Thursday, July 31, 2014

Positive Stuff

I thought I would share a list of positives about Evie - either positive stuff in general about her, or positive changes that she has made.  #ilovelists #idolovelistsbuthatehashtagsandambeingalittletongueincheekhere

  • She has a beautiful smile and infectious giggle.
  • She actually is overall very beautiful and cute, and attracts comments, looks (good ones) and smiles from strangers everywhere we go in public.  I pretty much hear, "She's so cute!" from at least one person every time we are out. 
  • Her behavior is REALLY good, even compared to other 4 year olds without trauma.  I can count on one hand the number of times I've had to put her in time-out.  When discipline is needed, redirection or a stern word/look is almost always enough. 
  • And when I do have to fuss at her for something, she doesn't let it affect her mood after the moment has passed; she doesn't pout, fuss, yell, sulk, or give me the stink-eye.
  • She is not shy about singing and often sings the same song over and over again as we go through the aisles of the grocery store.  One of her favorites is "You Are My Sunshine" (hence, the attraction of smiles and "you are so cute!"'s). 
  • While in the first month she would often ask me to turn down the radio in the car (even when it wasn't loud AT. ALL.); now she often asks me to turn it UP... NOW you're my kind of girl!  We have busted out more than once to the chorus of "What Makes You Beautiful."
  • My girl can now spell and write her first and last name, and recognizes all the letters in them (in addition to a few others as well as the numbers 1-5).  When she got here, she couldn't even tell you what her name started with, or recognize ANY letters or numbers.
  • She can now entertain herself and is not afraid to be in a room by herself.  (She used to sit on the floor outside my bathroom door while I was showering, rather than even get on my bed and watch TV.) 
  • She loves my cat. 
  • She LOVES to draw and color.  She has become quite creative with drawing people and animals, and has begun to use a wide color palette in her coloring books.
  • She is a great sleeper.  After the first week, we have not had a problem with sleeping at all.  She goes to sleep immediately, and stays in her bed until the "ok to wake" clock glows green at 6:45 (and occasionally even later when I'm lucky).  I highly recommend the clock - I think it might be the best $30 I have ever spent.
  • She is a great eater, sometimes I think too great in that I struggle for ideas of additional healthy snacks to give her every time she tells me she's hungry as the day goes on... or struggle with whether I should just tell her she has to wait until the next scheduled snack or meal.  She will eat most fruits and loves them, and eats vegetables with each dinner (although she doesn't always like them).  I have only found a few things she really doesn't like.
  • She loves to help around the house - with dishes, laundry (she actually is a pretty good "folder" - good enough that my OCD self does not feel the need to re-fold small items like hand towels and washcloths), feeding the cat, cleaning up, and putting her toys away. 
  • The questions have FINALLY slowed down to what I feel like is a normal level for a 4 year old, so my sanity is definitely more intact than it was two months ago!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Surgery Update

I had decided that I was not going to broach the surgery subject until this morning, because I felt like Evie would be more anxious the sooner I brought it up.  But I also knew that because she is so stuck on verbally going over her routine (and confirming that routine with me), she very well might say, "I'm going to school tomorrow?" 

Well, she did.  Early in the day yesterday.  I had thought about possibly telling her yes and taking her to school for a couple of hours before the surgery, but because she couldn't have anything to eat or drink, I thought that was probably not the best idea.  I walked to the other room to make it seem like I didn't hear the question.  But she didn't let it go, and asked again when I walked back in the room, and ended up telling her that she was not going to school, but rather the dentist was going to fix her teeth.  "And then I'm going to school after that?"  I said, "No, then we're going to stay home and we can play."  Her response: "Yay!  Give me a hug!" 

Nothing else was said until before bed last night when Evie said, "I'm going to the dentist so they can check my teeth, and I went before and it didn't even hurt."  There was too much wrong in that sentence that I felt like I at least needed to correct it a little, so I told her that actually the dentist was going to fix her cavities.  She asked, "How are they going to fix them?"  And I said, "We'll talk about it tomorrow."  And that was the end of that.  Whew.

