Monday, September 20, 2010

Good News!

Scott Simon has a book on his own adoptions:
It is well worth reading the article!
is making a film - AND their website, at least, seems to indicate a purpose that is child-centric.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

A bit of normalcy and a big change

So ... big change first - after visiting our pediatrician and asking Tam about changing his name, we have decided that Medko (pronounced Meedko) will be Nikolas's primary name until he is of age to decide for himself.

Yesterday, we took the plunge and packed up the boys, bought a second hand double stroller from a listing on Craigslist on the way out of town and drove the 100 minutes to the zoo. Yes, long trips are best measured in minutes! The trip went well. The weather was gorgeous: 80s, low humidity, blue blue sky. The boys really enjoyed the seals, the otters, okay almost all the exhibits, except the plants and the empty or apparently empty ones. Tam was extremely concerned about when we would be leaving, asking at least 7-8 times. Tam's favorite was the otters - we got to see them as they were being fed fish and tomatoes. Medko most enjoyed the Dirt Cafe - where both of them got to make muffins, omelettes, drinks, pies, etc. out of a pea gravel/sand mix. Tam almost got a customer complaint for not prioritizing Mommy's order of mashed cauliflower with cheddar cheese. Really very tasty after a beautiful day at the zoo!

Medko protested loudly every time we told him it was time for night-night. When we got on the highway, he didn't last more tha
n 7-8 minutes and was down for the count!

We did get our first picture of the four of us. The 3 ladies we asked were from Norway and one of them was adopted - tiny world!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Made it home!

WoW! What a difference a 4 year old makes for a transatlantic flight! And a tired one at that!
Again, he is a SUPER trooper, running on 2 hours less sleep (up at 4:30a) and so ready for a nap even before we make the flight from Germany to the US that he imitates a fellow traveler, a 6 month old, who he met crawling in the airport. Crawling, with head down, yipes!

The first bit of great news: no apparent discomfort with takeoff or landings and the pressure changes, and he completely refused the Earplanes, though he accepted them in the apartment on our trial run.

The above was written on 09/05. The details of the plane trip have been lost in the ensuing craziness of life at home. Nikolas had some sparkling mineral water on the plane. BAD! Pretty much meant no further liquids for the plane trip, car ride home, the next week. Yup. Week! Thank the Lord above that we have bananas. And cantaloupe & yogurt. And that he had eaten like a 200 lb man for a week in Bulgaria. Because he nearly stopped eating altogether and we all went to see his pediatrician a week earlier than scheduled. Viral infection at the back of his throat, which made it painful to swallow even to this trooper. And no treatment, except for Chestal and unfrozen ice pops.
Miraculously, two days later, his appetite returns though much reduced, and still no drinking. We let him play in the kiddy pool everyday, in part because he loved it, and in part because he might splash some in his mouth... Sad...
He was very concerned about the dogs - still is at times. He started with screams and running and now chases Zoey and holds Tanner's head in his hands. He still gets agitated by their barking and noisy play, but they are loud... No puppy kisses just yet, but he's made a lot of progress so far.
He is an outside boy, through and through. The sunroom, deck and garage (with door open only) are his favorite places. Balls and cars are his favorite things to hold and play with.
He started out in Bulgaria with a massive dislike - bordering on emotional trauma - each time we would correct him or tell him no. This continues, though much reduced. He will vary his response - choices are: run away and flop over, still standing onto the couch and rock from side to side; run away and lay on a step on the stairs; run away and stand in a corner or the dining room or the edge of the deck; collapse into tears and wailing. Apart from the last one, well, the pattern is obvious. The source, perhaps, not so much. A mix of: we started out as the purely fun people - toys, treats, play - so any no is contradictory to that initial relationship; and he wants very much to please us - even a correction about where a ball can be thrown could be a life changing event - the upset and fear are right on the surface. He recovers quickly now, and at times won't even get very far - since he sometimes will respond to questions in the right tone - indicating the mood is still fun and things haven't taken a turn for the worse.
He can be incredibly willful. Today, he and Tam were playing with superballs in the sunroom for over an hour, completely engrossed. The rise of crotch grab and crossed legs signals could not be ignored, and neither would take a potty break. Daddy pockets both superballs and is immediately mugged - 4 little hands trying to pull off his shorts. He drags them across the floor, giggling the whole way, into the 1/2 bath and shuts the door. Tam gets it and immediately drops onto his potty. Nikolas takes a bit longer and when he turns to the big potty, he is prepared to stand for his business. He is still in training about the seat - yes ladies, we are raising him right! So Daddy lifts the seat. This is met with a very firm "eehhh!" and a couple steps back, straight into the wall, hitting his head on a bar on the wall. He stands there, head down for a few seconds, and finally.... he begins to pee - while still leaning against the wall - onto the floor! Daddy is none too pleased and brings the seat down fast (i.e. loud) and grabs him and plops him on it. He begins his wail and Tam asks:"You mad at him?" Daddy is honest and says yes. Tam finishes his business and takes off, straight upstairs, wakes up Mommy and tells her "Daddy is angry at my Nikolas." Not a big mess, and after some talking and snuggles, everything is right with the world again. And so the brotherly love begins to manifest!
His appetite is completely back. He has eaten 4 bananas in each of the past two days on top of two breakfasts (4 banana pancakes - no syrup or butter necessary) and bunches of pasta with either marinara (goes great with everything but bananas, BTW) or tasty butter (for those of you who aren't Nana - that's pesto mixed into butter - YUM!), chicken, deli turkey and salami have all met with celebration noises and forks raised overhead before or after each bite, just depends. Today he even asked for water and drank it!
His skin and hair - WOW! To start with, his skin was literally rough - sandpaper rough. We used Burt's Bees lotion on him in Bulgaria - it was not especially well received - massage-like tough was the culprit we think. We also used Burt's Bees shampoo too. His hair started out coarse, thick and almost puffy. Thanks to some miraculous Miracle II lotion (that's its name) and lavender essential oil from Nana, he nearly free of dry spots, nearly done with non-emotional excuses to scratch his skin. He had an especially dangerous looking pair of wounds at the top of his butt that were nearly completely gone in 36 hours. And his hair is approaching silky and is laying flatter, approaching Tam-like. We'll let it grow out a bit and continue to discuss hairstyle options.

Our SD card to USB adapter apparently did not make the trip back with us, nor does the one we have here work with the current card. YAY! So, another has been ordered and we will have a gazillion pictures when it arrives. The 16GB card only has room for another 2 minutes of HD video or 90 pictures.