February 16 2004

I think I am settling into some bad habits. Ann is home from work with the kids all day. I will eat a big lunch with them and a huge dinner. I work from home and for the past 3 years it has been the dogs and me. I am not used to Ann being here with me. Them being here has not really interrupted my working from home. It will be an adjustment. Then it will all change again as Ann goes back to work part time. We will have to figure it out again.

Katherine and Anthony needed to have blood work done this week for the pediatrician. Ann was going to go solo but could not find the blood drawing place. She came home and picked me up and we found it together. It seemed like an eternity waiting for them to actually get down to the business of sucking the blood from our children.

Katherine went first. I think that was the first time I've heard Katherine cry out in pain. OH MY! When Anthony heard her going he was starting to get cranked up, I think he is a sympathy crier. I took him further away, out of ear shot of his sister. He and I just walked around the place waiting for his turn. When Katherine came out of the little room, the look on her face was, "Good Gosh, what are you people doing? That hurt. I do not think we need a repeat of this anytime soon!". I gave her a big hug and just held her for a few minutes. Anthony was up next.

Anthony sat on Ann's lap. They tied the rubber band around his left arm first. According to Ann, the lady stuck him 2 times and could not hit a vein. No blood. Anthony was hanging pretty tough so far. Quiet, looking around, no big to do, yet. The lady said that she was going to get one of the other technicians to come and try. About 10 minutes later, 2 older ladies walked in. They tied up his right arm, looked for a few minutes and said "NO, can't do it". Ann and I were getting a little frustrated at this point. We had been at this place a little over an hour by now. My brother, sister-in-law and nieces were on their way in to town and Ryan would be coming home on the bus soon. The original technician said "there is one other lady that may be able to get the needle in and the blood out". We impatiently waited another 5 minutes or so. In walks a lady named Ann. No big smile, no big nothing. Walks up to Anthony, straps his right arm, has the original technician hold his arm while she looks for the vein. She finds it in about 10 seconds, grabs up the needle and poke, WAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, is what you hear from Anthony. She struck oil, drew 3 or 4 tubes, taped him up and we were on our way.

Both Katherine and Anthony have little bruises where they were punctured. Katherine complained about her wound several times to me and I just kissed it and said "You'll be ok". That seemed good enough for her.

One night, I am not sure which, both Katherine and Anthony woke up about 3 in the morning. Ann usually gets up with Anthony, she has the whole mother hearing thing going on. She says she can handle one at a time not both. So, Katherine woke up from Anthony's crying and needed some assistance. She came into our bedroom and attempted to summon me for Katherine. I am a heavy sleeper..... I hear her talking to me and telling me that she needs my help with Katherine. In my haze, I am petting Daisy, who had jumped on the bed right next to me. I keep telling Ann, I've got her, I've got her, go take care of Anthony. Ann is staring at me, waiting for me to get out of bed. I'm not budging, Ann repeats her request for assistance. I, again, assure her that I have everything under control. Ann then says, "You have to get up and go in Katherine's room". I kind of open my eyes and look at Ann and say "Who is this in bed with me" to which Ann replies, "Daisy". We both got a good laugh out of that. One the strange things that kept going through my mind was, why does Katherine's crying sound so far away if she is laying here in bed with me. Daisy got some good petting that night.

My brother, Tony, and his family came up from N.C. for a long weekend visit. They got in Thursday afternoon. Since adopting Katherine and Anthony our house has shrunk. We set my brother up in a hotel close to the house. The hotel had a pool and hot tub, indoor. We took Ryan, Katherine, Anthony, Patty, Ann-Marie and all the adults swimming. The pool water was cold, even though it was indoors. The hot tub was bath water warm. Katherine and Anthony, to my surprise, seemed to really like the water. I dunked Anthony under the water a couple of times and he was not phased by being submerged. Katherine is not that fond of having water in her eyes but hung tough all the same. One time, we were in the hot tub, I dunked Anthony and let go of him. I waited for him to float up, no dice, I had to fish him out. He just came up with a look on his face of "OK".  Katherine got in the big pool with her brother Ryan. I had to explain to Ryan that it was a huge deal. He asked why, I told him that she trusts him with her life. He said "OH".

It was great having my brother and his family visiting this weekend. He is the first of my family to come up and meet Katherine and Anthony. I absolutely love seeing my sister-in-law and my nieces. Patty's birthday was in January, while we were away and Ann-Marie's birthday is in February. We had a birthday celebration for them while they were here. It was great. Katherine did have a little issue with the gift giving. Pretty much everything that has had wrapping paper on it, that has been in our house has been for her and Anthony. Ann compromised by wrapping a small gift for Katherine.

We did have a great time visiting. Ryan got to play a lot with his cousin Ann-Marie. She is 7 years old and they really get along great. That is so cool to me because when we were kids we never play with or visited, to the best of my memory, relatives.

Patty is 2. She and Tony come to gymnastics with me and Katherine on Saturday. It was a blast. We did all the normal stuff. As we were heading to a different area in the gym for the next activity, I told Katherine to follow Mrs. Mary. As Katherine was walking, she was trying to Mrs. Mary's attention and said "Mary". I thought Mrs. Mary was going to burst. She knows that Katherine speaks little to no English and when she heard her name come from Katherine's lips she was all smiles. It was funny.

Ann and I have had many awakenings this week. I will not talk about hers, only she can.

As I have stated so many times, Anthony is Anthony. He continues to "Just be part of the family". No issues with attachment, confusion or any of that type of stuff. It would seem, in his mind, that he has been with us his entire life. That certainly makes transitions easier. The only issues are those that are typically associated with a 15 month old. He doesn't question anything that has happened with him, so far. At least there have no questions in his eyes.

Katherine has grown in leaps and bounds. Not in the physical sense. Emotionally and psychologically she has really, noticeably,  changed. She has made associations about parents. In our gym class there is black guy with his daughter, an Indian guy with his son and a couple of other moms with their kids. Katherine would just stare at the kid and the parent and would look at me and say "Daddy". I would say "Yes, that is his daddy". She would then ask if I were her Daddy and I would assure her that I am. There are countless things like this that seem to happen daily. She has also learned how to say please and what it means. Although, while pulling a toy away from Anthony she says please, not the best way. She is getting there. She clearly says ear, nose, smile, dog, Ryan, T for Anthony and Baby. There are many more words but I can't think of them right now.

I know that by writing this I am going to jinx it. We have had about 2 weeks of straight toilet time. No poopy pants. I think we had one pee in the middle of the night. Ann and I have been trying to give her space about the toilet thing. Ann instituted a Katherine Poopy Calendar. Included are stickers for the wall, stickers for Katherine and M&M's for successful floaters. It has worked. You go Ann! During all this, Anthony has sparked an interest in the toilet. I have been just sitting him on the toilet, diaper on. He gets a big grin on his face and after a minute or 2 I ask him if he is done and we flush. Maybe I will try him on it without a diaper and see what happens.

I can think of a ton of other stuff to write about however this is all that is going to make it this week. I will have to do it on a daily basis and then put it all together at the end of the week.

I am having picture publishing issues. I am going to break up the photos into several photo galleries. I am not sure what is going on.

© Bill Delmedico 2013