Life with 4 kids 6 and under. Our trip to pick up Tonito in China is: mid-March 2008 through April 12. Our trips to pick up Ricky in Ethiopia are in June and August of 2010.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

School is almost here and a Scary Trip to the ER with Boo

Things are crazy busy here. We're trying to get ready for kindergarten, getting school supplies, Tonio is leaving his old job and soon will be starting a new job, I just "remembered" that Maya's birthday is coming up and I'm planning a princess party for her little friends from playgroup, my laundry room looks like some suitcases threw up, and the tantrums... well, we all know how fun they are, but in stereo they are doubly delicious. My strategy with tantrums is to immediately put him in the carrier. It sounds like I am rewarding him for the tantrum, and I struggled with that, but after reading a lot of attachment books and articles, it really is the right thing to do to help him overcome whatever frustration he is dealing with at that moment, in addition to the life-changing traumas and transition he is going through. It seems to be working at reducing the length of the tantrums- and now when he starts crying he just brings me the ERGO carrier! hahaha- he knows it's in the closet. We are following an attachment program or philosophy called "Taming the Tiger While It's Still a Kitten," which basically says to carry the new child as much as possible during the first 6 weeks (ideally 6 hours a day or more), spoon feed them while maintaining eye contact, lots of massages, rocking them to sleep, lots of hugs and kisses, low on the discipline while working on bonding, etc, etc. I can tell you that if instead of other children I had a cook and a housekeeper living with me, the program would be a lot easier:). But we're doing the best we can and trying to sprinkle in some fun activities during the last week before kindergarten!
Tonito and Vivi are SO excited, and a little nervous. Tonito had been at the elementary school for a special preK program last year, but for Vivi it will be entirely new. She was a little sad and disappointed when she found out that she will not be in the same class as Tonito, but fortunately they are right next door to each other and all the kindergarteners are together for social studies, science, and health I think. We know a handful of kids and of course they are all scattered throughout the 4 classes with none being with out kiddos. The meet-the-teach day intensely chaotic and both Ricky and Maya were overwhelmed and wanted to be held. I wanted the big kids to have a positive experience meeting their teachers and seeing the classroom, and I only had one set of arms to calm down the little ones. It was extremely stressful! There were a million people swarming around, tons of kids running back and forth to the 4 classrooms that open up to each other, and Ricky got away from me and dumped a whole bin of gluesticks on the ground. I ended up dragging out the little ones, both crying, and had Vivi and Tonito follow me. Why don't they have the event at a time when both parents can come!? The insanity continue 2 days later when I had the brave idea of taking all 4 kids to a MOMS Club activity at a pizza parlor where the kids got a tour of the restaurant and then got to make their own pizza. I always think it sounds like a great idea, and then I get there and wonder why on earth I left the house! This time at least I had Ricky strapped into the carrier (to Maya's chagrin and dismay) and the big kids got to make pizzas with their friends. But it was really crazy, and I was wrought with worry the whole time that someone would get their fingers shredded with the cheese or burned on the huge ovens. We survived and at least felt like I was spending a tiny bit of quality time before my babies started full-time kindergarten. I just can't believe the timing of everything- I come home and only have 1 before they start school to squeeze in summer. The guilt wa overwhelming.

Ricky is phenomenal little guy, laid back, happy-go-lucky, who enjoys almost everything we do. If someone is helping me with the laundry, emptying the dishwasher, or setting the table, Ricky just jumps in and mimics them. So on the one hand it is hard to have to divide my time among the kids and make sure they are getting enough attention during this transition= but on the other hand it is ideal to have the big kids around for him to follow around, and kind=of learn about how our family works. He also is the most playful little guy ever, and he would have been bored going into a house with no other children. It's funny how God picks the perfect child for each family:).

He loves the bike trailer (phew) and calls it a macchina (his/Italian word for car). On this particular day, the day before school was to start, we loaded up all the kids for a bike ride. Tonio had the dogs and was on rollerblades, and I pulled the little ones. Tonito and Vivi aren't good enough without training wheels to go for very far so they just rode their bikes with the trainers.
We left our house and rode to a park, where we gave the dogs a lot of water and had them relax in the shade. On the way home, Boudicca (our black dog) sat down and refused to get up. This has happened before when she gets really tired, so Tonio told me to go home and he would let her rest a bit. We all went home, and 20 minutes later Tonio came racing in with Mingo and grabbed his wallet, yelling that someone was taking care of Boo and that he was going to take her to the ER! Tonito was crying, Tonio drove away, and I didn't know what was wrong. Long story short she had severe heat stroke and if they hadn't started treatment right at that moment, she wouldn't have made it. He vet says he *frequently* has patients go for a run with their dog, and then hop in the shower, only to come out and find that their dog has passed away! Isn't that terrible!? Boo had to stay in the ICU, and they gave her plasma, blood, valium, IV, oxygen, and other treatments after she had seizures, was temporarily blind, had internal hemorrhaging, and was temporarily blind. Tonio said when he got there, he told the doctor "you have to save her- we just adopted my new son, my kids are starting full-time kindergarten tomorrow, I'm changing jobs... you just have to save her." After spending a couple of nights in the ICU, she came home and is doing much better!! Poor Boo- we were so, so worried about her and are so happy she is going to be OK!!!

1 comment:

nell ann said...

hi! I found your blog off the HoustonEthioAdopt group. Your kids are absolutely adorable! I didn't realize your latest came home so recently. Hope you are all transitioning well. Maybe we'll meet at the next function!