Monday, March 28, 2011

Adolescence is coming on strong in the Urban household. Boy do I feel unprepared.
There was a moment today that left two Urbans (one being me) in tears, in a public setting. I know I handled things all wrong, despite being halfway through with this great book:

I pray every day that I am not screwing up too badly. I often try to imagine what kinds of things my kids will say someday about their childhood. Is it too much to hope they will only remember the good things about their mother? :( I miss the days when they were super forgiving of my imperfections as a mother (and when they could be bribed with Tic Tacs and such). I am thankful for the friend who told me long ago that it is our imperfections as parents that should direct our children to their need for their Saviour. (Thank you, Kirsten for that nugget of wisdom)


Remember all the problems we had last summer with our floors? Well we are still living with no carpet or baseboards. The money we spent trying to seal our concrete, we found out much later, SHOULD have been spent installing a french drain around our house! It turns out that all the issues we were having were related to moisture problems. If we would have invested $35 in a moisture test in the first place, we would have saved ourselves about $10,000 in contractors fees, ruined carpets, cabinets, walls, and baseboards. And yes typing that out just made me want to cry all over again. I guess nobody we hired thought to do it, and we didn't know to ask. Ugh.

Anyway, looks like we are getting back a nice tax refund this year, and guess what we are going to do with it?

NOT fix our concrete and baseboards or replace our carpet! We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take another vacation this summer, and we all agreed that the floors can wait until later. :) My parents have offered to come up and bond with the three newest additions, while we take our big kids somewhere special. And the generous friends who gave us their time share in Virginia have offered it for the rest of the year. We would never turn down an offer like that!! Hmmmm. Where should we go?
We finally got a return call from the doctor while we were on vacation. He said that although the HIV test did come back positive, he is willing to allow Zoya to take a holiday from her medications. He felt it was worth trying, to see if her appetite will come back. I am happy to say that we have noticed a teeny tiny bit of an appetite increase. Not that she is necessarily eating like other children, but a couple of times she has actually asked for food, which is a first. Also, we have changed the tube feeding schedule around a little bit, mainly increasing her lunch and dinner portion, and discontinuing her morning feeding. I am thrilled to report that she hasn't thrown up in about three weeks or so. This is so huge. And the best part is she weighs just over 26 pounds now!!!

We are now seeing a dietician regularly, and tomorrow will be the second visit with a feeding specialist. We are trying to figure out the source of Zoya's food aversions.

June, my friend who is an NICU nurse, came up with a theory, and actually it makes the most sense out of everything that has been suggested. She said if Zoya was a preemie (which she was by 13 weeks), she would have been fed by naso-gastric tube, probably for several months. She said for this reason babies born prematurely in the US receiving intense feeding therapy in the first several weeks or months of their lives. Most likely this kind of therapy was not available to a little orphan girl, thus the aversion to food. Makes sense, doesn't it?

Regardless we are determined to figure it out, and we pray that the g-tube is just a temporarily solution to get her over the hump.

By the way, her cleft palate surgery is scheduled for April. If the surgeon feels she is healthy enough, we are absolutely going through with it. Boy it will be nice to have that over with!

I guess that's today's family update. Hope YOU are doing well!


KT said...

I think a vacation with your older kids is a fantastic idea! The memories you will create will SO outlast flooring!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't know what your budget is looking like but I'd go for somewhere in Europe. I would stick to the coastline (Italy, Greece, Spain, France, etc.) so nice beaches are still an option because the kids may not be interested in more historical or cultural experiences, although they do seem quite mature so who knows. Personally, I'd go for Greece. I went there when I was 14 and it's gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

I'm so so so happy to hear that Zoya is tolerating her feedings, not vomiting and gaining weight :). I'm glad someone is hearing and helping with her own special needs.

The food aversions could be related to aspiration episodes due to her cleft palate.

Please keep us updated.


JennyH said...

Sounds like Zoya is improving and on the right track. Hoping her surgery goes great in April.

Vacation with only the older ones? Sounds very nice. Does grandma know what she is getting into?! joking...kinda! I'm not sure my parents could handle Max for that long. Well, they could but they would be worn out!

Where ever you go I hope everyone has a blast. You have awesome friends to offer the time share again.

Shelly said...

It is so strang to me that you have to go to a dietian for weight gain, when i am going to one for weight loss. I wish i could give Zoya some of my extra pounds, wouldn't that be great! I am so glad to hear she is moving right along, it might be at a snails pace but its something.
I will pray for her to gain weight and be healthy enough for her surgery in April. The surgery alone i think will be huge in her eating habits.
It is great that you get to take you biological children on a trip, not that you wouldn't want to take the new additions. But it will give you much needed time with them that you might not always be able to give when you are home. Take lots of pics where ever you go, i can't wait to see! :)

Justine said...

Love the update! No time to comment on everything, but thanks for the book rec. You are the 3rd person in just a few weeks to recommend it to me. I guess I need to look into it. (in my spare time HA!)

Alice said...

Having adolescents is humbling. They will push you in new directions that is for sure. It is easy to get frustrated and discouraged, but hang tough. There are wonderful blessings, too! It is hard to explain, but they will amaze you and make you proud. If only we remembered the things we do right as clearly as we remember our mistakes.:)

Anonymous said... much going on. Happy that Zoya will get some reprieve. Hope that helps. Sawyer was on nG-tube for almost 1 year. He has typical kid kind of aversions but nothing really bad. (Ok...not necessarily what you want to hear)

So...summer vacation. I hear Atlanta, GA is a good place to visit. ;) No really, where are you going to go? How long? Oh so much fun!!!!!

Sorry your house is still giving you fun. But a vacation is much better than a french drain. I know because we've postponed vacations due to french drains and septic systems before.

Man, I've been dreading the teen years. I worry so much that I'll screw up royally. Actually, I worry that I already have and just figure it'll only get worse. So keep notes and give me pointers when you get it all figured out!

Take care....


Anonymous said...

Hi Charissa....
You have absolutely NO worries about your teens thinking you're a 'bad' mom. By the time they get through these teen years and become adults they will appreciate every bit of training they received. Your job is to not take it personally, because their new hormones are naturally! I'm thrilled you can go on another vacation. Just maybe I can fly out and assist your parents with the kids...b/c I'll finally be retired :-) Would love to visit with Marlita, too.
Love you all,
Aunt Sharon

Qadoshyah said...

Glad to hear Zoya is doing well!

Christine said...

I am sure you will have a wonderful vacation! How nice of your parents to offer such a gernous gift. :) I am glad to hear that Zoya is gaining weight-- her having her palate reparied will make things so much easier for her.