Friday bullet, Jan. 20, 17

It's Friday and my to-do list seems to have suddenly grown exceedingly long. This is probably because I have been studiously ignoring more than a few items and have now realized I cannot ignore them any longer. Anyway, I'm getting a jump on things and getting the day's post out of the way, and will then start whipping around the house like a crazy woman.

  • R. continues to make progress! It seems the one year mark being home has been a huge turning point for her. (I know it was for me.) We are suddenly hearing a lot more English, and more complex English. Intellectual functioning is also markedly improved. I took a photo to share with you.

This is a pattern block card that has the colored shapes on the left side that the child matches and then a space for the child to copy the same picture on their own. First, R. asked to do this box. It was the first time she had ever shown any interest in any of the activity boxes in the schoolroom. That was the first win. (Of course I said yes to such a direct question.) Now, when we did this the first time, she absolutely could not fit the shape into its outline. It was as if she couldn't even see that it wasn't lined up. Fast forward to yesterday. Not only was she able to see that the shapes weren't lined up, she was able to fix them. So I tried something a little more difficult. We did a patterning card. She matched the shapes and with just a little coaching from me WAS ABLE TO COMPLETE THE PATTERN. Sorry for yelling, but that is kind of big deal in my book. After that success, I thought we'd try one more thing... the card I'm showing you. The last time we tried this, I couldn't even get her to match the shapes, and we only completed the little cat with a lot of help from me. Yet, yesterday, not only did she match the shapes, she made the matching little cat on her own. She needed just a little help to get those ears touching at the corners, but otherwise she did it on her own. Huge, huge, huge.
  • I just finished a book that was wonderful. If you love dogs and love special needs children, then you have to read The Underdogs: Children, Dogs, and the Power of Unconditional Love by Melissa Fay Greene. It is a combination of dog history, special need parent memoir, and brain science all rolled into one. Plus, I love Ms. Greene's writing, which itself is wonderful. I'm going to see if I can get some older people around here to read it now. Highly recommended.
  • As I was getting out of the car yesterday, I realized that I wait until the song on the radio reaches a tonic chord before turning off the car. I just cannot leave a musical phrase hanging, unfinished. Am I the only one?
  • For Christmas, one of D.'s gifts was the Great Courses course, Everyday Gourmet: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Cooking. It's essentially a really well done cooking course and D. is enjoying it. I'm enjoying it, too. I told him if he works through the entire course and actually cooks the assigned food for each lesson, I would give him a culinary arts credit for his high school transcript. He was all over it. As a result, one day a week, I'm not cooking, he is. Last Wednesday was his first meal and he made us baked minestrone. It was good and is now all eaten up.
  • I am the guest blogger over at Thankful Moms today. I'm pretty honored to be there, as Lisa Qualls, who writes the blog has been a huge influence on my parenting. Reading her story as she and her husband struggled to help their daughter heal from her past traumas was always helpful and hopeful. Head over and read A Tale of Two ER Visits. Writing there kind of feels like the Big Time in blog land to me.
  • For those of you who might be visiting here for the first time, from Thankful Moms, welcome! My initial system of identifying my children can be a little crazy making if you are new. If you click the 'About' tab up at the top (it's a little hard to see, I'm not webpage designer), it will give you photos of each child who goes with the initial to help keep us all straight. 
  • When I took K. to his orthodontic appointment earlier in the week, we couldn't park in the lot, so had to park in the street. This meant that I needed to wind my way through some residential streets to get going back the correct way as I couldn't turn around on the busy road we were on. Let's just say that curving streets, particularly those found in the Sauganash area of Chicago never fail to completely turn around my sense of direction. We wandered for a good little bit until I got my bearings again and headed home. After a little bit K. pipes up from the back seat, "Mommy, maybe you shouldn't turn the way those little arrow tell you to," because the intent was they clearly weren't helping. It took me a moment to figure out what arrows he was talking about that I should stop following because I wasn't following any arrows. Turns out he was talking about the turn signals. A lesson in how cars work followed.
  • It's been a long time since I advocated for a child. I think when you are struggling with a newly adopted child, it's hard to encourage others to join you on that particular path. So I think it's a sign of how well things seem here that I can start thinking about advocating for children again. I want you to meet Sapphire. I'm not a doctor; I'm not qualified to diagnose a child from just one picture, but this little girl reminds me strongly of my two with Linear Nevus Sebaceous syndrome. She needs a family. She needs love and support and encouragement and stability. She needs a mommy and a daddy. Plus, she is darn cute. If you are interested in becoming Sapphire's mommy and daddy, email me, and I'll put you in touch with her agency advocate.

Now, on to that to-do list.


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