Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Audrey: One Week Home

I suppose, from the  last few blog posts, it seems as if I'd be laying in bed, hiding from the world as I come to grips with the fact I have breast cancer.


Who has time for cancer????? Certainly not me! Not us!

No, we have been enjoying this new little person who just waltzed into our family and is making herself at home. I cannot even begin to describe the light and joy this child has brought with her. *Everyone* in the family is enjoying her presence. Even Abel, who likes us to think he's not.

Our first night home Axel, Audrey and I all slept all night. That night I sank into our bed around 10:00 pm. I remember thinking "Oh man, I love my mattress. I love my leg pillow…." and the next thing I knew it was 6:00 a.m. and Dean was getting the kids up for school!

We jumped right back into our routine that day, with me doing breakfast for the kids and Dean putting everyone on the bus. Our course, our lives changed that day too.

I was so excited to discover I could get Audrey's hair into a pony! She left it alone all day long.

Asher is torn between wanting to be a big brother and help Audrey...

And wanting to go back to babyhood a bit. 

Audrey is making SO much progress in many areas. Because she spent 9 years always hungry, stealing food is a big problem. For the first few days, when we prepared meals we had to keep the food out of reach until we were ready to eat. Then one day she just didn't seem so anxious anymore. Now she waits patiently by her chair, not bothered by the fact the food is sitting out, right in reach. 

Audrey has also made HUGE gains in her eating skills! She is now using her lips on the spoon and learning all about using a fork and spoon. She'll be starting feeding therapy very soon so we can work on fine-tuning those skills.

Angela is really loving playing older sister to Audrey. The biggest adjustment for her has been that she cannot talk all night long. From Audrey's first night home Angela has slept quietly all night, without talking and keeping everyone up like she normally does. She and Audrey sleep peacefully all night long. 

It took several days before Abel seemed to notice that Audrey was in the house. This goes back to his inability to notice people unless they serve a purpose for him. But Audrey is hard to ignore, especially when she comes and sits herself on your lap! His facial expressions when this happens are priceless, and I hope to one day catch this on camera. He has been very careful with her which has been good to see. I moved all the toddler toys out of the boys' room and into the girls room so Audrey can play with them. The day I did this, later that night I discovered them all back on the shelves in the boys' room. Abel was not happy I moved things around. These are toys he doesn't care for, but he is very particular about where things go, and I had moved them! We repeated this several days. 

Axel had two weeks with Audrey in Serbia, so she's not so "new" to him anymore. Besides, he is a cool teenage boy now. But as he does with Asher and Abel, he will voluntarily help Audrey with her shoes, or getting her jacket on. Axel is a very good big brother to all the kids. 

Audrey does NOT like the dogs! The first time she saw them we experienced the girl's shriek for the first time! Oh man. Shatter glass, she can! She spent a few days changing direction if she realized one of the dogs was in her path, but now she will walk past them, and even push them out of the way a bit. Dudley is exceptionally tolerant of her, patiently laying his head on her lap even as she screams. Its much less "fear" now, and more "mad" that this dog is so persistent. LOL I have seen her very carefully trying to pet Dudley's soft hair, and I'm sure before too long she will fall in love with him. Zurri? Yeah she avoids little kids unless their face is messy with food. LOL The two big dogs are LOVING having a kid in a high chair again, laying beneath her to pick up all the dropped food. Roman is a bit leery of Audrey still, probably because he is a small dog and her reactions are not predictable. 

Audrey has mad a couple trips to the grocery store with me, and has learned how to walk with me holding the cart. One day I had to make a Target run with all the kids. Everyone did great, even Audrey who wasn't thrilled to be walking because she would prefer to be carried. Sorry Audrey, you're nine, and you'll have to walk around the store. Once she realized I was not going to carry her she did great and had fun walking with all of us. 

Audrey is smitten with her daddy and the feeling is mutual. She is such a happy, sunny, delightful child that it is hard not to get sucked into holding her all the time. She is learning to play with the other kids, and she and Asher can often be found leading one another around by the hand. We are making a conscious effort to spent time with the other kids 1:1, not only because of the addition of a new sister, but because of the general stress going on in the household right now. Next week will be difficult for everyone, Angela in particular. 

All in all, this first week with Audrey could not have been better. 


Amy Lucas said...

Oh Leah, I couldn't be more happy for you! Audrey is just precious and I loved reading how everyone is adjusting. I especially liked the way Abel moved his toys all back in his room. LOL That would be Jimmy (don't dare move anything an inch to the left in my room kid). :)

DandG said...

I love how Asher accepted being redirected. No tantrums? Better than my littlest if he doesn't get what he wants...
Beautiful kids, beautiful mama!
(Oh, and Dean's nice, too....)
(Yeah, where's that "Daddy's girl" picture?)

rosedel said...

You haven't mentioned Audrey's hands lately. Have the episodes lessened? It looks like she is doing beautifully and is giving you some needed joy. You are in my prayers.

Betsy said...

The picture of Audrey at the table with the food on the plates -- that is "precious", especially her hands and her cute facial expression. Prayers for your "healthy recovery"!

Heather said...

Audrey is beautiful! She looks like the perfect addition to the family! What is the age difference between Audrey and Asher?

Leah Spring said...

Heather, Audrey is 6 weeks older than Asher.

Relle said...

I'm so glad that Audrey has just taken to bing home and her little personality is just shinning. It must do your heart good to watch her blossom and know what your love is doing in her life. God knew what he was doing when he put a 4th adoption on your hearts, knowing that you would say yes. Knowing that she was the last piece of your family puzzle. Audrey looks so grown up and girly and proud of her self in the pictures. It melts my heart to see. Thankyou for sharing your adventures with us, it blesses us more than you know.