Our FOUR Little Ducks (formerly Our Three Little Ducks :)~

I'm a mom to FOUR amazing kids, one of which was adopted from South Korea. Our family is wild and crazy, and REALLY LOUD but lots of fun. Oh, and my new favorite quote is: "HAVING KIDS IS LIKE BEING PECKED TO DEATH BY A DUCK." So so so true.

My Photo
Location: United States

I am currently a SAHM, but prior to leaving my job I was a labor and delivery nurse. I really miss work, but I enjoy being home with my kids (most of the time anyway!).

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Big News for Arie!

Well, today we had our "eligibility" meeting for Arie at the county's elementary school to see if he is eligible for their special ed pre-school. This will sound strange to some of you, but we were REALLY hoping he was eligible. We knew he would be close, but not sure if he would test low enough to qualify (but again, we knew that he wouldn't test well, so our fear was that he would just barely test out of it which would mean he wouldn't get the services he needs).

Anyway, he had to score low in 1 out of 5 areas to qualify and he scored low in 4 areas. So, next year he will go to school from 8am to 1pm and recieve special ed services, speech, OT, PT, and psych. It will be GREAT for him. Until then he will meet with the special ed teacher a couple hours a week. The goal is to have him caught up by Kindergarten so he can be mainstreamed into a "typical" class.

Ben went to this meeting and had a hard time hearing the results . I've been the one at most of the other evals/meetings/therapies because they are during the day, but this was a biggie. Basically there were 6 profesasionals around the table (the principal, speech therapist, psychologist, special ed teacher, and social worker). They had all evaluated him and had scores, and they took turns telling us what those scores showed. It was very hard to listen to... after all, NOBODY wants to hear that there child is delayed... but for Ben it was especially hard because he hadn't ever heard it from anyone other than me (relaying what others had said).

Anyway, I'm SO THRILLED that he will go next year! And his nunna (Elaine) is SO EXCITED that her baby brother will go to her elementary school.

It's been SUCH a long road, but I can see that light at the end of the tunnel now!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Phabulous Photography!!

I just wanted to post a link to a GREAT photographer. She did my maternity photos, and photos of Arie (a few are above). When you enter the site, click on "portfolio", and then "future little people". There are a few photos of me (1st, 3rd, 4th). Then go to "the adored ones" and the 4th down is of me and Arie.

She's in VA, so if you ever need a photographer, CHECK HER OUT at www.dominiqueattawayphotography.com

Monday, September 15, 2008

Yes, yes, I'm still alive... and we have a new baby!

Well, to put it bluntly, having 4 kids is KICKING MY ASS! I've been so busy, so the last thing on my priority list is getting on the computer. I have to fit eating in somewhere!

My new son, CIAN LEO was born late July. His name is Irish, and is actually pronounced "KEE-an". He is so sweet and he LOVES his siblings. He's 2 months old now, and is smiling at us and beginning to coo. Very sweet.

Two weeks ago we had a scare though. He developed a high fever and barking cough, so we went to the ER. He was immediately admitted, and they ran ever test under the sun. He had blood cultures and labs drawn, he was catheterized, and he had a spinal tap. After two days of IV antibiotics and negative test results he was discharged. Apparently it was all just a virus. Poor baby :( He's doing much better now.

Arie is adjusting well to his new baby brother. There has been NO jealousy really. I'm very proud of him. We've started the evaluation process to get Arie into the special needs preschool. We're fairly sure he'll qualify. Our final meeting to determine eligibility is in early October. The preschool would help him SO much, so our fingers are double crossed. Here's some shocking news: ARIE IS EATING LIKE A CHAMP!!! Just recently he has started eating pretty much everything. In fact, at some meals he eats more than Micah! I don't know what happened, but it was like a switch was flipped in him. It amazes me to hear him ask for food now. It's so wonderfully strange! He is such an angel. I hope the food battle is over for good. We wont have his feeding tube removed for a year or so though. We need to make sure that he continues to eat and grow before we remove it.

Micah and Elaine are doing great as well. Elaine is happy to have a new baby brother to play with, but she has put her request in for a girl. I've told her that she's going to have to be happy with three boys 'cuz I think we're done! Micah tells me constantly that he loves "baby Cian". He's finally ready to potty train (at 3.5 years old! ugh!), so HOPEFULLY I won't have three in diapers much longer.

I'm thinking about returning to work in January. With all the medical bills, money is tight. The LAST thing I want to do is go back to work, but I need to. I can only work once a week, but it's better than nothing. It will be good for me to get out of the house anyway.

I'm hoping things settle down soon. I'm sure they will. I REALLY need sleep. The baby still wakes every 2-3 hours, and Arie is still up for an hour or two in the middle of the night.

Anyway, it's 10pm, and I'm off to bed. Night night!

Thursday, May 08, 2008


So yesterday was Arie's 2 year check up. When he had his feeding tube placed in September of '07 ( just 7 months ago) he was WAY below the growth charts in height AND weight. He was in the 0% for both, and was malnourished (because of his refusal to eat).

As of yesterday, he is now in the 75% for HEIGHT, and the 45% FOR WEIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was TOTALY in shock! It's amazing what a little nutrition can do huh?!

Although he's doing a little better with eating, he is still tube fed one meal a day, and then fed 1/2 of his daily calories during the night. He will eat yogurt now, most fruit baby food, sweet potato baby food, and carrott baby food (all stage 2). He also likes chips and french fries (though I don't like to give him those).

