Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011


Could use your prayers....those of you who don't read our other blog....

Adoption Blog

Thanks friends

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Zoya has perfected the word "sorry." LOL! This "sorry" was right after she was playing with the folding door and I asked her to stop so she wouldn't pinch her fingers. Once again she started playing with it and I said, "Zoya do NOT touch!" And she ever so gently, while staring me down, reached out and touched the door with one finger and looked at me like "what-do-ya-have-to-say-to-that-mom?" So this is her "after time-out" apology. She says it and signs it (sign looks more like "please" but its her "sorry").  It's funny she has started saying it on her own, like she does something she knows is wrong she'll say "sorry" real fast. She is somethin' else this girl!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Zoya Talks about Her Day at School

Zoya FINALLY made it back to school today!! She has a little bit of a cough, but feeling MUCH better and was so very excited when she heard she was going to school! Shawn took her and he said she ran over to one of her teachers and acted like she couldn't care less about saying goodbye to him! haha.She was so happy to see "B" and "Nana" and all her friends! 

This video was taken when Zoya got home from school. We started a little communication page that her teacher fills out so I know a little about her day. It's so nice to be able to talk to her about her day and know what she did.  So this is after I read her page to see how her morning went.  She had been out of school since last Friday, so I expected her to have a little trouble following directions. Overall she did fabulous today, except her very first school time-out...which whipped her right into shape! She was not listening well so her teacher needed to use time out to send her a little message, and it worked :) I love that her teacher has high expectations for her and doesn't let her "Down Syndrome" be an excuse for poor choices.
She knows Zoya is capable of behaving well and she holds her to that expectation.  It makes me laugh seeing the way she looks away when I ask her about time out.  Then she says her version of "uh oh."

You can also hear her counting a little in the video. One of her favorite things to do at school is be the calendar helper and count the numbers.

We have noticed positive changes since Zoya has been in school and she is so happy when she comes home. It's almost like she is proud to be going to school....we can see that it makes her feel like a big kid and she thinks she is so cool! (She is :) ) Her speech is improving since being around typical peers, and she is interested in trying new activities with less anxiety. So proud of our big girl and all she has accomplished!!

A little info on our "time out technique"

We use our own version of "1-2-3 Magic" which is a behavior technique (and her teacher is using the same form at school). Basically if you give a directive that isn't being followed or your child is not listening/making a poor choice, you start counting 1-2-3. If you get to 3 they have to take a time out. The wording the technique uses is "1-2-3, take 5." We adapt it for Zoya and give a little more time in between each count and might look something like this:

"Zoya come here" (and then wait for 3 seconds)
(and if she doesn't comply) "Zoya, that's 1, please come here." (wait)
(still not complying) "Zoya, that's 2, you will have to go to time out if you don't listen, please come here." (wait)
"Zoya 3, go to time out."
(the funny part is she always complies when i say go to time out! haha)

I love it because it takes the frustration/emotion out of it and she always knows to expect the same consequence. It also gives her two choices: listen or go to time out. We use it a lot, and she responds VERY well and maybe only 1/20 times needs to go to time out. Her teacher has been using it at school and says Zoya responds very well to it and today was her first trip to time out (the first time the teacher actually got to 3). Zoya listens very well IF she knows she can't get away with her little tricks and IF others have high expectations for her.

The actual technique says children should go to their room for time out, but we don't do that. We do a time "in" where she can still see us but we are not interacting with her and she is missing whatever activity was going on. She sits for 2 minutes (we use the bottom stair for her time out place) and then apologizes and always a hug/kiss and a reminder why she had to go to time out.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Crawling Out from this Dark Hole!

Well Zoya has been out of school for a week and sick for 7 LONNNNNNG days. This is by far the worst virus turned bacterial infection to ever visit her little body....poor girl. She's had every symptom you could imagine from vomiting to intestinal "issues" to sneezing and wheezing and coughing and hacking and swollen eyes, red throat, runny nose, stuffy nose, rattly chest, barky cough and more :( She's been pretty miserable. She's getting cabin fever for sure! I thought on Monday we took a turn for the better as she seemed to be making some progress, her fever from Saturday/Sunday finally broke and she seemed to have a little more energy...still not great by any means, but some improvement. So I thought for sure Tuesday would be better.

