Thursday, April 29, 2010

Three

It's the magic number...

Happy birthday sweet boy!

You have changed me.

You made me be brave.

You showed me how to love better.

You make the world a sweeter place.

Thank you, God, for Ralphie.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Catching up. Catching a breath!

So much has been going on! I write on this blog primarily for myself, so it bugs me when I don't have time or energy to record what's been going on. I want to remember these times. These ARE the good ol' days!

Richard signed his letter of intent to run for Tabor College on Friday. I couldn't be more proud of him!

He never buys t-shirts. He only wants to wear shirts from events like races. We both like this one a lot. I think the Tabor mascot is the blue jay!

My older boys know that babies are chick magnets!

In other news, Wesley is still in Thailand and loving it! He asked to extend his stay, but ultimately decided against it. I have a feeling that the mission field agrees with him and fully expect him to be going back soon.

Ralph's IEP meeting was on Friday after Richard's signing. The meeting was long and Ralph escaped numerous times; the room had three exits. Anyway, he qualified for speech, OT and PT services several times per week. I thought that the goals that they recommended sounded ambitious. I liked that! His classroom has a speech therapist in the room all the time, so chances are that he will get more than his allotted 60 minutes per week. Best of all, he starts tomorrow afternoon!!

Since we are adding two little boys to our family this summer, I've been on the lookout for three additional highchairs and three additional cribs. It is prime garage sale season here and we had two highchairs donated over the weekend. Also a friend found this awesome crib for me for only $35! What a steal!

We moved it into Rose's room for Ruby to sleep in. Yep, Ruby has officially moved out of my bedroom. Not sure how I like it yet. It's so much easier to scoop her up for a nighttime nursing if she is nearby.

In adoption news, our immigration paperwork has been received by the U.S. agency that grants immigration approvals. We have no idea how long it will take to get the golden ticket from them, but it is the last piece of the puzzle before we can send all of our paperwork overseas. We hope to travel in July. Really I want to travel in June, but...

Speaking of summertime, baseball practices are in full swing here in Kansas. We have five children playing on five different teams. There is someone in this family with a game on pretty much any given weeknight. That wouldn't be so bad except that the games are scattered around town on different fields. Can you imagine the nightmare for the folks who are helping us with our children while we travel to adopt the new boys? Our help will need helpers!

Life around here just keeps getting more interesting and rich all the time!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Busy Friday

I am looking forward to a busy day tomorrow. First is Richard's "signing." He will be signing a letter of intent to run for his college. Isn't that exciting? I'm supposed to bring cookies to share and you know I'll be there with a camera, too.

In the afternoon I have Ralph's first ever IEP meeting! I hope that it is very straightforward. I know which services he qualifies for. I know what I will fight for now and what can wait for later. Anyway, I will let you know how it turns out.

After the IEP meeting I'm going to start cooking up some enchiladas! I'm making these as an adoption fundraiser. $20 per dozen. I'm still taking orders if you live in the area.

What a busy way to end a great week!


Here is Ralph at school the last day of his testing. He wasn't really interested in me or looking at the camera. He's all about school, a real serious student.

Hanging up his sweater.
Gotta make sure the door is all the way shut!

Picking out a book for circle time!












Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


It's been awhile since I've done one of these. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Braggin'


You would not believe Ruby. She decided that she could walk just a couple of weeks ago. Since then she has refused to crawl. Nope, no crawling. Not a bit. And today? I caught her running!! No kidding!


OK, that is not all. Yesterday I caught her snapping her fingers. She is very talented with her fingers. She's been signing 'more' for a couple of weeks now. I think she thinks that it means 'food', but it works the same!


I was feeding her a bowl of macaroni today and when it was gone she started flapping her arms and shaking her hands. You guessed it! She was signing 'all done!'


OK, I'm done for now.

Friday, April 16, 2010

HELP!! Garage Sale Days

Tomorrow is our community garage sale day. It seems as if the whole world descends on our little sleepy suburb on this day each year. At the sale in 1991 we found the most amazing dog for $2. I hear there is a house on the other side of town that has a bunch of stadium seats for sale this year. Yes, you can find just about anything here on garage sale days.

I had envisioned having our own sale this year to benefit our adoption. With all the excitement, therapy, sports, out-of-town dads, and babies I didn't have time to prepare much, though. My neighbor on the other hand...she has been saving up a ton of stuff for this sale.

She has offered to donate a portion of her sales to our adoption!! YAY!! We are bringing a few things over to add to her items. And we are baking cookies to sell, along with popcorn, lemonade and sandwiches.

Did I mention that she is donating a portion of her sales?

If you live in the Northwest Wichita area, won't you look us up?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fun with Ralph

Ralph and I had such fun today!

He had water therapy this morning. Now that he is getting bigger and stronger it is difficult for me to do the exercises with him. He has his own ideas about what to do in the water! He fought me pretty hard while doing the front and back swishes, and front and back kicks. When we got to the sitting dives and jumping in, he decided to get with the program.

During our free time I had him practice running in the water on the underwater bench. The water is about chest high on him when he stands on the bench. He LOVED it! We spent some time just playing with the waterfall and the little water spouts around the pool. He was so relaxed in the water. It felt great to be in the pool with him.

I started smooching on his soft neck. He stuck out his tongue and gave me the biggest, wettest kisses ever. Ever. My lovey boy!

