Friday, August 31, 2012

EKG , Chest X-Rays, and Assessments

I never realized just how busy you get when you are home, or how many appointments the babies would need to have. We have been home almost 6 weeks now, and have had 3 visits with our pediatrician, we have had had eye exams for both of them, have had an assessment with the speech/oral therapist, had a meeting with Early Intervention, then they came out to the house to do an assessment, then came back later to talk about their assessment and to set up a schedule for them, we have taken them to get an assessment done with our insurance physical therapist, they both had blood work on two different occasions, they both had an EKG and chest x-ray done, and we still have MORE APPOINTMENTS left!!
In September they will be getting their hearing checked and Gavyn will have a neurology appointment, and then we will start weekly physical therapy.

So maybe you are wondering how they did??
Vision: Perfectly Normal for her age! Passed with flying colors
EKG: Normal
Chest X-Ray: Normal
Blood Work: Normal

Vision: His eyes can see everything just fine, the eye itself is working correctly. However, he is not responding like they would like him to vision wise, which is why he will see the neurologist. They are thinking it is because he is only now learning how to use his eyes. I mean... why would he ever need to use his eyes if he was in a dark room, in a crib, with no toys or any stimulation, up until we brought him home? When we first met him his eyes were really really shaky, they would look like they were having a muscle spasm. They still do that a little bit, but it is certainly getting less and less with time.
EKG: Normal
Chest X-Ray: Normal
Blood Work: Normal
 Maybe you noticed I did not put the results of the PT assessments on. It is because I feel like someone coming over, during their naptime, to do an assessment for one hour, is not very accurate. That and because every single day they surprise me with something new they are learning to do. I will not let them be defined by an assessment.
Veronika is wowing us with getting around ALL over, and Gavyn is making all kinds of sounds. When we first met them, Veronika would scream when placed on her stomach on the floor, she thought we were putting her to bed because she had NEVER been on her stomach on the floor before and to her, being on her stomach meant she was suppose to sleep. Now she is getting all over the place!

Gavyn went from having ONE single sound (a scream) that could mean he was happy OR upset. The only way you could tell was that if he was upset he would wrinkle his forehead, now he is making all kinds of noises!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

How Are We Doing?

So a lot of you have seen the pictures I have been posting, but are wondering what we do all day. How are Snuggle Bug and Princess doing? We are doing well, there is a lot of work involved, but we knew that going in so it hasnt been unexpected. We are working hard on trying to tackle at least some of the PT exercises we were shown during the assessment. We will find out even more on Tuesday when we have another visit with the Early Intervention physical therapist. Sometimes they go along with the flow of doing PT, and other times its comes with some tears. Tears I am use to. I remember trying to teach some of my older children how to ride a bike. You would have thought the world was going to end as I told them to peddle and don't stop. They liked it the easy way, they liked their training wheels, and had I not stepped in, they would more than likely still be using them today. I KNEW they were ready, they just didn't know it. But low and behold, I gave them a push and off they went. It is kind of the same with Princess and Snuggle Bug. For a year for Princess, and over 10 months for Snuggle Bug, they had a little world they lived in. While it was not good, it was their normal. For Princess, she is having to learn to use her muscles, she is having to use her feet to help her stand. For Snuggle Bug, it is a bit more involved. Since he NEVER was given a toy in his orphanage, he ended up turning his hands into toys. Every day, it is like our new mantra, I tell him, "Hands are tools, not toys." Then I put a toy in his hand and say, "Oh what a nice toy you have!" Sometimes, he will bring it to his mouth, but then he wants to just let it go and he expects it to stay there. Of course, it falls to the ground. He will get bored very quickly of it, and will revert back to waving his hands around and just watching them twist around. So we will move on to something different. We do a lot of singing; If you are Happy and you know it, and Head and shoulders Knees and Toes (both are great for learning body parts), Itsy, Bitsy Spider, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I am working on teaching them basic signs; more, milk, cracker, food, all done (We will work on learning more after they master these) Currently, they know what I WANT them to do for More (which is the one I want them to learn to use first) and when we are eating and I ask if they want more, I will show them how to make the sign, and then they will reach for my hands to help them sign it. (This is a lot of progress since when we first started they were resistant against me moving their hands in the motion to sign "More") And making sure they each have their own special cuddle and story time (we usually read about 3 board books in a sitting, and do this about twice a day). When we are not reading, signing, cuddling, or working on PT, we enjoy stroller rides, and swinging in the wonderful swing their big sister  got for them. Princess LOVES bath time and loves to splash in the water, Snuggle Bug loves to be tossed up in the air, and they both LOVE to eat. They are both eating stage 3 baby food, and will also eat crackers, cheerios, peas, homemade applesauce, toast with marmite on it, and many other things. Princess is able to drink from a straw, Snuggle Bug does not have the concept yet, so we will be getting a HoneyBear so he can start working on that skill. All in all, everything is going great. We have been to oodles of appointments, we have oodles more to go to, but to think that their future might have been them stagnating in an orphanage makes me cringe. We have only been home for a little over a month, and they have already come so far. They are an inspiration and we are truly blessed!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

One Month Home

We have officially been home for one month now! Gavyn and Veronika continue to amaze us with all they can do.