She woke up Tuesday very early with an awful cough and was just downright miserable. She was so phlemy (is that how you spell that??? LOL) and kept choking on it and was afraid to cough.  She had an apt. to get her new Sure Steps (SMOs) so we did that quick then drove around and let her sleep until it was time for her ENT appointment (routine checkup for tubes).  I knew this appointment was coming up so I was happy she'd be able to see the ENT and see what he thought. By this point I knew her virus had gotten stuck in her tiny anatomy (characteristic of Down Syndrome) and had turned bacterial (I partly knew bc she was only getting worse, not better, but she also had the WORST BREATH EVER). He agreed that she needed an antibiotic as it looked like she had a sinus infection and throat infection (remember we were just at the pediatrician Friday and she looked perfectly healthy in her ears/nose/throat). Oh and guess who was a champ with very little anxiety at her ENT appointment? She was even hamming it up and used her Darth Vadar voice to say hi to the doctor. She was intrigued by his blue gloves and even avoided the much hated "throat stick gag" by opening wide enough several times for the doctor to see her throat LOL. So proud of my girl.

I'm happy to say she woke up this morning seeming a bit more like herself after 2 doses of the antibiotic. She has an awful hacking cough but at least she is getting the phlem up and not choking on it like she had been. She's watching baby signing times, which has been her only wish through this sickness (funny because we haven't watched that in a very long time, but I guess she remembers it comforts her and makes her happy, so I'm more than happy to oblige). Hoping she can get back to school Friday and she won't have lost too much of the progress she's made as far as the school routine. 

Oh, and guess who woke up sick today? Yep that would be this Mama :( UGH!!! I thought my body was fighting it off, but I guess between the lack of sleep and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches paired with tortilla chips and salsa for dinner weren't enough to keep me healthy...who would have known?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Preschool Germies and Doctors :(

Zoya has had a tough start to preschool. She is usually very healthy and I can count on one hand how many times she's been sick since being home. We kept her home last year and had a sitter come to the house for many reasons, one of those was to give her body a chance to heal and build up immunities after orphanage life. So now that Zoya is in preschool she's being exposed to all kinds of germs and her poor body is not liking it!

Last Friday I kept Zoya home because she woke up with a little cough (no big deal) but then she threw up on me a little :( She hasn't thrown up since VACCINATION NIGHTMARE of May 2010...so definitely not normal for her. She bounced back by the next day and went to school Monday and Wednesday and then Thursday night she was throwing up again. Poor thing. Thursday night she woke up at about  11:30and threw up about every hour until 4:30am. She was pitiful. Even being so sick she was the sweetest thing. We kicked Daddy out and told him to go downstairs because he had to work in the morning (although he did go to the store to get medicine and then came running upstairs when he heard Zoya crying and me trying to find the light and catch her vomit all at the same time...TMI?). She was also coughing a lot and sounded very congested but was afraid to cough because that made her throw up...so that made things even worse.  After getting sick at about 4am, I put her back down in our bed and layed down next to her. She put her hand on my cheeck and said her scooby doo version of "I love you." At 4am after being up all night that made my heart so happy. She just kept looking at me smiling through it all. I loved how she needed me and my Mama-love made it almost all better! Today she woke up happy as could be but had a fever that has gone up over the morning. She's taking her second nap of the day and hopefully she will start feeling much better soon!

Yesterday I took her to the doctor just to make sure there was nothing more going on than a bug because she can't really tell me if her ears or throat hurt. Also we've had some concerns about reflux lately and wanted to talk to the doctor about that. Over the last month of so Zoya has not been wanting to eat and gagging on her food sometimes, which has NEVER been an issue before. She has been waking up here and there gagging and when we check on her its almost like she might throw up (never does) or is choking. She gets hiccups 5-6 times a day sometimes too, which has always been the case with her. She also goes through periods where she coughs throughout the night-a dry cough. Soooo, the doctor wants to try her on Prevacid and see if that helps some of these symptoms, if not we will go through some testing to see whats up. The doctor thought she just had a little bug and some big reflux. (But at that time she didn't have the fever yet)

She has a follow-up appointment with the ENT Tuesday to get her tubes checked, so I'm glad they can take a look again and make sure nothing more is going on (like an ear infection or something) since she started the fever today. She also gets her new Sure Step orthodics Tuesday as well! She outgrew her other ones. When she came home her shoe size was a 2...she is now up to a 6 and will need a 7 with the braces.

