May 31 2004

We give thanks on Memorial Day that we live in a free nation and honor those who gave their lives for that blessing. They gave us the freedom to go abroad and add 2 beautiful children to our family. Thank you!

It has been a while since my last update. You can see, from the guestbook, that Ann is even chiming in now. So here is the update for the month.

The kids are doing great. Katherine is more and more vocal everyday and it seems that she learns a new word every hour. The pronunciation is a little rough but you can, for the most part, understand what she is trying to say. Word order is also jumbled. She is getting the words, that is important. She is even expanding words. She called Anthony "T" for the longest time. Now she calls him "AH T". It took us a while to figure it out, Ann was the first one to understand it. I have caught her saying a couple of 4 and even 5 word, jumbled, sentences. What I can tell you "She has a lot to say and is working really hard to get the words to say it". I do not think that she really had a big Kazak vocabulary, as stated. I had learned a couple of Kazak words and tried them on her while we overseas and did not respond. I think she has a great understanding of the physical language, more so then the verbal. She is getting the verbal rather quickly.

Anthony is also gaining in the verbal communications area. He has probably 25 words or so. He still uses grunts and cries as his main form of communicating. We are working on this at every turn. If he is thirsty and just stands and cries, we will say "Use your words Anthony". He will eventually say "Cup" with a little prodding. Diaper is a good word also. When his diaper is dirty, I will say "Anthony, Do you have a dirty diaper". He will usually nod his head, then I say "Get a diaper out of your drawer". He will get one and say "Diaper", I respond with "Yes". He really is growing.

We had our first post placement visit from our social worker. It was pretty painless. Jeanne came over for about 2 hours or so. Visited with us, the kids and Ryan. She asked a lot of standard form letter questions. She spoke with Ryan for a few  minutes to get his take on having a new brother and sister. She said that the kids appeared to be in wonderful health and good spirits. She sent us the letters/evaluation for the package we need to send to WPA. Not a problem. If you are reading this and wondering or worrying about your post placement, don't. This was by far the easiest part of the adoption.

We have a "Step 2" swing set in the yard now. Ann picked it up through an ad in the local paper. It has 2 types of swings, one for bigger kids and one for the "Not so talented swinger". The "Not so talented swinger" one has a seat belt and straps to keep the kids locked in. It also has a slide and a little play "Cave" under the deck for the slide. This kids love it. They can swing in that think for an easy hour. Just keep pushing. I give out long before they do.

Gymnastics are going well. Katherine is really into it. I think that after the summer, she will move up to the "Not Daddy and me" class. We will see how it goes. She is very strong willed when it comes to doing what she wants. I think some age and regular attendance will help with that. She always likes watching the older girls, they get to do bigger stuff. Katherine really wants to do the bigger stuff. It will come and she will move up when the time is right.

I have thought about getting Anthony enrolled. He likes to mimic Katherine moves around the house. It is rather cute. He will stand in the upside-down "V" and try to tumble. It usually turns into a "Fall to one side", we all clap and tell him "Good Job". He just smiles real big and does it again.

The baseball team is in 3rd place. We will have a chance in the play-offs if we remain in 3rd. Ryan is doing very well. He has made some awesome plays at home, tagging out kids stealing home. He has had some nice hits as well and his base running is really really good. I am very proud of him. He has come a long way from last year. This is due to being another year older, some good coaching (riding his butt) and his desire to be a little better at a game he really enjoys. School is also going well for him. Grades are good, attitude is that of a 9 year old (not as good as I would like, but right where it is supposed to be for 9). I of course will remind him of my expectations from time to time.

We had Sarge cremated and got his remains back. We just could not bury him, it didn't seem right. I never knew I could be so attached to a family pet. We have him sitting in the kitchen guarding the door. A little twisted, but it just seems right to have him in the house, in spirit and remains. I guess he is here to watch over "Murphy" the newest addition to the Delmedico household.

With that said, we have a new puppy. He is an Irish Terrier named Murphy. He is cute and is very much a puppy. Daisy had an issue with him for the first couple of days. She would not go near him or have anything to do with the kitchen while he was in there. One day we were in the back yard and Murphy finally let out a little bark, Daisy walked up to him, gave him a few sniffs and the rest is a story of bonding. It is funny to see Murphy do the things to Daisy that she used to do to Sarge that made him nuts. I think this is some type of payback from beyond the grave. She has had to put Murphy in his place a few times. She is the "Alpha dog" and he needs to understand that.

Anthony has learned that baby dogs have sharp teeth. Anthony no longer likes to stick his fingers in dogs mouths so quickly. He is a little hesitant, not a bad thing. Murphy gives Anthony a run for his money. We have been teaching Anthony to say "No" and push Murphy away if he gets to be too much for Anthony to handle. It works about 3% of the time. The rest of the time Ann or I will pick either Anthony or Murphy up, depending on what is going on. Murphy is learning the rules of living in the house with people.

Katherine will talk to Murphy and pet him from time to time. She is more ok with him then she was with Sarge. I think this has to do with Murphy's size compared to Sarge. Sarge was 100 pounds, Murphy is only about 14 pounds. She is less intimidated by Murphy. She will also say his name and tell him "Go Potty outside" and when he does "Good Boy".

The kids are just kids. Anthony seems to have no Orphan issues, I thing there may questions when gets older and understands more. Katherine is finding her place more and more everyday. I think it is settling in with her that "No matter what, this is her home and she is going no where". This has been a little rough with tests of patience and tolerance. It seems that when she realizes she is comfortable, she needs to create a little chaos to test the waters. Sometimes it has been a lot of chaos and sometimes it is just a little. I think we have really come a long way it that area. I know that my attitude has changed a lot as has hers.

I do not really have much else to say today so I will post the latest pictures and hope you all enjoy them.

© Bill Delmedico 2013