I took him to a little neighborhood park in the afternoon. We had just dropped a couple of brothers at the dentist and had an hour to kill. This park had baby swings that he loved. Also a really great slide. The slide was brand new but actually made of metal. (hard to find a metal slide these days) Ralph was able to go down this rather high slide without me catching him. It was made in such a way that he was able to just plop on his butt without flying forward or falling on his knees. It's great when he can be more independent.

I gave Ralph a longer metaphorical leash today. I want to give him more room to explore. I also want to give him the opportunity to recognize on his own that it is time to come back to mommy. He did pretty good and actually stopped one time when I asked him to stop walking away from me! I don't want him to feel that I am forever chasing him down.

After swimming and playing at the park a nice nap was in order. Too bad I didn't get one myself!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Last Saturday

Last Saturday we attended the Down Syndrome Society talent show. I missed the meeting last month because our home study visit was scheduled for that day. I've been too busy to practice any talent entries with my children, but it is always fun to go anyway.

We saw some beautiful children dancing, singing, reciting and one duo with a basketball routine. All were wonderful and sincerely appreciated by the enthusiastic audience with generous applause. Ruby and Ralph both love to clap and yell so they were quite happy.

One family brought a drum set for their little boy to play in the show. When he came to the front of the room he had a change of heart. Poor sweetie. The parents coaxed him. His sister showed him what to do. He wasn't having any part of it.

Ralph was trying to get away from me to run up front and get his hands on that drum set. The dad caught his eye and invited Ralph to come up and give it a try!! No coaxing required. He grabbed those drumsticks and started pounding away. The room erupted in yeas and laughter and applause. Then I think he pounded louder.



The other little boy was suddenly interested in playing! I went up front to collect Ralph so his little friend could play. His friend did a wonderful job, too, and was also the recipient of thunderous applause.

My Ralphie. He's amazing.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Preschool testing.

What a fun week it was for Ralph! Not only was grandma visiting but he had a chance to attend school for the first time ever.

If you know me, then you know that I'm a big fan of home schooling. I had imagined that I might keep Ralph at home for his education. But, if you know Ralph, then you know that all this kid wants to do is GO! He is forever grabbing a bag, a hat and some keys and heading to the front door. NOBODY is going to hold this boy back! He's going to thrive in school.

Now that he is relatively healthy, I feel better about him being in a classroom situation anyway. I'm not as freaky about him catching a cold as I used to be. There was a time when there was a sign on my front door asking people to wash hands and remove shoes when they entered. I hope those days are gone forever.

Anyway, school was a huge hit! Even though Ralph missed his normal nap time three days this week, it didn't affect him too much. He was pretty wiped out, but took a shorter nap when he got home.

The teacher did say that Ralph really kept them on their toes! No surprises there. I have also become familiar with the other "R" word. Yep, they have labeled him as a "runner." I prefer to call him opportunist. He sees an open door as a opportunity...for I don't know what. Excitement? Thrill of being chased? Adventure? Sometimes I wish I could get into that cute little head and find out what he's thinking.

Soon I'll be initiated into the IEP brotherhood. I know I have a lot to learn. His meeting is scheduled for April 23 and he will start attending school for real on the following Monday.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ruby

Ruby has been getting heaps and heaps of special attention from Grandma Linda this week! Doesn't my little bunny look happy?


Last night something clicked in her head and she started believing that she could walk. And...she can!


video

Monday, April 5, 2010

Ralphie

Ralphie is taking a very big step tomorrow.


He starts preschool!


OK, not really. He starts his IEP testing at the preschool, during preschool hours, in the preschool classroom. So you see what I mean!
I don't really know what to expect, but I think he is ready. He has been showing some great signs of growing up lately.
Like one day he was standing at the back window watching the other children play outside. His little face was so dejected! I asked him if he was sad. And then, get this, he pulled his face down with his hands and stuck out his lip. That was the sign for sad!! It's possible that he simply signed sad because I said the word. I choose to believe that he is getting in touch with his emotions!
One problem, his testing is in the afternoon during prime nap-time hours. I tried to keep him up today, but he fell asleep on the family room floor. Oh well, I told the school that he is no good in the afternoon, but that is the only time available. On the bright side, if he performs poorly, we may end up with more services!!
IEP in a couple of weeks! My initiation is on the horizon.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

My unique Good Friday.

I had the unique opportunity to experience Passover and Good Friday as...

...the mother of Jesus! Robert did a beautiful job; I was very proud.

The little kids and I were in the triumphal entry and the "let the children come to me" skits tonight at our church. Groups of 20-30 people took a "journey", following Jesus through scenes of the last hours before his crucifixion.



Thomas really wanted to be one of the Roman soldiers, but he was a little too small yet.
Honestly, I wanted to savor the Good Friday experience but we were so busy repeating this skit for group after group that I didn't get to enjoy the evening. Not until the last group of the evening anyway. After our scene was over I followed the group to the Last Supper and then on to the Garden of Gethsemane, and then to communion at the cross.
It was a beautiful way to end a very special day.


Have a blessed Easter!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Ralph's new horn.

We had a great time playing out back last weekend. It was nice to soak up some sunshine. Someone broke the cute little bell on Ralph's adapted trike so Thomas took the horn off of his own bike to give to Ralph.

Ralph couldn't quite get the horn to work...with his hands anyway. He figured this out on his own! Then I ran to get the camera, 'cause it was so darn cute!

video