Thursday, November 28, 2013

We are thankful for so many things.

Like last year P worked today and will work tomorrow. No biggie, because he is very pleased with his OT pay, and it will go directly to Christmas shopping. I did warn him that I want us to go very low key this year. SS has way too many toys, and last year she got a freaking car.  It's time to teach our daughter the meaning of enjoying time as a family and not focus so much on loot.  Besides, P came up with a neat way of celebrating JJ's and SS's birthdays and it's going to be pricey. I am not a big birthday person when it comes to mine, but must admit I'm a tad jealous of my kids. 

How cute is this? As I predicted, spending more time with P has made SS closer to him, and it shows.
Then the bad seed in me felt kind of left out.

P is very thankful for his birthday gift from Grandpa, the special edition barrel containing all the Breaking Bad seasons in blue ray.

Grandpa took care of us today as well, sending this beautiful arrangement for our table.

And thanks to Grandpa we did not have to cook today, our feast arrived yesterday, a fully cooked turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potato souffle, and cheesecake. Enough to feed a party of 12, so we have way too much leftover.

But the thing we are the most thankful for everyday is these two creatures.

Born a world apart, over two decades apart, not sharing a single strand of DNA, yet so eerily alike. There's been a lot of laughter around here lately, something we sorely needed. These two clowns are just too funny.

P was exhausted and headed to bed before eight, and JJ just headed upstairs. It's just the girl and I, and a good old story before I send her to her room.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

SS gets a physical, a referral and two shots.

If we were responsible, caring parents, SS would have had her physical in July. Instead of admitting that we allowed a six year old to brow beat us, we are going to claim that our busy lives were at fault. We slacked off, it's who we are. In a move that is making me feel better about my shortcomings, P scheduled SS's appointment at 8:45 on a non school day! I am enjoying this more than I should at the cost of my baby's feelings. SS was a bear, as expected, and gave her Baba hell. But I had a trick up my ancient sleeve, I had a Spiderman shirt and ski cap waiting around for a special occasion. It would not make SS go silent into that physical, but it would help.

SS is now 44.5" tall, and as we reported last week 38.8 pounds, quite impressive to P and I. Because we still remember seeing and holding SS for the first time. Realizing how much our baby had missed, and wondering what was to come. But SS has consistently surprised us by how well she has developed. So much that our worries are usually brushed off , because what else could we ask for? Well, for  one, for SS to be fully screened, monitored, and given every possible opportunity at developing to her fullest potential.

Turns out we did get approval for physical therapy referral, but it never got to us. Oh well, stuff happens, we need to call and nag away. We are getting a neurological referral due to our concern about SS's lack of coordination, inability to pedal the smallest of trikes or bikes, and tripping on air. SS got a flu shot and the Hep A booster, and combined with her eye drop drama and shot, it turned into a nice Lego reward. 

Who is the super hero on the examination table?

It's none other than our Amazing SS!

SS tolerated the vitals just fine without unleashing her super powers on the medical assistant. Otherwise the young lady would have ended up covered in webs.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

SS is joining the bespectacled club.

SS had her eye exam yesterday after school. We decided not to let her know until I picked her up from school, to avoid having her fret about it. It made me feel scummy because I am a firm believer in preparing children ahead of time. We stopped by Walmart and I allowed SS to choose five Hot Wheels cars, hoping to get her mind of her fear.  This was her first time with this doctor. The eye doctor last year was good and really went out of his way to treat SS with kid gloves.  But their frame selection was very limited, even more so for children. P and I shopped around a lot before selecting the place where we got our exam. While small, they have an awesome kid's selection, including sunglasses.

As is the case with doctor's appointments SS's family medical history became an issue. At least we know something about her birth and that is very important. The doctor was very surprised by SS's good health, given her birth circumstances and sixteen months of barely getting sustenance. It reminded us how lucky we are, first that SS somehow ended in the non special needs list.  Also that we have been blessed with such a healthy child, after all she endured. I also learned that SS dodged a bullet in terms of her vision. The doctor asked me a question about her first few months of life, and I told her what I knew. She then asked a specific question that sadly I could not answer. But the doctor is certain it happened, and I can't understand why I never thought of it. Bottom line is SS is doing remarkably well in terms of development. We might have to have her vision checked more than once a year, due to that issue.

