Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We're still here

We're still here. Just incredibly busy. J is having a good b'day week overall. I don't have time to put the pics up yet.

We've had some good, bad, good, bad days with J. Hopefully tomorrow will be all good. I'll post pics as soon as I can.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

B'day week begins

J's birthday is this week. We began the celebration tonight with my family. His favorite gift by far is the $1 helium filled mylar balloon. Who would have thought a balloon could bring ecstatic joy?!? My parents brought it to him and I never even thought about it but to a kid who has never seen a balloon that floats up by itself, WOW! He couldn't figure out why we weren't as excited as he was but he didn't care. The balloon went to the bathroom with him, brushed teeth with him and is now wearing an undershirt and "sleeping" next to J on a pillow bed with a blanket.

He also got some High school musical dvd's and some money and a gift card. That brought a smile to his face. Remember the debit card story? He is happy to have his own debit card even if it's only a single use card.

We read the new books he got before bed and we saved a few gifts for his real birthday. I think I'll be sending him some balloons at school too.

We were sitting at the table talking and playing with some Bibleman figures and he stood up and said he was going to go "cheat wif de girls". I looked at T and asked, did he say "cheat" with the girls? And T said, I think he means "chat". He's so funny.

I'll post some pics when I can.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Firsts and funnies

J had some more firsts today. He rode the bus home for the first time. Big sis was on it already and they got off together and bigger sis was there to meet them. This was the first day that I was not here when he got home. He did fine.

He also got to ride the lawn mower today too. He's been wanting to do that for a while. He came home from my parent's doing this fakey cry and saying that he wanted to ride the little car. I asked what little car and he said that little bitty car that A was riding. I explained that it was not a little car, that it was a lawn mower. He didn't really get it. My dad had told him that he would give him a ride when A was done mowing. Because he had to wait is why he was doing the fake cry thing. He got over himself when he saw that no one paid him any attention. As soon as A was done, he got his ride. Now he wants a little bitty car to drive for his birthday. Sigh...

The other day I had just started cooking some ground beef and he saw it and said, "AHHH! What is dat?!? It is worms!" I laughed and said it was ground beef and he said, "What is 'ground beef'?" I told him it was meat, like chicken, only beef and ground up. Thankfully I had already seasoned it because the kid smells everything. His nose is his guage as to whether or not he will eat something, touch something, etc. He took a whiff and said, "It smell good. I can taste it?" We went from ahh, worms, to I can taste it? in a matter of about 30 seconds.

He missed a lot of math problems today and he was to redo them for his homework. He seems to understand how to work the problems, he's just painfully slow at it and he gets lazy and makes mistakes. When he does the problems he "talks" to the numbers. He says, "I borrow one from you, 5. You are left 4. Now, you are 16. 16 to 9, you are left 7." He's so funny.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Two little "funnies"

Tonight my mom invited us over for Upside Down Pizza (it was awesome) and when we got there J saw it and said, "Dis is de Downstairs Pizza?" Oh that boy cracks us up.

Later on we were talking about bugs for some reason and he said he ate a mosquito and we all said, no don't eat mosquitoes. He said, "My nose eat dem when dey fly up in it." Too funny.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Some-"ting" stinks

I opened up The Container formerly known as Sacajemama to get the broom out so J could sweep off the trampoline and the smell about bowled me over. Heavens to Murgatroid it stunk in there. I figured horrible smells that might have something to do with camper plumbing or something dead needed to be handled by the man of the house. I reported the smell to T and he investigated when he got home. Turns out a mouse died in the garbage can and another one was in there with it. Stink-a-rooskie. T took care of it, or them, and I'm sure that all his gag reflexes were working overtime.

You know we've had some bedwetting issues. I was tucking J in last night when both of us started smelling pee from somewhere. We were both sniffing pillows, blankets, etc. and it turned out to be a stuffed animal. Yuck. That animal will be taking a bath in the washer.

