Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted
according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or
slow to do the humble work.

- Mother Teresa

About Me

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Sunny Florida, United States
I am the proud mom to 6 kids: Natasha, 24, Nikolai, 20, Reese, 20, Maylee, 14, Erik, 10 and Violet, 7. The kids come from Russia, Ukraine and China; I'm so proud of my family sometimes I think I'll burst and I needed an outlet for it - so I've created this weblog. :o)
If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
- Mother Teresa

Motivation for Moms

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One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.
Mother Teresa

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Somehow, I ended up without any patients today! Very strange, considering I've been busy all week, even with 8 patients yesterday (my max)! It is what it is, so I decided to enjoy the unexpected day off. :o)

I took Erik to the beach!!

NIkolai was volunteering at the SPCA (he likes the cat building best), Reese was studying, furiously trying to get his online classes finished and studying for tonight's last final exam at the community college, and Mark just isn't a beachgoing kind of guy, so it was just my little buddy and me!!

It was a beautiful day to go to the beach (albeit HOT HOT HOT!!) and the crowds were very low, it being a Thursday late morning, so even though we forgot the beach bag with all of Erik's toys in it we had a great time! Erik really knows how to enjoy himself, it is true: he just had a ball. We didn't do much "laying out", per my original plan, but instead spent most of the time at surf's edge, either walking along, or sitting and ...well, flapping. Erik likes to "flap". ;op

Ah, living in Florida does have its perks.

Give him another 8 years, a darker tan, longer hair, and a surfboard, and you've got the next big surfer dude. :o)
This is a cool picture because you can just barely see the towers at the Kennedy Space Center and if you reeeeeally squint, you can just barely see the external fuel tank on the Space Shuttle Atlantis. I love this beach. :o)
Sunday, June 19, 2011
I haven't blogged for quite awhile! I think I have gotten lazy because I tell most of my stories and share most of my pictures on facebook. There are those people that I wish to keep my life away from (you know who you are if you are reading this!) and with facebook I can control things a little better. And, like I said, I just have gotten lazy. ;op Things are pretty calm around here anyway.

BUT! Life with Erik is never calm and so I can always write about him! I think most of my readers are mainly interested in reading about him, anyway. lol

Erik has been showing some progress lately. Those of you who know us mainly by Internet don't probably realize that Erik is actually really low functioning. I'm just good at getting photos of him looking like he is not. I don't mean to say this in a negative way, it's just a fact. I read about other people's kids with DS who are adopted from overseas and I'm amazed at how well they do!! Even kids who are just adopted are often walking, giving hugs, playing with toys, signing, etc. Erik was 5 when we got him and he didn't do these things for months - in fact, he just in the last month or so started giving real hugs...! He plays with toys, but not like other kids do - he mostly "flaps" them or sucks on them. His favorite toys are ones that light up and play music, and he enjoys simply listening to the music. His other favorite toys are straps with a buckle on the end, and he shakes it, making it waggle - he can do this for hours! He also only knows 2 - 3 signs, when I read of so many of his "peers" who know well over 100.

Erik IS a total love, though, and simply can't get enough attention to suit him, and that's totally COOL. :o) He does love his family! He's fun to play with, and a real riot. Still, it gets a little frustrating sometimes that he is so low functioning and the boys (especially Reese) would like to be able to play with him in a more meaningful way.

HOWEVER! Lately, he seems to be coming out of it a little bit more. If you didn't know him, you wouldn't realize what a big deal some of these things are that he's been doing lately, like:

Yesterday, he was playing in his little blow-up outdoor baby pool. He LOVES playing in this and can do so for hours (he loooooves water). Well, before I could get the hose turned on, I walked around the side of the house. When I came back, he had the hose and was putting it in the pool, in anticipation of the water coming out and filling it up! I couldn't believe it.

Also yesterday, he got out of the car by himself!! I had only worked with him 5 or 6 times in sliding out of his car seat, holding onto the door of the car, putting his feet here and there to step down, and lowering himself to the ground. He did it!! He actually got himself out of the car (minus opening the door and unbuckling, of course)!!

He also is improving on eating. He doesn't "choke" as much (it's not really choking, as the food gets stuck in his esophagus and not his trachea, as he takes too big of bites and doesn't chew it thoroughly). Last night, he even at a whole hot dog by biting off pieces (as I held it) and chewing it and swallowing it! Normally, I would cut the hot dog in tiny pieces and give him the bun separately. He loved the whole thing, and got so excited to bite the hot dog in the regular way!

One more thing: yesterday after supper, I called him to follow me in his room so he could get "changed". Instead, he stood at the bathroom door. I called him again; again, by the bathroom door. So I thought, "Why not?" His potty training has hit a stand-still the last 2 weeks or so and it's been hard to stay motivated training him, but I knew that I needed to keep on, so I put him on the potty. His diaper was dry and sure enough, he peed on the potty!! I couldn't believe it.

So why this improvement in orientation/participation?? I don't know. I DO KNOW that I've started giving him Gingko Biloba, about 5 times a week, and I hear this really helps kids with Down's. Don't know if that's what's helping or not, but I'm sure going to keep it up!!! If anyone knows anything about GB and wants to give me tips or warnings or anything, please do!!

Right now, we are just enjoying this newer "clear head" of Erik's and hope it continues! :o) It's hard when it looks like he's spaced out so much, and so much fun when he actually THINKS about things! :o) We're having fun.

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If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day, go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.
- Chinese proverb
It is not the will of your Father that any one of these little ones should perish. Matt. 18:14

Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. Matt. 18:5

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

My family

My family
Nikolai, Mark, Missy, Reese, and Erik

Nikolai, 19

Nikolai, 19

Reese, 19

Reese, 19

Erik, 9

Erik, 9





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