Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Winter wonderland


























Random things that happened in March

Grant has to see a musical each term for his Musical Theater class at the Jr. High. It's been fun because I love musicals and I get to spend that time with my baby (he's growing up too fast). Sorry I haven't been very sentimental, not one of those moms who cry when the kids go to kindergarten or are afraid of swim lessons. I'm a wave good-bye and throw them in the pool kind of mom... well I was, now that I've added three more I feel like I never have enough time with each of them or keep up on their lives. That was so off topic...

So I took Grant and Morgan to Viewmont High Schools production of Cats. Absolutely amazing! Every year I go to Viewmont Highs productions because they are as good or better than other small theater productions in the area. We've started attending Woods Cross productions too, really good. It's amazing what these teenage kids can do these days, let alone the sets they come up with.

So here is Morgan on the stage after the production and posing with one of the cats. She would talk to every performer if she could, I think that is her favorite part of the show! But they did an amazing job. I heard they had 90 kids/cats in the performance. When the show began they came down the isles and onto the stage and they just kept coming and coming and coming. They all did a spectacular job.



Ethan and Ana's class earned enough points (or something) to have one of their teachers bring in her pet. The kids just loved it.





Ethan had all A's last term, well every term, and so we went out for ice cream in March. He picked some kind of sherbet with pop rocks in it! What will they think of next? I, myself, picked chocolate ice cream with raspberries... mmmm.

On a side note, when we got home from ice cream, Victor started to ask questions about grades and what A's were and F's were, etc. The entire next week he refused to do any work in class and just told all of his teachers to give him F's and that he hated school. I didn't know till the following Friday when a couple of his teachers emailed me about the situation. I began to wonder if it was triggered by the ice cream episode. I talked to Victor and told him how proud I was of hard he had been working in school (not mentioning I had heard from his teachers) and that in just this year he had moved from a third grade math book to the fifth grade math book and was getting an A in math (he does have a couple math classes so that we can try and catch him up so he can be in 6th grade math in 6th grade next year). He only had one B+ and all A's this term and Morgan also had all A's and a B this term (this year has been hard for Morgan, she's had her first B's and so she has struggled with not getting to go for ice cream with mom too). So I asked him if I could take him and Morgan out one day for ice cream because they had worked so hard and all he said was, "I will work so hard in school mom and I will do better in math". I took that as a yes. It's that sneaky attachment disorder working in him, if he's not the best he quits because he's not good enough and so no one can love him and why even try. He's that way in games all of the time, if he's not winning he quits and walks away. He's getting better, but I just never know when it will show up or what will trigger it. He and Ana are so mild compared to Tanya's but it's there, it's so sad that it stems from a little (or a lot of) neglect or abuse (in our case by their mother). It's something they will deal with all through their lives.




Troy and I went to a little Italian restaurant the other night and they had an Argentine BBQ, sorry forget what it's called in Spanish. Troy served a mission in Argentina and we celebrated our 10th anniversary (many moons ago) by taking a trip down there. We just loved it down their and loved having a couple of sweet girls come live with us for a summer after that. The dinner made me think of them and miss them. It also reminded me that it is warm and sunny down their right now! Here we sit in the snow.





Grant, Morgan and Ethan all went to the eye doctor last Monday (since we had no school due to a teacher prep day). At least once a week I'm pulling Tanya, Victor or Ana out of school for some doctor appointment and I still schedule Grant, Morgan and Ethan on days they won't miss school, poor kids. Grant ended up getting contacts and Ethan really needed glasses! A few times he has said he can't see things and I just brushed it off. He was a little near sited at his yearly check up last year, but not enough to go to the eye doctor, but here he is more near sited than Grant. He's probably needed them all year, but never complained enough to get my attention. He was dang cute in the doctors office when they gave him the lenses to look through. He walked around the entire office telling me all the things he could see with his glasses on! Poor Morgan goes with the boys every year with the hope that her eye sight will go bad so she can get glasses, but no she has perfect, well 20/20 vision. Needless to say she was in tears as we left, so we had to stop at her favorite restaurant and cheer her up!


