Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wrapping Up Our Week, a little late...

It was good to get going on our new version of a "normal" week.  The kids were glad to get back to school, even though adding Ben to the mix required a little tweaking of our routine.

Nothing has changed for the girls, they are still doing Math first thing, followed by writing, phonics, handwriting, and spelling.  It's all just a little noisier these days!  I've been doing group work (bible, and nature study) just before nap time.  Ben is great at entertaining himself for 20-30 minutes as long as we are close.  Once Ben goes down for his nap, it's my one on one time with Owen.  He is has really taken off with math, reading, not so much.

I think this routine is going to work out well.  For now anyway.  :)

The kids had Zoo school this week, they are really enjoying learning new things and making new friends.  (They were also missing some special friends that were not there this time.  You know who you are...that's all I'll say....I might cry if I go on.  Did I mention I missed those friends too and their Mommy?  OK, I'll stop now.)  They all commented when we got home about how nice it was to be in classes with kids who share their love of learning and who are mature students.  Homeschoolers rock!

Free time in the morning for Owen gives he and Ben plenty of time for some testosterone filled monkey business.  Important for brothers, I think.  Even at the expense of my tupperware cabinet.

Their relationship is growing already.  At first Ben would hit and growl when Owen would approach. Owen would get up and walk away.  Ben learned quickly this was no way to make friends!  There was an older boy with DS at the orphanage about Owen's size, who was not very nice to Ben, so I'm sure this was just his defense's kicking in.  He didn't know any different.  Now he is starting to learn that having a brother can be lot's of fun.  

(The hair pulling has also stopped for the most part!  He has come such a long way in very little time.) 

GI update:  Mr. Ben is not so happy here being confined to his high chair.  We have been trying to keep him upright for about at least 30 minutes after meals, we have found that it greatly reduces his spitting up episodes.  Also, we are thickening his liquids, and feeding him a bland pureed diet.  Yummy right?  It's all helping though.  His GI appointment isn't until January, so we are doing all we can to minimize his discomfort in the meantime.

We try to keep him busy with toys, books, and singing silly songs.

We have also started having him drink from a straw.  I've read several different articles that the best thing for oral-motor development is drinking thick liquids through a straw.  Easy enough to do at home, and tasty too.  I'm thinking smoothies!  Jim helped me figure out how to make our own honey bear for straw training, the ones they sell on therapy websites are expensive.  

Ben also picked up 2 new signs this week, one is real, and one is not.  He quickly learned the sign for "clean" he is always taking off his socks and cleaning to floor, high chair tray, whatever surface needs it apparently.  Just what were they making him do at that orphanage I wonder?  So, we say clean, clean, when he does this and finally put the ASL sign with it for him.

  The other sign was made up by his clueless parents.  In our vain attempts at teaching him in english exactly who Mommy and Daddy are, we used gestures and loud voices of course!  That always helps when communicating with others who do not speak english doesn't it?  The louder the better, I have found.  We were using our hands to gesture to ourselves (waving our hands toward our chest) and saying (I'll put most the blame on Jim here, just because I can) "Me Daddy, you Ben."  Not quite that caveman-like, but you get the picture.

Anyway, every time we asked Ben to say Momma or Daddy, he was slapping his chest.  Why is he doing that,  we asked?  That's not the sign for Mommy or Daddy!?!  Huh.  Did I tell you this boy was smart?  

Everyone needs a sister who puts pants on your head, and gets a good laugh at your expense, right?

Ah, there's nothing a home schooling Mom loves more that seeing her kids crowded around the computer for non-educational purposes.  Not!  We don't have cable, but guess what?  It turns out, you don't need it!  If your kids are the least bit computer savvy, they can find plenty of junk right on the computer.  I have a serious love/hate relationship with technology.  Most days I just want to throw the TV and the (kids) computer out the window.  (I would keep mine of course)  But then I remember we are just not that family.  We like to balance all the learning with a little junk.  We wouldn't want to be known as the weird family or anything, right?  Oh, wait.  Might be too late for that.  

Anyway, it looks like Ben is enjoying being corrupted.  He lived for two years without TV, he has a lot of catching up to do.  Who is this Dora character you speak of?  

More playing.  Owen builds the tower, and Ben, waits patiently while Owen builds an architectural masterpiece knocks it down before he's finished.

Ben had his "welcome home" blood work done this week.  Marney and Owen came back to the lab for moral support, while Madeline wisely stayed in the waiting room.  Ben screamed bloody murder, and Marney got a little weak in the knees and had to sit down.  I thought we were going to have two patients for a second there!

The results came back great except for his thyroid function seems to be a little low, so he goes back to the doctor next week.  They will most likely repeat the test, or do a different one.  If he is hypothyroid, this would explain many of the symptoms he is having, that I thought were GI related.  His restless sleep, hoarse voice (at times), and swallowing issues (choking).  It would also explain his slow growth, tongue protrusion, very dry skin, and breathlessness with activity (although not in a cardiac way-I just thought it was because of his big belly!).  

The only thing that worries me, is that putting him on synthroid would return him to his "natural" activity level.  Hypothyroid tends to cause sluggishness, and sleepiness.  If this is Ben sluggish, then Ben on synthroid frightens me!

Ben is going to be busy with doctors appointments in December and January.  I'm holding off on getting therapy evals for now, I don't want to bombard him with too much stuff so soon.  Being home and having 3 typical siblings is stimulating enough for now. :)

So that was our busy week.  We are looking forward to a short school week,  Thanksgiving at Mom's, and Daddy home for 4 whole days, yeah!

Have a great weekend, what's left of it anyway!


  1. This is a great post - you had a busy week! Wait until the kids figure out how to get movies through the Wii :) How is it they can remember every line from every stupid show they have ever watched, yet fail to remember which letter of the week we are working on!!

  2. Had me laughing at so many parts I do not remember what all I wanted to say! First, Ben looks great! It is amazing how he is learning that Owen is not that bad of a guy. Definitely one of those bonding things happening with a positive outcome.

    Loved the caveman description!

    We are the same with the T.V./computer thing. We haven't even bought a Wii...although I really want one!

    Two of my girls got into trouble this week. My knee jerk reaction was no t.v. and computer for one week. Yikes. Bad mistake. I should have only taken away one of those items.

    You are getting so much accomplished with school and the transition. Good for you!!!

    Way to go on keeping the pace slow with the evaluations. You have a really good head on your shoulders!

  3. Looks like you are all settling in well and finding balance to work and family. Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Ben looks great!

  4. It is wonderful of you to let us share your week! The pictures are absolutely precious.

    It's funny how boys need boys to play with it- I don't know what it is, but they just play different. I am going to have to us that phrase- "testosterone filled monkey business"! We have plenty of that around here!!