Sunday, January 27, 2008

Things are looking up...well, sort of

Well, things really are looking up from a Gracie stand point. She's starting to come out of her funk. Yay!! She's walking better & the drooling and scratching are a little better. Also, she's back to babbling again. Before all of this started she was starting to string sounds together to almost form words. But then this regression hit and she just got silent again. Well, she's starting to babble again, this morning she was walking around going, "mum, mum, mum, mum." She's probably just practicing her "mm" sound but I'm going to believe it's the start of saying Mommy!

The big thing we've got to work on with her now is keeping her finger out of her nose. She discovered it recently and apparently, it's a good place to just park your finger. Who knew? Only, of course with Grace, everything has to be a bit different. She not only sticks her finger up her nose past the middle knuckle, but she digs around until the bottom half of her face is covered in blood. That's right, she picks till she bleeds. Yuck! But that's my girl. Never content just to let peace exist for a while, always on to something else.

As for the boys, well, there's good and bad. The good is that Caleb went pee pee on the potty!!! Yay! Big celebration! If I could get him out of diapers then I'd just be down to Grace! He was so proud of himself. He was sitting on the little potty up in my bathroom & I had gone downstairs to get a new diaper. I was on the top stairs and could see right into our bedroom when here comes Caleb, hobbling along, pants down to his ankles yelling, "PEE PEE ON THE POTTY!!" Then he did this little hop, skip dance and promptly fell down on his tush. Since then he's been telling everyone he sees about the potty. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Maybe by summer Gracie will be the last one in diapers. What will I do with all my free time?

The only bad news of the day comes for Zach. Those of you who know him know that Zach has a habit of developing very strong attachments for the weirdest things. Recently it's been a starfish (yep, a real dead starfish) that he found out Hobby Lobby & convinced us to buy for him. He's been carrying this thing around for months. It sleeps next to him on his bed. He gives it little drinks of water. He prays for it at night. And one night we were up for hours trying to explain to a very distraught and tearful Zach why God didn't make all of his "guys" (the thousands of stuffed animals--and starfish--he has packed into his bed) alive when he prayed for them. Maybe we've had one to many reading of the Velveteen Rabbit.

Anyway, Steve and I went out last night (saw The Bucket List, it was excellent) and Mom watched the kids. So we got home and the kids were still up. Not unusual because when we go out we leave early so that we can be home in time to put them to bed. Well, this time Zach was crying when we came in the door. Apparently starfish had been left on the floor and Darby (our dog) snatched it up and ate all but one sad little starfish limb. Zach was beside himself. We had to save the afore mentioned severed starfish limb & then we spent this morning searching for a new starfish.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, a giant starfish doesn't sit well on a dog's stomach. This morning we came down to big puddles of partially digested starfish. Zach looked on while Steve cleaned it up yelling, "Is that my starfish?! Why did Darby eat my starfish?!"

Sigh, so now the kids are tucked in bed, the boys with their starfish, yes, Caleb has one now too, and Grace with her fingers, hopefully out of her nose.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Well, as you might have read in the last post, things have been a little rough here at Casa de Knipper. Grace has been in a major regression. And I mean Major. She's doing things she hasn't done in months -- stuffing her mouth again, her pinching and scratching is worse, more drooling, grinding her teeth, and collapsing to the ground whenever she doesn't want to go somewhere. She's had spells like this before but this is absolutely the longest it has lasted. The other day she followed me around the house head butting me. Now, it would be funny but Grace is a solid little thing. It hurts!!

I just hope she gets out of this phase before we go see her Developmental Doc. Every time we see the woman she lays something else on me. Last time, I thought we were going to have a really good visit. Grace was able to walk from the parking garage all the way to the office, and let me tell you, that's a big walk. Even Zach would have struggled with it. Ever other time we've had to bring the stroller, but Grace's walking had improved so much I didn't need it at all. So anyway, we get to the office and the nurse's go through the drill. Height. Weight. Head Circumference. Now Grace had just been in the ER the night before because she had a stomach virus and was dehydrated so she was a little reserved during this visit. So I tried playing with her to bring her around a bit -- bouncing her on my knee, swinging her upside down, really anything with fast, rough movement.