J continues to crack us up with things he says. He is using mostly English but he doesn't always know the right word so just inserts random words or something that sounds close to the right thing. He's not the only one here who does that so he's in good company. T and A both do that and they grew up here speaking English. I have trouble coming up with the correct nouns sometimes due to fibromyalgia. My brain will insert a word and I know it's not right but I can't think of the right one. R is the only one who regularly knows what she's talking about. We've all learned to laugh at it. J was playing wii last night and he said his heart was "beeping". Too funny. He announced at dinner last night that he had to leave the table so he could toot. He went in the other room and then said, "Dat was a weird one." We were like, thanks for reporting, son.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The good, the bad, and the funny

Well, last night was not so good. J enjoyed church but he wanted to stay with me while I practiced music but it was getting late and we had decided that it was best for him to go home with T and the girls. He had a meltdown. We're working on that. I think a good compromise will be that he goes home earlier with T and the girls and gets ready for bed but he can stay awake until I get home. That's pretty much what happened only we'd like to try it explained out ahead of time and without the meltdown.

Tonight was much better. We had fun. We made his homework fun. He was laying on the couch waiting to watch a movie with the girls and I told him ahead of time that he was going to have to go to bed before the movie was over. He was fine with that and didn't complain at all. While he was waiting, he said, "After my birfday, den we will go to de, de...I can't remember dat place. Oh, da beach. Cadico (or calico) beach." I said, "You mean Edisto Beach. And where will we sleep when we go to the beach?" and he said, "In de container!" T and I cracked up! He was laughing to and saying what, what? I said, "It's actually called a camper but I kind of like container." He may have just re-named Sacajamama to The Container. Hysterical!

When he and A got home from school, A instigated throwing grapes up in the air to see if they could catch them in their mouths. Here are a few pics. I like this one because they are both leaned back, mouths open. Can you see A's grape? His is almost in his mouth.
Here is J going for the catch.
And A going for the catch.

Much more fun than last night. Thank you, Jesus.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Livin' life

Things are going pretty well. J had a small meltdown at school yesterday because "there's too much work". I'm sure he's not used to all the writing involved in US schools. He also presses hard with his pencil so I told him to shake his hand out or stretch it out when it gets tired. We tried his spelling words in cornmeal tonight and he loved it. I got that idea from Lysa TerKuerst and he only got one word wrong, and that was only by one letter. He kept saying, "We are playing in food" with a smile on his face. I need to get real cornmeal though as I got cornbread mix and it's very flour like.

He told me that some boys squished his food at lunch time. That's frustrating when things were going so well at school. Speaking of food, he ate 3 bowls of chili tonight, more than anyone else including T. Wowzer!

R is adjusting to her school routine and to her bf being gone to boot camp. She had a little hiccup with her book process but things are back on track now. Please remember to pray for R and her bf as they are apart and as bf is trying to adapt to military life. It would help if she could get his address as she has a 20+ page letter to send him. We're still waiting to find out the address.

A has been busy. She saw some bracelets made out of silverware and has been busy pounding out old silverware. Here are a few of her creations. We really like the way the fork turned out.
J has become a regular hillbilly, sitting on the front porch with the dog and strumming his guitar.
Hey cutie patutie.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Pics and some more firsts

Overall, things are going pretty good. J is mostly easy going and compliant. Sometimes he's compliant without really wanting to be, but he still is. At school Friday they informed me that he was a bit mischievous. Like I didn't know that. I'm glad he's comfortable enough to let his personality come out some but I hope they figure out how to control it. He had no homework over the weekend so that makes us all happy.

He had some more firsts again and I got some pics this time. This is at a small discovery center.
Just in case you were wondering, Dexter still stares at the treat door. He knows if he stares long enough, it will open. And J has given him up to 6 treats at a time so Dexter likes J.
This is one of those pics where we tried to crop it down and blow it up. The cropping worked but we haven't gotten it blown up yet.

He LOVES the pool. Even if it's too cold for me he'll still go in. I know his scrawny little Caribbean body freezes but he loves the pool. He was jumping into the ring and making it nearly every time.

My dad showed him how to fill up the noodles with water and blow them at people/things. He showed him how by pointing one end towards J's face and telling him to blow into the other end. J figured that out fast. It takes a lot of air to blow them things.

There he's got it.

We went to the drive-in theater the other night. It was his first movie on the big screen, first icy, and first cotton candy. That's a lot of firsts in one night. T turned the backseat around and the three boys (some friends came too) sat in there. Good times!

