Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pondering thankfulness

Wow! Where did November go?

I spent the last week in Ukraine getting Project TLC off the ground. Now I'm home and so very thankful, but perhaps not in the ways you might expect.

After living with Ukrainians and spending time with Ukrainians and trying to understand life in Ukraine I'm less thankful for what I have.

Did you get that? I'm less thankful. At least for my material possessions.

I'm more thankful for the experiences and relationships that have blessed my life. I hope to explore this more completely in the near future. But, for today, let me ask this question: are you holding onto something of material value that might be interfering with the relationships of value in your life?

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States. Instead of heading out to the grocery store to gather the ingredients for all the traditional American Thanksgiving dishes, I'm going to do something different. I'm cleaning out my freezer.

In the past I have bought things to stick in the freezer, and they are never seen again. Why must I hoard food this way? So today I started with the top shelf. I found a mini loaf of cocktail bread, some fruit and pecans and some freezer burned stuff that went straight into the trash. The pecans will make a nice pie. Ruby and I ripped up the old bread to use in stuffing.

It was fun to spend time with my daughter, working together in the kitchen. I look forward to finding more ways to put relationship over possession as we move toward Christmas.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sleep Over!

Ralph finally had his sleep study last night!

New recommendations from the AAP are for children with Down Syndrome to have a sleep study done by the age of four. You can read the updated guidelines for yourself HERE. I don't agree with all of the recommendations, particularly the updates related to AAI and AOI. Read what Renee has to say about that HERE. But, back to the sleep study...

I did sleep studies with Zhen and Theo back in September and that was a disaster! Theo had to have arm restraints and Zhen had to be held down until he went to sleep.

Ralph was a totally different story.

We arrived at the sleep center right at 7:30. Ralph was the only study of the night. We took a look at the room and I was disappointed that they didn't have a crib big enough for him. We set up a side rail on one side of the bed and I planned to sleep on the other side of him.

Next we went to sit in the little room where he would be wired up. Thank goodness for the HUGE mirror on one wall. If there is anything that makes Ralph happy and relaxed, it is looking at himself!

As the technician started applying stickers and wires to his legs and belts with wires around his trunks, I told him that tonight he was going to be a robot. We did a little robot thing with our arms and made some machine noises. This was fun! Ralph was an angel while each little electrode and wire was attached to his head. (Thank you, Yo Gabba Gabba!)

Back in the bedroom, Ralph got a mustache-like sensor applied to his face along with a nasal cannula. It's been years since he has worn a cannula, but he didn't seem to mind a bit. Once all the wires were plugged in, and the lights were turned down, Ralph laid back on his pillow and promptly went to sleep.

Ralph slept fine.

Me on the other hand...I just cannot seem to fall asleep at this place. I counted sheep. I prayed. I couldn't get comfy. I couldn't turn off my mind. Just knowing that I had to take care of children in the morning was making me desperate to fall asleep.

Oh, and when I say that Ralph slept fine, that means that he flopped around and punched me all night long. I did eventually fall asleep, but was regularly awakened by a sticky head of hair in my face. One time I had to grab Ralph before he plunged over the far side of the bed.

About 5:30am we got up and the technician and I removed all the tape and stickers and stuff from Ralph. He went potty, and we headed for home. Not my idea of a fun sleepover, but it was done. And he was a very, very good boy.

I did get to look at Ralph's study chart briefly before we left. He has some obvious issues during certain phases of sleep. I anticipate surgery for him as well and Zhen and Theo before the year is out.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fun on All Saint's Day

I took about 50 photos of these children sitting on the steps and not one of the photos was perfect. The experience was something like herding cats! This is probably the best one.

Miss Rose, looking WAY too grown up for my taste.

This morning before school we had a little discussion about All Saint's Day. Then I told the children about Martin Luther and the stunt he pulled on October 31st with his 95 theses. Shame on me for neglecting their education this way, but the conversation went something like this:

Me: You do know who Martin Luther is, right?

Assorted Children: You mean Martin Luther King Jr.?

Me: Umm...no. Martin Luther.

Assorted Children: You mean Martin Luther King Jr.?

Me: No, the first Martin Luther. He was born over a thousand years ago.

Assorted Children: Was he Martin Luther King Jr.'s dad?

Me: Isn't it about time to watch for Theo's bus?