SS was anxious and very scared of the exam. She clung to her cars the entire time. She was asked by the assistant, then the doctor if she had problems seeing the board at school, if things looked blurry, if she had headaches after school, and if letters jumped around when she read. She answered no to all the questions. The  doctor examined SS's left eye first and was surprised that SS had no complaints, because she has 20/70 vision. The doctor said that it was much weaker than SS should have at age six.  Then the right eye examination explained why SS said no to vision problems. Her right eye vision is 20/40, "No wonder she didn't complain, she has a very good eye." I knew we were going to have to go the eyeglass route and was not happy.

P and I wear glasses, I have no problem with them. But SS is so young, accident prone and forgetful. She has lost so many jackets in the last year alone at school. The girl falls all the freaking time as well. About two months ago I arrived to watch SS in archery, and was stunned. She had left the house with bandaids on her elbows from scrapes in the playground at school the previous day. By the afternoon she had bandaids on both knees from another fall. Glasses and our SS are just not a good mix. I crossed my fingers for a verdict of reading only glasses.

SS is nearsighted and I embarrassed myself by asking exactly what that meant. I always get near and far sighted wrong. Now I'm more embarrassed because it's an easy concept. As near sighted SS can see near, but has difficulty seeing far.  Wait, reading requires seeing near... Oh crud, I knew what was coming. SS needs to wear her glasses full time, and the doctor wants to see her three months after she starts wearing them.  SS had grown increasingly comfortable with the doctor, who was gushing over her cuteness. The doctor is female, Asian and has two kids, but was all over SS. Her admiration increased when they got to the part I dreaded. The 1 or 2, which one looks better? Except that I worried for nothing because SS is a 1 or 2 savant. The doctor said she has never had a child do so well. Most kids hem and haw, guess, or say what they think the doctor wants to hear. The Dr. was on a high about how easy it was with SS. She told me what an amazing child I have every single time SS answered. The Dr. also said that SS was surprisingly consistent, whatever than means in the exam context.

It was going so darn well, until the doctor screwed up our bliss. She told me that we couldn't skip the pupil dilation due to the birth issue we discussed earlier. She knew that SS was very hesitant coming in, and she said she wished we could skip the eye drops, but she really needed to take a better look. I'm not a fan of an upset SS, but when it comes to her health we will do whatever it takes for our girl to get the care she needs. SS has never had eye drops since we met, no idea about before. And that is the b*tch about not knowing. SS has what appear like extreme reactions to certain things that should not be a big deal. When that thought creeps in (usually because some ignorant jackass makes a dumb ass assumption) we always give the girl the benefit of the doubt. SS's first sixteen months on earth were not an idyllic existence. Our baby has scars that will last a lifetime, and since they are not physical, ignorant people make judgments based on what they do not know.

The drops, yeah it did not go well, SS did not only cry, she trashed around like a fish out of water, and broke my heart when she asked me why I was doing that to her. I was holding her prone on my lap. The doctor was shocked by her reaction, made eye contact with me, I think hoping I could explain. No idea doc , no idea, I could only shrug my shoulders is response while kissing my baby's tear soaked face. Then came the best part, there was a second set of drops and I had to pry SS's eyelids open. I have posted a lot about how medical procedures do not phase me, even when my kids are involved. It has led P to sometimes question my sanity because he feels parents should get darn emotional about that. I do, I really do, but crying in those circumstances does not help the child. I prefer to fall apart once my child is OK.

But SS's reaction got me to a place I had not been before. The drops sting a little, but nothing to bring such a visceral reaction. I was well aware of that and was angry as hell that I could not help SS. I held her, I kissed her, I reassured her, but my baby lost it. I felt so inadequate, so powerless and thought if P was there, he could make it better. Of course I'm being silly, and my love for my daughter got the best of me. It was raw, real and disturbing. There is a side of SS that will always blindside us, just like yesterday. We do not mind the reaction, but we do mind not knowing its etiology. Because that vital piece of SS's puzzle would allow us to at least address what is in her mind. I don't think P will be thrilled but play therapy is in SS's imminent future. No six year old should have to deal with "the past," kids should just be kids.