Also, yesterday I was fixing lasagna for the crock pot while she was napping, aiming to have dinner ready around 6.  Then I realized that I did not have any ricotta cheese.  As she napped longer... and longer... I got anxious because it was pushing dinner-time back to well after 7.  Then it hit me that it was probably a good thing that dinner was going to be way later than normal, because she wasn't going to be able to eat anything after midnight and the surgery wasn't scheduled until 10.  So I said a silent "thank you" to the heavens, and at dinnertime I let her eat two helpings of lasagna... and ice cream... and popcorn.  And finally got her up to bed. 

This morning I expected a lot of resistance when I told her she couldn't have her cereal and banana (I tell you, this child is such a routine-oriented creature of habit), but she accepted it without difficulty.

Then right before we were going to leave the house, I explained that they were going to give her some medicine to make her go to sleep (in a mask like the one she uses with her inhaler) so that she wouldn't feel anything, and then when she woke up her teeth would be all fixed. 

She was so calm when we got there.  The nurse came in to start the process, and then the nurse anesthetist, and the dentist, and the OR nurse, and eventually the anesthetist.  After people started coming in the room, there were never less than 2 extra people in there at one time... and Evie charmed them all.  She was showing off her dance moves, and getting everyone to see how high they could jump, and singing her ABC's.  And then they asked her if she wanted to walk or ride; she chose walk, and off she walked. 

Everything went fine.  They brought her back to the holding room where I was, she drank her apple juice, and promptly went to sleep for the time that she had to be observed.  She rode out in a wagon, we went to get a milkshake, and she stayed groggy until about 30 minutes after we got home (except when she suddenly said in the car, "I think something feels very terrible!" - it was her throat, I'm guessing from the intubation).  She was up and down all afternoon, playing for a while, then saying she didn't feel good and lying on the couch for a while. 

Some funny stories:
At one point shortly after we got back, as she was watching a TV show, she got up off the couch and started bending and straightening her knees, moving forward and backward and her waist, and bending and straightening her elbows and shoulders.  I asked her what she was doing and she said, "This makes me not sick anymore."

She went to the bathroom and came out and asked, "What is this thing in my mouth?"  (referring to the silver crown on her back molar)

I was in the bathroom and when I came out, she said, "I have two questions."  (She has NEVER prefaced her questions with that phrasing before).  She had obviously been pondering this.  "The first question - How am I going to eat with this thing in my mouth?"  And the second one - "Are we going to paint my fingernails?" 

In the end, my anxiety over her anxiety was much much more than her actual anxiety was.  Which I consider a success for today. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Evie's Pronunciations

Evie has some funny pronunciations of words.  On the surface they are cute, and some errors are normal for her age (the "r"'s and "v"'s).  However, being in the field I am in, I worry that some of the errors may be indicative of either some auditory processing problems, or some issues with motor planning of her speech.  The reason being that with some of the words that do not contain any specific sounds she can't make, she still has a very very hard time saying the words correctly even when I correct her. 

- O-du day-u (over there)
- Can we play with our chother?  (each other)
- Pon-kin (Pumpkin)
- Be-surt (dessert)
- Bether (better)
- Ko-mato (tomato)
- Lath (laugh)
- Cwallow (swallow)
- Nilla (Noah)
- Wes-ta-ant (restaurant)
- Yourselth (yourself)

We'll see how things progress once she starts school, and I may have our speech therapist talk to her. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Music Monday: Let It Go

Evie has finally caught the Frozen fever.  Shortly after she arrived, I put in the movie and she was not interested.  But I think they have been watching it at day care, and she walked around all weekend singing, "let it go, let it go!" and requesting to hear it. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Am I Crazy?

Several weeks ago, the licensing/placement workers called and asked if I was ready to take a second child.  (I am licensed for two, but told them I definitely only wanted one, at least at first while I was still getting my feet wet.)  I asked for what age.  It was for a three year old, so that wasn't even an option since I am only equipped for one child sleeping in a bed and one in a crib.

But since then, I have been thinking that the addition of a second child may actually HELP my sanity.  That maybe then Evie would have another being in the house to occupy her (I really think she thinks my only job is to be her playmate, since it is just me and her here); and she would also see that I have to pay attention to another little one and maybe she would learn to occupy herself more. 

