Day Nine (moved blog entries)

Billy just left to take the kids to their CCD classes at Our Lady of the Springs. If it wasn't for Billy taking them, we probably would have skipped this year. LOL! As I posted on another day, we're far from religious and my personal views are agnostic. We wanted our three to at least be baptised Catholic so we could all be the same religion after we adopted them.

I had started a blog of sorts on the adoption board I run and I've been wanting to transfer some of the posts here, so here are a few that I didn't want to forget.

Here's the first one:
We were in Home Depot shopping about a month ago. Jacqueline was with me, while Cimion & Shawna were walking with Billy. At one point we were in an aisle for quite a while and she noticed a pregnant woman. Jacqueline kept looking at her while she started to move closer to me. She wrapped her arm around my hips and put her head against my stomach and just looked at the lady. I didn't say anything, I just rubbed her back and arm, slowly and lightly. After a while she looked at me and asked me why I never had a baby. We'd never had this conversation before and I didn't expect to be having it in Home Depot. LOL I told her that we had decided early in our marriage that we wanted a few children and that it wasn't that important to us if they were biological...which is 100% true. She then said that she wished, I would have given birth to her. I smiled at her and told her that would have been very nice. It was a very intimate, quiet kind of moment...in the aisle of Home Depot on a Saturday afternoon.

Here's another one:
Burning the midnight oil...
Last night Shawna and I were in the family room, she was reading, I was on the computer. Between 10-11:00, everybody started going to bed until it was just us two still up. She is not normally up this late but I'm trying something new in regards to her night terrors.

Anyway...she was reading The Foal in the Fog, a chapter book that is listed as a 4th grade level. About 11:30, I asked her if she was tired and she said that she was a little tired but she really wanted to finish the book. I know that feeling...the feeling of enjoying a book so much that you don't want to stop.
When she was in school, she was consistantly 2-2.5 years behind in reading. She had been an ESE student through most of her school life and I often wondered why her reading level wasn't improving. When she was in the 3rd. grade (reading level was 1st) I noticed that she was being made to read 3rd. grade books in her ESE reading class. She was getting frustrated and often declared that she was "no good at reading" and that she "hated it". I asked her teacher why they weren't letting her read on her level. She said that even though she was an ESE student, they had to teach them on grade level, not the level they were actually on.

When I took her out of school, I made the mistake of copying the same failing formula as the school but luckily for her, I realised what I was doing before any more damage could be done to her.
I bought a bunch of 1st. grade books, and told her they were on the shelf for her for whenever she wanted to read. I didn't bother her about it (and it was hard because she wouldn't even look at a book when I took her out of school) Slowly, she started reading.
Because she was given the freedom to read at her level , she started to feel good about reading.
Because she started to feel good about reading, she wanted to read more.
Because she wanted to read more, her reading level improved.

She finished her book at about 11:45 and proceeded to tell me about it. She told me the sequence of the story line, told me about the characters and also what she thought of it. She ended with telling me "I love reading". It was a few minutes until midnight and I know she had never been up this late. I told her that in a few minutes it would be the next day and she thought that was so cool! She stayed up looking at the clock, waiting for midnight and then went to bed.

And another:
My youngest daughter Jacqueline (just turned 7 a couple of weeks ago) loves the
Between the Lions website. This is the site for the PBS show. She loves the site because of the songs. They play the songs and show the words and in some songs, there is a video. So anyway...about 10:00 last night, she goes on the site and plays the songs. She sings along (quite loudly) and watches the videos at the same time. Everytime I came in the room, I'd take a look over at her and there she would be....singing and smiling and dancing in her seat! She told me and Billy all about every song after it was over and while she's talking, her eyes are shining and all sparkley and she's smiling from ear to ear. Every once in a while she would stand up and do a few twirls around the room and then go back.
This went on until midnight! A few times, I started to go into the family room to tell her it was time to go to bed but when I saw her...so completely happy and content, how could I put a stop to that? I felt so blessed and lucky last night to have such a beautiful soul for a daughter.

One last one:
Food control and limits:
This is something I have been thinking about for a while and it's also something that I've been slowly changing my way of thinking about as they heal more and more.
I started with Jacqueline because out of the three, she has the most common sense, the best self esteem and the least amount of emotional issues.at this point in out lives. My goal is that she be able to listen to her body and have control over what and when she eats. I started by asking her if she was ready for breakfast, lunch or snack instead of just making it and giving it to her. To my surprise, she is having breakfast about an hour later than I would have been giving it to her. I've also started asking her what she wants for breakfast, lunch or snack instead of just making one of the things I know she likes and giving it to her.
I've also just started doing this with Shawna I definitely see a difference, in both girls, and how they treat food. I've also stopped limiting "junk food". When they have cookies, I hand them the bag and tell them to put it away when they're finished....intead of taking out 3-4 cookies and telling them that's all they can have. I've found that they eat less cookies now.
Which brings me to today.....
Shawna & Jacqueline both had sleepovers last night and the four girls, plus another neighbor girl were hanging out all together last night...going in the pool and the hot tub. About 8:00 last night I told the girls I was having some ice cream and did they want any. The other three girls did but my two said "No thanks, we're not really in the mood for ice cream"....and Jacqueline asked for grapes.
Last year, Shawna would have said yes, even if she didn't want it and she would have finished hers before everybody else and then wanted more. Today after lunch, the two girls that slept over and the neighbor girl who was back again, asked me of we had any more ice cream. I asked S & J and Shawna said yes, but "just a little" and Jacqueline wanted an apple. Since I've started doing this, Shawna turns down sweets all the time. She's learning, at 10 years old, to listen to her body.
I know adults who don't even do that. LOL We discuss nutrition and eating healthy. They like to read the labels on what they eat so while I'm giving them more freedom, I'm also giving them more information. That, in my opinion, is a key factor in this. They need the information so they can make good decisions.