So the doctor comes in, frowns some at Grace and examines her. I told her how well Grace was doing with her walking and everything but it didn't really matter. Just as we were starting to leave, the doctor said we should start thinking about institutionalizing Grace. WHAT?! THE CHILD IS ONLY 3!!!

I left the office in a daze and sat in the car and cried. If we were going to do that we would have left her in China.

Anyway, her next visit with this doctor is coming up so I guess I'm a little worried about what bomb she's going to drop on me this time.

Oh well, among other things, we've started our home study for Sarah and are hoping to travel some time in the fall. Mom & I have even started shopping a little for her. It's weird because she's only a little smaller than I am!

The other news is that Steve has officially entered the race for Kentucky State Rep. Check out his site & blog if you are interested in politics.

Monday, January 7, 2008


Today is one of "those" days. You know, the kind where you wake up in a funk and everything is downhill from there. Nothing's really wrong. The weather is beautiful, about 55 degrees out--amazing for January, and the kids have been fine. Well, except for Grace. She has had several bad days in a row and it's starting to wear me down. She's not sick, hasn't had a seizure or anything like that. She's just being really, REALLY difficult. Collapsing to the ground when I need her to walk. Chewing on electrical cords. (Yes, you read that right, electrical cords. It's her new favorite activity. She crawls behind the furniture to find them--makes me CRAZY!) Scratching me, hitting me, biting get the picture.

It's not unusual for her to go through spells like this. She'll have several really good days in a row and then this. I know it will pass, we've been through it before, but it always worries me about what I'm going to do when she's older and bigger than I am. How will I pick up a 90 lb kid who falls to the ground because she doesn't want to leave the toy room? And then the scratching and hitting will really hurt. Argh. Most days I try not to think about it, because there's nothing I can do now & deeeep down I know it will work out somehow, but somedays, like today, it just wears on you. Add that to tomorrow when I have to go to the Medicaid office to renew her coverage, uggh.

But then there are little things that help you keep going. Like last night. Grace has been giving kisses recently, but normally not to me. It's hard for her because she really doesn't like eye contact or having anyone that close to her face. But last night I leaned into her and held real still. She twitched and blinked and turned her head away. But I just stayed there, not moving. Slowly she leaned forward, puckered up and planted the briefest kiss on my lips. Then she pulled away, gave her happy scream and started flapping her hands and feet. It made me melt.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Twenty years ago...

Steve & I went on our first date. It was 1988, the year of big spiral permed hair (for me, not Steve!) and the year I started dating my husband. We were seniors in high school and worked together at Van Leunen's (a little like K-Mart). As fate would have it, we were both working the register that day and Steve worked up the nerve to ask me out. Lucky for him I said yes!

So off we went after work to what would become our staple, dinner and a movie. Dinner was at Frisch's and the movie was "Fatal Attraction." Not exactly a great first date movie! But then again, we were both dating other people at the time...

Anyway, it must have worked because here we are, 20 years later. To celebrate, tonight we will have dinner (which Zach won't eat because it's pot roast), give the kids baths, followed by mopping up all the water they'll splash on the floor. Then put them to bed. Hopefully we'll finish up by 9:00 and then maybe we'll catch a movie on T.V. Hmmm, here we are, 20 years later, and it's still dinner and a movie, just with a little extra thrown in!

I can honestly say that 20 years ago this is not how I pictured life. My 17 year old self wanted the big job and the big house. Kids factored in there somewhere. But what I didn't know, what I never expected, is how much sweeter everything is now that we have 3 (soon 4) little people to share our lives with. I never dreamed I could love so much or work so hard. And thankfully, I have a man who knows what the the most important things in life are. And I'm sure the next time I'm looking at the faces of all those waiting children and find our 5th child, he'll be right there with me saying, "Let's go get them."