Sunday, March 29, 2009


So again I have disappeared from blogdom and I have been told that I'm disappointing my loyal followers. Rich, my apologies! But integrating a 12 year old into the family has been...interesting. :-) (In addition to all of the normal Knipper chaos - for example, I had to interrupt this update to watch Zach lose his first baby tooth!)

Anyway, since my last post we've had a birthday - Zach's sixth, Sarah started school, Grace ruptured an ear drum and had another seizure, and Caleb, well, he's Caleb. Oh, plus we've found a buyer for my mom's house which is the last step in the probate. YAY!

So, updates:
Sarah and School. It's going well. Better than I expected actually. Her English is still limited, but she's a trooper. She gets up every morning without a struggle and gets on the bus. She brings home a lot of math homework - Algebra in the sixth grade, a real challenge for my math-phobic brain! She is overall a very happy child, but it's still weird that I have a child who's old enough to stay home by herself when I take Grace to therapy and can wear my clothes. Very weird! Plus, I've found that a Mother/Daughter viewing of Twilight can facilitate bonding. Hmm, I guess hot vampires cross all cultures. Who knew?

Hmm, "V" for victory over the Americans? Is this our contribution to the world?

Zach grows up. He's six now. Almost impossible for me to believe. He's reading now, and as we expected from the beginning, takes after my dad with an aptitude for math and science. I'm surrounded by science geeks! AGGGHHH! Caleb is my last hope. Anyway, for his birthday he got a big boy bike, a wobble board, and stilts. Yes. Stilts. We officially have the Weird Child. (I can say that because I held the title when I was a child. Anyone who turns their ballet leotard into a life-size puppet for Dungeons and Dragons plus makes them for all of her friends, qualifies as weird.) His current interest, a hold over from last year, is butterflies. There's an exhibit coming up at the Krohn Conservatory so guess where we'll be headed in a few weeks.

Why yes, that is a short-sleeved silk Chinese outfit he's wearing outside in thirty-degree weather. Also, note the ribbons on the handle bars of the bike. Two deflated yellow and black balloons have now been added to the decorations. We're not allowed to remove anything.

Grace takes us on another ride. Last week with Grace was full of ups and downs. Monday started with a ruptured ear drum and Steve got a taste of my daily life as he had to take all four kids to her doctor appointment because I had a Crohn's checkup. Fun was had by all. NOT! She followed up that little episode with a fifteen minute seizure on Thursday that we had to treat with rectal Valium. YAY! Always fun to hold your seizing five year old and shove meds up her rear. She slept most of the day after that and woke on Friday with a bad fever. More fun! At least we can say Grace keeps life interesting. Hmm, maybe there's a correlation between the gritty reality of being Grace's mom and the reason I've started to write fantasy? Who knows.

That's right, Grace. Smile and wave. Smile and wave.

Caleb keeps on trucking. His speech has been really improving. Up until recently, Zach and I were the only ones who could understand him. Now about 2 or 3 other people can get what he's saying about 20 percent of the time! He's back to having a few melt downs, crying and temper tantrums and such (sort of like lions and tigers and bears, oh my!) but I think it's a reaction to a new family member, especially since she's older and Chinese. He still has a lot of fear about all things Chinese, and yesterday we went to a Chinese grocery store. Well, he was clinging onto me for dear life. Seriously, on a normal trip to Walmart he's running down the aisle with me yelling after him, "Caleb, come here!" but this time he was right next to me (or Steve) clutching my hand. While it was a little hard to walk with a four-year-old Chinese boy clinging to my leg, it was better than chasing him down the aisles of Walmart. Hmm, maybe I should shop there more often?

Don't let the smile fool you. Evil lurks beneath that cute exterior.

So this is what's been happening at casa de Knipper, and maybe now that things are approaching normal, (for us anyway) I'll be able to write more. Or maybe not, since it's taken me over an hour just to write this post! (It has been written in between teeth pulling, Chinese interpretation, downloading pictures and dressing a wiggling autistic girl.) AGGH.

Rich, I hope this lengthy post makes up for the withdrawal you've been experiencing and I'll do my best not to let it happen again!


Aus said...

Morning Stephanie - we'll - like Rich - I'm glad for the update! I've been waiting to see how Sarah + school was going! Good to see a fellow local is living the dream too!

hugs - aus and co.

Shasta said...

Hi Stephanie,

I was so happy to read your update. Figured you had to be really busy. It is good that school is going well for Sarah.

I am glad you found a buyer for your mom's house. Eric and I forgot to drive by after we visited you. Maybe the next time we come to see you, we will drive past the house.

I miss Sis so much!!!

Anyway, I look at "Little Knippers" every day anxiously hoping for updates. Keep them coming!!



Sharon said...

So glad you posted an update. I have been worried about all of you!

Glad to hear that Sarah is doing well.

Yay, Zach on losing that first tooth and Happy Birthday. (Brinley has lost FIVE teeth. Bailey has lost ZERO. You can imagine that Bailey is ready to yank her teeth out every time Brinley loses one!)

Grace is just keeping you on your toes isn't she? So sorry about her seizure. Love the picture of her. She is so cute!

I'm sure that given enough time Caleb will be Sarah's biggest fan. If we brought home another child Bailey would do the same thing. She would tantrum, withdraw and be a real bear to live with until she was comfortable again.

Hope you got a good report when you went in for your checkup.

Hope Steve is doing okay after taking four kids to an appointment. Bless his heart!