kaluga park

kaluga park

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wow!! End of July already?

Josh and I have had a great summer with the girls and Vasa--our head is still spinning, though.  My brain fails to function at full capacity each day--we feel like we have a newborn even though he is three--just by the way our body feels.  We are sleeping ok, but each day is full of physical and mental use--running after Vasa (where is he, now?), shuttling the girls here and there to camps and things with their friends, playing referee among the girls (she scared me on purpose--Addison), keeping baby gates up for Vasa.

Vasa continues to be such a delight.  He has a killer smile.  The girls have fun with him and think he is very funny.  He seems to take such joy in the everyday things still that we take for granted.  It's funny to still see him enjoy turning on and off lights, turning on the fan in every room, opening each drawer and cabinet, turning on and off the tv, brushing and brushing his teeth, loading the washing machine, ....  goes on and on.  We are trying to not let some of them annoy us at times.  One of his favorites is slamming each door as he enters each room.  Our hallways seem to echo the load slam.

Vasa is using the potty well--I'm thrilled.  He even goes by himself at times and we're working on standing and peeing--my walls have never been scrubbed more.  We are visiting all of the bathrooms in each establishment in town, so let me know if you need to know where the bathroom is if we are out together.  He loves to go when he is bored just to flush and throw away paper towels.

His dinner habits are getting better.  He is trying to stick to eating off of his plate and we are trusting him with a plate in front of him.  Two weeks ago he was still shoveling all of his food in his mouth at one time if you put it in front of him.  We trying hard to keep him from feeding the dogs at the dinner table.  Funny today--poor Oscar, our old dachshund, thought he was getting food from Vasa when Vasa shook a post it note at him--oscar quickly jumped and ran off like he had a piece of cheese or something.  Losing his sight and his patience--I feel like the worst mom b/c we are still having problems with Vasa and the dogs.  We have gone over thousands of times with him not to even touch Oscar and to gently with one hand pet Sparkle.  I try to still watch him  like a hawk around Oscar, but we thought he had learned a lesson about touching him.  Several weeks ago, Vasa got bit by Oscar--not bad, but he tried to pick him up or something when I went to put clothes away.  Today, I was helping the girls get school supplies organized and I hear Vasa mess with Oscar's crate.  I get up and the dog shrieks and Vasa shrieks.  Bitten again.  I have learned my lesson, I guess.  I got a lock for Oscar's crate when Oscar wants alone time and now I have kept the dogs outside or on the other side of the baby gate.  Vasa knows the rule--we have demonstrated and acted out and explained a gazillion times.  Feel like I spend most of the day doing this.  Yet, he can't seem to control his impulses yet around them.  Even tonight, I hadn't let him get near our other dog (sweet patient one) all day and she walked up tonight--Vasa with a big grin was so happy to see her and instead of petting her sweetly -one hand gently--I think I say it in my sleep--quickly pulled the hair on the top of her head.  I could have beat my head against the wall.  Please pray for us on that.

We are headed to the beach for a long weekend tomorrow.  We are hoping that Vasa does ok with the new environment.  We are looking forward to spending time with the girls and seeing Vasa's reaction to the beach.  Also looking forward to not having to say, "No kicking the dog, pet the dog gently like this, don't lick the dog, don't chase the dog, no barking at the dog, no pulling the dog's hair--it hurts."  We will stay far away from dogs this weekend.  Vasa will be the only "puppy" there.  He still likes to crawl around like a dog and bark at times, but I am so thankful I seem to be getting more regular kisses than doggie kisses now.

Feeling bittersweet about the girls going back to school-August 8-can't believe it.  The house will be a little quieter (less stimulation for Vasa--good thing) but I miss them when they are gone.  One of my babies starts kindergarten this year, too.  I think I am thoroughly confusing Vasa--I call them the pet name baby sometimes, so he keeps saying, vasa baby?  ava baby?  and I say, no, you are a little boy and ava is a girl, but you will always be my baby no matter what.  Hard to see babies start a new school year and be another year older.  Hard to start all of that homework again--I feel like it is my work, too!!  So far, I've made good grades, though!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Wow! A month already!

The time has gone by so quickly! The 15th was a month that vasa has been a part of our family. We feel a little like we have a newborn because of our lack of sleep. It's not all vasa-Allie has been a terrible sleeper since we got home. I'm now in her room begging her with my expression to close her eyes and go to sleep. She is in and out of our bed 2-3 times a night. She claims her bed is uncomfortable. We think she has "Jimmy legs"--isn't that what you used to call it? She is a kicking and a moving all night long. Vasa gets up usually around 3-walks into our room and sing songs mama, papa, then runs back to his bed. We'll get him back to sleep-sometimes we have to stay in his bed-then he hops out of his bed at 6 am-ready for the day but obviously still tired. I keep reminding myself that it can't last forever. Josh and I are both two people that need sleep.