It's working out well for both he and I to be on antibiotics at the same time. We take our meds together, one, two, three, go and then we get candy. We're both happy with that. J likes to eat yogurt which is a good thing since we are on antibiotics. He also loves pizza, pepperoni, salami sandwiches, broccoli of all things, eggs, pastas with red sauce and just about any kind of meat. He refers to all meat as chicken. He's not big on cheesy stuff/sauces but he likes cheetos. He turns his nose up at most vegetables but is at least willing to try it if we ask him to. One night he tried what we were eating and then opted for peanut butter sandwich. That's the deal around here. If you don't eat what we're all eating, you have peanut butter and jelly.
We've had 4 or 5 dry nights since we've been home. I thank God for dry nights. Ah, the simple things in life.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A few pics

Well, J's first day of school went really well. He was ready to go again this morning so that's a good thing. He had about an hour or more of homework. I'm not a homework fan. I feel like kids spend all day in school and need time to just be kids. It went fairly well though.

Here is a pic of all of us, including R's bf who is now at boot camp, just minutes after we got home on the 30th.
Here is J his first time on a horse. Getting his feet in the stirrup.

There are a few more pics I'd love to post but I don't know how to get them off my phone. I'll probably have to send them to T or R and let one of them put the pics on the computer. I'll keep trying.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's Thursday morning...

...and J is at school for the first time here. Wow. He got up way early and was ready to go about 20 minutes before we even needed to leave. He walked right in with his backpack and lunch boxes (yes 2 of them-we had bought one and then he was given another one so sandwich and drink are in one and "snacks" are in the other) and saw the ESL teacher, shook hands with the principle and then they knocked knuckles (whatever that's called) and we walked down to his class. He got settled into his desk and I gave him a hug good bye and he was busy with the ESL teacher when I walked out. We'll have to work on the morning routine and what time to get up and all that but I'm just glad he went willingly. I hope that continues.

A couple of funnies. I asked him if he wanted big ice or small ice in his drink and he said "scrambled". I knew that that means "crushed" ice. We had some steak one night and he said it was bloody because some pink ran out when he cut it. We assured him that it was okay. The next day my mom had us over for barbecued ribs. Later on the girls were telling nanny how good it was and J said, "It was bloody, but it was good." Apparently barbecue sauce looks bloody to him.

So much to learn, for all of us. Keep praying that things go well. Someone warned me this morning that we are in the "honeymoon phase". I was like, it's going to get worse?!?! Oh my.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Welcome home son

J and I just got back from the Dr. We are being treated for strep throat. He probably got it from me. Welcome home son.

I don't feel sick, just a little throat irritation. I haven't felt bad at all the last few times I've had strep. Weird. J feels bad. He had a fever this morning and kept saying that his head hurt or his neck hurt and then if I asked him to point to where it hurts, he pointed to his throat. Poor kid.

We are both on medication now. That should perk us up. He is struggling with diarrhea too so we got the "collection kit" from the doc. Fun times. He's being pretty good about it though. He probably thinks American doctors are really weird.

Hopefully we're on the mend. Those of you who know us in person, sorry. Don't breathe our air.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hard day

Today was a bit rough. It started out okay with J wanting to go to the store to spend his money that his grandparents gave him. He had $23 to spend and picked so carefully, asking me how much each item cost. I told him how much and we kept adding up how much he was at and how much more he could spend. When he would find something he liked better he would put enough back to match the thing he liked better. His bill came to $22.29 so he did real well.

He got himself a cap gun and roll caps, walkie talkies, 4 wheelers, GI Joe and a couple other things. He blew off so many caps that I asked him what he was going to do when they were gone. He said he'd buy some more and I told him he better get a job. So when A went over to work at Nanny's, J said he wanted a job too. I helped him dial and he said, "This is J. May I have a job too?" His face lit up as she said sure and he went over to work. He was back fairly quickly and I asked what was wrong and he said his neck hurt. He got some water and went back to work. He again came back fairly soon and I could tell something was wrong. He was clingy and whiny and I thought he felt warm. He was running a little fever and it turns out his neck pain was actually a sore throat (or maybe due to all the times he landed on his head on the trampoline). We are visiting the doctor tomorrow instead of school. :(