Veronika June 11st - First Meeting
 When we first met Veronika she was not sure what to do on the floor. We put her down and she was able to hold her head up and she pulled her legs up under her, but not to start a crawl, but just because it is how she sleeps. Right after this was taken she put her head on the floor and started sucking her thumb to comfort herself.

Veronika 1 month ago - Just Home
 After visiting Veronika for over a month, we finally brought her home! The very next day Veronika got to play in the ExerSaucer. She was fascinated by all the things it could do but did not know how to items on the other side of it. It only took about a week before she figured out how to turn around in it to get what she wanted. 

Veronika Now - Home for one month

Veronika is getting all over. She still has not mastered getting up on all fours and moving around that way, but she HAS mastered the army crawl. She loves to eat and enjoys things like snap pea crisps and cheerios. She loves it when I sing and do motions, such as twinkle twinkle little star, or the itsy bitsy spider.

Gavyn June 21st - First Meeting
 When we first met Gavyn he was very sick and after seeing him once they took him off before we could take any pictures. The next day we were back, visiting him for only 30 mins but it was better than nothing. Gavyn LOVED being held, but did NOT look at you and make eye contact at all. He did not respond when you talked to him, sang to him, or looked at him.

Gavyn  1 month ago - Just Home
 After visiting Gavyn for about a month we were finally able to bring him home! He went from a little boy who had never seen a toy before, to a little boy who was just starting to discover what toys were. He LOVES his floor mat with the hanging toys.

Gavyn Now - Home for one month

 Gavyn is very strong. He will stand up while in the ExerSaucer and has just learned how to turn himself around in it. He has abs of steel and is able to sit up for a minute or two without support, but he is not crazy about it yet. He is starting to focus on everyone now and when someone walks into the room he will follow them with his eyes.


So far, I have just been working with them at home, giving them lots of tummy time and doing what little PT things I have researched. I can hardly wait to see what they will be able to do once we start PT next week!!! 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Getting into the swing of things

We have a lot of changes recently. Besides adding two babies to the family, our oldest daughter, Little Bit, moved back home.
It has been a bit of a challenge but we are starting to get into the swing of things.
Little Bit is enrolling back into college (she already has her AA) and looking for a job so please pray that all that will go off without a hitch.

Princess and Snuggle Bug have been home since July 19th. It is so hard to imagine a time when they were not a part of our lives. Their schedule has helped them and us in a big way and we do our very best to stick to it. We can certainly see a difference in behavior when we are on the schedule vrs when we are off.
Princess has discovered the art of getting into things and we are celebrating it!! Snuggle Bug is grabbing at things now and is reaching for things. While this might not seem like a big deal for some, for our little Snuggle Bug this is huge!

Tinzing is so amazing, she has been such a big help with Princess and Snuggle Bug. She loves her little brother and sister so much. She has also found time to baby sit for other families this summer, in addition to having to do some required summer reading for school, then write a thesis, several questions, work cited, the whole nine yards. The book she was told she had to read and write about was not one of her choosing, but one the teacher assigned. Cry, The Beloved Country. She will also have to read Macbeth, and several other books like that. I am so proud of her!

Buddy decided to grow this summer. We had been wondering if he would take after my family and be somewhat short or if he would shoot up as he hit the teenage years. While in country adopting Princess and Snuggle Bug he decided to hit a growth spurt and grew at least an inch or two while I was gone!

We are so excited that we still have about a month left of summer. I know in some states the kids are already back in school, but not in our state, we dont go back till September!
We are looking forward to heading out to the ocean/beach in a couple of weeks and can hardly wait to see what Princess and Snuggle Bug think of it! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Heat Wave

Yesterday and today were really hot. We rarely have hot days, so it was certainly a day that you needed to play in the water. Veronika and Gavyn however can not sit up very well on their own so they certainly could not play in a baby pool.
Instead, we did the next best thing and let them play in the little baby tub outside! They had so much fun. Veronika loves splashing in the water and Gavyn just enjoyed a fun way to cool off!

Saturday, August 4, 2012