We are hoping that vasa learns some self control at some point around the dogs. He has moved on from trying to hug them too tightly to kicking them when he passes by them and licking them on their tongues. Poor thing has been in time-in (kind of a time out) for kicking the dogs several times today. He seems to understand and I act it out each time, but he can't seem to resist the urge.

Vasa loves going outside. He can't seem to get enough of the barbie jeep and his ride on toys. He loves just the freedom of the outdoors. Even when he is dripping in sweat, there are many wails and temper tantrums when it's time to go inside.

The girls have been extremely sweet and patient--seem to be more patient at times than I am. At times I do feel like I'm going to lose my cool when he licks me for the tenth time that day (puppy kiss)Which I cannot stand and when he reaches in the toilet for example after he's peed in it. But, josh continues to remind me--we've only had him over 30 days or so-it takes time!!

He is making a lot of progress--seems like baby steps, but I know we need to celebrate th. The temper tantrums seem to be getting shorter. He is learning lots of words-maybe saying 20 or so consistently. He is feeding himself and not shoveling in like the nathan's hot dog contest. He is very affectionate with the girls and josh and me. He rarely has potty accidents anymore. He made it through the whole church service without us having to take him out. It's been a lot of fun to finally hear him talk and really understand him better.

A huge help has been all of the meals we've received. It's been so nice to not have to worry about cooking. We continue to love seeing the joy and excitement of life--experiencing some of his firsts--pool time, dairy queen, playing in the rain-so special. Helps a little with the sadness for him and us with missing some of his childhood.

Monday, July 11, 2011


slow down, calm down

Hard to tell a 3 year old slow down, calm down, in our household full of 3 other girls--we have a stimulating environment with just me and Vasa at home.  Poor thing hears these phrases and no more than any other phrase--trying to add in good job, good boy, sweet boy, love you in the mix, too.

We are enjoying Vasa--trying to remember the little details of it all each day.  One day, we will laugh about some of it!  Vasa likes to run everywhere, so slow down and walk are quite common.   One of my dogs sees it as an invitation to chase him when he runs, too--only problem is Vasa sees it as an invitation to give her a bear hug and pick her up by the head.  We are still working on how to act around a dog.  My older dog has not been a big fan--he tries to hide out.  He is one of those dogs that wants to sleep and be left alone most of the time and Vasa can't seem to understand that.  Horribly, after bite # 2 from our older dog (I have tried to be so careful)  I think he has figured it out.  Don't turn us into family services yet.  

Just as I'm writing this Vasa has knocked a picture off of the wall and it has chipped a piece of the trim off the baseboard.  Welcome to life with a 3 year old boy.  We have had a lot of fun, but have definitely been kept on our toes.

Calm down--something we say at least once a day when he is chasing the dogs or can't seem to be interested in anything but running.  Knew to expect this b/c of baby home's kids normally getting overstimulated easily.  We've tried to have "down time" but it is sometimes hard to do when he won't read a book, watch tv, or sit for more than a minute or so.  He sees it as a punishment at times to be stuck w/ mommy holding him to calm down, but it seems to be the only thing that works.  

The girls have been very sweet and helpful.  They love to try to teach him words and teach him how to dance to their music.  They have only let out a little Vaaasaaaa when he turns off the tv when they are watching it or whatever.  We have to look at each other and laugh when he constantly acts like a puppy or jumps up and down with excitement over things.  

He did so well forth of july-we went to my parent's river place for the weekend.  He actually rode on the boat and tube and loved the fireworks.  I was a little bit tightly wound at the river worried that an unlocked door or porch would be found by him and we wouldn't know it.  We turned the door chime on so that helped.  I didn't see him on his air mattress one night around 2 am and freaked a little thinking he might have figured out how to go outside, but after searching for him a few minutes I found him on the floor beside the air mattress asleep.  

His eating has been ok--he has become picky all of the sudden, but he still eats pretty ferociously when he has something he likes.  We think he has put on about two pounds and his face looks much fuller to me.  He is sleeping well.  We have cut the nap out, but he is still up most mornings by 6:15.   seems really early.  But without the nap, he easily goes to sleep around 7.  

He still prefers to speak russian.  He knows about 10 words or so that he says consistently, but he seems to understand everything we say (for the most part).  Our least favorite russian word has become ni casool--meaning I didn't say--I think the 2 year old english equivalent of no--example--time to potty "ni casool; time to go inside "ni casool".  He is coming along great on the potty.  He is 3 1/2, but he is kind of like a newly trained child--goes just when we take him and ocassionally tells us--mostly out in public when he wants to play in the bathroom.  We've had a few accidents, but mostly our fault for not taking him in a reasonable amount of time.  

Well--time to go.  He is drinking out of the dog bowl.