Then the other day, I saw a friend's post on Facebook: "I'm on day #2 with my boys gone to spend the summer with my daughter is here with me however, I FORGOT how much attention children require when they're the only ONE!"  Exactly.

As it is, I am planning to switch Evie to a different daycare when school starts next month (one reason is because of some of the things I don't like at her current daycare, especially the amount of TV-watching that goes on there; but also because I found a place that will not charge me the difference between the ABC voucher and their actual cost - I am still paying $55 a week for daycare because the voucher only covers $90 a week).  So I would not take another child until that switch has been made since I wouldn't want to either have to move the other child after a month, or have kids in two different daycares for a month.  Plus, Evie's mom told her on the phone last night that she thinks she will be able to find a new place to live in the month of July, so it's always a possibility she won't still be with me by that point. 

But, once she's in her new daycare, it's quite possible that I might take a second child.  Am I crazy?

Friday, July 11, 2014


I found out today that the aunt and uncle who were going through the process to get Evie and J had their home study denied, so it looks like she will be with me until Mom gets everything together, whenever that may be.  

Also, the court that was supposed to be today (that was actually from a court date in June that was continued because Bio Dad hadn't had 30 days notice of the date), was again continued because Bio Mom's lawyer wasn't there.  Is it too much to ask that critical players show up to court??

Dental Surgery

Evie is scheduled for dental surgery under general anesthesia in less than two weeks. 

She has tremendous anxiety about getting shots.  We have been to four doctor's appointments since she has been with me.  On the way to the first three appointments (she always asks where we are going because she knows we are not going the right way to go to daycare or home... and I don't lie), she has asked if she is going to get a shot.  Then she has suddenly and fiercely burst into tears when I answer, "I don't know" or "I really don't think so" (again, I'm not going to lie to her) and has fixated on the anxiety of the potential for a shot, continuing to cry sometimes the whole way there.  On the way to the appointment today, she at least did not cry when I said I didn't think she would be getting a shot. 

I also used the opportunity on the way to the doctor today to vaguely prep her for the upcoming procedure.  She said the doctor (I think she was talking about one in the hospital) said no more shots.  I said, "Well, you will have to get shots again sometime in your life.  And if you have to get a shot when you're with me, I will take you to get a treat for being brave after you're done."

I'm struggling with when to tell her what is going on.  I'm almost positive I won't address anything until at least the morning of.  Because she has so much anxiety, a part of me thinks it will be best to wait until right about the moment that she is going to get any shots to tell her.  But one problem with that is that I'm sure she will ask in the car on the way to the procedure if she will be getting a shot; and I will be honest with her (I can't say, "I don't know" on this one) but don't want to have that honest conversation in the car when I can't sit with her and comfort her.  Another problem is that if I wait until she asks, I'm pretty sure she will immediately burst into tears when I say yes, before I have a chance to explain to her that there will be a big treat at the end of the whole thing.  Which makes me lean a little toward telling her about some things at least before we leave the house.  Maybe just a general, "We are going to get your teeth fixed and you will get a treat when it's over." 

I have a post on FB right now (comments popping up as I'm writing this) about this.  Many have said that they may give gas before doing any IV.  My plan (which I hadn't thought of before posting the question) is to call the dentist's office and/or stop by the surgery center (it's in the same building that I work in) and try to find out what the procedure will be.  If she never will know that there's an IV, then there may not be a need to worry her about it. 

If anyone has any words of wisdom, I'd be happy to listen!  I'll update with how everything goes once it's over.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

A Four-Year-Old's Prayer

I love everybody with my whole heart. 
I love Mama and Daddy and [insert all family members' names here].
I really love 'em.
I love everybody and stuff.
I really miss 'em.
[Then put this on a loop for about three or four minutes.]

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Evie is successfully enrolled in the 4k program at the local elementary school.  I went by to take the application this morning, and they said because she was a foster child and had Medicaid, she definitely qualified.  The secretary said they were not full yet (they only have 100 slots for qualified students) so they went ahead and assigned her a teacher and gave her an orientation day of August 12.  I don't know that she will still be with me then, but it really is only about six weeks away!  School starts August 19.