We have our first appointment at John's Hopkins on June 19 to have him begin their feeding program. Their program is 2 months long though, and we don't live near there, so I don't know how we're going to pull that off yet. On the 19th he is just having his initial eval, so we will get the dates for the 2 month stay sometime around then.

(If you'll remember, we were going to do the Children's Hospital feeding program in Richmond, but they ar having lots of problems right now and their program isn't doing too well).

Anyway, I'm THRILLED that my little man is turning into a BIG man! His eating problems (and other problems) are nowhere near gone, but at least he's healthy now!

Friday, March 07, 2008


We found out today that we're going to have another boy!!! I can't believe I'm going to have THREE BOYS (and a girl) !!! AAHHHH!!! And it is MOST DEFINITELY a boy. In fact, Ben has been calling him "John Holmes". There was no mistaken those parts!

He's measuring well, and looks healthy. We took Elaine with us to the sonogram. Poor little monkey cried when she found out :( I can't blame her though... I would cry too if I had to deal with three little brothers.

Now we're on to the big task of picking out a name. We had our girls name all lined up ("Bryn"), but obviously we need to change it! We are open to suggestions if you have any.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Arie's developmental evaluation was today.

So today was Arie's second Early Intervention eval (he had when he was under a year and was about 6 months behing then). Quick history... Arie's Korean mom drank 2-3 shots of sojo per week. Not a TON, but after more research I have learned that poor nutrition can GREATLY effect how a fetus reacts to alcohol, and I'm sure that the nutrition status of his Umma (Korean mom) was not great.

I always see lots of "attachment" stuff in relation to international adoption, but nobody really EVER talks about alcohol exposure which is very common for our kids, and may be cause for lots of the problems I see and read about in the adoption community. PLEASE read below about Arie and, if your child was exposed to alcohol in-utero, read the CDC check list I provided. Let me quickly make it clear that I don't fault/blame Arie's Umma for drinking. I have never lived in her shoes, and I'm sure she did the best she could with the situation she was in. I, personally think that FAE/FASD/FAS needs to be talked about more in relation to adoption(assuming there are others whose children are coping with it) because it is a medical diagnosis, and not something to be ashamed of or something that needs to be hidden. Just my opinion.

Anyway, we have so many issues with Arie including:

-difficulty sleeping/ poor sleeping pattern
-eating aversion (as evident by his feeding tube :? )
-MAJOR hyperactivity
-clumsiness (he runs and falls, is off balance, trips, and basically just flits -about like a rabbit on crack :roll: ).
-irrational behavior/tantrums
-difficulty calming down from tantrums
-self harm such as hitting himself, pulling his own hair, scratching his face

All of this, once again, leads to a possible diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Effects (basically the same as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome without any of the physical features). We need to have him evaluated by a geneticist (from what I've been told) to get an official diagnosis, but he is probably still too young for that.

Here is a link for more info on Fetal Alcohol Effects or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder from the CDC: www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fas/fasask.htm

And here is a list of symptoms/signs from the CDC:
Small size for gestational age or small stature in relation to peers
Facial abnormalities such as small eye openings
Poor coordination
Hyperactive behavior
Learning disabilities
Developmental disabilities (e.g., speech and language delays)
Mental retardation or low IQ
Problems with daily living
Poor reasoning and judgment skills
Sleep and sucking disturbances in infancy

Ok... onto Arie. Well Arie (now 22 months) was assessed as falling between a 12month - 18m level, so he was shown to be functioning at a 15m level with global delays in social, gross motor, fine motor, speech, feeding. There were some things between 12-15m level that he couldn't do, and some between 15-18m that he could do.

They are going to do a PT eval because of his clumsiness and poor balance, but most likely all of that (and everything else) is due to attention/ lack of self-regulation/ hyper activity/ sensory integration.
So I guess we're in for lots of Occupational Therapy in addition to all of the Feeding Therapy (which includes speech, and Psych) that he's already getting. AHHHHH!!! :shock:

That's pretty much it. They are also going to test his hearing because of the balance problems, but I'm fairly certain the results will be normal.

He is such an energetic happy boy most of the time. I hope that I am giving him everything he needs to succeed in life. It's hard because I'm scared that I'm missing something. UGH!

Thanks for your continued prayers and support the past year +. It's been a bumpy road, but hopefully he will soon be getting all of the services that he needs.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Attention Mr. Pepto

Who's brilliant idea was it to make Pepto Bismol HOT FREAKIN' PINK??? Let's just think about this for a second. Your sweet little daughter is complaining of a stomach ache. After dragging your exhausted butt out of bed (where you've been laying for all of 3 minutes) you find some medicine that may or may not help, but will at least stop the whining for a bit. After giving your sweet child the brightly-colored-flamingo-pink-liquid you return to bed and fall fast asleep.

Fast forward to 5:00 a.m. In walks your sweet child saying that her "throat hurts" (huh? throat? What happened to "tummy"?) After pondering what to do for about 5 seconds your sweet child turns into "Reagan" from The Exorcist movie and projectile vomits ALL OVER YOUR BED AND FLOOR. Thankfully the sore throat is gone (because 5 year olds can sometimes get their body signals mixed up thereby thinking nausea = throat ache), but now you have a flourescent mess to clean up. After scrubbing the stains on the floor three times with LOTS of Oxyclean, the hot pink mess has finally turned into a nice subtle pale pink. At least it matches my room now.

So to the makers of Pepto Bismol, I would like to offer a suggestion. CAN YOU PLEASE MAKE CLEAR DYE-FREE MEDICINE??? Isn't that common sense???