She was at the dentist Thursday morning and did a fabulous job. She has gone twice before just for a real quick check and teeth count and "get to know the dentist" type thing. Shawn took her both times and she did NOT like it either time. So he was not looking forward to taking her this time. So we made a deal, I told him IF he takes Zoya AND Laina for all the bloodwork they need for the rest of their lives, I will take them to the dentist! LOL. I can deal with anxiety better than I can deal with watching my child be poked and be in pain :( So he laughed, but since I took Zoya the deal is on! She cried a little bit but was so brave and let them clean all her top teeth as she just laid there watching videos on my phone. She even wore some cool sunglasses! Then she thought she was done and they hadn't cleaned the bottom yet so she started crying but easily calmed herself down, which she NEVER would have been able to do months ago! She's making so much progress with the anxiety! In the past if she would have started crying at the dentist or somewhere else, she would not have stopped until we left...this time she calmed down and then charmed the entire office staff and didn't want to leave :) She even stopped by to visit a little boy having some cavities filled...he didn't mind :)

We have a new strategy for her anxiety called "take a deep breath" :) and I started it with her not really thinking it would work but its working amazingly well! She even does it on her own when she starts getting upset and 9 times out of 10 it keeps her from getting really upset or crying! She puts her hands above her head and takes a deep breath. This has been helpful to me because she will do it sometimes when I don't even realize she is feeling upset or anxious, so that has been a clue to us that she is feeling some anxiety. She initiates the deep breath on her own a lot and will do it easily if I remind her. In the middle of her crying I can say "take a deep breath" and she stops crying to take the deep breath, and then it's enough to calm her down. Whereas previously we would have had tears for hours sometimes. Yay for progress!

Here's hoping my little girl feels better soon!! And no more germies!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Some Videos of Miss Zoya

A cute little girl named Izzy is missing her friend Zoya and has requested some videos....so here ya go sweet girl (and the rest of you LOL).

This is a little video of Zoya helping to take the dog for a walk. She looks like such a big kid to me here and the way she sways her body she looks so confident and like she just knows how cool she is HA! It's great!
You can also hear her "no" to my kisses request, which I hear a hundred times a day for any old request I might have...but she always give in in the end! She's also the kid who is doing what you asked all the while saying "no." That's my girl :)

In this video you can hear  Zoya tell how old she is and hold up her fingers :) She also keeps asking for movies on my phone, which means videos of herself...she doesn't quite understand when I hold the phone up to take a video that she can't watch it until we make the video LOL. You can see her sign her version of "computer" which means she wants the iPad (her videos are on there too). She keeps trying to look behind her because she knows the iPad is in the living room and wants it!

There ya go Miss Izzy....a special post just for you! Zoya says HI!

Monday, September 12, 2011

No Thank You!

I recently taught Zoya to say "no thank you" instead of "NO!" Sounds like a good idea right? She says no and then signs and approximates "thank you"...its so darn cute. What could be bad about that? Let me tell you....

Me: "Zoya eat your dinner"
Zoya: "No Thank You" (big smile)

Me: "Zoya go potty"
Zoya: "No Thank You" (big smile)

Me: "Zoya pick up your toys"
Zoya: "No Thank You" (big smile)

She is so darn proud of herself when she says "no thank you" because she knows she's being so polite....time for sister to learn when saying "no thank you" is NOT an option :) She is one smart cookie!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Oh How I Love Her!

