Thursday, August 11, 2011

Here's our silly family pic. Good times.

If it's raining outside, and much cooler than we're used to, out come the jackets- even for the animals!
I think one of the issues that you deal with when you adopt an older child is the "training," which is not the right word, but the essence is there, to please, to smile sweetly, and to say the expected answer so people will like you. In our case, H is great with new people. She smiles and is very charming in her demeaner. She answers "yes" to questions that are obviously "no" answers to those who know her because she has learned that mostly the questions require a yes answer to make people happy. We're still dealing with her being able to leave anything on her bowl/plate. There is always more for her later, and she is getting better about it, but it bothers her if she has to stop before the last crumb is gone. We recently went out to eat at a Mexican restaurant for dinner. Since she never says she doesn't like something (except her Daddy's oatmeal shortly after she first came home) and we're trying to see what she really does like, Buddyasked her if she wanted to try a salsa that was on the hotter side. I told her it would be ouchy in her mouth, but she looked at Daddy and smiled. She took a bite and I could tell when she wasn't looking at him that it did not feel good. He asked if she liked it; she smiled and said yes. I asked her if it was ouchy and she didn't smile and said yes. When we asked if she wanted more, she said no (after I asked her a few times and reminded her it is ok to say no) and yet when she had more on some rice, I told her not to eat it because it would be ouchy. We let her do what she wanted and she ate it, even though it hurt her. Just to get the last grains of rice.

We went to see a second ortho surgeon a few weeks ago, who gave us a different, more extreme idea for H, but also said we don't have to do anything and could just come back in a year. It's been challenging deciding what to do, but we're trusting God to show us. We've been working with the orthodics and prosthetics people to develop a shoe for her while we're figuring things out. She's so pleasant with them and "yes" to this, "yes" to that. She was actually able to walk faster with her new shoes, even though it is a little different for her. She has a flat surface for walking, giving her a better sense of balance. She still has work to do because her core strength is still low. They velcro on her feet and when they're open, her feet slide right on down into them. They are lightweight and full of cushion, which is a great change. We left there and went to the store to get dinner and some groceries. When we got in, she was crying because her feet were "ouchy." Why didn't she say that to the orthotist? We got home and Buddy asked her about her shoes. "Good," she says. Wait, I thought they hurt you. Do they hurt you? Finally, "yes." When I took off her shoes, there was no swelling or redness, so we'll try it again. Here she is with her new shoes. You can tell she's a little tired.

Another thing we're still working on is the whole communication issue. She's improving, but learning to express herself is a challenge. If things are challenging for her, she says "ouchy" and cries (for me and not her therapists.) Distinguishing between pain and it's hard or I don't like this feeling is something we're working on. Asking for help instead of crying or just sitting there not doing anything is coming along, too.

Yes, things are a lot better, and I enjoy looking at something we've worked or struggled with for a year and she's finally doing it. Sometimes in my busyness, it takes me a while, and it comes as a realization that I haven't had to remind her to do or not do something for a while. She is full of smiles and a willingness to please, tries to do whatever you've asked her, mostly obeys without complaining (although she has picked up "why" and "aaaah!"), is thankful for whatever she gets, and stays in bed after we say good night. She knows about 1/2 her ABC's and sings little made up songs while she's on the potty or by herself. These are the joys

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