At last! Tanya, after three visits, finally let the dentist, Uncle Brady, fill her cavities. Well half of her cavities. We can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel! One more dentist visit for Victor, Tanya and Ana and we should be done for a bit. What will we do when Brady moves this summer. He has capped all of Ana's teeth (except for her front teeth, which are permanent and doing well and a molar in the back which now has a cavity)! We thought she was done after her four previous appointments, but no, back again.
Funny Ana story, I don't know if I have blogged it or not... but since I'm rambling I'll share it (again?). After our last visit to the dentist with Ana, to finish capping her baby teeth (because they were crumbling out of her mouth), Ana was so excited to show everyone at school. She really liked seeing all that silver in her mouth and felt that she could now chew anything. (She had had a lot of pain while eating before all her dental work). Well the next day she came home from school and the kids were all trying to tell us about Ana's super strong teeth. We finally got them to slow down and tell us what had happened. Well, at school Ana was showing all the kids her teeth and that they were invincible and all powerful. So kids started asking her what she could do and she started biting/chewing different things. For her grand finally she chewed right through a tin can! Oh, yes, that is our fearless Ana who won't turn down a challenge! So needless to say we had to have Uncle Brady chat with her about her teeth not being indestructible, only because she didn't believe her parents...
So here is brave Tanya who after biting two dentists on previous appointments, finally let Uncle Brady fill 2 of her 4 cavities. We have come a long way! She really doesn't want anyone but Brady to work on her and where he is moving in the Summer she started begging to go back and get her teeth filled before he moves. I guess that is one way to over come some fear and anxiety.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Ethan!

Happy Birthday Ethan. Yep, Ethan got glasses on his 8th birthday! I'd feel sorry, but he can see things that he couldn't before and he looks so darn handsome in his glasses that it seems like he has had them all of his young life.


Being out of the country for Ethan's birthday last year left me feeling guilty enough that I pretty much told him he could have any kind of birthday he wanted this year. With some coaxing from Ana (who wants a party at Kangaroo Zoo) Ethan decided he wanted his party at Kangaroo Zoo too. We started with the package for 8 kids, but ended up inviting 16. Much to the shagrin of our other children they were no longer invited to the festivities, I wasn't taking 21! So even though Ethan turned 8 today, we had a crazy party at Kangaroo Zoo last Monday.

Our Kangaroo helper. We were in the space room and so we handed out star bouncy balls and milky way candy bars, all Ethans ideas. Smart boy.




Pizza and Birthday cake.










Pictures Ethan and his friends took. It's good I wasn't in the glow in the dark mini golf room or I would have gone crazy with the kids climbing on things.













The pictures I took of the kids. They played tag almost the entire two hours they had in the room with all of the bounce houses. Every now and then I called time out so I could get pictures of Ethan with his friends.
































Monday, March 29, 2010

Back in the saddle

Troy and I took off for the weekend and my amazing mom stayed with the kids! No one ran away or had a major breakdown and the house was in one piece when we returned. I left in a good mood and it was a little harder to come home than I thought it would be. But I was up and going this morning and have some calls to the doctor and insurance that I am putting off by blogging.

The main reason for this post is I'm catching up on conferences and groups so I just thought I'd post the latest information I have. Even though Tanya is the only one working with a therapist right now, I see attachment issues with Ana and Victor (not as deep rooted at Tanya's) as well. Both these groups give ideas and explanations for actions and behaviors of adopted children and (better) ways to deal with these behaviors.

Thanks to Diane and Save A Child here is the information for the upcoming Free (with a copy of the book, Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control: Volume 1 or Volume 2. The book is your ticket for free admission for both you and your support person) Conference on Attachment.

http://www.beyondconsequences.com/bcilive/index.html

It will be held on:

Saturday, April 24, 2010

9:00am - 4:00pm

Location:


Mt. Olympus Presbyterian Church
3280 East 3900 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84124



Here is information on another Attachment seminar, it's hosted by the place we go to therapy.