The doctor had even better news for me, she was so apologetic when she said she wanted to wait as long as possible to get SS's pupils dilated. The issue she brought up due to SS's birth is vital to our daughter's health and early intervention is key to SS's well being. As messed up as SS was, we had to wait an hour before her eyes were dilated to the max, and facilitate a more thorough exam. SS was not up to it, and for the first time ever she was a hellion in the waiting room. I had to pry her away from the frame display she tried to destroy. P and I are not lax when it comes to SS's behavior, and there is no way we'd ever allow her to just seek and destroy. But this is the first time I could not remove SS from the situation and it was intense. Mind you, others there had a different point of view and were praising SS's behavior. That is, compared to what they see everyday.  That's just not good enough for us. We have had scathing remarks about our parenting, specifically what we expect from SS's behavior. Oh well, guess we are the victims of parents who expected the same from us.

The doctor did not find anything concerning after the dilation but was bummed that SS's astigmatism and nearsightedness did not improve. That was a new one for me, the doctor explained that those issues are less severe after dilation. That is why SS needs to return in three months, and have another round of eye drops.  Next time we are both going to be there, those drops triggered something in SS, and she needs both parents to help her get through whatever traumatized her.

Like last year, SS had difficulty seeing 3D, she could only identify three out of six.

SS held her cars throughout our unexpected marathon appointment.

SS wanted green frames and I was really pleased with this choice, It would cost $100 out of pocket, but what they heck, the girl needs the glasses.

But SS settled on this frame, and I'm not a fan. When the clerk realized SS was choosing based on color she asked SS if there's another color she liked. SS said "I'd like to try the orange ones" (her brother's favorite color). I did not see an orange frame, when SS pointed to it I realized it's orange on the inside. P asked so I know some may wonder, the D*sney logo did not influence her decision, she did not notice it.  When I sent P the pictures and commented that I preferred the other frame he quickly put me in my place. He is right, they are HER glasses, she will be the one wearing them full time. Therefore what SS wants SS will get.

They have Ray Ban kid sunglasses. P's insurance fully covers transition lenses but we did not get them since we both have prescription sunglasses. They were pricey, but P tells me at least once a week what a good investment we made.  SS is too young and flaky to be trusted with one, let alone two sets of eye wear. She will get the transition lenses and that should help when she is outdoors.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Look who's about to hit the big four oh?

We are not done with SS's excellent Monday adventure, no siree. Even though P thought it was a school day he decided to make a doctor's appointment for SS at 10:45 that morning.  Yes, the girl starts school at eight, and out by one forty five, but that is how my husband rolls. I always made her appointments after school. I can already hear P snickering about how I had a very open schedule then, only disturbed by my wine tasting, tele novelas, and tea parties. We just have different approaches, and as long as the kid's needs are met no worries.

Lately SS has been in a no doctor of any kind phase, but we have postponed her physical, eye and dental exams far too long. So off to the pediatrician they went hoping to find a way to stop The Cough. Other than keep giving OTC meds and stay away from dairy the pediatrician did diddly squat. That reminds us that we need to look for another pediatrician. Hard to believe but P managed to get SS in an even more foul mood by requesting a flu shot. Seriously, what the hell kind of sweat shop is my husband running in my absence?

SS dodged that bullet due to her cold, but will return next Tuesday for her flu shot and physical. P did have amazing news for me.  SS is on her way to heavy weight status, she is topping the scales at a jaw dropping 38.8 POUNDS of love baby!  If she keeps this up she should reach the forty pound mark by her seventh birthday. We remain hopeful since starting next week we are plying SS with eggnog until the new year. 

And to answer the post title's question.. "It's me, it's me, tiny but mighty me!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Another golden parenting moment brought to you by the magic that is us.

It is well known that SS is not a fan of Mondays, and her Baba having Mondays off has not helped.  Yesterday morning was not out of the ordinary. P brought a very cranky SS to our bed for her fifteen minutes of cartoon induced transition into the land of the living. Once her eyes were opened SS said "Today is a Monday when there is no school." Sure sweetie, if we listened to you you'll never go to school on Mondays, just hang out with Baba. Silly girl trying to take us for a ride. As I was getting closer to leave for work SS became more upset and repeated her assertion that there was no school. As I walked out the door she was screaming like a banshee in the bath, I kinda felt bad for P.