I got him busy on an online learning to read site and he loved it. I bet he spent close to two hours on it today all together. Things were okay until he discovered that R and I would be going to a staff meeting. Can you say unglued?!? Wow. It was a kicking screaming hissy fit that I unfortunately had to leave his sister to deal with. When we got back J was fine and A was upset. I need to make sure that I clearly state what each day will look like, what will be happening, etc. when we get up each day. Oops. My bad. On his part, he needs to know that fits will not change what I need to do and what is appropriate for showing anger and what isn't. I also need to empower A to handle the few times she will be the caregiver. We are really trying to make sure that T or I am around most of the time. We'll talk about it again tomorrow. It's a huge learning curve. Don't stop praying for us now that J is finally home. Please. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor day weekend

Well, I worked yesterday afternoon and all day today and it was nice to do something "normal" for me. Our check book will appreciate it too. T and J had a big day together. J was laughing so hard about something he saw on the Cosby show that he could hardly tell us the story. T said he laughed so hard when he was watching it that he nearly wet his pants. The girls had gone shopping together so that's why it was just T and J.

J has been swimming just about every day. He was afraid to jump in at first. It was so funny because he would run up to the pool and stop. Then he'd run up to the pool and stop. Over and over. I told him to jump off the step so he would know what it would feel like and he jumped off the second step. Then he backed way up and went for it and he came up sputtering and shouting, "That was so fun!" And then he jumped again and again. Nothing can stop him now. Too bad it will be too cold to swim soon. The pool is cold enough now that I won't even get in. It doesn't deter him.

He did well at church yesterday. I went with him to his Sunday school class and close to the end of it he told me I could go. Too funny. Then he sat with his daddy in the sound booth. You should have seen his face light up when he saw all the buttons and switches up there! He loves buttons and switches and I'm having to tell him not to push, turn, pull stuff without asking. He turned the lights off at church from the sound booth before I could stop him. The pastor introduced him from the front and he waved down at everyone from his perch in the sound booth. It was quite cute.

He is not good at interacting with other adults. He does fine with us and is getting better with my parents but if others ask him a question he generally gives a blank stare or a quiet one word answer. He does fine with other kids and is looking forward to going to school.

T went to a walk in clinic on Saturday and was dx'd with an upper respiratory infection. I need to go tomorrow because I've had this cold thing since I've been home and because I have a white spot on my tonsil, except that I haven't had tonsils for over 30 years. I guess it's where my tonsil used to be. Or something. And yeah, my throat feels a little weird. Sorry for those of you who know us in person. I hope I haven't given my "ghost tonsil spots" to anyone. Sleeping has been rough for T and I because about the time I'm falling asleep, he coughs and wakes us both back up. Sigh...

R is doing okay with her bf going off to boot camp. She missed his call on Friday and was upset about that as that was the last contact for a few weeks. She is liking most of her classes this semester and especially her Hebrew class. T is jealous that R is taking Hebrew.

A is liking school. She'd like to get a job but has only applied a couple places so far. Her nanny still pays her quite well but once the lawn mowing is done there won't be as much work to do. J said he would like to work for nanny. If A gets a job I'm sure J can take over most the work. He's a good helper. A hasn't tried out for any plays lately. She has driven herself to school a couple of times and seems to like that. One day she drove herself to school we didn't see her again until 7:30 or so. 12 hours! She had planned most of the stuff she did and kept us posted as to where she was so it was okay.

T's aunt passed away this morning. She suffered with several ailments over the years and rarely complained and she is now fully healed and in the presence of God and reunited with her daughter who went before her. Aunty L, see you on the other side.

Oh, I almost forgot. J just got to see his first hail storm. He wanted to hold some of the "little ice rain" but I couldn't pick any up. Oh well.

P.S. We had dry night number 2 last night. Woo hoo!

Friday, September 4, 2009


We went up to see the school this morning and I can't say enough good about it. I hope it stays that way. This is the same school that R went to 3-8 and A went K-8 so we are familiar with it but so many things have changed in the past few years since A was there. The ESL teacher was there to greet us as well as a guidance counselor (who was happy to meet me as she'd been trying to get the abstinence program at this school and another one in the system). The principle is great.

