certain situations. Since school started we haven't been to the place in Lancaster cause I just don't know when we'd have the time to go especially since Dima needs the naps and he does sleep pretty quickly and pretty long especially on school days I don't want to get out of the nap habit then if we'd go after nap time we're into bed time by the time we'd get back here.

Dima is doing well in skating lessons so well that he's started the learn to play hockey classes. Though Dima took some convincing, both boys danced with our dance group this past weekend and I'm glad that Chris's parents helped us out with manning them that night cause it's so distracting to have to deal with them and try to get other things done at the same time. On the way to the event they were really wound up - so much so that Nana sat in the back seat on the way home to be in between them and try to keep some control. Stimulating situations like that get Dima going and again it's hard for him to calm down and at the same time he gets defiant and tried to push boundaries. I'm hoping that being on stage will be a good thing for both of them self confidence - wise and will continue to take them to dance performances especially now that they both get out there and that they seem to like being on stage.