I don't answer my work phone until after ten, those two and a half hours are meant for us to actually get things done. And now there is a strict cell phones in your purse/backpack/car rule enforced. Imagine my surprise when my first message was P letting me know that what do you know, SS was telling the truth. What is more astounding is that we lame a$$es had a 5:30 appointment for a parent-teacher conference.  When I called P he had more to share, he actually walked SS into school. I asked him if the lack of traffic and children did not tip him off. SS had made such a fuss, was so angry that P was hell bent on not letting SS think her tantrum was going to work. He certainly showed her. He then told me that SS kept saying that there was an apple on the calendar for Monday, and P was wondering what she was smoking. The teacher marks days off on the classroom calendar with apples. That goes to show how tuned in we are with our baby girl.

We are not sure if SS's teacher was amused or horrified to hear how royally we screwed up that morning. We'll figure it out when the nice county social worker pays us a visit. We have been honest that this transition has had it bumps and we will continue to get hiccups along the way. I was on top of the school schedule last year, and I have obviously flaked out big time. For what it's worth, SS met me for lunch and did not look more traumatized than usual. And we did feel terrible and profusely apologized to SS for not believing her, and for being so incredibly lame.

Nice try you two, but a measly chocolate dipped cone is not going to make up for yesterday's humiliation. I expect loot, expensive loot.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

That was a close one.

SS has a few more teeth to trade for cash, so we need to bring our A Game on our next Tooth Fairy excursion. SS woke up to use the bathroom when I made the trade at the hotel during our Legoland weekend. She did not seem to notice, but I was hoping not to have another close call again. That is a hell of of a tall order for SS's parents, since we don't plan, we just react.

Last night we had the tooth ransom money and made a mental note to get in SS's room before we both headed out to work.  Just as P was about to leave this morning I noted that we needed to make the switch. We tiptoed into SS's room and as we quietly reached the bed SS sat up straight, like she had hydraulics under her. I tried to think of something to say and abort the trade off. But P reached to kiss SS goodbye and swiped the tooth from under the pillow, while I slipped in the money. We were so Wonder Pets... team work! Yeah, we suck, there's nothing whimsical about how we do things. We do not live in Fairy Land, and can't bake masterpieces from scratch, nor sew elaborate costumes.

We just don't have that creative, bento lunch making, magical world creating gene in our DNA. Instead, we allow SS to listen to uncensored music, indulge her super hero obsession, allow her to miss school just because, and are pretty much pretty bad parents. Then why did almost getting caught this morning bothered us so much? Especially when I am dead set against lying to SS, children in general, but adopted children even more. Yet watching P's quick thinking and making that switch was pretty neat.

OMG! Is this what old age is about? We get off on a stupid switch, on pulling the wool over the eyes of an innocent six year old? Or maybe it is the simplest of joys, making a six year old girl happy. Of course we will pay our dues when the gig is up, but SS really enjoys the teeth for money racket. I still have some serious reservations about our actions, because I know when SS cottons up to our deceitfulness, I will be the one in the hot seat, not P.  But I must admit that I have a head start and can make a compelling case as to why I (while knowing better) went along with the silly charade.  Because watching SS's face light up is such a darn treat. Because looking at life through my children's eyes has taught me so much. Because that is why I took on another round of motherhood when everyone around me thought I was crazy. I had a grown kid, I was FREE. Sometimes being free is not such a good thing, when it is not the right time for you to be free.

That being said, we need to be more careful. 

Friday, November 15, 2013


Last Saturday SS was looking at her brother's desk toys, ranging from a miniature Mr. Potato Head to neat puzzles. P and I did not think much about them in terms of quantity. Perhaps because P always made sure to keep my desk well stocked with novelties. I have boxes of Snoopy paraphernalia, a miniature filing cabinet, miniature shredder, mini etch a sketch and a pen that shoots Nerf missiles. I really need to dig in the garage for my box of goodies. So for us the normal stuff to find on someones desk. SS admired the toys for a while then shook her head and said "Well, well, well, someone sure has a lot of toys." Really SS, really? YOU are judging the amount of toys someone else has? We have a three bedroom house littered with your toys and you are being judgmental of a few desk toys? That comment along with the head shake and tone was just priceless.

SS lost another teeth at school today. It's the gap on the upper left. SS admitted to pulling the tooth herself and was proud that it didn't hurt. The best part is that she was so excited about the Tooth Fairy that she went to bed without being asked.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Iron Man finds...

The next member of The Avengers team.

Avengers assemble!

