Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thankful for so much....

This Thanksgiving, Nicholas and I spent at home together, it was nice and quiet. Hubby took the girls to the family Thanksgiving so they could spend time with extended family. I ended up cooking our Thanksgiving meal on Wednesday so we could enjoy it together before the girls and their dad left on Thursday. The kids ate all their food without a single complaint...a major accomplishment in our house!

While the rest of the family was gone, Nicholas and I played outside with a neighbor, went to the park and played at home. I was also able to get some laundry and cleaning done around the house. Some firsts for Nicholas, we played Candyland together...Nicholas won fair and square. He also drew pictures of bats and spiders on our driveway with our Neighbor's 3rd grade son. This is so amazing in that this summer, he could barely even make a scribble with a crayon.

Yesterday, I managed what I thought was an impossible feat...I was able to get Nicholas to take a nap! Both Nicholas and I have minor colds and he got up at 5:30 in the morning yesterday. So after a big lunch, we settled down on the twin bed in his room for a book, then we laid down with the blanket over us and after about 30 minutes, he fell asleep. I feel like Super Mom after this. He napped for about 2 hours, but then it took him a long time to go to sleep at bedtime. We aren't completely sure if this was due to the nap or the vaporizer we put in his room. I think he was worried about the vaporizer because of the noise and steam coming from it.

As I reflect on Thanksgiving, I can't help but be thankful for my family. My husband, who works so hard to provide us all the extras we enjoy, our kids who give us such joy and all of our friends for their support over the last year.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

First Dentist visit

Nicholas did very well at the dentist and he received an 'A' for taking such good care of his teeth. The dentist saw one spot that he will check again in 6 months. He did great throughout the entire visit and only had difficulty with 2 of the xray for his back teeth.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What a difference 2 months makes!

Wow, it's 2 months already?! It's amazing how much things change with some love, nutrition and time. To the girls, he is their little brother. To us, his parents, he is our son.

Nicholas is starting to call himself Nicholas sometimes or Nicholas Roma. We are getting used to his new name, too. His English is coming along and I even hear him spouting off some of our letters and sounds (thank you Leap Frog Letter Factory!!). He is really into counting things, constantly pointing things out to me and showing me how he can count. He is very much a boy, but has been playing in the play kitchen and occasionally with dolls (gasp!!). I think it's great he has a variety of things to play with, from trains, to building blocks, to Dora figures. He loves play doh and can play with it for at least 30 minutes at a time. Same thing with some of the building blocks we have. His brain is like a sponge and he is just so eager to learn everything that he has missed out on.

We are seeing more and more of his personality come out. He is a sweet, loving boy with occasional stubborn streaks. Just today he was giving me hugs while he was riding in the shopping cart at the store and saying 'I love you' amazingly sweet moment! We have been trying different things for discipline and are finally able to use timeouts at the moment. Most of the time he likes to please us and he is compliant and even says 'okay dokey' when asked to do things, sometimes, he shouts out 'No!' and is stubborn. It is all a learning process as we get to know each other and figure out what will work.

Some of his favorite things:
Being tickled, riding his tricycle, drawing outside with chalk, going to the park, playing soccer, playing with Trio blocks, playing with toy airplanes and helicopters, watching tv (mostly Disney and Dora), riding in the car, going to the gym (Kids Zone while I work out), shopping at Costco (eating their samples).

He says he wants to go to school but he's not quite ready. I'm hoping to get him in after the holidays. He has come so far from when we first met him. I remember him trying to play in the visiting room and he would pound on the electronic toys trying to figure them out. Now he knows how to play with toys and he just built a robot by himself for the first time with the Trio blocks! I am so proud of him. He has also learned to use scissors. He is learning to color and the other day, he traced a ball and colored it in...amazing!

We are so blessed to have him in our family, we are teaching him a lot, but I think he has a lot to teach us, too, about love, acceptance and trust.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Holiday Dilemma

So normally we travel by car several hours away to stay with extended family a few days for the Thanksgiving holiday. The girls love seeing their teenage girl cousins and we enjoy spending time with relatives and doing fun things with the girls. But the girls are used to this and they enjoy all our travels. Now, Nicholas is acclimating very well to our immediate family and to short outings, but we just don't know how he would do on a trip where everything will be different and his routine will be disrupted.

Dad wants to stay at relative's house for 1-2 nights and maybe another relative's house. I've thought about just the girls going with their dad (they are his family) but they don't want to go without me or Nicholas. So here are our options:
A. Forget about it, stay home
B. Go for one day, stay one night at relatives house and come back
C. Go for it, it will be good practice, just high tail it out of there if it is too stressful

Now, I don't know if this is an option, but I think staying in a hotel would be better as there are less things for Nicholas to 'get into'. And if things are stressful, we can take him back to the hotel, and do calming things, like swimming, watching favorite dvds, etc.

Oh and I should add he sleeps pretty well at home in his bed in his own room and we have his night time routine down well. We do still give him an herbal supplement to help him relax for bedtime though and I think he is a light sleeper. I can't even think how we would do sleeping arrangements...

So, I would love to hear some feedback from some other adoptive parents of older children. Please tell me what your experience is or what you think about this.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

A field trip with a friend

We've been having playdates with my friend and her son, L, a couple of times a month. Last week, we took a trip to watch trains come through an area which has been named as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. Unfortunately, no trains came through. At least the boys had some snacks in the car while we waited the 20-30 minutes.

After this we headed to the town with the apple orchards and headed to an orchard for a picnic and apple picking. We found one that still had apples, unfortunately, this orchard didn't do 'u-pick'. I guess the worker told the owner and the owner let the boys pick a couple of apples from a tree near their shed. They also had lots of samples of the different apples and different ciders. They had some small apples, I think they were Pink Lady. Although they were green and red, they reminded me a bit of the apples growing in the courtyard of the babyhouse. Nicholas loved grabbing these and eating these, they are a great size for snacks.

On the way back to town, we ended up at a popular farm that has a farmstand and small petting zoo. We never made it to the petting zoo as the boys just loved playing in the bucket of corn (kind of like a sandbox, only with corn).

Halloween pictures

We ended up taking Nicholas just to our neighbors in our cul-de-sac. At first we thought he would be Tigger as he put on the Tigger costume I found and bounced around like Tigger. I put out 3 costumes, Buzz Lightyear, Tigger and the train hat and he chose to be a train engineer. The funny thing is, then next couple of nights before bed, he asked 'trick or treating?' and was so sad when I told him 'no' and that Halloween was only once a year. He really got the hang of trick or treating and loved getting the candy. We dropped him off with Daddy, and I took the girls with friends for trick or treating.

He really enjoyed seeing all the decorations. At the gym where I work out, they had some fantastic Halloween display. He would always point out in wonder at all the spiders and bats. I think he was surprised when all the decorations disappeared.