This is a random blog post about Zoya-girl! Here is a video I took this morning when I got her up for school! Told ya I wasn't lying about how much she loves her Uncle Bub! LOL. And she did get to wear her blue shirt right until Daddy got her fish oil all over it (he says it wasn't his fault)...so we had to do a last minute switch to pink! Oh well. And all the things on her floor? She threw those out of her crib at some point during the night! See the beauty I get to wake up to every morning? So blessed!

This video is Zoya using her iPad to watch videos of herself.  I was so happy that I found out how to put these videos on the ipad because Zoya seriously LOVES watching them and I can use it as a reward for her! She will do ANYTHING if she can watch her videos as a reward!  I'm also excited because we are making lots of videos of the three of us and videos of us talking to her and she will be able to watch those when we are gone for Laina's adoption! Check out how good she is at navigating the iPad! It amazes me.

And here are some random cell phone pics that I just love!
Grandma and Grandpa P. came for a visit and this is one of the only pictures I got!! Boo! But it's a cute one!

This was Zoya's first outing in big girl underwear (picture is from a couple months ago and Zoya is potty trained for the most part yay!!)

Beautiful girl ready to head to Buffalo as our good luck charm for our fingerprints!

Loves her Sesame Street t-shirt!...Ready for school :)

Feeding baby.....she loves doing this :)

"Leave me alone and let me eat my pickle in peace!!!"

She takes after her Aunt Jennifer with her love of pickles!

Zoya playing with her light box!

"This is AMAZING mom!"

Smoochin' her friend "Nee Nee" as she calls him!

Watching the trains at the zoo

Beautiful Ballerina!

How could you ever be sad looking at this beaming ray of sunshine?

More dancing...

"Hi Mom!"

Lovin' her baby!

Can't go anywhere without her purse and her baby!

Tweety Bird Shirt from Grandma and Grandpa P.

Biggest goose egg yet! I'm gonna start calling her "CRASH"

Eating DQ....even better she is sitting all by herself somewhere other than home! Yay!!

Pippy Longstockings :)

Head over heels in love with my Zoya-girl!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Conversations with Zoya

I love the little conversations Zoya and I have, mostly because they're so simple and sweet! And I'm really enjoying that we can have mini conversations with one another.  I told her when she woke up from her nap that tomorrow we were going to see Uncle Bub. She got real big eyes and said and signed "BUB?!?!" and I said "yes!" Usually Uncle Bub comes here so I was trying to explain to her that we were going to go in the car to see him at HIS house. I don't know if she understood what I was saying.  Anyways, an hour later Zoya was eating dinner and she said and signed "Bub" again and I said "yes tomorrow we will go see bub" and she said "happy." Oh I love her. I love that she could tell me in her own way that she was excited to go see her Uncle Bub. Then later as we were taking Mya potty Zoya looked at me and said and signed "Bub" AGAIN (this is why we don't tell her about visits with Bub until there is less than 24 hours to go to see him because she just keeps asking!) and I said "yes, after one more sleep you will see Uncle Bub." She smiled. The rest of the convesation went like this:

Zoya: (car noises)
Mama: "Yes, you're right we are going in the car to see Uncle Bub at his house this time."
Zoya: "Me, Mama" (then signs "together")
Mama: "Yes, Zoya and Mama are going together, are you forgetting anyone?"
Zoya: "Baby" (as she's holding her favorite baby)
Mama: "Yes baby can come too, but you forgot Daddy!"
Zoya: "Dada (pause), Zoya (pause), Mama (pause), Baby" (signs "together")
Mama: "Yes we are all going together."
Zoya: (looks at Mya) "Dog?" (in a questioning tone)
Mama: "No Mya is staying home."

And that was it...until 5 minutes later when I heard, "Mama, Bub?" Aiy!....Uncle Bub we are excited to see you tomorrow!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

2nd Day of School Pictures!!

As promised.....from the mama whose brain has completely turned to mush during this stage of the adoption process.....
This pictures shows all of my favorite things about my beautiful Zoya...smiling so big her eyes turn into crescent moons, her unique ears bending at the tops, and a genuine toothy grin! Love her!

Her backpack is so big on her (even though it's tiny) that she almost falls over!

Keeping her eyes open for this one!

Ready for her SECOND day of preschool....!