At first J was overwhelmed. He's used to everything to do with school being in about a 2,000 sq. ft. area so just the size of the building was intimidating. We went back to the office and sat down and someone asked him if he was ready to come back on Wed and he shook his head no. Oh boy, I thought. But the guidance counselor had taken a few kids aside the day before and asked them to be his buddies and just explained a little bit about him coming from a different country and that everything was going to be so new to him and those kids came and we kind of left them in a room talking and working on puzzles. He warmed right up to them and then went to PE with them, which he loved. Now he is thankfully ready to come back on Wed.

I have no idea what we'll do about lunches. I'll send him one at first but he's picky about what he eats. Any ideas? I'll probably end up giving him the option of school lunch with plenty of snacks if it's something he doesn't like. I don't know how that will play out.

I'm much relieved that they are not going to just throw him into a classroom and let him get lost in the system. It feels like we have a great group of people as a support system and we'll be meeting regularly to see what's working and what isn't. Thank you, Lord.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Some more firsts

Things are going fairly well overall. Yesterday we had a few "moments" and today J got his drawers in a wad because he didn't get a debit card in the mail like T, R, and I did. It was rather funny. He just has no idea. Even when I told him that A didn't have one he was still devastated that he didn't either.

He rode the horse for the first time today. All I had to take pics with was my cell phone. I sent them to T and he is supposed to get them to the computer and I will post them then. When R first got the horse out he was scared. But later on some boys close to his age came over to play and they all were going to ride the horse. J went first and walked right up to her and climbed on. He was all smiles. Then the younger brother rode and then the older brother changed his mind and didn't ride. J got back on again and then decided he had to go get his cowboy hat and ride again. He loved it.

We went to a small discovery type museum today and he liked playing with all the different things but he didn't stay at any one thing for very long.

The ESL teacher came by the house this afternoon and did a little of the testing to see how much help he's going to need at school. She is awesome with him. She could tell he wasn't getting what she was trying to do and that he was uncomfortable so she just stopped and talked to him. We're going to the school tomorrow and maybe she will finish then. She'll be by his side next week for 3 days straight so that should be good for him.

All in all we had a good day. Oh, and T is at the Titans/Packers pre-game so you know he's having a great day. We grew up in Wis. and live in TN. We are rooting for the Titans.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


We had a few firsts today. J had his first happy meal. I don't think he was overly impressed though. The burger had mustard on it but that was quickly remedied by dad who took the burger and wiped off the mustard and then traded one of his bottom buns for the top one from J. Problem solved. He ate all of that plus the apples and wanted more. I guess he needs the big kids meals. They didn't even have those when my girls were younger.

It was also his first time to go to Wal-mart. He wanted everything but was fine with being told no. I told him he could get one thing but it couldn't be very expensive and he finally got his choices down to a tent/action figure set or a t-shirt that had binocs, watch, and compass. He went with the t-shirt and accessories.

In the food aisles he touched just about everything and looked at me to see if we could put it in the cart. He was very good and didn't go into any pouting or anything like that. He LOVES apples, grapes, meat, eggs and cheez-its. He wants to try everything but says he doesn't like a lot of things, even things that I know he's had before and liked them fine. I think he's just overwhelmed by the choices.

We also bought some school supplies and so far he is interested in going to school and asks when that is going to happen. We are going Friday so he can see the school and meet the ESL teacher who has been looking forward to his coming. His English is probably good enough not to need ESL services but he will definitely need reading and math help. He reads only a very small amount but he likes being read to so that's good. And he understands and remembers what is read to him.

He observes everything. I think he is a visual learner. If something is going on he is right there in it, taking it all in. He can usually replicate what he saw.

We have a friend coming over this afternoon who has kids in 4th and 5th grades so J should be in one or the other of their classes. I hope things go well and he can learn how to actually play with his toys. It seems like he likes the fact that he possesses toys but doesn't really know how to play with them. He definitely does NOT like to be alone.

That's all I can think of for now. We're taking things one day at a time. Question; has anyone else brought home older children with bedwetting issues? J is 11, almost 12 and wets a fair amount of the time. I told him I was buying him some special magic shorts to wear to bed that will keep his bed dry even if he wets. I'm not sure he's buying that though as he saw me pick them up in the diaper aisle. They should put those in the underwear aisle. Any suggestions?