The information is below, more information and online registration can be done through our website at www.touchstonetherapyinc.com:

Touchstone Therapy Center Inc. Presents:
Facilitating Attachment Security in the Foster/Adoptive Child and Family

When: Friday, May 14, 2010
Where: Conference Center
Ogden Marriott Hotel
247 24th Street
Ogden, UT 84401
Cost:Purchased before April 30th, 2010: $125 per person
Purchased after April 30th, 2010: $139 per person
includes refreshments during breaks
and presentation packet


They had a conference last year in St. George and I've just heard amazing things about it, so I should really go, but haven't committed yet. Tanya has come a long way since we started working with our therapist from touchstone. There are explanations to her actions and behaviors and ways to work through her thoughts and actions. It has been so helpful for us.

I missed the FASD conference, but the Ut group has just started a facebook page to post future information and seminars in Utah. Log into facebook and look up:

Ut FASD Coalition

Arizona trip

Troy and I took off last weekend for a little R & R. We left as the kids were going to bed Wednesday night. Our 9 pm flight was a bit late due to some East Coast weather, so we didn't take off till 11pm. Thus getting to our destination around 1 am. The good thing about it was we didn't feel one bit guilty sleeping in until 10 am. Then we wandered around the resort and headed out for lunch. It was a bit chillier than I had anticipated so we ended up at a mall to pick up a sweater. Good purchase, I wore it every night and morning and when the wind picked up in the afternoon even though the temperatures were in the upper 70's.



Troy had some conference calls and so I headed out to the sun to read the afternoon away. That night we tried to go to Los Olivios, but there was a ball game and we couldn't find anywhere to park so we ended up at a little french restaurant. It was good, but our waiter forgot to put in our order so we waited 1 1/2 hours for our food. (Good thing Troy had his blackberry so he could keep tabs on some college basketball game).



We then stayed up way to late watching movies, which led to sleeping in again the next morning (well for me, Troy had another conference call). My work never called due to Grandma being such an attentive and spoiling babysitter. We did call home to check on everyone that night, but all was well. Tanya was amazing since the last time we left her with Grandma she did lots of crazy things like run away, hide, forget how to speak English for a week, etc. It sounded like her only regression was trying to clean the kids rooms, but Grandma reminded her those werent' her jobs and that's why we don't go into the other kids rooms. Tanya used go through everyones closets and fold and re-fold all of the clothes and put things away (hide things), oh those were stressful days.



So the next morning we headed out to McDowell Mountain Regional Park to see some wild flowers and cacti. Troy was armed with his binoculars, I with my camera and we headed off.


There were three older women on the trail in front of us and they came to a dead stop. This friendly little rattler struck at one of the women as they were walking past. They were incredibly lucky that she didn't get bit. They opted to turn around and go back. Troy of course goes around, leaving a good 6 feet between him and the snake. I then followed along taking pictures.






Troy doing a little work as usual while trekking through the cacti.




We returned with 2 minutes to spare for our spa package and then to lounge by the pool, nap and read. Again reading and movies were the highlight of the evening with a pizza to keep us company. We were tuckered out.


The women we met the day before told us we needed to drive up the Apache Trail and see the lakes. So Saturday morning we headed out, but due to the windy roads and 15 mph speed limit we didn't make it to the end. About half way we turned around and headed back. On our way back we saw some trails down to the river bed. If you know Troy the fly fisherman, we had to take a look even though it was low enough we knew there would be no fish. It did make for a nice walk.











For those who wondered what it would be like to watch a 40 year old man chase lizards... no, he has never out grown that natural instinct to try and grab a lizard running by.

















The resort wasnt' bad, but they had a pretty laid back cleaning schedule. They came between 3:30-4:30 to clean the room every day and our first day Troy dropped some crackers in the elevator and there they sat until Sunday morning when we were checking out. Even food trays in the hall and food and towels by the pool didn't get picked up until 7pm every night. So don't know that we would stay there again even though the rooms were nice.