Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Staying in Bed

Time for some good news about the Coopster:
For just about 2 weeks now (and my 9000 talks with him) he has stayed in bed every single night. I knew he could do it. I knew he had the capabilities because he'd done it before. I understand that he had been in a group with 8 other children, but I also knew that he was ready to take on the 'big boy' job of using his self-control and staying in bed all night.
Now, as soon as he wakes up, he declares, "Cooper stay in bed!".
We're soooo proud (and getting much more sleep!).

We've made a little compromise on whether I should lie down next to him until he falls asleep though... Now, at bedtime, we read a few books then I say, ok time to sleep. He gets comfy and I read Dr. Seuss' One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish book and since it's kind of long, he falls asleep during the book. We have been ending the night on that note for about a week now and it works out great.

Kara is having a hard time listening to her teacher in school so she was in the "thinking chair" 3 times last week. They say she likes to run away from the class when they're out for their walk. All the other children are holding on to the rings and Kara runs away laughing.
Hopefully this week will be better.

Otherwise, she's cute as a bug and knows it.

See?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Working on trust

(trĊ­st) Pronunciation Key n.
Firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.

Cooper has been very defiant lately - in the last 3 weeks or so.
Sometimes, when something doesn't go his way, he has a mini-meltdown. I know this is a typical 3 year old behaviour but it's also typical older child adoption behaviour.

As a toddler, he has to 'test' us constantly to prove to himself that the rules are still there.
As an adoptee, he needs to know that he can trust us to ALWAYS follow through with the consequences that we impose, hence the trust title.
If he refuses to put on his socks (like this morning) we impose a consequence of: If you refuse, you will not be able to wear 'big orange' (his absolute favorite UT hoodie). If you do not put your socks on, you will not go to the mall park. He did refuse, cried, screamed, had a tantrum with kicking, slamming doors and the works...all because we asked him to put his socks on.
He did end up putting on his socks but did not get to wear 'big orange'.
So we followed through, we went to the mall park but he did not wear his beloved 'big orange'. Of course, at the mall there was another meltdown, but that's for another story!

I guess the premise of me writing this is to say that we know that he does not completely trust us yet so he puts us through LOTS of tests.

We have to be diligent and follow through with any consequences we impose because in his mind, what if we don't always follow through? Then maybe one day we won't follow through and pick him up from school. And in his mind, we may not always mean it when we say I love you...
It's exhausting at times but the most important thing to realize is that if we continue to be effective and attentive parents, this too shall pass and he'll eventually be a secure, confident, trusting young man.
I'll leave you with a picture of the kids 6 months ago when we first met them, and a picture from yesterday... They grow up way too fast!
July 2008
January 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

3 Month Update

The kids have been with us for 3 months now - sometimes it seems like 3 years! We're still working out the kinks in our routine but for the most part, all is well.

Kinks:
I'm the one to blame for Cooper's new habit of of waking up in the middle of the night and calling for me. It's definitely a want not a need.
Our nighttime ritual consists of a bath, pj's, brush teeth, read 2-3 books and talk about the day and tuck-in with lots of kisses (for him and the rabbit, bear and giraffe whom he MUST sleep with). This is where the problem comes in: I then turn off the lamp and lie on the floor until he's asleep (about 10 mins.) then go to my own bed for the night - or so I think.
He will wake up at some point during the night and call for me. I go to him, re-tuck him in and make sure he's ok, then he grunts while pointing at the floor for me to lie next to him until he's asleep again. He will cry/scream if I leave before he's asleep and I'm afraid he'll awaken Kara with his mad screams.
I've created this mess myself, I know.
Now that I'm working full-time again, I have had my fill of getting up in the middle of the night AND have I mentioned that I'm STILL sick? So last night was the last straw. He was not in pain, sick, wet, hungry, thirsty nor anything else, he just wanted company. Jim ended up sleeping on the floor in his room.
So as soon as he awoke, I told him that as of today, he is a Big Boy and can go to sleep on his own as well as staying in bed all night. I told him this in a very loving way (about 6 times this morning) and he seemed to understand.
I'm going to make a sticker reward chart for him as well.
Man, if you give-in to kids one or two times, it becomes the new rule.
This mama is taking back her sleep!

The other kink is food:
We need to have something prepared in the freezer for every night of the week. And for lunches - for us and the kids - that's a lot of food!
Right now, we're sort of prepared for a couple of days then we scrambe to find something quick and healthy.
I guess my new part-time gig on Saturdays and Sundays will be to cook.

Otherwise, they are doing great in school, their attachment to us is excellent and they've only had minor colds.

We're so happy to have these little guys with us, even if I don't get my essential 9 hours of sleep!

I'll take more pics soon and will post them, promise!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

How did we spend the day? We went to the zoo, the park and McDonalds!It was a beautiful day and a great way to start the new year.

Here are our munchkins first thing in the morning - I really have to work on their hair in the a.m.!