January 19 2004

I will warn you, there are a lot of pictures.

It has a week of unwinding and figuring out which way is up. Ann and I are still adjusting to reality. It has been really difficult to get back to what was once normal. Routines are all upside down. We are pretty much eating, sleeping, bathing and holding the fort down.

Ryan is so proud to be a big brother to Katherine and Anthony. He has put Katherine to sleep several times this week. He will sit on the couch and we'll get Katherine situated on his lap and out she goes. During her waking hours, she has been giving him a run for his money. She lacks a lot of what we have taught him. Manners, sharing, quiet play etc.... He seems to get a little frustrated when she does things that he KNOWS to be wrong or unacceptable. We keep assuring him that with our help she will find her way in our family. He seems content with that because it allows him to help with teaching Katherine some simple guidelines for living.

Most all of Ryan's friends have come over to meet and play with his new siblings. I am not sure how this makes him feel as we have not discussed it yet. My guess is, probably like a third wheel at times. The novelty of the new brother and sister will wear off soon and his life will be back to normal, whatever that is now.

Anthony has double ear infections. Ann took him to the doctor on Saturday, he didn't sleep well Friday night. They gave him all the medicine a child could need. He takes his medicine like a trooper. No spitting it out or making us force it down his throat. It is nice, no fuss no muss. He is certainly feeling much better today. He is sleeping pretty normal and a much happier boy.

Anthony's eating has changed. He is now eating regular food. Ann has been giving him the baby fruits, to get rid of them I think. He has enjoyed everything we have put in front of him with the exception of a pork chop. He put it in his mouth and spit it right back out. He only threw up once since we have been home, it was after a very cheesy pasta dish. The kicker seems to be "to much dairy and he puks". He has an appointment with the Pediatrician on the 2nd of February. Ann is going to discuss Anthony's diet from here on out. He is still on a bottle with formula and seems to do just fine with that. Interestingly enough, I found the same formula here at our grocery store as we were giving him in Kaz. I thought that I was not going to be able to find it here. That worked well for Anthony, no changes or experimenting with a new product to see if it is ok for him.

Katherine is a funny eater. She doesn't seem to like chicken as much a beef. That's ok, Ryan and Ann are big beef eaters. Katherine will do just fine if she hangs on their coattails. I put on our scale and she weighs in at 27.5 pounds. I know that when they weighed her at the clinic, in Kaz, and said she weighed 24 pounds, I think it was a conversion mistake. I do not think she has gained 3.5 pounds in 10 days. I guess it is possible but not probable. She eats one good meal a day and it seems that she just kind of picks at the others. It is also random, no particular meal just seems that she likes one good full meal and the rest hold her over. That's ok. She eats and eats good food!

We had so many wonderful cloths for Katherine and Anthony when we got home. Ann's and my family really took care of dressing these kids. They are set for cloths for some time. That was really great to come home and just start living instead of running around shopping for cloths and all. I (Bill) am not a good shopper. I do not like shopping. I guess I am your typical man, go in, get what I want and leave. No regard to price or sales. I know what I want before I go and like to limit my time shopping. I make Ann nuts, she likes to browse and bargain shop etc..... Ryan and I do not. She and Katherine will have a wonderful time at the mall. Me, Ryan and Anthony will enjoy ourselves here in the comfort of our home.

Anthony is not sleeping through the night. We are not sure if he did at the orphanage! I guess that was one question we forgot to ask. Some nights he is up for a snuggle and others for food. I am thinking that we have not figured out the food thing yet. He will eat like a horse and still be hungry. He is going to the doctor for his check up on the 2nd, maybe the good ole' doc will have some advice.

Katherine in not afraid of the dogs anymore. She will walk up to them and pet them. They are still a little nervous about her. It is funny to see the dogs hide from the kids. Daisy is getting warmer to Katherine. Sarge still doesn't know what to do. Anthony continues to terrorize both Sarge and Daisy. Daisy has a thing for ears. She thinks it is her job to keep everybody's ears clean. Once she gets started, it takes a clean ear for her to stop. She started in on Anthony and was relentless. Anthony took it for a few minutes, then grabbed Daisy by the beard. This did not stop her, only slowed her down a bit. Poor Anthony.

Ryan seems to be doing ok with his brother and sister. He says he feels a little left out because everybody comes to see the kids. I told him that this will wear off in a couple of weeks, don't sweat it. He is outside playing with his friends today and is loving life. I think that our 9 year old has been doing a little regression though. He will play with all the baby toys and I actually have a picture of him in Anthony's high chair. Ryan is a great kid. He has been helping with everything except changing diapers, he told us that was the one thing he would not do.

I have gone back to work full time. I work from home, been doing this for about 3 years. It is strange having Ann and the kids around during the day. It used to be so quiet and now when I walk out of the office, there they are. I will get used to this in time. The phone conferences should be interesting. I told Ann, I can sit in a closet and do the phone conferences. We will figure it out. Ann will be going back to work in March, part time. It will all change again.

One more thing! Katherine is pretty funny when it comes to nap or bedtime. If she is not ready, she will Say "No, No, No"! It is frustrating sometimes. There are other times she goes from full throttle to stop and cry because she is dog tired. We have been trying to get her to sit still and read a book. No dice. Tonight, Ann was out so I had to muster the troops for bath and bed. Anthony was a crank today. Nothing would make that boy happy. After baths for all, we played for an hour or so on the living room floor. Anthony likes to tumble over you while you are laying on the floor. He must have done this a half dozen times. The last time, he just kind of plowed into me and stayed there. I started patting him on his bottom. About 2 minutes later, he was out like a light. No bottle, no rocking, no total darkness, just laid on me and crashed. He was tuckered. I put him in his crib.

I told Katherine that is was time for Ryan to go to bed and asked if she would help me tuck him in. She said "Ya". Off we went down the hall. I told her to hop in bed with Ryan while I get his book. We are reading a GooseBumps book. She hopped up on his bed and crawled under the covers. I read 3 chapters and she just laid there listening and fidgeting with her doll. When we were done I said "Give Ryan a Kiss night night", she did and we were off to the couch. She went out in under 5 minutes. I was really impressed that she laid and listened to the story.

When we first met her in the orphanage, she would flip a book from front to back in 3 seconds. We finally took control of the page turning and slowed it down to about 1 minute a book with no reading. Now she just laid and listened. We will see how it goes next time. One of the finest things about parenting has been reading to and with Ryan for as long as I can remember. He is 9 and still likes when Ann and or I read to him. Katherine was impressive tonight. She still has the attention span of a 2 year old but seemed to like laying with her big brother getting a story read to them.

I will post this with the pictures I have taken over the past week. I will solicit Ann's input and maybe she will put her 2 cents in later.

The kids are doing fine and we are adjusting, slowly, back to life in the states!

© Bill Delmedico 2013