SS was up at 7:30 roaring. Not Katy Perry feminine roaring, but wild beast roaring. And she was in a good mood so I felt a tad guilty reminding SS that there were people enjoying their sleep on adjacent rooms.

So far only medicine and vey little fluids for SS. At this point we don't care if she eats a giant sundae, as long as she gets calories in her tiny frame. Meanwhile P and I are jealous of her stamina.

Friday, November 08, 2013


You get me out of bed in my pajamas, drive for 13 hours, change me into clothes along the way, feed me, clean me, get me in my pajamas again, and tell me it's time for bed. What. The. Hell!

The SS is out cold.

She fought the good fight. Excellent timing because it's constant curves for the next two hours.

Because she's been so good.

OMG, what a trooper SS has been so far. She does ask when will she see her brother and are we there yet. But darn, it's a kid thing.

We stopped for gas and we had to reward SS. A Cars book with 12 figures, and more important a mat to play on. It will come in handy the next two nights at the hotels.

The only problem so far is that she's only had chocolate milk all day, and only once. We know it's because she is still so congested, but we still worry. Hopefully JJ can coax SS to eat this evening.

So far so good.

Valiantly said with nine hours to go. We are using SS's iPod to feed music through the van' speakers. So much for our plan to have her sleep. But the girl is happy with her loud music and all is well.

Grandpa is in Oahu and in about ninety minutes he will have surgery to insert a port. Praying for a complication free procedure and quick recovery.

Footie pajamas, DOG and Iron Man comfort.

We left our driveway only 18 minutes after our planned 5:00 am departure. Not bad for us fly by the seat of our pants slackers. No The Great Santini like scene of P getting us out the door with military precision and discipline. We are grateful we got out the door.

P turned on the heater to make the van cozy for SS. We were completely packed when P brought her down from bed. But SS did not remain asleep, she is too excited about seeing her brother today. First words out her mouth " Today is a great day, I'm excited to see my brother."

Her excitement did not keep her from complaining about traffic. At 6:12 she broke her previous record by an hour when she asked if we are there yet. Can't blame SS as I just thought 12 hours on a plane would have us 2 hours from China. Seems like a better use of our time.

Getting the girl ready.

Or is it getting ready for the girl? I couldn't sleep and decided to get SS's entertainment ready.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Yes SS, there is a Great Pumpkin.

Abuela wondered why we had not posted Halloween pictures, since it is a big deal around here. SS and I have been battling The Common Cold for a few weeks now. P is somehow immune to this malady, and that is a good thing because the girl and I are both floored.  And what lousy timing because we are getting ready for a quick road trip and need all hands on deck.

Road trip is a big word, because we are only driving to Northern California to tie some loose ends. While we are beyond excited about this mini trip, we are also very cautious, because SS is NOT a road trip, let alone a car girl.  Another sign that she was meant to be Brad's and Angelina's child. The girl LOVES airplanes, and was a natural from the first time she stepped into one in Kunming. On our journey home she slept the four hour flight from Guangzhou to Tokyo. SS managed to remain awake the 10 hour flight from Tokyo to San Francisco, but not a peep out of her.  Her love affair with air travel remains strong. When Grandpa visited SS wistfully stated that it had been a long time since we had been on a plane. Really? Barely six months before we went to Puerto Rico, and there she was planning her next trip.

But place SS in a car for longer than a few hours and the beast within unravels.  By the second hour of our four hour drive to Laughlin SS was asking how long before we arrived.  And this is a child that had two movies to watch, her iPad, her iPod, drawing/coloring materials, and Legos. But she complained of boredom. We are totally afraid of the drive north since we are doing it in one day. Those are going to be 12 excruciating hours.

Today I received a call from the school nurse.  SS threw up in the playground, was resting at the nurse's office and needed to be brought home. Even better, she cannot return to school tomorrow. Great, a sick SS two days before we are to high tail it on a drive we are already dreading with her moody highness.  P took one for the team, again, missed half a day of work, and is on nurse duty tomorrow.  The things we took for granted when I was home with our tiny bundle of ever emerging crises.  SS's never ending cold is the reason for her vomiting. P medicated her, and we are crossing our fingers that SS is in a good mood Friday morning. I am willing to leave at midnight if it means that SS will sleep a big chunk of the drive.  Not sure if P will be agreeable to that plan. 

How did she manage to look bored with a mask on?

Tough super hero walk.

Don't even think about getting near my candy!