Monday, November 26, 2007

My daughter, the bag lady

Dasha is a well known bag lady. Wherever she goes, she tends to drag with her at least one of her several bags. Whether its the fuzzy russian one that Baba Liza sent, or the Victoria's Secret bag that Ira gave her (left over from a gift on Ira's birthday), she stuffs them full of odds and ends and drags them around with her.

I think this in in preparation for when she becomes a teenager. It is well known that women tend to carry a lot of odd things in their purses. I should know. I spent a year rummaging through them at the US Embassy. C'mon, do you really need to drag squid with you to your visa interview?

Speaking of which, Dasha just turned five years old. It's staggering to thing that our littlest girl...she really was our smallest child, born at 5 1/2 5. She will start school next year. I remember being able to hold her with one hand. She is quite an individual. You can never tell with her what mood she will be in next. Whether she is being cuddly, goofy, ornery, pouty, whiny, giggly, introspective or good, she will turn on a dime and try a different tactic on you. All in all, she has grown fairly independent at home. Whereas Kiril needs someone to entertain him, Dasha can play for hours by herself. She will play dolls or just sit there reading a book and making up songs. Dasha is fun.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

It's hard to say no.

For a long time, Misha hated the word "no". When you said it to him, he would get upset and do his pouty face. But, it was an effective method of getting him to not do something. Teaching him to sign it was a problem too. His fine motor skills are still lacking, so fine finger movements like that are difficult. Finally, about a couple weeks ago, I started to teach him by moving his fingers for him. Then one day I asked him a yes or no question and he signed no. Never mind that it looks more like 'bird' than 'no', we both understood what he was doing. Now I just have to teach him to use it 'cheese'. That is his current favorite word.

Misha was ill this morning. I think it's the first time I have seen him really sick. When I got him out of bed this morning he was more sedate than usual. Usually when I change his diaper in the morning, he is trying to crawl away to attack Ira or signing 'food', but this morning, he just lay there. Didn't even respond when I tickled him. Then I left him to help Kiril find a shirt. While I was down there, I put the wet clothes drying and more dirty clothes washing. By the time I got back upstairs, Misha was just barely walking down the hall when usually he would have followed us downstairs or gone to find something to play. When I passed him to put the hamper back in the bathroom, he just sat down and whined quietly. By that time it had gotten through my head that maybe he wasn't feeling well, so to test it, I picked him up and put him on the couch. He just sat there, lying against a throw pillow, poking his belly button. I wish I would have had a camera. He stayed there while I made breakfast. He ate a good breakfast and that seemed to cure him, cause a little while later he was starting to play.

It's tough when I can't communicate very effectively with Misha to know what he needs. Guess I need to study more signing and teach him some more.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Misha and the Shrink

Misha recently had an appointment with the UD'oh (Utah Dept of Health). One of a couple he will have in the next month. This one was with a psychologist. Basically they had him in again for observations to figure out how much he has progressed in the past year or so. Or was it six months...I don't recall.

Basically, we got to visit with the psychologist and have her do some diagnostics on the boy. She asked a lot of questions to us and to Misha. He answered some and ignored others and we had to translate the bulk of it. But he did really well. He was really curious and walked around trying to open cupboards and the door and so on. The really exciting bit was when, at the end of the visit, she drew a small bell curve and showed us where Misha is in comparison to other 2 year olds in his IQ range. It turns out that he fits in the lower end of the normal IQ range for 2 year olds (90% of 2 year olds fit into that range). That was very pleasing news.

We know he understands alot more than he can express. The signing helps and we all are learning to communicate better. He also seems to be edging closer to words. He has picked up a couple recently: "Up!" when he wants us to pick him up and "BBBBB-BAA!" (like a rasberry with Baa! at the end) for the russian word for tube(tru-BA). He recently got a cloth and wire frame tube that he loves to play in. So we'll see how he does.

I plan on adding photos here when we get a replacement for the camera that broke on the Mother-daughter retreat. Shame on you Ira for leaving it in the hands of the little ghouls (girls).

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Cognative thinking

It's quite a thrill when Misha picks up something new. Not only cause he is the baby, but because we just don't know what to expect from him. The 1p36 syndrome is uncharted territory, not only for us, but for the medical world as well. There just isn't any information that can tell us what to expect. So any forward progress is cause for rejoicing.

Misha has recently figured out that electronics are fun. He enjoys pushing buttons, the TV's buttons, the radio's buttons, my buttons. And belly buttons. Ira got him interested in belly buttons so he actively seeks them out. This makes his siblings laugh when he lifts up their shirts in search of the elusive bellybutton, but it makes the ladies in nursery blush a bit.

The other day, he was playing with a couple of wooden boxes that Ira bought and dropped a lid. As per the instructions from the speech therapist, I thought I would try giving him some complex instructions. I told Misha to pick up the lid and put it in it's place. He complied. I was slightly gobbsmacked. Then, a few minutes ago, he was engaged with pulling DVDs from the shelf. He walked over to a DVD laying on one of our end tables picked it up and carried it over and placed it on top of a row of DVDs on the shelf. Then with some prompting I asked him to do the same with one of the DVDs he pulled off the shelf. I was pleasantly amazed when he successfully pulled that one off too. Yay for Misha!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A Move

I decided to move over from my old blog site to this one. It seems to be the more popular of the two. Not that many people read my blogs anyway.

Misha is growing. He is tall and thin like Asya, but hasn't the bone density she was born with. We have an appointment with the Health Dept. in a week. They should be interested in how much he has changed over the past several months.

The Signing Time DVDs have been fun for him. He gets giddy when offer to let him watch one. He has picked up several signs from them and understands Russian and English versions of each. He has also interpreted or made up a sign of his own which we have yet to figure out. He points to his open palm with his index finger. It means something to him but nothing to us. Either we will figure it out, or we will have to make it mean something significant. The thing is, he doesn't show it to me, just Ira and the aunts, uncles, grandma, and grandpa. He also won't say "UP!" to me either without prompting, but will to Ira, grandma, and even Justin (a friend of mine).